Archive for September, 2009

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handwork

September 28, 2009

It’s only been two weeks since I made this temporary move to smaller quarters with only only a fraction of my stuff but it’s been liberating to see how much more I can do with my time.  I’m still in shock that I’ve turned to hand sewing so often!

I already wrote about the bags I made the first week: the second one fits my eurythmy slippers perfectly and the other one has been used even more.  Sometimes I use it to carry all my tins of “colours” and other times my birks.  Then there were the leaf faeries we had for homework last week.

leaf faeries

This weekend I returned to another one of my favourite handwork arts: KNITTING!

When I was first packing I thought I might have the opportunity to work on a 90% complete sweater that I started 3 or 4 Christmases ago.  In the end it didn’t fit in my bags. It’s a Christmas project anyways so to work on it at that time of year again will actually be quite nice and perhaps will help me relax and rest like I should! Here’s hoping I can block it will still fit:)

The mainstay of my knitting has been toques, especially the ear flap ones. I’ve been doing fewer and fewer every year – and none last year – so it has definitely felt like time for something new.

On Saturday I ventured to the yarn store and fell in love with yarn after yarn. I was craving something a bit bigger than a toque but smaller than a whole sweater and after much debating of patterns and yarns I settled on a sweater vest in this Manos blend of rich fall colours.

knitting

Working on it will force me to schedule some relax time but also keep my hands busy when I take a bit of a break to watch Bones once a week….

Have a great week!

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frustrated

September 25, 2009

School has been going well for the past two weeks but I’m having a difficult time dealing with my housing situation.

For those that know me well, it’s probably a surprise that I took the plunge to live in the room of a strangers house given my sensitivities to cats, smoke, perfumes and other “fake”things.  If I was ever going to find a community of strangers that I could live with it would seem like those associated with Waldorf would be the right mix.  Well, it turns out that that may not be the case.

For the first week I was here the homeowner was away so I could be surprised by the lack of cookie sheets, measuring cups and sharp knives and the reality of a moldy bathroom.  Except for the mold – which really is a problem – I could do things to remedy the situation.  Since the landlady has returned though I’m starting to have my doubts.

The reason I came to this house instead of others that were closer to school was that there were no cats.  There was also an understanding that this was a non-smoking home.  I’ve never heard where one cigarette a day constitutes non-smoking but if it was in any other house I’d probably just get over it.  The problem I’m having is that this house is that there are no safe places in the house and the conditions by which I’m expected to live are so rigid.  I understand that it’s a big deal for someone to share their space with strangers – I rented out part of my place once too – but if I’m going to stay here there needs to be some give and take and so far all the signs are pointing the other way.

Does anybody have any experience in living this way or some suggestions for how to move on and make thins livable?

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first handwork lesson

September 23, 2009

So today we had our first handwork lesson.  I’ve been looking forward to it and am so glad we didn’t have to wait months for this.  Given that we’re studying early childhood right now I thought we would dive right in with the kind of project one could teach a kindergarten class.  Instead we went for something for us first: a needle book.

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I’m not overly inclined towards embroidery or patterned linings peeking out behind a plain cover so I used the printed fabric for the outside.  And you can see from my uneven blanket stitches in the inside that I could certainly have more practice with hand stitches.
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I have a much smaller needle book that I made to go with my sewing case in the summer that I’m quite inclined to keep using both of those items but I did finish my assignment.  I’ll figure out what to do with it later.

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simplicity

September 22, 2009

Going to school has meant separating myself from the majority of my material possessions, albeit temporarily.  I moved here with the maximum carry-on baggage and had just over a pound to spare (but no room) in my two pieces of checked luggage.  I am short a few things but nothing I can’t live without.  Well, maybe my sewing machine!  I should be able to manage 9 months though;)

When I first left home for school 14 years ago, everything I needed fit in a few boxes.  By the end of year 1 I had my car 50% full.  The next year there wasn’t an extra foot of space, not even under the roof.  By the time I was done school I had accumulated 20 something boxes and everything I could take on the plane.  Things haven’t changed much in the last decade but with this move I don’t need kitchen ware, my bike, a plethora of swimming equipment (for a non- gear intensive sport there can be a LOT of accessories) or a printer.  I’m also being more conscious of what I need and trying to limit the extras.  I think it’s going to be a challenge but one which will hopefully make it easier to live simply and prepare for a move to something smaller when I’m done school.

There were some oversights in my packing – the only pants I brought are for cold weather (it’s been hot) and only two of them are suitable for the classroom.  I also forgot about t-shirts so didn’t bring enough of them and only one in a light colour.  I made a trip to the thrift store on the weekend to start filling in some of the gaps but will have to be diligent to make sure that I don’t go overboard again.  Just to make sure this is my “before” clothing photo.  All my extra winter layers are in the bottom left.

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On the kitchen front, I know Kevin and I are a little different from most but I’m quickly learning just how different.  Some of the things I consider necessities are not standard fare in this kitchen.  For example, I couldn’t find any cookie sheets or sharp knives and unless I do something about it, I won’t have access to measuring cups, measuring spoons or a waffle iron.  It’s making me rethink what things really are important.  Certainly the waffle iron is a strange one but it’s become my favourite way to start the day because it’s cheap, easy and doesn’t require special cereal or bread that can be *so* hard to get in Alberta.  I’ll definitely keep the one at home but I think 9 months without it will be quite alright.  On the other hand I might not want to go much longer without measuring cups and spoons.

The other challenge I’ll need to meet in preparation for a small house is in terms of kitchen counter and pantry space.  There is ample counter space in this kitchen but a plethora of large appliances are taking up space.  I have a hard time when the deydrator joins the microwave and kettle for more than a day at home so I’m going to have to do some work on my thinking so that the situation here doesn’t cause me to go crazy!  It’s a good challenge though and  I can’t wait to get home at Christmas and start purging!

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so fortunate to be here

September 18, 2009

It has only been a few days but WOW!  I feel so lucky to have this opportunity to learn here.  We’ve been exploring the meaning and duality of things through words, movement, painting, clay play and more.  It is so cool to be working with a myriad of right answers instead of only one and what a great group of people to be doing it with.

Yesterday I made one hugely oversized bag that was intended for my eurthmy shoes.  It fits my birks (which I’ve been carrying to school every day).  I’m happy to have that bag but decided to make a more appropriately sized one so in an hour of indulgence I did just that while watching Bones.  I only watch tv online and not much of it at that but it was nice to have the background noise without the commercials as I went along.  I had a heck of a time keeping my sewing machine thread from knotting but finally remembered on the last threading not to cut it from the spool until it was threaded and it worked just fine.  I didn’t think to pack a safety pin but a paperclip was just the trick for feeding the drawstring through the top.

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They’re nothing fancy (and if you look at my sewing, even less so.  I used blue thread but it works.  It kind of looks like I handpicked some parts and I’m happy with that.  I wish you could see that but my quick attempt at a detail shot didn’t work.  In any case, the contrasting colours are a little less noticeable on the outside.

In any case, I’ll be back here with what I hope is a better post, next week.

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such an appropriate quote

September 17, 2009

Long story short: Kevin happened upon this quote a few days ago after worrying about the peach seed (inside the pit) that he ate.  I thought it was worth sharing and it’s especially fitting since it’s part of what has fueled my decision to change career directions.  It also helped me figure out what to say for my presentation when the day after Kevin found the quote.

“A man can stand anything except a succession of ordinary days”

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe – German dramatist, novelist, poet, scientist (1749-1832).  A name I’m becoming more an more familiar with as I deepen my knowledge of Waldorf Education.  I love it when more  eloquent ways of describing what I’m thinking or feeling land on my lap like this!

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feels like christmas

September 15, 2009

Strange that I should say so but that’s what I thought.  It’s funny though, because for me Christmas is definitely not about the Christian version of things but more about the seasonal change that we celebrate with friends, family and neighbours.  I probably come across as dissing other cultures and that’s not what I mean to say.  More that I’ve found a reason to celebrate now so “Christmas” is actually fun now instead of a time of year I dread.  In any case there were a few big gifts for me today.

Eurythmy that moved me.  Eurythmy unlike any I’d done before.  I’m so thankful for the experience this morning with my fellow students, members of the community and one very talented teacher.  I am also happy that I don’t have to feel the guilt I had this summer where it was a constant tug of war for me to get to class and stay engaged.  Phewf, eurythmy really can be what I’d imagined, and more.

15 - grey paint

Time to paint and simple, yet focused tasks.  The first was to figure out how to paint a wet sheet of paper a consistently light shade of grey without diluting our jars of thick,  heavy black paint.  We also painted for contrast using the same paint.  I went back and forth in a lemniscaped pattern and when after a very short time I felt like I was done, I went back and “unpainted” some spaces.  I was very happy with the results and glad for the extra time to experiment.  Now if I could just give myself that much time at home!

15 - lyre

Another gift and the one that actually moved me to thinking today was like Christmas, was the opening my beautifully wrapped lyre.  It’s not required for teacher training but when I visited the kindergarten classroom in Hawaii I had the chance to play the lyre and have wanted to hear and make that music ever since.  I enjoy singing so recorder playing has been rather frustrating.  I still need to figure out how to tune it but for now the resonance of each string I pluck is enough!

15 - new fabric (batiks)

And my final gift so far today was finding fabric.  I wasn’t looking for anything but when out to find some other specialty items I happened across a fabric store that had one of my favourite prints, just in a different colour than what I used for my favourite baby quilt a few years ago.  I’ve been admiring the bags people carry their eurythmy shoes in so later this week I’ll try and get started on mine.

I thoroughly enjoyed my first full day of teacher training and am so looking forward to what I’m going to learn over the coming months and years!