Friday, July 31, 2009

Twinkles after Fog

Faith is like radar that sees through the fog.  ~ Corrie Ten Boom, Tramp for the Lord

Each morning this week has greeted us with its foggy misty skies.  It also just happened to be the week I promised Ess that she could ride her bike to school.  Usually she walks by my side as I stroll little Eee - I have no desire to push both a bicycle and a stroller home.  "But I can leave my bike at school", Ess pleaded.  "Yes you can darling.  However that means that you will have to ride it up the big hill on the way home.  I won't be able to help push you,"  I replied.

So she practiced when Pa was here to help push her.  She did very well so now she rides alone - for the most part.  She has enjoyed making the discovery that the easiest, most fun part of the ride on the way to school becomes the most difficult, challenging part of the journey on the way home.  I am proud to say she has met the challenge and faced it head on.  Not without remembering the story of my childhood The Little Engine That Could and uttering that famous refrain "I think I can! I think I can!"

Most days this week the fog has turned to delightful rain by the time it is time for me to return home.  With a smile on my face and raincoats adorned I head home, often greeted by friends offering me a lift.  I decline.  It is my choice to walk, to risk the weather.  I love being out in the weather and experiencing all it has to offer. It connects me with my day and what is going on around me.  It heightens my senses and renews my energy and vigour.

Today however the sun peaked through the clouds, the skies cleared allowing us to view the delightful dance of the dewy raindrops on bare twigs, gumnuts and daffodils.

We are certain that once the fairies have had a sweet drink from their gumnut cups...

they have sought refuge from the rain inside each dewdrop...

waiting for more sunshine and preparing to dance again.

My favourite tree on our journey, a silver birch I believe, lit up this morning with delicate fairy lights, dewdrops disguised, as the dancing fairies made their way to morning tea.
(look closely and click on the pics to enlarge them to see the drops and the reason I need a new camera :) )

Now, just for the record, July 2009 has been the wettest month in Adelaide in four years.  I celebrate.  I have enjoyed the rain, the sunshine has been appreciated all the more for it and I love rainy days!  We have had over 100mm...not bad!

Thankyou all for your kind birthday wishes for my day.  It was most enjoyable...fog and all.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Foggy Birthday to You! - or me rather :)

One misty moisty morning, when cloudy was the weather,
I chanced to greet an old man, clothed all in leather.
He began to compliment and I began to grin.
How do you do? How do you do?
And how do you again.
~ Anonymous

The last couple of mornings here have brought this rhyme to my mind as we headed out into the foggy morning, unable to see further than the corner at the end of the road.  It has made me smile as we walked and rode along our path to school, feeling the damp, breathing in the cool moist air, viewing the empty branches of favourite trees against a foggy sky.

It has increased the difficulty which I had in photographing the new bunting I have made for our birthday celebrations.  Yet the bunting brightens our spirits and heightens our excitement and anticipation.  I have somewhat "foggy" feelings about bunting.  It is very popular at the moment.  I have noticed it on my favourite blogs and in my favourite real life shops.  Yet I don't find it very beautiful, not very elegant.  So why have I made some? Perhaps it was the inspiration of Mel's Australian Homesewn Magazine once again which had me search through my fabric scraps for a colour combination which might please us.  I am quite happy with it  actually.

My sense of pleasure was heightened when I heard my dear little Eee exclaim "oh, ho, ho...pretty!" as she entered our living area this morning, my birthday.  With her short stature  and keen eyes it was the first thing she noticed looking up to greet the day.  Ess also had made a quick visit to see whether the bunting was hanging - "Mummy I came to see if the bunting was hung and then I knew it was your birthday".  She had been anticipating the day and had been asking me for a couple of days whether it was my birthday yet.

So now I very much like my bunting.  It has delighted my girls.  I intend that it will delight them for years to come as we hang it for each of our birthdays and create a new family tradition.  Perhaps I'll be inspired to make one for each of us as we celebrate our birthdays.  This row is only 13 flags long.  

All in all, I am absolutely thrilled when cleaning out my stash evokes such awe, wonder and anticipation in my children.

Monday, July 27, 2009

In the Tiny Box

Oh! where do fairies hide their heads,
When snow lies on the hills,
When frost has spoiled their mossy beds,
And crystallized their rills?
~Thomas Haynes Bayly

Our very favourite creation over our recent holiday period would most certainly be this adorable, yet tiny little box I whipped up one Friday evening.  I was inspired by Juliane.  She tells me this is called a Schachtelkasper - Schachtel meaning 'box' and Kasper is a glove puppet character.  After seeing her tiny box (which certainly made me happy ;))  I was certain this little treat, with a couple of my own adaptations would delight my two little treasures.

Can you see who is hiding inside?...

A tiny wee fairy who seems to often leave her little schachtel and find places to tinker and rest around our house.  

Just the other day she was found leaning against and hence just about to nibble some of our delightful dainty deliveries from Fröken Skicklig's Bakery.

Despite the fact that she enjoys wandering about and nibbling at Juliane's creations, I am very proud of her as she is my very own creation and design, inspired by nothing other than my own imagination and the few beads, wires, fabrics and tools I had on hand.

A small pearl bead head, tiny seed bead arms and matching belt on a gathered tulle skirt so tiny it could hardly be called a piece of fabric.  She wears a floral hat and sports tiny floral wings.  We think she is an indoor fairy so these wings must be there to teach her of the habitat of most of her friends living in our garden.

Oh yes, our hiding fairy delights. However the novelty of the box is what brings so much joy.  You see how can a little box be opened by a button which need not be undone?  Ah, perhaps you can see and you know and can devise one of your own.  Perhaps it will intrigue you and puzzle you.  Give it a try and let your little ones enjoy.   

It develops fine motor skills, a sense of object permanence, the joy and fun of peek-a-boo and hide-and-seek games, an appreciation for things handmade and an inroad into the wonderful world of imaginary play and fantasy.

Tiny simple dainty objects often give the greatest pleasure.

I have no doubt all young ladies would agree ;)

Friday, July 24, 2009

Fun in the Rain! - Our Handmade Indoor Hopscotch

Skipping by the flowers,
Skipping around for hours,
Skipping in rain showers -
Skipping has magical powers!
~Jessi Lane Adams

During the holidays we experienced quite a few days of rain.  There were no complaints heard from here.  It is very welcome.  Besides this, we needed an excuse to stay indoors to create the things on my ever-growing list.  So we set about making some indoor hopscotch.  Another idea from the lovely Melissa Goodsell, seen in the Australian Homesewn magazine.

Ess and I had enormous fun with this project when our little Eee was sleeping.  She considered herself my little helper!  One of her numerous roles was to count the number of squares I cut and let me know how many more I needed of each colour.  She also sorted them appropriately, pink polka dots felt on top of purple felt and so forth, so I could stitch them without delay.  Well some of the time...

I was absolutely delighted with the way she helped me pin the numbers on each square.  While it did not hasten the project's completion, it assisted in Ess' learning both in number and sewing.   She busily moved around me as I sat at my machine moving squares here and there, gathering and sorting them,  arranging and pinning them.  "This is great fun Mum!"  Of course, I was delighted to have finally hit the nail on the head with a project for her to enjoy during her day which lasted longer than merely a few minutes.  She was very actively and productively engaged.  By the end of our mission, she had learnt to pin accurately.  Not bad for a little girl who started the project saying she was afraid of pins!  (No doubt she has memories of trying on clothes in which pins remain!)

Hopscotch has had quite a workout since its completion.  Not always as a game of hopscotch! As you might imagine, playing hopscotch with a one year old proves a little frustrating for a 5 year old, with the thrown pebble constantly being moved and the soft mat being layed down upon and rolled around on.

Hopscotch has become an important part of our obstacle course which little Eee and I enjoy each day.  It is jumped upon and climbed up from.

Our hopscotch also rolls up beautifully tied with ribbon for easy storage.  Ess has also found it to be a great stool for sitting to read some stories and play with fairies.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Zet the Monster - a gift for a friendly little boy

"And now, cried Max, let the wild rompus start..." Maurice Sendak, in Where the Wild Things Are.

It's been a while since I have posted, due to our school holiday fun and then some internet downtime.  Fortunately I am back online now and also back into routine with school having recommenced for Ess yesterday.  Along with my Kindermusik classes!  I am now teaching Semester 2 of Kindermusik for the Young Child to my dear 5 year old students and am really loving it.  They were all so motivated yesterday to learn and sing, play and explore their beautiful glockenspiels.  I was feeling refreshed after a lovely relaxing holiday break with comparatively large amounts of downtime and more time than usual to create things.

For neverending inspiration regarding things to create, follow me to visit Melissa Goodsell who has recently edited a new magazine entitled Australian Homesewn.  There are many inspiring projects made from delightful fabrics you have no doubt seen if you've been exploring Etsy along with me.  Melissa has her own store there as well.

We were in need of a little gift for a friend this month.  So in keeping with my commitment to give handmade gifts, I decided to make a little monster for our little monster friend.  We hope he continues to like it, apparently he carried it all around the shopping centre after first receiving it.  So thanks Mel, for your delightful pattern! It can be found in Mel's magazine.

Zet was inspired by the monsters featured in the book Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. Here he is receiving a little love from Eee before giving him away.

There are more things we created together from the magazine and Mel's inspiration so I'll see you back here again with more of those...and some others of our own.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Baby Anna's Jacket and The Snowballs Revealed...

While my precious Ess is away playing with her best friend this afternoon I thought I'd reveal to you the finished product after having knitted many Snowballs.

If you can't decipher what it is in the first photo, here it is in another, much less glamarous shot.  It turned into a bag.  The warm rich colours of the variegated wool were used to form the strap and a flap to fasten the bag with a button.

With the leftover wool I knitted a little jacket for Baby Anna using a pattern of Waldorf Mama's called the doll sweater pattern.

It has turned out to be quite a nice fit for Baby Anna.  However now, of course, her legs are very very cold in this cold and rainy weather we are experiencing this week.

So I have a devised a little pattern for some warm pants to cover her little legs to keep them cosy.  No guesses as to who chose this colour. Pink for my Ess.  I think it should match quite nicely however.  It complements the rich rose of the variegated yarn very well.

The bag is used to contain the dolls' clothing and provides a resting place for the dolls and weary little girl's heads.  It has also been used to transport two dollies, their clothing and a collection of books on a spontaneous drive we took the other afternoon.  The scenery was so lovely in the Adelaide Hills however, that the books were not read.  We were fortunate to see water flowing down the usually dry creek bed.  We saw Arum Lily starting to bloom and snowbells as well.  We usually see cows and sheep, and calves and lambs, along with horses and donkeys, yet this time we were surprised to spot a couple of emus and three kangaroos.  Sorry the camera was left at home that day! :(

Sending chilly greetings!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Comfort Butterfly

I've created a butterfly to get justice for the #comfortwomen forced into sexual slavery during WWII. Will you?

In the year 2009, you'd think governments would have well and truly faced the atrocities of World War II. But there remains a group of living, breathing survivors whose suffering has never been officially acknowledged; whose full stories remain buried under layers of shame and outright denial by those responsible.

Up to 200,000 women and girls were subject to repeated rapes and beatings in 'comfort stations' throughout much of Asia Pacific, including South Korea, Indonesia, the Philippines and East Timor. As the survivors near the end of their lives, time is running out.

Will you create your own beautiful message of solidarity and support for these courageous survivors? They have endured more than 60 years without so much as an adequate apology - let alone compensation - from the Japanese government.

Please click here to join Amnesty International's campaign:



Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Sunshiny Daffodilly Days

Let us dance in the sun, wearing wild flowers in our hair...  ~Susan Polis Shutz

We are having lovely golden sunshine-filled days here.

They match the colour of our new daffodil blossoms beautifully.   These seem to have budded early to me, we planted them only two months ago.  Perhaps the winter chills and rain of last week combined with the sunshine of this one has called up their nodding heads, rising to greet us with the warm glow of their smiles.

Yet the sun is not bringing us any springtime warmth yet.  We have had our coldest days and nights for the year this week with these clear days.  It will become colder yet.  Every morning I wonder whether Jack Frost has visited.  I am still waiting.

It is also school holiday time.  We have lots planned while enjoying the warmth of indoors: building and decorating a small card dollhouse, some sewing projects, knitting a doll's jacket and some crochet on the go.  Along with some singing and playing and baking together.  The girls are enjoying each other's company (for about 5-10 minutes before they need me to intervene, usually with consoling cuddles for little Eee).  However our time is free; no hurrying the girls anywhere, no need to urge them to be dressed at a particular time, nothing is demanded except food and attention.  So you'll see less of me here and more of me there with them - making, doing and simply being together.  I wouldn't have it any other way.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Snowballs

The aging process has you firmly in its grasp if you never get the urge to throw a snowball.  ~Doug Larson

We have had some wild weather here the last couple of days but no storm has left any snowballs for us to throw :(.  Only rain and branches, sticks and twigs falling from above, gathering on our paths making our ride and stroll to school quite bumpy.

My soft snowballs are now fully entwined and I am left with a snowy blanket with no home...yet!  I just don't think I could have snowballs decorating my home - although someone else could possibly use them in their interior design quite beautifully.  Equally I just don't think I could wear these.

So what I am to do with my snowballs??  The girls love them.  When I knit they come and rest their head on my soft, snowball-filled dreamy lap and ask, "What's it going to be Mummy?"

I have decided now.  It won't be long until it is completed...I hope.

It will be something they can use.  I have no doubt they will continue to enjoy this unusual soft texture for a long time yet.  (When will the internet be all touchy feely so you can understand, dear reader!)

Watch this space.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The Fairies' Gift

Apology is a lovely perfume; it can transform the clumsiest moment into a gracious gift.  ~Margaret Lee Runbeck

Ess hurriedly prepared for school.  She knew that just outside our front door her fairy ring would be waiting.  Hopefully visited by the fairies overnight.  Perhaps with a gift inside for her.

Yet there was none.

I reminded her that perhaps there was just one thing which remained outstanding.  There was one thing left that Ess needed to do.  Perhaps once that was complete the fairies would be pleased and leave a little gift.

Ess knew at once what she needed to do.  We had spoken about it at length, both the night before and on this morning.  She went to school and apologised to her teacher.  She waited for the little boy to arrive and once he did, she approached him and said "sorry".  He had been hurt by a game they had played together, unbeknownst to Ess.  It was simply a silly childhood game misunderstood.

The fairies heard, their little beating hearts leapt with excitement and pride (as did her mother's).

Upon arriving home from school Ess noticed there was now something within the fairy ring.

We are so glad you were honest, told the truth and said sorry.

"You will know the truth and the truth will set you free".  John 8:32

The little prettily decorated book declared as Ess read.

There was also a little lolly or two which delighted Ess very much indeed.

I noticed Ess' spirit is very much lighter today than it had been previously.

Is there anyone you need to say sorry to today?  I have no doubt it will lift your spirit.

Our New Treasure

Lilypie Maternity tickers


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