Writings and photography: crafting, creativity, artistic expression, running an Etsy shop and life.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Nursery Rhyme Peg Dolls

The Queen of Hearts

She made some tarts,
All on a summer’s day
The knave of Hearts
He stole the tarts
And took them clean away.

The King of Hearts
Called for the tarts
And berated the Knave full sore
The Knave of Hearts
Brought back the tarts
And vowed he’d steal no more.

I am starting a new project.  I intend to make peg dolls depicting characters from Nursery Rhymes.  Nursery rhymes are perfect for young children for language development and pre-reading skills giving the child experiences in repetition, rhyming, sequencing, phonics, patterns, vocabulary, memorization, etc.  I could go on and write a whole article as it can not be overstated how important traditional nursery rhymes are.

I used them frequently in my Waldorf kindergarten not only during circle or story time but they were wonderful for transition times, helping us all to gently make our way to another part of the day.

Nursery rhymes also (like fairy tales) introduce children to archetypal characters and situations in a way that young souls can take in as soul food.. Many adults are struck by what they see as images of gender-bias, aggression or evil in these traditional children's songs, poems and tales.  However, when an educator or parent chooses developmentally appropriate ones the child takes in what he/she needs for emotional growth.

As a parent, I used them often during the many times we were waiting.  Imagine being in the grocery store check out line.  Your child is fussing with fatigue or over stimulation (candy, bright lights, noise).  Take out a little peg doll and begin to recite the nursery rhyme.  Recite it for the recommended three times (or more) to distract and soothe your child.
If you would like to know more about Nursery Rhymes click here.

I find that peg dolls stand sturdily on a table for storytelling, unlike un-weighted table puppets or needle felted puppets which fall over when either an adult or child is using them.  Or they fit easily in a pocket or purse to be brought out as needed, where ever you are.

A variety of these miniature dolls can be found on Etsy.  Click here for my shop.


Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Grand Old Man of Folk Music

I saw Pete Seeger in the 90's at the Ben and Jerry's Music Festival in Vermont.  He was wonderful and inspiring.

Click on the link to Bandcamp hear this wonderful song.

To My Old Brown Earth-Pete Seeger 

To My Old Brown Earth

by Pete Seeger

To My Old Brown Earth cover art
00:00 / 04:08
  • Immediate download of To My Old Brown Earth in your choice of high-quality MP3, FLAC, or just about any other format you could possibly desire.



From the album "Pete" (1996, Living Music), which won the Grammy award for Best Traditional Folk Album of 1996.

About this song, Pete wrote: "In 1958 I sang at the funeral of John McManus, co-editor of the radical newsweekly, The Guardian, and regretted that I had no song worthy of the occasion. So this got written."


To my old brown earth
And to my old blue sky
I'll now give these last few molecules
of "I"

And you who sing
And you who stand nearby
I do charge you not to cry

Guard well our human chain
Watch well you keep it strong
As long as sun will shine

And this our home
Keep pure and sweet and green
For now I'm yours
And you are also


released 30 January 2014
Words and music by Pete Seeger, 1958



all rights reserved

Monday, January 27, 2014

Sweetheart Peg Dolls for Valentines

On the Workbench

My daughter came home from Germany on December 21 and flew back this past Saturday.  In these five weeks my blog has gotten very little attention.  Hopefully now that the holidays are over and all the visitors are gone I will get back to a routine of posting regularly.

I participated in a swap in the Facebook group: Waldorf Swap Club.  The theme was Valentine Day and I made these Sweetheart Peg Dolls for it.

I have a stash of thick, organic, plant dyed wool felt which I used for these pegs.  It's costlier and bulkier which is why I do not use it for all my work.  The colors heathery, are more subtle, more gentle due to the plant dyes.

There is also variations in how the dye took to the felt.  Sometimes it is quite pronounced but that is part of the charm of a handmade item.  I purchased it at the yearly Waldorf Kindergarten Association conference in Spring Valley, NY while I was teaching.  I think there are some shops on Etsy that sell similar felt and both Weir Crafts and A Child's Dream sell it but I have not purchased from these sources so cannot speak to its quality aside from I like both of the companies.

The dolls are in my Etsy shop.


Thursday, December 26, 2013

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Holiday Swaps

I have taken part in two Holiday swaps this year.  Marigold's Loft's Secret Santa and Natural Suburbia's Christmas Ornament swap.

Both were handmade swaps and here is what I received:

Thanks so much to my Secret Santa for this imaginative up-cycled purse, beautifully made.  It came with a penny for good luck.

Thanks so much to Sarah from South Africa who writes: "This is a woman dressed in traditional Xhosa clothing".  I love her!

Happy Holidays to one and all!


Thursday, November 21, 2013

Handmade Ornaments on the Christmas Blogstop Tour

Click to go to Craftfest 


Handmade felt ornaments are a wonderful project for families around the holidays.  Depending on the age of the child they can be simple or elaborate.

For the very young child an adult can do the cutting of the pieces.  This pattern is from a book that should be in every family's craft library: Feltcraft, Making Dolls Gifts and Toys by Petra Berger.  The pattern is for a child's soft ball but I have adapted it for this ornament.  When I was teaching in a Waldorf kindergarten with children ages 2-6 we made these balls each year.

You need 6 oval shaped pieces in the colors of your choice using wool felt.  This is a perfect medium for young sewers.  It is easy to push a needle through and does not fray.

The sewing  can be a simple overhand or running stitch for preschoolers, or older children can be taught the blanket or chain stitch and/or combine the stitch of choice with beads.

After sewing the six pieces together you add a loop to the top to hang it from and some ribbon to the bottom.  Stuff with sheep's wool and it is very festive!  Make as many as you want for your tree, mantle, stairway, or window.

These ornaments are in my stall at Craftfest and in my Etsy shop.

This post is part of a blog tour from Creative Connections, sponsor of Craftfest and publisher of Creative Crafters Magazine. I have an article in the October issue about my peg dolls.  Check it out.

Schedule of Craftfest Bloggers

I hope you visit these participating blogs!

Saturday 16th November
One post                            Sharon, The Old Button -

Sunday 17th November
One post                          Tania, Cola Creations -

Monday 18th November
AM post                            Vicky, Vicky Myers Creations -

PM post                            Jill, Fabrilushus -

Tuesday 19th November
AM post                             Heidi, Hectic Eclectic -

PM post                             Jane, Loopy's Place -

Wednesday 20th November
AM post                             Jane, Jane Cameron -

PM post                             Lisa, Designs By Lisa -

Thursday 21st November
AM post                             Sarah, Sew Jewellery -

PM post                             Kristin, Pastelesta -

Friday 22nd November
AM post                            Louise, Elsie May & Bertha -

PM post                             Karen, Bridgits Bell -

Saturday 23rd November
AM post                             Michelle, Shelly Berry Originals -

PM post                            Joy, BeadedBazaar -


Sunday, November 17, 2013

Work in Progress for the Holidays

My witches were featured on BeBestsy on November 2.  Thanks so much!  Many, many crafters and foodies link up at these parties.

I am participating in Craftfest, on online Holiday Fair.  Follow this link to my stall (which links back to my Etsy shop):

While you are there check out the other stalls for your holiday shopping.

 In the meantime I am continuing to get orders for witches for stocking suffers so I am still making quite a few.  Here are some with a holiday theme.

Orders for angels are also coming in.  I have hanging and table top angels in the shop.





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