a few weeks ago we had the chance to join the kcc club ( Kiwi conservation club, a group for children), on a trip in our local abel tasman national park; going by ferry to one of the bays further in the park ( Bark Bay) and doing a few activities with other families. This was our second attempt at this trip as it had already been postponed once due to inclement weather. It was still grey and drizzly, but we loved it. how nice to be in the outdoors, and silly that we don't do it more often.
the split apple rock
And I couldn't resist adding this snap, taken 5 minutes ago of my wee boy singing the wombles song with improvised mike, and stand; he's no genius or prodigy, but he has music in his veins and is constantly rocking out! We had a home schoolers ukulele group lesson here in the weekend and he learned the C cord. Lets C where he goes from here! He he
A morning with just Joska and me, saw me try to return to my happy place from yesterday.... my beautifully carded wool calling my name... alas those "simple' machines I praised yesterday, just frustrated me today... I couldn't get the tension right on either of my two free or nearly free spinning wheels, but did manage to spin up one of my coloured batts from yesterday into a very gnarly and funky yarn.
Another experimental "batt": White washed unnamed sheep wool, some purple corriedale, some ashford merino and silk blended together, some angora bunny fibre, romney locks and a sparkly fibre, maybe tencel, found at the dump ( recycling centre), one day, plus some yarn off cuts from knitting. Any words of wisdom regarding spinning wheels? Luckily I'm still riding on my high from yesterday, and peace and quiet so not too down in the dumps...
After a day spent dying wool with food colouring with another family yesterday, we were able to borrow their drum carder for the weekend. It wasn't exactly working smoothly so I took it apart and defluffed it and oiled it, and put it together. ( I love simple machine like this, and spinning wheels and my trusty treadle; even Me, a novice can work out how to get them going again). Then we played!
While we took turns playing with the (almost all) fiber in the house, other creative happenings were quietly occurring in other parts of the house. And this is what we (Me) all needed, after the week I've had. ( Lots of shouting ( all of us), wondering if I'm enough, struggling to find our mojo after the holidays still, and our endless sniffles and random fevers etc)
I think we clocked up about 6 hours with food just on the run, and baby asleep or jiggled or on my back. Tobin? he made an art batt, played lego ,built train tracks and had many dips in our paddling pool. PMS has a lot to answer for and I'm still getting in the groove of all that after Joska. Now, the kids are going to bed and my feet are sore from standing all day, my hands are cut up from the spikey things on the carder, but I feel like I had a holiday and come back refreshed. From my fiber filled happy place. And so glad the kids "got" it too! And I've got 5 shopping bags filled with Batts ready to spin... now to get my spinning wheel spinning smoothly. Happy weekending!
firstly, this time last year I was pregnant! Now this monkey seems like he's always been part of us and we are really enjoying him! As you can tell he's on the move, and check out his reading material! I start 'em early!
Our eldest daughter turned 8 on Wednesday. WOW! A few mad sewing days over labour weekend ensured we had something to give her and she a new pack all ready for some first overnight hiking adventures this summer.
The gadern a year on from us moving in is a riot of colour and growth ( and plenty of weeds and grass, but i do what I can when I can), thanks to all the rain we've had and then the warm weather ( a bit cool at night for my liking now though,... we've had some frosts this week, I want to get my tomatoes in...)
The camera and my photographic skills don't do it justice! The local bookfair is on tomorrow... always a bargain to be had. Happy Springing!
A sophia elf cardigan for Maaike from the same book.
Our spring table, featuring hand dipped candles and a new rainbow tea light candle holder from the steiner spring fair today!
Parsnips from the garden! For parsnip chips, as we are starchy carb- free ( most of the time). Pretty exciting as I 've never been able to grow root veg before! ( cut parsnips into chip shape, coat with oil or butter, toss in turmeric and salt and bake until crunchy, serve with homemead aioli, yum!)
A shawl, made by me, from wool gifted to me by my husband for my birthday in July, its misti Alpaca sock wool. and the pattern came from a KNITscene Magazine.
A Roald Dahl, BFG foot cake for Struan's birthday in August, proudly decorated by kidlets!
A beautifully flowing homeschooling day last week which resulted in lots of seeds started for planting later, some secret gardens ( old seed packets given to kids to "surprise Me ' in spring), a pea seed or two planted by kids to measure and plot progress on a graph over time, and a lovely garden salad, picked, prepared and enjoyed by all of us.
Life with four kids is busy ( i know , I keep saying that), and Joska is beautiful but not the easiest ( still often sleeps no more than 30 minutes at a time), and we've been figuring out the best way to tackle homeschooling the others and me keepig sane! I've felt hugely better for taking a B vitamin complesx for a month or two , and we now have a bit more routine and rythym in the days, inspired by this post and i find that me putting energy into the morning to plan something helps everything else flow better, makes sense of course, but I had to find energy first!
Joska eats solids now and crawls, chases the cat and is delightfully busy! What a journey we've had! Hope this finds you well and happy, here's to many more sunny spring days... rain rain go away for a wee while....
Some of the finished buttons. These ones are cherry wood: now sanded and sealed with homemade beeswax polish. Wrapped up with some wool and a pattern for my mum who has rediscovered knitting! (She taught me everything i needed to start my knitting journey around age 8)
These ones are either apple or hazel wood, (there's just a big pile of unfinished buttons in the shed...the cherry ones are obvious, the rest less so), adorning a newly finished winter coat for Joska.
The pattern is the
"baby in the hood jacket" from Anna Maria Horner's 'Handmade Beginnings.' The outer fabrics are velveteen and some sort of upholstery stuff from op shops, then stashed. The lining is some train print cotton from the local school gala/bookfair last year.
The tree buttons were sliced a few weeks ago, then I drilled the holes using a 1.5 mm drill bit and left to dry for a few weeks. Then in the last few days I've sanded the ones I needed with 180 grit sandpaper and polished with some wax and vegetable oil melted together ( I have a big pot of it in the pantry), I think it was 50/50 mix.
I had a few casualties, but they were wafer thin to start with.
I have a knitting project to be getting on with ( when Joska has his 30 min cat nap); what will you do with this cold, wet weekend?
A long weekend, just what we needed! You too? On Saturday we cleaned and gardened a little bit, and Joska and I partied until late at a lovely Mother blessing. I found it a but full on emotionally; I knew my last birth experience was still fresh, but I didn't realise just how raw it all still was. There was talk of the hardness of it and then the moment of euphoria after and I realised I didn't get that; no endorphins to balance the experience, no real rush of love for my baby, not then anyway. The love has come slowly and gradually ( which is real and valid for many women), but I feel a bit ripped off that I didn't get that moment! I didn't feel empowered this time. I like to think I kept that stuff out of that environment but I'm probably quite see-through when I'm trying to hide my feelings etc. I wish my friend an amazing and empowering birth experience and I don't doubt for a moment that she'll get that. Soon too!
Yesterday the older kids had a Nanny(Granny-Nanny) day, and Struan and Joska and I headed into Nelson for a day of birthday shopping ( Maaike will be 6 next week!) and Founders Book Fair-ing. Struan carried Joska mostly and my body had a little break.
Today I thought, "I need tree buttons!" so I chopped some branches off and a tree down and made Struan cut some button sized bits. We also ended up with some block sized bits for the kids and some kindling. It was a mama-initiated activity but the kids loved it too. Tobin was a helping builder man and the girls were chatting excitedly about using the blocks to make fairy plates or chairs and things.
Here are some of my prized book fair finds ( there were two bags between us all up). I particularly like the gum nut babies books after seeing the author profiled in Frankie magazine a while back. Then at Spotlight I saw a range of quilting Fabric with the same illustrations. Yay! (I didn't get any this time).
Life is busy! So My husband though a mental health day was in order, especially after the last dress rehearsal finished at 8.30pm on Tuesday! ( Quite late for our family). And thanks to the stage manager ( or whoever he is) at the show we discovered a lovely reserve 5 minutes from our place (walking), with beautiful huge trees, some simple swings, a beautiful stream and the locals have planted fruit trees etc (go them!)
We had taken some snacks and dressed warm.
Joska is modeling the oslo anorak, knitted from some beautiful variegated yarn from the local yarn store and the grey is polwarth from potters patch. I had to do some adjustments as the yarn knitted up in a bigger gauge (no I didn't swatch first, but not bad for fudging the numbers). It fits perfectly, and It looks so cute!
We also went mushrooming but learned that its good to wait until after rain as we found a grand total of two! We went on a learning trip to the same place last week so I was only picking those I knew were guaranteed safe. But I hope to learn more varieties in future, I love foraging!