Monday, December 24, 2012

Seasonings

Season Greetings.

Seasonings?

Yes, Seasonings. :)





However you call it in your parts, have a safe and happy one!

Happy Seasonings, all.
xx

Monday, December 3, 2012

An Advent Tree - Tween made for tweens

Saturday morning saw me listening to the radio while taking some time to savour a cup of tea before starting the day - often a rare event for me. As I sat, listening with half an ear to the chatter focusing on craftiness..Festive craftiveness in particular, my mind wandered to how many plans I had in this area and how little I had actually achieved. The craft heart inside me felt weighted down by a million balls of unknitted yarn, bags of unspun fleece and the fabric piles that are threatening to take over my craft area.

As the conversation shifted from giving gifts of handmade to creating for oneself, my ears perked up. Advent calenders were mentioned, something I love the idea of but cringe like nothing you've seen before when I come across the mass produced ones offering a square of cheaply made, most likely un-ethical chocolate for each day's treat...

And yes, just like you, I have seen those organised people posting on their blogs sharing pictures of their beautifully made, patchwork or felted calenders, made long before the call of the festive season. But what of me? Unorganised soul, sitting slumped over my cooling cup of tea, pondering over the lack of such a handmade delight on this, the 1st of December?

My ears pricked up even more as the radio guest's talk veered towards time-saving ideas. An advent tree! Made with envelopes! One for each day..filled with a trinket of love, perhaps a good wish and a homemade treat. Oh yes, this is exactly what we needed. Something quick to make, and easily delegated to the tweens' of the household, for those would be the ones enjoying it most.

I raided my drawer of stationary from days gone by when I used to post actual snail mail Envelopes! 24 of them. Numbered as so. These were divided up into three piles of 7, one pile for each girl with three left over for mama to fill. They were distributed with instructions to decorate and fill with items you might like to receive yourself.

While they were plotting their tokens of kindness, I went outside and gathered up an armful of fallen branches, stuffed them in an oversize vase and strung some pretty yarn around them.

The envelopes started making their way back to the 'tree'. Full now with secret goodies inside. Made by one sister for another. A good exercise in thinking for others, not just themselves which is so often the case.

A little sneaky co-ordination has taken place with the rostering of who opens an envelope on which particular day, being sure that the token has been made by another, and so on.

And the opening has commenced! A little origami delight and a handmade chocolaty treat for the youngest made by the middle one. A chewy treat for the dog last night as Sunday is a 'spare day' for us. What will tonight's opening reveal? I can only guess! I love the fact that they have made it for themselves, with more thought put in than could ever go into a cheap supermarket calender. I think there may be a friendship bracelet or two hiding in there, along with a handful of jokes that kids don't seem to tire of. Perhaps even some beads to make a bracelet..but shhh, that's one's just between you and me. The most important thing is that they filled them for each other with thought and love. x

The Advent Tree. A slight change from last year's Wishing Tree. 

Do you craft at this time of year? Do you have a handmade Advent calender? Perhaps it's a beautiful patchwork one, or even a wooden one with little doors? What kind of things do you put inside?

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Slow Living - Month 11

I can hardly believe this is month 11!The year has literally flown by and we are feeling ourselves being swept up in the festive whirlwind that the end of year inevitably brings. Join me as I take a look back on the past month, reflecting on different areas of our lives that we are trying to slow down in.

Feel like doing the same? Just leave a link to your blog post written in this format at the bottom of this page and enjoy hopping over to see what others have been up to, hopefully gaining some new ideas and inspiration.  For a detailed description of each category, click here.  

{Nourish}

We have been enjoying the appearance of barbecue dinners once again as the weather warms up and the evenings are still light. Salads are also happening here a lot lately, with a busy schedule they are easy to prepare and totally healthy too! Water kefir came to the rescue this month after a nasty little tummy bug that left me sprawled on the bed and dehydrated. A couple of glasses of the strange brew felt like I was on the mend again, and the thought of those probiotics making their way into my insides made me feel good all over, no joke. :)



{Prepare}
errrr....surely this drought will have to end soon, right? It must, I say. It must!

{Grow}

ok now, lets see! We have pumpkins in, along with tomatoes, cucumbers, beans, zucchinis, button squash, potatoes, beetroot, radish, lettuce, capsicums and eggplants (both the lebanese variety which seem to prefer our cooler climate) and corn scheduled to go in over the next couple of days. Surely out of this we will see some hearty summer harvests? 

Harvestwise, we are consuming garlic, eggs, raspberries, potatoes, radish and  mizuna/lettuce. 




{Reduce}
Gates were a big feature here this month with a poochy companion to contain. All made from scrounged timber and modified to suit. I do love a quirky gate!

{Green}

I have big news to report here...I have been washing my hair with bicarb/baking soda instead of the usual homemade soap! It was the low supplies that caused such an event and I'm pleased to say that it really works! A tablespoon in a cup, dissolved in a little warm water and poured through the hair, massaged well and then followed with a vinegar rinse leaves my hair feeling clean and fresh. And many thanks to the person who suggested aloe vera as a hair de-frizzer last month..I've been trying this too and am totally impressed! So thankYOUU!! 

My daughter also was bitten by the largest bull ant I've ever seen this week and I immediately reached for the lavender oil to soothe the site. This stuff really is miraculous. 


Lastly, our soap stocks were replenished with a morning of soapmaking with a friend..see 'enhance'. 


{Create} 

a few crossovers here such as gates and soap. Things are mostly quiet on the sewing/yarn fronts with energy being focused elsewhere. 


{Discover}
Over the past month I've been discovering my own neighbourhood! It's only taken me 6 years to do so, but walking a dog is the best way to get out and explore your immediate surrounds. I am covering areas I didn't know existed and am keeping fit at the same time! A new app: mytracks is fantastic for keeping me up to date with my speeds, routes and various other statistics. 

Online, I recently came across an inspiring blog started by a couple who have ridden up the east coast of Australia on their push bikes, researching slow living, sustainability and self-sufficiency along the way. For more info, see here: Simple Lives. Very inspiring, I'm looking forward to reading more of this interesting journey soon. 




{Enhance}
This month I helped out at two of my daughters school camps, one being a practice bike ride before they embarked on their 'real thing' the following week. We were lucky as the weather was glorious and the 40 kids or so cycling were a dream. 
I also supported our local neighbourhood house by booking a stall at their pre-Christmas craft market - a lovely morning was spent chatting with a friend who shared my stall. 

The same friend also came around one morning and we spent some time making several batches of soap to hopefully cure in time for Christmas. It was lovely to pass on my knowledge that I have gained in this area so far and watch as she became inspired to try different combinations in the future. We made four batches of cold pressed soap and split them to end up with an assortment of each. Our soaps made were: Oatmeal and Honey, Lavender and Rosemary infusion, Garden herb (made by grinding up her gorgeous pot pourri and a Calendula and Chamomile - also made by grinding up the dried herbs (grown in our vegetable gardens). 




{Enjoy}
November saw the return of warm days at last (!), loads of doggie walks, veggie group sessions with abundant cakes and gardens exploding into growth, not to mention Oma's birthday!

I also enjoyed a trip into the city with my youngest to see the Christmas windows and we took the chance to stroll through the Queen Victoria markets on the way back, stocking up with fruit along the way. One on one time with one of your own is so important and something we should do more of, they just love it!






How were things in your world, this month?

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