Thursday, October 1, 2009

Sprout Market

This afternoon we got on down to Sprout Market, a local community market in a community garden in Thornbury. WE met a marvellous person, Antonia of Ceiba Tree, dying fabrics with plants such as eucalyptus trees and onion skins, and made very cute toys . I took her pic and said I would put it up ion my blog. The Two Chickens were very inspired, and got me thinking further about my little cottage industry idea I have planned for the new (baby) year....still a secret , sort of, inspired largely by Little House on The Prairie...

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

God's Best Joke

For chicken two's seventh birthday we ventured to the aquarium. By far my favourite creature was this fellow, who must be God's best joke ever. Thank you thank you little guy for the great big laugh we all had at your expense!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Return from the Land of Morning (All Day) Sickness

Such a long absence from this blog can only be explained by four words...nineteen weeks with child! Or perhaps I should add a couple forty! Yes, I turned forty, and discovered number three child is on it's way, accompanied by languid, sickly lollings on the bed, gazing out the window wondering when I should try being vertical! Oh, and continuing mothering, teaching yoga, and studying full time!
It is fascinating how joy and wonder at the miracle of conception and the impending visitation of another cosmic being onto earth can be accompanied by such dreaded, phsyiological and emotional ordinariness.
Most wonderful and novel has been the added constant joy and anticipation of my two darling chicken daughters, who await their tiny sibling with such excitement and curiosity. Daily tummy kisses, and infinite questions about the logistics of it all, how big is the babby, what if it kicks so hard it makes you fall over...
9 year old chicken remembered our friend who lost her baby, and then the question, "What happens if the baby dies in your tummy. Do you have to push it out?"
Answer: Chicken 2, 6 years old, " It just wasn't ready yet, it just goes back to God. It will try again later."
The infinte wisdom of the dreamy young...

Other than this Big event...
The odd felted gift.

An obsession with Moomins at story time!!

and the enjoyment of Greek Mythology told by a great yarn spinner, Padraic Colum.

Steiner Teacher training has been wonderful, with a current immersion in Norse Mythology, the time of the ten year old (Class Four).

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Recovery Saturday

After a week of dental emergencies, head lice and skin punctures, I am ready for a day at home to recover. Playing nurse is NOT my forte, and I often faint at the sight of blood...particularly when spurting forth frm my youngest child's sweet hand! So poor little shocked nervous me needs a day of knitting and baking to bring the equalibrium.

Mmmm...roasted pecan and orange muffin...

The week at Steiner teacher training; two examples of the painting exercise based on a story of a little rooster who thought he told the sun to rise, and set off to tell it to stay down to prove it!

The girls amusing themselves with playing schools for hours...

Discovered Ravelry, a passionate novice knitter's inspiration!
Eagerly awaiting this Australian film...

Sunday, May 3, 2009

A freezing Sunday Morning Market Trawl

Chicken 1 and I hit the Camberwell Market at 6.30am this morning! Rugged up in layers of wool, ponchos, cardigans, scarves, gloves, we wandered around searching for treasures. We found a basket of wool, and carded, dyed fleece (great for felting), old jumpers to felt, additions to our almost complete collection of Lemony Snickett books, which are too scary to read right now, but deliciously terrifying to look forward to. I found a knitting pattern book by Jo Sharp, even though I am unable to knit most of the things in there! I also found some yummy trousers in the perfect style for me!

Shopping done by 8.30am, we came home to a cosy eggs on toast, and proceeded to felt jumpers, which I will turn into a patched kidney warmer with chunky velcro to fasten. My lower back and associated organs will be very happy for that!
Speaking of which, my lyre is comiong along very slowly, on whack at a time!

And on to an afternoon of knitting for my dear friend's first baby boy. At the rate I am going, it should be ready for her winter in New York! The pattern is from a divine little book Last-Minute Knitted Gifts.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A Doll in a Day - Steiner/Waldorf Doll Making In Action

Chicken 1 sprained her ankle and stayed home from school to rest it. We sat in the morning sun working on kindergarten tables. She was finishing her Farming poem with sweet illustrations. I started looking at my Child Study for my Steiner teacher training course. Steiner stressed the importance of doing child studies, and particularly within the college of teachers (teaching staff at the school). A child is chosen, and the teachers observe the child on a physical level first, noting absolutely everything they can. Things like how they walk upon the earth, their gaze voice, teeth, fingers, nails, hand dominance. The study moves onto intuitive observations. Steiner said the mere fact that all the teachers are contemplating this child is very beneficial for the child, and recommended every child have at least one study done on them in their school life.

As for the afternoon, we decided to make a baggy doll for a dear little friend who ended up in hospital on the weekend and is needing cheering up! We felted a handful of op shop jumpers in the hot washing machine, and chicken 1 tried her hand at making a real Waldorf/Steiner formed head. We always use Maricristin Sealy's divine book, Kinder Dolls (now published as Making Waldorf Dolls). I love this book, but always tend to adapt, or mix and match the different aspects of different dolls in the book. I have some in depth photos of the sewing of the eyes and mouth. My girl added the embroidery at the end, oh, and we threw in some lavender from my recently relocated and dead Lavender hoo.

Stuffing the tube made from an old t-shirt, and tied with linen thread at the end and turned inside out.

Stuff it well, and you get a firm egg. You then have to tie it in the middle again firmly and that is the neck.

You have to halve the head by tying an eye line in the centre with the same linen thread.

You sew an outer skin layer and pull it on like a sock. Tie it at the neck and there is you head.

Pin out the eyes and mouth and start stitching from the back. Careful not to ever tug!

I decided to crochet a wig and sew it on, using a nice fuzzy mohair, which doesn't show up my random crochet effort.

Another sausage like shape for the arms, which stitch onto the ball under the head.
I used some felted jumper for the baggy body, cutting out one piece, stitching, turning inside out and stuffing. A small opening cut at the neck allows the arms and head to squeeze in and some sewing onto body.

A bit of loving embroidery to finish. Yummy little Steiner dolly to cuddle, smelling all lavendery!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!

Just stumbled upon a gorgeous splash of 60s fashion and colour from this blog.

And this is the somewhat fluffier, suburban backyard version...

Perhaps I have established an Easter Sunday knitted hat tradition. I am pretty pleased with the result. Chicken No. 1 swears it is not too big for her. I think it could probably do with a felt, but she seems happy with it not being a snug fit.

Chickens spent the day "grooming" our SIX guinea pigs. Dabbing with warm lavender water, combing and cleaning. The little guys have been very patient.

Happy Easter!

Saturday, April 11, 2009


I decided to paint the back "room"/kids art studio/thoroughfare to toilet. Found some old cream paint (where did it come from) an roller and paint brush, and began tossing out half finished finger knitting, run out textas and swept the scary scary big BLACK SPIDERS from the doors and window edges. This was the real reason for the clean out- an excuse to deal with the spiders which have been giving Chicken 1 nightmares.
Got the neighbours to pass the ladder over the fence and painted and painted and painted, until things were cobweb free, cleaner, neater, and creamier.
Aaahhh, satisfaction.
Just need some cool green reto curtain fabric to make the curtains to finish off...mmm...Camberwell market on Sunday...

Friday, April 10, 2009

Two more hours later..

Never again will I take for granted those nana knits I find for 20cents at the op shops! Never!!!
Somewhere in the last two hours I realised I was knitting the front of the jumper!!!! Not the hat!

This has not deterred me, and I have decided to push on and see what happens, the option to felt later on being the only thing keeping me going!
Things are slowing down....I think the "hat" will not be finished today. I think Good Friday is getting to me....

Two and a Half Hours Later...

The knitting is progressing, and I am struggling with the feeling I should be doing something else...oh well, it is Good Friday, and I am a Catholic girl prone to guilt tripping myself about having a good time.

The girls have created a half a dozen new "houses" around the place in their amazing make believe game, where they are mums with babies and mobile phones which they use to photograph their babes and send to each other!!! Next they'll be blogging!

Knitting on Good Friday.

Knitting on Good Friday.
My 9 year old chose this pattern and the wool when she was about 5 years old. It has taken me three attempts over these years to get past the 372 stitches cast onto circular needles!!! to be decreased by half and half again with this incredibly thin tricky furry yarn, but I DID IT! I got off the circular needles, and onto my favourite knitting stitch, moss stitch! I am far from an excellent, or even clever knitter, but thought I better try to tackle something tougher than a head band! I have a feeling this hat will be enormous, already, and am therefore preparing to make it slightly "taller" so I can felt it with hot soapy water later on...
I want to find a great cardigan/wrap pattern for me to make for myself...

Saturday, April 4, 2009

To learn, to teach, to rest

Life has been incredibly full, busy, crazy, hectic, running here to there without a breath!
My practicum time in a Class 6 Steiner classroom has been so rich and wonderful. I got to teach a fantastic Greek verse about Helen of Troy and a great Mexican cowboy song for the kids to sing whilst making Nachos to sell for their business maths project.
The teacher was an inspiring storyteller, and I feel inspired to find my own storytelling voice. Steiner said the class teacher needs to make their pupils laugh and cry every day, and with the story of Troy in the hands of this artful teacher, I think this may have been achieved!

I had my own first days of being a real teacher this week also, and did some Farming Main Lesson work with Class 3. I got to tell my mum's old farm stories from the 1930s, in the days when draft horses pulled their ploughs! It was a great experience, especially as our classroom was actually the chook shed!

And finally, the school holidays are on, and my chickens have been grounded with a certain tres infectious disease which seems to be spreading around town at the moment. As yukky as being sick is, it is a kind of blessing to be forced to stay home, and rest, and we have had a splendid day pretending we are home schooling; knitting, reading, drawing, and resting to the sweet adventures of Olga Da Polga, read by mum/teacher!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Chalk Art Video

I found this amazing video of a Steiner/Waldorf teacher in the US doing an incredible chalk drawing for his blackboard.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Crafty Day

Apparently it's green week...

Today my chickens and I pulled out the wool crafts, and all the unfinished work from last winter! It must be Autumn in the air. The squares for a patchwork lyre bag; the donkey I started to knit two years ago!!! Finger knitting...

My Steiner teaching course has been so full, and the creative work is absolutely nourishing. I feel like I want to do the course forever, but I guess there will come a time when a new adventure of teaching will come!!

My "house" Angelic Being appeared to watch over it...a bit like the Angel keeping our rented house with cracked walls and moving doorways livable!!

My recorder bag in progress!! Coloured hessian lined with muslin.