Thursday, November 4, 2010

structure gives way to freedom

Who doesn't want a comfy reading basket?
 Since Silas only likes to sleep when on me and I am limited to what I can do with a baby strapped to my torso, I have been doing a lot of reading up on Waldorf play areas, ways to implement ritual,routine, music and peace to our home and days.  I am not one to conform entirely to one belief, but I find myself taking from it what resonates with me and mixing it with whatever else feels right.

Small wooden dish holding treasures of the Newfoundland beaches
 I have been inspired to go through our tiny house with a fine tooth comb and purge.  I am a bit of a pack rat by nature and struggle with letting things go.  But one wonderful thing about having a small home with no garage or basement to hide our sins is that it forces you to be picky about what we allow in.  Every time I felt myself clinging to certain items I knew I didn't love I would remind myself of the rule that states if it isn't beautiful, loved or functional it needs to be released.  I also reminded myself that in order to make room for the beautiful, vintage items I love I had to let go of the items I didn't love. We now have empty drawers and shelves and the energy is less stagnant with every item released and room organized.

I have no idea where the Christmas Tree will be going in our tiny living room... 
  The play area was the most recent target.  I found that Poppy's play area was the only area left untouched by her at the end of the day.  The baskets were too deep.  There were too many toys.  Most of her books were on a bookshelf in another room.   So I purged and brought in another low bookshelf.  I kept the items made with love, wood, wool and other natural elements and stored away the few battery operated toys.

Some of my favourite things include the chalkboard and chalk ready to be used, the reading basket, the mini apron found in Gramma's house now hanging on the side of her play kitchen, the kitchen being another favourite item made by a friend of the family as an alternative to paying ridiculous shipping from American companies making similar items.  I love the way it glows in the light of a tiny lamp at night and am happy to report Poppy has played and rooted around here non-stop.  I can assure you it looks nothing like this after a couple of minutes, but when everything has its own basket or shelf, clean up is easy with a little tidy-up song.

Smooshy, but cozy and sweet
  Through a lot of self examining and thought, I have realized just how important order, structure and routine are to my own peace as well as that of my children.  I read somewhere that when a child would become unruly or angry in a Waldorf classroom the teacher would begin tiding the child's personal area {dishes, mat, toys, etc}and I couldn't help but think how nice it would be if someone would do that for me when I become "unruly".  I have often wondered at those who say children love order as Poppy's favourite thing to do is make a giant mess with everything out of its place including cushions, blankets, furniture, toys, blocks and books.  I keep putting things in their place to restore my own peace and hope it has a positive effect on Poppy too; however subtle.

 We are far from perfect or even avid Waldorf followers, but it has given me some relief as my dual personalities {Type A vs the Hippie}battle it out.  Routine and structure can not only coexist with creativity and freedom, but it is impossible {for me personally}to have one without the other.

All of her books are now organized and at her level for easy access

 In other news, I dug out a tiny tin of simple paints I found when we were cleaning out my Gramma's house after her passing. I seem to remember using this very tin of paints as a child at her kitchen table.  I have found I have my most creative ideas when I lay in bed late at night so I have been creeping down the stairs at night after my loves are alseep.

I love watercolours.  I would someday love to make something technical and beautiful with watercolours, but until then I will be happy with the primitive little creations I have been making late at night.  They are simple and completely inspired by prints found on Etsy, but the act of putting a loaded brush to paper is therapeutic and totally for me.

Here are a few I may put in frames and add to our walls...

Inspired by a print found on Etsy

My dream home {just need some more trees, some chickens and a garden}

Completely inspired by a print on Etsy.

Next project is to create an adult sized version of the reading basket;  a peaceful comfortable nest with soft light and beautiful things.

go gently & be wonderful


p.s. Please forgive my disjointed writing as I write between diaper changes, naps, hugs, playing, swaying, nursings, and the such.  Needless to say, I lose my train of thought frequently.

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