Friday, September 23, 2016

Mendfulness Retreat at Little City Farm

This past weekend we held our first Mendfulness Gathering here at Little City Farm - an amazing day-long fibre arts retreat that focused on repurposing, reusing and upcycling clothes and working with natural fibres (e.g. spinning and felting wool, natural plant dyes on fabric).  There were 12 workshops that participants could choose from throughout the day, including pattern drafting, creative mending, cyanotype prints on fabric, rag rug making, basket making, and more!  Also great conversations throughout the day, yoga at noon, wood-fired flatbreads and wholesome delicious food at lunch, a free swap give-away area, and mini marketplace at the end of the day.  What a full, inspiring (and rainy) day filled with hands-on projects to take home, and wonderfully creative people all around.  Thanks for everyone's help in making this retreat wonderful, all our volunteers, photographer, workshop facilitators, and participants!

We hope to host monthly "mendfulness" get-togethers (like old-fashioned "mending circles") here at Little City Farm over the winter, to bring together friends, great food, and a chance to share our skills at repairing and repurposing our clothes.  By learning to mend, darn, patch and repurpose our clothes we are not only saving money for our families, but also keeping perfectly good clothes from going to the landfill, and empowering ourselves with new skills to make us more active producers as opposed to passive consumers.  Could you start a mending circle in your neighbourhood?

Here are a few photos from the day -despite the rain we had many busy hands sharing skills and doing beautiful work:

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Waldorf-inspired art classes for kids

This week our new series of Waldorf-inspired art classes for kids started.  We have our Young Acorns group (ages 3-6) and the Green Saplings (ages 7-12) coming for 10 weeks of hands-on art, practicing a different Waldorf-based art technique each week:  from wet-on-wet watercolour painting, to modelling clay, to sketching, to wool felting, to knitting, to sewing, to lantern making, and more! What a pleasure to host these kids here, setting the tone of peaceful mindful art-making using nature-based art supplies, where the process is more important than the end result.

This week started with very simple wet-on-wet watercolour painting in the classic Waldorf style, exploring individual colours.  The younger group spent time with yellow and red, and the older group also worked with blue, yellow and red (individually, and then together to see what would emerge).  We reminded them that Picasso had about three years where he simply worked with the colour blue in his paintings during Picasso's blue period.  Then we had a chance to look at these colours outside - the younger group spent time finding all the yellows and reds around the garden, while the older group helped to harvest flowers that we will dry to use for a natural dye project in the final week.