with light and love

Posts tagged ‘fairies’


We are very fortunate to have so many cool activities this summer!

-building guitar

IMG_1359cigar box guitar

-jammin’ with friends

ivie and aidan

-petting alligators

petting a gator

-photographing nature


-viewing the super moon

super moon

-raising tadpoles (one of our frogs is on the leaf)

baby frog

-attending theatre


©rw 2013

Spring has sprung

The weather has given us a slow march to spring, so we have had to create a little of the spring magic on our own this year.  We begin with the shedding of the beard.  Ivie gets to help cut the first layer. 


After working on her outdoor fairy garden, Ivie left out some treats (dried fruit and pink lemonade) for the fairies to enjoy on the Spring Equinox. 


They showed their gratitude by leaving a sweet pendant in her shoe for her to find the next morning. 


 The easter bunny’s helpers worked so very hard making bunnies for baskets this year. 


The hand puppets are based on the tutorial by Purlbee.  The sachets are from Craft Passion.   The knit bunnies are from Little Cotton Rabbits.   The plush bunny is based on the pattern from Chez Beeper Bebe.   The applique on the t-shirt is just the simplest  bunny silhouette that I could find on google images. 


We were even prepared for the cold snap in late March with new fleece ponchos.   What fun at Fabric World!


Inspired by the lovely eggs I saw at Blue Girl, I made some egg pouches for Grade 3.   While they do look cute on their own, all piled together gives them what I call the ‘Enchantment Shop effect’.  If you make 25 of most anything, it looks good! 


The final school event before Spring Break is the annual Grandparents and Loved Ones Day.  Ivie proudly shows off her main lesson books to her Grandma. 

gplod 2013

Spring also gave time for me to make my first and ninth bib for Craft Hope’s project 20: Hope for China


So now the Nature Table Spring flower fairies are enjoying a bright spring break bounty!



© rw 2013

Tiptoes Marionette going in the mail

A Tiptoes marionette puppet is on its way to a new home!  This sweet fairy will join Kelly’s family in PA as a part of the puppet swap we organized this summer.   Watch for some amazing Jeremy Mouse photos coming up soon! 

© rw 2012

Tiptoes and Jeremy Mouse marionette puppet tutorials

Tiptoes and Jeremy Mouse marionette puppets by Rhonda Wildman 

Tiptoes marionette – Gathering Supplies:

  •  Wool stuffing – I get mine from West Earl Woolen Mill in Ephrata, Pennsylvania (fair prices and they ship quickly)
  • 1” tubular gauze – I get mine from A Child’s Dream  .
  • 17” x 17” silk handkerchief – I got mine from Dharma Trading  .
  • 100% cotton knit for skin – I used a thrifted t-shirt
  • Yarn for hair – I used some amazing merino dyed in chamomile by  Mama Jude .
  • Tulle or whatever strikes your creative fancy to make wings
  • 2 small dew-drops or stones
  • Embroidery floss
  • Strong thread for doll making and marionette strings
  • Kool Aid- I followed the instructions to get Sky Blue at this tutorial   .

Gathering Tools:

  • Needles – sewing and doll making
  • Pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Scissors
  • Beeswax crayon & a piece of paper towel to rosy the cheeks

 Make a “Waldorf doll” style head that is 2 ½ inches tall from neckline to top of head.   See The Children’s Year, Toymaking with Children or Kinder Dolls for good instructions.  Also this Living Crafts blog post has some great photos.  For my marionette puppets, I do leave a bit longer of a neck hanging down.  I like having the extra weight below the neck string for balance.    

Cut a small X in the center of your sky blue silk handkerchief.  I have seen instructions that say to cut a circle, but I like the small X better.  I think you waste less of your material.   With a running stitch, make a circle around the X.  The circle needs to be large enough for your doll neck to fit through.   Leave the tails loose till you are sure your head is situated properly. 

From underneath the puppet, you will be able to pull down and straighten the corners of fabric made from cutting the X.   When the corners are pulled down and the silk is oriented correctly with the head, then you can pull the running stitch tight and tie in knots. 

Flip the silk over to see your puppet’s face. 

I was lucky to find these oval shaped dew drops in my daughter’s dew drop basket.  Any small dew drop or even a pea pebble would work to add a little bit of weight to the hands. 

Wrap the dew drop in a little bit of wool, cover with a scrap of your skin fabric and tie. 

Bring the side corners of the silk to the middle and connect them together and to the body with one stitch.  Place your newly made hands in line with the neck/where the silk will fold in half. 

It is possible to stitch around the hands through only the under layer of the silk (be sure to go through the wrist skin fabric too).  This will allow you to attach the hands without any stitches showing. 

Now you can rosy her cheeks and add the hair.  I used a 2 wig approach to her hair.   One gets folded in half at the seam and the other stays open and the seam becomes the middle part in her hair. 

The folded wig goes on first and is set back on her head.  Stitch down on the fold of the yarn.  Then place the open piece on top of the head and stitch down on what would be the part down the middle . 

I like this method because even using this light hair yarn, my eye and mouth ends are completely covered.   She has plenty of hair to frame her face as well as enough to cover the stitches used to attach her wings. 

The wings are made from a few layers of light pink tulle.  I whip stitched around the edge with a light yellow. 

I like a simple stringing for the marionette.  I use one string for both hands and then another for the head.  I go through the head horizontally above the ears. 

Jeremy Mouse marionette puppet tutorial

Gathering Supplies:

  • Wool stuffing – I get mine from West Earl Woolen Mill in Ephrata, Pennsylvania (fair prices and they ship quickly)
  • 1” tubular gauze – I get mine from  A Child’s Dream.
  • 17” x 17” silk handkerchief – I got mine from Dharma Trading .
  • 100% cotton knit for skin – I used a thrifted t-shirt
  • Small piece of brown felt for ears
  • 2 small dew-drops or stones
  • Embroidery floss
  • Strong thread for doll making and marionette strings
  • Kool Aid- I followed the instructions to get Dark Brown at this tutorial.  

Gathering Tools:

  • Needles – sewing and doll making
  • Pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Scissors

Using the 1” tubular gauze, I made a mouse-shaped head.  It is about 4” long.  I made the skin to cover from a thrifted t-shirt and sewed up the end in the same way I do the top of a doll head.  I added ears with a small piece of wool felt and eyes, nose and whiskers with embroidery floss. 

Because I am silk-hem challenged, I didn’t even want to cut the handkerchief at all.   I rolled the tiny dew drop in a bit of wool and tied with strong thread to make the hands.  If you don’t have any small dewdrops, then you can use small pea-pebbles.  A little weight in the hands helps in working the hand strings. 

This stitch will be covered, so use whatever scrap of thread you have handy. 

The stitch will connect both side corners of the silk and will go through the center of the silk. 

Fold over and you have a headless Jeremy Mouse.

Sew around the neck.  Making a mouse seemed to call for an oval. 

I use one string for the hands to make presentation a little easier.  For Jeremy Mouse’s head string, running from ear to nose looked better and gave me more options for posing. 

Now it is time for pancakes!

I look forward to seeing many interpretations of the Tiptoes and Jeremy Mouse characters from participants in our puppet swap.  Signups are open till  July 24th. 

©rw 2012

Puppet Swap Invitation

Tiptoes spread her wings and flew lightly into the air.  Turning towards the sun she raised her hands, and said:

Thank you, Sun,

O Being so bright,

For sending love

In rays as light

The Lost Lagoon by Reg Down


Tiptoes marionette puppet by Rhonda Wildman

The first time I saw a marionette puppet show produced at the Waldorf School of Atlanta, I was blown away.   The detail of the faces combined with the flowing silks captured me and brought the story to life in such a special way.    



Dawn Strider marionette puppets by Waldorf School of Atlanta kindergarten faculty 

 Little did I imagine that 7 years later I would be making puppets myself and even producing the school’s 2011 Puppet show – making the puppets and set. 

Child of Faerie Child of Earth marionette puppets by Rhonda Wildman

So when communicating last year about a bird swap, Margaret of We Bloom Here, let it slip that she had been a professional puppeteer, I knew I had found a like-minded partner.  I thought it would be so cool if we co-hosted a swap and I emailed her with the idea.  In our conversations, we realized that while we both loved puppets, we had our favorites.  Margaret is drawn to glove puppets while I find a home in making marionettes.  We decided that our swap would accommodate those folks who want to make either globe puppets or marionette puppets.  We are finally ready to launch our puppet swap. 


Tiptoes marionette puppet by Rhonda Wildman


The projects for this swap are more ambitious than is usual for most craft swaps that I have done before.  Please be sure to read to the end carefully.  The idea is that, at the end of this swap, each participant will have a pair of puppets, ready to go for storytelling and performance. 


Mother Earth and Root Children glove puppets by Margaret Bloom

 There will be two options for this swap — You may sign up to create marionettes (and you will be paired with a swap-mate who wishes to make marionettes) or you may sign up to create glove puppets (and will then be matched with a participant making glove-puppets.) To help you along with the process, Margaret and I will be posting tutorials for creating both marionette-style puppets and glove puppets.  We will also be creating blog posts with additional ideas for stories and puppet-plays you can present with your new set of puppets.   Watch for posts both here at Joy Grows and at We Bloom Here


Tiptoes giggles with Jeremy Mouse by Rhonda Wildman

The marionette theme will be Tiptoes Lightly  & Jeremy Mouse by Reg Down and the glove-puppet theme for this swap is The Story of the Root Children by Sibylle von Olfers.

The swap will be structured as follows:

— Each participant will be matched with one person.

— Each participant will create 2 identical puppets — one to keep and one to send to their swap-mate.

— It will be up to the two swap-mates to decide which person will create two Tiptoes marionettes & which will create two Jeremy Mouse marionettes (and for the glove puppet swap, who will create two Root Children puppets and who will create two Mother Earth puppets.)  This will require good communication between each participant and her swap-mate.

— Because this is a Waldorf-inspired swap, we are asking that, when possible, participants use natural materials: wool, cotton and silk are preferred. Please try to avoid synthetic materials.  Note: Within the tutorial posts over the coming week, we will offer links to online resources where you may purchase supplies – just in case your stash requires bolstering!

— So that your puppets match as a set, we are suggesting that Tiptoes’ head be made about 6 cm tall (2 ½ in tall) and Jeremy Mouse’s head be made 5 cm tall and a 9 cm long (2 in tall and 4  in long).  For the glove puppet swap, please make the heads of the Root Child puppets are 5-6 cm tall (2 in – 2 ½  in tall) and that the heads for the Mother Earth puppets are 6-7.5 cm tall (2 1/2 in – 3 in tall.)

— Please feel free to interpret the characters of Tiptoes Lightly & Jeremy Mouse (and for glove puppets, Mother Earth and the Root Children) as you wish.  Search for inspiration in your heart (and in your fabric stash!) The photos within this invitation and the illustrations from the books Story of the Root Children  and  Tiptoes Lightly are there to spark your imagination; variations and creative interpretations are strongly encouraged!

Root Child glove puppet by Melissa Polk

Time Line:

— Sign-ups for the swap are open starting today, July 9th.

— Sign-ups will officially close on July 24th

— Information regarding swap-matches will be sent out July 25th

— Puppets should be ready to be posted to your swap-mate by August 10th (or as soon, thereafter, as possible.)

— You may want to gather your materials to create your puppets ahead of time so you can be prepared to start making your puppets, however, please wait until you are matched with your swap mate before you start creating.  As mentioned above, you will need to confer with your swap-mate to decide, between the two of you, who will create the Root Child puppets and who will create the Mother Earth puppets (or in the case of marionettes, who will create Tiptoes puppets and who will create Jeremy Mouse puppets.)

Tiptoes marionette puppet by Julie Hunter

To Sign Up — If you are interested in swapping marionettes  please email me at rhonda957 AT bellsouth DOT net or if you are interested in swapping glove-puppets please email Margaret at margaret AT flyingteapot DOT com.  In your email please include the following information: 

— Your name

— Your home mailing address

— Your email address

— A URL for your blog (if you have one)

— Confirmation of your preference to create marionettes or glove puppets

— A short blurb about yourself as an introduction. This blurb will be sent, along with your other information to your swap-mate.  You could share about what draws you to puppet making – marionette or glove.  Sharing a little bit about your experience with either the Tiptoes stories or The Story of the Root Children would be nice.  You also could say something about your family, where you live, your favorite crafts, or you can tell us something else entirely. We just want to get to know you a little bit!

Root Children glove puppets by Margaret Bloom

If you have any questions please feel free to email me or Margaret. We will be happy to answer your questions or provide clarification regarding the guidelines for this swap. 

We are both very excited about this and we hope you will feel inspired, too!

© rw 2012

Midsummer Eve 2012

There are more embellishments to come, but at least we got the basics of a Fairy Garden complete before Midsummer Eve. 

A shell is filled with water.  A grape is placed at the door of the house and a small handful of pine nuts waits on the table for the fairies that will be famished after their Solstice Celebrating. 

Our go-to Midsummer Story is from Elsa Beskow.  Do check out The Flowers’ Festival  if you have not already. 


© rw 2012

May Day Crowns made by Grade 2


Here’s a branch of snowy May

A branch the fairies gave me

Who would like to dance today

With the branch the fairies gave me?

Dance away. dance away

Holding high the branch of May.

Dance away, dance away

Holding high the branch of May.

From Festivals, Family and Food

On Thursday May 3rd, Ms Crowley’s Grade 2 class made the crowns they will wear to the May Day festivities at the Waldorf School of Atlanta.

My inspiration was this photo, but we wanted the children to make their own crowns.    They turned out lovely!

We have 40”long pieces of raffia that are already bundled into 3 strands each (thanks Britt!) and knotted at 10”.  We  braided about 20”, knotted again and then have 10” left.  The two 10” pieces will be tied to fit each child.  We’ve gathered a springtime bounty of greens, vines, herbs, ferns and flowers.  We also had pieces of colorful ribbon added for décor and to help tie up any bits of greenery that need to be secured. 

The children needed to work in pairs – one braiding and one holding and then switch.  We were fortunate to have a few extra braiders so we could finish and be out of the classroom in an hour. 

All the ingredients for the crowns were laid out for the children to choose with no gender labels attached to anything.  Since we had items that were very fragrant, some let their noses be their guide.  Others were drawn to the texture and others to the colors.  It is always interesting to notice what items children choose to use in their crowns. 

Borrowing from the tradition of May Day Posies, these crowns are “talking” with the Victorian messages of the plants and the colors used.  What message did your child create with their crown?

Lemon balm- for health

Dandelion- wishes come true

Ivy- for fidelity, love & friendship

Honeysuckle- for generous affection

Periwinkle- for sweet remembrances

Clover – good luck, good education

Fern- sincerity

Juniper – protection

Baby’s Breath – happiness, pure in heart

Statice – lasting beauty

Yellow –friendship, increase productivity

Blue – patience, peace, truth, loyalty

Pink –personal harmony, friendship

Green – wellness, transformation

So those of you who know me (and love me anyway), you know I had enough materials for twice as many crowns as we have children in our class.  Ms Crowley just called with an idea for the WSA Community Services through Practical Arts group to make spring wall hangings.  So the leftover supplies will all be used tomorrow.  YAY!   

Thanks, Lindsey & Stephanie for helping braid and Britt for the lovely ferns & flowers! 

** May Pole paper mobile pattern is found in All Year Round


 © rw 2012

Tiptoes story eggs

I have been inspired on this venture by 2 greats :  Hallie and Karen.   Thanks ladies! 

You know we love the Tiptoes stories!   We have read the stories at home and even managed to get our teacher hooked on these fabulous tales.   Thanks to some quick crafting, she is able to tell the stories with the help of  puppets.   Ivie’s basket on Sunday morning will have 3 new Tiptoes books – Eggs for the Hunting, Magic Knot & Big Stamp.   She will be thrilled!  Isn’t this book cover beautiful?

Story eggs have been on my to-do list since I saw Karen‘s beautiful ones for Tiptoes.  Then after being the lucky recipient of one of Hallie‘s eggs in a swap, I was determined to try my hand with my wood burner.  Well it does work on my hand!  I found that out on the first try – ouch!  

Well after much trepidation, I think these turned out ok for a first try.  They will join the Tiptoes books in Ivie’s basket. 

I burned the bunny (from Eggs for the Hunting) first.  I was so nervous about ruining one of my wooden eggs that I used one from last year’s wet felting that had spent some quality time in Lindsey’s purse, which is apparently where she keeps grape juice.  I love how it turned out & just wish you could see the cute tail! 

Next is Tiptoes with flowers with the sun above.

and then of course, I had to do her acorn house. 

Reg Down’s newest book  (just released today) will definitely be on our bookshelf soon.  I look forward to making a story egg of Sir Gillygad!

© rw 2012

A catch-up on swap items and Craft Hope goodies

I have quite a few photos to share to catch you all up with swaps & Craft Hope projects I’ve participated in since my September 16th post.  In October, I participated in a speciality swap with a fairy tale theme.  In this swap folks are paired and the items made are bigger and more involved that the smaller multi-person swaps.  We were introduced to the story “Mashenka and the Bear” a few years ago and we love it still.  It has a great rhyme and flow.  I made a Mashenka doll, a wooden bear, mushrooms, strawberries and a lovely brown cake to go on the top of Mashenka in the basket. 

and then I participated in an Advent swap with Bits of Goodness.  I made little treasure boxes with a painted ladybug, shell and a wooden star. 

and then I participated in a Stocking Stuffer swap with Bits of Goodness and made these cute (but really easy) Dala horses.

and then I sent three monkeys to join in Craft Hope’s project 15

and then I sent a few polar bears for a Winter Nature Table swap. 

and then I participated in a 1:1 winter swap through Four Seasons Exchange. 

and then I participated in a Valentine swap with Natural Suburbia.  I used Linda’s wonderful bow & arrow for the Cupid finger puppet. 

and then for the Bits of Goodness Valentine swap I sent 6 of the Valentine Mobile’s from All Year Round.

and then I sent a group of these little Guardians of the Forest finger puppets for a Tree themed Bits of Goodness swap.   Instructions for the knitted finger puppets are found in The Children’s Year

and now, I’m just mailing off some backpacks for Craft Hope’s newest project, the littlest warriors.  I used the backpack tutorial from Mama Urchin


© rw 2012

Tiptoes for our class

In Ivie’s Grade 1 year, her teacher asked that children bring in a copy of a favorite book to give to the classroom on their birthday.  For Ivie, it was an easy selection – – – TIPTOES!  http://www.tiptoes-lightly.net/ 

Well of course, her class was enchanted by the stories, so when the end of school came around we gave her teacher 2 doll figures to have when she told the stories:  Pine Cone and Pepper Pot.

Now we are in Grade 2 and the stories are still a favorite with the kids.  Our teacher bought more of the books over the summer, and she also asked me about getting some of the other characters from the stories.  A couple of weeks ago we gave her a Tiptoes marionette which now hangs in the classroom.

Next I needed to make a Jeremy Mouse.  I had made mice before, but they had been the sewn ones from Feltcraft.  I needed my Jeremy to be upright and I loved the one Sara made that was posted on Tiptoes website.   One problem:  while I have knitted a few things, most of what I have done was in classes.  I had not read a pattern like this on my own.   I needed help.  Well a big thanks goes to our kind handwork teacher, Lisa R who spent time going through the pattern with me yesterday.  THANK YOU!! 

This Jeremy Mouse will join Tiptoes, Pine Cone and Pepper Pot in the Grade 2 classroom today.

I really do believe that stories come to life in a new way and touch us in a different place in our hearts when we have little props.  Whether you call them puppets, dolls, figures or your own descriptions does not matter.  

When I get a little time, I am going to try the Story Eggs that Karen made so beautifully.   I hit a great sale at Casey’s Wood Products in the summer and stocked up on eggs.  They are just waiting to meet up with the wood burner I got for Mother’s Day! 

Stay tuned for more figures from the Tiptoes stories — follow her on Facebook and at her website for new stories!

Wednesday, 10/26/2011  —  I just have to add this photo of the stack of amazing Thank You notes I received from the Grade 2 Class!    So SWEET!! 

© rw 2011