February news….

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Several weeks have passed since I last wrote here and it’s mid February now! We were finally blessed with some proper “wintry” days at the beginning of February. Our winter had been particularly mild up until this point, with only a couple of days of frost here and there. My daughters and I continued to fantasise about sledging, snowball fights and catching snow on the tips of our tongues, even though there was no snow or even frost in sight. But finally our wishes became reality…

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when King Winter and Jack Frost performed their magic over a series of cold and frosty mornings and a long awaited snow day, well…morning really….the salty sea air on the South Coast of England doesn’t allow the snow to stay too long!! 😦

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The cold nights allowed us to make Ice Windows/Mandalas. Such an easy and satisfying activity. It works like magic and winter wouldn’t be the same without a few mandalas hung on our pergola 🙂 They look glorious when the sun shines through them.

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Unfortunately the sun didn’t make an appearance on this day.

I wrote details of how to create them here.

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Due to the icy temperatures, my daughters, who are very concerned for the welfare of our now 50 + goldfish (the six we started with last spring went forth and multiplied!!),  made it their job to smash the ice on our pond with a mallet every morning before school, so the fish could breathe. We lost all our goldfish last winter, but so far we can still see them swimming, so are staying hopeful.

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We enjoyed a very early morning of sledging at our local park whilst it was still quiet. In England you can’t rely on the snow staying around, so you have to enjoy it whilst you can!

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Millie, our one year old puppy, enjoyed her first sledging experience 🙂

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It was great fun to play in the snow as a family. Snow definitely brings out the playful side in us all! A small snowman was also built and we enjoyed a quick snowball fight before school 🙂

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We celebrated Candlemas on Saturday 2nd February. It was a gorgeous day. Full sunshine the whole weekend, so perhaps winter will take another flight.

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We didn’t get out much unfortunately as the girls had various activities and parties to go to, so we ended up being  “mama and papa taxi service” for much of the weekend! Ho hum. It can go that way sometimes…

We did manage to carve out a few hours here and there on Saturday to make a few candles. We made stripy candles using odds and ends from various coloured candles we wanted to recycle. I wrote a tutorial here. 

 

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We also made beeswax floating candles; melting different coloured wax in separate tin cans, which we placed in a pan of shallow water. We cut short lengths of wicking to insert into wick holders, the wick holders were placed at the bottom of the moulds and a small amount of wax was poured in to stabilise them. Then the rest was poured in carefully 🙂

 

 

We made yellow star shaped candles for our Candlemas dinner, heart shaped ones for Valentine’s Day and violet-coloured flower candles for our spring celebrations.

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As we gathered together again in the evening, we enjoyed a candlelit meal with the floating candles as our only light. It was very sweet and I know the girls appreciate these touches.

 

It is always rewarding recycling old candles into brand new ones to enjoy over the year to come.  We have plenty more odds and ends of candles in less desirable colours that we will melt in due course to fill terracotta pots with, for our outdoor summer candles.

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As for Valentine’s Day, it was a school day,  so the morning was rather rushed, but we still fit in some sweet card and gift giving. We always go overboard with hearts!!

 

I didn’t have time to make homemade presents this year, but treated my daughters to a little succulent plant each and a little wooden box from a craft shop, which I thought they would enjoy decorating.

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The night before, my youngest made her sister a little booklet with her name on it and my eldest daughter made her sister a quick bear “mask”, to which she added elastic later  in the day 🙂

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Luckily I  managed to made some little carob sweets and heart shaped lollies earlier in the week, so there were some homemade treats. We also made heart shaped biscuits.

 

On Friday, my youngest daughter’s class performed a play that they had been rehearsing for the past half term as part of their main lesson.  In the third grade in Waldorf schools, amongst many other things, the children study Old Testament stories. The children performed a play about Moses in Egypt and Midian. They designed the posters that hung around the school, painted the set and helped make some of the costumes. It was a wonderful production.

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My daughter only had a small role, but performed it with much feeling.

 

As for my own craft news, I finished the sweater I was making.

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I am really pleased with it and it makes a lovely layering piece which is just what is needed at this chilly time of year. Layers are the answer! 🙂

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As I mentioned in my previous post, we had a fire at our house in December and I lost a whole basket full of bamboo needles and yarn. The insurance are helping us to replace all our losses, so I treated myself to a lovely bumper selection of needles and yarn and a yarn winder. I have never had one before and it’s a revelation!

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No more begging my children to hold the yarn while I wind it on, or putting it round my legs and getting in a tangle! It really is very exciting, as any knitter would understand 🙂

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I also purchased this pack of bamboo circular needles which is my favourite upgrade. I had lots of circular needles in my basket, but nowhere to store them neatly with all the long wires. This is brilliant! The needles screw onto various lengths of wire and work so smoothly and the storage is super tidy – hurrah!

I have started work on a child’s version of the Idlewood pullover for my youngest daughter in a nice bright royal blue.

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I made one  for myself last year and she has been asking for one ever since. Finally, the weather is cool and it feels right to make another. It is a lovely quick easy knit. I just need to figure out the sizing as it is designed for adults.

Apart from this, I spotted the pattern below whilst browsing ravelry and my children loved the look of it, so I am planning to make them both hats with colourful buttons 🙂 I happily take requests from my girls, especially as my eldest is quite possibly outgrowing home knits at twelve. Sob!

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I have plans to make a few things for myself afterwards and have found three patterns I like and purchased new yarn for them. So, lots of crafty goodness to look forward to! 🙂

 

I lost a lot of yarn in the fire, so it is lovely to have a new bundle of hope. 🙂

And that’s my round up of the past few weeks. We are off on holiday for a week tomorrow so decorating work can continue at our house whilst we are away. It will be lovely to be back to normal at home soon.

I hope your winter days are gentle, creative, fun and peaceful. 

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