Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Buddies ~ colours in nature

**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...***

 Oh what a lovely Buddies session we had today.
We started, as always, with our 'hello song' and other favourites.
 Then we all put on our coats and wellies and went out to the woods on a colour hunt.
 Last week during free play the mums had painted splodges of different colours on the bottom of some egg boxes,
 The Buddies had an egg box each and went in search of things to put into the right coloured section.
 It worked brilliantly, they all got the hang of it (apart from little Z who thinks it is just plain wrong to put anything other than eggs into egg boxes!) and were very serious about their task.
 We had a quick play on the beach,
 and found some wonderful climbing places
 Snack time was very hungry today and we managed to eat a loaf and a half of bread as well as 2 bowls of raisins, 3 apples and several bananas!
Us mums had a quick cup of tea and discussed our up coming Buddies Mummy's curry night while the kids had some free play time.
 Kirsten ended our session with this great story:
 that was really enjoyed by all.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

spring fever...

It's that time of year again when you can feel the sap rising and everywhere you look there are jobs to be done. I was starting to feel really fed up with the state of the house, especially having been sick for a few days again last week. The jobs have been piling up but I just haven't had the energy to do anything about it. But over the weekend spring fever hit and I rolled up my sleeves and started. The house is now clean(ish) but more excitingly I have a work room or dare I call it a studio!!!
 Since we moved to this house the kids have had their own playroom downstairs, but of late it just wasn't worth having anymore. I would tidy it, they would go in there and get everything back out again and then walk away leaving it in such a mess that there was no room to play in it anymore and  it would stay like that until I tidied it up again.
No more, I said to myself.
So on Saturday the kids and I moved the toys. Now Rebe and Benny have a corner of their room with age appropriate toys and books for them and Joa has the same in his room... and I moved all of my sewing and knitting things into the room downstairs...
 I now have a lovely, spacious bedroom and after 5 hours up to my elbows in yarn and fabric on Sunday I also have a work room,  with a sorted yarn stash...
 and a sorted fabric stash...
 I'm so excited about this space and have spent a few lovely hours in it the last few days finishing up this custom doll,
 and an extra set of knitted items I was requested to do.
 And now I feel good, the house is organised and a bit clean and the sun has been streaming through the windows.
Another job I ticked off my list this week was for everyone to have a hair cut...

 and the light, oh the golden spring light that is so beautiful after dinner that we just have to go out and enjoy it...

Has spring fever hit you?

Friday, March 21, 2014

pay-what-you-can waldorf doll

I believe that all children should have access to beautiful, handmade, quality toys. In general I try to keep the prices of my dolls as low as I can. I usually charge around 100 euro/ £84/ $138 for a 16 inch waldrof doll. However I know that for some people this is still not affordable, so once in a while I make a pay-what-you-can doll.
This doll is a 16 inch waldorf doll. She is made of cotton interlock stuffed with clean carded sheep's wool. She has hand embroidered blue eyes and a wee mouth and her cheeks are blushed with a little red wax.
He hair is made of a gorgeous light brown/ dark blond mohair yarn that is knitted into a cap and then firmly stitched onto her head. Each strand of hair is then individually looped into the wig. Her hair is long and stylable and looks so very cute in plaits!
Her outfit is all green, this is my little tribute to the fact that I have now lived in Ireland for 10 years!!!
She has a gorgeous soft velour dress in a dark green. This closes at the back with a little snap fasten. Under this she is wearing bloomers in a beautiful organic teal jersey cotton. These are elasticated at the waist and legs so they are easy to get on and off.
To keep her warm she has a stripey cardi, pointed hat and socks. This is knitted from hand-spun, naturally dyed yarn from a shepherds co-operative in southern Germany. The cardi closes with a single wooden button.
If you would like to purchase her for a price that YOU can afford please send me a convo through my etsy shop ( or stop by my facebook page and send me a message there ( or you can send me an email
 Tell me the amount you can pay for her and make sure that I have a way of contacting you.
 I will choose someone at random in the next week.
If I should choose you I will send you a message with a link to her reserved listing on etsy and you will have 24 hours to purchase her in full. If you do not she will be offered to the next person.
Please note that you will need to pay shipping costs, but I will ship to anywhere in the world.
Please also bare in mind that this is not a competition to win a cheap doll, I am genuinely trying to give someone who normally couldn't afford such a doll the chance of buying one, so if you really could afford a full priced doll, please be so gracious as to let someone else bid.

Buddies ~ leprechaun masks and pants

**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...***
This week at Buddies we were delighted to welcome a new family to the group. Welcome Kirsten, Little Z and littlest M!!! As a group we are aware of the fact that after the summer we will be loosing some families. Joa, for example, will be starting pre-school so this is our last season of being Buddies (sob!) so with that in mind we are starting to look around for new families to join us to keep the group going. Having this Home Kindergarten group is so special for all of us. The kids get so much out of it. A place to play and learn, to make friends, to learn to follow instruction from other adults. Discovering sharing and negotiation with our peers. For us parents we have learnt so much about ourselves as teachers, crafters, players... We have forged gorgeous friendships and have built a strong support network. I think home kindergarten is the perfect bridge between mother's knee and a formal kindergarten or school. In fact I am writing a short piece for Juno magazine on the subject that I hope will make it into the summer edition. I am also (with the support and prompting of the Buddies mummies) considering writing a wee e-book on how to set up and run such a group.
So, to this week:
We started as usual with our welcome song and let the kids pick their favourite songs for us to sing.

incy wincy spider
 For our craft this week Zoe brought along pre-cut out leprechaun masks and fabulous squeezy paints.

 After a good deal of squeezing and mess the Buddies went off to play while Flo prepared their snack.

 They enjoyed their snack to the gentle tones of little Z banging the table with a hammer and as usual there was not a crust of bread or slice of apple left.
To end our session Beth (with little M's kind permission) read us 2 pants stories that were really enjoyed by all.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Paddy's Day 2014 ~ i knew there was more to this day!

What a very special St Patricks Day we had on Monday!
In years gone past the kids and I did very little on this day. We would watch from the kitchen window for the boats to gather marking the beginning of the sea parade. Then we would wander down to the village to watch the land parade before heading back home again. But this year was different, there was so much more...
Garry invited Benny to march with him and the rest of the Courtmacsherry Harbour Lifeboat crew in not one, but two parades!!
I made Benny a 'Courtmacsherry Lifeboat' badge out of felt and sewed it onto one of his smart jumpers. Garry gave him an official RNLI tie (that was so long on him we had to tuck it up several times), I bought him a new white shirt and he wore his school trousers and shoes and of course his felt RNLI pager. He really looked the part and was so, so proud.
 The first parade was in Clonakilty, so we drove there early enough to have lunch and meet up with some other crew members first.
 We met in the pub that Garry works in and had a lovely lunch. Benny said it was his 'first best pasta'!
We finished up and the lads got their gear on and we joined the parade just in time.
 Benny was so great, he walked ahead of the rest of the crew the whole time. He waved with both hands and smiled and was so confident and proud.

 He took it so seriously and my heart is just so full of this little boy who had no fear of the crowds or the new situation. Who embraced his love for the RNLI and his admiration of Garry and wore that proudly.
 Garry was so proud of him too.
 As soon as that parade was finished we hopped back into the car and drove back in plenty of time to watch the Courtmacsherry sea parade.

 Then Garry and Benny left us to march for the 2nd time...

 I'm just so proud :-)

But our day didn't end there, we went along with lots of other families to the local pub and the kids ran around while we had a few drinks. Then we bought chips from the van and ate them wandering along the road back to the hotel.
We had so much fun at the hotel. They had set up a big screen with cartoons on it for the kids in the backroom with a big long table where they could all sit together, and play and chat leaving the grown ups space and time to socialise too. Which we did. It was really wonderful, I had so much fun and I really 'got' the spirit of the day. I am so grateful to Garry for the whole day. It certainly was a 'first best' day :-)