Month: June 2013

Getting My Waldorf On with Walnut Pirate Ships

Sometimes I have to get my Waldorf on (former Waldorfers out there, you know what I mean). I feel the need for some Stockmar decorating beeswax welling up and I must surrender! And does that stuff ever last, I still have a package from my teenagehood. Great for decorating plain candles or making little figures out of. But I digress. The point was … ah yes … Rudi’s kindergarten class’s June show-and-share task was to make a craft and talk about how it was made, giving everyone (read: the teachers, clever creatures!) new ideas for the summer. He doesn’t go to Waldorf, but I insert wonder and beeswax and wool and gnomes and heavy-duty watercolour paper and primary colour exploration as often as possible/necessary into his little life!


I felt a challenge rising in my heart, and it included beeswax and natural materials (mostly). I needed to meet the task with my usual over-do-it, turn it up to 11 attitude, though my 5-year-old-appropriate crafts arsenal is rather lacking. So of course I googled and found a lovely site that I’ve bookmarked for heavy future use, The Crafty Crow, a children’s craft collective, what a fantastic idea, which led me to Small World Land’s Walnut Shell Flotilla. Brilliant. Sorted.

Then I couldn’t find walnuts in the shell, what with them not being in season and all, but eventually I sussed out some extra-organic, vaguely rotton, excessively priced ones at the health food store. I covered my sails in packing tape, the poor (wo)man’s laminating technique, not very Waldorf, ah well. I do secretly yearn for a Laminator, I cannot lie. I used the beeswax to secure the masts. Then Rudi pointed out that we needed a pirate. And yes, I still have mad skills. Behold the wee man, built in the last minutes before bedtime, 3-cornered hat, silver sabre, ah-thank-you. I am feeling smug and awesome, secure in the knowledge that I can still craft it hard when push comes to shove — or show-and-share, as it were.

Note: from my description you may have noted that 5-year-old Rudi didn’t particularly take part in the craft. Ahem. But he could have. He just doesn’t really care to that much. He’s likes watching me and I like crafting. At a 5-year-old’s level. So it works. He cracked a few nuts and jammed the masts into the wax, that counts, right?!

Note also: I should admit that because it too me so long to find walnuts in the shell, Rudi’s scheduled show-and-share day already passed. I made beads with him out of polymer clay — remember Fimo? Yeah, they still make that! So he already showed and shared those. But I’m sending these ships in, show-and-share rules be damned, once I have a craft-bee in my bonnet it’s settled. I am turning into a nightmare parent, I can already see his teachers’ long-suffering faces …

Starting with a Navy Wedding Dress

Here’s a quick post just to show you what I’m up to. I am ear-deep in costume gigs, but this week was particularly dedicated to getting started on one of a pair of wedding dresses I was commissioned to make for this summer.

Navy/Pearl wedding dress in progress

It’s not what you’d expect when you hear “wedding dress.” No poufy meringue or pick-ups here, no ma’me, but navy shantung silk and pearl organza in the role of illusion neckline? Yes indeed! The bride was taken with a dress she’d seen in a picture but couldn’t quite find the right thing on the rack or in a pattern. So I married (!) a couple of different patterns to get the desired shape and illusion top, and reworked the neckline to my liking. It’s coming along.

Navy/Pearl wedding dress in progress - pocket!

The dress features my first pockets, ever, and they went without a hitch! Tomorrow I tackle another first: making my own bias tape. I’ve been practicing on cotton with the little silver tool in the first picture. I particularly liked this tutorial  that I found on the  dana-made-it blog. Wish me luck!

Simplicity 1614 50s Bateau Neckline DRESS Full SKIRT & EMPIRE midriff Vintage Sewing Pattern

The bride’s bride will wear a dress from a vintage pattern, I’m just waiting on a fabric delivery to get started — sometimes I shake my fist at Customs! Her pattern is straight out of the 50s, musty, yellowed paper, total Mad-Men-chic *sigh* in an ochre drapery fabric with grey and white birds and branches on it. Hard to imagine? Just you wait, it is going to be magnificent.

What an delight to dress both brides in a wedding, it’s very special. In honour of the opportunity and the occasion, I include this song and video that I just heard/saw for the first time this week. Bless Macklemore, Ryan Lewis and Mary Lambert for their gorgeous, straight-to-the-heart-of-the-matter tune.