Homemade Paper Bag Ostara Baskets

  15 years ago, my children, grandmother and I made a basket from paper bags.  I still have this basket; it has survived floods, toddlers, and blizzards.  I was going through our house, looking for baskets for our upcoming Waldorf home school day.  I realized that this paper bag basket would be a great basket to grow wheat grass in.  It would also be an appropriate Brigid activity because of the weaving.

This is my first tutorial, so follow along carefully, but use your own intellect and experience as we go.

Here’s how they are made:
You will need

nine paper grocery bags ( I use Aldi bags, of course!)

a yard stick or ruler
a pair of scissors
a sturdy stapler

Cut twelve pieces of paper bag paper 20″x16″

and cut another six pieces 28″x16″

That’s 18 all together!

Fold them as if you are folding double fold bias tape:

Fold them to the middle, then unfold.

Then fold the edges to the middle

then again fold to the middle

then again in half. They will measure approximately 1 ” wide

Rub them over a counter to make really sharp folds.

Choose one of the longer strips to be the top edge.

Evenly space 12 of the 20″ strips from the top edge and staple them in place.

(This also looks like a hula skirt!)

Fold 6 of those strips to the opposite side and staple them.

Then begin weaving in the remaining 6 strips, as if you are making a lattice pie crust, and staple them to the opposite side.

Now weave four of the last strips around the width of the basket from the bottom up. Overlap their edges and staple them to themselves. if possible, hide the staples under the horizontal strips.

Your basket should now appear mostly done.

 Use the last strip to cover the top heavily stapled strip and glue it in place.

If you would like a handle, you could punch a hole and sew or use a  manilla envelope fastener. You could also make a handle by making one of the strips as long as possible and weaving it all the way through.

My basket looked especially good today, since it was holding all the finished wedding invitations!

Wednesdays Waldorf- Inspired Homeschool day is looking very fun.

How to Celebrate Brighid With a 4 Year Old

For those who haven’t met her – Who is Brighid?
What is Brighid/ Imbolc?

“I love Brighid, I just don’t know how to celebrate it with a 4 year old!” Oh my Goddesses – their is no one better to share your holiday with than a four year old! ( What will I do when I haven’t got one underfoot?) Imagine celebrating Yule with no children around. Bleh! This problem stems from the “coven” aspect of witchcraft- the need to gather with other adults who share your religious beliefs. But I have found that covens are for moons and magick. Save the Sabbats for family and festivities!

My essential list for making a tradition:
1. Food
2. Altar
3. Observance
4. Repeated verses

   Your child has no preconceived notions about what should be happening on February 2. You have creative license. But choose carefully. What you do now will be what you are doing for your grandchildren and great grandchildren. I realized this when Tabitha and Rowan came home for Yule. They wanted sun sandwiches and loaf. It seems like it was only yesterday when Chris and I were wondering what we should make for Yule supper. Ahhh, this loaf in Recipes for a Small Planet looks yummy……..
 So number 1 on my list is FOOD. What do you remember from your childhood? I remember smells and tastes. In preparation for this post I asked my kids “What do you think of when you think of Brighid?” They whole heartedly cried out ” Irish stew!” Of course. I posted the recipe last year.
  The altar. Having an altar and/or nature table really helps young ones observe the turning of the year wheel.  I have tried to mix Paganism with Waldorf on ours. And I try to make it a story that is happening; where one season’s story becomes the next. Our altar today has a well I bought at Micheal’s, found geodes, a wooden pentacle made by Chris and Chuck, and the Brighids. These are new this year, (the old Brighids were smaller and starting to come unglued…) made from wool felt, wooden forms and hot glue.

  Observances. The one we really have focused on is candle making. No real reason for this when there are so many activities to choose from, once again I think that 20 years ago Chris said, “What do you want to do with the children on Brighid?” and I replied, ” Hmmmm, I have some old wax sitting around. Make candles?” And so we make candles.  We use empty cardboard juice tubes (from Aldi ofcourse) for forms. We also do dipped candles, some container candles in old jars and a few rolled beeswax candles for the toddlers. I start by putting the materials out a few weeks in advance. It gets us excited! I talk it up!
  When I am ready to make candles, I melt old wax candles, sorted by general color (reddish, greenish, naturalish) in large metal containers (old olive oil tins, coffee cans, etc.) in a water bath. I add some beeswax to it for smell and for “fancy”. Maybe you’ll throw a crayon or two in for color, and some essential oil for scent. Maybe not. Doesn’t matter, just do it.

  Then put a wick into the container and pour in the melted wax. Tie off the top of the wick to a pencil to hold it in place. As it cools, you may have to top off the wax. The next day peel off the juice container and your candle will be ready to use!
  There are many other observances you can do. Leave your cloaks, magickal tools or pencils and pens out for the night to be blessed by Brighid. Write or share a poem. Start seedlings. Grow sprouts. Create a small ritual. Make a Brighid’s cross or bed or corn dolly.

  Repeated verses can be simple, for example saying three times, “Brighid has come, Brighid is welcome.” You may have a story you tell or read for Brighid. Circle Round has great stories.
 You create the celebrations. If all of this is overwhelming, just start where you are and add one thing. The child will remember that their mother or father lit a candle or poured a libation on special nights of the year.

Did you know that human babies conceived during Beltane would be born at Brighid?

I found much inspiration at these blogs:

  On a side note, I never took typing. I was too busy kissing boys and girls and painting murals for art class. That is why you, faithful reader, must wait so long for my posts. Rhiannon says that my typing reminds her of this blog:

Rise to your feet and open your eyes and let the white Bridgid come in!
Rise to your feet and open your eyes and let the red Brighid come in!
Rise to your feet and open your eyes and let the black Brighid come in!
Brighid has come!
Brighid is welcome!