Our last project of the year at the preschool was the children made gifts and cards for their parents. We made wool sweater wreaths based on Cassi's tutorial.
The one change I made was we used pipe cleaners instead of the heavy gauge wire. It worked very well. The wool squares stay in place a little easier for them too.
The littler ones were fine with just putting on a few squares, but they still looked pretty cute.
We also made little cards to accompany their gifts.
These were made by folding card stock in a tri-fold and then cutting a little "window" in the first two folds. We then glued white tissue paper to the inside of both windows, then glued stars cut out of more tissue paper to the inside. The first two folds were then glued together sandwiching the stars in between. These look so pretty with a candle behind them, or open in a window so the sun can shine through.
I'm getting ready to bundle up the boys and head out for a walk in the snow around the lake so we can enjoy the Christmas lights. It's almost five and it's dark already.
Last weekend Jen hosted another one of her fabulous pARTy's. It is so great for my soul to spend an evening with other women who have a passion to create. And I love that I can actually sit down, and start and finish a project in one evening. Doesn't happen too often with two young boys always within arms reach. This time we made these sweet and colorful pocket organizers.
If you're not familiar with Jen's work, she creates beautiful books and albums and journals and cards. Just peek around her etsy shop and you can see. She is a master with paper and I always love to learn her techniques. Like this binding of the organizers pages...just brillant!
We also made paper wreaths.
These were quick and fun. Kind of reminded me of the felt ornaments I made a couple of years ago...but no sewing! Read about her inspiration behind creating these wreaths and her very clear instructions on how to make these here. Also, Anna made some beautiful ones that you can see here.
Peanut jumped into my bed, waking me up this morning by announcing that his bottom tooth was wiggling.A big moment for him.He’s been keeping tabs on all of his friends who have been losing teeth and he’s been feeling desperately left out.I made a mental note that I’d have to look into making a tooth fairy pillow.But I didn’t realize it would happen so soon.
At four-thirty today, out it came and suddenly I was a mama on a mission.Thankfully, the creative women at the Purl Bee had me covered and I was able to stitch this up in about a half hour.Phew.
I was also not prepared for how sentimental I would feel.My baby.He’s on his way to getting his permanent teeth.His adult teeth.What a mix of joy and heartbreak at the same time.I couldn’t possibly be the only mama to feel this way, right?
I had intended that last week was going to be full of posts about all the ornaments I've been busy making, but two sick boys at home trumped those plans. Boys are on the mend so I hope to get those posts up this week sometime.
For today, I want to share photos of the votive candles the kids made at the preschool last week.
We used simple clear glass votives from IKEA and watered down glue to paint on pieces of colorful tissue paper that was pre-cut into shapes for the kids. After that I let them go with the glitter...to add as much sparkle as they wanted to. I was surprised to find out that the boys added much, much more than the girls. They will always surprise me.
The votives will be used in our festival later today. We will be having our Advent Spiral (also called an Advent Garden), which is a uniquely Waldorf tradition and is also my very favorite celebration in our school year. Taking pictures during a festival is so disruptive to the nature of the ceremony-especially one that is so contemplative, but I really want to be able to share photos here as I know some of my readers have similar preschools. After opening our preschool I had searched in vain for pictures of an Advent Spiral to give me ideas for our own, so decided I will take some today (before and after but not during the spiral) to document how we do it at Willow House.
Here is the space we will be transforming.
The following is a portion of the text we send out to parents to give them a sense of the importance of the celebration.
Nature’s life forces are withdrawing into darkness, and every day the sunlight is decreasing as we approach the winter solstice.At this time, we quietly ready ourselves to go without fear into the darkest time of the year.To find light and warmth now, we reach within ourselves and into our communities.The advent spiral is a uniquely Waldorf tradition for children.A visual picture of the inner journey the soul must take at this time of year, it is a ritual for younger children who do not yet fully have their own light and so must take from the Central Light.As each child spirals inward to kindle his/her candle at the central flame, so also each of us must turn within if we are to find illumination.
Traditionally, the children use an apple and insert a candle for them to carry into the spiral for the angel to light. They would then place it on a gold star that is placed along the path as they wind back out of the spiral. With the 3-5 age group, carrying an open flame in this way makes us a little too nervous, so we have found ways to make votives in which the flame is inclosed and away from little fingers.
Here are two more examples of votives we have made.
Later this evening, I will be posting the photos of the spiral. To be true to the quiet nature of the festival, there will be no words with the pictures. I hope you'll be back to see them.