When The Midnight Elves get together to craft for our school, the Motueka Rudolf Steiner School, we have a great time. We love creating gorgeous toys, learning new crafting techniques, and handling the beautiful natural materials. It feels good to be contributing funds to support our school, our children, and our teachers. But the icing on the cake is the people who come to our crafting group. We get to know each other well and serve as a huge support for each other and have loads of fun together. The Midnight Elves is a very important avenue for knitting together our community (pardon the expression).
For those of you who are too far away to join us on Wednesday mornings to craft, or who haven’t made it yet, we would like to introduce you to some of the members of The Midnight Elves. Perhaps they can give you a bit of an insight into the Motueka Rudolf Steiner School community and what we have to offer, and share a bit about what inspires them with crafting.
Last year we were blessed to have an overseas family from Austria join us in our school community. Eva, the mother, came to The Midnight Elves right away, and got stuck in. One of our most prolific crafters, she contributed numerous hours stitching toys for us. Not only is she quick, she produces beautiful, neat, and creative work. And she might even get the award for exceptional attendance of weekly Midnight Elves crafting sessions!
Sadly for us, Eva and her family recently returned to Austria. They are certainly missed, and we’ll keep fingers crossed that they can be enticed to come back for another visit. (The door is always open, guys!)
Let’s have an interview with Eva to get her thoughts about her time here with us.
The Midnight Elves: “Hi Eva, what brought you and your family here to the Motueka Rudolf Steiner School?”
Eva: “We wanted to have a time-out of that stressful lives we had in Europe. Everything’s fast and demanding, even things that shouldn’t be, like education. Since we always dreamed of staying in New Zealand for longer than a short holiday, it was clear that our kids would come with us, so we started looking for a school: There are just a few without a long waiting list and Motueka was our choice because of the beautiful surrounding landscape.”
The Midnight Elves: “Is there a crafting group in your children’s Steiner School in Austria? If so, is it similar to our crafting group?”
Eva: “There are some people at the kindergarten and school who make dolls, clothes and little things to sell on fairs, but no official crafting group… yet :). For the next schoolyear some friends of mine and I will start a weekly session for everybody to join. Your crafting group in Motueka is a real treat not only for one’s skills but its nourishing the soul. We’re taking up that challenge and will do our best to be a heart to our community as the Midnight Elves are at the Motueka RSS community.”
The Midnight Elves: “What are your impressions about our school and our community?”
Eva: “The school building is a unique place filled with life and flute play; the school as a sum of people who teach and learn has become a precious spot in our memory, a picture in our minds of life how it also can be – quiet, slow, enjoyable. The community breathes through every person that takes part in school events, it’s strong and aware of it’s strengths. I hope that the dream of the new campus comes true for you soon, it’s a goal that everybody works towards (and I’m sure it will be worth it).”
The Midnight Elves: “What do you value about The Midnight Elves?”
Eva: “Every elf has special skills and brings them in at group meetings. I haven’t had much experience with felt and within a year I learned a lot about wet felting, needle felting and making felt toys. From my first fox to the last dragon I always felt backed up by the group and able to learn more with each animal. I loved the talks and the cuppa tea (thanks Sarah).”
The Midnight Elves: “We heard that until you came to New Zealand, you hadn’t done any crafting since you were in school. What inspired you to start again and what inspires you to continue?”
Eva:“I attended a commercial high school and as years went by there, lost every thought on crafting completely. When education goes a very narrow specialist path like that there’s no room for handwork (which is a pity). Only since my elder daughter Anna was schooled in the Rudolf Steiner School Salzburg I got in touch with the idea again. I actually made some little dolls with a friend but it was the Midnight Elves that inspired me that it’s paramount to continue.”
The Midnight Elves: “How does crafting nourish you?”
Eva: “At Motueka, I very much enjoyed sitting still, crafting while everybody was chatting over her tea. I liked that it felt like family, providing a very pleasant environment to drop the stress and pick up the zest for life again.”
The Midnight Elves: “After your year’s experience with us, do you have any advice for an overseas family wishing to come join our school?”
Eva: “Everybody should do this once in a lifetime. It’s a precious experience, we’ve learned a lot about ourselves, our kids and grew together more as a family. If there’s a place you should go, it’s definitely New Zealand and if you’re looking for a strong community and the loveliest crafting group there is, you have to go to Motueka.”
Eva, thank you for taking the time to share a bit about yourself with us. We hope you’re settling in nicely back in Austria, and know that you are missed. Wednesday mornings just aren’t the same without your smiling face and your soup mug of herbal tea!