30 July, 2010

Autumn Dragonflies made from dried pods, nuts & leaves

One of our dragonflies ~ taking pride of place ~on the autumnal seasonal display this year.
Autumn is Dragonfly season out here in the desert.
They fly around everywhere, not seeming to notice our lack of water!

I do realise, this season has passed us and we're well into winter However, I didn't want to miss the opportunity to share Mr Turtle and I making dragonflies together
~ out of dried gum leaves, pineneedles and gumnuts
we've collected on our outdoor adventures.
Mr Turtle sorting and glueing leaves.
Then selecting just the right gumnuts...

Our finished little fellas.
(these ones missing the necks of first photo)
Cute aren't they, in their own handcrafted way!

23 July, 2010

Our evening meal thankfullness song!

Mr Turtle and I wrote these verses together,
one afternoon while Little Pipkin was napping...

We sing it to the tune of "If you're happy and you know it"

Over the months, we've added hand actions,
which really encourages our boys -
(and our friends when we're lucky enough to have them over for dinner)
- to join in!

We light you dancing fire faerie,
To focus our attention on our meal.
Our meal comes to us through the hard work of ~
Hands, sun, water and earth.

We thank the owners of the hands.
We thank the bright shining sun.
We thank the cool flowing water.
We thank our Mother Earth.

Our food gives us energy and health.
For all of this and each other,
For all our family and all our friends,
We are truly grateful.

I hope you enjoyed it

(I borrowed the lovely picture above,  from here)

22 July, 2010

Craft trinket tin ~ very useful!

What's in my little craft trinket tin?
I love this small gathering of objects.
(I took out the pins and needles for this photo.
They seemed rather obvious to me and made the photo a bit too busy.)

Pins & Needles
Tape measure
Embroidery scissors
Thread snippers
Sharp unpick
Beeswax - to prevent those unwelcome tangles
Needle threader
Needle grip

I have this with me wherever I'm doing my craft.
~even machine sewing

Whether it be at a craft group.
At the park watching my boys. I can be present, without my hands being inactive!
Or at home in the sunshine...

It's small, compact, functional and funky!
ღ ♥ ღ ♥ ღ ♥ ღ

17 July, 2010

Dhal and Chapatis

our Dhal Recipe ~
(a family favourite, adapted from
‘Family Circle Asian Vegetarian recipes’)
You'll need...
1 C red lentils
1 piece kombu

pinch saffron
3C water
I /4 t ground turmeric

1 T ghee
1/2 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
1 T cumin seeds

1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 T grated fresh ginger
1/2t ground coriander 

2 curry leaves
2 green chillies, seeded, halved lengthways

Salt & pepper to taste
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 T finely chopped fresh coriander leaves

And how...
1. Place the lentils, saffron & kombu in a saucepan, cover with water and bring to the boil.
Reduce the heat, stir in the turmeric, then simmer, covered, for 20 minutes, or until the lentils are tender. Remove the kombu.

2. Heat the ghee in a pan, add the mustard and cumin seeds and cook until the mustard seeds begin to pop.

3. Add the onion, garlic, ginger, ground coriander , curry leaves and chillies. Cook for 5 minutes on low heat , or until the onion is golden.

4. Add the lentils and another I/2 cup water. Season with good quality salt and pepper.
Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

5. Remove from the heat, stir in the lemon juice coriander leaves.
and serve with homemade Chapatis...
Little hands love to, and can easily, help with these ;)

13 July, 2010

Knitted imaginative play i-cords

 Here, we call these 'imagination cords'
 Obviously, because they encourage one to utilise their imagination, to use them.

They look just like a long knitted rope.
It's important to note though, that they are more than just that!
They are long, yes, but they are super soft and stretchy - something I found lacking in the crocheted cords I have only come across before now.

I got the idea from this wonderful book, 
I was bought as a present not so long ago:
100 flowers to knit and crochet 

The stems of some of the flowers in this book are knitted into a kind of tube. 

I wondered what they would look like with a couple more 
stitches on the needle and much, much longer.
I cast on four stitches on one of the double pointed needles. 

Then you just knit all four stitches
~ Now for the (not so) tricky bit!
You slide all four stitches to the end of the needle, then continue to knit in a round.
Over, and over, and over again, never turning the work.
One handy hint is to pull the thread across the stitches very tightly each time, 
from left to right.

Then cast off.
I knitted two stitches at a time until I had a single one left.
Then I cut and pulled the yarn through the loop to make a knot. 
 Finally, with a wool needle, I thread in the loose ends of yarn.

Now I'm not sure what my boys would do without them, 
they play with them so much.

 Some useful ideas to get you started:
  • They are wound into a tight spiral as food or water for their other toys. (great for encouraging fine motor skills)
  • They are of course used as snakes
  • Crowns
  • Belts
  • Fences
  • Waterways
  • Boundaries
  • Bracelets
  • At one point they were tied around both of my boy's feet and then they attempted to have a 'shuffle race'
They really don't take that long to knit up.
Especially once you get into the rhythm of the repetitive action.
I hope you enjoy them as much as we have


10 July, 2010

Rainy Afternoon Puffy Painting

On browsing through some of my favourite blogs,
looking for an activity that was quick to start and fun to do,
I came across this one!

Requiring only some cardboard to paint on
& the recipe of

1T Self Raising Flour
1T Salt
A little water to make a paste
& food colouring of choice.

Then...you need to cook the finished pieces of art using...a microwave.
I've tried to get rid of ours many times, but each time, my man recommends we keep it.

Well, it seems he was right this time!

In the Beginning...
(and a not so natural blue...)

Mr Turtle in action


Oops, should have taken the photo, before my boys began creating.
But with the excitement, there just wasnt time!

A family who creates together...
Completed projects.
 These were cooked for about 15secs each
☺Well, Mama's happy☺
Outside mother earth is pouring rain onto our garden, and inside my two little guys are content ~ creating.
AND with this project I even get to (kind of) cook!  

08 July, 2010


Hello and welcome to my family.

You can call me AletaBon ~ a nickname from childhood that's always made me feel good!

I consider myself a continuously evolving Mama (dubbed Mama by my eldest at an early age ~ & with my youngest, well, it seems to have stuck!), partner, sister, friend and woman.

I grow with two gorgeous little men. My eldest born in 2006, youngest 2008. Heretherein known as Mr Turtle (Eldest) & Little Pipkin (Youngest).

My Man is my live-in & love-in support network. ♥ 

My friends & family are greatly my world. 

I endeavour to eat, grow, cook, shop and create as eco-consciously as I am able.
And each of those things I enjoy so much! ☆ ♫ ~ ♥ ~ ♫ ☆

I LOVE to make things. Use my hands. I love the tradition of it, the satisfaction and the creative process itself. Whether it be knitting, crocheting, beading, sewing, mending, painting, colouring, writing, cooking, baking, gardening or reading how to do it all, well... it all gives me pleasure. And happily, the rest of my family feel the same way.

And finally why am I writing a blog?
Well, to record it all.

My sons are now quite independant 2 and 4 year olds. But I have little idea where that time has gone. Without photos, I don't think I'd even remember half of what went on throughout that time!

So, I thought I'd create a diary of sorts.
For my family, for our friends all over the world and of course for myself.

I hope others will find it interesting too!

As for the description title of my blog? Well, they are words that inspire me and make me react to them in a passionate way. And they lead on to more things that interest me, such as:

~Everything Crafty ~Cooking
~all else
~My Family
~My Life and all that includes
~My Interests
It's a pleasure to share, I hope you enjoy reading.
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