A Present From Great Grandma Darcy

Delaney is just about to have a birthday and every year my grandparents give her a small present and some money to spend. So this year, I knew the perfect place to take her, The Wisconsin Wool Exchange in Stevens Point. This is a great little fiber store with local and non-local yarn and roving. Over the last year Delaney has learned how to knit and how to needle felt and she just loves it. My Grandma Darcy is a big knitter, so I thought this would be just the right thing to buy with the money she gave to Delaney.

Here Delaney is using her new yarn, called Fire Wine, she loves the name. While we were picking out yarn she saw some fingerless gloves and decided that was the project for her. We are planning for her to knit a rectangle and then sew up the side, making sure to leave a thumb hole. She is very excited.


Here is the wool roving, carded but unspun sheeps wool, that we will use for needle felting.TOSHIBA CAMCORDER

Delaney is using the felting needle to felt the roving to a piece of prefelted material. She is making a fun design.


A close up look at her picture in progress.


She also wanted to make a doll. I used white to shape the body and then we used colorful roving over the top of the form.


Her name is Catalina.


I am sure there will be more fun fiber work to come! I think my grandma would approve ūüôā

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While we were down in Milwaukee at St. Luke’s Hospital, the kids and I explored the grounds. We happened upon this wonderful labyrinth. At the beginning of the¬†labyrinth, there was a sign saying that the it was put here for patients and family as a way to heal ¬†mind and body.

Labyrinths have been used for many years as a path for meditation, healing, and spiritual discovery. I read an article by Lucy Pearce about using labyrinths with her family, and she wrote this,

“They are a symbol of our life‚Äôs journey: twisting and turning, the path unknowable, often misleading, yet the destination is always certain.

Unlike a maze, which is designed to confuse, and is laid out with many dead ends, a labyrinth has a single path which spirals in to the center and out again.

The journey into the center is symbolic of death and release, and the journey back out represents birth and rebirth. This twisting,¬†spiraling¬†in and out connects us to ourselves, to the earth and to each other. The labyrinth transports us to another realm of conscious awareness: occupying the rational, busy mind and the body, thereby allowing the subconscious to emerge.”

As I walked the path inward I thought about all of the trials we have been through as a family, Justin’s loss of sight, his return of sight, being away from home, the possibility of another surgery, the unknown of the future. When I reached the center I took three breathes and released all of the concern and worry at let everything be as it was in the moment. On my trip out again I let myself see that everything will be okay no matter what happens, for we cannot control everything that happens but we can decide how to react to what comes.

It was a wonderful experience as we waited to hear if Justin would need another surgery. Walking a labyrinth does not make your problems go away but it can give you a new perspective.


While I walked the labyrinth the kids started by running the whole way in and out three times.


They also tired walking on the brick edges and in the end walked the path quietly.


The kids followed the labyrinth at many different speeds but I think they got something out of the experience more than energy release. It was a time to take their mind off the situation at hand, to decompress, to get away from the hospital waiting room. In the end, Justin did have to have surgery again, and the kids were able to flow with it. The surgery was a little over two weeks ago and there do not seem to be any complications.

The labyrinth was so nice that we decided to bring it into our home, and since we couldn’t make a yard labyrinth I decided to make a small one. I made a finger labyrinth. Instead of walking this, we use our fingers and trace the labyrinth. This is not exactly the same¬†experience¬†but you get a chance to calm down and clear your mind.

The kids have been using it to calm down when overly upset, for fun, and when they are in a quiet mood. I think it is good for all of these things and i keep it easily accessible so they can use it anytime.

Here is how we made it.

First I made some salt dough.

1/2 cup salt

1/2 cup water

1 cup flour (I used whole wheat because that is all I had.)


Mix all ingredients together until they form a ball.


I gave each kid a small piece of dough and used the rest for the labyrinth. Smoosh your ball flat trying to keep it in a circular shape. Then use your finger to begin making the labyrinth. I suggest drawing labyrinths before you start. Draw many, it will help you get the shape down and is also very relaxing.Check out the Lucy Pearce article for how to draw one.


I used my fingers to make the indentations and my smallest finger for smoothing.


After you are done bake on low for three hours or so. I flipped mine part way through and then let air dry a few days to make sure it was really dry.


When it was totally dry I used tempera paints to add color.


 Then I sealed it with Mod Podge.


Once fully dry keep out where it can be seen so anyone who comes in the house can use it.


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My Lantern

My lantern, my lantern,

Sun and moon and starlight.

My lantern, my lantern,

Sun and moon and starlight.

In the darkened heavens high

No light shines within the sky.

Darkened is my path this night,

My lantern shines to give me light.

Last week we made tin can lanterns with our homeschool group. Everyone had a great time, but who can go wrong with hammers.

We started with cans and filled them with water. We let them freeze over night and then we were ready to hammer. We used nails to make holes in the can, remembering to put two near the top for the handle. Next we put wire through the top holes and used a pliers to secure them. Viola, a lantern!

Later that evening me and the kids went on a lantern walk down the block and into the woods on the empty lots across from us.

They wanted to stay out forever but eventually the candles went out. The lanterns were telling us it was time to turn in. We walked home by the light of the moon, which was almost as nice as our lanterns.

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