17 October, 2011

Special Sunday breakfast~ "Baked ricotta and fresh berries"

If we're going to make an extra special breakfast, it's usually on a Sunday. 
A cooked full-brekkie, pancakes, french toast... 
or like this weekend... we'll try something new!
How does Sweet Baked Ricotta with Fresh Berries sound?

Served with Essential Grain fruit toast, of course!

The actual recipe came from here; bills food .
A book full of yummy, simple recipes for each meal of the day.

 My batter

The baked result

I put a special surprise in the centre of each. 
A couple of raspberries. They worked out very well. 

15 October, 2011

Revamping our 'new' retro style, high velocity fan

I bought this fan at a garage sale fairly recently.

It was in dire need of some love and attention.

Little Pipkin and I unscrewed everything apart, that we could, and cleaned them all down. First with a small brush. 
Next with vinegar and water and a soft cloth. 
Then with steel wool to remove the surface rust. 
And finally I used a fine sandpaper all over the exposed surfaces, to help the paint to adhere.

Mr. Turtle bound all of the pieces that were black and didn't need to be rust proofed and repainted.
(I neatened up the edges & any gaps)

Then, with children watching from the decking above, I sparingly and gently sprayed every exposed surface I could find. I was so determined to do it perfectly, it may have taken me longer than it would most people!
The fellow at the hardware store, helpfully recommended I use a rust proofing spray paint. We found one in chrome.

 And now, Voilà!
My first ever upcycled piece of home-ware. I think I may have the bug now.
I just love it. I really feel like I (we) achieved so much.
We did this together. We saved money. We upcycled someone's trash into our own treasure. It looks funky and is functional. 

Just in time for the humid weather that is upon us now, already in October. 
What do you think?


13 October, 2011

Imagination in a child's play

Mr Turtle this afternoon, gathered a belt, some yarn and a couple of sticks.

"Today Mama, I am King Stone and this is my Elfin Sword."
then, only minutes later;

"No. I am Green Dragon and this is Rainbow Boy."
Little Pipkin pipes up, "I am a Knight!"

 I love these times.
Invited into a child's world.
The reality of make believe.

11 October, 2011

Clay Play ~Air dry clay with kids

This is a fun activity to really get dirty with, but only if you want to!

 This 2kg pack cost me around A$6 from a discount store.

 The boys modelled the clay. Dabbing their hands in water if it was something they wanted to join together (like the limbs on Mr Turtle's person).
It was a bit like modelling our playdough, but with thick mud!

 We set them in the sun to dry.

 Then the boys painted each piece, ever so carefully. Leaving them to dry again. Then the pieces were placed to display on the Nature Table along with our other treasures. 

A beautiful, crafty friend has told me we can go to the Cooroy Butter Factory to have pieces glazed and fired if we make anything we really want to keep forever. Perhaps something to keep in mind for the future?
For now, this was all about crafting for fun. A together activity. Learning about our earth and how we can interact with her. Who knows where knowledge like this may lead us in our coming years?

09 October, 2011

Seasonal Strawberry Salad

On these Hotter days. 
A quick, light meal can be much more appealing.

Strawberries are in season here right now. Along with baby spinach & rocket leaves. 
We also tossed in some toasted pine nuts & marinated goat's feta cheese.
The dressing was made up of a drizzle of olive oil & a splash of balsamic vinegar, which combined nicely with the spiced oil from the feta.

Lots here for little fingers to do to help make dinner.

I think this could happily be served alongside nearly everything. Meat, Quiche, a pie or pasty, BBQ, other salads... 
Delectable, Natural & Nourishing.

07 October, 2011

Latest Op shop/Thrift store visit

 This is always the kind of thing I want to find when I go op shopping!

 An old Bushell's jar full of someone's once loved cotton collection...for A$2

 And of course, to find somewhere to display them all...
 until My Man makes me the timber wall hanging stand I've been Hinting at for a few months or so now...

...This will do nicely.

 My children go in and out of phases, liking space or sea creatures or some other theme. But dinosaur obsession has not yet wavered. So when I spotted these (a stack for A$3.50) I snapped them up. And they are being completely adored and appreciated!

Within the stack was a book on drawing dinosaurs! Perhaps a little advanced for my particular 3 and 5 year olds just now, but I'm sure this will become invaluable, in the years to come.

 A treat for me! Two of these gorgeous saucers. I just love the colours and the spiral.

I'm sure I'll find a use for these soon enough. How I wish I had the time and patience to create these myself! One day, one day... For now though, I'm grateful someone else did.

04 October, 2011

Love Heart Swap ~ Toadstool House

I have wanted to join in on an international craft swap for the longest time. I had started considering looking into this idea more just a few months ago, when one came along on it's own, that was just perfect. 
The Universe really does provide, doesn't it?
Linda, who beautifully writes one of my favourite blogs ~ Natural Suburbia ~ suggested a swap that I felt was just perfect for my first time: Sending LOVE HEART SWAP:-  "Anything crafty and made with Love". Ideal!

I quickly signed up and spent the next 2 weeks changing my mind back and forth and back again, once I found out who my swap partner was: Regina who blogs at ~ and a baby makes four... . 
Hmm, a knitter, so I'll choose another craft then...

None of  you are surprised I chose to needle felt?

Detail of door & vines

Detail of wildflowers
Surprise heart on the base
Although I had originally decided on Autumnal colours,
bright colours ended up working their way in, instead.
Maybe it was the Spring change in the air at the time I was Making. 
I sure hope Regina and her boys enjoy my Toadstool House. My boys and I were so excited posting it off with a few other goodies to America!

Other amazing creations for this wonderful and successful swap can be found at Natural Suburbiahere and here. Go on and check them out. 
I am so grateful I was able to be included!

When my own surprise swap gift arrives I'll share it with you. Poor Regina found Australia's posting guidelines fairly restrictive, where her creative ideas were concerned. I hope the mail gods will smile upon her parcel soon.

02 October, 2011

Felt Shapes, Felt Animals & Felt Boards

 When Mr Turtle was very young and Little Pipkin was still waiting to join us, I found the time to hand-sew felt animals and cut out felt shapes, to play with on felt boards. This was an activity I adored as a child (My own Mama did the same thing). 
Mr Turtle though, rarely ever sat down long enough to play felt pictures with me. Perhaps I expected too much of a pre-2 year old?

Mr Turtle is now 5 and Little Pipkin is 3. Now they both really enjoy felt picture play.

I have so much going on right now that hand-sewing all of the creatures and characters the boys request, seems an out of reach achievement for me at the moment. So, although these pre-made felt boards would usually be my second choice for a variety of reasons. At $5 each, I couldn't resist them in a supermarket visit.
(Ordinarily I would prefer to buy something like this, 2nd hand.)

However, the boys LOVE them. 

Sometimes it comes down to 'time available' vs 'my ideal world' 
This time, the boys are happy - then so am I.
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