Tuesday, December 6, 2011

7th slippers and blacksmithing .

I sure haven't been keeping up on this blog!  Oh well, that means I have been very busy with students and handwork and a lot of fun in my personal life!

Anyhoo...here are some pictures of first, a few finished boiled wool sewn slippers from 7th grade.  They took to this project with such enthusiasm this year!  I would love to do wet felted slippers, but with 30 students it just doesn't work.  This is my second choice, and they really had some fun with it this year.

The next two pictures of the knife is actually my son's knife he made in his senior year at Sacramento Waldorf School in his Blacksmithing class.  He loved it, and he loves his handwork teacher.  The shape of the top is for a bottle opener...hmmm.  They had to go to the river to get the mud to make the forges, sew the bellows...chop the wood for the coals...I wish I had this class!

Thursday, September 29, 2011


Well, up to the last minute my 6th graders were putting finishing touches on their dragon head!
It looks great...and very intimidating!

We made it with paper mache...all their design.  I will miss "Courage Day" at our school so that I can attend my son's last Michaelmas at his high school...

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

singer sewing machine


just love these old adds....seems kinda pricey for those days.  Love the husband sitting around reading the paper while his wife happily sews away!  lol....

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Animated Sewing Machine

Wow, while reviewing the history of the sewing machine to teach my 8th grade, I came upon this which really is great to understand how a sewing machine works...but alas, we do not use videos in a Waldorf methods school, but I think between my drawings and our "Human Sewing Machine" , plus taking a machine apart, they get it....

pretty cool!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

First Day of 2011-12

Oh boy, here we go again!

Probably one of the best opening rose ceremonies yet!  Our new music teacher had faculty and staff singing an African song in 4 parts, and we all came up to the front like a flash mob at the beginning...it was pretty cool, ya had to be there!

I did have one class today, 5th grade.  We just talked about our Summers, I gave them the skinny on the year, then we had some free time...some still had their cross stitch from last year, and were working on those--how fabulous!
What we will be doing in 5th:
 *Last minute addition of pencil roll ups, something we do in 6th grade, but the class has a need, so here we go first thing...pencil roll ups.
 *Dyeing our wool for hats...next week in small groups while others are sewing pencil roll ups.
 *Refresher in knitting and purling and casting on...most should remember, this was a great knitting group.
 *Hats, wrist warmers, socks.
 *Later we will get an old fleece they harvested and card, dye and drop spindle spin it!  I am hopefull to make rock drop spindles...the school has some of the regular kind, but I like the idea of walking down to the river, finding their rock, spinning, then returning that rock.  This may happen in Nov or Dec, we shall see.
 *For those high achievers, or those who are just frustrated with knitting but tried their best, we will crochet a little at the end....it seemed to be all the rage with last year's 5th at the end of the year, so why not?!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Verses dilemma !!!

Ugh, I am so tired of the old handwork verses I have been using, but cannot seem to come up with anything original or even already existing poems or songs....

 I would love to have a song for opening verse...mostly for upper grades....the verses I am trying to change are for 5th grade and up... Ideas anybody??

We start school this week, all my supplies are in disarray and underneath another teacher's supplies who cannot get into his classroom due to the flooring finnish curing...we are both very anxious about it!  Oh well, it will be what it will be and we may just start a little late...

Here are some more pictures of the process for the cement bird bath!  So fun!  :

Until then, I will continue my search for verses...

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Finished birdbath

Kind of going backwards, but these are pictures of the cement birdbath I made with my 8th grade at the end of the year.  We made faux bois stands with hypertufa.  I recommend this project, it is cheap and turns out beautifully!  It was the perfect project for this class as it was not too difficult, because I had a very hard time keeping them focused at the end of the year!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Just checking in over summertime...

OH MY, this Summer of doing absolutely nothing and everything has been glorious!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Sacramento Waldorf Handwork display

I visited our local private Waldorf school's open house and checked out the Handwork display...lovely work!  The weaving is a high school project, but the rest are typical lower grades stuff.  I do like the flute cases, and was inspired by the simple quilts made by 8th grade as giving projects.  The animals, usually a 6th grade project, were enormous and adorable!  I could never let my students all do different animals!  I will admit, I was very jealous in speaking with their handwork teacher to find out the class size is a quarter of mine....literally less than 10 students in a class while I have 30 plus!  Even so, I am very proud of my public waldorf charter and the work we do!  They also have a much bigger budget...thank goodness I am such a penny pincher!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Paper maiche marionettes

I am just loving how these are turning out!  We mixed up a paper mache "clay" that uses toilet paper, joint compound, linseed oil, and flour, and it is very moldable and durable, can be sanded or drilled like wood...so we are using it to form the feet for our marionettes.  I'll include the recipe later, I left it at school and can't remember it by heart, but it is very easy!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

6th grade medieval games tunics

Here are some 6th grade tunics in the process...we use freezer paper to put on the shield, then paint in gold acrylic.  Each student creates his/her coat of arms.

8th grade birdbath

The 8th grade has decided to make "gifts for the garden" as their parting gift to the school.  We are experimenting with cement to make a leaf print birdbath...the first one cracked, the next one looks great!  We are learning from mistakes...they will each make a leaf print stepping stone.  We used an artichoke leaf for the first and second one...we learned to make cement patties, like hamburger patties, then piece them together on top of the leaf...the first one we just globbed on and it was all uneven and cracked...I'll take a picture of the second one tomorrow when we turn it over.

The bowl is made by heaping play sand under the leaf, covered by plastic, of course...then the leaf face down, then the cement, then covered in plastic and DON'T TOUCH IT for at least 3 days, then turn over and let cure more, spritzing with water, or I just hold it under the faucet, then put back...we possibly will make a mosaic stand if time permits, but we are really getting down to the wire!!!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

4th Grade Cross Stitch in progress...

I love fourth grade crosstitch!  I love how the kids know exactly what they want to do and the colors they will use...their designs are just stunning!  This project ends up as a pin cushion that they will need for 6th 7th and 8th grade sewing!  The measurement are 5 X 5 ", and they lay out the design on graph paper first.  I think we will have some finished very soon!  If they finish, then they can make a needle book...this may be the first year I have had so many done this early!

Monday, March 28, 2011

4th Grade vests and aprons

Here are some of the 4th grade finished vests and aprons.  We hand sew these for a class trip to Malokov Diggins, a hydrolic mining town where the children learn some California history and dress up in period clothing...in handwork we call this pioneer sewing!  Aren't they beautiful?  They must make a pocket on which they embroider their initials...so lovely...I always love this project and seeing all the pretty vests and aprons hanging in the window of the classroom.  (They also are doing cross stitch projects on the side)

Skills:  Running stitch, back stitch, gathering (basting) stitch, blanket stitch, some basic embroidery stitches, threading a needle, knotting, and knotting off at the end.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Vero Beach Schoolhouse

I love this picture of a turn of the century school house in Vero Beach Florida!!  Can you imagine!  I would love it!!!  (Not the dress in humid hot Florida, though...)

Thursday, March 3, 2011


Well, just joined waldorfhub...don't know how that will help me, I was having some difficulty figuring it out and none of my pictures would load.  Anybody out there using this site?  Looks like more of a blog host, and I already have this blog that I neglect. 

I wish I could see the people who look at my (poorly kept) blog...who are you?? 

Monday, February 7, 2011

Paper maiche marionettes

Another pic of the process...using foil for form then paper mache...the wires will be coiled and we will use jump rings for limbs...torso and head are one, seemed easier that way.  I actually think these will turn out pretty nicely!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Paper maiche marionettes

Well, we are on our way to some crazy marionettes...I have to admit, this was a pretty open ended plan, but it seems to be coming together pretty well...we haven't decided how to do the feet though.  We also have not decided on skits to perform...any ideas?  (They are making them in their own likeness, then we will dress them up according to the part they will play....just like a class play!)

Monday, January 31, 2011


Why didn't I think of this years ago !!!  Today I awoke with this idea to use magnet bars to organize the scissors, sewing nick nacks that have metal, and also the carving tools for woodworking...aaaaack, all of these things are just knocking around in boxes in classrooms...I think I have enough in my budget to buy a few.  It will be so helpfull...but when will I find the time to go to Ikea to pick them up?  Oh, right, I can mail order...but Ikea isn't that far!  Oh my gosh...this is going to be perfect! 


Thursday, January 27, 2011

More video testimonials to Waldorf Education

Additional testimonials to Waldorf Education from my co-workers!  Aren't they wonderful!

Medieval Tunics Begin

These are the freshly dyed Tunics for this year's 6th grade medieval games.  They chose sable (black) which created quite an issue with one parent who has now taken her child out of my class because of it.  Does anyone have an opinion about this?  I think it is just fine to have this color for the tunics, and I also knew they would not turn out completely black anyway, if that was the issue!  Black was available in Medieval times...

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Really heavy sigh...

Hmm, needing to post some pictures, but lacking the energy from being sick and some pretty serious (I think) teenage son issues...I could stay home and sigh and cry a little, but off to school I go to sew with my 8th graders and knit with my 5th graders, head held high and hanging my "woe is me's"on the hook by the door!  We finally died the "sable" tunics, which turned out more greyish purplish, as I figured they would....

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

January blues

Am I the only handwork teacher out there that considers a change in career around January?  I think I am just a little tired and maybe a little blue from all the fogged in days here...That said, the January conference was very uplifting and reminded me of why I love Waldorf education so much!  Eugene Schwartz was a key speaker, and he is just wonderful...a little wisdom, humor, and controversy!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Conference this weekend!!!


Black is not your enemy...actually, it's 'sable'...

Today I will shop for supplies, coupons in hand!  First, I must get bolts of muslin to begin the process of 6th grade tunics for medieval games!  They picked sable (black) as the color to die them, and boy howdy did that get some otherwise uninvolved parents quite involved and oppinionated.  I'm sticking by the student's decision and the fact that that would have been appropriate as far as what colours were available during medieval times.  Relax for goodness sakes!  'nuf said....

What else?  Oh yeah, buy the fabric for the elephants we will be making in the same class...I have one student who flat out refuses to make an elephant and has decided to make a spirit bear...not sure how I feel about that, but a bear she shall make...

Just a little update, new year = new projects = lots of extra work for me.

Contemplating moving on to a different career.  This is also the time of year the principal would like our intentions for the coming school year, so I begin to imagine moving on....it might just be time.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Wet felted candles

Squirt with soapy water, roll up, roll again in bubble wrap and roll 'till it felts

felted!  trim end

add holly, a bell, teeny pompom, trim flame, and voila!
Well, as a last minute project for the week before holiday break, I decided to do this project with 6th, 7th, and 8th grades, later to be only a 6th pre-holiday project.  I think it went pretty well!  The kids are a little crazy that week before break, so this was a fun thing to do!