Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Table that Season

Nothing is a better, soothing, more joyful activity than to bring home bits and pieces of a day's adventure or walk and place it on the table as a celebration of that day or season, or all. So many lovely things are available for nature table decoration, and you can make many things as well; small dolls, gems, crystals, roving fairies, bits of found feather or sea shore shells, pebbles, cloths, branches and flowers, or candles in the colors of the seasons.

Our table is always changing and draws the children to it upon coming home, inspires them when out and about, or indirectly made them aware of the time of year or holiday just by it's existence in our home. A wonderful connectedness results between child, the outer and inner world, rhythms, and family by this simple easily incorporated lovely ritual.

I'm always pleasantly surprised to find a new visitor made of beeswax or a special stone, leaf or stick that makes it way to the table. The offerings are so simple and yet have so much meaning. As the boys grow swiftly the wonders of nature will hopefully stay in their hearts - and on my table!
The Ocean Charter Crafting Circle members made these items for our silent auction basket
- what talented parents we have!

Old Bread is Dead

La Shana Tova for Rosh Hashannah! Tonight at sundown, we will venture to the Ocean in Venice Beach and Taslich (throw) some old bread that symbolises a casting away of sins for the New Year. I'm not a religious sort, but my kids love to learn the services and symbology of many cultures, this one happens to be closer to home!

Taking a few crumbs to Tashlich from whatever old bread is in the house
lacks subtlety, nuance and religious sensitivity. Instead, this coming
Rosh Hashanah consider these options for amusement :

For ordinary sins, use White Bread
For exotic sins, French Bread
For particularly dark sins, Pumpernickel
For complex sins, Multi-grain
For twisted sins, Pretzels
For tasteless sins, Rice Cakes
For sins of indecision, Waffles
For sins committed in haste, Matzah
For sins committed in less than eighteen minutes, Shmurah Matzah
For sins of chutzpah, Fresh Bread
For substance abuse, Poppy Seed
For committing arson, Toast
For committing auto theft, Caraway
For being ill tempered, Sourdough
For silliness, Nut Bread
For not giving full value, Shortbread
For jingoism, Yankee Doodles
For excessive use of irony, Rye Bread
For telling bad jokes, Corn Bread
For hardening our hearts, Jelly doughnuts
For being money hungry, Enriched Bread or Raw Dough
For war-mongering, Kaiser Rolls
For immodest dressing, Tarts
For causing injury or damage to others, Tortes
For promiscuity, Hot Buns
For racism, Crackers
For sophisticated racism, Ritz Crackers
For davvening off tune, Flat Bread
For being holier than thou, Bagels
For unfairly upbraiding another, Challah
For indecent photography, Cheese Cake
For trashing the environment, Dumplings
For sins of laziness, Any Very Long Loaf
For sins of pride, Puff Pastry
For lying, Baked Goods with Nutrasweet and Olestra
For wearing tasteless hats, Tam Tams
For the sins of the righteous, Angel Food Cake
For selling your soul, Devils Food Cake
For lust in your heart, Wonder Bread
For inhaling, Stoned Wheat

Remember, you don't have to show your crumbs to anyone.
I'm choosing my bread carefully!!! Which bread are you????

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Gnomie Homies

This lovely and simple pattern by the talented Carle for an Oakie Gnome came in useful after Lady Autumn requested them as a special gift to the kinder classes when she visits in early October...word on the street is that more homies are on their way and should arrive just in time for the festival!
If you want some for your own nature table, here is the pattern based on 3.5" needles and fingerweight left over wool yarn ( can be felted for extra sturdiness too):
Cast on 15 stitches
knit 5 rows
Purl 1 row
knit 3 stitches and cast off 9 stitches
knit last 3 stitches (creates opening)
knit 3 stitches then turn around to cast on 9 stitches,
turn again to knit last 3 stitches ( closes opening and you are back to 15 stitches)
knit 2 rows
*knit 2 tog, knit 3 stitches. Repeat from * to end
Purl 1 row
*knit 2 tog, knit 2 stitches. Repeat from * to end
Purl 1 row
*knit 2 tog, knit 1 stitch. Repeat from * to end
Purl 1 row
knit 2 together until the end
Thread yarn through remaining stitches an sew up Gnome. Pop an acorn inside to form the head. Voila!

Here is Lady Autumn on her last visit to the children of Ocean Charter School. She blows in to visit the children each year and shares a gift from the garden with them whilst whispering a 'secret' to be kept in mind through the winter.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Shine on Harvest Moon

Soaring full-orbed into the heavens, The Harvest Moon of September materially prolongs the shortening hours of daylight by it's mellow beams and thus assists the farmer to gather or store his produce. The phenomenon of the slight degree rise on the horizon offers one of the most beautiful full moons of the year.

~Autumn days wool painting~

Whilst re-sorting books for the coming season ( I like to have easy access to suitable reading for the wee ones and myself) I think I may have found the longest poem about Autumn...I will not copy it here but if you are interested please share my pleasure at reading Goblin Market by Christina Rossetti this Harvest.

Back to school tie-dye

Ok..... can you tell I'm ready for Autumn?...Cricket refuses to budge until his birthday is said and done ( Sept 25th) and I'm so ready for the equinox and want to decorate our table with acorns and pumpkins, bake bread & and grow winter soup stores!

There are flowers enough in the summertime,
More flowers than I can remember.
But none with the purple, gold, and red
That dyes the flowers of September!
–Mary Howitt (1799–1888)

This poem of course moves me to 'dye' once again with only the colours of the coming season, I do find myself driving 'off route' back roads to check the progress of the few deciduous trees in our neighbourhood. Donovan boy is longing to sweep leaves as a chore..I'll hire him out if you like!
Challah and I were squealing with delight at the richness & range of colours we found while mixing it up in her back yard, now onto the bread....p.s. you can find these silks for sale -and on our nature tables- at the Etsy Phoenix store right now!!!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Food Fetish

Stolen from Dragonfly's blog..."Your mission, should you choose to accept it:
1) Copy this list into your own blog, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.
4) Post a comment here once you’ve finished and link your post back to this one.
5) Pass it on!"

1. Natto
2. Green Smoothie
3. Tofu Scramble
4. Haggis
5. Mangosteen
6. Creme brulee
7. Fondue
8. Marmite/Vegemite
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Nachos
12. Authentic soba noodles
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Taco from a street cart
16. Boba Tea
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Gyoza
20. Vanilla ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Ceviche
24. Rice and beans
25. Knish
26. Raw scotch bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
28. Caviar
29. Baklava
30. Pate
31. Wasabi peas
32. Chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Mango lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
36. Mulled cider
37. Scones with buttery spread and jam
38. Vodka jelly
39. Gumbo
40. Fast food french fries
41. Raw Brownies
42. Fresh Garbanzo Beans
43. Dahl
44. Homemade Soymilk
45. Wine from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Stroopwafle
47. Samosas
48. Vegetable Sushi
49. Glazed doughnut
50. Seaweed
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Tofurkey
54. Sheese
55. Cotton candy
56. Gnocchi
57. PiƱa colada
58. Birch beer
59. Scrapple
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores
62. Soy curls
63. Chickpea cutlets
64. Curry
65. Durian (OMG so disgusting)
66. Homemade Sausages
67. Churros, elephant ears, or funnel cake
68. Smoked tofu
69. Fried plantain
70. Mochi
71. Gazpacho72. Warm chocolate chip cookies
73. Absinthe
74. Corn on the cob
75. Whipped cream, straight from the can
76. Pomegranate
77. Fauxtess cupcakes
78. Mashed potatoes with gravy
79. Jerky
80. Croissants
81. French onion soup
82. Savory crepes
83. Tings
84. A meal at Candle 79
85. Moussaka - yum!
86. Sprouted grains or seeds
87. Macaroni and “cheese”
88. Flowers
89. Matzoh ball soup
90. White chocolate
91. Seitan
92. Kimchi
93. Butterscotch chips
94. Yellow watermelon
95. Chili with chocolate
96. Bagel and Tofutti
97. Potato Milk
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Raw cookie dough

***tag - you're it!