Advent adventuring inside

and then later again

making swiss biscuits on advent Sundays over the last few years has become

a simple joyful tradition for us

connecting me with my family heritage in Europe

we bake them, taste them, parcel them up pretty, then walk up the street to our nieghbours and share them

or take them to friends

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this year i have lacked any christmassy stamina until four days ago {new flower essences have supported me to shift my mind and lift my energy YAY!}

{oh gosh thank goodness what a relief because i was feeling i could not pretend and i had nothing authentic i wanted to share or celebrate

i was planning on jumping ship and avoiding the whole thing ie. go camping alone

it is revealing how low i have been feeling this last month and now i am perking up a little again and i am grateful

 and it would be a non event in our household through advent and isn’t that sad for the children {lily wants the full glitz and glimmer and festival felling}

and i honestly had only one gift and no inspiration to make any more  {lily has made a basket full and keeps asking where i am hiding mine…}

and i was wondering if that’s ok, to not give gifts and how would that feel and would i be ashamed or embarassed or would i write letters

or…  should i rush out and just buy stuff?

well, what would christmas be without the gifts, the advent rituals, the biscuits, the candles, the nativity, without Mary Joseph and a donkey walking across our house through december, without the singing and poems, the wreath, the secrecy and elving, the crafting together, the fun and wonder?

it’s great things to contemplate isn’t it? what do we give from our hearts? what do we hold in our minds and beings? what is the energy which enlivens the experience beyond the gift giving bit? do i just take it all too seriously and need to lighten up eat lots of bikkies and be silly? probably a little…

before the advent of jesus there are the festivals of the solstice and the return of the light and many other ancient traditions around the world at this time of year

in the last years i came to thinking of the birthday of jesus {who is jesus mama? a kind and good man who was a healer on earth a long time ago}

and found i could sit with the picture of the birthday of the light within me and within us all. the looking towards the goodness and love and kindness and generosity in all of us that we celebrate at christmas. and when i put that lens into my glasses, it makes sense again in a way it hasn’t since childhood.

the handmade gifting element began when i was 20 and i decided i would aim to hand make as many of my gifts as possible

they can be very humble offerings, but you know if you get one, i have thought of you as i stitched or wove or painted or preserved, i have held you in my focus and embedded my good wishes for you in this gift, i have enjoyed the making of the gift and reflecting on our relationship

there is no cold winter to bring us in to the hearth together here in the southern globe but we still gather with our families and friends inside and out at this time of year around candles and games and beaching and reading and costuming and eating and cooking together

i’m so grateful to my family of origin and my extended families for the brightness you all bring into my life and the forethought and generosity which you share with me and mine

for me once again in december i am seeking a depth of meaning in the festival/life

it doesn’t mean i am judging how you or anyone else does it

im on my personal quest to enrich the experience for me and my children

so i can cope with all the hoopla out there in the world

basler brunsli

so we have made our first batch of advent Basler Brunsli

and it was really fun even though it was on a monday…

delicious chewy almond meal, cinnamon and chocolate biscuits

this year’s recipe i am trialling can be found here

i think it was a little sticky as i used big eggs

so we waited a few hours before cutting the hearts

messy

yummy, but too sweet for me with the sugar sprinkled on top

will remember to cut down the amount inside

{my family always complains i don’t put in enough sweet}

cute huh?

lily’s teachers gifted her with the cookie cutter for a farewell gift

perfect.

wow end of class two already!

i know we spend a lot of time away from school anyway

but really that has come way too soon!

anyway enough rambling

blessings to you and yours

xx

what are you doing in preparation for christmas {if anything}?

what does it mean to you?

what stands out from your childhood christmases?

what is special to you at this time of year?

 

a little mending…

how to love mending as much as the making

i’ve been working on this and in the last weeks

gathered in the holey things and begun

wow! i’ve let them go a long time and some holes have grown noticeably

but here i go with my needle and thread and a little stillness

and a lot of enjoyment of handling these beautiful things again

and knowing i am giving them a new burst of life

Lily is not feeling well

as i wrapped her in her baby blanket {with big girl extensions}

i noticed those holes

so with children at one end and me at the other

i got to my task

feeling the texture and weight of this beautiful crotcheted blanket

how quickly it warmed my legs and memory

i was pregnant with my first big belly

traveling in a beautiful old yellow kombi van

Jesse and I on our first adventure together

i gathered yarn from my family and friends

along the way i gathered more

and as we drove often i had my basket of yarn at my feet and

this growing blanket on my growing belly

i wove into it all my wondering of who and when and how

all those pre mama feelings

who would i be bundling in this wool one day soon?

thousands of stitches thousands of kilometres and thousands of blessings.

from my reverie i glance up

and here is my daughter

bigger than ever

as i mended we talked about her birth

she and Cedar chatted and played

and i cherished this gift i made

once upon a time for a wee babe

keep cool for after school {bircher muesli}

 

 

Bircher Muesli Recipe and story

when i was a small girl

we lived in the West Australian wheatbelt

summer days frequently kissing blue skies and 40~celcius

after school the seemingly endless burnt orange gravel drive

shimmered and baked me

chasing after bigger faster sisters on bicycles

anxious in the hot vast expanse of golden crisped paddocks

i don’t remember a single tree on that km stretch to the house paddock

was there shade along the way?

and then i was there

pushing through the small side gate

often teary often late

there was our sturdy brick home with deep shaded verandahs

and my calm mama waiting in the cool dim kitchen with

hugs cheerfulness and

bircher muesli

sweet tart chilled textured cooling surprising delicious

was it so tasty because it was made with genuine swiss hands

and the apple grated with an authentic swiss bircher grater {so i call it}

what secret ingredient did you infuse this refreshing meal with mama?

mine never meets the reputation of my memory

so here i am now

on a meltingly hot day

waiting for my little to come dancing into home again after a long week

and i make bircher muesli

and think of cool kitchens and dark, even cooler pantries

{where i used to sneak crunches of dried pasta or other goods and lat on the cold floor

or draw on the back of door chalkboard}

now i think of

mama love

growing up

sour apples and yoghurt

i am blessed to be using yoghurt from the cows milk provided by yonder dexters

which forms a coveted cream top

thankyou to C for making it

there is an abundance of Bircher Muesli recipes out there in the world

i wouldn’t say mine is traditional as my bircher grater is still in storage and i chopped the apple instead…

you know i’m kidding right?

so I won’t do more than list the ingredients i used this particular time

2 handfuls organic unstabilised rolled oats

2 oranges squeezed over oats fresh from orchard

2 cups natural yoghurt from neighbours cows

1 handful dessicated coconut

2 tablespoons unhulled tahini

2 tablespoons maple syrup

2 tablespoons sesame seeds

1 small handful raisins

1 handful chopped almonds

1 tspn cinnamon powder

1 green apple from farmers market

1 green pear

1 banana from big market

1 handful blueberries

1 handful wild rasberries picked by a neighbour

mix and refridgerate

be inventive be flexible use what you have

the idea is softened oats yoghurt and fruit

i tend to soak the dry goods in the orange juice for a while before i add the yoghurt and fruit section

some people soak the oats overnight in the fruit juice til morn

for me that becomes a super digestible breakfast but kind of slimy and sticky, what do you think?

i forgot to add chia seeds, that might be nice

my mama used to put in stone fruits and grapes in later summer

and i hear tell she used some condensed milk to sweeten it…

is that true? did i forget any other special ingredient mamala?

how do you make this dish?

what would you add?

what was waiting for you when you got home on hot days?

what do you make for your kidlets now?

**peace be with you and your bellies**

a sibling moment…

 

dressing up is a big part of play in our household

and also from my childhood a beloved play

actually we used to make plays with the five of us girls…

that’s another story another time…

my sisters you’ll all be grinning now probably…

anyway anyway

Lily has started introducing Cedar to the idea

i love witnessing this sibling play

the helping, excitement, ideas, role play, seriousness, clumsy little feet in big gowns, cooperation, adaption, happiness, silliness

the fact that Lily is enraptured and deeply involved with the characters

and Cedar really just carries on life but with a costume on

and follows his sisi in her play

or gets on with what he was doing

and then they where ready for a formal old fashioned sibling portrait session…

 fun for them, fun for me, fun for all, fun for you?

 my costumes are still packed up but i love to join in too

 how about you?

 do you allow other inner characters to come out through how you dress?

 are you comfortable with cross gender dressing in your children?

 have you worn dress ups all day and even into town on an everyday trip? {i did, dressed as Madonna, the goddess not the singer, thanks to Lily’s encouragement}

 do you ever allow your children or someone else to choose what you wear?

~Lily wears a vintage chiffon party frock with a vintage crotcheted bed jacket waist frill and numerous under skirts

~Cedar wears Lily’s corduroy floral frock from Oma with numerous frilly puffy underskirts

look at that, he has the hang of hoisting up his hem out of the dirt already…

 

 

glimpses of indoors

This gallery contains 54 photos.

Glimpses Of Indoors a gallery of moments from my month with my extended family in Western Australia a chapter of time many shared moments centered around the hearth and the heart centered around all the activities which have their place … Continue reading

Windy day Toddler Bonnet

The Windy Day Bonnet is born…

Well I did it! Yes I really did.. see evidence below…

I adapted this gorgeous bonnet for Cedar from another simple pattern to fit my boys noggin snuggly and embellished the designwork for my own interest, challenge and enjoyment.

You would not believe how hard it has been to find a pattern for this two year old in a bonnet style! who says children over one year don’t need cosy bonnets anymore… so now there are at least two bigger bonnet patterns out there! if you know of any more please share with me as I love this style, they stay on better at this busy age.

look at this lovely big boy… i mean lovely bonnet…

we rummaged for a long time through my mama’s button tin looking for just the right button. Important business for this fellow and me. While my heart swelled and stretched with the dual joy of having made something from these stumpy fingers of beauty and use, and the joy of quiet buttoning with my boy just as I did with the same buttons as a little one…

i am capturing all these glimpses of time here in my heart and storing them to replay in my mind as time zooms in front of me and my tears well up and I start packing my bags again to leave the nest of my beautiful family…

in the end he put aside the fabric covered vintage buttons, the carved bone, the plastic orange elephant, the sparkle encrusted jewel, the leather square, the big red retro and chose the plainest little white plastic button.

“now i’m ready to go out into this southwest wind and play mama…”

anyway, I now need a test knitter or two, game enough to knit up my pattern The Windy Day Toddler Bonnet and give me feedback before it goes up on Ravelry!

it’s easy, honest!

I used 4mm knitting sticks and about 70g of Misti Alpaca Tonos Worsted {aus 10ply} in Tealing Blue. You can use whatever you like of course…

the pattern used to look like this…

{I did go to art college for three years to be able to make it look so, well, artistic…}

please contact me if you are willing… {it is beautifully legible and sensical now!! and downloads as a neat pdf file…}

In celebration of my achievement I bid you good night!

and in celebration of yours, whatever they may be!

Good night *

ps thankyou littlelom for models cutest toadstool singlet and cord whale trousers…

Waking up to

Yesterday i was Waking up to…
Surprise Lily muffins
Well Lily is sure feeling better!
My rest was interrupted by a few
“mama where is flour, do we have chocolate and more…”
secretive business from my girl who’s barely spoken for four days with a sore throat.
When I got up at a request to light the oven…
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Look what I found going on in nannas kitchen!
” I just mashed bananas with a little cream then stirred in flour, baking powder and just a tiny bit of sugar!”
Sometimes I’m just heart swellingly pleased with this child’s confidence and imagination!

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I am so delighted that she feels confident to make up her own recipe, knows the key ingredients to muffins and method by memory and observation and the savvy to rummage my mamas kitchen for things she needed unsupervised and knows how to be safe about it too.
Enjoying a good mama moment, pleased that I have modeled and encouraged Lily to be comfortable in the kitchen realms. And tidy too! Surprise !
And the big reward my daughter has made me muffins! Yes it’s all about me me me. no really! I am just so touched by her actions and glad she is feeling better , well I am just giving myself a tiny pay on the back for all the kitchen time I’ve cherished with her…
I hope I can swallow at least a little muffin …
It’s been a variety of soups and lemon, honey, ginger and sage teas to fortify us with our sore throats for days now.
Boo hoo miserable painful end to holiday…

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Mm they are delicious is the verdict!
And I managed to squeeze one down the hatch.
There’s nothing like being really ill to bring gratitude for simple, special things into my life again:)
I apologize for any nonsensical or silly bits!
to excuse myself I am still suffering momentary delirium….

And then Cedar was two!

good morning my beautiful son

Lily crowns you and bethrones you in bed and brings you your few gifts to help you open…

you are quietly pleased

breakfast is simply porridge but accompanied by some new play things. thankyou family, well chosen compact quality toys…

Lily adores you and invents funny games to make us all laugh

later in the day after the markets, we drive to a beautiful creek and meet friends

it is oh so peaceful by the fire and the water

you are contented to play on your own and I watch you in your own amusement and watch your big eight year old sister teach our friend to knitwe eat simply but happilythe nature at the beautiful Shannonvale creek has me breathless

reflections on cool water like an impressionist painting

an endless meditation to watch the rippling mirror

before bed we light your candles and sing our birthday medley of songs

you look so pleased in a happy quiet way

you have had your first haircut ever today!

you look different my son

your face makes new expressions

my how you have grown little one

you love the moment, as we all do, gathered around you singing in the candlelight

Lily helps you blow them out as you cannot yet

you love it so much we have to do it again, and again

we all love it and you too
we have our yummy birthday celebration the next day in the park at Port Douglas

As its your birthday Cedar i let you eat the pancakes straight from the pan

you go so fast i have to get a second pan out so I can make a stack for us to share!

finally you are full and we have a feast prepared

this is black sapote (chocolate fruit) mixed with fresh grated coconut and fresh squeezed coconut cream YUM!mmm you are a watchful child… i read so much in your facewe sing and celebrate you Cedarand a second later…look at this boy! mmm the creativity of toppings is endless…oh yes we love our pancakes instead of cakes for birthdays!!

thankyou beautiful Cedar for gracing my life with your calm souland unmatched pancake appetite!!

may we share many more…

Eco printing silk

how to print silk with natural articles in a very humble non scientific amateur way, which may lead to some

lovely discoveries of colour and experience…

learnt from my lovely creative mother in law (illegal) in the style of India Flint

i gathered  these simple materials for my bush camp dyeing experience…

some silk, leaves, flowers, onion skin, a rusty bottle top, string and a rusty old camp oven (the iron reacts with the ingredients to enhance darker colors and give you a bit of extra magic, saying which, any big non food pot will do) with a stick which fits inside it…20120725-195818.jpg

lay out your natural gatherings (being mindful of what and where you gather) along your silk, fold to the width of your stick20120725-195831.jpg

roll it all up and wrap as tight as you can with some strong string…

fill your pot with water enough to cover your bundle… I was lucky to get pure mountain water…

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heat your goodies now. i generally go to boiling temp but not actually bubbling for about an hour, then remove from heat and let sit overnight or longer..

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when you can no longer wait the next day, open it up!20120725-195930.jpg

mm looks suspicious

enjoy the surprise of opening your bundle20120725-200003.jpg

yay something happened!!20120725-200021.jpg

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give it a quick and gentle rinse20120725-200030.jpg

hang in the shade to dry20120725-200042.jpg

where does the silk end and the tree begin20120725-200055.jpg

the colors are perfectly matched to our environment!20120725-200103.jpg

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a bush pixie got squished in20120725-200120.jpg

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i did another bundle the following night, using the same water, and yielded much darker shades20120725-200223.jpg

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and some beautiful leaf prints20120725-200238.jpg

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i also cleverly have printed leaves onto our awning!

place on leaves, make damp with night dew, roll it up tight and leave in the sun for days and days!20120725-200301.jpg

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Davies creek week

Last week
Mondayitis hit us bad
A terrible day ending with a sparking argument
Arriving late in the darkness to our camp for the week
Anticipated place of peace
How remarkable these explosions are!
How normally articulate beings can be reduced to one syllable expletives!
Pent up frustrations, the intensity of living all the time with each other in a tiny space. Little privacy or time in solitude. Literally bumping into one another. Every emotional change in the weather can influence us all. Moving frequently ( imagine moving house every week), being in public alot, Trying to move as a unit constantly. Simply tired and driving late after an unfulfilling day.
Morning came again and i felt some release and forgiveness creep in
Remarkable how we can repair and reconnect and re open to one another again and again over the years.

We had found mould in the bus since our wet daintree week so a cleaning out task was set.
out came everything!

Umm what exactly is all that stuff?

all essential i’m sure!

Mould in our relationship also needed a clean out!
It was therapeutic to have the physical task of washing and repacking the bus and also sharing, listening, exploring,challenging and bantering.
I love these moments of vulnerable communication even as it scares the pants off me, it brings a needed authenticity to our time together.

Our Setting was Dinden national park which Is quite open dry woodland range.
Winter gold of wattle flowers have subtle perfume for dawn walkers. Rustling dry grass and balga trees present the spiky blanket of hills.
Spacious blue glimpsed through eaucalypt lace.

Camping beside the chilly ever flowing Davies creek is a joy of refreshment and constant humming flow of sound.
We collect our cooking and washing water from this pure waterway and dunk ourselves every day.

our week witnessed so much…
Watching lily start to disappear into chapter books in quiet moments
Cedar happily trucking, shoveling, swinging and digging
Watching little birds visit camp and large flicks squawk overhead
Stars and stars and stars
Toasting haloumi instead of marshmallows on sticks in the coals
Cinnamon damper on the coals
Dozing off by the fire
We drank a lot of coconuts
We became perfumed with woodsmoke
We slowly unwound
Watched birds
Lily made a fairy village in tree roots and harvested blood wood sap
Cedar trucked sand and delivered sticks for the fire
We stayed in one place
We didn’t drive anywhere for four nights
We mapped a lot of the bus( found permanent homes for things and repacked)

We where joined for a night by the lovely Paul and Merivale and 4 boys
The shorter kids Slippery dipped down watery rocks and the bigger ones flipped off the high rocks


There was a little music
A little weaving
A little silk dyeing
A little solitude
A whole lot of fun

Whats happening at your place this week?
Are you inside or outside more?

what helps you and your partner reconnect?

Peace
Roselinde

 

a glimpse of our week…

Lily loves to wander the bush finding bush food and medicines which she bundles up in these paperbark pouches for her dilly bag, each one with special knots to identify the contents at a glance

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You all know I’m a basket case don’t you!!

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This beauty from our dear friend Mike at wind willow basketry in NZ found a valid purpose!
How did they all sneak in? i was sure I limited myself to three this trip!
And here I go weaving more from coconut fronds…

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Casting on fit the first time this trip. A bit of nude knitting is the way to relax!!

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This is how the others relaxed…

There’s my new billy.. and authentic hand lathed scottish style porridge shpongle thingy!

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We also baked make n bake food for Lilys hungry sylvanian family..

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mm yummy haloumi, looks kinda like a marshmallow doesn’t it?20120725-161507.jpg

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currently seen devouring Mr Galliano’s circus by Enid Blyton20120725-161610.jpg

Mm what’s cooking there Rosirose…

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A tease for my next post!!
Phew lots of photos to upload! Have fun lookin’