Monday, March 29, 2010

new etsy finds!

I'm wasting time again...

But look at these beautiful finds! Sorry, no photos--you'll just have to be surprised!

beautiful prints and postcards

wall decals

scrabble-tile pendants

 So much more, too. But now I've got to build a box to ship some bunnies. Great fun.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

month's end

I know I haven't posted in a while. Sorry...

We've been keeping busy. Today I took Emma and Rowan to church (Ben has the worst cold of his life, so he stayed at home with Daddy), and there were presenters from USC Canada. The presentation was about seed diversity in the various regions in which the group operates. It was very interesting, and I brought home a map--The Seed Map, which you can find in PDF form on their website. I've taped it up over our regular world map for now.

I've been felting a lot. I finished up some more bunnies for a friend in Ontario, and I just finished making a ball with pretty pink flowers. I've only just begun to realize the difficulties imposed by CPSIA's tagging regulations. For now, I am unable to send anything specifically for kids south of the border. For a little while I was seriously considering giving up my Etsy shop entirely.

We had our weekly Waldorf playgroup at my house this Friday. It didn't go well, but it has prompted my husband and me to do a thorough spring cleaning/de-cluttering, which is a positive result. So far we've eliminated 100 books and 4 garbage bags of clothing/toys/kitchen/craft supplies. And the purge is still underway! I am loathe to actually throw away the enormous amount of Playmobil we've accumulated. I actually like Playmobil. But it's a little embarassing having it strewn all over during a Waldorf playgroup. We do have other toys more appropriate, such as a Plan dollhouse and farm set, playsilks and hand-crafted creatures, dress-up clothes, a (very small) wooden kitchen. LOTS of wooden blocks. But when kids come over the plastic wins hands-down. So the Playmobil has been put away. We kept our Easter bunny set out for now (what with Easter next week!) and plan to rotate themes. Perhaps next week the Playmobil knights will come out for a visit.

What else have we been doing? Rowan and Emma had two homeschool art classes each this week at AGNS. I love these classes because the gallery's cafe has wonderful coffee (with a free refill), and it's great to talk to the other homeschooling moms. Then they learned about vermiculture at the Discovery Centre homeschooling workshop.

So, sorry about lack of photos and posts. I hope you are all enjoying the sunny weather!

Sunday, March 21, 2010


Yesterday was the first day of Spring, and it showed. 20 degrees celsius, and we were stuck inside because a) Rowan's still not the best and b) it was Emma's 8th birthday party.

Not only did I not have an outside party on such a beautiful day (for shame, but given our usual not-so-springy weather this time of year I can hardly be blamed), but I DIDN'T TAKE A SINGLE PHOTOGRAPH!!! It was a lovely party. Wonderful food, wonderful friends, wonderful gifts. I'm so sorry about the lack of pics. Really, I am.

Anyway, with the birthday prep and stress out of the way, it's time to make way from Easter planning. Eggs. Bunnies. Not that I haven't made enough bunnies...I'm actually making a new one, too, for Etsy.

Here are some hen egg warmers I'm putting on Etsy. They're crafted from pure wool felt, with wool stuffing in the heads and bead eyes. In this photo I've included a way too big egg, and they're eyeing it in...discomfort. I will actually be selling the eggwarmers with three smaller needle felted eggs. Check out my Etsy shop to see!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Wilderbeats at the Library

We are very fortunate to have this wonderful local musical group for kids--The Wilderbeats! We first heard them play on Emma's second birthday at Halifax's Museum of Natural History. They've changed a lot since then, but are still wonderful. They've been performing at local libraries during March Break, and we decided to take advantage of this and go listen. We own one of their CDs and they played almost all our favourite songs.

You can go to their website and stream or download their best songs. They're songs about nature and are really very good.

The photo to the left is from their website--I forgot my camera today. They were dressed in green for St. Patricks's Day today and sang a rendition of "Whiskey in the Jar" they'd reworded themselves--"Cookies in the Jar." They also sang "Here come's the Sun" to celebrate the seemingly early beginning of spring!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Goodbye Grandad

This isn't a long post. My grandfather passed away earlier today. I just wanted to post a photo of him from a far happier, healthier time. This is him celebrating his 60th wedding anniversary.

Lots of love, Grandad. I'm going to miss you.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Homeschool time at the park

A friend of mine created a new playgroup this past Friday for us homeschoolers. It was a surprise, really. I'd been invited out to a local park for what I thought was a playdate. But no, it was the beginning of something really wonderful. A large group of homeschoolers (twelve or so children, all friends) had gathered with us for stories, crafts, and a good time!

Here are some pics from Friday morning. Thank you so much, Dulseigh--you are wonderful!

On the left are the birdfeeders that the kids made. They were made without peanut butter (Emma's allergic).
Emma spreading margarine on a pinecone scavenged from the park.
Rowan dipping his pinecone in bird seed.
Hanging up the finished feeder.
Making a flying bird.
 Everyone had a wonderful time. And it is to become a regular (biweekly) homeschool event! We are very excited. This is exactly what I wanted homeschooling to be.

 On a sad note, today was not so fun. We travelled to my grandparents' nursing home to say goodbye to my grandad. He is dying, and it was very hard to see him so weak and having such trouble breathing. I am really going to miss him. It was his birthday today, and there was cake and balloons, but it was a very un-cheerful day.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Bedtime cleanup

We have way too many toys. Too much Playmobil and Lego. Too many books, wood blocks, toy cars, engines. You name it, we have too much of it. Especially for a two-bedroom apartment!
Sure, toys can be great sources for imagination and creativity. Like these Lego people Rowan made this evening. Each one has a name to match his constructed 'personality.'
The one on the far right, for example, is 'eye-y eye'. There is 'Mister Yes/No,' 'Mister Think-y think.' Etc. Rowan's in bed right now, but I'm sure he would still remember all their names.

But all that creativity comes at a cost. A GREAT BIG MESS!!!
And the mess extended well past the bedroom, I'm afraid. As usual, I tackled the kitchen while Robert helped the kids with the toys. Even with help and lots of time, the task is tiring. Rowan wanted to keep playing! Here he is, very very unhappy I'm afraid. Lots of tears.
But don't worry--he went to bed happy. His daddy went in and played shadow puppets with him, and I read him "The Ugly Duckling" (his new favourite). Still, I have to think about how to make bedtimes more calm. Something isn't working. Perhaps toys shouldn't come out after dinner? I'd love to have routine clean-up times spread through the day, but I hate interrupting play to do this. I would love to hear any suggestions!

Sometimes I wish we had only a few toys...that would solve the problem rather quickly--"Come on, children. Put your toy away. It's bedtime." :-)

Sunday, March 7, 2010


What a beautiful day. It is warm. It is sunny. Emma, Ben and I went to enjoy ourselves at the nearby playground. It's quite a wonderful playground, since it has many trees to clamber upon and around, rocks to climb, sand to dig in. There is a public field and sledding slopes (also good for rolling down). There is even a community garden.

Ben fell asleep on the way over, so I read a few chapters of Momo by Michael Ende while Emma found and played with a new friend. Ben eventually woke up and got to play, too. Here are a few photos documenting the day's fun!

Rolling down hills

The community garden hasn't woken up yet.

Ben's getting too almost too big to carry!
It's too bad that Rowan still had a bad cough and couldn't join us. It was warm enough to remove hats and mitts for a short while (such promise of spring!), but he's only just recovering. The final chill of winter will be gone before too long, and then we'll forget what cold is for a time. I should read The Tomten one last time before retiring it until Winter '11. 

"Winters come and winters go,
Summers come and summers go,
Soon the swallows will be here" 
--from The Tomten by Astrid Lindgren

Friday, March 5, 2010


I needed more brown wool. My last supply was the remnants of my spinning Coopsworth (natural brown shade), and it is all but used up. I needed brown right away, too, because I've had another request on Etsy for a brown bunny.

It was so cold today, not so spring-like after all, but Ben and I made our way downtown to The Loop Craft Cafe to buy more. They didn't have any of the brown Coopsworth, which was okay because it didn't really felt all that well. I bought a grey/brown mix of (maybe) Shetland. I hope it needle felts! It's in roving form, rather than top. I'm learning more and more about fibres right now.

I also picked up two new fine felting needles. Then, I went to the tobacconist (!) and bought natural pipecleaners. These are for forming the inner frameworks for needlefelting figures. I normally sculpt my creatures without a framework, but am game to try something new.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Crafts with the kids

We got out the glitter and glue today. Part of the incentive was a notice from "our friendly local library" that one of the books we have out--Usborne's Things for Girls to Make and Do--is due back soon. Here are the results of our crafty endeavors.

First we made a princess in a tower. After that, I made a crown for Rowan, inspired by the crowns in the book, but not following the instructions particularly. Emma was jealous, even though I'd helped her a great deal with making the princess tower. She stuck some feathers in her dress-up headband and refused all offers for me to make her a similar silver crown with sparkles, glitter, etc. I took a lovely picture of her angrily sticking her tongue out at Rowan, but I decided to leave that off the blog!