Tuesday, November 27

have a go!

a few photos of jess's first attempt at sewing. 

i was amazed at how quickly she picked it up, totally amazed! i didn't give her much help at all. of course this activity didn't last long but thats not the point at this stage.

it is all wrapped up, gift tag attached ready to put under the tree for a very special person. that part took a lot longer than the actual sewing. jess was so excited to wrap it up and draw on the tag and is even more excited to give this gift that i don't know if she will be able to wait until christmas!

Monday, November 26


there's not a lot growing in our garden at the moment.

the wind is ferocious most days, it hasn't rained for months (literally), the sun is harsh and at times there are so many flies that gardening isn't a pleasant experience.

i have been trying to get seedlings growing but either they wilt in the sun or their leaves burn to a crisp or the birds peck the leaves until they are full of holes or they scratch at the ground around the plants and cover them with a layer of mulch. if thats not enough to kill them then they are sure to be eaten by any six legged insect that comes along.

yesterday we planted out some more lettuce seedlings, along with basil and parsley and planted bean and corn seeds. i have bits of string tied all around with little bits of tin foil wrapped around the string to hopefully deter the hungry birds. so far it seems to be working.

we do have some nice tomato plants going though and we picked our first tomato a few days ago so that was exciting. we are picking some delicious strawberries but the plants are looking a little grim so i think some shade over them might help.

and the garlic harvest was fantastic this year. the best i have ever grown i do believe. over sixty big fat bulbs of perfect garlic. hopefully it will be enough to last a good part of the year ahead. i have cleaned up all the bulbs and had a go at plaiting them back they don't look right so they will probably just hang in bundles... when i work out where to store them.

summer's nearly here so the good news is there is only a few more months of this harsh weather to go... and then ahhhh! autumn!

Sunday, November 25


peaceful sunday.

planting out seedlings, lettuce, basil and parsley and seeds, corn and beans with my little helper

eating out doors in the shade of the veranda 

a few mundane jobs like vacumming the car 

searching for sticks to make christmas stars

a first attempt at sewing (more on that soon)

a bike ride after dinner 

making a pomander with very little light (the power went out for ages) after the little one went to bed

a spot of yoga by candlelight which was spoiled by the return of power... oh well...

a happy day.

Friday, November 23

christmas preparations

christmas seems to be coming around fast (as it does every year)!

christmas preparations and crafting are in the works here at the moment. 

we have had a little tradition in our house ever since daisy (my eldest daughter) was a baby. each christmas i bought the girls one special ornament for the tree. this is the first year that daisy has had a place of her own, so last night i boxed up all her decorations to send off to her so she can have them on her christmas tree. she asked if i would be sad not to have her ornaments on our tree and i think i will. after all these years though, it is as i had imagined it when she was a baby, a box full of beautiful ornaments, one for each year, something she can keep from her childhood christmas's to remember them by. when i look at these ornaments i can't believe how fast that childhood went and it makes me a little teary. my they grow up so fast!

i am trying to be organised this year so the pudding is made already. i usually don't think about this until december and then it never has long enough to fully develop its flavour. it is tempting me from its hanging position many times a day. i love to just smell it nearly every time i go past (which is often). christmas pudding would just about be my favourite foods... maybe...

i have cut out a pile of felt ready to sew into gorgeous little farm animals. christmas cards are in the making, as are some bendy doll fairies, a star wand, felt crowns and masks and a stocking. i have started quite a few things but haven't actually finished any one item yet... but i will! it feels good to be doing something with my hands and being creative, i think i need this more than i realise sometimes.

so off the computer i go and onto the crafting...

Wednesday, November 21

a little drawing

it has happened all of a sudden.

jess likes drawing! yay!

actually, jess has always liked drawing but it would never hold her attention for long. a quick scribble and she would be done. now she will stay with one drawing for ages and then want to do another and another.

this new found interest has co-incided with the beginnings of representational drawing. probably no coincidence. jess had been telling stories about her paintings and drawings for quite some time now but has just started to make purposeful marks in the general region of where they should go. 

the above drawing is one that i am very excited about. it is of "mummy, daddy and jessica". you can see us there can't you? hmmm... maybe not but i can assure you we are... all with "big smiles", two eyes, noses, hair, two arms and two legs.

i prefer not to interfere with children's drawings and don't point out where the various body parts should go, that will come. i find children's artwork fascinating and believe they should be able to develop at their own pace.

pasting activities seem to be becoming increasingly more popular too.

i am excited as i feel that creative pursuits are going to become a regular part of our day... at last!

Sunday, November 18


an afternoon at the beach.

cool breeze, warm(ish) water, clear skies.

sand castle building, shell collecting, splashing in the water.

Friday, November 16

this moment...

this moment inspired by soulemama - a friday ritual. a single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. a simple, special, extraordinary moment. a moment I want to pause, savour and remember.

Thursday, November 15

meet lucy!

this is lucy.

finally finished!

jessica watched as i sewed the last of her body together and then it was another week before i was game enough to do her facial features. i think i was scared i would muck it up. i am quite happy with the end result, although i am not entirely happy with her hair, there seems to be too much. i am contemplating a hair cut to tone it down.

lucy is a 12 inch doll. when i received the kit i initially wished that i had chosen a bigger doll but looking at her in jess's arms she seems to be a good size. 

jessica certainly has taken to her and said today that lucy was her baby sister.

lucy is fitting right in around here!

Tuesday, November 13

ladybirds and flowers

we wandered the garden this afternoon. a garden who's flowers are giving away from the bright yellow and oranges of early spring to a more subtle palette of pale pinks, lilac and blues.

we wandered, picking a few flowers, checking on the progess of the tomatoes and spying a lot of ladybirds (or is it ladybugs... i never know which to call them)

i have never seen so many at one time before.

jessica, who has been jumping with fright for a while now whenever she sees a beetle or bug, decided to be brave and asked if i could put one on her finger. (a little girl at the playground yesterday had found one and came over with it on her finger to show us)  

i was more than happy to oblige. they walked along our hands and arms until they took their leave and flew away.

Monday, November 12


that look of concentration! love it!

i got quite excited about jess and the threading of these beads. the fact that they held her concentration until they were all threaded and then she wanted to do it again, as well as her hand eye co-ordination had me dreaming of future afternoons spent on sewing projects and crafting together.

i think they are still a little way off but its a mama's right to dream isn't it?

Sunday, November 11


oh sunday!

what can i say but hot hot hot!

oh and wind wind wind!

so for us it was a day inside.

music, singing and dancing.

finger painting in the bath, painting on the easel.

making dinner in the morning (so nothing to cook at dinner time), throwing together a delicious raisin chutney (then simply leaving it to ferment for a couple of days), and mixing together the filling ingredients for fruit mince pies (and leaving to soak in alcohol which smells so good in the fridge).

whizzing up cooling smoothies and seeping peppermint from the garden for iced tea.

playing hide and seek.

crafting preparations for christmas giving.

watching the white caps on the ocean and spray flying off the back of waves.

reading book after book after book.

a lazy but full sunday... indoors.

Wednesday, November 7

our travels part 3

as i have probably mentioned before, i love the botanical gardens.

i was lucky enough to be able to spend a spring morning there recently* while we were on our travels, with my oldest and youngest.

so far this year i have been to the gardens in autumn, winter and now spring!

all the fresh new growth on the trees was stunning, there were lots of plants in flower and ducklings too.

sunshine, gentle breeze and green everywhere... lovely!

*actually it was a few weeks ago now. where does the time go?