30 September 2012

Seven Days: an artsy and mellow week








1. Jenna and Connor, the day before his birthday.
2. Nursing strike, unhappy sleep.  All OK after a good dream feed.
3. Leaf mobile made with the kidlets.
4. Apple leaf yellow dye vat.  :)
5. Watercolour painting session.
6. Doodle Bug showing off museum makes.
7. The remains of a summer, cleared from the season table.  (Spot the empty chrysalis!)

29 September 2012


Season table change over for Autumn.  Happy happy happy!

Friends over for the afternoon, and a visit from Grandad, and a generally sociable time today.

Golden cloaks, sanding and polishing the wooden swords, singing harvest songs, Waldorf painting stories, listening the relevant chapter of Voyage of the Dawntreader, and baking dragon bread.

Yes, as always, our dragon bread is frankly ugly and misshapen.  But delicious, anyway.  Especially with a hearty stew.

Since I effectively missed all but the barest essentials of the High Holy Days this year, and we are barely managing to use our booth in the garden with the freezing cold week we are having... spending today really thinking and talking about what we wish to leave behind, and what is really essential to fight for, work for, and carry with us on our journeys, has been immensely positive for me.

For me, my "dragon" of the moment is control, and the panic and unneccesarily raised voice that goes with every loss of my ability to control others.  This is the primary habit I want to outgrow this season.  As for where it comes from and how it can be lost, well, as Terry Pratchet puts in the mouth of a very wise witch, "people as things, that's where it begins."
Oh Great Light, grant me the strength to begin again and leave behind unhealthy habits.  Help me shed this dragon skin, and treat my family as sacred whole human beings, companions, and not as objects to be managed.

28 September 2012

GIVEAWAY: Autumn Playsilk - sharing the love

So...  Would you like a hand dyed 90cm playsilk?  THIS hand dyed playsilk?  (And, yes, I will ship it anywhere in the world absolutely free.)
Well, I'm giving one away, for no other reason than that I love Autumn inordinately and am having such a satisfying and enjoyable time with all of the dyeing right now.  :)  All you have to do is comment on this blog entry, nothing more (though if you wanted to follow me on Facebook, or favourite my Etsy store or share this post, that would all be very welcome too, but no obligation!).
The winner will be announced next Saturday, so you have just over seven days to enter!  I am currently dyeing an array of Autumn silks, because the colours make me happy, so there will be more listed on my shop soon.

Many many thanks to my customers for giving me such a wonderful and encouraging start.  And gratitude to all of my friends for cheering me on.  You are fabulous!  I hope you are having a wonderful Autumn so far.  :)

I AM EXTENDING THE GIVEAWAY by a couple of days in anticipation of a very busy weekend!  You now have an extra 48 hours to comment and join in.  I will announce a winner on Monday morning, so check back to see if it's you!  :)   GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED AS OF 10:50am October 8th!  The winner is SAM!!

26 September 2012

Yarn Along: wherein tidying takes the place of reading...

Adult socks: finished!  The pooling has made these look rather like melted candy cane - which the consensus is rather in favour of liking, but I find annoying.  Hmm.  Well they are a really neat plain pair of warm comfy socks, anyway, and the unintentional stripes are kind of funky!
Now I have no commissions at all, I am determined to get on with some Christmas knitting and have cast on both Morgan *and* Jenna's Christmas knits.  :)

I haven't had my usual late night or early morning reading times, because Talia's sleep is still all over the place after her nursing strike.  I did manage to write morning pages both yesterday and today though, which is amazing and has been on my self-care wish list for years.  :)  Plus, I am attempting the "if not now then when" approach to de-junking and sorting the messy areas of the house.  First on the list, the old microwave (evicted) and the fish tank (newly scrubbed and with very much happier fish)!
On my draining board, well, I was planning some dyeing tomorrow but the pot just happened to be out already, so...  :)

Joining in with Ginny for a weekly peek at current projects and reading.  :)

25 September 2012

(extended) Weekending: woodlands, fruit, and the carnival of the bizarre and beautiful

What a busy crazy few days!  Well, I don't even know where to start.

Raspberry yoghurt icecream, plum and pear crumble, we have been baking - and using up a glut of fruit both gathered and bought.
We even had leftover crumble for breakfast this morning.  What better way to start a cold Autumn day?


Derby Feste was brilliant and kooky and fascinating.  From the strange man dancing with leeks, to the giant over-engineered machine, to the marble run the kids were encouraged to add bits too with wood and nails and elastic bands and various bits of junk...  Oh, and of course, the man with the giant balloon...






The baby emptied the picnic bag when we got home and finished off the Tzatziki...

Then on Sunday it was the Woodland Festival, which was if anything even more wonderful (and occasionally even more bizarre).

As last year, we stayed and listened to the Wild Man of the Woods for a long time, spellbound.


The girls helped to make their own besom brooms.

And we finished off the day with the duck race, which was less a duck *race* and more a duck *push*.  Never have I less envied any person their job than the poor lad knee high in duck-smelling water, trying to shove the plastic ducks in the right direction with his rake...



(I love this window.  I can't help take pictures of it; uneven, reflective, worn, beautiful.)

Then yesterday was Connor's third birthday (I know!) and we stayed most of the day for one extended party.  Talia had a twelve hour nursing strike.  And I had no sleep whatsoever because I finally persuaded her to dream feed and she made up for lost time!  So.  Four days.  This week really *has* to be a slow-down kind of week...  (On the other hand, I *know* I have sat down at some point this weekend, because I have nearly finished the socks I'm knitting!)

23 September 2012

Seven Days: sweet new year








1. Talia.
2. Jenna on her way to sling meet with her baby in one of my slings.
3. "Fairyland."
4. Hat knitting.
5. Cress (though Morgan keeps telling me with some irritation that it is GRASS).
6. Ruby cuteness.  "Oh, Rowan, looks like you shared your cold with the baby - how kind!"  "Yep, I shared my chocolate with her too!"
7. City.

20 September 2012

Baby pictures for Jenna

Jenna has her first plastic doll.  He is totally and utterly real to her, instantly loved and imbued with that special magic as a toy takes on its own character.

She keeps absently kissing the top of his head as she carries him around.  He gets worn in a sling all day, and rocked and sung to.

I remember people beginning to tell me at a similar age that I was "too old for dolls".  If anyone says that to Jenna I would probably be rather rude.  My doll slept beside my pillow until I was at least 12...

I was a little sceptical about buying her a plastic doll after all these years, even one she so clearly wanted and liked, as she has two mama-made Waldorf dolls that are truly old friends and loved ragged.  Well, now Lily and Rachel are big sisters, and have had to make room in the bed for Jude!  One of those moments when you see them so wildly intensely happy and think that yes, it was the right time to gently compromise an old ideal.  :)

19 September 2012

Yarn Along: socks and hats

I have been knitting like crazy this week.  I have commissions I want to get done in timely fashion before the weather turns cold, and I had a sudden urge to make pixie hats - and when the urge to knit something strikes, I harness it fast before it leaves me with a half finished something or other again.  ;)

One great thing at the moment is that I always have an excuse to knit something random just because I feel like it: "It's for the shop!"  One bad thing about this is that my to-do list gets longer while I indulge myself (another is that I need to actually sell the randomness that my addled brain comes up with)!

Anyhow...  Socks!  I have officially mastered two at a time socks.  Officially.  :)  In four days I have knit two pairs (and two hats).  I turned both heels on the second pair on our trip back from Lincoln where we spent a blissful day with friends.


Still reading fairy tales, and lots of different things to Jenna!  A couple of days ago I found her snuggled up on the sofa with Morgan, reading The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark to her.  Now that is just heart-achingly sweet.  I wish I had a picture of it, but just couldn't bear to disturb them.  <3>

18 September 2012

Book Sharing Monday... Tuesday... Whatever.

WHSmiths vouchers bought the girls some new colouring books.  I fell in love with these doodle books, really and truly the nicest ones I've seen.  Now *there's* a worksheet I can get on board with.  ;)



Well, let's face it, filling squared paper with little arrows and similar is what I spent a surprisingly large number of hours doing in college maths classes...

The children know how much I like the books.  Any time one gets pulled out, a little person comes and sits next to me and says sweetly, "do you want to colour in with me, mummy?"  Yes, yes I would!

I suspect they only ask me because they want to borrow my nice (expensive) fine liners, but ah well.  I'll take what I can get.