with light and love

Posts tagged ‘photography’

Epiphany 2012

according to m-w.com . . .


3 a (1) : a usually sudden manifestation or perception of the essential nature or meaning of something (2) : an intuitive grasp of reality through something (as an event) usually simple and striking (3) : an illuminating discovery, realization, or disclosure  

b : a revealing scene or moment

Well a little grey kitten was our epiphany today.  We have Susan Jeffers’ Nutcracker and Stopping by Woods, so when I saw a copy of Silent Night illustrated by her at my favorite tag sale, I had to pick it up.   Aside from showing a nursing newborn (yay!), Jeffers has added a wonderfully cute kitten to the nativity story.   If you are looking at the book on amazon, you can see the kitten in Mary’s arm on the cover of the paperback edition.  Ivie and I had a great time finding the kitten in each of the nativity scenes.  So of course, we had to add a little kitten to our nativity that you can see in the Epiphany photos I took today. 

This entire journey has been a process in learning . . . making a large quantity of dolls, blogging about it, keeping a photo chronology.  I added one more learning opportunity for myself today by joining vimeo and making a little movie showing our journey with the dolls.  Hope you enjoy! 

Journey to Bethlehem slide show on vimeo, click HERE

© rw 2012

12th Night

Today is the 12th day of Christmas and the Wise Men have traveled far (all around our living room) and are almost to the manger.  They are ready to greet this special child with gifts. 


Tomorrow, I will post a photo chronology of our Journey To Bethlehem, but for today we will still enjoy our 12th Night. 

© rw 2012

Shepherds’ story & giveaway announcement

Well, we are not having a Shepherds’ Play at WSA this year, but I have found a wonderful story to use at home with our new nativity figures.   All Year Round has a sweet story on page 301 called The Little Lamb (an advent story for children between four and ten years).   It tells the story of a young shepherd who goes out searching for a lost lamb and encounters a lady with a deep blue cloak and red gown who is preparing her son for his journey to Bethlehem. 

Lindsey got some great shepherd photos the other day.


Remember, we promised one of these cute guys to you . . .

 We are going to giveaway of one of our shepherd figures and his little lamb.   Just leave a comment here on this blog before Sunday, December 18th when we will draw the name of our lucky winner. 

Best of luck!

And the winner is . . . Cambre Hogoboom

cambre hogoboom said:

Hello and Thanks. My daughter has only two things on her x-mas list this year: some corduroy to make a dress like Mama’s and a Nativity set. Sweet, huh? She would LOVE this shepherd:)


© rw 2011


The Annunciation to the Blessed Virgin Mary.  So as much as I might like to throw around the word annunciation on this blog.  It is not the word I use when describing this event to my 7-year old.  I don’t even use its etymological cousin, announcement.   When we see Mary together with the Angel having a chat, we see Mary agree to take on this mantle.  She decides to make this journey.  She opts in to becoming the Queen of Heaven. 

After the busy & crowded nature table of late fall, we have enjoyed this first week of Advent with our table covered in a collection of blue silks and a few precious crystals and stones.   It is a perfect time to focus on Mary and her making a choice to carry the light.  In this time of the year when it feels as if the light is slipping away, we can all choose to carry and share light. 

Tomorrow begins the second week of Advent and we will add things from the plant kingdom to our table.  This will include our wooden stable, which is Mary’s destination for this trip.  But for tonight, we will have Mary on her journey alone. 

The first light of Advent, it is the light of the stones,
Light that shines in crystals, in seashells, and in bones.

The second light of Advent is the light of plants,
Roots, stem, leaf, flower and fruit by whom we live and grow.

The third light of Advent, it is the light of the beasts,

The light of hope that we may see in greatest and in least.

The fourth light of Advent, it is the light of man,
The light of 
love, the light of thought, to give and understand.

(I don’t know the source of the verse, but i got this version from our school newsletter last year)


©rw 2011

mary and angel

It was Thanksgiving week.  The first Sunday of Advent was just a few days away.  Could we finish the Marys and the Angels to go out on our tables?  Yes We Can!

Two Holy Mothers

Two Angels coming to chat. 

Mary and the Angel are ready to take their places on Sunday! 

Stay tuned for photos Lindsey took of the Annunciation.  I take great liberties with the timing. 

The Josephs and all the Shepherds are finished.  I plan to have the Wise Men finished by next week.  We can just see the completion of this huge project we began almost a year ago! 


©rw 2011




Still on our Journey to Bethlehem

If you have been following the progress of our nativity dolls you may see the photo below and at first miss the change.  Look again.  Remember the post Headless Bodies?  These dolls are made from 2 separate pieces of wire.  see instructions in The Nature Corner on page 41.   I do love these pose-able bodies, but I did not love the sharp end of wire that could pop out when the dolls are bent.  So I wrapped the dolls in wool yarn.  I started at an ankle with a slip knot and just a drop of tacky glue and wrapped up a leg and then over the abdomen (making sure to add a little wool around the middle where the wire ends were), then wrapped up to the opposite arm and ended in the hand weaving the yarn back through the wraps so it would stay tight.   Then I started over again with the other ankle.  This step took quite a while and now some of my hand skin pieces are too small, but I think it will add to the kid-friendly-ness and longevity of these dolls. 

Now we get to dress! I started with the shepherds and modeled the from the puppet garment in Toymaking with Children (page 131).   Then I made 2 kinds of wool-ish (I think it is actually a cloth used to wash cars, but it looks wooly) covers.  I made vests, based on the patterns in Kinder Dolls and I made a robe based on the puppet instructions in Toymaking with Children.  All the shepherd clothes are just pulled on and will need to be stitched. 

I couldn’t resist making them some sheep!  And I wanted small, light-weight sheep that these guys could carry.  I used the instructions on page 59 of Toymaking with Children, but I used 6 inch pipe cleaners to make the sheep smaller.   I was able to skip wrapping the legs since these sheep are so small. 

I’ve been collecting fabric for quite a while with these nativity figures in mind, but now I really needed to go through my stash to make sure I had the colors for the Wise Men.  So while they look a bit like geisha girls right now, these will eventually be the 3 kings that travel to see Mary and the child.  I’m using the traditional colors (see The Nature Corner page 77)

I have roughly sewed the white under garments for the kings and will need to hem & sew the beautiful outer robes.  The red & green guys already have rich embroidery and I will just need to sew some trim & beads onto the blue. 

If you have read this far in our journey, then you know I love Casey’s Wood Products!  I especially love their sales and I’m thrilled over the moon when I find a use for something I bought on a whim!   Well these little doll house sized milk bottles, barrels and books (2 ‘books’ glued together to make a square) may not look like much now, but just wait till I get a hold of them with my glitter paint.   You too will believe you are seeing gold, frankincense and myrrh. 

So there is still lots to do, but with only a month to go till the start of advent . . . yikes . . . I’d better get busy!

Thanks Lindsey for the great photos!

©rw 2011

put on a happy face or 19


Spread sunshine all over the place.   And put on a happy face. 

Lindsey got some great photos of our nativity folks.  All 19 dolls have beautiful faces!   After a bit of ‘body work’ to fill out their limbs, we will be able to add hair and clothes. 

It is fun to look at them and see them looking back! 

Do you see Mary? Joseph?  a Wise Man?  a Shepherd?  


© rw 2011



Headless Bodies

—  Lindsey got some neat photos of our recent progress.

Our bodies are each made from 2 stems of 18GA floral wire.  The feet are the small wood split eggs from Casey’s Wood Products.  We drilled a little hole in the top of each ‘foot’ to insert the wire leg.

EVE May Day Posies

May Day

Among Celtic people the celebration of May was called Beltane, meaning “bright fire.”  The root word “bel” means bright, whether associated with fire or with a light such as the sun.  This festival occasion was designed as a celebration of the return of life and fertility to a world that has passed through the winter season. 

Now we go round the Maypole High(Mulberry Bush tune)Now we go Round the Maypole high,Maypole high, Maypole high,Now we go round Maypole high,Let colored ribbons fly. See lasses and lads go tripping by,Tripping by, tripping by, See lasses and lads go tripping by,Let colored ribbons fly. In rainbow hues make garlands gay,Garlands gay, garlands gay,In rainbow hues make garlands gay,Let colored ribbons fly.

The children will have a May Day celebration at school later in the month with music and a May Pole, but we wanted to let our kids have an experience of sharing flowers as a celebration of Spring. 

May flower customs

Hundreds of years ago, May Day (May 1st) marked the first day of summer and a celebration of flowers. Even today, many cultures celebrate May Day and the changing seasons through the exchange of flowers. It was common at one time to leave flower bouquets (May Day baskets) anonymously at the front doors of your neighbors.  http://rhythmofthehome.com/spring-2011/spring-flower-seasonal-crafting/   has some simple bouquets.  We will had supplies ready for these and the hand held tussie-mussies.  Posies, nosegays and tussie-mussies date back to the sixteenth century.  These miniature, handheld bouquets are filled with aromatic herbs and flowers.  These dainty ‘talking bouquets’ became popular because they held hidden messages based on the symbolic meaning of the plants. 

Many flowers were picked the morning of our EVE event.

  The children came over after school and got to work on their posies. 

The flowers and herbs smelled great! 

Posies ready to deliver. 

 The gallant Sweet William is the center of this posy.

 We only bought some daisies, carnations and a dozen roses.  The rest were picked locally.

Daisy – for cheer & innocence
Pink Carnation- for encouragement
Yellow Rose- for friendship
Lemon balm- for health
Rosemary- for remembrance
Oregano – for happiness, health & money
Dandelion- wishes come true
Sweet William- forever lovely & gallantry
Sweet pea- for tenderness
Thyme- for starting a new project
Hawthorn – the May flower, protection
Ivy- for fidelity, love & friendship
Honeysuckle- for generous affection
Periwinkle- for sweet remembrances
Clover – good luck, good education


Festivals Family and Food by Diana Carey and Judy Large 
Tussie-Mussies the language of flowers by Geraldine Adamich Laufer 
Beltane springtime rituals, lore & celebration by Raven Grimassi 
Garden Witchery by Ellen Dugan


See Our Progress

We could say our dolls are ‘head & shoulders’ above the rest.  Well that would be because all we have completed is the heads & shoulders.  Anyone who has made the formed ‘Waldorf’ dolls will appreciate the work behind 19 heads.   Lindsey got some great photos last week. 

The heads are all a little less than 5 inches from neck line to neck line measuring over the top of the head. 

And they measure about 5 1/2 inches around the eye line. 

We have used a couple of different shades of beige fabric for the skin.

All skin sewed.  Head & neck paired up with hands.

We have another EVE event this week in preparation for May Day and then we will be back focusing now on the bodies.  We will be working with wire! 

©rw 2011