Monday, April 27, 2009

The Story Tree at Honeybee

You may wonder where we've been over the last few weeks....well I've been off adventuring in the *interesting* virtual world of "Twitter". Now if you've dipped your toe into this strange new world you will know that not only does it make no sense at all when you first enter it, but that once you do get your bearings, it is totally addictive. Consequently, as I certainly do not wish to spend too much of my life in virtual reality, I am going to have to allocate myself just a certain small time each day there. For parents interested in Steiner/Waldorf education, you will find that I have started a "twibe" (which in Twitter world is a group of like-minded people that connect up from around the world) - feel free to join if you are interested:

I also discovered that there would be great value in sharing with my blog with my twitter friends, but not wanting to expose my children to that wide, strange world (I have 1,200 followers and growing) I decided to start a new blog that would be far less personal, and more devoted to providing parents with information on creative and imaginative play, reviews of our very favourite games, books and music, and articles on green and conscious parenting.

This does not mean that Making Honey is going anywhere, far from it. I am really loving keeping an online journal about the life of my family - as I have never found time over the last few years to organise our photo albums, and I am enjoying writing again. If anything it means I can keep family and business a bit more separate, and that feels good. Of course I will still chat about books we are reading, games we are playing and things we are making.

So, if you are interested in making a little visit over to my new blog feel welcome - it's called The Story Tree at Honeybee (you'll find out why over there)....

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Keeping the art of handcraft alive

Remember these cute little pullalongs from your own childhood?

These very sweet traditional toys have been made in the same villages in the Czeck regions of Stráž nad Nežárkou since 1946.

With the growth of Chinese manufacturing and cheap labour, these lovely handcrafted toys were nearly lost to the world, but thankfully now with many people appreciating the art of handcraft the villages are able to continue their trade, providing valuable work for local people, and ensuring these toys are around for more generations to enjoy.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Gabrielle Talks 2009

For those in Melbourne interested in Rudolf Steiner's philosophy from a parenting perspective, the Gabrielle talks are on again this year.

"Every birth is a gift to us of an innocent, beautiful soul.
How can one embrace the young child of today? What effect does the rushing in our lives, the noise in our environment, the pressure of achievement and the impact of the media have upon our children?
All children need peace in which to grow and love to help them flourish. Imagination is food for their little souls; and a safe environment, free from the pressures of modern life will help to sustain them for their whole lives.
Their physical bodies and sense perceptions need a nourishment that does not over stimulate their nerves, and they need good rest, time in which to experience the world and wonder at it.
The Gabriel Talks will address these issues and develop them further, providing a basis upon which to develop an understanding of the growing child in the 21st century."

For a calendar of events and more information you can contact the Gabrielle Centre here.

For new mother's who are interested in understanding their baby and child from the perspective of the threefold human being: body, soul and spirit, I also highly recommend this book: The Incarnating Child. Written by the late Joan Salter, the founder of the Gabrielle Centre and well known for her work in maternal and child health care, this is a rich and nourishing book for anyone intersted in seeking the deeper meaning behind birth and child development, while being highly practical. I discovered this book 11 years ago when I was pregnant with my daughter and have drawn on it ever since in my work with children.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter

It's been quiet here on the blog I admit while I have soaked in the peace and reverence of Easter. Here's a little window of our Easter experience... Once a month I meet with a group of friends where we spend time nourishing our souls...Maundy Thursday we spent in darkness, candlight and quiet music, washing each others's beyond words to describe this can hear some of the music we played here - the Lord's Prayer in the ancient aramaic - this is a very moving piece.

Good Friday - enjoying the loving company of special friends and sharing bread (hot cross buns) and wine.

The girls painted.

Easter Saturday - we made the long walk up to the Healesville tower where we scattered rose petals and remembered my sister, as well as all those people that lost their lives in the fires. The mist gently covered the surrounding countryside, much of which had been burnt. I didn't take my camera, but one of the lasting images of this Easter for me was a tiny fern frond poking up through the blackened earth; there was a real sense of hope here today, and the town of Healesville was filled with people enjoying life in the Autumn sunshine.

In the afternoon and dyed eggs for our Easter table.

Sunday morning, of course Easter Bunny had paid his magical visit. My 8 year old was sure she had heard his "bouncing" during the night....he certainly had bounced around our garden.

And Sunday afternoon we share more good company with friends and a traditional lamb roast.
I am feeling full (in many ways) and grateful; hope your Easter was special for you.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Our Palm Sunday...

We've been baking and making getting ready for Easter in our house:

Our little dough roosters, ready for the oven...

20 minutes later all golden brown and smelling lovely.

It has become a tradition in our home to make Palm Sunday Easter tree on the Sunday before Easter. The children love this time as we get to spend all day together - we bake these little bread roosters for the top of our Easter Tree, we pick leaves from the garden, we light candles and tell stories. It calms us all down and brings us the lovely expectation that Easter is approaching and reminds us all that life is precious and that we can have reverance in our daily lives.

Personally, I love the symbol of the Easter Tree - the cross shape is covered in greenery indicates that there is always new life and hope after death - the orange represents the life giving forces of the sun and Christ, and the rooster of course crows in a new dawn, new beginnings. On Easter Saturday we will paint eggs and hand them from the branches.

In Christian tradition Palm Sunday was the beginning of Holy Week when Christ entered Jerusalem seated on an ass and the people welcomed him by placing palm branches on his path. Around the world Palm Sunday has been celebrated in different ways. In England the day was called Olive or Branch Sunday, Sallow or Willow, Yew or Blossom Sunday, or Sunday of the Willow Boughs - the people made a figure of Christ seated on an ass, carved out of wood and carried it in a procession to the church.

In Germany and France it was customary to strew flowers and green boughs about the cross in the churchyard. When I was a little girl I would strew rose petals around my garden on Good Friday - I don't know where this came from, certainly nobody ever told me about it, but somehow I tuned into something. This year, my girls and I are taking the journey up to the spot where my sister's ashes are scattered, and we will scatter rose petals to remember and think of her.

Blessings to you all for Easter. I hope you all find time to do whatever is precious to you at this time of year whether you celebrate Easter, Passover or just spend quality time with your loved ones.

Here's how we made our Easter Tree

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Indian feast

Unfortunately you can't blog smells, or I could have shared with you the wonderful aroma of the Lamb Biryani the girls and I cooked for the Class 5 Indian dinner on Thursday. This is a lovely mild Indian dish layered with rice and baked in the oven. The lamb is marinated with limes, saffron (yes we were indulgent), cardamon, cloves, garam marsala, mint and garlic. It is delicious. (Re Recipe: I find you always need to add more liquid than the recipe suggests, I added double the amount of yogurt and didn't use the mace.)

We had a lovely night, mingling in the vibrant sea of silk sari's and bobbing heads of turbans, and getting to know some of the other parents.

We ended the night on a high with a traditional performance from a lovely, graceful and very supple Indian dancer - so beautiful.

The girls looked gorgeous in their sari's, and Erin was really pleased with the way her henna turned out.