08 June, 2011

Blogs are Fabulous!

How fabulous are blogs?!

Last summer, at the urging of a friend, I started this blog.  My plan was to use it to document my work in my PreKindergarten classroom and my work at home with my own children.  I have done that, but my blog has been useful for so much more!

Case in point:  For a few months now I have been exchanging comments with a teacher/blogger in County Wexford, Ireland.  (Here is her blog, Montessori Preschool.  Check it out!)  We seem to share similar teaching philosophies, and it is wonderful to get support and great ideas from each other.  So when I was pondering and planning my upcoming vacation in Ireland, I thought how great it would be to meet her.  Unfortunately, County Wexford is pretty far out of our way (as we are headed to the Southwestern coast), but I thought of another way I could connect with her, continent box materials!

Now if you have read my blog from the beginning, you know that I participated in a continent swap at this time last year.  (You can read all about it if you like.  Start here, and scroll down for the rest of the posts.)  It was fabulous, and I not only have new learning materials as a result, but also some great new friends.  I thought I could help out my new friend in Ireland by gathering some items from my city and country, and putting them in the Irish mail upon my arrival.  She could not have been nicer when I asked her if she could use some American items for her North American continent box.  She said that would be lovely, and asked if I would like anything from her native country in return.  She even additionally offered to show me around her village and her classroom!  How lovely, generous, and generally marvelous!  Thank you Aude, for all those kind offers.  Even though I cannot take her up on any of them, the fact that she would offer is so encouraging and wonderful.

Here's a picture of a few of the things I have collected.  
Aude, if you want your box to be a surprise, don't look!  : )

What's in this little package:

  • a pop up book, America the Beautiful
  • an American flag
  • an American dollar, quarters from 3 or 4 states, dimes, nickels, and pennies
  • some tiny pretend bills (one dollar bills, fives, tens, twenties, and a fifty)
  • glittery American flag stickers
  • a few (unfortunately very few) stamps
  • red, white, and blue beads
  • an American flag bandana (can you tell our country is gearing up for July 4th?)  : )
  • a North American animals "toob"
  • a handmade wooden deer, red squirrel, and a black bear
  • a CD with some of my students favorite songs
  • a suction cup thingy (what are these called?) for Practical Life works, a rubber duck  (My state is apparently the highest producer of rubber ducks in the world!  Who knew?)  Okay, I heard this from my mother, but I am unable to verify it.  Anyway, there's a duck for practical life.
  • more brochures and travel magazines than you can shake a stick at

Our blogs and our love of children and teaching children connected us, even across an ocean!  As I said, fabulous!  How has reading and/or writing a blog connected you to others?  Let me know!  I'll read your comments - after I get back from Ireland!  : )

06 June, 2011

My First Public Art Sale

Well, I was a first time vendor at a local public art sale this past weekend, and while I wouldn't say my items were received stupendously, no one said, "What is that?"  I did sell a few things however, and my dear friend Frances sold a bunch of items.  Go Frances!  And I met a potential new friend! So generally, it was good all around.

I am seriously considering putting my leftover items on Etsy.  I think they are pretty good, and that most of my problem was that people in my town don't really know about Waldorf education and Waldorf inspired toys.  (Plus, they were too distracted by Frances' gorgeous jewelry to look at toys for their children. )

Sooooooo . . . here are some of the items I have.  Any thoughts?

Felted forest play mat with little Spring painted peg people.  People also have felted cloaks for colder weather.  Cloaks fit well onto fingers so they also work well as finger puppets!

Felted "Story of the Root Children" play mat.  Root children are separate, 
but this mat will include one wooden girl and 3 felted insects.

Felted ocean play mat with wooden mermaid, dolphin, and seal.

Wooden Queen, Princesses, and Ladies

Winter Woman

Mother Earth (She has grass, river, trees, and sky on her dress.  Her hair represents the clouds in the sky.)


Wooden child with mushroom cap

Some large felted acorns

Twilight Princess 

 I also have some play silks.  So I guess you might see me this summer on Etsy!

04 June, 2011

Mixed Emotions

Dear Readers,

It is with very mixed emotions that I must report I have decided not to return to my current school next year.

I have been thinking about this decision for a very, very long time.  I have discussed it at great length with my husband, my mother, and my dear friends.  It has been truly agonizing trying to decide what to do.  In the end, the school just didn't feel like quite the right fit for me, and I had to do what I thought would be best for me now and in the future.  I hope to find a new school that is just the right fit for me, where I can settle in and stay for many years to come.

It saddens me greatly to leave my current position as I will really miss my students, their parents, and some wonderful faculty member friends.  However, it is also exciting (if a bit nerve wracking) to venture into the unknown and search for something new.  I am choosing to focus on the positive and so I am sprucing up my resume and moving forward.

I hope you will continue to follow my blog as I have many exciting summer plans.  I am going to continue making Waldorf inspired toys, work on my sewing skills, and learn to bake bread!  I am also going to work with 3 fabulous friends on developing an e-book about 25 famous artists!  That will be a huge project, but we are hoping to have it ready for publication by this Fall.

And I hope to have a new classroom and class about which to blog, soon.