Monday, April 01, 2013

The Seed Babies

Sweet baby seed, so small and so round
Hide down deep under the ground
Under the earth you safely hide
Stay there, now: don't peek outside!
I've dug you a hole and I've put you to sleep
Your leaves will come up and your roots will go deep

This is a favourite verse of ours. The girls will often take turns playing the seed, or sometimes be seeds together, curling up on the floor under a blanket while I recite the verse until I say the words "Your leaves will come up..." when they throw the blanket off their back and spring up onto their feet, arms stretched overhead to be their leaves. 

In the past week I've been seeing a popular meme on Facebook, pointing out that the ancient celebration of the goddess Ishtar (pronounced "easter") was a fertility festival in which eggs and rabbits were common images. "So there, Christians: your holy days aren't so Christian now, are they?" is the general impression I've gotten from the meme. And the point is a valid one: the celebration of the resurrection of the Lord isn't as simple as it may seem. But I, for one, believe in a god big enough and interesting enough that She might choose for the whole resurrection story to play out at a time of year where the pathetic fallacy of the season of new life and rebirth can work alongside those same themes within these holy days. So as we have approached Easter, I have been struck by the desire to have any little gifts we might give the girls this Easter morning represent those same themes, effectively bringing our Waldorf living and our holy observances together.

 Seed babies in the sunshine

I not only brought them together, I stitched them together in felt.

I saw this image on Pinterest and felt an unrelenting need to stitch up similar little Seed Baby dolls for my girls. They're just so cute! I'm so glad that I did, too. The girls love them and I had a lot of fun constructing them.

Seed babies

It's a lot of handstitching. I was able to serge the back seam of the inner and outer face layers, and to stitch the two halves of the body together, but that was all. Every other stitch was made - sometimes painstakingly - by hand. I may have been up until 2am sewing these things. But it was totally worth it.

Seed baby's face and felt cap

The way a Waldorf doll face is constructed is quite ingenious. There is something so satisfying about the alchemy of turning a ball into a face just by running a few lengths of thread around it and giving it a stout yank. I foresee a lot of little dolls in our future. Summer flower children, Mother Nature, possibly an entire Nativity scene...

Easter chicks

I had also found (again, via Pinterest) this post about felt blanket-stitched chicks, so I made two of them, as well. They're simple and sweet, and a great little project to whip up sitting on the couch or driving in the car. I've developed a new love of blanket stitch as a result, too: seeing all those little stitches lined up neatly in a row is very gratifying.

I'm thinking of putting together a tutorial on the seed babies, particularly since I deviated from the inspiration post and tutorial in several ways, but the tutorial linked really is great, though it is originally in Dutch and the internet translator does make some, let's call them inventive, choices with language. Still, the photos and translated text are quite clear so if you are hoping to make your own Seed Babies, you should have no trouble getting the gist of what to do. The inspiration post for the chicks had a link to the tutorial the blog writer had written, supposedly including a printable pattern, but sadly the document link is broken. Boo. I created my own pattern and I'm very happy with it, so I plan to scan it and post it, as well. For now, though, Easter chocolate and sleep. I think I've earned it!

Seed babies


See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.
Isaiah 43:19

He is Risen, indeed!

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