Random craftiness

I’m still pondering my “SCA, part 2” post, so in the meantime I’ll share the following with you after uploading 95 photos off my camera:

Napoleona dressed herself as a little old woman the other day. Note the kerchief, and the block used as a cane.

She regularly dresses in this exact ensemble to play. Here she is doing a fairy dance.

SillyBilly and Anthropapa made this propeller contraption from an experiment described in a book about aircraft that they bought at the National Air and Space Museum. They took it outside and strung it up between two trees–it really flew fast!

We’ve tried to incorporate more items from nature in our toy stash. We brought in some larger rocks and bits of bark from the forest, which Napoleona used here to make a bridge over the river. The blue gnome is sailing on a little boat and will soon dock at the stony path leading toward his house.

Here’s Napoleona creating a “puppet play”. She does these almost every day, now that we brought in those forest items. Here she has made a house to the right, with a lovely yellow rug. And of course, the adjacent farm.

Last week the kids and I made these little people, posed here with a mama/grandma table puppet I made when SillyBilly was a very little baby. The kids helped sew up the green felt bodies and stuff them with wool, and they helped make the head shapes out of carded wool. When they weren’t looking, I needle-felted the hair on. Somehow, without us trying to, we made them resemble the kids themselves…down to the boy being taller and thinner and the girl being shorter and rounder!

I made bread today. Thanks to SusieJ’s review of the great book Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day! I finally made it to the #1 spot in holds on this book at the library. I’ve always wanted to make sourdough starter and work with that, but so far it has eluded me. This method has worked great so far, and was as easy as they said it would be. I don’t have a baking stone, but it still came out OK. Next time I’ll be more careful of my oven temperature so that the crust gets truly brown, and I’d like to try the “healthier” recipes, since this was pretty much straight white bread. But, there is only one tiny chunk left–we devoured it for dinner!

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15 Comments

Filed under Crafting, freelancing, Parenting, play, Silliness and Mayhem, waldorf toys

15 responses to “Random craftiness

  1. susiej

    Your daughter is BEAUTIFUL. I love her cute “little old woman” costume. That airplane looks like something my boys would be all over… we’ll have to look for that… when the snow melts. I love the felt on those dolls.

    I have trouble getting my bread to get really brown too, until I finally learned to just “let it go.” If you have a cast iron skillet, it works just as well as the stone. I’m making the oatmeal flour bread now for our sandwiches, (I used 50-50 white/wheat flour even though it calls for all white) and we haven’t bought bread in the grocery store for a month.

  2. Your daughter’s sweet little play scenes brought a smile to my face. It looks like you have a very creative little girl. The bread looks delicious.

  3. SusieJ: A cast-iron skillet! That’s a great idea! I have three to choose from.

    As for the airplane, the book is Planes, Gliders, Helicopters: and Other Flying Machines from the How Things Work series, by Terry Jennings. We adapted one of the experiments in there. Papa and the boy had a great time going to the hobby store to get the nose piece and propeller (they ended up buying an entire model airplane kit because the store didn’t sell individual pieces). The rest is just some rubber bands, a paper towel tube, and two parts of a wire hanger. Very easy!

  4. I saw this bread in the blogosphere. I’m going to have to try and make it.

    We still find that if we bring in a few choice bits of nature, entire categories of toys are rejuvenated.
    looks like fun!

  5. aaah, henitsirk, if only you lived next door to me. Why is it that the only people I really like are thousands of miles away 🙂

    FYI, I have tried and tried to grow my own sourdough starter, to no avail. It’s all about the natural yeasts. I know there are places in the States from whom you can get thirty year old starters, etc., so it might be worth a Google. Also, there is a method which uses grape yeast; that was the closest I came to accomplishing my goal. Just think, you can plan a trip to NY Wine region all to enhance your bread experience!

  6. Eve

    Bread. Oh my. I’ve always been awful at baking bread–so awful that I finally gave it up after the year my friend Sally came over and spent the day teaching me how to make bread. We baked two perfect loaves in the oven. And then she left.

    A few days later I did just exactly what Sally had done, and baked bread again.

    What did my family say? “This is great, mom! As a doorstop!” Haha!

    I finally gave up. So I am terrifically impaired at using yeast and stuff. Will the book you recommend help an impaired person like myself? I’ve tried off and on for 30 years and bread still defies me.

    But I’m willing to try again!

  7. Dawn: She seems quite the creative Waldorf-type kid!

    Sarah: Do try it…I made another loaf tonight, using a cast iron skillet for a baking stone. It worked so well!

    Goodwitch: I just said the same thing about you to my husband the other day : ) Maybe I’ll try sourdough starter again this summer, when our windows are open and it’s nice and humid.

    Eve: I’ve never been a baker either. This bread really is extremely simple. My trouble has always been in the kneading stage, knowing how long to knead the dough before you create really tough bread.

    Using this book’s method, you don’t knead at all! You literally just mix flour, salt, water, and yeast in a container. Let it sit out for a few hours. Let it sit in the fridge for a few hours. Scoop out some dough, shape it however you like, let it rest. Bake it with a stone (or skillet) and some steam. You’re done. Next day, scoop out some more dough and bake some more.

    So far I’ve just made a few loaves of the basic first white bread that they give as the foundation/practice recipe. My daughter has requested herb bread, so that’s next on the agenda.

  8. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Anthropapa rocks. Check out that flying thing.

    Oh yes, the kids are cute too, but you knew that.

    Next time you let us borrow Apapa, remind him to steal some of our starter.

  9. Papa B: Indeed, he does rock. In fact, that project proved to be more for him than the boy, since the required construction skills were too advanced or unsafe for a 5 year old. But they both enjoyed it immensely, especially flying the thing across the yard.

    I’m sure we’ll take you up on your generous offer of some venerable starter, thank you!

  10. Your bread looks fabulous! The only bread I make is a beer bread, which requires no kneading or rising, but I would still like to try “real” bread.

    I love all the craftiness going on. I have always noticed how creatively Waldorf kids play.

  11. The contraption is marvellous! And Napoleona is such a beautiful child – she looks like she’s very particular and meticulous about her dressing up.

  12. Charl: As you can see, I heartily recommend this book for “real” bread. I have some rosemary rolls in the oven right now!

    URD: Thanks, she does have a very particular side to her. I notice her separating her food, and her napkin must be folded just so. She definitely has developed a certain “costume” for being a fairy or princess.

  13. Bex

    Fabulous post!
    So exciting & inspiring.
    Everything I love is here all in one spot.
    YIPPPPPPEEEEEEEEE! Xxx

  14. Nana

    so many exquisite things to comment on; so little time…

    think I’ll work in reverse.

    the pix of my beautiful granddaughter made me go ferklempt all over; what a sweet pookie jr she is.

    my brilliant grandson’s precious poem, when juxtaposed with the aircraft he and Papa built made my heart turn to Jello. to be so creative and to also have mechanical
    ability is truly a gift from God. someday Silly Billy will build beautiful structures.

    i enjoyed the comments and pix from your days at UCI. now i know what you were doing when you were not devoting all your energy to academic studies…gotcha!

    and last, as far as Stupid Spitzer the Speaker of Sibilants with Forked Tongue – for shame, you _ickhead!

  15. Bex: I know, what more do we need in life than a few toys and some yummy bread?

    Nana: Well now, don’t hold back, tell us how you really feel!

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