Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Lila Kids

 Today we meet Sarah Kreckel, owner of the Waldorf on Etsy shop Lila.

Lila Kids Apron 
Why an online shop?
In my past life I was a history teacher, a curriculum designer, and a teacher trainer. I've slept in mud huts, been on an NCAA championship team, hiked on five continents, and dabbled in yoga. Now, designing and sewing are essential creative outlets for me. It's a time and space that's just for me and enables me to focus intently on something I enjoy beyond measure. 
I have a husband, a five-year old, and two teenage stepkids, all of whom offer useful opinions about my products. I started sewing when my little daughter turned one and I was finally getting a full night's sleep. My best friend suggested, after she actually paid me money to make all her Hanukkah gifts, that I should open an Etsy shop. So I did. It's completely fun and I really love developing new products and working with customers.

 Mommy and Me Apron Set
Why do I make what I make?
As both a former teacher and a mom of a Waldorf kid, I believe that children should have time outside and time to play creatively every day. I also think that the things they play with should be beautiful and made of natural materials. A good toy should open rather than close opportunities for creativity. Everything I make reflects this concept. The fabrics I use tend to be modern and geometric, which reflects my own style.
Super Hero Play Cape

What’s so special about the fabrics I use?
Most of my fabric comes from a family-owned textile mill in my town. The mill has a small retail store where they sell some of their handprinted fabrics to the local public. Usually, the mill sells directly to the designers who commission the fabric. If you happen to be a client of one of the designers (if you are a Kennedy, an Astor, or a Gore, for instance), you can see the fabric in your house. Otherwise, you are out of luck. This means that my designs won’t show up on your friends or your friends’ kids (unless you give them as presents!) and everyone will think you have great taste.
The coolest but also most frustrating element of shopping at the mill is that the fabric they have for sale always changes. Once they sell out of something, it's gone forever. You can be sure that only a few items of a particular fabric will ever be available in my shop. This means that what you purchase from Lila is almost one of a kind! 

Why do I think quality material is important For kids?
I am a strong believer in the Waldorf emphasis on surrounding children with beautiful things. Kids are naturally drawn to complementary colors, symmetry, and simple designs. When children have the opportunity to be creative with tools and spaces that look inviting and feel comfortable, they approach their art projects more calmly and with less distractibility, and they seek out creative time more often. Your kids will be happy to use a special pencil holder or to wear a beautiful, soft smock because it makes them feel great while they do what they love! And you'll be pleased to see them so engaged and thoughtful with their work.
More Ways to Connect with Me
Please follow my posts on Google+
This is where I share information about my studio and my fabrics, upcoming products, creative ways to use them, shows and markets I am attending, and everything else.
  To see more of Sarah's beautiful, quality crafted items please visit Lila her Waldorf on Etsy shop.  She ships free in the USA and welcomes custom orders! 
  Enjoy Your Day!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

May Day

A Brief History of May Day 
by Brenda Massei of the Waldorf on Etsy shop Pail and Pie

 Waldorf Play Silk
 A wonderful entry into the summer season is May Day, the first day of May. It’s a celebration of the summer days to come and a thankfulness for spring’s renewal. Many groups brought forth the traditions we use today.
 In the past, May 1st  was the exact half point of the Druid calendar and so chosen as a date of great celebration. This date also was celebrated by Romans who held a five day event between April 28th and May 3rd for the Goddess Flora which focused on fertility, flowers, the renewal of the circle of life, and drinking. 

Also, during the Middle Ages, every village square held it’s crowning glory, a freshly cut tree, removed of it’s bark and decorated with flowers and ribbons. Great care was taken in selecting the trees and towns were known to be competitive about the sizes of their poles, which then were signs of fertility as well. 
 Floral Head Band
How Can We Celebrate Today?
A more common tradition today is to make and share May baskets. These are usually a form of a paper basket or cone. These baskets are filled with fresh cut or potted flowers and hung or shared with friends. Some delight in making and sharing anonymously.

Wood Peg Daisy Sprite
Flowers are out in abundance come May and the perfect decoration to celebrate the lovely weather. Crowns can be woven with an ivy or vinca vine base and any flowers tucked in for color and show. Hang them on a nail for a sweet and simple wreath when done. 
 Flower Child
Songs or poems signifying the abundance of nature are fun to learn alongside your children. Reading song lyrics as poetry is just as rhythmic if we are unsure of the tune.  Cakes and cookies look special when adorned with edible flowers, ribbons, and/or miniature may poles. 
May poles may be a bit more difficult to set up at home, but look for local festivals. Our botanic garden has a pole they set up for 
May Day complete with ribbons, music, dancers, and flowers. Just watching the dancers go around is fun for my children. For smaller, private affairs, attach ribbons to any posts or poles in your yard for the day. Your children will delight in running round and winding the ribbon for themselves. 

This is the first year we are making May Day a group affair with friends. Check out our May Day Festival photos at Our event is May 4th and will include crowns, music, flowers, and the adorned pole.  
 May Day Bag
 May Day Bag

Cary, Diana and Judy Large. Festivals, Family and Food. Gloucestershire, UK: Hawthorne Press, 1982.

Monday, April 15, 2013

A Hippie With A Minivan

Today we meet the artist and owner of the Waldorf on Etsy shop:
A Hippie With A Minivan
 Needle Felted Babywearing Mama
My name is Melissa and I am a mom or four wonderful children.
Though we unschool our children, I have always had a love for Waldorf education as my years spent in a Waldorf school as a child were some of the most memorable and peaceful of my childhood. Even though we don’t follow a Waldorf curriculum, it still is part of my children’s lives. 
I am a mom, a blogger (, a photographer and a lover of the fiber arts. I sew and quilt, crochet and knit a tiny bit and have now found needle felting which has quickly become a passion and maybe even an addiction. There is something about sculpting with wool that just amazes me.
My creatures and characters are original.  Many times I start felting without knowing what the result will be. Their personalities arise when I start creating their faces or the scenery that will be around them and they inspire me. My love of natural parenting, including breastfeeding and baby wearing, have also come to life within my creatures. I spend hours on each creation and love the small details. 
Many of my creations are pose-able and they are all made with play in mind. I use mostly merino wools because I love the colors and the softness. Though some creations are a bit more fragile then others I want them to be handled and cherished and hopefully be allowed to come alive in a child’s (or inner child’s) imagination. 
I started my Etsy shops because we have a dream of converting a bus into a home, living on the road and living off our talents. One day, we hope to do just that. 
In addition to needle felting, I love photography and have a photography shop on Etsy :  Melissa Bellemare Photography
 All of the prints and greeting cards available from my shop are from original images taken by myself. Some are from here in Quebec, some are from majestic British Columbia, and a few were taken in the friendly Maritimes.
Photo Greeting Card
To see more of Melissa's sweet needle felted creations please visit her Waldorf on Etsy shop:  A Hippie With A Minivan
For more of her beautiful pictures visit her photography shop on Etsy:
To learn more about her visit her blog, A Hippie With A Minivan at:
Female Ruby Throated Hummingbird Greeting Card

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Biodynamic Gardening

In addition to the education philosphy known as Waldorf, Rudolf Steiner introduced the world to a spiritual-ethical-ecological approach to agriculture, food production and nutrition, known as Biodynamics.
The Biodynamic Farming and Gardening Association (BDA) describes the origins of Biodynamics on their website in this way:  In the early 1920s, a group of practicing farmers, concerned with the decline in the health of soils, plants and animals, sought the advice of Rudolf Steiner, founder of anthroposophy, who had spent all his life researching and investigating the subtle forces within nature. From a series of lectures and conversations* held at Koberwitz, Germany (now in Poland) in June 1924, there emerged the fundamental principles of biodynamic farming and gardening, a unified approach to agriculture that relates the ecology of the farm-organism to that of the entire cosmos. 
This approach has been under development in many parts of the world ever since.
Wild Rose & Honey Bee
The BDA is an association of individuals and organizations in North America who are committed to the transformation of the whole food system, from farm to table, and who draw inspiration from the spiritual-scientific insights of Rudolf Steiner. Biodynamics is a worldwide movement for the renewal of agriculture based on an understanding of the spiritual forces at work in nature and in human social life. From this understanding, a particular form of organic farming has been developed that continues to grow and evolve around the world.

Felt Spring Flower Elf
If you'd like to know more about biodynamics, please explore the 12 Ways To Learn More About Biodynamics, visit the BDA blog at, or find them on Facebook at
 For those of you living in the Southern Hemisphere this website from Australia with the message "Care for the Earth by caring for your earth" is a good resource and inspiration: 
 In addition to the obvious benefits children receive from eating healthy foods and living in a healthy environment, are the more subtle changes that take place within children when they experience farms and gardens for themselves. We encourage you to go outside with your children, visit a local farm and spend time in the garden together this spring!
*If you would like to read these lectures for yourself as well as other teachings and writings of Rudolf Steiner please visit this resourceful website:
Other Book References on Biodynamics:
Companion Plants and How to Use Them by Helen Philbrook 

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Lavender and Ladybugs

Today we welcome Yuki, Waldorf on Etsy artist and owner of Lavender and Ladybugs to our blog.  
My name is Yuki McNeil and I am a stay at home mom to an amazing 2-year-old daughter, Eloise.  
I love to learn new things, especially crafts.  I come from a family of artists so creating is in my blood.
Before having my daughter, I was a Pre-K teacher in an inner city school in Memphis, TN. I absolutely love being around children and watching them explore and learn. However, public school was not conducive to my inner feelings of how children should live and grow. It made me sad and unfulfilled to see and be a part of an environment full of children that were not allowed to have freedom in their learning and without ample time to explore and play.
It wasn’t until I was pregnant with my daughter and doing research for alternative education philosophies that I discovered the amazing world of Waldorf Education and Rudolph Steiner.   
This was an eye-opening experience for me and the Waldorf philosophy seemed so congruent to what I believe is important to a child’s learning and life.
Waldorf Cashmere Wool Cuddle Doll   I started perusing Etsy for beautifully handmade Waldorf items and began making my own. As I became passionate about making toys, I dreamed of one day opening my own Etsy shop.
 Through the busyness of being a new mom, I continued to create by using only natural materials. I made gifts for friends, gifts for myself, and gifts for my daughter. I have a crafting room full of handmade felt and wool toys!
This past February, I made my Etsy debut with my shop Lavender and Ladybugs. I finally have a place to share and sell the gifts and toys that I love to create. I use only natural materials and I often try to use upcycled materials as well. My shop includes items such as cuddle dolls that are made in the Waldorf tradition, needle felted animals and accessories for nature tables, and other gifts such as treasure bags and lavender drawer sachets.

My shop’s name came from two of my daughter’s favorite things in the garden, lavender and ladybugs. Because I think it is soothing and healing, I often add the relaxing scent of lavender flowers and essential oils to my creations. All my items are created with much love and passion. I enjoy everything that I create and strive to make items that will bring magic and beauty to the person that receives it.

on Etsy to see more of Yuki's sweet creations and visit the Lavender and Ladybugs facebook page to connect with her! 


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

April Giveaway from Softearth Art

for a chance to win 
this beautiful Wool Wall Hanging
crafted by Waldorf on Etsy artist 
Marie of Softearth Art!  
The giveaway ends on April 6th so be sure to check it out today for your chance to win.
 Softearth Art blog