30 December, 2010

Daily backyard Australian wildlife

Just today, we have had a few visits.
Every day we see this dragon (wish I could find out which species...)
'His' name is Larry.
There's another lizard living just down the decking from this one, dubbed 'Larry's Baby'
They're rather fond of berries,
only now and again of course!

The favourite Christmas present this year came from Dad.


Every other night we go out and see what we can spy.

A cane toad cramming itself into a rock wall.

Not ideal, but we have no real prejudice when out spotting.
We have THREE bush turkeys that stir up our compost heap.

Two female, one male.

They have no fear of us whatsoever and practically reside in our garden these days.

This evening we finally had no rain and a sunset.

Little Pipkin has spotted one of our nightly visitors

St Andrew's Cross Spider

We have so many spiders around here.

Just tonight we found 7 species, but it was a bit dark by then to get a decent photo.

They are so colourful, but I guess, so are all the creatures up this way.

27 December, 2010

Knitted Rainbow Horse

This is Arthur. Yes Arthur the rainbow horse.
His predecessor was a brown horse (the first animal I ever knitted and whom has been loved into oblivion over the last 3 years). A plain brown horse eloquently named 'Galloper'.

I can't begin to imagine how my son's mind works!

From this wonderful book ~ Knitted animals by Anne-Dorthe Grigaff

I found some exceedingly pretty pastel rainbow wool.
Bought at the 'treasure house' of my eldest's new school.
I love that my boys are so interested in the craft I do!
I try to involve and encourage them.
I'm excited about the day they'll be so proud of themselves for
finally making their own first stitch!
This wool was just so lovely to work with.
Each stitch a different shade.

Just look at those colours!
Our body finished, now to sew, stuff..
...and those cute little ears

& In time for Christmas.

22 December, 2010

Fruit, Nut & Rum balls

Child participation is a very regular occurance in our kitchen.
It's always great when I can find something for them to really help with.
Here, Little Pipkin is snipping up apricots ready to be soaked.
(They're dark in colour because they're organic and suphur free)

Today we're making Apricot & Coconut balls, an adapted recipe from this wonderful little book about healthy snacks and treats.

Snack it Out by Donalee Harkett

Combining coconut and almond meal before
toasting a little in the oven, to add a richer flavour
All ingredients in the blender

Ready to be rolled into balls

4 flavours this year:

middle left - carob coconut rough
top right - apricot and coconut
bottom left - 5 nut & maple syrup
bottom right - chocolate rum

20 December, 2010

Fabric Pastel Crayon T-Shirts

Sometimes it's fun to draw on clothes!
To wear your own artwork.

It took Little Pipkin a while to shed all of the crayons
of their skins before he could start.
Unfortunately this made it a little messy for the rest of us.
But he had an agenda!

Little Pipkin drew 'Fireworks'

Mr Turtle went with a volcano and bear

And the Christmas present for their little cousin?
A rainbow and A hot, hot, shining sun -
Can't you see it?


14 December, 2010

Child-Hand crafted Christmas candles & Gift Bag

Mr Turtle is 4 ½ and Little Pipkin is 2 ½
They were both able to make their Nanny this gift of Christmas candles.
Really you can't go wrong as long as you're using red and green.
They pressed little cut up pieces of coloured beeswax onto candles.
Normally in a design, but this works too!
I'm sure she'll love receiving them.

I took a piece of green felt to make a bag to present them in.
I drew the shape of a Christmas tree, freehand, in chalk.
Then sewed right over it with a lighter green thread.
Next I cut out a star in yellow felt and ironed it on
using dual sided appliqué webbing.

And then, to decorate the tree, Little Pipkin chose some bright buttons,
while his elder brother sewed them on
(with a little start and finish help from Mama)

We wrapped the candles in tissue paper and
placed them inside the finished bag
(of which I sewed up the open sides).
I'm very sure Nanny will be quite impressed and
both of my boys are most chuffed that they could help Santa
~ the giving spirit ~
create and give presents this year!

08 December, 2010

Inexpensive & Fun ~ Paper Family Christmas Tree

Read on, this is the miniature version... This is our advent countdown
No gifts, no little choccies, just the excitement of pulling another number off each morning!

We had the advent, but still no Christmas Tree.
I didn't want a plastic one, nor a live one.
This year the boys really wanted a tree.
Then one rainy afternoon in early December it came to me:
We assembled our crafty bits in green and gold and got to work.
Some pretty stickers. It cost only $2.28 for 5 pages of these.
Every tree needs a star!
Then with a little sticky tape and imagination,
from Chaos came Christmas.

We all think this is our favourite tree we've seen anywhere.
Season's Greetings

06 December, 2010

Surfboard Appliqué on Shorts

I made a pair of runaround shorts for Mr Turtle.
My usual "it works and it's quick" method for pants ~ blogged here
He's a bit mad for surfing at the moment (well, we did move closer to the beach!)
So I thought I'd attempt my first appliqué!

It was really easy.
I cut out a surfboard shape from some funky (re-purposed) velvet.
I ironed the design in place on the shorts with adhesive webbing
picked up at the supermarket!
Then, 'Some people in the know' recommended I hold a piece of paper to
the back as I sewed around the design with a zigzag stitch on my machine.

This is how it looked on the reverse once I'd finished.

And importantly, on the front, of course.

Mr Turtle and I are both pretty pleased with them, which really is what counts.
Although more than one person has thought it was a leaf...

25 November, 2010

Pizza Base Family Fun

What to have for dinner?

I bought some beautiful Biodynamic stoneground
wholemeal bread mix recently.
It had no recipe on the pack,
so I quickly found one in here (I'm quite the Jamie fan):
 Jamie Oliver - The Naked Chef

My boys always want to participate when I cook.
I'm generally pretty organised so they normally can help in some way.
When I suggested pizza and asked if they'd like to help make the dough,
it was a resounding yes!
We like hands on food☺

So simple to keep the kids occupied and 'helping'

Topped with tomato & cream sauce, fresh oregano, mushrooms,
pineapple, spinach, onion and cheese.

Yes, Delectable, Creative, Natural & Nourishing!
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