Showing posts with label tutorial. Show all posts
Showing posts with label tutorial. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Crafting Waldorf Daily Color and Grain Gnomes (Plus a Tutorial)

We've been quite busy here this week! It seems like we've been bogged down with chores and the like, with a few good play dates thrown in there! Last week the kids and I traveled a bit, to Charlottesville (to pick peaches) and Dumfries (to visit my best friend). So I am a bit, how do I sat it?- oh yes- EXHAUSTED.

In a about a week and a half, we will all go on vacation to Hatteras North Carolina too. I am very excited, but as many of you know vacation with little ones is also work. Work to pack and ready the house as well as work when we get there. But I consider it good fun work. 

When I get tired and boxy, I find it very therapeutic to work on a craft project. This project has been bouncing around in my head for some time now. I have been meaning to incorporate more Waldorf rhythm in out lives the more we learn about Steiner's daily grains and colors. With the new school year only a month or so away for us, I thought it might be a good idea to get together some more materials that we'll be using- like these gnomes!

I plan on using these little guys on the children's breakfast and snack table. Each morning I will have the pull out and set in the center the gnome of the day. I plan on using the grains in their breakfasts and snacks- or if it's bread baking day then we'll use a recipe that includes the grain of that day. I wrote a tutorial for them as well below so you can make your own! 

I find Steiner's ideas on grains and diet as well as bio-dynamic farming fascinating! I could go into more of that here but Carrie at Parenting Passageway has done a better job at not only explaining Steiner's grains but also how she uses them as well as her thoughts surrounding gluten and diet. 

I would also like to temper this with a bit of advice for those new to Waldorf. Don't feel as if you have to begin to do the grains/colors/rhythm/ect all at once. I have know about grains and colors for awhile now and it's something I have been building up to gradually.  At first I stared incorporating more of the grains into my recipes and diet. I did not grow up in a family of healthy eaters. I must confess that I had no idea what barley and millet were until 3 years ago- among many other things! I was raised on fast food. So have heart! This has been a fun journey for me. I am learning to love cooking and baking more and more thanks to Waldorf. It warms my heart to know that my children will have lots of memories of cooking with me in our kitchen.

Now here is the tutorial!

These little guys were very easy to make. No stitching. My daughter helped me paint them. I painted and wood burned the lettering. I used fabric and hot glue for the hats. We collected the acorn caps ourselves.  

So here are the steps on how to make these little guys!

Materials Needed:
I included links to the supplies I use and where you can get them. I have also found wooden peg dolls and pots at AC Moore and Michaels. A few weeks ago I even saw some thicker wool felt there. However when possible I love to support smaller businesses on ETSY. I also have had a hard time finding a natural non toxic fabric glue- but now I found one!
  • 7 small wooden peg dolls 
  • 7 small wooden pots 
  • Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet, and white wool felt 
  • Fabric glue 
  • 7 medium sized acorn caps 
    • We got our own but if you happen to not live near an oak tree you can get caps on ETSY here
  • A wooden burning tool
  • Beeswax polish or Shellac (optional)
  • Watercolor paints
    • I highly recommend either stockmar or lyra paints, which are a lot more affordable. All other watercolors I have tried when crafting pale in comparison. 


1. Collect 7 small wood peg dolls and 7 wood pots. 
  • You can get these at your local craft store or on ETSY. Make sure to get the little pegs dolls, not the regular or large size. 

2. Break out your watercolor paints and paint 6 gnomes and 6 pots each one the color of the rainbow (ROYGBV). 

3. 1 gnome should be left blank (for white!). 

4. (optional)  Seal your gnomes and pots with with beeswax polish or  finish them with shellac.
  • I used shellac since I like them to shine a bit. Shellac is non-toxic and natural. 

5. Using the base of one of your pots as template, cut 7 felt circle using all you colors. 

6. Set out all your 7 gnomes, pots, felt circle, and acorn caps. 
  • The gnomes and pots should be dry an finished at this point.

7. Glue your acorn cap to the center of the felt circle. Then dap some glue onto the top of your gnome's head and place the felt circle and cap on top of his head. 
  • It should be like a glue sandwich: Acorn cap-glue-felt circle-glue-gnome's head.
8. Repeat this step with all 7 gnomes. 

9. Once they are all dry, paint and/or wood burn the days of the week onto your gnome's body. I just used the abbreviations. 

10. Then paint or wood burn the coordinating grains on to the gnome's pot. For the white pot, I left it natural and added glitter to it and then sealed it with shellac. 
  • Feel free to paint it white if you have white paint. I only have stockmar at home right now so I didn't have white on hand, ha! 

Sunday-White- Wheat
Monday- Purple- Rice
Wednesday- Yellow-Millet
Thursday- Orange- Rye
Friday- Green- Oat
Saturday- Blue- Corn

11. Then enjoy them! As you can see they're easy and your child of almost any age can help. Those are the crafts I love the best. 

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! 


If you would like to find more recipe using these grains I highly recommend the The Waldorf Kindergarten Snack Book.
  Also check out Carrie's article above

Also if you make these little guys, please come back and share your creations with me! I would love to share them on my blog or if you already do grains and daily colors, I'd love to know how you incorporate them into your home and rhythm!

Until next time!
Love and Light,

Friday, February 17, 2012

A New *No Stitch* Heart Gnome Tutorial

As you all know, I love gnomes. My daughter is responsible for this love and in an effort to make her gnome play things- since you can't really find gnomes in the store- I set about learning how to make my own gnomes. 

About a year and a half ago, I stumbled upon Wee Folk Art's peg gnome tutorial. Since then I have made my own wee folk gnomes, as well as modified them to make my own versions. It seems to me once you work with two artistic mediums enough, in this case peg people and felt, the possibilities are limitless. 

When talking with my friends about my gnome crafting, a lot of them remark, "well what about the blanket stitching and embroidery... all that for one little gnome?" It is true, doing all the stitching does take more time and I do like the look, but it isn't for everyone for sure. I am all about practicality and empowering anyone to craft. If the stitches are a deterrent for you then ditch them! This makes crafting peg gnome even easier for kids as well

I will show you how to avoid stitching all together, except for sewing the cloak closed and sewing the hat together. Both of these are essential and easy. They're just joining stitches. If you're especially great with fabric glue then I bet you can figure out a way to avoid this as well, but alas I am not and my gnomes come out looking to gummy. 

Ok, Let's do this!! 

Step One: Go to Wee Folk Art's Blog and download their 'Waldorf peg gnome pattern' and directions. It is free. 

Step Two: Cut out all the pieces for your gnomes as directed. For a girl heart gnome cut a pink hat and body piece and a red cloak and small heart. For a boy heart gnome, cut a blue hat and body with a purple cape and heart. 

Step Three: Instead of stitching all the edges of the hats and cloaks, just don't! 

Step Four: Fabric glue the gnome body piece on. Then, once dry, glue the heart on the middle of the body. 

Step Five: Thread a needle with either blue (boy) or pink (girl) embroidery thread. Drape the cloak around the gnome's shoulders and gather stitch the cloak closed around the gnome's neck. Then if desired, to prevent the cloak from shifting, glue the back of the cloak to the gnome's body. 

Step Six: Take the gnome hat piece and turn it inside out. Stitch the open sides shut with a simple running stitch. Then turn the hat inside out. Stuff the hat with wool. 

Step Seven: Take a copious amount of fabric glue and place it inside the hat. Place the hat on your gnome's head. The gnome should have a large rim on his hat. Gently pucker the edge of the hat down onto the gnome forehead using the glue seeping out from under the hat. If you're not sure what this looks like then see the hats above. 

Then ta-ad, you should be done! Mine took me under 10 minutes per gnome. They are just as cute and as fun for the kids. Enjoy, and I hope you craft many of these gnomies too for your little ones. 

Also don't forget my current giveaway for Sarah Silks. You still have until the 23rd to enter and win a playsilk or silk streamer! 

Always, Nicole 

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Reconnecting and Planning

The kids and I rang in the new year by ourselves. Craig was working, as he usually is, and I am so grateful that he is willing do to so. His hard work allows me to stay at home with the children, which at times makes me feel guilty because let's face it, my job is a lot more fun than his. 

Every few months however I begin to feel a bit anxious and then he and I have a sit down to sort out our plans for the next few months (like things that need to be done) to even long term goals (like deciding to not put Deirdre in public pre-K next year). I really love these times because it really reunifies us in out joint endeavor to raise our little ones and care for our home. 

So last night we got to have one of the reconnecting evenings and this morning I feel so so much better. I was beginning to pile a lot up on my plate, when we both knew what I wanted and needed to do was be focused on the home, the kids, the impending baby, my one mother's ministry outreach, and their schooling. I guess I just needed him agree that those things were most important before I would allow myself to let go of the rest.

This morning in turn I woke up feeling quite refreshed and unburdened as a result. 

So here is to a new reaffirmed direction! I have a few projects in the works and lots of list making to do. I can't wait to share them all with you! 

Below you'll find a mini-tutorial on how to make floating beeswax candles. It is very straight forward if you already have molds and a double boiler. We enjoyed it so much that we will be making some more again very soon! 

The kids in their New Year togas- Jonas of course wanted to copy Deirdre.  I love his over zealous cheesing in the photo. 

Their New Years painting of fireworks with our plant based water colors. 

Daily Verse or Quote: 

You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.
– Isaiah 26:3 (NIV)

Monday, January 2, 2012

Little Friend Doll Sweater Tutorial

I am joining Ginny from Small Things this Wednesday for a Yarn Along. Hop over there if you want to join in too! 

A while back we purchased this doll for Deirdre from Nova Natural. She was our first Waldorf doll and is quite well loved. So well loved that her arms began to fall off and she went out of commission for awhile. Amid my hyperemesis this Fall and a move this Summer, poor Vera stayed in my mending basket for far too long. When Christmas rolled around I was determined to mend her and also make her some new clothes. 

I adore Waldorf doll clothes. They are so cute and well made. However as much as I love them, I am not willing to pay $20-$30 for one outfit plus shipping. I have had a hard time sewing clothes for dolls as well so I decided I would try to knit some. 

Then enters this dolly sweater. I am by no means a talented knitter. I'd describe myself as passable, mainly because I am self-taught. I have lots to learn still and little time and patience...haha... so I need to work with what I got. 

So I devised a super simple, super easy pull over sweater for Vera. The head  and arm openings are extra wide so children can put the sweater on themselves. I also knitted with large needles and bulky yarn so that the sweater would give a little (again to make it easier for my daughter to pull it on). 

Vera is 11 inches tall. The pattern is designed for her and other "Little Friend" dolls or 11-12 inch Waldorf dolls. If you have a larger or smaller doll and want to make one for them as well, message me and I can do the math on how to adjust this pattern to fit your doll. 

-Size 10 Needles
-Bulky Yarn that knits up to 4=14 stitches on size 10 needles (I used alpine wool)
-Yarn Needle

1. Cast on 30 stitches 
2. Knit 10 rows 
3. Cast off 7 stitches
4. Knit 16 stitches
5. Cast off 7 stitches 
(At this point you should have 16 stitches in the middle still on your needle)
6. Knit another 20 rows. 
7. Bind off loosely at the end. 
8. Then knit another identical piece following the same steps from above. 

Once you have your two pieces...

1. Sew up your seams along the outside of the sweater, except for the bottom, the ends of the sleeves, and the neck portion. Make sure to leave the neck portion wide. (See photo below)

2. Turn your sweater inside out and weave in any loose ends. 
3. Viola, you should be done and ready to put the sweater on your Little Friend! 

Enjoy! And please let me know how it goes if you knit one ;) 

Daily Verse or Quote: 
Let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance— for understanding proverbs and parables, the sayings and riddles of the wise.
– Proverbs 1:5-6 (NIV)

Friday, June 3, 2011

Wood Burning Gnome Tutorial

Wait, what? Where did the tutorial go? Well let me tell you! This tutorial is up for consideration to be published in the Autumn edition of "Rhythm of the Home". Until they make a decision, it will remain hidden due to publishing rights- so sorry! But regardless of what they choose you will be able to view the article on their site or mine. So lets hope they like it and decide to publish it!