Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Day 1 - Creative Handmade Christmas

Whoops already a day late with my self-imposed posts ......

I have decided to record our run up to Christmas this year with a post a day.  We create a lot in our house and I thought it would be lovely to have a visual reminder of all those things.

The first three cards were made by Maia:


 
 
Following on with two made by Cassia:
 

I love the fact that on the back they wrote 'Card - made by Maia/Cassia'!

And me?  Well I did some baking, with the able assistance of my two little helpers - Christmas Cookies.  The recipe was from a free magazine I picked up from M&S.  It uses one of their blend of spices - which is absolutely delicious.  It contains cinnamon, ginger, juniper berries, nutmeg, black pepper and clementine oil in a sugar base.  It was Christmas in a jar!


The result?  The recipe included dried fruits and said to cut using cookie cutters but I found that hard because the fruit didn't cut neatly so our stars are somewhat messy.  Messy they may be and a little overcooked (my oven seems to be running hot somewhat) but they taste wonderful.  First of many recipes to be tried this year.  We are on the hunt for the ultimate gingerbread/spice cookie recipe!




Tuesday, 11 November 2014

It's all about the crochet ......

A few days ago I picked up a leaflet regarding The Remembering Tree 2014.  
We saw it last year and it was beautiful.
This year they want 1500 squares - half made in Africa and half made in the UK.
I got straight onto it - Afghan squares made up to 8".  
8 made up so far but there's still time to get a few more done.  
The tree will be yarn bombed in Stratford upon Avon on 01 December and we plan to be there!


The tree on Waterside in Stratford 2013



Then some little squares materialised.  



They were to initially earmarked for an Afghan Square Christmas Stocking but that plan got re-prioritised to a bunny's jacket!


All ready to be sent off overseas.


I picked up this book at the local library at the weekend and say and looked through it last night.  
Oh my, the creations are adorable!
I left the book on the dining table overnight and my early morning riser daughter had seen it, looked through it and marked all the ones she would like made before I even surfaced.  
She was kind enough to write me a list - 3 in fact.  Additions, deletions and top priorities came into play :)
Not wanting to be left out here sister, a later riser, also took great pleasure in compiling lists for me.
The little animals are variously to be toys or pets for my daughters' toys!  
The list specifies who each crocheted animal is for and they have even been named.
Here's hoping that I actually enjoy making these little animals otherwise there will be two disappointed girls and many more disappointed toys!


And then finally something ready to be sent.  
Of course, it is a crocheted something inside and it needed a little crocheted bow.
All ready for a long trip to New Zealand.






Wednesday, 24 September 2014

A child free day ....

 
A child free day is a rarity in these parts and I am amazed at how much I got done today!
 
My next series of workshops are starting again tonight so I though I had better do some revision myself.
 
- a lined zipped purse
 

- that was started and finished in one sitting!

 
Binding for my quilt cut and stitched and ironed ...

 
Orange zest and juice ready to put into the carrot and orange soup ...

 
Binding stitched on and hand sewing commenced ...


 
A gluten free and dairy free cake for the ladies who are coming tonight - although I had to try it beforehand. 
Well you can't give something to people to eat without knowing it tastes OK first can you?

 
Also included in the day:
 
washing and ironing - but no need for photos of these eh?
rice pudding made - and now eaten
some computer bits and bobs
two coffees - drunk whilst hot
and started to read new library book on juicing.
 
And the most amazing of all? 
A clear lounge carpet ALL DAY LONG!!!!


Friday, 19 September 2014

The changing of the seasons .....

Last year was the first full autumn the girls had spent in the UK, whilst old enough to remember.  They had a ball but are looking forward to it EVEN more this year because they know what the events are and they know the people who will be at them better.  The anticipation of known, and loved, events seems to eclipse first time events for the children.

On our list of autumnal activities:

Birthdays
Miss M's 10th birthday - done :)

Miss C's 8th birthday - coming up soon


A bit of handmade love for Miss C's 7th birthday x
 
The Mop
Wow!!  They had never seen anything like it.  I remember how much I enjoyed this event as a child so it was just wonderful to take my own.

Miss C and her Dad on the dodgems

Hallowe'en
This is so much better in the UK because it's dark.  It's a simple as that really:

dark = spooky + candles + sparklers + lighted pumpkins

Plus the enjoyment of a wonderful party organised by some local home ed families and now friends for a spectacularly spooky evening!


The witch and her familiar

Bonfire Night
The girls had never been to one before.
They had never seen fireworks before.
Some people last year were gobsmacked that children aged 7 and 9 had been so deprived!  But again these things only really work if it's dark.  Oh and then there were the toffee apples ..... can't really say that they only work in the dark but the girls had never one of these either (maybe they are deprived!).


First ever sparkler!
 
And of course you can not forget the glorious autumn colours that England does sooo well or the humble conker (of which we had 100s) x
 


Sunday, 14 September 2014

Our three day weekend ....

 
Started with a trip to their music lesson with Miss Singsong
 
on a scooter
 
a trike
 
and a giraffe - of course!
 
Cutting, drying and stripping lavender
 
followed by a lavender tea.
   
 Meditative colouring with new birthday presents

and designing your own thank you cards!
 
Being 10 means you make and write your own thank you cards!
 
They look so beautiful - I have kept one for myself and intend to re-interpret it in stitch and in fabric. 
Looking forward to seeing how it works.
 
Looking at Miss C's desk this morning I found this.  She had been working on it yesterday and I hadn't noticed!
 
When I looked closer, I realised that she had chosen the same colours in the crayons and paints. 
Not sure if she has finished yet so will leave it there for a bit longer.
 
Making curtains kept me busy ...

followed by some sorting out. 
The first box I chose was labelled "BROWN + FAWN". 
Perfect colours and textures for autumn ...
 
 and they inspired me to make an autumnal heart brooch!
 
 
 Solo baking by Miss M - chocolate kisses with raspberry cream - delicious!
 
Hope you had a great weekend. x


 

Friday, 12 September 2014

A week of celebrations Part 2 ...

It's not every week your eldest turns 10!  It's brought up some strange feelings in me and some very grown up feelings in Miss M.

- Where have the 10 years gone?
- Will the next 10 go so quickly?
- If so will I be ready for the inevitable separation?
- If my eldest is 10 that must mean that I am getting older too ...

Aside from that, we had a brilliant day.  Miss M also shares her birthday with Green, a (not surprisingly) green toy rabbit, who turned 8 and Nutmeg, a toy horse, who has been with us for 1 year!  There was a host of preparations for their birthdays, including presents, games, a magic show and a paper airplane display.

Fishing game, complete with octopus (made from dried glue!)
A selection of presents, both handmade and thrifted
The magician practising her routine
Fantastic book form which the airplanes were made - and they really flew

And no self respecting plane show can go ahead without a schedule!
Then onto the human's celebrations - present opening followed by breakfast at Hoorays.  This is an ice cream parlour and was the birthday girl's breakfast of choice ...


And she thought it was a great choice - waffles with ice cream, cream and M&Ms - good job it is only her birthday once a year!   Luckily if gave boundless energy for the kayaking course they started that afternoon.

Whoops - a little bang right at the beginning

Birthday girl in the orange kayak

And onto the river ....
Another home ed family had done a course in the holidays and organised a 5 week Home Ed Paddle Power course.  It was perfect that it started on Miss M's birthday and all the children thoroughly enjoyed it.  The weather was glorious, the progressed from the 2ft deep lagoon to the river in the first session and then they had popcorn, crisps and the obligatory cake!!! x