30 November, 2011

November Favourite Photo 2011

Last night, I heard a loud thump on the verandah.
I turned on the light and guess what we were blessed to see?
Our first Tree Frog at this house. The size of my hand.
♥ Perfect Bliss  

From this month.

This moment is forever preserved.
To be remembered always.

29 November, 2011

November 2011. Remembered as spent Outdoors.

Last year was our first November, living in Queensland. I have been going back through my posts from the end of last year. While looking at the photos, I am remembering the weather. Lots and lots of rain!

This year so far, has been very different. I would say, perfect weather for us.
Below are a few snippets of how we've spent this last month, as yet another wonderful year is becoming a memory too...

View from our front balcony. Canopy alive with bird life.
Rainbow lorikeets
Katydid Leaf insect came to visit
The pool has become a central part 
of our daily rhythm.
One of four brushtail possums
that regularly run about our new Eumundi home.
A recent visit to Nan's. All of my boys are 'helping'.
Making leaf boats one early morning
along Gympie Tce
The curtain fig at Noosaville.
Next to the 'Pirate park' on Noosa River.
It's easy to spend an entire day there.
Last night, we had our Surprise Campfire,
as it was dubbed. Followed by a warm,
night time swim.
I truly hope you've created some wonderful memories this November too.


28 November, 2011

Wet felted Starfish Beanbag

Summer must be coming. I am thinking about starfish again.
I hand-sewed some last summer. This year they're wet felted.

This idea was suggested to me by a friend who had made them.
She used just an old plastic shopping bag for the resist.
So that is what I used too.

 Here I have combined complementary colours of fleece, 
by pulling thin wisps and layering them in opposite directions. 
Blending - to make a pretty pile.

 I had a bowl of hot water and worked over a towel. 
Taking only wisps at first (not looking at what I took from the pile) 
I wrapped each arm of the starfish. 
I used a little water and a little soap to gently rub
each addition around the whole template.

 Until it was completely covered. 
Then I added a second layer over the entire piece.

 I then laid the whole piece between layers of netting and began to gently rub at first. 
Trying to feel the shape of the resist underneath 
and keep the fleece as close to the original shape within, as possible.

 After about 20 mins of rubbing and turning within the netting, 
making sure the fleece was kept warm, 
I could remove it and work more vigorously. 

Once I was happy with my felted piece, 
I dried it in the sun and then cut a small slit in one of the arms 
and removed the resist, with tweezers. 

I sewed up the hole as invisibly as I was able, 
after filling the beanbag with split lentils through a funnel.
You could use rice, dried flowers, sand or perhaps just fleece stuffing.

I made the purple starfish as a test piece and then the orange starfish with a larger template. As the finished piece shrinks by about one third from the original size, it is best to keep this in mind when coming up with the original template. Something I had to take into consideration when organising this project to make with our School Craft Group last week. My purple starfish was perhaps a bit small to be a fun beanbag!

*Handy Hint - to achieve a more natural shape to my starfish templates, 
I use a search engine to find actual images of real starfish. 
I enlarge their size and print them out. 
Tracing onto card (or a plastic bag) from there.

*Interesting Note - Felting around a flat template creates a seamless, 
3 dimensional final piece. 
This is historically a Scandinavian feltmaking technique.

25 November, 2011

Making Damper Biscuits...All by themselves

Yesterday my eldest was up and about at 4:30am. This morning it was 4:10am. So, we have plenty of time to do all sorts of things in the mornings... 
Like my saying 'Yes' to the request of "Can we make our own Damper Mama?"

I knew the boys would be eating this. So I would rather they use good ingredients.

In true-ish Aussie damper style. The ingredients list consisted of only (Organic Wholewheat SR) flour, (Himalayan Rock) salt and (filtered) water.

I have no real idea of quantities!

Mr Turtle adding more flour so that he can roll it out. While his brother watches on.
This was about the time I realised that these would be biscuits. Not quite the damper bread I was expecting. I love their creative little minds.

They used their play-dough shape cutters.

Sweeping, wiping up and doing the dishes followed.
I would be giving a false impression if I led you to believe this was a common occurrence. 
I was surprised and VERY pleased! Especially as I didn't so much as suggest it.

The majority of these were eaten through the day. 
This was their first ever baking project that I have let them do completely by themselves (well, I was in charge of the oven). I am so proud and plan to keep encouraging this type of activity, especially with the cleaning up included!

 • . :°•..•°☆:.••

24 November, 2011

How to make a French Knitter (Knitting Nancy)

Doesn't this look gorgeous? 
The changing colours in the wool are a wonder to my children as they work.
The yarn we have used is beautifully hand-painted and 

is available from Jo at Indigo Inspirations.

 The french knitting frenzy that has taken over our home, 
began with an unexpected parcel in the mail from Poppy - my Dad.

 Inside the above parcel was a wonderful surprise. 
He made each of us our own Knitting Nancy (French Knitter)!
(There were 3, only my boys had opened their parcels at the point of 

photographing and I hadn't yet got to mine.)

I had to pop this genuine photo in.
My ever so patient little guys were just dying to see 
what Poppy had sent.
"It takes so long, you're always taking photos Mama!".
(Yes, I am. I have a terrible memory. 
I love pictorial reminders, so much  )
 Poppy's very generous and much loved gifts were slightly small for us beginners. 
So, we made our own larger version. To practice on.

Masking tape.  
Wooden ice-block sticks
A firm cardboard inner tube from baking paper I think it was. 
(I always keep these tubes for projects that may suddenly require them. 
See my Simple telescope post or Little Pip's painting, for example)

 Each of the four sticks are directly opposite each other. 
Measured by eye, where to place them and at which height. 

 The masking tape holds them in place nice and firmly.

How to begin knitting...

 Thread the end of the yarn down the centre of the tube.

Wrap the yarn in a clockwise direction, around each of the four sticks.

 Then bring the loose yarn, attached to the ball end, 
around the starting stick for the second time.

Pull the bottom loop over the new top loop.
Repeat on the second, third and fourth sticks.
Then repeat. Around and around. Over and over...

 Little Pipkin (4) now has the hang of it. 
Although he regularly pulls it all apart to begin again.

 Mr Turtle is listening to Roald Dahl's 'The BFG' (for the second time).
He loves audio books, 
but likes to do something with his hands (just like his Mama).

If you would rather a ready-made sweet little French Knitting Nancy Tool, 
like this one pictured. (Isn't it just gorgeous?) 
You can find them at Indigo Inspirations, with the rainbow wool too.

Happy Knitting!

I have linked with Natural Suburbia this week.
Pop on by to be inspired by other's shared creative-ness...

Natural Suburbia & Mamma4earth Christmas Giveaway!

Linda at Natural Suburbia and Mamma4earth, has put together more of her beautiful toys, yarn and patterns for another super generous giveaway. 
Just in time for Christmas.

Her Giveaway consists of:

1. One South African knitted Lion
2. One knitted chicken
3. One Aardvark Pattern
4. One Unicorn Pegasus Pattern
5. One skein of Rainbow Yarn

I love all of these wonderful items, I can immediately think of a friend and purpose for each of them! 
I am especially taken with the colours in the skein of rainbow yarn.

Here's the link : http://naturalsuburbia.blogspot.com/2011/11/mamma4earth-christmas-giveaway.html so you can put your name down too!

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