Mary’s little Donkey

  
I have been reading Mary’s Little Donkey again this advent to the children. I am living into the characters and their gifts in a new way this time around. It’s very beautiful to have a deeper experience while reading a children’s story.

Today Cedar was adamant we made some window pictures (I had planned tomorrow) however, this very quiet space together, without Lily or Jesse here blossomed into beautiful creating and connecting, and this little donkey transparency was born from my hands. Cedar worked alongside me on his own window picture and proclaimed it finished until he saw mine had a ‘main character’ and then he needed a main character also. His hare  will be wonderful for Easter next year too! 

  
I just LOVE it when I make something I really love.

Xx

Roselinde 

PS materials

Black card

Tissue paper

Scissors

Stanley knife to cut out the window neatly

Glue stick

Patience

Fiddly fingers, the larger you cut the window the easier it is to manage

Tip# 1

Have a layer of white or softest cream tissue paper as your frontest layer and glue your picture layers onto the inside of this. Then a fix the whole lot as one piece into your card.

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The Treadle Machine

     
I am unsure how time passed so swiftly 

But here we are 

Thinking a lot of home and our return in a couple of weeks

What is happening in my garden?

Many stories not shared, I can’t claim I am a proficient travel writer!

Four people in a small space, so much outside to see and explore, where is the plug anyway?

Packing sorting packing

Being held lovingly by a friends home

Watching Lily make a travel bag for her birthday dolls and small things

The treadle machine is a new experience and has a gentle sound and rhythm

I am impressed with her independent skill revealing itself with sewing this project

She began as a wee girl sitting on my knee ‘steering’ fabric or ‘driving’ the peddle for me

Look at her now!

Natural Dyeing of Eggs

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Friends in town invited us for a natural egg dyeing date today. It was a new method to me and the results are beautiful! In years past we have water colour painted, drawn upon, dyed in stockings with onion skin and parsley, wax crayoned and dyed and more. something in the natural plant and berry dyes pleased me so much today. the shades are unpredictable and all the colors are well, edible.  it brings to mind my natural dyeing of silk joy which has been put aside for many months. i keep opening the carton to caress these wonders. thankyou hens.

it was a pleasure to share one of our/their Easter rituals as often I hold festivals for my family alone. we spoke about festival traditions in the family and I realised with the weekend approaching fast i am ill prepared! {apart from having lots of eggs}. I look forward once again to seeing what authentically comes for the festival this year. it’s an interesting time to marry Easter to Autumn and i have found a few stories and inner images which sit peacefully for me. our Autumn table evolves slowly and soon the Egg tree will appear.

this book Easter in Autumn is helpful for southern hemisphere dwellers. i am seeing how contributions can become tradition in a few short years and the grounding this gives my children and myself. if you want to bring more depth or tradition to festivals, i recommend beginning simply, or adding just one or two things you can easily uphold and add to over the years.  i enjoy Lily’s anticipation of events, Cedars current enjoyment, worry expectations {my own mostly} may not be met, {can i really make sourdough hot cross buns this year?} witness her recounting past festival highlights to others and propel myself to find my Zopf recipe!

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Natural Egg Dyeing/Eco printing method

Using just herbs, ferns, flowers and weeds from the garden; press the leaves and petals over the egg (white shells for best color results, this year i found them in the library, raised by the High School kids garden chooks) and carefully wrap with sewing thread. this is tricky with a T at first. so be patient and help the little ones. leave a tail of thread hanging at the beginning so you can use it to tie up at the end. the more you wrap and press the leaves onto the egg the better your chance of a print. leave the north and south pole of the egg bare so you can blow your egg out afterwards. {thankyou for your wise counsel today E}

carefully blow your eggs and then pop into boiling water/dye bath for up to 10 minutes. for the dye bath use any plant/food matter which has a great colour content such as berries, onion skins, coffee, tumeric, red cabbage, etc only 500 mls or so is needed to do batches of 4 eggs.

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a brew of red hibiscus flowers in water dyed the shells a subtle blue, the pot of mixed squished up berries had more success with mauve to rich purple. keep turning the shells in the boiling dye brew to get an even colour as they will float on top of the liquid. remove and once cooled remove the thread and plant matter with a thread cutter, unpicker, seam ripper??. (technical name eludes me right now) useful sewing tool. everyone needs one!

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so for our Easter tree we have these beauties. we will break up matches and tie string on them to slip inside the eggs tomorrow.

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after all that fine work the children gallop exuberantly around the field. picking up ticks no doubt….

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a natural dye note to myself for next year.

marigiold petals dyed a wonderful gold.

waxy ferns made a resist to the dye

basil made a resist

chocolate mint left a lovely green

hibiscus left blue

parsley left green

and there where many surprises.

try a tumeric bath

*let each child have a different colored thread so you can easily identify them and wrap wrap wrap them very well.

*have a dog handy to lap up any dropped eggs

*make a potato and goats cheese frittata with the eggs….

*if you only use edible plants you could hard boil the eggs to eat them. though who gets hungry at a blue egg….

i have this post on my Easter and blowing eggs from last year.

 

so, what are your Easter traditions?

have you natural dyed eggs or anything before?

x

ps is it as odd for you as it is for me to be here writing and sharing once more? many reasons behind my blog holiday and i have written eggsplicitly about it all. it just isn’t where im at today. call it writers block.

Right now

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Right now. Play dough fun with cedar. Playing an imprint memory game. Taking turns to make prints or guess what made the print.
I make play dough by the recipe on the cream of tartar jar but just found this no cook recipe for the future. I usually add some essential oils. This time it’s lavender.

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Also making Swedish saffron buns for st lucia dec 13th and birthday cakes. The gnomes sing along for Cedar. Lily and I made them for him last year. A really fun craft. Supplies from winterwood crafts. Wool felt and wooden finger puppets.
Four candles, four crystals. Practicing for July!

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A favoured birthday song

Now on this day we celebrate your day of birth and we wish you a good and happy life on earth.

Our other birthday song we love is

Four years ago today today
Cedar came down from the heavens to stay
He came to bring gladness and joy to the earth
Kind people and angels attended his birth
So let us all join in the singing
Four birthday bells they are ringing
Happy birthday dear cedar
Happy birthday dear cedar

Interchange age and names. I’m not sure of the original authors sorry.
Xx

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Wet Felt a play mat/cushion piece/anything rectangle

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This one is dedicated to my dear friend M

who has patiently waited a year for me to complete this request on how to felt a playmat!

you may already have just You Tubed a wet felt tutorial or taken a lesson elsewhere

but dear one, as this unfolded i thought of you and so

enjoy

xx

Lily felted this piece as a backing for a giant granny square cushion for her chair at school.

Tutorial to Wet Felt a Play mat

materials

a pile of roving (fluffy wool)

warm water in a bowl or bottle

detergent/soap

curtain netting

if it’s large a bamboo roll blind to roll the piece in

work in a water safe zone and have a towel on hand to mop up excess waterIMG_0308

 

begin by making three even layers of roving, alternating the direction of each layer.

to do this, grasp lightly a section of roving with your hands about 20cm apart, pull and you will release an even section of wool. too close and the wool fibres will not seperate easily

fluff up and lay these sections working one side to another in rows

once you’ve done the three layers {backing, filling, top layer} pat all over and patch any thin places

then

place your fluffed out decorations on the top layer {Lily put her name}

these decorations can shift during the process so dont begin with anything complex

for a playmat place on appropriate colours for fields, water and maybe a road…

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place your netting over the top and sprinkle with water until all is evenly wet and then squirt with soap

initially you are simply patting lightly to get the water through and the soap to begin penetratingIMG_0314

soon you can gently rub, light hands make beautiful feltwork at this stage,

the aim is to get the wool fibres to begin binding together and all the layers in cohesion, including your decorations

lift off you net carefully and check it’s all laying in place, adjust as neccessary

you can begin more vigorous rubbing, it should be wet all through and bubbly at this point

three keys to good felt

soap, heat, friction
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keep rubbing until you reach pre felt stage, tested by pinching and lifting a small section. if it lifts together it’s pre felt if the fibres lift off or seperate keep on rubbing {see photo below}IMG_0319

at pre felt i like to flip the work and make sure the back is pre felted. at this point no unbound fibres will join in.

to create neat edges, rub your hand in a wave motion along the edge of the piece, gathering in the edges tidilyIMG_0320 IMG_0321

after pre felt you can handle it more vigorously as everything is in place. rub rub away and then if you want to shrink and final felt it in a fun way, squeeze out excess water, thrash the piece around and scrunch it and toss it down on the table. {therapeutic also}IMG_0323 IMG_0327

Lily did’nt care for an even edge as you can see below, but do notice there are no stringy bits hanging off the border.IMG_0329

when the wool has reached a good thickness, sturdiness and strength, you will notice small ridges/wrinkles forming, i usually stop at this point but some like to continue pounding it until this is really formed and the piece will become a bit thicker and smaller. as you feel

stretch it slightly to create flatness and a good shapeIMG_0330Lily’s complete piece ready to lay flat and dry.

you may see glimpses of the production of two other playmats of mine here

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Cedar’s mat ready to beginimg_3808

nearly complete, Cedar is impatient to playimg_0758working on my niece’s playmat with my sister

 

 

marking paper with grace

IMG_0149 IMG_0150 IMG_0155 IMG_0161 IMG_0162delighting in Lily’s natural embrace of writing and the practical application of ink on paper

her cursive is a pen drawing/dancing as i watch her fluid movement

invitations are made for a tiny party

cards and envelopes (crafted from a recipe i found and put on my pinterest good crafting board)

tiny ant trails of words and trails of footprints make sense now

 

Rainbow slippers and a non slip soul

my crafty fingers have been springing forth a multitude of projects in the past weeks

the creative processes soothe me while my inner processes spin me

there has been much sewing (a dear friend has lent me a machine while mine is still in the depths of storage, she needs a cake or something in gratitude…) of trousers, a skirt, a dress, curtains, mending, a witch hat, a witch dress, many cutesy felt toys {more photos and tutorials soon}

just the sunhats on my list did not eventuate…

some knitting of baby bonnets and some crotchet of boy slippers

he chose the yarn, row by row and the pom poms (bom boms)

this means he is more willing to keep his toes warm because he was a part of the creation journey…

clever mama moment!

lily made her own pair, proclaiming about how much faster crotchet is to knitting… IMG_0087

i painted on latex to make a slip free sole

{if only sometimes i could paint my own life with latex to prevent slip ups}

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the rainbow slipper tutorial

crotchet yourself a rectangle which is as long as the foot and wide enough to meet over the top of the widest part

gather the toes and stitch up the topside about half way

stitch up the back of foot section

you may want a gathering string around the foot entryway particularly for children

make and join on pom poms {essential for good humour}

if you can get a little paint on rubber latex, coat the soles evenly for non-slip and longer life

be warm toes and soul

xx

ps remember to make a second one…

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cedar loving being spooked by a hiding papa

{yes i made his vest and his doll… she had  bath later this day}

{did you enjoy all the bracketing in this post?}

Baby Babushka toy {a tutorial}

 

A babushka doll made for baby D by Lily

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An easy soft stuffed toy, easily modified or decorated at your whim.

Lily created this doll one day while we visited friends, it really didn’t take long and she was proud of her efforts.

{i am learning to stay out of the way of her inspirations more and more as her skills develop

and i know she is capable to see it through}

Begin with two large rectangles of felt fabric and a scrap for a face circle

needle and strong thread of various colours

fluffy wool to stuff it

half a cup of rice or similar large grain to fill the bottom of the body

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sketch a babuska-esque pattern, fold in half and trim the shape to mirror each side

trace this pattern onto your two felt rectangles {front and back of body}20130505-073528.jpg

 

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cut out a circular piece in contrasting colour to become the face,

stitch the face circle into position with small neat stitches around the edge

adorn her with features, hair, etc at this point

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lay front piece on top of the back and begin stitching around the body, Lily began at a shoulder and left the head open to stuff the body

pour the grain into the base of the doll so she will stand up

fill the rest with fluffy wool

stitch up your last opening

adorn as you wish, with embroidery, buttons or fabric clothing etc

20130505-073546.jpggift it to a little person who will surely enjoy chewing on the arms….

 

 

Felt Animal Eggy Cosy or Toy {tutorial}

I bought my second ever Frankie magazine to enjoy while having long soaks in this great claw foot bathtub here~!

the first one i bought because the cover image was completely embroidered tiny replicas of everyday items did you see that one?

anyway, somewhere in it’s depths {the mag not the bath} I found an article about Eggy Cosy Critters and was inspired to felt craft with Lily.

She completely was not interested, {oh poor me, I’ll have to do it myself….;)}

until it turned out too small for an egg and I gave it up to be transformed to her liking! I think you will like the end result! I’m wondering which friend she is planning to give it too…
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Here are some guidelines if you’d like to make your own or similar…

We started with 2 rectangles of wool felt fabric 7cm H x 8cm W {bigger if you want to put a real hen egg under it, you could always run another stitch line in closer}

and some scraps for ears. I used craft glue to detail the ears.

make sure you cut the ears with an added 1cm bottom length as it will tuck between the two larger pieces.

embroider on a cutesy whiskery face…

IMG_0225 IMG_0226lay the ears on top of the backing, then place the face on, secure with pins and stitch about 3mm from the edge leaving the bottom open.IMG_0227ahh soooo cute! but too small mumsy… Another possibility at this point is to pop a couple of holding stitches between the fingers and make a finger puppet… or two or three…

so I surrender it over to Lily and she creates….IMG_0228 IMG_0002  with a couple of nifty outfits…

this girl could be a fairy’s dressmaker…IMG_0001have fun with this** i’d love to see a pic if you make one…

ps had a nap, had a massage, had a hug, had some friendly phone calls, feeling better 🙂

thankyou for your support lovely people