Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Building and Learning


My Dad is one of those really handy guys. I think it comes from being a farmer - you just have to know how to do A LOT of stuff. When he heard that we wanted to build an arbor for growing our veggies over, he immediately had ideas and wanted to help. Of course this was greatly received! We had already purchased the poly pipe and wire and Dad got some aluminium poles to go inside the pipe. You should have seen the excitement on Elijah's face as he was able to help quite a bit. He was thrilled to learn he was strong enough for cutting the wire and with my watchful eye was able to meticulously make each snip (until he got interested in doing something else). It brought back lots of my childhood memories of fence building and Dad showing ME how to cut the wire and tie the fence to the posts. I was thinking 'How do kids learn this stuff if their families don't show them?' I still don't know the answer. Pretty awesome for a just turned three year old to have this experience at home. There was just so much opportunity for learning this day - problem solving, maths, engineering, physical skills and cooperation.  Now we just have to wait and see if the beans, malabar spinach, zucchini, pumpkins and cucumbers will climb up. I hope they do! 

Friday, 31 October 2014

October in the Vegetable Garden



October has been a month of change for the vegetable garden. Lots of finished plants have been removed and the soil has been filled with sheep and chook manure and compost from our garden. It's pretty exciting planning the veggies that will be ready in the summer. It's been a year since we moved to Melbourne and so our vegetable garden is coming up to its first birthday. Watching the cycle of it brings Elijah and I so much joy. He said to me this week "Mummy we're planting the tomatoes so they'll be ready in the summer! Is it summer yet?" Of course he got that little phrase from one of our favourite books by Nikki McClure. It inspires me to keep going with it even just for all the great learning opportunities for us all - not to mention the delicious produce! The beetroots were a bit of a disappointment - quite small and woody (I think the seed was old), and carrots still remain a great success and favourite of the kids. We've been having freshly picked herbal tea every day, kale chips regularly, broad bean falafel and dip and eating the peas before they even get inside. So excited to see the big growth and change that happens over the next month.


Tuesday, 21 October 2014

A Blessingway


As many of my friends prepare to welcome new babes into their arms and hearts I am (not very secretly) hoping they have a blessingway. A blessingway is a gathering for the purpose of encouraging, pampering, blessing and nurturing the mother and baby in preparation for giving birth. It is a celebration of the miracle of pregnancy and the transition into motherhood. It is a lovely alternative to the 'baby shower' without all the presents and funny games. Traditionally a part of Native American culture, the blessingway is gaining popularity among western women who seek some ceremony and meaning to the preparation for motherhood. Usually a small group of female friends or family are invited to bless the mother. I have included some of my favourite blessingway activities and ideas.

Monday, 13 October 2014

A New Friend


I'm thrilled to have finished and gifted this little cutie to a precious new babe. A dear friend (who is also a very crafty Mama) birthed this week and I only finished this little soft toy gnome the day before. The pattern is from Ravelry here and made from various scraps of sheep's wool, cotton and alpaca wool. We're so excited to have another play mate for our camping trips and general adventures of life, and hope this little doll might become a good friend too. The pattern fits in with the Rudolf Steiner teachings of simple, natural toys for small children. There is no face so that the child can play creatively with the dolls emotions - rather than the doll always having a big smile. It can be imagined to be awake, asleep, happy, sad, excited, angry, scared etc. The gender is also able to be decided by the child, or changed each day. Encouraging creative play is so important to children's growth and development and understanding of the world.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Happy International Babywearing Week!


It's International Babywearing Week everyone! So here's the what, why, where, how, and when of our babywearing experiences and some cute pics. In fact quite a lot of pics. I'm a little obsessed! Share the experience!

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

September in the Vegetable Garden


Spring is here! Lots of growth happening at our place at the moment. The purple beans are up - after we planted them together with some little playgroup friends. It's great for the kids to rush over and see the little shoots up through the soil. Elijah exclaimed recently "Mummy the Calendula is open" and my heart exploded with joy and pride. Ha, I think that makes me a nerdy herbalist. Our greenhouse has some successful seedlings on the go and its getting warm enough for them to transition into the ground. We've had some nice rain lately too, so everything is getting bigger by the day. We'll have broad beans to pick in no time! Loving the colours of the purple broccoli, beetroot, calendula and purple carrots. Eating a rainbow is easy around here. I've been making freshly picked herbal tea of peppermint and lemon balm leaves with calendula petals - ideal for settling nerves and cleansing. The five chooks are also laying about one egg a day now - so we've got loads of eggs to eat. We've been eating a lot of my Quinoa and Vegetable Mini Muffins and frittata. Looking forward to getting all the Summer seedlings into the ground in the coming weeks.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

A Third Birthday Patchwork Quilt Cover


My biggest, who was once our littlest, is about to turn three. I can hardly believe it! I wanted to make him something special that would get loads of use. I also wanted to utilise some of the large stash of fabrics that have been gifted to me recently. This patchwork quilt cover was made entirely from scraps of quilting cottons that were given to me by a dear friend and backed with a sheet. Would you believe it's also my first ever patchwork. I'm so pleased with the colour combination and the design. Elijah loves it too! It's been nice for Eli and I to work on it together and I was so proud when he exclaimed to his Dad tonight "my doona cover IS a doona cover now". I love watching his patience develop in waiting for big projects to be finished and then his appreciation for the completed piece. Just another benefit to giving handmade!

Sunday, 17 August 2014

August in the Vegetable Garden


I'm so excited about how well our veggies are growing since moving to Melbourne 10 months ago. I've decided to try and keep a monthly photo record of what's happening. I'm also starting a garden journal so I can keep track of when I planted each seed or seedling and how they went. We've had a few days of beautiful Winter sunshine lately and getting out in the garden has been so nice. The smell of the daphne flowering is divine! I love how easy Winter veggie gardening is - you just watch it grow.

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Granny's Apple Slice


My Dad's mother, my Granny was a country baker and preserver extraordinaire. She lived her whole life in regional Victoria. The Country Women's Association, the local lawn bowls club, the church auxiliary, the show society and countless family occasions all to benefit from the myriad of treats. She showed her care and concern by bringing food (and flowers usually). One particular was our favourite. Granny's apple slice. My brother even said the other day that he thinks the apple slice was the first food he ever loved. My Granny now has Alzheimer's Disease and is in full time care. She can't talk to us or bake anymore. At a recent family get together I brought her apple slice to share. It was just as divinely sugary and buttery as ever!

Friday, 27 June 2014

Heirloom Baby Blanket


This is a luxuriously soft and oh-so-beautiful baby blanket I recently finished for a dear friend's new baby boy. It's the Heirloom blanket pattern from 'Vintage Knits for Modern Babies' - I do love that book! Knit in Blue Sky Alpacas organic worsted cotton in colour 'sleet'. The first time I've knitted a blanket and my biggest ever knitting project. The yarn is so silky soft and the pattern very easy after a few rows. All the hours knitting allowed for lots of positive manifestation for a wonderful birth and life for this new babe. I did have some doubts around one third of the way through: Would I finish it? Would it be appreciated? What will I do if I make a mistake I can't fix? What if one of my children pull it apart when I'm not looking? In the end, that's just all part of the meditation for me. I can learn to let go of the fact that all those hours of knitting might be pulled out in only a minute of my back turned, or that it might not be finished in time for the baby's birth. I'm very very very proud of how it turned out, and my lovely friend did appreciate it :) So excited to welcome new babies to this wonderful World.