Thursday, February 19, 2009
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Monday, February 16, 2009
I know, I know- I was probably suppose to be talking about presidents or something like that with the boys home from school today, but I ended up cutting out a bunch of stuff this morning and then the boys and I went out for a "Signs of Spring" walk- with all 3 of us with brand new foraging bags from the handmade world of Etsy- we set out to see what we could.
It is still very much winter- but the sun was shining and we had such a quiet sweet walk in the neighborhood to see those first glimpses of spring that give this Aries girl hope and love for spring! When we stopped at our Goblin Walk tree I found a marble next to the tree. This is the oddest thing that has always happened to me since I was a little girl on the farm where I grew up. Okay- it could be because they were used with slingshots by kiddos back in the day and I am sure trees were often the targets, but I see it as a greater sign of my roots of being a toymaker- hahaha and even more fitting since my last name is Willow and company name is mamaroots- it is cosmic I tell ya!
Above are a couple of the pictures and you can view a small slide show here-spring, spring, spring- I love you spring!
98% done! Yes that is right my kitchen and window remodel project is 98% done and I had a wee party for my parents and older sis this past Valentines. It was so great and I have to say, I love my new kitchen. It may be hard to catch the true essence, but here are a couple of the before and after shots I got. I thought I lost my before shots but found some in a tucked away folder in the computer- ha I am so bad about that!
This project did put a big dent in my crafting time, but I am hoping to get all caught up and new spring stuff loaded in the shop in the next couple of weeks- now to go make that cup of tea in my new digs!
Saturday, February 14, 2009
you have been a great blog spot, you were there in the beginning and helped me go from "what the heck is a blog" to absolutely loving to blog. But I must confess our relationship has run its course and I will be leaving you soon- but you will always be a fond part of my life.
All kidding aside- I had to write my love break-up letter to blogger today on Valentines because it is coming close to when I will be switching over to a new spot. I really have enjoyed blogger, easy to use, neat gadgets, did I mention free. . .but I wanted to have a blog that could function more like my website and blog all in one spot.
So coming next week will be my new spot- some giveaways and also the February Once Upon a Table story project. I love blogging, I love reading blogs- it is ironic, in some ways I have never felt so connected with people I have never met, and also I love seeing more glimpses in the lives of my dear friends.
So thanks so much for reading, thanks for posting on your blogs so I have fun stuff to read- keep spreading the blog love! I am off to plan a special Goblin Walk for my lovey doveys!
Friday, February 13, 2009
Thursday, February 12, 2009
that I love to hear during my day job is . . . do you have . . . and usually this is proceeded by some book title that they are looking for. I am usually in my office looking through catalogs, planning author events, daydreaming about different toys I want to make etc. . . and then I pop out into the stacks and help some customers when I get a chance. Today was one of those days that I got those magical words "do you have" and it was from a young fella visiting campus with his older sibling and family and he was looking for a particular book. He let me know that where he is from they don't have any good bookstores.
Well, my fingers danced across the computer to see if we had it, and score! We had it- as we walked to find the book he told me that he was just about done with the 3rd in that series and was so ready for the next book. Ahhh- that is when being a book buyer is complete- a kiddo coming up asking for this book he is dying for and then having it on the shelf waiting for him! In case you were wondering it was #4 in the Patterson Maximum Ride series for youth reading- huh who knew!
So here are some book recommendations for my younger readers as we are all getting ready to tell Winter bye bye!1- Trudy by Henry Cole- super cute with a surprise ending!
2- Frog, Bee, and Snail Look For Snow by one of my favorite Dutch authors Loek Koopmans
3- Fletcher and the Springtime Blossoms by Julia Rawlinson- another funny ending
4- A Bell for Ursli by Selena Chonz- swiss setting and a neat tradition for welcoming spring!
All of these make my mind spin with ideas for new story sets to come to the shop this spring! Here's to good books!
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
I was browsing a magazine that I read weekly for the buzz in the book industry and came across this article that talked about a genre of books that is bucking the ecomonic trend- craft books. Seems like us crafty folks know that mantra of "I can make that" instead of always buying it. Please don't get me wrong, it is really troubling to hear about folks loosing their jobs and the economic crisis that we are in, but darn it sometimes I think we do just need to keep our consumerism in check as a society.
Monday, February 9, 2009
Blimey where did the past few days go- what have I been doing? Well the ongoing drama of the remodel continues to unfold, but we are getting oh so close and we are in the unpacking and more cleaning phase with trim and paint touch ups happening in the evenings! I am having a kitchen warming, anniversary party for my folks on Saturday and decided to also plan a goblin walk for my boys and neice and nephew on Saturday during the party! I will post more details to come but it is so sweet and fun to plan these out!
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
When you have a few little Renicks lined up on your craft table ready for paint it can mean nothing else except that tomorrow is his debut at Root Children story and hand craft! I am so excited to be sharing him tomorrow with my special friends- most of them under 3 feet tall!
We will be reading "Naming Renick" - my first children's book and making medicine bags. Look forward to seeing you tomorrow!
Last night we lit our Brigit candle at dinner and thought about the warmth of the flame, melting the snow and ice and letting those shoots come up! Then we all gave our wishes and blew out the flame together, breath from the four directions! So we sent our wishes up and mine always include an early spring!
Monday, February 2, 2009
The second holiday deriving from Imbolc was Candlemas Day and was celebrated on February 2 (Groundhog Day). Candlemas was the feast of Mary's purification and was marked by a candle procession. The ties between purification rituals and the month of February also hark back to the pagan era. Indeed, our very word, "February," which derives from Latin, unmistakably designates the month as a time for purification (februa means "expiatory offerings"). The Lupercalia, a pagan Roman purification ritual, took place in February.
Friday, January 30, 2009
I am on my way out the door The Womb Room to meet up with my Crafty Mamas and make some handcarved stamps for valentines and I took a second to check the Etsy Forums for CPSIA news- a multi day ritual as Feb gets closer and saw this:
CPSC Grants One Year Stay of Testing and Certification Requirement
Oh I am so excited- I have so many ideas for new toys and story sets that I have been holding back on- Yeah- but I need to read up more on the details . . .
Off to meet with the mamas-
I wish I had a picture of a new forthcoming book to show you but it is not to be found yet. As a girl growing up in the 70's the Arnold Lobel books were my staple beginning reading books- how could I resist Tear Tea from Owl and the hilarious bumps in his bed, Mouse Soup, Grasshopper in the Road, and of course Frog and Toad!
I was so excited to hear yesterday that a new Arnold Lobel book is coming out in May. His daughter who is also an artist, discovered several of her father's handmade books and together with Harper Collins publishers put together some the best poems and pictures to create Frogs and Toads All Sang-
Described as "silly sweetness" this is one that will make my spring! In the essence of silly sweetness- here is a picture of a couple of fellas I work with that I talked into being Frog and Toad for me a last year at the bookstore where I work- how cute is that!
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
You may remember last month when I had the first Story Table Project -Tomten- with a few days to spare I finished up the tutorial for the January project. I also came up with a name for this ongoing monthly offering:
Some coordinating ideas are brewing but wanted to offer this for some cozy storytelling as we go into the final stretch of winter!
Enjoy! Let me know what you think! This is called Brigit and the Wheel- it celebrates Candlemas.
Right now as my fingers dance across this keyboard- I envision tons of other fingers and hands that are usually crafting away. Fingers weaving, sewing, sanding, painting- cottage industry folks who I would imagine would much rather be making some amazing handmade children's items than blogging about trying to find away for our voices to be heard.
Monday, January 26, 2009
shew it finally came . . .amidst the paint fumes and dust at my house of our extended (unintentionally) remodel last night and today the Story Table project came to me. Remember the Tomten project in December? Well this is a fun one celebrating Candlemas- stay tuned. I will be taking the pictures and writing up the tutorial in the next couple of days. This new venture is called:
Once Upon a Table- Story Table Projects
Sunday, January 25, 2009
some visual treats last night! It was such a great opportunity to celebrate some art in my community! The 3rd annual Art Auction and Silent Film to benefit my oldest son's school was such fun. It worked out that the boys ended up at my folks for a sleepover and hubby and I got a date!
I had a lovely time visiting with folks and then it happened- a piece of art just reached out and tugged on my heart- I new I must have this piece! After some neurotic hovering over the bid sheets I was victorious! This small subtle piece is entitle "Urge to Worship II"- it symbolizes my boys and my spirituality in one. Under these trees with sticks in their hands . . . under the deep winter . . . the energy of these 2 boys swirling in the trees- oh I just loved it. And yes here is the honesty- many times those actual sticks in my boys hands maybe somewhat more weapon oriented than I usually like, but many times they are wands, fort builders, magical sticks!
I caught a few moments of a Buster Keaton silent film- a true celebration of cinema art before I purchased my art and then headed to our local independent theatre for Slumdog Millionaire- I am still absorbing that movie- a dynamic movie- a dynamic date celebrating art.
You can bet I was rested and missing my boys this morning when they came running through the snow to my front door all smiling and loving being spoiled at my folks place!
Saturday, January 24, 2009
I have often been apart of the the discussion about education with children. It naturally happens when you have children. Thanks to the country where we live there are so many choices that we have as parents- public, private, homeschool, etc . . . Isn't it great to have the freedom choose. We can be king for a day in so many different learning settings.
I think the one thing for me as a mama, my hubby and I as parents believe is that if families define and create something that works for them that is what is important. What may work for some folks may not work for others. When we can peacefully look at a non-judgmental place of sharing those worlds- the beauty of learning can happen.
For our family we did choose to go with public school. In making that choice though we did look at our neighborhood school and then decided to seek out a different option. Our community has something really unique to a public school setting- it is a school whose curriculum is based on the arts. It is the Expressive Arts school that approaches all learning from art. I really enjoy this approach to learning. Is it perfect- well no, but nothing really is, but I love that it is this small old school nestled in the downtown of my community a short walk from where both me and hubby work.
But here is the lovely part of this school- with every brush stroke of paint, every small hand hitting drum or transforming clay into a figure a community is created. I love walking up the sidewalk and seeing my friends and getting to talk with my son's friends. I love going to the local community Art Studio with other mamas to work on the upcoming fundraiser while our children are scattered about the floor with pencils in hand creating pictures for each other.
Tonight is one of the annual fundraisers for the school at the recently renovated Missouri Theatre. It is a Silent Film and then Art Auction for the school. The boys and I stopped by yesterday to drop off some wood mushrooms we made to donate to the art sale. I am so excited to be apart of this community- vibrant and growing.
We create a loving learning atmosphere at home centered on art and storytelling, I adore the festivals we go to and share at the local Waldorf school. So what type of schooling do we have for our children? Well we like to call it the shoedgepodge- kinda like hodgepodge but with the schomaker side- (shoemaker) walking our own walk- underneath that willow tree!
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
I discovered a tweet giveaway indeed today- on the wings of change it has been great fun discovering all of these different beauties- if you have a thing for some birds be sure to check out the listing of individual blogs!
I also wanted to share a new storyset that I finished up that was so much fun! It was inspired by both a lovely story "The Robot and the Bluebird" and all of my Missouri friends that help me create such a cozy nest at The Womb Room! I will be listing another set soon at the Etsy Shop as my first set went to my boys who told me that the first toy I make in a series is always the special one for them! Seriously did you hear my heart break with that one!
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Monday, January 19, 2009
I know this may be a stretch, but yes this is my Inauguration Eve post- I have thought alot about how we are seen as a country on the eve of this incredible historic and hopeful presidency. I listened to a great story on the radio about how other countries like France are now looking at America and what we did this past election and now looking at race issues in their own country.
Wow it feels good to be looked at again as a country that is hopeful and diverse. I have a thing for toys that personalize our portraits and it is so funny to sit back with some craft in my lap and watch them play out their imaginations with their toys!
Here are a couple newbies!
1- Our woody family by Dawn Alice Designs- so cute
2-My Custom Set I ordered from Woodmouse- so beautiful- this toy is for me!
3-A new favorite- my boy fairies (shhh . . .they have not seen these yet) from Star House- so sweet!
4-Freshly made today- Jasper and Silas' self portrait sock puppets!- Jasper set up this tutorial for us to do today, and I broke out my stash of my grandmama's buttons I played with when I was little!
So how do I see myself tonight- crafty, happy, and hopefull!
Friday, January 16, 2009
sometimes it is a little dusty, okay alot dusty, but change can be so exciting! We are on the homeward stretch of our kitchen remodel and the dust feels like it is in my clothes, my tea cup, my tooth brush, wait it is in all of those places, but . . . it means:
1-our 1/2 person kitchen can now at least be a 2 person kitchen
2-our boys can eat their breakfast at a breakfast bar instead of the cobblers bench on the floor!
3-I can look out into the front yard from the new kitchen window
4-I can grow to love my humble little abode even more- a place where we live, love, be born, and grow!
Now onto the painting tomorrow- though to be honest I am chomping at the bit to make toys and paint them instead of the walls- I will have to sneak in some craft time!
Posted by mamaroots at 9:23 PM
Thursday, January 15, 2009
My head is definitely still swimming with all of the CPSIA stuff, but just a reminder that TODAY is the last day to vote at Change.org- to at least get this issue presented to President Obama-
I believe it is currently in 6th place- the top 10 make it to a presentation to the President. Let's keep spreading those out those grassroots!
Save Small Business from CPSIA
As a proud mommy blog- I thought this comment was very interesting from a representative from CPSC that "mommy-blogs spreading misinformation "- hmmm- does that show the scope of their underestimating what we do as moms and natural toy makers???? Check out the story here and a link to the video.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
During our bitterly cold night, Jody and I trying to fend off some colds our selves and also having to mostly hunker down in the basement of our house to avoid the dust and nails upstairs we decided to go ahead and make our thank you cards tonight for the wonderful holiday presents we received.
I love being able to find a way to engage the boys in this also. Here is a real simple but sweet way to make a thank you, have your kiddos write thank you however they like- snap a picture of their cutie pie faces- use a simple postcard program like Publisher, give them some space to write their name or other thanks and shebam- a sweet little thank you postcard!
This is the picture from the photo shoot tonight that we ended up using- Jasper has been enjoying making "curly" letters! I also have to love Silas' signature!
Thanks to everyone for your great support!
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
New safety law may prohibit children under 12 from libraries – or make many books illegal
Sunday, January 11, 2009
I love living in Columbia- it is not too big like the city living I did fresh out of college, and it is not tooo small like I had growing up in a rural farm town- but just right. I also love that it is a liberal college town with lots of activity happening! This came through in an e-mail and cracked me up! Though I am not sure I will make it down to the "note" for this one, it gives me an idea to host a little Bye Bye Bush party of my own!
This free event will include a potluck dinner (at 5:30), speakers, music, a costume contest (come dressed as an artifact of the Bush era), an open mic, games, and much more.
I also wanted to share something that caught my eye that was just plain interesting. It doesn't deal with birth, or crafting, or books, or handmade toys- it is completely different but worth blogging about. I read about this in the most recent Inside Columbia magazine and could not find a link to the article but googled another article that talked about Green Burial options that forming in the area. This article is about a Wiccan group that is creating a "green" burial area, but I also found information about an area here in Columbia also called Pushing Up Daisies. Now mind you readers that I am not obsessed with death- though I spent my early wanna be photographer years photographing and charting Missouri artistic movements via tombstones . . . but I have always struggled myself with what I would like to happen to me when I enter into that part of my cycle of life- this by far has been the most appealing so far!
- alternative birth
- barefoot storyteller
- compleat mother magazine
- enchanted doors
- friends of missouri midwives
- garden gate coop
- international cesarean awareness network
- Lee Expressive Arts School
- moon rabbit
- morningstar community
- mothering magazine
- mothers against circumcision
- The Big Push for Midwives