31 May, 2011

May 2011 Favourite Photo

Myself & my Sister at the school's beautiful Children's Fair.
This month

Myself & my Sister, at home in Wattle Grove, Western Aust.
30 years ago...

A favourite snapshot ~ of our lives.
From this month.
This moment is forever preserved.
To be remembered always.

Natural Kids Face Paints and Face Pencils

Like many children, my boys love their faces painted.
They love it when a fairy or similar does it when we're out and about.
They love it when I do it.
They especially love to Do It Themselves!

So, it's not unusual, if they're being particularly quiet together in the bathroom - to find them into the face paints and pencils!

We have been lucky enough to put a wish out there for the most natural and beautiful brands we know of (which are quite expensive, but our preference all the same).
And have it answered by my gorgeous sister-in-law & my brother ~ both times.
It may not always be pretty, but boy is it fun!

29 May, 2011

Thought I'd make a Rainbow Button Doll, from repurposed craft items

 My button tin was sorted on a rainy January day.

 This came in rather handy when I decided to attempt a Button Doll.
I've never seen one, I just remember reading about them somewhere, 
some time ago.
I remembered the basic premise and thought I'd give it a go!

 Interestingly, every item I used is either pre-loved or a scrap, which is nice.
Reminiscent of a time when Button Dolls were popular, I would think.
* small Wooden beads from op-shop necklaces.
* large head bead, several given to me amongst other leftover crafty bits
* buttons gifted one Christmas many moons ago (I was so excited to receive my own button tin!) by my step-Mum (including some from her Mum). 
If I've added to it, they've been buttons removed from repurposed items.
* thread; lengths left over from a hand~sewing project (truly!)
* felt; again scrap from another project

 A triangular gnomes hat, with a faceless, Waldorf~esque looking head.
That's our thing these days though.

 And then Mr Turtle used his new art box to draw a face!
Not so Steiner...

Here, the rainbow button doll is riding his rainbow horse. Of course!
I wonder how this photo would have turned out if Mr Turtle was wearing his much loved rainbow pants.

27 May, 2011

Easy, Healthy, Gluten Free Carob Cupcakes Recipe

We recently had the gorgeous and grand Children's Fair ~ the primary fundraiser at our beautiful school.
I made two recipes to donate to the Children's Stall:~
Gluten free Organic Carob Cupcakes
As these are both two of my very popular dessert recipes, I thought I'd pass the recipes on to you (in 2 separate posts), to make for and share with your friends and loved ones 

Not too many ingredients - really easy!

A few things to keep those little fingers occupied as they 'help' in the kitchen.

I'd like to start this recipe by saying, the original recipe is here.
I have altered it to suit us though, so it's up to you which you'd prefer to follow.
Gluten free Organic Carob Cupcakes
1/2t  Gluten&Aluminium free baking powder
25g   Carob powder
100g Almonds, ground (I find it easier to locate organic almonds, than organic almond meal)
50g   Grapeseed oil
100g Maple syrup
3        Eggs (we always choose organic/home grown)

Preheat the oven to 170°C. Place 10  paper cases into a (12) muffin tin.
Sift the baking powder and carob powder into a large bowl.
Add the ground almonds and mix well.
In another bowl, whisk together the oil, syrup and eggs.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir together until completely combined.
Spoon the mixture into the paper cases, dividing more or less evenly into each one.
Bake for around 20 minutes. Or until they're firm, though spongy in the centre.
Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack and leave to cool.

You can decorate them  with fresh fruit or a spread if you wish, once cooled. But at our house, they're generally always devoured while still warm!

25 May, 2011

Healthy Fruit and Nut Ball Recipe~ Orange & Date Balls

We recently had the gorgeous and grand Children's Fair ~ the primary fundraiser at our beautiful school.
I made two recipes to donate to the Children's Stall:~
 Organic Orange & Date Balls

As these are both two of my very popular dessert recipes, I thought I'd pass the recipes on to you (in 2 separate posts), to make for and share with your friends and loved ones

Date and Orange Balls
This recipe is just an Energy Ball recipe.
Energy balls, are nutritious little pockets of healthiness (I prefer to make mine just the right size for a mouthFULL...). 
These ingredient quantities below, made around 40 balls for us.

4cups      Dates, chopped first is easiest
1½ cups Coconut, shredded
2cups      Almonds, ground (I find it easier to locate organic almonds, than organic almond meal)
4T           Orange juice, freshly squeezed (often equal to the juice of one orange)
2T           Orange rind, zest (ie. grated finely)

Grind the almonds first in a food processor, then add all remaining ingredients and mix until completely combined.
Roll spoon fulls of the mix into balls.
Roll in coconut and refrigerate to firm up.

They also freeze beautifully and so can be made in advance. They don't take too long to defrost either, if you have delightfully unexpected visitors!

Rolling the balls into shape, and then again into the coconut, is an easy part the children may enjoy helping you with.

23 May, 2011

Sewing Appliqué with Buttons - potato design!

Yes, the title of this post is entirely honest.
This design was in fact inspired while eating roast vegies off of one of my delightful plates a few nights ago.

 I thought it might be best not to photograph my half devoured meal. 
The elastic band represents the roast potato instead!

 When I found an hour to myself (!) I sat down to match colours and get started.

 As I'm practically self taught in sewing and craft, I'm really not sure what one SHOULD do when creating an appliqué design. Although, as I'm happy with the end results and I learn so much by just 'winging it' - I don't mind sharing with you my possibly 'incorrect' methods!
(If you do think of some helpful advice for me though, please feel free to comment at the end of my posts!)

To get a circle, I folded the flower fabric in quarters, matching the pattern at all corners, then cut in a curved line.

I used iron-on dual sided adhesive paper to attach the 'potato' to the flower print, then zigzagged with the sewing machine.
The buttons are sewn on VERY well, so little fingers won't pick or pull them off.

 And there we have it.
I think boys can look masculine AND gorgeous in flowers, don't you?

21 May, 2011

Simple Scrap Fabric Doll

A while ago at craft group, a little friend of ours collected up scraps of felt and during the morning, made a doll from them.
This memory came in handy recently, when Little Pipkin was looking for something to 'sew'.

We have a bag of scrap fabric. Pieces I have discarded when sewing, mostly.
The boys use them for all sorts of things - dressing their toys, threading garlands, cutting and glueing into pictures.

It didn't take long to find the perfect piece to begin Little Pip's own doll.

Materials:  Cardboard roll, wooden bead, needle, thread, fabric.
And definitely some concentration & patience!

 Wrap fabric tightly around cardboard roll and sew down length.

 Attach bead for head by sewing through hole and gathered fabric (to form neck).

These days, not too much help by Mama is required with stitching.
Little Pipkin turned 3 last month, so this really is a fairly
simple project for little fingers.

 With a rainbow shawl (it is getting cooler!)


19 May, 2011

Not so fierce Felt Birthday Dragon

Mr Turtle requested a Dragon for his birthday.
Slightly more difficult than Little Pip's Toadstools & Pig
I looked through Knitting, Sewing & Crochet patterns before I came up with this gorgeous fellow.

His pattern came from the delightful Rhythm of the Home online magazine.

I used quite thick, sturdy felt (dyed industrial felt) - knowing he would be played with in all manner of ways and environs...

 I had some fun with the wings.
Dragon's can be beautiful can't they?

 Happily, he loves it.

Happy Birthday to our Big Boy ❤

18 May, 2011

Leafy Inspiration

Mr Turtle is poorly today. 
So a simple stroll around the garden ~ in bare feet of course ~ was enough energy to expend.

(see the book:" Earthing" for more about healing while connecting with our Mother Earth -thanks MJ!)

At the same time, we had a closer look at some of the smaller leaves growing in our garden.
We picked one of each leaf, that was a little different from the last. 

I then scanned them to enter and save in Mama's Inspiration Book.

(Little Pipkin kept occupied using the leaves for some artwork. 
Tracing, rubbing, snipping and such.) 

Simple and Slow.
All that was required today.

I'm off, to go back and cuddle on the couch.

17 May, 2011

Watercolour Pencils & Decorating Bead Necklaces

When I was a pre-teen, all I wanted were a '72 set of Derwent Colour Pencils'.
Eventually, one Christmas I got them!
I saved them for best and as you can see, I still have them to this day.
I love All of those Colours

 Mr Turtle has been showing some interest in drawing of late, so for his 5th birthday we bought him a gorgeous wooden box set of Derwents. 
This set included colouring pencils, watercolour pencils, sketching pencils and other lovely accessories.
Little Pipkin has been enjoying them too.

 I have a collection of beautiful beads from Chunky Timbers, in Kalgoorlie, West Aust.
I use them in some of my creations.
They're made from local, recycled timber trimmings - mostly mulga, pixie bush, gimlet, boree, jarrah, sandalwood, gidgee, Goldfields blackbutt and others.They're also just the right size for little fingers (the hole too - for threading)

 So with these and the pencils.
My boys found themselves their own craft project.

 This activity was devised last week and both boys are still wearing their necklaces today and have been Every Day.
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