Sunday, April 22, 2012

filling the weekend

This weekend we were supposed to be welcoming a childhood friend of mine and her son to stay for a week long visit. Sadly her little boy got sick at the last moment and had to cancel (or rather postpone...I just heard as I write this that she's coming tomorrow!) So, we have had to fill our weekend doing other things: 
 we walked in the woods
 loving the purple of the bluebells
 peace and fresh air

 a small bit of dressing up.

I also have been crafting. I'm working on a very special doll for a very special person right now, but I can't show it to you until late May because I don't want to spoil the surprise...

But I will share these...
 Library bags :-)
 We are really enjoying visiting our local library at the moment and the kids have been asking for special library bags. I made these for them complete with pockets to hold their library cards (oh they are so proud to have the responsibility of their own cards!)

 I have also been thinking about teaching doll making online some how. I am going to have a trial run and show how to make a doll like this using these things:
I am going to have a free craft along for 15 people through my Facebook Under Rainbows pop over and Like me if you haven't yet.
Hope you are having a good I'm off to prepare for my friend arriving tomorrow after all :-)

Friday, April 20, 2012

Waldorf doll class

Today I am so proud. 
Today I helped a mama make her son a Waldorf doll for his first Birthday present.
Bronwen arrived this morning with her son, mum and 4 of her brothers and sisters. We spent a really wonderful day chatting, eating cake and soup, the kids played and went for a walk in the woods and us mama's worked our socks off:

Bronwen had never made a Waldorf doll before and described her ability level as 'beginner, but lucky'. It was so great to watch the doll take shape in her hands.

 As soon as the skin was over the head you could really see that she was making the doll in the image of her son. I have been thinking of this since and I think it is because of this: while Bronwen was making her doll, she was looking for the perfect proportions, shape and positioning of the features...and of course to Bronwen the image of perfection is her son. So it is only natural that the doll she made looked like her son, the image of perfection to her.
 What was even more special was how completely drawn Jonah was to his doll. Before the doll even had hair or a body he loved it! He was kissing and cooing to it and all our hearts just melted!
 We had a break for lunch with 12 of us around the table. It was a lovely meal and refuelled us for the afternoon. The kids all went off for walks or to bed for a nap and granny knitted the doll his wig while Bronwen sewed the body and head together, before finally stitching his wig to his head and blushing his cheeks with a little red wax.
And here he is:

 Isn't he completely wonderful!! Bursting with joy and fun and enthusiasm and above all love!
 We didn't have time to make him any clothes, but he borrowed some from our doll's dressing up box.
 He's called Arthur and I just know he is going to be loved and become part of the family as much as his uncle's doll Finnian. (Finnian- the doll on the left- was one of the very first dolls I made a little over a year ago, and as you can see he is very well loved!)

 We all felt a wonderful sense of achievement in the end, I only wish I'd had a bottle of bubbly to crack open, it was one of those kinds of occasions :-)
I know that these two are going to be very firm friends :-)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

potions: pretend and real

An activity that my kids love to do and beg for all the time is something they call 'potions'. I give them (when Joa is not around) some bowls and spoons and various non-toxic things to mix into potions. I keep it cheap using things like water coloured with food colouring, washing up liquid and vinegar and bicarb of soda to get a proper experiment fizz.

They love this, and would spend hours at it: mixing and watching things change, colour texture, smell.

However, I did find my utility room stank like a chip shop this morning as I had just thrown all our vinegar-soaked wipe up cloths in a pile in there...oh well, never mind.

Today we made a real potion. Rebe has had a wee cough for the past couple of days so we are trying out a cough remedy recipe, and the main ingredients is:

daisies :-)

We followed the instructions given in a wonderful article in JUNO this Spring edition:carefully mixing together daisy-infused water, sugar and a few spices to make this 'Dasy cof mensun'.

I'll let you know if it works :-)

Our experimenting hasn't stopped there today. Look what we tried out making for tea: Lorry egg on toast :-)

Yummy...Joa was delighted with his 'lo lo' dinner!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Buddies ~ Rainbows, eggs and little red riding hood

***In September 2011 6 families got together and started Buddies Home School. Each week we meet in each other's home and follow a simple rhythm: movement and music, craft/ baking, snack time, free play and story time. Each part of the session is led by a different family. We are sharing this week's session with you here...***

It was so good to be back together this week. Although we did meet twice over the Easter break it was lovely to slip back into our old rhythm.
Roisin started our session with music. We sang about rainbows and talked about rainbows and danced like rainbows.
Did you know that the ingredients for rainbows are: rain, sunshine and eggs?!

For our craft activity we painted hard boiled eggs.
The kids helped to mix the colours of the rainbow. In fact I think the mixing and swirling the colours was what they enjoyed the most.

Little S had her first experience painting :-)

They really worked so peacefully and happily next to each other, we had to gently move them on to washing up, snack and free play. The mummies managed to get a bit of planning done for the coming few weeks between setting the world to rights.

For our story this week we acted out Little Red Riding Hood. I adapted it a little because I didn't want to bring too much violence into the group, so we changed the eating of grandma and little red riding hood and the killing of the wolf.

Once upon a time Little Red Riding Hood's mother asked her to take a basket of food to her grandma who was sick in bed. Her mother told her not to go through the woods in case the big bad wolf was there.
So good Little Red Riding Hood walked the long way round singing to herself that she was visiting her Grandma.

Poor grandma was in bed wearing her nightie and night cap when there was a knock at the door.

In sprang the bad wolf who had over heard Little Red Riding Hood's song and raced to grandma's house. He bundled poor grandma into the cupboard and disguised himself as grandma wearing her nightie, nightcap and climbing into her bed waiting for Little Red Riding Hood.

(Yes it's true I have no shame lol!)
Little Red Riding Hood arrived at Grandma's house and went in.
She said: 'Grandma, what big eyes you have!'
'Yes my dear' replied the wolf, 'all the better to see you with!'
'Grandma, what big ears you have!'...'All the better to hear you with, my dear!'
'Grandma, what big teeth you have!'...'Yes my dear all the better to eat you with!' roared the wolf as he leaped at Little Red Riding Hood.
Luckily a worker was passing grandma's house and heard what was going in and rushed in.
He bundled the wolf out of the door and the wolf was never seen again. Little Red Riding Hood helped grandma out of the cupboard and back into bed,

and they all lived happily ever after!

Yay and applause :-)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

spring cleaning

The Easter break is over and Rebe is back at school. We miss her for the 4 hours she's away, but the boys and I are not sitting twiddling our thumbs, oh no, we have been busy!

Baking in the mornings to have something good and rewarding to nibble on during our elevenses.

Banana bread yesterday and gingerbread today.

We've been picking our first salad of the year from the green house; lettuce, rocket, spinach and radish. Oh so tender and delicious!

I finally bought us an A4 sketch pad to start a nature diary. It lives on our nature table and we log anything we fancy in it,

The weather, things we have spotted, pressed plants, observations, dates we planted things and so on. I would love to keep this up all year round as it would be so interesting to compare year to year how the natural world around us ebbs and changes with the seasons.

I want to introduce you to the newest member of our family, my new baby:

As yet nameless, but isn't she a beaut?! I am so delighted, I have been working on a borrowed machine for (oops) more than a year and I finally found a machine I liked and wanted, and my dear parents got it for me as a very early birthday present. I wanted a work horse; nothing fancy with electrics and lots of switches and knobs to it. I finally found this website, and they were brilliant, I rang the office up and gave them my list of requirements (straight and zig zag stitch, very hard wearing, a light and NOTHING ELSE) and the lovely lady on the other end recommended me 2 machines they had in stock. They delivered to Ireland for a very reasonable rate, it is serviced and has a year long guarantee. I am so delighted with it and so far it is working beautifully :-)

To match my new machine, I decided that our bedroom (where I sew) needed a good tidy up,

lots of hair yarn, buttons, notions

fabrics, all organised (ish)

threads and needles drawer

a little bit of my yarn stash

My spring cleaning has spread throughout the whole house. I feel very energised at the moment and have been working hard to catch up on a couple of years worth of sleep deprived non-cleaning.

This is one of the last pieces of cowboy fabric given to us by Nicole. It was too cool to cut into and I just couldn't think what to do with it. Then I remembered that one of my favourite ladies uses lovely fabrics in embroidery hoops to decorate her home so I stole the idea and we made Benny a cowboy picture for above his bed.

He is so pleased with it and it was so simple and easy to do. I am thinking I might get some more hoops and make more :-)

I still have a lot of cleaning to do, but I am defenitely in the midst of a spring clean and it feels really good (but I am guessing my period is a few days away because I always have this big need to 'clear the decks' a few days before)...still I'll take advantage of the hormonal cleaning tide.

I'll leave you with a picture of my latest custom order that I finished:

Her momma called her Lily :-)
hugs x