Tuesday, December 18, 2012

ice lanterns

Last night my lovely big girl celebrated six incredible years with her gorgeous teacher, Roger.
It is hard to express how grateful I feel for having the incredible fortune to have had him teach my eldest daughter for so long. He has opened up each child in his class with such patience, art and wisdom, and last night was a testament to his loving dedication to his job as a Steiner/Waldorf teacher and the Steiner/Waldorf curriculum itself. The children danced, played multiple instruments, sang and played on each other's songs they had composed, performed Eurythmy, recited poetry, all the while treating each other with love and respect. So humbling! So inspiring! I feel so grateful.

We made ice lanterns to adorn the tables, (a suggestion from my dear friend Anna).
She sent me a couple of links on how to do it and we just went for it. They worked beautifully, (mostly).

 and here's how we made them:
*get a reasonably deep bowl and rather skinny glass. 
*gather foliage of your choice and arrange in the bowl.
*pop the glass in the middle (it's good for it to sit on some of the foliage so that the water freezes underneath. then you have some ice for the tea light to sit upon at the bottom of the hole.
*you could sticky tape the glass to the bowl (just over the top) to prevent the tilting of the glass (we should have done it but had no tape on hand)
*pour water into bowl, but not right to the top.
*stick in the freezer!
*the next day, take out your bowls and allow to defost a little bit before immersing (not so the water gets inside the bowl, however) in very warm water. also pour warm water into the glass. After a while, or with some impatient digging and wobbling and extra warm water, take out the glass. and slip the lantern out of the bowl.
*place lantern on a dish which will collect the "meltage" (I think I just made up that word).
*pop a tea light into the middle and voila!! 
A totally gorgeous natural beautiful lantern for the table.
WARNING: don't take the bowl straight out of the freezer and put it straight into very hot water like I did with the first one! It will break your bowl!
Our lovely lanterns lasted well for the 4 hours on a roughly 18 degrees Celcius (about 65 Farenheit) evening.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Yarn Along

Joining Ginny from small things blog for a yarn along!

Sometimes I just can't resist casting on something new in the middle of another project: in this case I was swept into the Woolly Wormhead Mystery Hat Knit Along on Ravelry. I have completed the brim, but very slow starting the cabled body of the hat.  The yarn, Madelinetosh Sport in "well water" colour is a dream, you would swear there was silk in it, and it is so "sproingy".
*I also have another cable project on the needles, the Lyttleton shrug by Kate Davies in Quince and Co. Tern (wool/silk).
*And!! I am making another Steiner/Waldorf doll with a knitted body. The wool is 16ply naturally dyed by Elizabeth Newbirch of Morning Star crafts.
*And, what we are reading! You may think it's a bit early for Christmas stories, but I have to learn a one for a storytelling night in early December, and of course, I immediately thought of this book, The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree by Gloria Houston. This story is an absolute gem. It is the story set in the Appalachian mountains during wartime, when the folk still got around in horse drawn sleds. Papa goes off to war, and Mama and Ruthie have to come up with the Christmas tree for the Church. I won't say anymore...It contains such heart, so much warmth and hope and human strength. When I stumbled upon it one year at the library, I just had to get a copy for myself right away, and I always get a lump in my throat at the end...every time! (ahem...The children love it too!)

Saturday, November 17, 2012

A Crafty Education.

We visited an Australian Steiner/Waldorf School Fair this morning and I busied myself gasping with amazement and snapping photos of all the incredible craft work!
It must feel like such an achievement for the children, to look upon their craft work over the years. They must feel so capable, so self sufficient , to be able to make such useful and beautiful things!

First was the Pre-school/ Kindergarten work! Plant dyed wool (except for the blue which was food dye) pom poms, oodles of finger knitting, stitching on loose hessian and Knitting Nancies.

Class 1 : more pom poms, first attempts at knitting, stitched recorder bags, knitted lambs(from squares).

 Class 2: Knitted animals, "starburst sticth" pillows, needles holder case, simple weavings.

 Class 3: cross stitch (see my post), bags with stitching and weaving, knitted beanies and toys...

 Class 4: the magnificent fair isle knitting! Bags, toys..., picture tapestries based on Norse mythology...

Class 5: the introduction of crochet, ponchos, hats, bags, toys and picture weavings

 Class 6: Dolls!!!!

Monday, October 29, 2012

yarn along...

Joining in the yarn along over at small things and also over at frontier dreams:
My Lyttleton shrug by the amazing and admirable Kate Davies is coming along slowly, but I love love it! Cables and lace!!
And the colour of the Quince and Co Tern (silk and wool) is delicious!
Ravelled here
 I also decided very whimsically and perhaps illogically (considering all the knitting projects I have lined up already!!) to partake in a "Mystery KAL (knitalong) with the Woolly Wormheads Ravelry Group. I've never done that before.
It's a hat. That's all I know...knit in sport weight yarn (5 ply). The pattern gets released in trickles, with no-one knowing what the thing will eventually look like! A bit of geeky knitter fun...and why not!
Here's the yarn I chose: Madelinetosh Sport in Well Water , a gorgeous warm blue, divinely soft, I only just started the gauge swatch and I'm in love...

And, reading! I'm afraid I'm still on a diet of picture books, though the recent Booker Prize finalists sparked a yearning for some big people reading soon...soon...soon....come on brain, get it together!
So, here's the bedtime favourite at the moment: "The Happy Lion" by Louise Fatio and illustrated most deliciously by Roger Duvoisin, first published in 1955. My small boy requires it read at least twice per night and I'm not complaining, I love the Parisian drawings so much! We found this beauty at the school fair last weekend for a buck! That's one Australian dollar for those wondering if I exchanged it for a male deer...

as my acupuncturist says, enjoy the needles!

Saturday, October 20, 2012


inspired by kirti from la vida rustica, i have decided to do a few posts featuring our little inner northern family shack! (note: no weeds were harmed in the creation of this post!)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

knit me a pachyderm!!

We visited the zoo this sunny Thursday morning and discovered the  Mali in the City exhibit! Wow!
But even more wow was one special elephant all knitted over by artist Mini Goss! According to her site, she knit it with 130 balls of Patons Inca 12 ply wool on Size 5 needles!
So special:

There's a kinda pachydermy feel around here too, as I work on the Class 5 Steiner/Waldorf craft project, a felt elephant.

Glove Stitch for super strong seams...