Saturday, August 31, 2019

Sunflower & Indigo happiness

I wish all handwork teachers lots of joy and patience for the upcoming school year.  I hope to post a lot more this year and take you through my school year.  Im very happy to say I will be teaching Grade 1/2 combined, Grade 3, Grade 4, Grade 5, Grade 6/7 (double period) and Grade 8 (double period). 
These are the sunflowers that Grade 1 planted in the classroom last year and I planted outdoors at the beginning of the summer.  They will gather under there for the first class and see the beauty of their efforts.  We will then gather some plants from the dye garden (right behind this) and start some sun dye jars with string for Grade 4 to embroider with.  Grade 6/7 will be helping me with the indigo vat I want to start.  Exciting times with the dye garden.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Handwork verses

I never have enough verses so I scoured the internet and gathered verses for us all in one place.  I will update as I know there are many more.  Some are not handwork specifically with the words but create action for the hands and fingers to warm them up.  Also, many might feel as though that certain verses are grade specific but I feel you can mix them up a bit depending on the feeling of the children.  These are just suggested grades and you can see fit which verse fits each class.   I will credit where I gathered and if I didn't its because I got it thru handouts or individual people, however if you would like me to credit it differently I would be happy to.   I would love for you to send me verses as well.  I will update as we all go along this journey of teaching.

Handwork Verses 

Grade 1

The secrets that my hands hold, are treasures for the might and bold I thank my hands, heart, and mind
For teaching me to do my handwork just fine
I look at my hands with my fingers fine
And I want to feel proud that they are mine
For deep in my heart lies a golden chest
With secret treasures that no one can guess
Unless my hands do their very best
To work and work to open the chest
A little seed for me to sow.
A little earth to make it grow.
A little hole, a little pat,
a little wish, and that is that.
A little sun, a little shower,
a little while, and then a flower.
(Sing Through the Seasons, p.5)
Little brown seeds so small and round,
Are sleeping quietly under ground.
Down come the raindrops
sprinkle, sprinkle, sprinkle.
Out comes the rainbow,
twinkle, twinkle, twinkle.
Little brown seeds way down below,
Up through the earth they grow, grow, grow.
Little green leaves come one by one.
They hold up their heads and look at the sun.
Finger Knitting Story: The Shepherd and His Sheep 

The first part of the story is to demonstrate the technique on the floor i.e. without the loop on your finger. The second half then shows the children how to do the knitting with the loop on your finger. It is best to have a length of yarn handy while telling the story, and demonstrate as you tell it.)
There was once an old shepherd, who had a large, energetic flock of sheep. Every morning he would take the flock of sheep up the mountain to a beautiful green meadow where the sheep would eat the delicious grass. But each day, when it came time to make the journey up the mountainside, the old shepherd would struggle to keep the whole flock of young, energetic sheep together. Some would run away to nibble grass, some to play under the trees, and others would wander off among the mountain flowers.
The poor shepherd wanted to keep them together for their safety, but he was too old to chase after them. And so he thought and thought about what he could do to keep all the sheep together so that they could get to the meadow safely. At last, he had an idea. And so, the old shepherd carefully built a little gate [make a slip knot in the yarn at this point in the story]. And the next morning, he showed each sheep how to go through the gate one at a time [draw a loop of yarn through the slip knot 'gate' for each sheep as he guides them, and pull tight], and when each sheep got to the other side, the old shepherd was delighted to see that they all were happy to stand one behind the other. [show the children how the 'sheep' line up on the other side].
And so, for a few days, that was how the shepherd went up the mountain with his sheep to get to the green meadow. After a few days, though, the shepherd noticed that it took a long time for each sheep to walk through the gate one at a time. And so he thought and thought about what he could do. [Put loop on index finger of left hand now]. Then the shepherd had an idea. He told each sheep to stand ready, and then, with the gate in front of them [at this point, place the long 'tail' of yarn over the same index finger, in front of the first loop], he showed the sheep how to jump over the gate [take back loop, pull it over the front piece of yarn and right off the finger, and then draw tight - not too tight though!].
As each sheep jumped over the gate, the shepherd was delighted to see that once again, the sheep were all happy to stand one behind the other. In this way, the sheep were gathered for their journey much more quickly. And so, from that day forward, the old shepherd never had to worry about his sheep again and they all went easily and happy to the green meadow together every day.
(story copyright 1998, K. Manchip, all rights reserved)

2nd grade

Hold hands up with palms together (like in a prayer)
Pea Pod (put both 'pointer fingers' down in a 90º angle then back up), 
Seed Pod (put both tall man fingers down in a 90º angle then back up), 
Bean Pod (do the same with ring finger) 
and Poppy Pod (use the pinkie fingers)
( hands are back to normal and as you say'split'you splay the fingers out still palm to palm)
Split when they ripen and
open (separate hands so that you then can 'clap' when you say pop) with the pop! 

(clap hands)
[The children love this one as its challenging.]

Making a Snowman
Roll a snowball round and round,
Round and round upon the ground.
Make one, make two, here's what you do,
You can build a snowman too.
As the sun shines down some day,
Poor snowman, he will melt away. 

( ^ Hand movement for above)
Lines 1 and 2: roll hands around each other.
Line 3: make two fists, then put one on top of the other.
Lines 4 and 5: hold fists in snowman position.

Line 6: open hands flat out on top of each other. 
— Gloria T. Delamar, Author

Have you ever seen a rainbow On a sunny springtime dayAfter it's been rainingIn the misty month of May?Out from the clouds it will appearAnd then it's gone away.Have you ever seen a rainbowOn a sunny springtime day?(then sing) -"Red and yellow and pink and green, purple and orange and blue I can sing a rainbow, sing a rainbow, sing a rainbow too."


A head I have for thinking deeply,

Listening, and learning, and looking with care.
Hands I have for work and creating
With fingers skillful to make and repair.
In my heart I can carry the sun
Shining with love for everyone.

Grade 3

From as far as the stars to here (stomp one foot) 
where I stand (stomp other foot)
I come to use my Left (out stretch hand) 
and Right hand (outstretch hand hand )
to card (mimic carding) to spin (with closed fists spin in front of you) 
 to wind to knit (pretend to knit) 
for this fine work my both hands are fit and now I will so quietly sit.

The sheep has given us his Wool And plants the colors bright 
And Man forged needles out of steel For me to knit by golden light. 
My fingers that knit or do crochet - Can sow the seed, or cut the hay. 
They cast a seam, or sew a stitch They hammer and nail, or dig a ditch. 
So let us go to work right now And make a horse, a ball, a Cow 
A gift for you, a toy for me A work of joy for all to see.

Reinforcing Verse - We are truthful and helpful And loving in trust 

For our heart's inner sun Glows brightly in us.
We will open our hearts To the sunbeams so bright
And we'll fill all the worldWith our heart's inner light.

Grade Four:

My two arms are folded so straight on my chest
Crossing each other with right over left.
I think of the trees crossing branches and twigs
Vines in the forest,Legs dancing a jig
Window panes, rafters and joists in the floor
Heroes at battle crossing bright flashing swords.
When crossing my “T’s” or crossing the street,
Birds fly above me, worms under my feet.
Each cross stitch I make, so careful and true
A mirror of the word in all that I do.

The Sun is in my Heart
The sun is in my heart
It warms me with its power
And wakens life and love
In bird and beast and flower
The stars above my head
Are shining in my mind
Like spirits of the world
Than in my thoughts I find.
The earth whereon I tread
Lets not my feet go through
But strongly doth uphold
The weight of deeds I do.
Then must I thankful be
That man on earth I dwell
To love and work the world
And greet all people well.

Grade Five:

A Fly and A Flea
A fly and a flea flew up in a flue.

Said the fly to the flea, "What shall we do?"

"Let's fly," said the flea.

"Let's flee," said the fly.

So they fluttered and flew up a flaw in the flue.

"Come little leaves," said the wind on day.
"Come o'er the meadow with me and play.
Put on your dresses of red and gold.
Summer is gone and the days grow cold."

As soon as the leaves heard the wind's low call,
Down they came fluttering, one and all.
Over the brown fields they whirled and flew,
Singing the soft little songs they knew.

Dancing and whirling the little leaves went,
Autumn had called them and they were content.
Soon they will sleep in their soft earthly beds
Waiting for winter to cover their heads.

Butterfly and Flower
See the flower open Its petals one by one –
Butterfly wings upon a stem Waving in the sun.
See the flitting butterfly In shimmering colours bright –
A flower free and flying In the warm summer’s light.
See the bee How selflessly She toils to bring the honey home.
The silent hive She’ll keep alive When blooms are blown and winter’s come.
See the stone
Sculpted by storm, Weathered by wind  To a rugged form.
See the shell  Whose elegant spin  Spirals and twists
To the heart within.
Weather and wind  Or life unfurled:
Inner and outer  Shape the world.
Winter and Spring
Cruel winter froze the stream,
Made all things hard with ice and snow.
The creatures shivered, the flowers died,
Nothing could live, and nothing could grow.
Then came summer’s kindly warmth,
The sun shone down with love and light.
The hard ice cracked and melted away
And life bloomed again in colours bright.

Weaverbird In and out the weaverbird Weaves his wisps of grass, Busy and bustling, bent on the task As the hours quickly pass.   Weaving, winding, twining the strands, Tirelessly working with care, Till fine and formed, neat and new Is a nest beyond compare.  -Paul King

Grade 6:

I look out into the worldWherein there shines the SunWhere glimmer all the stars,Where lie the silent stonesThe plants that live and growThe beasts that feel and moveWhere man in soul createsA dwelling for the spirit.I look inward to the soulThat lives within my beingThe spirit of God is weavingIn sunlight and in soul-lifeIn heights of world withoutIn depths of soul within.Spirit of God to theeI turn myself in seekingThat strength and grace and skillFor learning and for workMay live and grow in me.-Rudolf Steiner

Above me, the heavens with moon and sun,Below me, the earth firm and strong,Behind me, an angel to guard me and guide,Before me, the goal to which I stride,Beside me, my loved ones, and all aroundFire and water and air abound.Above, below; near and wide;Behind, before, and either side :The encompassing world lies far and nigh,And in the centre, here stand I.

The Water CycleWater hard as iron,Water flowing free,Water floating light as air,Water one in three.Vapour rising skyward,Falls to earth as rain,Flows in river, stream and seaTo rise as cloud again.Lifting skyward, falling earthward,Ever on the move,Thus the cycle of all lifeComes and goes on earth.

Bean bag(for the exercise of turning the bean bag around his hips. Each verse is a complete turn)Round AboutRound the coppiceRound the trees,Round the woodsWith the rustling leaves;Round the tree trunk,Round the stem:Round aboutAnd home again.- Paul King

(keep the bean bag in his right hand, throw it well with your hand over your head and grab it with your left hand. Four throwing for each verse). 

Red, and orange, and yellow, and green:The rainbow’s seven colours have a bright shiny sheen.Light blue, indigo, and violet all told. 
At the end of the rainbow is a pot of gold

Grade 7/8:

“I love those who can smile in trouble, who can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. ‘Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but they whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves their conduct, will pursue their principles unto death.”

Leonardo da Vinci

Above me, the heavens with moon and sun,
Below me, the earth firm and strong,
Behind me, an angel to guard me and guide,
Before me, the goal to which I stride,
Beside me, my loved ones, and all around
Fire and water and air abound.
Above, below; near and wide;
Behind, before, and either side :
The encompassing world lies far and nigh,
And in the centre, here stand I.


Our work is done, our day is past,
We'll go our separate ways.
And I will hold so tight and fast 
What I have learned today.
I've given with my heart and mind
The effort that it needs.
And I will strive in me to find,
Good thoughts, good words, good deeds.


The potter sits at his potter’s stool 
And the wheel turns round on its stand, 
Upon it he throws a lump of clay 
Which wobbles and bumps in his hand. 
  Slowly and surely he centres the clay 
Till it’s steady and ready to form: 
Only by finding a centre still
Can a pot of clay be born.

-Paul King

Ending Verse:

Our time for now has ended. 
Our hands may come to rest. 
We thank our hands both left and right, 
for helping us to do our best.

Now it is time for our hands to rest 
they have down their work they have done their best

Work together,
Hands and heart.
Truth and beauty,
are never apart.

Then I say,

"Follow your heart,
in all that you think,
in all that you say,
and all that you do."

May our hands complete our work with patience,
May our work be done with care,
May our fingers work as friends together,
And may we our friendship share.
Now our time is over
Our time for now is done
Our busy hands have served us well
Head, hands, heart are one.

Footnote: many have been borrowed from these web sites.


Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Sarcodon Mushroom

Grey blue and greens from Sarcodon mushrooms!

I'm so happy with the results. I collected some mushrooms and made sure to do a bit of identification and yes! I was correct. I had a good handful of them but was sat that I had missed a few rotten ones. After looking on this lovely woman's blog, I ran back and picked all the rotted ones I could find. From what I have read, the rotted (or naturally fermented ones) have more blue to them. The other non typical way of getting this color - you have to boil the mushrooms with the yarn in the pot. It's the heat that transfers the color? PH was around 7. In turn you then have to have some wool yarn that can handle being boiled. These samples are gala yarn from dharma trading and was mordanted with alum and cream of tartar. The dye bath is a muddy red color and I had the yarn in the pot about 15 minutes? Smooshing it while boiling with the mushrooms to get it really mixed in.

From left to right - all with alum and cream of tartar mordant.

First dip 15 minutes boiled.  Second dip added a pinch of washing soda 20 min boiled.  third dip boiled 15 min. Last dip I added a bit of iron (not much at all) boiled for 15 min.

I was loosing the blue's by the 4th dip but surprised of how much color was left in the pot.  I wonder how blue it would have been if I added washing soda from the start.  Rinsing it took some of the red tones away and letting the blues shine through.