Makings in Advent/Cinnamon star recipe

Makings in advent. 

Air dried clay ornaments,( in between arguing over who had more clay)the children had a great time making me guess what implements had made what impressions.  We used cookie cutters to cut them out and they took 2 days to dry thoroughly.   
    
  So many stars…  
 
Sweet Swiss wood cut decorations from our time in the Interlaken region this year.

 lily made her own cosy house transparency one morning.   
As we love our Swiss Christmas biscuit tradition so much, I will share 

I have a new favourite Zimpt Sterne Rezept / cinnamon star recipe this year

This one is gluten free also. 

 (sorry S for giving you the sticky old one…)

I can’t remember if it’s a copy from somewhere or if I adapted something else. It’s written on a scrap of torn paper with a swimming lesson note on the back….

Zimpt Sterne/Cinnamon Stars

250g almond meal for the biscuits

150g almond meal Extra for sticky dough or dusting while you roll out

1 cup rapadura sugar

2tsp ground cinnamon or more to taste

A small pinch of clove powder

2 egg whites beaten stiff

Mix 250g almond meal, sugar, spices and egg white to a pliable dough. Add more almond meal if it’s too sticky. You will know! It really shouldn’t be a painful messy experience! I knead the dough quite vigorously in the bowl. 

Dust with almond meal and roll out on/or between baking paper to about 5 mm thick.

 Refrigerate overnight or at least three hours.

Cut out your stars, rinse your cutters if they’re getting too sticky, dust everything with almond meal as you go if needed. 

Bake at 180’c for about 8 minutes. Pull them out of the oven when the bottoms are going slightly brown as I like them when they’re more chewy than dry and crisp! Oops many a black star has come outta my kitchen. 

Cool them on a rack and invite me around for a cuppa and a biscuit. 

I mean share them with your friends and family…. 

As an option you can mix beaten egg white with icing sugar and decorate them pre baking. More sticky messy fun! I bought a piping bag especially. Then you have snow capped biscuits. So appropriate for Advent in summer Australia, don’t you agree? 

Inspired by The Children Of Noisy Village(Astrid Lindgren) Cedar suggested we have a bean guessing game and make a prize cookie from all the scraps of dough. They got a jar of chickpeas and a notebook to record all the guesses from our home and neighbours. The children ran around giving biscuit samples and collecting guesses, displaying the prize cookie!
Well done J for guessing 1004, hard to believe this little jar held 1163 chickpeas! mm enjoy that cookie! I was sure there where only 381…..

  
Peace

X Roselinde 

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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.

Uracher wasserfall

So, just like that, not once but twice, a beautiful post vanishes! Gahhhh!

Just some photos then.

The children wanted their portrait taken on every stump! I soon started distracting them so they would walk past them…

   
    
    
    
    
    
    
    Above photograph by Lily.
    
  The fairies who live and play here are this big!  If I was a fairy I would live in this hole and that would be my slide to your house…
  
Well, maybe a few words because the walk to the Bad Urach  waterfall really is beautiful and an easy path of about 1.3 km. the woods are enchanting, the creek you walk beside burbles merrily and my children where so entertaining (and cute in that outfit Cedar) it helped lift me out of the mental mud.  Walking is good therapy. Especially when it’s somewhere gorgeous. Even though the forest Wass being loped that day, it’s shocking to see these beautiful mature trees cut down! Perhaps they are weed species like the camphor laurel on our area.

Things where really compressing for me, in our last days in Germany. The end of a four month chapter in Europe and beginning transitions towards home, tying up threads and feeling all the feelings. Hey, you’ll be happy to hear we sold our van the evening before we  flew  ! I know I know!

Keep calm and knit! I reconnected with my knitting pins to make lily this Little Sallops beanie. I enjoyed the pattern and have made it before, and will again no doubt. It’s satisfying to see something I have made, loved and worn, Cedars shorts I made from this pattern, and his wool/silk blend sunny yellow shirt is from Engel. The Engel factory is nearby and I relished seeing the origins of these wonderful clothes and the bargains in the seconds outlet! 

I’m so irritated my original words vanished, this is a mere ghost of it. Anyway, i guess it’s practice for non-attatchment…

I love this apply cherry berry part of Southern Germany and we are so blessed to have friends to stay with. I realised just before we left there is a thermal spring bath in Bad (bath) Urach, something to go back for…..

Oh my god. Do this again? I need a long time for the challenges to fade and the good memories to take the front seat! For all you sitting at home and wanting to travel abroad with a family! It’s amazing to soak up other cultures and history and be inspired for our own home and garden and community and education and speak other languages and see my eleven year old conversing in German with the village kids and eat wonderful fresh cold climate produce and visit nearly every living relative I have and eat ice cream and play croquet with my 93 year old grandfather and hold hands with my Grandmother and observe Cedar soaking up every element of Opa’s farm education and walk and walk and walk and sniff mountains and flowers and watch your children blossom and find their place in family and soak up stories and places and wonder at this big beautiful world and live into how other people live and be inspired and expand ones reality and mind and overcome difficulties and be more capable and resilient than I ever thought I was and cherish friends new and old and be courageous and be kind and and…. 

And far out! It’s exhausting and over stimulating and challenging and difficult to meet four peoples needs and live in a 2.5×3.5 m space and doubt your choices and wonder if there’s a darn good reason most people don’t do this and and to be ungrounded and find your way when you know nobody and no one is inviting you in and you are lost and can’t speak the language or find a decent cheese, I mean camping place…. 

So yes, maybe one day we will make a trip to Europe again.

Because really we didn’t get very far….

Have you travelled extensively with your family?

Where would you go if you could?

Travel well friends.

Roselinde

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!

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

 

 

fisherman pullover & little scallops

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I began and completed the little fisherman pullover in Tasmania earlier in the year but lo and behold here it finally is. documented proof i can make a pullover on round needles! hooray!

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i am gradually progressing to more complex and larger items of knitting which is sensible isn’t it?

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these original shots from Tassie are so adorable! look at that long golden hair.. all gone now…

and remembering to use the pattern as a guide, don’t stress out about a stitch here or there i say… or a row of knit instead of purl…

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i made the sleeves short so he can wear it two thirds of the year instead of just the few cold months.

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the fisherman pullover was knit from hand spun, plant dyed alpaca found in the salamanca market Hobart.

it can be accessorised in many ways…. tractor and wings, or drum and no pants….

beautiful fluffy yarn. hot tip, berry berry fluffy so don’t use for smaller children as they tend to eat the fluff stuff.

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beautiful though. and cleverly made too large to get some good wear from it!

Cedar calls it his ‘packa’

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Yes thats my own designed Windy Day Bonnet above… still fits!!

here’s another windy day bonnet for a little English Rose

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and then the little scallops beanie. inspired by Fox’s Lane

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intended for the 3rd birthday but came in a day late as i had to make and unravel three times to get the sizing right. yep third time lucky. {next time just follow the pattern Rosi} i knit quite loosely and my things stretch quickly too big so i try to compensate. this knit taught me how to carry over colors when making patterns, fun!

took a while to get the tension right. check out my progress

details on Ravelry

cuties! Lily has on her Perfect Beret
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what are you knitting?

I can’t decide what to make next… i have one ball of divine turquoise blend hand dye 4 ply which Jesse got me in Canada years ago i am ready to use! any ideas… {he will now get me multiple balls of yarn the clever man}

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

 

The Perfect Beret

I just had to post these shots because I am melting in gorgeousness when I look at my girl.

Her playful shiny imaginative personality is expanding into our family in so many beautiful ways.

She is coming onto nine years old and her attentiveness keeps me conscious.

Beautiful Lily we share it all, and in it all is a lot a lot of happiness!
IMG_0829 IMG_0838 IMG_0831Here we are visiting friends near Bellingen and we are watching the ducks coming in from the pond for the night, it’s oh so quiet as we watch their antics and giggle

she hears me clicking photographs and turns around to display her great outfit!

Vintage leather shoes

dress from LazyBones

Woollen vest from Moon Unit (i am currently awaiting more clothes from them including a red wool cape!)

Mama made Perfect Beret

Gorgeousness, I’m so glad to cherish these soppy moments….