30 April, 2012

Of course, the animals already knew

The animals around us are on the move.

Our garden is alive right now, with creatures that slide, creep and crawl.

Ants are having 'festivals' everywhere.
As Little Pipkin continuously is pointing out.

My Man climbed up to the roof to do a little routine clearing of the guttering.

"And what to his glee,
did he shout he could see?"

I love how Mr Turtle is so carefully, lovingly, almost caressingly -
holding the python skin.
He is such a Nature Boy.

This week we've been feeling the change in seasons...
Although, I'm sure,
the animals already knew...

26 April, 2012

My Waldorf Math Story Gnomes

There is so much I love about the Waldorf - Steiner method of learning.
One of the things I love are the stories.
Using imagination to reach the child.
Stories to teach morals, empathy and appropriate behaviour.
Stories to teach about the way the world works, such as the seasons changing.
The rich and complex language and imagery used in stories to teach many subjects.
Math included.
I have seen many Math Gnomes for sale, that are very simple.
Only colours and symbols are used to differentiate each one.
For me however, the story of each gnome is important.
The story is the connection between the child and the symbol.
My math gnomes are created with tokens from their own personal story. Proudly displaying their own personality. To make them individually recognisable before the math symbol itself, is.
A naturally occurring imperfection in the timber.
If a happy face can be described as an Imperfection!

Counting gnome Characters in my Land of Numeria
(I like that they can be male or female):
Division - Divide ~ RED. knows how to share out gemstones and help others.
Subtraction - Minus ~ BLUE. with ragged clothes, holes in pockets. always dropping & losing gemstones. 
Addition - Plus ~  GREEN. the biggest gnome, with gemstone filled pockets. adds more as they are found.
Multiplication - Times ~ YELLOW.  small and spritely. bright as a flame finding more gemstones than the others.
Equals ~ PURPLE. king. wisest number gnome. receives all gemstones from the counting gnomes.
As with all handmade creations. No two are exactly alike.
I prefer to let the gnomes themselves dictate exactly how they will look in the end.
So far, in the sets I have been asked to make,
 I think they have done a pretty good job!

24 April, 2012

School Market Day - Autumn 2012

I have been creating. Ready for the school market day.

I have been busy and will have much to share with the school community on the day.

Here's a sneak peek of some of the items that will be for sale...

Knitted Rainbow horses $35 each
100% wool yarn.
100% Australian.
16ply - $6.50 each ball.
Camphor Laurel candle stands $24.
Candle Stand kits $20.
Embroidered felt gnomes $14.
Felt animal kits $19.50.
Repurposed felt branch wands $10.
Crowned gnome & embroidered bed $19.
Authentic baltic amber jewellery.
Adult necklace $50.
Adult bracelet $20.
Older child necklace $40.
Child teething necklace $35.
Child bracelet-anklet $15.
Heart mobiles $30.
Heart mobile kits $25.
Chewable necklaces for older children.
Popular with those cutting teeth.
$12 each.
I often get emails (and some comments) asking when I will be selling my items on etsy!
So far I haven't found the time to specifically make and list for my store there, (that's still on the to do list!).

I am selling on etsy NOW!
 I am regularly making custom orders and happy to do so for you if you are interested.
Please email me at HinterlandMama@gmail.com for requests and further discussion!

And for those who read this, who will be at school...
(I apologise that I am a little paranoid to write the actual details of when and where of the market day here. Although you can personally contact me for more details.)
Come along and say hello.

I am looking forward to this market day being a success and a deliciously sunshiny day!

21 April, 2012

Getting creative in the school holidays

Our  school holidays are now finished here on the Sunshine Coast.
It was lovely not having to get up and busy by a certain time each morning.

I had two handmaketh workshops and plenty else on.
However, we all still found time to get crafty and creative.

Here is some of what we got up to.
Clay Play.
A beautiful rainbow by Little Pip.
The knitted ladybug bookmark I mentioned on my facebook page,
that I am so proud of completing!
Our boys completed their peg doll gnomes they began last year at Craft Group.
Setting up the story of 'The 3 Little Pigs' to play with cousin J-man
Mr Turtle sitting in his "Nature Shelter"
(I love the doorstep!)
And I DID make another dragonfly. This time with flat felt wings.
felt dragonfly tutorial here.
 What did you get up to in the holidays with your children?
(I always love learning new ideas)

19 April, 2012

Our newest worm farm

We have missed not having a worm farm since we moved to Queensland.
We've been looking for a suitable receptacle; the right size and to be user (child) friendly.
Then happily, we found an almost brand new commercial ensemble at our local 'tip shop'.

We brought it home, gave it a clean and set it up.

 Ready to introduce our new family of 2000, thanks to  Eco Vally Worms.

We'll leave them for a few days now to settle in, have a munch and get comfy in their new home.
Before we take another peek at our new pets!

16 April, 2012

My Craft Book Collection

I often get requests for the titles of the craft books I love.

In these photos are the ones I own.
The ones you will find on the shelf in my craft room.

Some of the titles I can often be found perusing that I have borrowed and do not (yet) own, I mostly list on the right hand side of my blog. 

My favourite craft book image is in The Knitted Farmyard.
I hope to create this myself...One Day...
I love the words of Amanda Blake Soule.
I have read this introduction, many, many times.
And every time, I smile inside.
From the top:
I am very grateful to have these wonderful books at my finger tips, 
if ever I need them or feel like a 'pick me up'.
I feel so lucky that talented folk put their heart and soul into print, 
for people like me to enjoy and be inspired by.

14 April, 2012

Tutorial - Dry (needle) felted dragonflies

When I think Autumn, I think dragonflies...
See another dragonfly crafting post here,  

Before I depict any animal in craft, I try to find a photo of a real creature, 
rather than a sketch or drawing.
This large, detailed image is from the gorgeous book:
 Smart Permaculture Design by Jenny Allen

To begin my felt dragonfly, I dreaded a body length. 
Careful to have a thicker body and thinner tail. 
And rolled two similar sized pieces of fleece into balls for eyes.

I used a 38gauge dry felting needle throughout the project. 
First to attach the eyes and add detail (orange stripes) onto the body.
Rolling a length of fleece into a sausage, or dread.
Rolling a small piece of fleece into a ball.
To make wings, I began by tightly wrapping a white pipecleaner with fleece.
Smoothing around the pipecleaner with my fingers (in a single direction) 
until the fibres came together, to felt.

I then poked a hole through the body of my dragonfly 
and pushed the now felted pipecleaner to the centre.

I looped each end of the pipecleaner and twisted it back into the body. 
To hide the sharp ends.

Close up of the looped ends of the pipecleaner
(which is wrapped in fleece) - minus the dragonfly body.
Wrap and needle felt wisps of fleece around the wing armature, 
taking care not to hit the pipecleaner with the dry felt needle. 
Hitting this may break the needle.

For the back wings, I gently rubbed 2 lengths of fleece into thin strips.

Then wrapped the end of each length around the front wing. 
Then needled  into place.

I plan to make another dragonfly using thin felt for the wings. 
(see below)
To try to achieve the translucency of a real dragonfly's wings. 
However, these little guys will be played with by young folk,
 so I thought it best to make the wings as sturdy as I could.

(See this post to look at the dragonfly I have made with thin felt wings.
I love how it turned out.)

As is often the case, my boys were alongside me whilst crafting.
Mr Turtle wanted to make his own dragonfly too.
He began by drawing one, copying the form onto a piece of paper. 
Which gave him an idea of how he wanted to proceed in fleece.
Then he began.
My boys have been using dry felting needles for a while now, 
so I don't feel there is any need to hover. 
If they prick themselves - they know it hurts! 
So, like the rest of us, they do their best to avoid it.
I went off to do some chores and left him creating.

And came back to find this beautiful wonder.
He achieved the translucence of the wings I think.

Do you have insects you associate with particular seasons too?
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