Tuesday, October 29, 2013

loads a kids, loads a dogs...

... him, me and the beach...

What a wonderful afternoon we had: running, playing fetch, digging, building sand castles, picnic in a wolf's cave, falling into rock pools, finding caterpillars, chatting, making dams, smiling, having fun until dark :-)

Monday, October 28, 2013


Autumn has definitely arrived here in the last few days. It is windy and cold but still beautiful in its own right.
The wind has blown the leaves from the trees and the gorgeous colours of autumn are now more under foot than hanging above our heads. Although the woods are so close to us (this picture is taken from the back garden) the kids still prefer the beach, 
 for fishing,
 and digging,
 and imaginative play.
Indoors the heating is often on and the smell of apple pie and soup is common. The kids have been very happy playing together, the three of them. Often quite funny games that I enjoy over hearing. Benny and Rebe have played an elaborate game of goodies and baddies for two days now and their 'people' are felt tip pens. It does make me giggle!
 I've been doll making and knitting.
 I'm knitting myself a warm sweater with this beautiful hand spun yarn.
 The work table has come back in from the garden and the kids spend a lot of time painting here.
 The green house is put to bed under a blanket of cardboard and sea weed
 the very last tomatoes are ripening,

and this troublesome family of mice have built their home in one of the bedrooms (gosh I hope they clean it all up before the kids try to go to bed!)

Last week was so lovely, I went away with Garry (who is him) to his brother's wedding in Co Kildare. We went for 2 nights and the kids stayed with their dad. It was the longest I have been away from them, but I just allowed myself to be completely me and immerse myself in the experience instead of feeling worried or guilty about it. I wore the dress that I had made and we drank and danced and celebrated until the wee hours of the morning. It was a very special and lovely time and has left me with a very warm glow :-)

Hope autumn is being good to you too x

Saturday, October 19, 2013

a day of...


 ...painting [on] the floor

...making Halloween costumes
...Rebe's brilliant costume, she designed and made it herself (with dribs and drabs of help) she's a black eagle :-)

...and re-knitting (I had to tear this hat out twice to get the size right)
It was also a day for trying to make our own hot air balloon (very unsuccessfully), baking apple crumble, biking to the shop, playing on the beach...

...and wearing switswoo shoes.

Hope you had a good Saturday too :-)

Friday, October 18, 2013


Thank you to everyone who entered the 3 year of Under Rainbows giveaway, thank you for all your lovely words of support and encouragement! And now without further ado, the winner, chosen by random number generator is......
Isn't she lovely! Oh I would love to see my little girl's face if she came to live with us! Have shared and pinned :) I was a blog follower but haven't found a replacement for reader, but follow you on facebook :

Would you please email me as soon as possible and we can her shipped out to you and your little girl :-)

hugs Laura x

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

duvet day

Oof we are tired here Under Rainbows. The constant running around and busy-ness is taking it's toll on us. The school time rhythm is hard; up early, frantically packing lunches and making breakfast, I try and leave us enough time to walk some of the way to school giving us some much needed fresh air, exercise and family time. While the kids are at school there is house work, shopping, Joa-ing, home kindergarten, playgroup. Then back in the car to pick the kids up, home, snack, homework and then we have an hour screen time (and I rest or do a bit of doll making) then dinner, bath, story and bed. Constant, relentless over and over again. On top of that there is the kids' time with their dad, my time with him, singing, running, meeting friends and trying to fit in keeping in touch with everyone. 
Yesterday I could see we had just had enough, everyone was exhausted, everyone was cranky, so today we took a duvet day.
We called in sick to school and stayed in pajamas until noon. We read stories, watched a dvd, played lego and baked.
 Rebe did some sewing,

 I did some sewing
 and I started tackling the huge mountain of sorting, clearing, cleaning and tidying that has built up over the weeks.
I am so glad we took this day, I went on instinct knowing another day of running around would do us more harm than good, and I was right, by lunchtime Benny had a temperature and was feeling poorly, his body's way of showing us he really needs to rest.
He'll have another day off tomorrow, but Rebe is already much brighter and happier.Thank goodness it's only 2 more weeks until half term!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

waldorf doll giveaway

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! Under Rainbows. 
 Has it really been 3 years since I started making dolls? Wow!
To celebrate the 3rd anniversary of the opening of my wee etsy shop I am giving away this sweet little lady. This is my way to say thank you. Thank you to all those who have supported me and encouraged me. This year of doll making has been so important for me. It has given me grounding and consistency when times were turbulent. It has helped financially, heating the house, buying gifts for celebrations, taxing the car. It has given me friends and connections all over the world and more than anything making dolls gives me a creative outlet that is oh so much fun.
 This doll is a 16 inch waldorf style doll. She is made of cotton interlock stuffed with clean carded sheep's wool. She has little brown eyes and a small pink mouth, her cheeks are blushed with a little red wax.
Her hair is of soft brown mohair yarn, knitted into a cap and stitched to her head, the hair is then brushed out (see the tutorial on the right for more details on knitting waldorf doll wigs).
 She is wearing a little upcycled white wool blend t-shirt and knickers. Over this she has a sweet little red cotton dungaree dress which is elasticated at the waist so the little wooden cat buttons are just for show. To keep her warm this autumn she has a snug blue wool cardi with little wooden buttons and a matching pointed hat (the patterns for which you can find free on the left). She also has little red woolen mary-jane style booties.
She was so much fun to make and I know she will find a lovely home somewhere with one of you :-)
(please bare in mind the mohair can shed some and the clothing has wooden buttons so this doll might not be suitable for a young child)
So here is how you can enter:

  • To enter leave a comment below in the comment box and spread the word:
  • Let me know if you are a follower of this blog, or have started following it
  • blog about this giveaway or link to it on your own blog
  • Like and Share my etsy shop
  • Like and Share the Under Rainbows facebook page
  • Tweet about the give away
  • Pin a picture from this post on pinterest
  • spread the love on any forum/ group you think might like this
  • tell your friends, sing it from the rooftops
Be sure to come back each time and leave another comment telling me how you're spreading the word. Each comment counts as one entry.

If you can't comment here don't worry, you can send your comment via email laura.whalen@yahoo.ie or as a pm on the Under Rainbows facebook page and I will add it for you here.

The winner will be selected randomly next Friday the 18th of October and I will announce the winner here. Be sure to check back to see if this wee lady is coming to live with you then!!!

Thanks for all your support, and GOOD LUCK!!!!

Monday, October 7, 2013

mommy's in the kitchen...

...cooking up something good.

the last of the tomatoes from the green house

the last of the cucumbers

apples the kids scrumped with their daddy

all the green ones on the window sill ripening

my best helper


spelt soda bread

tomato sauce

cucumber's pickling

 time for lunch....
Still to come this week in the kitchen....
apple sauce
apple cake
carrot cake
marrow and ginger jam
berry jam

What you got cookin'?

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Buddies ~ simple

**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...***

The rhythm at Buddies is so much gentler this year. We find that the Buddies, smaller and fewer that they are, need less from us. 
Simplicity is the key. 
Simple songs (although little M requested something about a bunny with big ears fairly frequently)
zoom zoom zoom, old macdonald, baa baa black sheep, if you're happy and you know it, hickory dickory dock, incy wincy spider.

Simple painting:

 apple cut outs, red and green paint, fingers and brushes

Simple snack: fresh fruit, brown bread and milk to drink

 Simple play: in the garden, on the swing, matching, play food
 Simple story
Simply special to have this experience with the wee ones :-)