Makings in advent.
Air dried clay ornaments,( in between arguing over who had more clay)the children had a great time making me guess what implements had made what impressions. We used cookie cutters to cut them out and they took 2 days to dry thoroughly.
So many stars…
Sweet Swiss wood cut decorations from our time in the Interlaken region this year.
I have a new favourite Zimpt Sterne Rezept / cinnamon star recipe this year
This one is gluten free also.
(sorry S for giving you the sticky old one…)
I can’t remember if it’s a copy from somewhere or if I adapted something else. It’s written on a scrap of torn paper with a swimming lesson note on the back….
Zimpt Sterne/Cinnamon Stars
250g almond meal for the biscuits
150g almond meal Extra for sticky dough or dusting while you roll out
1 cup rapadura sugar
2tsp ground cinnamon or more to taste
A small pinch of clove powder
2 egg whites beaten stiff
Mix 250g almond meal, sugar, spices and egg white to a pliable dough. Add more almond meal if it’s too sticky. You will know! It really shouldn’t be a painful messy experience! I knead the dough quite vigorously in the bowl.
Dust with almond meal and roll out on/or between baking paper to about 5 mm thick.
Refrigerate overnight or at least three hours.
Cut out your stars, rinse your cutters if they’re getting too sticky, dust everything with almond meal as you go if needed.
Bake at 180’c for about 8 minutes. Pull them out of the oven when the bottoms are going slightly brown as I like them when they’re more chewy than dry and crisp! Oops many a black star has come outta my kitchen.
Cool them on a rack and invite me around for a cuppa and a biscuit.
I mean share them with your friends and family….
As an option you can mix beaten egg white with icing sugar and decorate them pre baking. More sticky messy fun! I bought a piping bag especially. Then you have snow capped biscuits. So appropriate for Advent in summer Australia, don’t you agree?
Inspired by The Children Of Noisy Village(Astrid Lindgren) Cedar suggested we have a bean guessing game and make a prize cookie from all the scraps of dough. They got a jar of chickpeas and a notebook to record all the guesses from our home and neighbours. The children ran around giving biscuit samples and collecting guesses, displaying the prize cookie!
Well done J for guessing 1004, hard to believe this little jar held 1163 chickpeas! mm enjoy that cookie! I was sure there where only 381…..
Class 5 geometry lessons are underway! It’s exciting for me to revisit the beauty and symmetry of compass art, Learning about polygons, prisms, pyramids, solids, quadrilaterals, angles, lines and circle language. I enjoy the artistic focus in presenting this work with Lily through the Waldorf curriculum.
On an adventurous day out recently we were happy to find this playground in a small village. (Neustadt near Metzingen) Soon there where exclamations about how this whole place was framed on polygons, prisms and even a quadrilateral pyramid supporting the tree! We are all looking at the world through geometry glasses now!
I hunted for four leaf clovers (unsuccessfully) and enjoying watching while the two spent half an hour cleaning the sand out of the water play basins and creating waterfalls. I know Lily gets lonely for friends her own size when we travel and I cherish the richness of her relationship with Cedar and their ability to play together despite 6 years age difference.
They where really engaged with the water pump and this initiated more conversations about living in historical times, continuing on from visiting Lichtenstein Castle earlier in the day. Shall we detour there right now, it’s a lovely late summer day in Southern Germany….
We took the tour so we could snoop around inside the castle. I was especially enthralled with the detailed paintings on walls and ceilings. Photographing strictly Verboten! So you will have to go there yourself.
Afterwards we sought out the Easter Egg museum, decorated not chocolate !unfortunatley closed but the glimpse in the door was inspiring for our own Easter festival. After studying ancient Egypt lily was taken with the egyptian artwork eggs in the centre.
Draw a dozen intersecting straight lines, then identify and color the various types of triangles.
Practicing rays by imagining starlight that shines on forever.The city map practicing all different types of lines. See if you can spot them!
First freehand circle explorations before introducing the compass.
Cedar watched the above flower of life developing, later he sat quietly and recreated his own very beautiful version. I loved making and colouring this mandala as a child also.
I had never found a four leaf clover before this trip!
While Lily has found over 25 in the last months, I found one, I really did!
She has her clover glasses on and this whole trip has accumulated and gifted quite a collection of four leaf clovers.
I think it’s remarkable !
It’s rubbing off on Cedar also.
Have you ever found a four leaf clover?
Hope you’re feeling lucky!
But here we are
Thinking a lot of home and our return in a couple of weeks
What is happening in my garden?
Many stories not shared, I can’t claim I am a proficient travel writer!
Four people in a small space, so much outside to see and explore, where is the plug anyway?
Packing sorting packing
Being held lovingly by a friends home
Watching Lily make a travel bag for her birthday dolls and small things
The treadle machine is a new experience and has a gentle sound and rhythm
I am impressed with her independent skill revealing itself with sewing this project
She began as a wee girl sitting on my knee ‘steering’ fabric or ‘driving’ the peddle for me
Look at her now!
While researching Ancient Egypt in June for Lily’s studies, I came across the 3,4,5 triangle. Apparently the Ancient Egyptians used a rope of 12 (we used metres) knotted sections. With angles made at 3m and 7m a right angle or Egyptian triangle is made. Fascinating little insight into geometry without a compass or ruler.
With my father we went out in the hof (courtyard between the house and barns) with string and sticks and measures and markers and water cans, we created an Egyptian triangle in the dirt. After we marked the triangle we flipped it and made another triangle, for a rectangle, then marked the centre and made circles with 3, 4 and 5 m diameters. Finally we finished with a central post and made a pyramid! A really fun, visual exploration.
While we travel I homeschool Lily. I follow the Waldorf curriculum as closely as I can (with guidance from her teacher in Australia) while not being a trained teacher myself. It usually works really well and it’s a fantastic opportunity to tutor Lily in areas she has challenges. Getting her motivated is not always easy though and the differentiation from parent to teacher is interesting (read challenging, inspiring,frustrating) for me. I learn so much alongside her and enjoy the intellectual stimulation and discovery in research also. It is difficult to maintain consistency when we are moving a lot so this 6 week interlude with my parents in Germany was a good foundation for studies. We visited the Egyptian museum in Berlin which inspired us with incredibly detailed and beautiful carvings and paintings. It is the home of the famous bust of Nerfetiti which cannot be photographed, so we took our sketchbooks and drew her. The guard commented Lily was the youngest artist he had witnessed sketching her.
Cedar has discovered drawing in such a new way! It’s very exciting to see him coming more freely into expressing his own visions and ideas as it’s been many months of encouraging this little one who was frustrated as his hands couldn’t do what his thoughts could see. He only wanted to direct us to draw for him. Now I see this fantastic leap in self confidence blooming!
He has invented some fantastic trailer/home/hay makers and the theme is tractors and machinery, trains, maps, gnome homes in trees, apple orchards and landscapes. He’s not often drawing his own wheels or people yet which I find intriguing.
Each comes to these things at their own pace but I’m glad as I see it brings him much happiness and us much entertainment!
Both children draw a lot while we travel, we have a good stock of visual diaries with quality paper and we have an extensive collection of Lyra pencils. I find the thicker pencils easier for little hands to hold and the smooth bright colours very satisfying. The enjoyment of the materials inspires more use.
I gained a lot of confidence drawing alongside Lily as she grew and now with Cedar. The children don’t need a perfect replica of something, they just need a suggestion and their imagination fills the rest. I learnt to draw like a child again and it’s brought me a lot of happiness and a fun connection with my children.
Even after years in art school I needed to de program and lose the critic. So many of us are thinking “well, I can’t draw” do you want your child to think this also about themselves? I was determined not to say “I can’t draw” in front of my child but to say, well I will have a try, and be able to laugh if it turns out oddly and have another go or ask my child for ideas. Begin with them as they start to scribble at age 2, mimic your child, for they are free. Look to nature for simple gestures, a grassy field, a tree. Then put a swing in the tree or an apple. And so grow slowly. It takes a lot of slow to grow, I heard this recently.
My people began as stick figures and gradually became 3 dimensional as I drew more and more with Lily. The children also like simple art they can mimic. To just sit with them and begin putting color down can begin a new pleasure (and healing) for you both.
What are your children drawing?
What are you drawing?