Wednesday, November 28, 2012

love in stitch form...

I got a really wonderful, gorgeous, lovely happy package today. In it was the most beautiful cardi knitted for me by my lovely friend Melissa, who blogs over here and sells the sweetest gnomes and gorgeous hand spun yarn here
I love how soft and warm it is. There is gorgeous movement and the shape is so cool!
The buttons are completely perfect and so beautiful.
(It's not easy taking pictures of myself, so I thought I'd give you a full frontal using the mirror...but realised it's so dirty you can hardly make me out lol....then I thought I'd be honest and at least show you anyway.)

But that was not all in our parcel, there were some of her lovely gnomes that I had commissioned and didn't get around to photographing yet. But inside was also a very special gift for Benny...
 At first he didn't believe it was really for him...
 and was so happy when I told him he really could keep the armadillo, and for more than 'loads of days and loads of nights', in fact forever.
 He named him Sandy,
 and the pair are inseparable.

Thank you Melissa and I am really looking forward to making your family a baby doll in exchange for all this wonderful love in stitch form :-)

Buddies ~ preparing for advent

***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...***

We didn't do much singing this morning, this was partly due to our 'song person' not being able to make it and party due to Roisin's wonderful nespresso machine ;-)

So after our welcome song we quickly moved onto the craft organised by Zoe.


We warmed half sheets of bees wax with hair dryers
then carefully rolled them into candles. Four for each family, one to mark each Sunday in advent.

 The children made advent rings, and candle holders and stars to hold their candles, out of air drying clay.

 The activity worked beautifully and the kitchen and our hands all smelt so deliciously of beeswax.
After snack and free play we gathered the Buddies together again for our story.

Flo told and she and I acted out the story of St Nicholas when he was a young boy.
 How he used to leave gifts for children and would hide to watch the joy on their faces...
 We went on to tell of another story about him as an older man and how he would gift enough money to a poor merchants family each year to allow him to keep his family together. It was lovely and the kids enjoyed it, and I always love learning the stories behind traditions that we follow and celebrate.

We ended with a very loudly accompanied Goodbye song :-)

Monday, November 26, 2012

I'd like you to meet...

the very first Under Rainbows dollhouse family:

There is Mr and Mrs...

they recently had a wee baby...
oh how mama loves her baby, he's so snuggly :-)

This baby has an older brother and sister...

this is brother, he loves green...
and this is sister...

I am so excited about this family who are about to go on sale in my shop.
I have a number of friends who come from or are in mixed race families and find it so hard to find dollhouse dolls/ dolls in general that reflect their own family. This is one of the things that is so wonderful about handmade dolls :-) There are so many different 'types' of families out there, there should be dolls to reflect that:  dollhouse families with 2 mama's or 2 daddy's. Dollhouse families with only one parent, blended families, multi-ethnic, mixed race...

I know over the years I will certainly be making more dollhouse dolls :-)

Sunday, November 25, 2012


 My daughter is a gift...she made us all pancakes on Saturday morning :-)
 My son Benny is a gift... he can become a robot using only sellotape :-)
 My son Joa is a gift....he's simply Joa :-)
 drawing is a gift... tribes of people
 (made slightly more difficult with completely sellotaped hands)

 of course one has chicken pox
 baking together is a gift....
 of course one has chicken pox
 the gift of finding my nose and his forehead fit like a jigsaw...perfect.
 A gift of 'armadillo gloves' from Rebe for Benny

About a month ago as part of my counselling and 'Laura' journey I wrote this poem...

I have a shield in my chest
solid heavy hammered
into it's thick smooth shape
of pewter or of lead

I found it quite by accident 
last Tuesday
when I was looking for something

I don't know where it came from
I think perhaps I borrowed it
or stole it
or even made it myself

I have it to protect me
to stop pain from piercing
only it doesn't work like that

Andy took the kids to the school bazaar today and Rebe picked this out for me and bought it with her pocket money...
 a gift from her
it's as if she knew

Friday, November 23, 2012

from field to cake

A very lovely friend of mine gave us some space in one of her fields this year to grow some veg. It has been a really great process for us and we have  loved growing some of our own veggies. Especially carrots! The kids all love carrots and I have very selflessly worked my way through about 5 carrot cake recipes until I have found just the right one. Be sure that I have tested each recipe a good couple of times each and I will now share with you the winning one.

Carrot Cake
250g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarb of soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 beaten egg
100ml water
1 tbsp runny honey
100g soft brown sugar
300g finely grated carrot
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 tablespoons corn (or sunflower) oil
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup mixed seeds
1/2 cup crushed almonds

icing: 50g light cream cheese, 100g icing sugar, 1/2 tsp orange juice

To make:

 dig up carrots
 set small boy to work scrubbing them. peel and grate
 Mix together all the wet ingredients and sugar (in the past I have doubled the honey and halved the sugar)
Mix together the flour, salt, cinnamon, bicarb of soda and baking powder. Mix into the wet ingredients.

Rebe doesn't like raisins or nuts so at this point I spoon some of the mixture into little muffin cases.
 Then I crush the almonds
 and employ a mixer:

lick bowl and spoon

 Bake in a cake pan in a pre heated oven at 190 degrees for 40 mins or until it is well risen and you can do the skewer test., this is always best done under close supervision.

 Allow to cool then cover with icing (again I have substituted sugar for honey in the past)
 best enjoyed with a cup of coffee and in peace and quiet... or when just home from school...
Enjoy :-)