special projects

arrow's special art prints

arrow is so lucky to have so many friends, and arrow is also lucky to have friends who are artists.

this fall, we asked megan fowler (of brown parcel press) and hope hilton to illustrate a quote that we love, from kahlil gibran's the prophet: "You are the bows from which your children, like living arrows, are sent forth".

megan's daughter comes to arrow (when they are in town from sparta), and hope has helped with arrow's night night program, so it was fitting to enlist these two for our first round of prints...and we love how each of them interpreted the quote so differently.

megan letterpress-printed hers in her studio in near sparta, georgia. (to see her beautiful workspace, look here). hope's prints were screenprinted in a beautiful metallic ink by double dutch press, the great folks that printed the covers for arrow's cookbooks. each print is sized to 11" x 14" and is printed in a limited edition of 18.

the prints are $68 and are available online here or just write rachel a note or ask about them the next time you come in.

all proceeds from the sales of these prints go directly to supporting arrow's creative programs for children & families in athens, georgia.

we heartily thank these two local artists for creating this work on behalf of our space!


megan fowler's print:


hope hilton's print:


lantern walk

we had our annual lantern walk on november 11, martinmas. all the children had made lanters at arrow the week before, or at home with their families...we started a little later than last year and it was pretty dark!
but, luckily, we had our lanterns. this was the second year that we had walked around our neighborhood by candelight and even some of our neighbors put out little candles to welcome the children- thank you, cobbham neighbors!


Arrow first learned about the Lantern Walk from Madrona Weinges and her family. Madrona used to lead our Waldorf Morning Garden program, and through her we learned how special these festivals and events can be for our little children.

here are some words from madrona, about the origins of the lantern walk:

The roots of Lantern Walks stretch to a tale related to the festival of Martinmas, celebrated in Northern Europe. In many European cities the children gather in the streets and parks with lanterns aglow in early November, just as the days are growing darker, to celebrate. St. Martin was a great warrior whom, as it is told, rode out one dark night with his lantern and along his path encountered a beggar on the side of the road. The beggar was near death and freezing; St. Martin lifted his sword and his men thought surely he would kill the beggar. Instead, he used his sword to cut his own cloak in half, sharing it with the beggar and saving his life.
The Lantern Walk goes beyond this tale to encompass even larger themes. As the light of the sun dwindles and winter draws near, the lighting of our lanterns symbolizes both the change in seasons from a more outward to a more inward mood as well as the need to carry light "within"; not just within our lanterns, but within our hearts. The mood of sharing and benevolence as expressed in the Martin stories still lives in the festival, yet the mood of the season dominates.
Above all else, these festivals re-connect our children to their communities and to their world. As our children grow in a life full of reverence, connection, and meaning, we know that they will mature into the kind of adults who will tend and care for, and heal, the planet and all of its communities.
The Sunlight fast is dwindling
My little lamp needs kindling
Its spark shines bright in darkest night...
Dear lantern guide me with your light.


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if you would like to make a lantern at home with your children, here are directions:

gather together:
  - a mason jar
  - colorful tissue paper (in shades of red, orange, and gold)
  - kraft or elmer's glue
  - a brush(for painting on the glue)
  - some twine or yarn
  - and, you may want some sort of disposable glove (it will be sticky...)

- tear the tissue paper into strips
- put some glue on your brush and begin to lay the strips of tissue over on the sides  of your jar and paint the glue on top. you will be layering different strips on top of each other. you will eventually cover the entire jar with strips so that it sort-of looks like stained glass.
- sit the jar aside to dry overnight
- make a handle for carrying your jar by tying twine or a ribbon handle to the top of the jar, under the rim. make the handle long enough to keep the hand away from the top of the jar, but still easy for a little one to carry.
if you are feeling more adventurous, here are directions for a more advanced lantern:


a few of us made these the sunday before the walk:



our third annual apple festival!

we had a great turnout for out 3rd anual apple festival a few weeks ago...the sky was grey, but inside, arrow was glowing!

thanks to everyone who came out and to all the folks who donated apple pies for our apple pie contest, as well as to all the folks who donated items for our raffle!

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bird smith and her mom, susan, carved an apple-themed block for our craft project...for the third year in a row- thanks, y'all!



 and, thanks to hope for helping with the craft, too!

arrow friends amanda & jeremy played music again this year- thanks, y'all!

we raised some funds with our raffle again this year- thank you!

then, the pies! oh my!
thanks to mimi maumus who, along with helpers bea & bird, judged the pies, and thank you to everyone who donated a pie: big city bread, five & ten, heirloom cafe, home.made, ike & jane, independent baking co., the national, and the arrow parents who made pies!

all in all it was a fun day! thank you for supporting arrow!




we are happy to let you know that we have another addition to our ongoing series about homemaking...this post comes from arrow's good friend, amanda kapousouz. amanda was one of the co-founders of arrow and she still continues to support us often- by playing fiddle for us at our events, making homemade things for our fundraisers, or just by being an inspiring mom.

since our lantern walk is tonight, we thought we would share amanda's thoughts on finger knitting. amanda learned to fingerknit from madrona when our children were younger, as a way to make the handles for our lanterns...but, fingerknitting is a soothing and functional activity that can be enjoyed anytime...so, please enjoy!


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finger knitting...


when i was in 7th grade, we were asked to complete a project. we could do anything we wanted to do, in any discipline, and present it in a school wide expo. i decided to knit a sweater. my mom knit a great deal and i wanted to join in! i knew the very basics as she’d taught me how to make little blankets for the beds in my dollhouse, and i loved french spool knitting, but i wanted to leap ahead and make something i could wear! i had seen my mom make many sweaters and ponchos for my sisters and i, and i was going to do it! i have a problem where i don’t want to progress slowly; i want to tackle the most difficult thing i can think of AND do it well! this is ironic as we’re talking about knitting! it was difficult and required more time and patience than i realized, but i did get it done and wore it lots!

over the years, knitting fell to the wayside, and it wasn’t until i had children of my own and met madrona during ARROW’s ‘morning garden’ classes that i came back to the handcraft. madrona showed us how to fingerknit one day, and i had never done this: the simplest of all knitting methods! i took to it instantly, and in the following weeks, we made our own needles with her and moved on to making washcloths for ARROW.

needless to say my desire to knit was fierce!! the motor memory of casting on and knitting came back instantly, and it was such a wonderful way to spend time for myself while i had little ones at home. since then, i have been lucky to teach myself new techniques, teach others in formal classes, and most recently to the teachers and my son’s kindergarten class at chase st. elementary. it has been amazing to witness a very intuitive dexterity that a 5 year old can grasp with simple fingerknitting! my own children have been doing it as early as 3 and 4, but not for very long stretches of time.

so, with the upcoming cooler days, i thought it would be nice to pull out some wool and show you the very simple technique of finger knitting, with just one loop of yarn. (there are other ways to fingerknit with more fingers,but this is why i like spool knitting; it’s the same idea, but a lot easier to pick up and put down.) when you choose yarn, children really like to see the colors change as they go, so try picking a “self striping” yarn with varying colorways for fun!

after making a slip knot (see the first youtube video below), place the loop on your left index finger and tighten the slip knot so it’s snug, but not too snug! in our house we use the simple rhyme “once around the back, and off jumps jack”, but you might make up your own to help remember the movements. (see the second you tube video below)

you may notice that you need to tighten the ends of yarn to make it snug again, and you will see a nice simple chain begin to form after a few passes. some will have a loose chain, and others, a very tight chain. this is your tension, and as you fingerknit, you will be able to achieve your desired tension by not pulling so tightly or pulling more tightly.

you may use your fingerknitting for garland, a necklace, a bow for a gift, etc.!
here is a sweet little way to use your fingerknit chain:


- how to make a slip knot:

- how to fingerknit:



homemaking: apple time

this is the second post in our new series about homemaking. this note comes from far away Maine, the beautiful place where the Wienges family now call home. madrona and jacob and their four children were involved with Arrow from the beginning, and Madrona also led our Morning Garden class for parents & children for two years. her influence on some of us is immeasurable. we miss them dearly, but are lucky to have her "with" us today.


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Hello Dear Friends & Families of ARROW,

Rinne has asked me to sprinkle in some blog posts through the next handful of seasons.
I am happy to be back in some form of communication with the dear families of Athens. I miss seeing all of your faces and growing little ones. For now, I look forward to spanning cyber space connecting with y’all here.

With the days of summer now firmly shed, we in New England have been soaking up the crisp golden days of Autumn. Everywhere around us the beauty and bounty of the season bless us with plenty to be thankful for.  One well loved and especially delightful harvest to share with the young children this time of year :: Apples!.   Apples are a lovely fruit and culture to celebrate as a community...or with your family.  As we familiarize our young ones with the local tastes of the season it encourages them to embrace and enjoy where they are in the cycle of the year.

Every Autumn it is a family tradition to make a day trip to an Apple Orchard with my boys. While we were in Georgia, we would wake up early and drive up into the mountains towards Dalohnega.
We would load up baskets, and a picnic and set off for the afternoon soaking up the beautiful day and strolling through the rows of apple trees. It is an endearing task to pick apples straight off the tree. To marvel at the big red fruit against the green and golden leaves.
The food that we create from our hard work is some of the most nourishing and simple foods one could ask for. Apple pie, Apple crisp, Apple cider, dried apples, and one of our favorites...Apple Butter.

Children quickly will decide their favorite variety and it is nice to taste the difference between tart, crisp, sweet, storing and baking apples.

Often if you look around, you will find an orchard that has cider for sale as well...which is nice served warm in the cooler evenings.

There are many finger plays, songs and stories as well as recipes that accompany this time of year. ARROW has also enjoyed hosting the Apple Festival the last two years and will do so again this year!

In our home a family favorite recipe for our apples is Apple Butter. It fills the home with the scent of warm cinnamon and cloves.  Wonderful on biscuits, toast,   oatmeal, or can be  shared  as a homemade gift. It is a personal joy to pull some out  of the pantry in late February and recall the autumn day in the orchard.

Apple Butter - No Sugar Added
3 litres / 3 quarts of apples (about 10-12 medium sized apple)
6 cups of apple cider or unsweetened apple juice (reduced to about 3 cups)
1 tablespoon arrowroot powder (or sodium bicarbonate)
1 tablespoon of cinnamon
1 teaspoon cardamom
fresh ground nutmeg
pinch of ground cloves

As with many things in the kitchen this is an activity to include little helpers ... especially chopping.
Before chopping apples, pour apple cider/juice in a large saucepan with arrowroot powder, whisk to combine. Put on medium heat and bring to a boil. Continue to boil until the apple cider has reduced to half. The reduction of the apple cider adds an extra sweetness to the apple butter.

While the cider/juice is boiling, chop the apples.. you can leave the cores intact as they add extra pectin. Also leave  the skins on they will be discarded when you puree the apple butter.

Toss the chopped apples into your slow cooker and sprinkle with spices.

Pour in apple cider or apple juice. Cover, put on low heat in slow cooker for 12ish hours or overnight.

Puree the apple butter with a hand mill. This is a fun task for little eager helpers. If it is still a bit runny, keep it at a low temperature and cover again, leaving the lid slightly ajar. You could also reduce the liquid by bringing the apple butter to a slight boil in a pot. Using a sweeter variety of apples will yield a sweeter result. Maple syrup or honey can be added to taste if you like super sweet, but honestly, I think the apple butter is great without the added sugars. Especially if you are going to be using it in recipes or eating on toast.

A sweet little poem that is fun to share with gestures...

“ Now we come to the Orchard.
 Apples shine in the sun.
We pick juicy apples and eat them
mmmmm yummm

Now we gather the apples
and bring them to Mother
She stirs them and stirs them.
Its Apple Butter!”

I will leave you with with a favorite little story that I love to share with the younger ones this time of year.  I keep an apple and little knife by my side for the ending. When the story is finished. Slice the apple through the center and open the two halves to show the children. In the center you will find the seedlings star. Be sure to slice it with the stem on top. :)

The Little Red House with No Windows and No Doors and a Star Inside
There once was a boy who was tired of playing with his toys. So he went to his Mother “Mother, What shall I do now?” he sighed. His Mother answered “I know of a little red house with no windows and no doors and a star inside. Why don’t you go out and see if you can find it”.
The boy went outside and began walking and there he came across a little girl.
“Do you know where I can find a little red house with no windows and no doors and a star inside” he asked.
“Why I’ve never heard of such a thing” she exclaimed. “But go ask my father. He is a farmer and knows lots of things”. The girl pointed to the field behind her farmhouse.
The boy walked through the rows of corn and when he reached the farmer he said “Do you know where I can find a red house with no windows and no doors and a star inside”?
The farmer raised his brow, “why I’ve never heard of such a thing” he replied.  “Go up the hill to Grandmothers house. She has lived a long time and may know the answer”.
The boy climbed up the hill and saw Grandmother sitting on her porch.
“My mother told me to look for a red house with no windows, no doors and a star inside”.
Grandma crinkled her brow. “Why I’ve never heard of such a thing” she answered. “But the wind has been around a very long time, it goes everywhere and has seen just about everything”.
The little boy went outside and he asked the wind. “ Do you know where I can find a little red house, with no windows and no doors and a star inside?”
And the wind said...”OHHHH! OOOOOOOO!” And it sounded to the little boy as if the wind said. “Come with me.” So the little boy ran after the wind. He ran through the grass and into the orchard, and there on the ground he found just the thing! A little round house.- the little round house, with no windows, no doors and a star inside. He picked it up and it filled both of his hands
The boy ran all the way home with the apple in his hands.
“Mom!  Mom! This apple looks like a little red house with no doors and no windows, but where is the star?”

So this is what his Mother did. (cut the apple across the middle from side to side
The boy’s mother took the apple and cut it in half (Take an apple and cut it from side to side not  top to bottom)
“ Now I see the Star!”
Do you?

Many blessings,




a new series: on homemaking

we are beginning a new series today that focuses on homemaking.

we have asked some of the families at arrow to share different parts of their family life, in hopes that their experiences will inspire you in some way.

in preparation for these occasional posts, we thought we would share a video that a few of us have passed back and forth over the years...amanda first shared it with me.

but first, a little history...
when arrow first began four years ago, we had a regular group of families who gathered with their children a morning or two a week, with a goal of the parents doing some sort of handwork while the children played together. we fully admit that sometimes our knitting projects lay in a pile while our attention was more focused toward the littles, but *sometimes* there were moments when we would look around the room and the children would be playing happily and we were able to be involved with our handwork, be it knitting or something similar. those moments were special. to see the children happy was most important, but to have that time with the other parents (mamas & papas too) was an unexpected side-effect. we now reminisce about it, as those early children have now grown older and graduated from arrow, but it is a deeply cherished memory for me, one of many on my own winding path of motherhood.

here is the video of renate hiller speaking about the importance of handwork...and we will share some more thoughts soon...



come together

come together:fall

we had another great day with the creative folks from Athica, Georgia Museum of Art, and Treehouse kid&craft at our third Come Together event! each organization desinged an activity for different age groups based on the theme of "vessels". arrow led the 1 to 3 year olds and used glue and tissue paper to make bowls, using an inflated balloon as the base. then, treehouse brought yarn, glue and tin cans- the 4 to 6 year old children wound the yard around the cans covering them in multi-colored lines. GMOA had clay and jewels for the 7 to 10 year olds to make their own bejeweled cups with, in honor of their new catherine the great exhibit, and athica had ingredients for carving stamps and making books for the older kids, although all the ages mingled with all the different crafts- a sure sign of fun! thank you, everyone!


arrow explores

arrow explores: with wild intelligence

we had another fun-filled day of exploring recently, this time with the folks from wild intelligence. sarah, jason, and ann came to arrow to lead us on an urban hike. we gathered into a circle out back, in the arrow garden.

sarah set the tone for our morning by describing a story from the book, tom brown's field guide to the forgotten wilderness...then, we meandered up the sidewalk and over to our next batch of greenspace, the grounds of the historic camak house across the street.

underneath the tall oaks, the children and adults all played simple games that taught us awareness and agility. then, we began our scavenger hunt...some things were realtively easy,

but some things were harder like the snail's trail- but, alas, we found one on a large stump!

it was great to watch everyone looking for these things, while the street traffic could be heard in the distance and as the UGA football tailgaters were walking by.

next, we crossed the large intersection at prince and pulaski to make our way to our last stop, the backyard garden and stream a few houses down.

we walked in the stream and found animal tracks...a racoon maybe?

then, we made a 'nest' and a few of us pretended to be hawks looking for each other. we ended the day by creating a large web out of yarn that we passed amongst each other as we recounted our favorite parts of the morning.

we will definitely rendezvous with wild intelligence again...this was a very special morning!

arrow explores: rinne's studio

for the second field trip in the arrow explores series, the arrow families went to make light drawings in the backyard studio of rinne allen, a photographer here in athens, who also is a co-founder of arrow.

the children and parents circled 'round a low table and watched as rinne showed them some examples of light drawings... of snakeskins, flowers, and lace. then, they wandered around the garden and collected specimens for their own light drawings: fig leaves, daisies, ferns, and other greenery. each of them made 2-3 prints each and they all turned out really well!

at the end of the day, each child got another stamp in their arrow passport...

little circus

last week in the seedlings classroom, it was a circus!

there were clown feet, colorful wigs, and hula hoops. a flea circus even came to town! the littles sat 'round as keara and her fleas performed! bette serenaded everyone on the guitar, and there were smiles everywhere.

for the summer, some of the original Arrow children have returned (they are now 5 years old!) and the mix of ages has been really special.

wow, we are in the middle of our fourth year...hard to believe!
thanks, everyone, for all the fun and special moments!

and, what a surprise when a lion came home, instead of my child!


we explore Ike & Jane cafe & bakery!

we recently launched a new program here at Arrow, called "Arrow Explores...". Through it we will be visiting local places of interest to do fun and unusual things....like mini field trips. To kick-off this series, we visited Ike & Jane Cafe & Bakery. We started things off with a great behind-the scenes tour from owner, Corie. She even let us all take a turn at rolling out dough! We got to decorate donut-shaped cookies, take home any leftovers in oven-shaped boxes & we all received our first stamp in our Arrow passports....it was a great trip. Thanks to Corie & Ike & Jane staff for hosting us, we had a great time!

We can't wait for our next trip! Stay tuned for details..... 

we love our mamas!

we talked a lot this week about all the things that make our moms special and what our favorite activities are to share with our moms.....we heard about some of the sweetest little moments and came up with a way to share and preserve those moments for years to come....a little time capsule if you will....here's a peek....

and some of our little ones helped make their moms these cute little pompom flowers....we wish all you special moms a happy mothers' day!

come Together, part deux....revisited

we had such a great time at our 2nd quarterly Come Together collaborative educational event on Cinco de Mayo hosted at TREEHOUSE Kid+Craft. the rain didn't damper the festivities & a fun time was had by kids of all ages as they wandered to each organization's art activity stations. Little ones were introduced to making painted scarves, hand-crafted fabric covered journals, Russian nesting dolls, & the art of shadow play at our shadow puppet theatre. thanks to everyone that came out in the rain to celebrate with us as well as our other participating partners in art, the Georgia Museum of Art, ATHICA, & TREEHOUSE Kid+Craft. 


making seed balls...

seed balls are pretty fascinating little natural wonders...we made some recently at our Spring Garden Party using the recipe below, and now after all this rain, we expect wild flowers to be blooming soon...

{ recipe }

2 parts potting soil
5 parts pottery clay mix (ours was donated by r.wood pottery, but you can purchase from your local art supply store)
1-2 parts water
1-2 parts seeds of your choice
large tub to mix ingredients
large box to dry and store seed balls

{ how to }

mix the soil, clay and 1 part water thoroughly. There should be no lumps. slowly add more water until the mixture is the consistency of the toy store molding clay that comes in a can.

add seeds. keep kneading the dough until the seeds are well mixed in. add more water if necessary.
take small bits of the clay mixture and roll into ball about one inch in diameter. the balls should hold together easily. if they’re crumbly, add more water.

dry seed balls for 24-48 hours in a shady place before sowing or storing. they store best in a cardboard box. do not use plastic bags.

the last step is sowing them. yes, you can place the carefully over the area to be planted or you can gently toss them one at a time which is a lot more fun. don’t bury them and don’t water them, simply let Mother Nature do her job.
or if you prefer not to make a batch yourself, we packaged ours in little packs of 2 that are available for purchase for $1...they make great little gift toppers or party favors...