Showing posts with label DIY. Show all posts
Showing posts with label DIY. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Bringing Nature In:: Part II :: Our Waldorf Woodland Bedroom

We have had a BUSY weekend over here. My house is a mess- but a huge productive work in progress. After the move this past December, I sorta just wrote off a few rooms in the house. Mainly the children's bedroom that Deirdre and Jonas share as well as our bedroom. It was functional but not pretty. Since I feel like we spend very little time in those rooms, I focused on getting the playroom, family room, dining room, and kitchen in order. But now we've been in the house for six months, the state of our rooms started to bother me. While they weren't terrible, I just did not like being in them. They felt disorganized to me. They took longer to clean. They just felt off. 
Since I have been working on bringing more nature into the children's play and our lives when we're indoors, I thought that bringing it into their bedroom might be a good idea too. During the first seven years of a child's life, they are extremely sensitive to their environments. They consciously and unconsciously imitate their surroundings. This is one reason why in Waldorf, it is recommended that children have beautiful and natural toys. It's not just for the developmental benefit of open ended playthings, but also for the way in which they, our home, ourselves, impact our children as they unfold during these critical first years. Another reason for working on their bedroom was to improve their sleep. While I am blessed with children who do and have generally slept well and for 12 hours at a time- plus naps- I wanted to continue to make sure that their room was conducive for good and restorative sleep (which is paramount to their development as well). 

So here is my little room project. I am very very pleased with the finished product. Most of the decor in this room was re-purposed!!! I got the gnome print from an old book we already had. The fabric and paint I used on the logs I already had on hand. I brought in logs and branches which were free and just added to them. I also reused a lot of decor I had on hand from the kid's old bedroom and the baby's nursery. 

I lazured the walls yellow. The base coat is a light blue and the top veil was made with Stockmar lemon and gold yellow. The lazure was in the end not hard. I was nervous about it but it was fairly simple- just labor intensive. I did this alone, it is a small room, but I recommend having a helper. 

We added bunk beds since the kids are a bit older. So far it is working well. before we had floor beds, which is common with Montessori. I liked the floor beds, but it was time for a change. I hung our two Kinderkram mobiles up in to corners of the room. We got them from Bella Luna Toys and I cannot recommend them or Sarah's store enough. Just lovely. 

I made a branch tree with felt leaves for the corner near the window. I added on some decorative birds and butterflies as well as a nest we found on a walk. The tree was spray painted with gold glitter and sealed with shellac. I also picked up a white ceramic mushroom that I paint red with glitter to set near the tree. 
The kids also requested two gnome and tomten doors for their magical friends David and Timmy. They were worried about them having trouble getting in and out of their rooms. If you're new to the blog, I tell the children nightly stories about David and Timmy's adventures and have been doing so since January 2011. I make them up and they're simple- but boy do they love them! 

To complete the woodland room, I farmed some of their favorite gnome prints in the window frame. I love home rustic it looks. Lastly in the far corner near the door I made some stump mushrooms with fabric and one painted. I also made a burlap 'dream' banner in Waldorf lettering to hang over the stump mushrooms. 

I think that covers it all. Phew. Like I said it was a BUSY weekend, but oh so worth it. The kids love their new room. They are sleeping better and seem to be more peaceful. I am just finishing up Rahima Dancy Baldwin's book, You Are Your Child's First Teacher, for the second time. If you have children under seven, I highly recommend it. 

How did you do your child's room? Did you see a difference in their sleep? Have you incorporated more natural surroundings into their bedrooms? If so, how?

Until next time!
Blessings, Nicole

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Also please check out my blog hops tab to see all the lovely blogs I visit and am linking up to this week! 

Linking up this week with Frontier DreamsMagic OnionsNatural Suburbia, and Crafty Moms Share and a few others! Please check out my 'where I party' page! 

Saturday, January 21, 2012

A Little Buddy for Jonas

Yes that's right! I actually made a 14' Waldorf doll. Who knew when I began this doll making trial and error journey that I would actually finish it, and be happy with my results!

I also firmly believe anyone can do this!!

Armed with "Kinderdolls", a bunch of wool batting, very tan knit fabric, very large sewing needles, a crochet wig, tons of blonde yarn, and embroidery floss- I began the task of making Jonas a 'little buddy'. Craig came up with the name little buddy. I think it is cute and that it fits well because my hope is that this doll will replace his sleep sheep (a raggedy sheep that he loves dearly and calls baby) as well as become a comfort for him when the new baby comes. 

When I had Jonas, Deirdre attached a blue doll and would mimic my behavior with the new baby- with her own doll. It seemed to help and comfort her, and I can honestly said we had no regression issues. However with that being said, she also has a very nurturing personality so if Jonas regresses, I won't be upset or surprised. They just are different in that way and I love it! 

I also realized that I don't have a boy doll. They are all girls, fairies, or gnomes! Jonas likes the dolls but I think he will really like having one that is a boy, that he can dress, and that looks like him. 

Another reason that I wanted to make him something special for his birthday is because I make Deirdre lots of things. I don't know what it is about girl things, maybe because I am a girl, but sewing dresses to me is easier than sewing a button down shirts and pants!! DD has tons of Mama-made goodies and while I am sure Jonas doesn't realize it yet, I do, and it bothers me. When I make things, it is out of love, so I want to make sure I make an effort to make him clothes and toys as well. 

So here is mini-Jonas, his new little buddy. I quietly began him back in late November. I don't know how many times I took the body apart, re-stuffed the head, cursed the sewing needles, but he is done. I like him and I am happy with him. I also understand why these dolls cost $100 plus from an experienced doll maker (A LOT of work goes into them). He was made with lots of love and for my first doll ever- I think he looks pretty good. Will I be making another one? Yes- for Deirdre before the new one arrives. But until then I am going to hug mini-Jonas and excitedly await his 2nd birthday to give it to him! 

I love how Waldorf dolls have vague faces and are soft. Deirdre creates such imaginative stories and adventures with her Waldorf dolls, much more so than with other dolls. I highly recommend you make or purchase one for your children. Magic Onions featured a great article on the importance of Waldorf dolls here if your interested! 

Oh and an FYI- I used Adirondack Pattern's Waldorf doll clothes pattern for his clothes. It was a fabulous pattern- super user friendly. I highly suggest getting it. I will never pay for doll clothes again. 

A few tips from a first timer: 

- I suggest getting extra wool batting. At first I did not have enough in him so when I went to sew the limbs to his torso- it looked terrible. 
-I also suggest drink a glass of wine and relax before you 'form' the head. That was probably the hardest part for me. 
-I also bought a crochet wig cap. That made looping the yarn on the wig easier. Then all I had to do was sew the wig on instead of sewing the strands down bit by bit (as the Kinderdoll book suggested). 

Other than that, I am now a firm believer that if you have the time and supplies, then anyone can do it! They also are not terrible to pull apart if you mess up. I took out the embroidery on his mouth three times and I can't tell now! At any rate I hope it helps and I'd be happy to help you as I can. I am however still a huge novice. I am sure other real doll makers out there have much better advice!!! (It still was much cheaper doing it myself than buying one)

Until next time (oh and please pray for me, I have a yucky cold! It seems I have what the kids had a week ago!)