Sunday, February 28, 2010

Happy Birthday, Ben

Our "Benjamin Bunny" celebrated his second birthday today. We had a Peter Rabbit party for him. Here are some photos from our day...

Ben was given this beautiful stroller (from Nova Natural) for his doll, Ollie. Sorry Ben's out of focus...he was unable to stand still for this shot! He was given this a week before his birthday, when it arrived in the mail.

"Reading" his Peter Rabbit birthday card.

A cutout Peter Rabbit set-up.

Blowing out the candles.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

First signs of spring

I'm so excited! On our way home from the library today we saw shoots of spring flowers poking up through the soil. And it's not even (quite) March!

Also, the buds are getting larger on bushes and trees.

Winter goodbye, 
Winter goodbye,
You may no longer stay,
Springtime is on its way;
Winter goodbye,
Winter goodbye.

(traditional German)

Friday, February 26, 2010

Fit for a Queen

Emma and Ben were playing tea-party this morning. Also, Emma pretended I was a Queen and set up a 'high tea' for me, complete with throne.

I love how the table looks with the silks covering it, and with the natural light coming through the window. If you look carefully, you might see how much rain is on the glass. It seems as if our Spring rains have come a bit early.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Modelling after a long day

I'm tired. I had my parents-in-law over for lunch, took the kids to a homeschooling science program (wonderful), and then shopped a bit with some of the money I made selling my bunny!

Then we got locked out of our apartment. I called Robert at work and he said he'd walk to meet us half-way. Part way down the street, though, I found my keys in my pocket! I quickly called Robert back before he'd left work. All the while, Ben's diaper needed to be changed. He was very stinky!
After a hasty but yummy supper of sardines, berries, and homemade bread, I took out the plasticine I'd bought the children today. Modelling is such a great way of letting them get out their experiences from the day, and to help them make sense of what goes on around them. Here are a few pics of them at work and play. The one above is of Emma imprinting her ring onto the plasticine.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Needle Felted Bunny

I'm loving needle-felting right now! After finishing King Winter, I made Ben a bunny for his birthday. But that's supposed to be a suprise, so you'll have to wait. THIS bunny is the last thing I made, and I finished it last night. I decided that more people are interested in spring themed things right now, and I have to put more things on my Etsy account. So, here is a little Easter bunny that I've put up for sale.

Monday, February 22, 2010


My Etsy account is now active, and King Winter is my first item for sale. Now I just have to get some traffic... If you would like to visit, the URL is


King Winter

I finished my needlefelted King Winter yesterday, using some of the fleece that came in from Bear Dance Crafts. Making him took up almost all of my ice blue, but it was worth it. He's the reason I bought that colour, anyway. I did find he was too, well, blue. So I added other winter colours and to make almost a watercolour effect. I'm opening up an Etsy account and he'll be my first item. I'm not sure who's going to buy him, now that winter is almost over!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Finger painting

We had fun painting yesterday. Here are a few photos of the kids busy at work.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


A snowstorm hit us in the night, and we woke up to a lot of fresh snow. Schools were all cancelled, so we called a homeschool cancellation, too. Not that learning stops when it snows...It just gets more fun!
I showed them how to build a snow shelter. Emma was amazed at how warm it was inside. 
Emma helping with her shovel.

Pouring hot syrup onto fresh snow.
 Next time I'll pat the snow down a little more before we pour the hot syrup onto it.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Sewing again

Crepes for supper and sewing all day! I managed to flip a few of the crepes, too, all the while singing Christina Rosetti's "Pancake" poem (sung to Judy Collin's melody from Baby's Morningtime). My poor husband had to be away from the supper table, so he missed out. I've saved him two crepes, but it won't be the same. Hey, it wasn't the same without him, anyway.

Today I finished up the blouse I was sewing for Emma. The pattern comes from Carefree Clothes for Girls by Junko Okawa. These are beautiful outfits made from unbleached cotton or linen, thrifted lace and mismatched buttons. A lot of the edges are left unhemmed, in order to naturally unravel a little. I wish I could make more from this book, but the largest size is 7 and the clothes simply wouldn't look as cute on larger kids.
I still need to make a button loop on this blouse, but I'll do that after the kids are in bed. Oh, and I played around with the sizing again, this time in the pattern stage. I made size 5 width, size 7 length. It worked perfectly. The cotton came from a second-hand bedskirt and the doily was found at Salvation Army.
Here's a close-up of the detailing around the collar. This was the first time I made my own bias-binding for the neck and arm-holes. The neck edge is embroidered with tiny gold stitches. I should have made them further apart, like in the book, and thus saved my arthritic thumb!
 And here are Emma and Ben with their dolls and makeshift baby-carriers. Rowan was wearing one, too, with a polar bear toy inside, but it didn't photograph well. I'll have to make him a doll very soon.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentine's Day Walk

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone! We had our party last Wednesday, so today we relaxed by making a few extra crafts and by taking a short hike in the park. Enjoy the photos!
This is a little spring and waterfall. It was the only water not frozen (apart from the sea).

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Finished arm-warmers

I finished knitting Emma's arm-warmers last Friday night. I worked on them during the car ride to my parents house and darned in the ends before bed. In the end, they only took one ball of Patons Kroy. I think I'll use my second ball to make either kids socks or knit a pair of 'babylegs.'

Friday, February 12, 2010

Old photos--1

I was looking through old photo files on my computer, and I found this picture from winter 2005. Back then, I was working and Rob was a stay-at-home father. Emma was three years old, and Rowan eighteen months.

Drawings on the window. You can see how Emma used to draw people. Her style stayed the same until she was about four and a half.

We no longer have the brass candleholders. I regret that, as they frame the window perfectly. They offer a promise of warmth, even with the candles unlit. Perhaps I gave them back to my parents. I'll have to ask...

Thursday, February 11, 2010

An early Valentine's gift

My husband had many surprises waiting for us when we got home yesterday from our mini-vacation. One, my order had come in from Bear Dance Crafts! He had that waiting in the car, and I had a peek at all my new rovings, felt, Ben's new book, posters, etc.

At home, we all had presents waiting. Rowan had a new hobby-horse and a new toy car. Emma had a brass-mirror with a unicorn decorating it. I think Ben was supposed to share the hobby horse. I had a new shawl from one of the fair trade shops. Rob had bought a bird-cage from 50 Hats; this is to house the Wee Folk that I had made the children for Christmas.

But best of all, Rob had drawn this picture. It is of our children playing outside what might one day be our home. It's also a bit of a 'find-it' picture, and you can see some of our treasured and defining possessions. See what you can see! You can click on the above picture to enlarge it.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Winter Fun

We've been away visiting my parents in the country. It was nice to get out of the city for a while, and the kids got to go sledding and play in the snow. The temperature warmed up from way, way below freezing to an unseasonable warmth (a few degrees above freezing). We all had a wonderful time. Here are some photos I took one particularly beautiful day.
Here I tried to capture some of the natural beauty of the day. My father keeps a large garden and this is one of his grapevines. I like the tendrils coming off in this picture.
A near miss for Emma? (The kids were being very careful, really).

My mother had home-made hot cocao ready to warm us up when we'd tired ourselves out from all the climbing up the hill. Thanks, Mum!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Mending Lucy

Lucy is my daughter's doll. I made her when Emma was only 3 1/2 year old, and she has been very well loved. Sadly, she has become rather 'ill' of late, with her fabric running in places. Her hair has worn thin, no longer fluffy as in the picture to the left, which was taken when Lucy was 'born.' Her face, arms and legs are no longer pink, but a murky beige. She is a dingy, sad looking doll.

But is she ever loved. When I first gave Lucy to Emma, she was just another doll. There were others, and Lucy was forgotten more often than not. To help her bond, when we moved one time from the Maritimes to Ontario (a long, two day trip), we packed up all the other toys for the moving truck and Lucy was the only toy Emma had for the next fortnight. That was the beginning of a long and beautiful friendship, and Lucy has become a full-fledged member of our family. But she is in sad shape, and so I've begun mending her. This is Lucy's hand before and after; really, I should be ashamed that I let her get in such bad shape!
Emma's not too pleased at the ridges that my mattress stitch made. I wish I had my grandmother's mending skills. But Emma still gave Lucy a terrific hug when she was given her back!