Sunday, December 7, 2014

Lashings of Ginger Beer

In anticipation of summer, we are bottling ginger beer. 

The bug has been growing on the window sill for a week now. Each morning we feed the yeasty mud with some more sugar and ginger. 

Despite the sound of it, it is downright fascinating watching it bubble away.

The first batch is bottled.  Tasting should be in a week, when summer finally arrives.  However,  it feels like I can guarantee rain by simply hanging out the washing.  Hopefully, I haven't cast a jinx on summer in the same way.

The bug is still growing.  One ready to give away and the other ready for round two.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Christmas - It's the Little Moments Together

It is all about the little moments.  The calendar has turned, the decorations are coming out and we are counting down to Christmas.  We have a nightly tradition of advent calendar and Christmas stories before bed.  The candle is new for us.  We pop up between stories to check how far it has burnt, with a little line for each day. We take it in turns to blow it out.

Oh, we have so many Christmas stories, that I really must share them at some point.  Stories that warm the heart, talk of a certain Saint Nicholas (anyone remember him in all the rush?) and some that have me so misty eyed I find them hard to finish.  We sit on the couch, huddled, necks craning to see pictures and we read.

It is nice to be spending the time together.  As we hear of family members battling with illnesses and odds, the lists of perfectly co-ordinated decorations fall away, and we remember it really is a privilege to spend these moments together.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Christmas Hama Beads


Little snowflakes are finding their way into our house.  The pretty little snowflake decorations turned out to be just the thing to entertain a seven year old when confined to the house.  They are made with Hama beads (similar to Perler), laid out on a grid and then gently ironed. 

Together, we searched for patterns and began to sort out our bucket of beads.

Slowly we worked out how to make the decorations a little more robust.  Spindly, thin details don't hold up very well so look for snowflakes with wider points, or fill in the background with another colour, like the red one above.

You can find links to other Hama bead decorations below:

Bead Merrily - lots of diagrams for snowflakes
Coffee and Vanilla - Gorgeous flakes in vibrant colours
Tutsplus - Stunning black and white snowflakes

Thursday, November 13, 2014

To the Lighthouse - Palliser Style

 3 Little girls, one light house, 258 steps and the adventure begins.

The Cape Palliser Lighthouse is a place that has always been special to me.  It is at the cusp of oceans and situated so far south that you don't realise that you have slowly turned around to find yourself facing north again.

Between this grand dame, and the beloved book "The Lighthouse Keeper's Lunch" I was convinced all light houses were red and white stripey just like my one. 

As a child we would visit the lighthouse keepers, Norm and June.  I recall small biscuits and afternoon tea at the end of the road.  There is even a half memory of being allowed inside, the spiraling stairs and tiny windows.  It seams so magical, I sometimes wonder if it ever happened.

As I grew older, it became automated and the lighthouse keepers left.  My brother even lived in the tiny little lighthouse keepers house for one very cold winter.

While the door to the light house is now firmly closed, the steps are there for all to climb.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Foxy Softie and Her Foxy Companion

This little pair of foxes was group effort. Mother stitching the big fox and daughter stitching the little one.

It was the kind of project that had me pulling fabrics, aching over choices and generally remembering why making softies can be simultaneously a frustration and pleasure.

In one of those moments of frustration, I suggested that E make the presents for her friend.  She took up the challenge. I have to admit I was impressed. So was her friend.

The large fox is adapted from We Make Dolls and you can find a pattern for the smaller one at  Little White School House.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Coming up for Air

There has been stitching, crafting and oh so many adventures.  I couldn't possibly leave them in the depths of a forgotten camera memory card.

This little mermaid is the result of a girl who believes her mother can make miracles.  The night before the party, she asked for a mermaid, for her friend.  Of course miracles are abound here, especially when one sets one's mind to it.  A little stitching, stuffing and velvet hair meant for a brief moment the goldfish had a friend.  It looks like he's just waiting for her to jump in.

pattern from - Wee Wonderfuls by Hilary Lang.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Winter Coats- Elves are Cooler Than Pixies

Winter means winter coats.  I have been stitching away, with these coats just waiting for it to get cold enough to wear.  Of course, this doesn't mean that everything else the children wear is seasonally appropriate.  Check out those bare knees!!
The girls promptly told me that they are elf coats, not pixie coats.  Apparently, elves are cooler.  I think we can blame the Polar Express movie for that.  The girls are pretty excited about their coats either way.
 About the Pattern:
The pattern is Thadee by Citronille.  It has been shortened to allow for tree climbing and bike riding adventures.  I didn't realise you could get the patterns in english  and fumbled my way through the french (looking at the pictures really). I chose to line it with flannel to the hoods and body and vintage acetate to the sleeves.   I've also added some pockets into the side seams.  The buttons are vintage self covered dome buttons which found in an opshop.  I still haven't been able to find anyone who is currently making them as they are great for little fingers.

The fabric was bought at an auction in January.  The coral appears to have been a wool blanket once upon a time.  It was just an off cut when it came to me.  The blue is a thick woven coat wool.  You may see a little more of it over time as I ended up with a half bolt of it.

The pattern is simple to make and I would recommend it.  While it would be a whole lot faster to make without pockets or lining, the little details make it all the nicer for my little pixies elves.