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I have had many friends who have spun their own wool over the years.  I have always wanted to learn but didn’t have the mental space or the equipment to move forward.  Recently I have had a chance to start from the beginning.

Sorting fleece, carding it properly, making rolags and then spinning it.

I have even been able to try three different wheels.  It has been such a blessing.

The biggest thing I have learned, though, is that spinning is addictive, meditative and most of all, rather complex to learn.  There are so many ways to grow as a spinster/ spinner.  Once you dare say you have one skill under your belt, you have thousands of variations you can learn next.  Spinning really is a craft for one who learns quickly and loves a good challenge with a beautiful, useful, output once finished.

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Using a Peg Loom

Growing up, my parents always gave my brother and I a craft to do for Christmas. My husband and I have taken on that tradition ourselves and this year we got our family a peg loom.

Peg looms are a very simple loom design that are often seen in Waldorf kindergartens.  Comprised of a solid base with holes for removable pegs and pegs with a hole in the bottom for the warp to go through, the design really is very simple to make.  The great thing about peg looms is that you only put in as many pegs as you want the width of your project to be.

We got a large loom but started off on our first project with only a few pegs.  Putting the warp thread through the bottom you only have to weave in and out of the pegs back and forth.

When you are done the length you wish, you pull the pegs out slowly and pull the warp thread through carefully.  Then when all the warp threads are through the weft, you tie off their ends and you have your project.  We then felted our project by throwing it in our regular wash and drier and made it in to a doll pillow.

Because it is so simple to use, you can make a project in no time.  My daughter, who is three, made this project in 15 minutes with minimal guidance by herself.  You can make chair cushions out of roving, rugs, and coasters.  We love ours and are looking forward to more creative projects to come.



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Winter Oatmeal

Our family really likes oatmeal.  We eat it every day all winter long.  There are variations of it but this is the basic recipe.


For two hungry adults and two children under 5:



2 cup large whole rolled oats

2 cups water

1 big slug of of milk

1/4 cup of creamed coconut

a handful of raisins

1 banana

milk and coconut sugar for the top



The trick to good porridge is cooking it slow.  We bring the oats, banana, water and milk to a boil then turn it right down to a simmer.  Then, depending on how hydrated you like your raisins, you  add them and the coconut.  We like to chop ours into big chunks. It is fun to get a little of the unmelted coconut in your bite.

We usually let it cook on the stove, go get the kids ready for the day and set the table, and by then it is done.  Typically 15-20 minutes.  Stirring occasionally. With a sprinkle of coconut sugar and a dash of milk, or nothing at all, this breakfast is a fantastic way to start your day.  Enjoy.

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Epiphany: The Three Kings Festival

What do you say for Epiphany?  Happy Epiphany?  Merry?  I am not sure. This is my first year recognising it at all!  Other members of the NKT  have written about Mary’s Star Path and their versions of it.  You can read about my families star path here. Epiphany, in our family, represents the actualization of the love grown (in advent) and the love born (Christmas).  We have taken an archetypal approach to the Christmas season and Epiphany is no exception.


When I went to a talk about the star path with the authors of All Year Round I was shown photos of different depictions of the arrival of the kings.  A few things were consistent. Mary was regal.  She was sitting on a throne or some how raised up.  She was not shown as poor and in a stable, her surroundings were strong. The Christ child was upright, alert and unlike the birth artwork we were shown where he was always laying down, his eyes were open.  He was awake in the spiritual sense.  So if Christ represents love, this was the moment where the path of love was realized and where it was witnessed by the three kings.


In our family this is the time where the wishes and good intentions we made during the last month are sent off for manifesting.  We took down our tree when the kids were sleeping and we in its place was a small gift for both children.  Window stars shine as the light is once allowed to enter the room where the tree once stood. You can see our star path during advent here.  As you can see in the picture below, Mary is elevated, she is wearing a star crown and the baby is upright. I didn’t have time to needle felt the three kings so this year we have little peg people instead


There are so many interpretations for the 12th night. Culturally it is a very important day for many places around the world.  We love hearing your experiences at the NKT. How do you celebrate it?


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Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

I have been wanting to write this simple post for a while. The problem is, I can’t seem to get photos of these muffins before they are gone.  I even put my camera next to the oven last time.  Seriously. I have made these muffins three times in the past week, using up the last of our nature table and kitchen table seasonal pumpkins.  You will have to try it to believe it!


This is what you need:


1 1/2 cups of fine whole wheat flour

1 teaspoon Baking Powder

1 Small Cooking Pumpkin (the size of a honeydew melon) or 1 can of pumpkin

1/3 cup Vegtable Oil

1 Eggs

1 teaspoon pumpkin spice

1 cup of coconut nectar sugar (can be soft light brown sugar if you can’t find any of the coconut sugar)

1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda

1/2 teaspoon salt


What you do:

Heat oven to 350 degrees F or 180 degrees C.

Cut your small pumpkin in half, scoop out the seeds and pulp

on a cookie tray with a raised edge, put a couple of cups of water.

Place the pumpkins cut side down on the tray

Cook for 35-40 minutes


While the pumpkin is cooking you mix all dry ingredients together.

I then make a pool in the middle of the dry goods and pour in my eggs and oil.  By this time I have had to do a thousand other things around the house and the pumpkin is out of the oven and has cooled for a few minutes.  I scoop out the inside of the pumpkin and mix it with the rest of the ingredients.  That’s it. Scoop into a lined muffin tin and bake until a knife comes out clean.


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Tutorial: Making Simple Felt Tea Bags With Your Child

Southern England is really starting to cool down now.  It rains most days, and when it isn’t raining it looks like it might.  There is a lot of tea brewing in our house.  So much so that our daughter makes make-believe tea more than anything else on her play stove.  We were given two beautiful tins of tea years ago when visiting my family in Canada and I haven’t been able to throw them away.  I decided that it was time to hand them over to the playroom but first, a craft that my three year old daughter could do with me.  Make some tea bags.  I am sure there are many more sophisticated ways to do the following but that wasn’t the point of this craft.  We were sewing, cutting and using up some of mama’s scrap felt pieces.


What you will need:


Embroidery Thread

Darning needle (very blunt round tip needle)

Scraps of fabric or felt


Cut a square of felt the size of a tea bag

Cut another square of felt the size of the tag

Measure and cut a piece of embroidery thread

Help guide your child to pull the thread all the way through the bag a few times then tie off

Repeat for the tag!


(please pardon our duct taped tea pot)

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Creating Community Series: Singing Mamas


One of the things I have had the chance to experience, being on the Natural Kids Team, is a sense of community.  I have often lived in isolated areas where natural toy crafters are few and far between and I have found an amazing support in being part of the NKT.  As I have talked about in recent posts, I recently moved to a village that has the longest running and first English speaking Steiner school in the world. Because of this people come from all over the world to live here.  It fuels community in a way I haven’t experienced before, at least not offline. It has a rich “alternative” community and people are supporting each other in powerful fulfilment all around me.  I wanted to share how some of the people I have met have become pillars in this community by sharing their hearts without the ego of where a project will go but rather what a project is for.  Being part of and helping to create a strong community is such a pure way to become more whole.  The benefits that resonate from that wholeness touch your family in such a special way.


My first interview is with Kate Room who has started a group called “Singing Mamas”.  They meet weekly, children in arms, crawling everywhere, giggling and sometimes shouting in amongst a group of open hearted women.  The songs are international and are experienced by the children but not directly for them.  To hear the women in my community talk about Singing Mamas is truly inspiring on its own. People laugh and cry, they breastfeed and hold their children.  I have never been part of something that sounded so beautiful.


What made you decide to start the Singing Mamas?

Well it was a good friend of mine that set me up.  I talked to her about a group I used to be in where you could bring your children and she liked the sound of it and she wanted one that she could go to with her daughter. So she found a few friends who would like to do it and invited me to come along to it.  I sat there looking around the room at these women with their babies on their laps and after a half an hour I realized they were all staring at me waiting for me to start. So I naturally was a bit cross and my friend knew I would say no way. No way could I pull that off.  But I racked my brains and came up with a few songs and it was okay.  We decided we would keep it going and it would be at my house so women were coming and more women were coming and it became a bit of a squeeze. I was very happy that I had been set up! As my confidence grew more woman came and we had enough people to hire a hall.  It has proven to be very popular. I am learning all the time.


What do you think it is that people are so attracted to with Singing Mamas?

The main thing is the soul nourishment.  It is appealing because you can bring your children but once they arrive they realize the singing is for them and their soul’s nourishment.  And its that point of the week (Wednesday)  where you really get to breathe for an hour and have that shared experience of breathing and making beautiful harmonies which is something we don’t get to experience in our everyday lives. One thing I really love about it and that people really love even if they don’t realize it, is that when they come along they leave their home.  Their lives are so busy fulfilling the needs of their child, and pouring out everything to their children and families, the children then get to come along and witness the mums getting their own nourishment and serving themselves. Its really rare for children to see.  (because we often leave our kids in someone else’s care to gather nourishment).  That message is very important to give to our children and to bring into our home.


There is a lot of power in song and music.  What personal experience do you have that is bring brought to this group?

I trained as a child. Classical flute and very academic.  I didn’t find much joy in it.  I always did performance.  Then I became really self conscious, stopped performing, and couldn’t even play in front of my family. So when I discovered the joy of singing without performing, it just opened up a door to another world.  I realized that when you sing, it doesn’t matter if you get it wrong, it matters that you are breathing and enjoying it.  It then became a passion.

If you were to give advice to someone who wanted to start a group like this but was intimidated, how would you suggest they start?

 Start small. Start at home where there is no pressure.  But also bear in mind that if you start too small you can hear everyone’s voices.  Eight is a good number.  Start it as a shared thing.  Everyone brings songs. The first few weeks everyone is going to be shy and timid but soon it will build and the confidence will build.  It wakens up slowly.  Keep the songs simple.  Small harmonies, simple rounds.  It will grow naturally.  Keep telling yourself if you get it wrong to keep going. Singing in community and in harmony is not about solo performance. The goal is to blend together.

For more information on this group and to hear more of what we sang that day please contact me directly HERE


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This quote is a good one to remember on days like today (for me) so I thought I would share its beauty.


To laugh often and much;

To win the respect of intelligent people
and the affection of children;

To earn the appreciation of honest critics
and endure the betrayal of false friends;

To appreciate beauty;
To find the best in others;

To leave the world a bit better, whether by
a healthy child, a garden patch
or a redeemed social condition;

To know even one life has breathed
easier because you have lived;

This is to have succeeded.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Good Night Songs

Many natural parenting communities emphasize the importance of singing and the use of song with children.   For a non-singer, singing sure has taken over our lives.  Some of my favorites are bedtime songs.  Ours seem to change every six months or so when my daughter rejects what it is I am singing and I am forced to move on (I mean gladly move to the next beautiful song in my repertoire).

 Our most recent bedtime song is by Renee and Jeremy from their album Its a Big World.  Its called Powder Blue

Go to sleep my baby

 Sleep now little you

Go to sleep my baby and dream of powder blue

Flowers in the sunshine and boats upon the lake

Dream my little baby, I’ll see you when you wake

Dream my little baby, I’ll see you when you wake.

What is your bedtime song?


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The Walk To School

Before I moved to the village I live in now, I lived on a farm.  I was able to see the seasons change by watching the life cycle (and fleece cycle) of the sheep, the apples on the trees and the birds in our garden.  Now I live in suburbia where I can more readily collect a multitude of leaves but somehow I have felt more disconnected to nature and her rhythms. It was right before our midterm break when I decided to slow down our school drop off and pick up walk.  Even in the two weeks I have been doing it, the things I have noticed with my daughter have been so soul nurturing.


Here are a few pictures taken on our journey to school.