February news….


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…


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!! 😦


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.


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

I wrote details of how to create them here.


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.


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!





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


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 🙂


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


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. 



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.


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.



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.


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 🙂


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.


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.


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! 🙂


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!


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 🙂


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.


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!


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. 


The Olympics Games – A Fifth Grade Waldorf milestone.


At the end of the Fifth Grade, when a child is of secondary school age, it is a tradition amongst Waldorf schools to hold an athletics event, that they call the Olympics, based very loosely on the original Olympic Games held in Ancient Greece. In the fifth grade curriculum, pupils study Ancient Greek and Ancient Civilisations, so by the end of the school year they are very familiar with Ancient Greece.

Waldorf schools consider children of 11 years (grade 5 age), to be at the height of their strength and stamina, before the onset of puberty, and what better way to celebrate this time than this unique athletics event.

My daughter’s school went one step further and turned the whole preceding week into a feat of determination and stamina, when they undertook to hike the 24 mile plus distance between their school and the host school.


Here they are being waved off and cheered on by the whole school 

Leaving on a hot Monday in late June, they walked eight hours a day, for three days, cross country, in the relentless heat. Every night they camped somewhere different.

Parents were tasked to set up and take down the camp daily and were responsible for catering, shopping, walking and all the preparations. It was a big job, but absolutely worth it: the teacher and children so appreciated arriving at a well set up camp and immediately being able to relax, cool down and play after their long walk. They most certainly deserved it!  I hear there were plenty of water fights! 🙂

We were so impressed by this small class of nine’s determination and fighting spirit to complete the walk without complaint and to enter into the spirit of the event.

They arrived at the host school, to a “Welcome”banner and many of children from other schools, who had just arrived by bus, were in awe of their achievement, before any of the athletic training had even started!

This particular Olympics was held at a large Waldorf school with extensive grounds. There were over twenty different schools taking part, from England and abroad, including Poland, Bulgaria and Germany and all were camping on the school grounds in preparation for the event.  I estimate around 350 pupils or so.

My daughter’s class had spent many months last year training; with morning runs around a track in the park and practising a variety of Olympic sports, including javelin, discus, high and long jump and wrestling, so they were well prepared for the next three days.


There were two days of training before the actual event, where the children from the different schools were divided up into groups, representing Ancient Greek Cities. It  was an opportunity for children to get to know other Waldorf schooled children. Each City was led by an Archon, who was typically a fifth grade teacher, and had a different ribbon colour. Ribbons were tied to a long pole that the Archon held, so that the groups knew where to assemble. My daughter was in “Marathon” which had a light blue colour. She was happy with that, loving blue as she does 🙂


It was such an inspiring event, I just had to share it with you and I must say I am enjoying reliving it myself! 🙂  Unfortunately I lost my camera battery the day before the event and didn’t have the time to purchase another. Luckily after trying all kinds of options, I was able to borrow a friend’s camera for the event. The photos aren’t as clear as I would have liked, so I apologise in advance for some of the fuzzier photos, but I wasn’t used to the camera and there was a lot of movement! I wouldn’t have missed recording this milestone event in my daughter’s life, for the world. It really is such a glorious way to mark the end of the primary school years and this memory will last the children lifetime, of that I am sure.  I certainly still carry the memory in my heart with such pride. 🙂

The families were able to camp onsite overnight on the Friday, but away from the pupils. This was just as well as we had to rise early on Saturday!


By 7.45am we were all gathered for the Opening Ceremony. It started with a steady drum beat echoing through the arena, followed by a torchlit procession of children (one child chosen from each City). The other children followed in their “Cities”, all dressed in white tunics with bare feet, as they would have been in Ancient Olympia.




Each child wore a belt that they had made themselves (parents had made the simple tunics). My daughter had embroidered some Ancient Greek writing on hers. I don’t think it was anything too meaningful though!!


The big torch was lit and the Games could begin.


The first event was the “Marathon”, which was a mile long run around the grounds, finishing on the running track. My daughter loves to run and is the fastest in her class, over long distances, which she is proud of. Due to every child running the race, she found herself quite far back at the beginner’s line and it was difficult for her to push forward until part way through the race, but she did herself proud, being one of the first girls to reach the finish line and beat a lot of boys in the process- an important detail!! 😉 She is only a slight thing but built for speed, with fierce determination. She certainly doesn’t get her athleticism from me – I was always last to be picked for sports!




Then there was a sprint, called “The Dash”, where the children raced 70m, ran round a javelin, and raced back. This was divided into girls and boys races.



High jump and long jump followed. The children could choose between these.  My daughter chose the long jump and each child was allowed three attempts.



The queues were long, but the excitement was papable and every child was applauded for their efforts.


Wrestling was next. My daughter didn’t want to participate, but we watched her classmates. The wrestling is done standing up in a circle. The aim is to push your opponent out of the circle, whilst palm to palm. No other part of the body is to touch the other. It was a very civilized sort of wrestling!!



Then came the javelin or discus. These events went on simultaneously, so the  children had to choose between them. My daughter chose the javelin, as she said she didn’t want to offer up the discus to Zeus!!! 🙂 They were once again allowed three attempts.


There was a “mini marathon” in between that my daughter didn’t participate in, which was a 400m race I think. She and her classmates enjoyed wandering around and enjoying refreshments instead.



The message was clear: the event was not about winning; it was about participation and doing the best of one’s own ability. The children were each praised for their own individual efforts: the grace of their running; the focus in their wrestling; the steadiness of their hand in their throwing; their determination and skill. It was a very encouraging event.


Lastly there was a relay race, which everyone took part in, running 80m each. Luckily my daughter took part in an early race as the heat was really getting to us and I was suffering from bad hayfever due to being in a freshly mown field all day long!


After the final race, there was a very moving closing ceremony.


The children sat in their ‘Cities’, in a circle around the central Olympic torch. The Archons called each child up individually and gave them a medal with a ribbon in their ‘City’ colour and praised them for their acheivements on the day and told each child what they had appreciated about their individual performance and efforts in the previous two days.



Some children were given slips of paper with these written down. My daughter’s group didn’t receive one and she has forgotten what was said to her because of all the excitement. I remember hearing grace, focus and determination, which I would definitely say apply to her! It was very moving and meaningful. Apart from tears of emotion, my eyes were unfortunately streaming with hayfever and the heat of the big torch close by, that I could barely see any of this or even find my way back to our camp without help!! 😦


There was a lot to celebrate, not least our lovely, supportive School Community 🙂


I love how Waldorf education celebrates the seasons, yearly festivals, important  milestones and The Individual. There is so much reverence and meaningful attention to detail. I feel this sends an important message to the Children of the Future; that their contribution is recognised and valued and that the Earth and it’s gifts are to be treasured and protected.

Anyone who has visited this blog will know I am a passionate advocate of Waldorf (Steiner) education. For those that want to know more, I wrote this post.

In the past I have written about the wonderful celebrations in the Kindergarten years, including the beautiful Kindergarten birthday celebration and the very moving Kindergarten leaving festival – see here and here.

In previous years, I have written about the meaning of some of the festivals we celebrate at school and how we honour them at home. These include: Candlemas  (2nd Feb), Valentine’s Day (14th Feb), EasterMay Day festival (beginning of May),Whitsun festival (end of May), Midsummer and St John’s (24th June), Michaelmas (29th September), Martinmas (11th Nov) and Advent (four weeks leading up to Christmas). Hope you find some food for thought here for creating your own seasonal festivals. 🙂

***May your life be filled with awe, reverence and celebration – of Mother Earth and of the gift of Life! ***




Big catch up…


It is now almost two weeks since my children returned to school, after a three week Easter break. I can’t believe I haven’t written here for well over a month! 😦 There just hasn’t been a spare moment to dedicate to the luxury of writing here. Any spare time has been dedicated to essay writing and I have had other pressing matters to occupy my time and headspace too….

But finally, here I am and it’s so good to be back 🙂 I am going to write a single post about the past month, because time is short these days and I don’t know when I will write again. I do hope to get back to posting weekly and even finishing off my US travel posts (!) but right now I am doing a lot of writing for different reasons, so we shall see… I live in hope! Anyway, in the unforgettable words of  “the Sound of Music!”

 Let’s start at the very beginning…

As I mentioned in my last post, my daughters were both in a play in the final week of last term. In Steiner (Waldorf) schools, each class puts on a play every year and they form part of their main lesson for half a term. The children learn their lines remarkably quickly and it is a wonderful achievement that they can be proud of.


My eldest, who at 11 years is in fifth grade, has been learning about Ancient Civilisations this year (amongst other things) and the class has also been taught some ancient Greek, so it was decided that they would put on a play of ” The Adventures of Odysseus.”


There was chanting in ancient Greek and great passion and action. The play was really well put together and the scenery was painted and designed by the class. Such an achievement. A boy in the upper classes even did the lighting so there was plenty of atmosphere too.


The children really did themselves proud and we thoroughly enjoyed it.  They put on three shows: one for the lower and middle school; one for the parents and one for the upper school, with some of the middle school children choosing to see it again!


My daughter used to be very shy and only wanted small parts in plays, but she has been growing in confidence every year and asked for a bigger part this time. She did a marvellous job, speaking clearly and with feeling. I was so proud of her. Steiner (Waldorf) schools are such a great environment for bringing out the best in a child. I am a passionate advocate for this type of education.

My youngest daughter, who at eight years old is in the second grade, has been learning about the Saints this year. The class put on a play about St Francis of Assisi. The children did two performances: one for the classes and one for the parents and took on two different roles, one in each performance. My daughter was due to be a baker in the performance we were watching, but at the last minute she had to take on the role of a Nun, as one of the children was ill and they all had to swap around .


Luckily the children all know each other’s lines (more or less) so she did really well. I was very impressed by the way she stepped in. She is also quite shy at times, but she didn’t want to let anyone down. It was a wonderful play with proper scenery, costumes and good humour.


Easter came right after we broke up from school, which felt rather strange as there was no time for Easter crafts beforehand.


We did do a little egg blowing and decorating one afternoon as the girls insisted on it but we were all out of breath after one egg, so we left it at that !!

We stayed at home for the whole holiday, which is quite unlike us as we love to travel and see new sights and sounds, but it felt like the sensible option; having a young puppy and wanting to get her settled. We saw plenty of friends over the three weeks.





 and had a sleepover party with a friend each, including a fun trip to the circus.

We have also spent time getting to know Millie better. She has doubled in size and is such a sweetheart and so friendly with people and dogs. We feel truely blessed. She is happy as long as there is a soft spot to rest, including cushions fallen under the table, a bundle of wet laundry or a pile of leaves. These are all a perfect resting spot! 🙂

She is surprisingly fast and loves nothing better than running on the cliffs with the children or going for country walks. Some have been very muddy, bless her heart!


As for Easter, we had a lovely quiet weekend, just the four of us. The Easter hare paid us a visit and the children were delighted to find this little rabbit statue left as a surprise. 🙂


There wasn’t much time for present making, but my daughters still managed to make each other a gift in secret. My eldest sewed her sister two skirts for her toys, using this pretty fabric.


My youngest was very specific about what she wanted to make for her sister, so with my help she created a little garden for two felt rabbits and some needle felted Easter Eggs. She made it all by herself, except for my cutting out the felt and sewing the grass to the base on Easter Saturday evening (!) due to time constraints. The vision was entirely hers 🙂 Her sister was truely delighted and enchanted by it!


They also made us a few very simple ornaments for the Easter tree.

And of course there were cards for us and for the Easter hare 🙂

Considering they only started their work on Good Friday, I was really impressed by their efforts and determination!

Unfortunately due to my studies and other matters, I did not find a spare moment, (where I had the time or energy) to make my daughters anything 😦 I did give both girls a meditation shawl as they have long wrapped themselves in mine when they feel tired or unwell and I always fill their papier mache eggs with a few goodies, which they appreciate.


It was a joy to finally decorate the Nature Table for spring and bring out fresh green cloths and soft yellows to reflect the colours in the outside world. I was also pleased to be reacquainted with the flower children I made last year  🙂






We also made our usual carob sweets in Easter moulds


and coverered date truffles  with dyed coconut shavings.


We used:

  • A teaspoon of spirulina powder mixed with a little water for the GREEN
  • A teaspoon of turmeric powder mixed with a little water for the YELLOW
  • Hand squeezed grated carrot for the ORANGEY/YELLOW
  • Hand squeezed grated beetroot for the PINK – a messy job indeed!
  • Squashed frozen blackberry juice for the PURPLE

We needed very little of the ingredients to achieve the desired colour. Once we were happy with the colour, I placed the shavings in our dehydrator for a couple of hours to dry them.  A low oven would also work.


After rolling the date truffles in the coloured shavings, we stored the rest in a jar so we can ‘jazz up’ Daddy’s birthday cake this week 🙂 A healthy option to sugary sprinkles and fun to make besides!

Apart from Easter things, we have been on several lovely walks.

Spring is finally in the air, although today is freezing!

The sight of the new buds, the catkins, the carpets of wood anenomes, the wild primroses, celandines and violets filled our hearts with joy. It has been a long bleak winter – the flowers are such a welcome sight!

We have been renewing our love for the Herb Fairies series, now that all the fresh herbs and flowers have returned for inspiration 🙂


We picked some violets on one of our walks and have pressed them, drawn them and done some colouring in. We also made some pretty ice cubes (for a party we are having this weekend), and stirred up some violet and dandelion honey, that the girls have been enjoying this week.

 We have a full week coming up; with my husband’s birthday on Wednesday, the children need to finish their costumes for a Children’s Parade on Saturday, after which they will have friends over for a sleepover and if that’s not enough (!), we are hosting a party for Daddy on Sunday! Yes lots to do and to look forward to 🙂

I am sorry for the long absence. I hope to be back soon! I have missed it far too much to stay away so long again 🙂 This space reminds me of all that is good in my life and that joy can be as simple as a walk in nature, a cuddle with a puppy or sweet times spent with my family or friends. And with that I leave you with a lovely photo of my youngest and Millie on a recent hot and sunny day 🙂


PS: For friends who visit regularly, I passed my exams really well! So pleased and kind of surprised, (considering how little time I managed to revise for). I must know more than I give myself credit for 🙂

Memories of Christmas 2017


It is the sixth day of Christmas and the New Year is almost upon us so I thought I would pop in to share a few of our Christmas memories from this year.


We made it to the cinema on the 22nd to see White Christmas and it was a lovely experience for us all. I have never been so immersed in the film (I am usually knitting or multi-tasking in some way!) and I found it very funny and heartwarming. We had a break half way through too so we could stretch our legs and have a drink and munch on the popcorn we had brought with us. T’was fun!

We had friends over later that afternoon so we spent some time baking and making sweet treats on the 21st December, which was enjoyable – both the baking and sampling 🙂


The stars and heart biscuits are a German recipe. The Germans I know bake a wide variety of delicious “Plaetzchen” (in their hundreds) during Advent to offer around at their cosy Advent get togethers. I have memories of looking into the biscuit tin with wide eyes, not knowing what to pick first – you are so spoilt for choice! I imagine I took a fair few! 🙂 Many have ground nuts in them, which mine do too, instead of flour which makes them nice and chewy – yum! We also made more carob sweets ( I shared the recipe here) and date truffles (the recipe is here), which were both suitable for our guests who are gluten intolerant/vegan/avoiding sugar.


For us, Christmas really starts on Christmas Eve when we attend a Christingle Service at a local church. The service is geared towards children and there is a lovely storyteller who weaves the story of the Nativity beautifully. We never grow tired of it. Each child is allowed to add a figurine to the Nativity scene at the front of the church and they also each received a Christingle. The service always sets a reverent mood which we appreciate.

Of course the children were also eagerly anticipating Father Christmas’s visit. We follow his journey using the Norad Santa Tracker and we always leave him and Rudolph a snack.  Father Christmas has a penchant for Baileys we think 😉 Before bedtime, we spent a little time sitting by the fire singing all the carols we know and other Christmas songs we enjoy before trying to get the girls to bed – hmmn…needless to say they were rather too excited to have an early night!!

We were up bright and early and the girls ran into the lounge with glee to discover that the magic had happened overnight- I just love to see the wonder in their eyes. With my eldest being eleven, I am very conscious that this could well be the last ‘magical’ year for her, but I think she has a strong wish to believe, so you never know….I think I was over twelve….time will tell.


The magic also happened on the Nature Table as we welcomed dear baby Jesus to the stable.


The shepherds (and sheep!) arrived the next day


and the Kings started their journey to Bethlehem and will arrive at Epiphany.


We spent a really peaceful Christmas Day in each others company. It was lovely to have a slow day after a busy Advent. We opened presents, had a delicious breakfast made by Daddy and went out to see a brass band perform Christmas songs at a bandstand half an hours drive from where we live. We do this every year for a change of scene and some fresh air and it is a really fun experience as the conductor gets everyone dancing and interracting with the band in various fun ways. We brought along some coffee and Baileys (for the adults) and mulled apple juice for the girls and some home made biscuits of course 🙂


Then we came home to eat lunch, followed by several games of charades – we do love a game of charades 🙂 As it grew dark, we went for a walk around our area to look at the Christmas lights, singing a few carols as we walked.


And later that evening, we cosied up on the sofa to watch a ballet film performance of the The Nutcracker  (from 1993 with Macauley Culkin) on YouTube. We found it a couple of years ago and it is a really lovely film for children to watch at this time of year, especially if they don’t have access to the Ballet locally. My daughters love the costumes and dancing and the choreography and casting is great. Very magical.

As for homemade presents, I actually managed to finish the Teddy Bears on the 23rd December!!! It did surprise me!  It was a close call and I promised myself I wouldn’t be up late on Christmas Eve finishing them off as I was last year, so I was open to finishing them off by the New Year, but somehow it all fell into place. A little Christmas Miracle 😉

My daughters love them so it was worth redoing them from scratch; starting again just over a week before Christmas – eek! Anyway without further ado, Meet Milly and Molly 🙂


Milly in the green is a little smaller than Molly due to the green yarn knitting up differently, but no matter.


I added little ribbons to their heads so they appear more feminine. I wasn’t sure about the way they looked initially as I was making them so quickly, but I am happy with them now. The main thing is that the girls are smitten 🙂


The girls sewed and knitted us some little presents. They didn’t have much time, but we were really pleased with what they made.


A double sided gingerbread house for Daddy from our youngest daughter, complete with little gingerbread man and lady and a gingerbread lady for me.


Our eldest daughter knitted me a hairband and made Daddy a cute felt snowman.

We also spent Boxing Day by ourselves because the girls wanted to spend the whole day in pyjamas and we realised we were craving this sort of family time. We saw a couple of friends on the 27th and 28th, which was a nice contrast. We also took our friends for a walk in our locality to look at the lights including a model village that some people had set up in their front porch in aid of charity.


I must say, those model villages do bring out the childhood wonder in me – I could have gazed at all the detail for hours! 🙂

Well, I had better be going as we might be heading to sunnier climes tomorrow. The trip is in  doubt at the moment, despite being all packed, as my husband might be coming down with something and my mother can’t go as she is ill (we have been on several winter holidays where my husband has been ill for the entire time – poor him 😦 – so we won’t risk it if he isn’t well tomorrow morning….) So I am still unsure where we will see the New Year in. I wrote about how we celebrate New Year’s Eve here incase anyone is looking for some nice ideas of how to make it more meaningful.

Well, I shall leave you now and wish you all a wonderful New Year 2018! May it be a blessed year for you all. 

Linking with Ginx Yarn Monthly Link Party and Crafting on at FrontierDreams.

Advent in our family…

Are you finding that time is moving too fast this December? Maybe it always does, but this year there seems to be less time somehow. It’s probably due to the fourth Advent Sunday falling on Christmas Eve and there only being three weeks this Advent in which to do all the crafts, reading and baking that we enjoy.  I don’t feel we have done as much as I would have liked to and it’s almost Christmas!! Can it be!?! As I mentioned in my last post, I base our activities around the four weeks of Advent and having one week missing feels like a loss, strange as it may sound! I will have to make up for this in the Twelve Days of Christmas, methinks…


We have just entered the third week of Advent:

“The third light of Advent is the light of beasts,
All await the birth, from the greatest to the least”

We made some bird food today, combining lard and various seeds and grains and pressing them into festive moulds. We plan to hang them up with red ribbons tomorrow once they have properly set.


We also strung some popcorn and cranberries onto thread to make the bird feeding station more festive and hopefully the birds might like to have a nibble 🙂


I have a lovely pattern for making felt reindeer that we would like to try from this inspiring Christmas craft book. I think that’s all we will have time for this week as we all still have some Christmas elving to do too!

Last week, we did a couple of super easy crafts based around plants:

The second light of Advent is the light of plants,
Plants that reach up to the sun and in the breezes dance.


Every Christmas my eldest daughter and I used to make heart shaped ornaments (using cranberries and wire) to hang in the front windows of our previous home, but since moving, we haven’t. As we are properly settled now, we decided that we missed making them, so we made a couple.


The girls made some simple pomanders with oranges and cloves, which we have hung up by our back door and make a beautiful addition to our decorations.


We also made pretty ornaments for our Christmas tree, using beans, pulses, spices and plenty of glue (!)


I found the idea in LandLove Magazine and my youngest daughter particularly enjoyed this rather messy, but enjoyable craft. We cut the shapes out of card, punched a hole in the top, so they could be hung up, and glued everything on. My eldest daughter only made one because she really wanted to play by herself, so it was good that my youngest had something to keep her amused for a while and I joined in of course 🙂




My eldest likes to play on her own more now that she is getting older and her sister sometimes feels sad about it….that’s when crafts come in handy! 🙂


It just happened to be frosty for a couple of nights last week, so we made an ice window. I placed a few flowers and leaves in a bucket of water with some string hanging down into the water and overnight Jack Frost performed his magic 🙂 Sadly they don’t last long here, but we did enjoy the sun shining through it all morning.

We also went on a couple of excursions – Tis the season :-).


We attended the Glow Wild Festival at Wakehurst Place on Thursday evening. Friends had recommended it to us and we were not disappointed! It was gorgeous! Totally magical, enchanting, wonderful! We arrived at 5pm and you have a half hour slot in which to start the magical journey around the garden.



Each family receives a lantern at the beginning – the girls chose purple – and you are led around the garden by a myriad of beautiful willow lanterns and sculptures.


We also walked around a river lit by fiery torches with Indian style music playing in the background. It would have felt like India, but for the cold weather!


It was an extraordinary sight and must have taken a great deal or time and effort to organise and set up. The photos cannot do it justice, but I wanted to share them anyway.



The lake was full of glowing water lilies and we cooed at all the animal sculptures.


It certainly brought out the child in me – I felt so excited and transported back to childhood wonder. That is something very special 🙂


Trees and snowflakes were also projected onto the Mansion house -it was so magical!


And at the end, there was a lovely little spot for sharing hot chocolates, roasted chestnuts and toasting the best marshmallows ever 🙂 A delight for all the senses.


We loved it so much, we went back with my mother on Saturday to revisit it. I think we shall bring my mother next year as she was visibly impressed and could do with a bit of wonder in her life 🙂


On Sunday, we met up with our dear friends at Polesden Lacey in Surrey. We meet up every year on the third weekend of Advent and always enjoy a lovely day out.


The house was decorated for Christmas and we enjoyed exploring it and imagining how the sociable Mrs Greville would have lived and entertained there.



The girls especially enjoyed looking at the servants quarters and dressing up 🙂  My youngest particularly loved the housekeeper outfit, complete with key chain! (reminscent of Mrs Medlock’s uniform in The Secret Garden)


We were fascinated by the old gadgets including an old Singer sewing machine and the rather antiquated and heavy vacuum cleaner!


We put up both of our Christmas trees  (we have two artificial trees – one from when the children were little – that is now in our family area at the back with all our home made ornaments on it – and this taller one, which we treated ourselves to last year and is much more realistic. We rarely have a real tree as we often go away before the New Year and it doesn’t seem worth sacrificing a tree for such a short time) and spent some time decorating them and adding the lights (never my favourite part!!!), It feels so festive now with all the twinkling lights filling the house.


On the Nature Table, things are filling up. Joseph and the donkey have joined Mary. Plants abound and animals are arriving this week and will soon be followed by the shepherds and inn keeper, in time for Christmas Eve.



My daughters’ Nature Tables in their rooms are also filling up and they delight in the ‘elves’ bringing them a new addition every night.



On both, Mary looks like she is laying on the donkey – but she is perfectly comfortable I am told! 😉

We are going to have a little pre-Christmas gathering of friends here on Friday afternoon – a mulled apple juice, spicy biscuit kind of thing with womenfolk and their children – craft group members present and past 🙂 Everyone is bringing something, so the catering should be minimal. I feel grateful to have the space to host a gathering of this sort. We shall no doubt make a few biscuits, mince pies and sweet treats 🙂

We are also taking our first trip to the cinema on Friday morning to see White Christmas. My eldest has wanted to go to the cinema for a little while now and I have been finding it difficult to find a film that will suit both my daughters. They watch some DVD’s at home – ones I know will be suitable – but going to see a film in the cinema (where there is no escape from the noise and action) is another thing altogether. My youngest particularly takes things in very deeply and can get nightmares from the wrong sort of film (my eldest was the same, but has outgrown it  somewhat), so I am very wary about taking them to see a film that I don’t know. They know this film well, so I think it will be the best start we can make to our cinema-going. It is a dementia friendly viewing, so we will no doubt be the youngest there, but that suits us fine. We are looking forward to it!

Well that’s my round up of the past week or so. I am still working on the little teddy bears….I decided to remake them from scratch as I wasn’t able to keep a tight enough tension on 2mm needles, but I think I have got the hang of it now (more or less!) I have been enjoying some cosy late-night knitting. watching Christmas DVD’s and they should be ready for the New Year, if not before. Wish me luck!!

Before I go (because I doubt I will make it here before then), I would like to wish you ALL a very Merry Christmas!!! Wishing you a peaceful, joy filled time with a generous sprinkling of magic! 🙂 


Joining the crafty folks at Frontier Dreams Crafting On

December already!


It’s Wednesday evening, my daughters have broken up from school and I finally have time to reflect on what we’ve been up to since I last wrote…in November!….Goodness, how can it be that we are already in mid-December! The last week passed in a bit of a blur with a sickness bug affecting all our family in turn. I became sick on Monday (missing my usual spot for writing here) and by the time I was feeling better on Wednesday, my youngest took over and we spent a whole long night in and out of the bathroom 😦 This weekend it was the turn of my eldest. I think we are all on the mend now and are hoping to stay well for the rest of December!!!

Somehow we have still been keeping up with our Advent traditions. This period is so precious to us, we wouldn’t have it any other way 🙂  I wrote at length about these traditions here, but here are a few glimpses:

We have been reading our Christmas books– we found a use for the failed papier mache lantern – it’s now a beautiful bowl to hold our Christmas book ‘lucky dip’ 🙂

All the different ways we mark the passing days of December/Advent.

Mary is travelling on her Star path towards the stable. Due to illness, we have had a few false starts (!) and she has remained on a particular star for a couple of nights…but we help her catch up 🙂 We dim the lights before bedtime, light the candles (according to the weeks of Advent) and sing “Mary’s Starpath” as one of my daughters moves Mary forward to the next star.  It creates such a beautiful reverent mood, I really appreciate it.  As you can see, the path is filling up slowly; with crytals and golden shells (placed in the  first week of Advent) and pinecones, little trees and golden hazelnuts this week. Toadstools are on their way 🙂 These are added by the “elves” overnight, both to our main Nature Table in the lounge and to my daughters’ own Nature Tables in their rooms. The elves have been known to forget (especially when they don’t want to disturb sick children!) but generally they know how important their job is 😉

Steiner attributed each week of Advent to a different Kingdom and I base my Advent activities and additions to the Nature table around this:

The first light of Advent is the light of stones,
Stones that live in crystals, seashells and bones.

The second light of Advent is the light of plants,
Plants that reach up to the sun and in the breezes dance.

The third light of Advent is the light of beasts,
All await the birth, from the greatest to the least.

The fourth light of Advent is the light of humankind,
The light of hope, that we may learn to love and understand.

This Advent, there are only three weeks in total due to the fourth Sunday in Advent falling on Christmas Eve, so we will start the arrival of the animals to the Nature Table a little earlier so there is enough time to add the humans too!

In the week of stones, I don’t usually do too much craft-wise as the children are still at school and there are a lot of things to organise and events to attend at this time. I do always give the girls a rock to crack (with a hammer) on one of the mornings and they each receive a lovely crystal (I cover the crystal in white clay and leave it to harden).

We sometimes make clay or saltdough ornaments, but due to illness, we had to forgo that this year. No matter…

This week I have a couple of crafts in mind based around plants. I will report back in  my next post. I feel this post is going to be long enough!!!

So to rewind, we had our Gnomes Bonfire on the evening of 30th November to bid farewell to autumn and decay and make way for a peaceful light-filled Advent. We let go of all the dry leaves, acorns and conkers we had collected on our autumn walks and warmed ourselves by the fire accompanied by warm drinks and spicy biscuits 🙂  The girls set the gnomes up and took over  most of the procedure this year. These traditions are so deeply ingrained they always know what to do 🙂

I  felt a strong urge to tidy and clean the house thoroughly in preparation for Advent: It helps to set the mood to one of anticipation when the decks are cleared and the energy is lifted. Things can get quite tired looking at the end of a season, I find.  It is always a joy to set the Nature table up for a new season and there is no season I love more than Advent 🙂

The girls wrote their letters to Father Christmas which the ‘elves’ took during the night. The elves also filled our angel Advent Calendar with ornaments to adorn the bare branches over our Nature Table.


On the 2nd December we had our school Christmas Fayre. We helped set the Fayre up on Friday and my husband did the cooking, as he has done for many years now.


The school looked really fabulous, all decked out in homemade goodness. I always feel so proud of our school at this time of year, when everyone pulls together to make it happen.


We baked some cakes for the cafe as every family does. My daughters were keen to be involved.

I love that my youngest felt she needed to wear high heels for this 🙂


As I mentioned, my eldest daughter had a stall in the Children’s Market.

She sold most of her doll skirts and paper angels and all of her needle felted baubles and window stars and made a grand total of £75! She paid a percentage to the school, paid me back for the materials and gave her sister some money to treat herself with and there was still £55 left for her. She was delighted as you can imagine. The needle felted Christmas pudding my youngest made was one of the first things to sell, so she is considering making more for next year….plans are afoot already 🙂

St Nicholas paid us a visit on 6th December. The girls put their boots out by the back door and were richly rewarded.

“Our” St Nicholas always brings nuts and clementines and a little present. This year he brought a festive glass and a special coin, which the girls were intrigued by.


We like to read this book about dear St Nicholas and his helper Ruprecht. It is in German – it’s a shame it isn’t translated yet.

The girls have also been making presents for their teachers and “secret santa” presents for a particular classmate. They both decided to needle felt something as they were already in the rhythm.


When my youngest started to feel better, but was still too weak to go to school, she sat on the sofa and felted this very cute Christmas elf for her classmate!

Her teacher is receiving another Christmas pudding that she made a little while ago.

For her “secret santa” gift, my eldest needle felted a snowman, with a felt top hat.


She cut a circle of felt out and cut a smaller circle out of the middle. She used the ring of felt for the brim so it fits snuggly over the snowman’s head and used the  small circle for the top of the hat. I helped her cut out a rectangle to create a tube for the middle section. It came out really well I think.

Both of these were made by attaching two polystyrene balls to each other using a cocktail stick – my eldest daughter’s idea. I do feel proud of how they come up with these lovely ideas. They need very little help and what they make is of a really good standard – I am always impressed.


My eldest needle felted her teacher a bauble for her Christmas tree and also gave her one of the beautiful paper angels, that her teacher admired when she popped in to see the children’s work at the Fayre. She was pleased.

I am glad my eldest managed to make these on Saturday morning before she became ill as there was no time between then and now, with all the end of term festivities, carol service, plays etc. It has been a full time and is good to have a little outbreath now from all the activity and errands and take our (favourite) place at home; doing crafts;  baking and enjoying lots of cosy reading by the fire. My kind of happy 🙂


I have been writing my Christmas cards when possible.  Somehow I made an error when I took my letter to the photocopy shop to be copied. I asked for 20 copies of the 4 double sided A4 pages I had written, which would have been 80 pages in all. I agreed a price and the chap said it would take a little while, so I went for a walk. When I returned, I noticed a huge pile of coloured paper collecting on the tray next to the photocopier – he had thought I wanted 80 copies!!! Eeek!! I don’t have 80 friends to send this too – it really is only for my friends abroad. Ooops! What a waste of paper. Of course I paid him as I had agreed the price. I think we shall be using the paper to keep warm this winter 😉


In between illness, the girls have been helping me with packing presents for a couple of friends abroad and for our relatives.They have been busy little elves with the wrapping paper, cellotape and lots of stickers!! 🙂


Well that’s some of my news from the last couple of weeks. To finish, I just wanted to share these fab handmade socks that my daughter came home with from school today!


Rainbow socks – a girl after my own heart 🙂

As for my own makings, things aren’t going too well. I am having second thoughts about the teddy bear making for Christmas. I chose some yarn for the dress and shoes, but knitting it up, it just doesn’t suit the teddy’s colouring 😦 Sob! I have ordered some more yarn to see if I can find a more suitable colourway. Fingers crossed! Not long to go…may have to be a New Year’s present….

Hope you have had a peaceful and joyful Advent so far. Enjoy all that the season has to offer. Many blessings. 

Hallowe’en Birthday


My dearest eldest daughter celebrated her 11th Birthday last Tuesday.

My daughter’s Birthday falls on Hallowe’en: at the time she was born, around 4pm, the sky was darkening, the room was quiet and the lighting dim. As I recovered from the birth and held my sweet baby in my arms, from our window (on the 13th floor of our local hospital), my husband and I gazed out to see fireworks in the sky and the air was filled with a special kind of magic. Our baby had arrived and it felt like the world was celebrating 🙂


So every Hallowe’en Birthday, we try to imbue our daughter’s Birthday with a touch of this magic (with a few cobwebs thrown in!) 🙂


I have shared how we celebrate Birthdays in our family here and my eldest daughter’s Birthday last year here and here. Our Birthday routines are fairly consistent from year to year and my daughters wouldn’t have it any other way! They certainly notice if anything is missing or out of place. To that end, I have written down all our birthday traditions in a book so I can remind myself of what needs doing in case I am tired on the night before the birthday – often the case in the autumn months 😦 There is always something I have forgotten, so I am glad of it!

So the Birthday started as usual with 11 kisses on waking and a walk through a curtain of crepe paper streamers hung by the Birthday girl’s door (we had to go out the day before in search of crepe paper as we didn’t have enough for 11 strips – that doorway is getting so full! – not as easy to find as you might imagine…).  There was a star path to her Birthday chair, which was covered in rainbow coloured gauzy fabric and of course her Birthday crown (made so many years ago, but still going strong as it is made of good strong 100% wool felt!).

There seemed to be a mountain of presents from us, friends and relatives!

After a birthday breakfast and a little play with the new presents, we headed out for a couple of hours to enjoy the autumn sunshine at a nearby National Trust place (as is our tradition). Great quantities of leaves were falling from the trees, so we spent quite some time trying to catch them!

After lunch we headed back home to set our house and garden up for a Hallowe’en themed party.

From my daughter’s 3rd to 7th Birthdays, we held Hallowe’en themed craft parties at her request. Then we took a break for a couple of years, as she was struggling too much with having a party on her Birthday – it seemed to make her so tense, she couldn’t enjoy the rest of the day 😦 But on her 10th Birthday, last year, she wanted to restart the Hallowe’en party tradition and we have hosted two parties now that have been a hit with her and her friends. We play “spooky” games rather then doing crafts as that suits the age and lively temperaments of some of her friends.

The seven guests arrived around 4pm. When everyone was present, they all sat down whilst my daughter opened her presents and thanked her friends personally for their gifts (thank you cards to come). As I have mentioned before, I consider it best that the child open his/her presents when their friends are there, so the giver receives individual thanks, otherwise it feels like there is something missing from this exchange….the energy of giving and receiving…

As far as the games were concerned, they were very similar to last years games (see last years detailed post). We also added some dancing and musical statues to The Monster Mash  which the children loved.


Apple bobbing of course 🙂 


Mummy wrapping


We did blind folded food tasting again. This time on the menu were:

Witches eyeballs – melon balls
Bats brains – marshmallows
Zombie Blood – beetroot juice
Bats Wings – flattened licorice
Warlocks’ vomit! – cold rice pudding
Monster’s fingers – cake fingers

My (scary looking!) husband also told a ‘scary’ story we made up about a headless ghost Arthur who roams our house every Hallowe’en night. He and his wife Nora lived in our house some sixty years ago when she killed him with an axe after several failed attempts. He was asking for our assistance to find evidence that his wife had tried to kill him on numerous occasions and he believed they were hidden in the garden. If we found them all, he could finally be freed from his tortuous existence.

So the children had to hunt the garden using a torch to find the ‘instruments of death’ that his wife had used to try to kill him before she finally murdered him with an axe. Sounds gruesome, but I don’t think anything is too gruesome for these children!!! It was tricky hunting in the dark, with only one torch between four children, but they found everything in the end. (Note to self to buy more torches if we do this kind of thing next year!) 

There were prizes for the games, either spooky shaped chocolates or sugar free juice sweets and for the more complicated games, guests received glow stick bracelets.

The games went very quickly and there was a lot of laughter. 🙂

We then went Trick or Treating for about half an hour or so. We found plenty of welcoming folks. Nothing too scary.


DSC08362  Bit blurred, but I like this photo nonetheless. A lovely bunch of girls! 

My youngest never goes out as she is too scared of the impressions out there. She helped Daddy decorate the cake, set the table and handed out sweets at our door.

On our return, it was time for dinner – the same food as last year – mummy sausages and potato ghosts,  which went down well. This was followed by the “Best Birthday Cake Ever” made by Daddy 🙂


and several rousing renditions of Happy Birthday from my daughter’s friends!



My husband did some fireworks at the end of the party, which everyone always loves and is a long standing tradition from her birth onwards. 🙂 My husband always does a little dance at the end of each firework, which the children find hysterical! – a couple of the children have been attending since they were 3 years old and really expect it!!


We also always carve our daughter’s name into a pumpkin because on her 1st Birthday some good friends came over carrying a lit pumpkin with her name engraved on it. We were so touched and it has stuck ever since. These traditions are so meaningful.


It was a full day. After everyone left, we had a family dance like last year, which our daughter insisted on – her eyes were shining as we took turns to twirl her around the room. 🙂

DSC08397.JPGBlurry, but I still love it…they were moving fast! 

Of course we left a little bowl of sweets for the sugar fairy to keep her and her babies   fed through the winter months and she kindly swapped these for some beautiful ‘treasures’ 🙂

It was an exhausting, exhilarating kind of day.


Dear sweet girl of mine, 11 years on, still marvelling at the wonder of you…

Autumn Joys


It’s already October! Michaelmas has passed and autumn is starting to become fully fledged here, with cooler days, coloured leaves dancing in the breeze, shiny conkers on the ground and jewel like berries in every hedgerow. What a rich pallette of colour this time of year bestows on us – it really is a feast for the eyes 🙂


I do so love autumn – it feels so bountiful, so generous, so full of goodness.

We have been enjoying our weekend walks in the surrounding countryside and have been richly rewarded with more rosehips to dry, acorns galore and horse chestnuts to crunch underfoot to reveal gleaming conkers.


We have been gathering leaves to dry and use for various activities, including our favourite beeswax leaf dipping. 🙂


I just press them between the pages of old cookbooks.

On the subject of outings, my husband and I have made a pact to start dating again! We can’t get babysitters in the evenings as our daughters don’t feel comfortable with the idea and besides they don’t go to sleep until 9pm, by which time we are too tired to have a good time out anyway! So now we are sneaking away on fortnightly “adventures” during school/working hours. It feels so good!  It is so easy not to prioritise this time together and we have been guilty of that in the past, but we have realised as the children are getting older, we are getting less and less time to ourselves in the evening and in general, so we need to make the effort. So far we have been on a couple of hikes in the countryside which has been fun and good to chat and explore new areas.


My husband is going to take charge of our next date, so let’s see what that brings 🙂

We celebrated Michaelmas on Friday 29th September. At home we enjoyed baking “Dragon bread”


and my daughters dressed up in red for school as is the tradition. In the evening they did a little show for me, singing all the songs that they know ending with lots of enthusiastic shouting of “Michael the Victorious”. T’was fun! 🙂

:Firmly on the Earth I stand.

Michael’s sword within my hand.

When I conquer fear, the dragon’s chains I tightly bind!

Michael’s light is in my mind.

Last year I wrote a long post about Michaelmas and why and how we celebrate it. Our traditions are very similar year on year with the same Nature Table set up and mood, so I won’t risk repeating myself here (!) but here are some Michaelmas daisies from our front garden because you can never tire of their beauty at this time of year 🙂


Whilst my daughters worked to beautify and tidy their school, I did some tidying up in the garden and around the house. We are still picking small tubs full of fruit and vegetables every couple of days which is pleasing and the strawberries have decided to fruit again!!




As it was quite mild at the weekend, we sat out in the garden in the evening and had an impromptu bbq by candlelight, which was a lovely 🙂

The spontaneous times are the most memorable, I find.

As for crafts, I have been making steady progress on the pullover I am making for my eldest, fitting in some knitting here and there.



I only need to finish the garter stitch border and that will be one birthday present completed. Hurrah!


I am working on my second Wurm hat. I am not sure if it will be for me or my youngest yet. She has her eye on it, although she has decided she would prefer light purple to be the dominant colour. Let’s see…

Apart from knitting, I have finally finished our dining room cushions:



I backed the front with felt as I couldn’t find any other batting in town. I quilted in straight lines round the whole cushion at approx 1.5 cm intervals, as the cushion needs to be durable since we are sitting on it. I also did a simple envelope opening at  the back using fabric I already had. I have to say they are such an upgrade to what we had previously!

I also finally got around to making the crotchet granny squares I made last summer into cushions!!!! I was using them on the arms of the sofa as a colourful addition, hoping one day to get around to making them into cushions. I don’t know what took me so long!?! Luckily as I was already in the swing of making cushions, I just got on with it and it didn’t take much time at all. I backed them with soft fleecy fabric with an envelope opening (as usual!). It’s so satisfying to finish a long lingering project!!


My daughters have started making large conker webs in beautiful colours chosen from the big basket of scrap yarn that I am using for my long-term scrap blanket project.

They are so cheery and will look beautiful pinned up on the wall once they are completed. We aim for cosy and colourful here 🙂

I hope autumn is treating you well and you are enjoying some cosy crafting time.

Sharing at Frontier Dreams Crafting On

On Midsummer’s Eve…


My eldest daughter returned home from her class camp, just in time for my Birthday on Saturday (Midsummer’s Eve and St. Johns – I shared more about this festival here). 

She had a wondeful time. The weather was very hot, which was perhaps not ideal, but she enjoyed the water sports and swimming to cool down and particularly liked the extensive gardens surrounding her teacher’s house. Her teacher is fortunate to live in a beautiful location, surrounded by forests. It was a real gift to the children to have all that space to play in and explore. They could relax and feel more spacious than at school and my daughter said it was a good class bonding experience, which is just what her particular class needed. There is also something about visiting your teacher’s home and seeing where and how they live that opens up another aspect to that person. Teachers can seem like such a mystery.


The children camped on one of the lawns,


and enjoyed exploring the grounds and taking walks through the woods, accompanied on occasion by the six resident dogs 🙂

The teacher also has several bee hives on her property and the children were allowed to examine them, if they wore a beekeeping outfit.

I visited on Wednesday, but I didn’t manage to take part in the walk as they left a lot later than planned. The heat was getting to some of the children so a slow pace was required, but it was fun to spend time with the class and get to know them better.

Whilst my eldest was at camp, we spent some special times with our youngest. We went to the sea for a paddle,



played games and made home made pizza and all her favourite dishes – very much like last year really! As it wasn’t the first time her sister has been away, she adapted very quickly and also had a few friends over to play which kept her happily entertained. Last year C was still in Kindergarten. I can see she has taken a big leap in her maturity recently.

My eldest daughter returned from camp on Thursday evening with plenty of stories of camp life – memories to cherish for another year. 

On Friday our school celebrated St John’s festival,  which included wearing fiery colours, circle dancing and leaping over a small central fire. They were also allowed to put any wishes into the fire. My girls later told me, separately, that they had both wished that Delilah (our hen that died recently) was happy now. So sweet.

We are no longer allowed to take photos at our festivals, but I shared a couple on my Midsummer post last year

Our Nature Table is very red and fiery. The strawberry family are back,


and Mother Earth and her children have built a big bonfire for Midsummer 🙂


I had a lovely Birthday on Saturday with my little family and was really touched by everyone’s efforts. I have been feeling very low in energy recently and have been feeling quite emotional too, so I think everyone really wanted to make an effort to cheer me up and give me a lovely day. They certainly achieved that 🌈 They decorated the place themselves, remembering how I always do it.


The detail is ingrained on their memories 🙂

They even made a sweet collage of old baby photos they found of me!


The presents were prettily wrapped with fragrant bunches of lavender that the girls picked from our garden (to keep you calm mummy)!


and the vase of flowers in the Birthday ring was also fresh from our garden.


So many beautiful touches – it was so lovely to be celebrated in this way!

My daughters only made their presents on Friday afternoon because there was no time beforehand with my eldest in camp. Considering the limited time they had, I was amazed at what they acheived!


My eldest quickly whipped up some bunting for me,


and my youngest made me a mobile for our bedroom 🙂 Bless them.

My eldest also wrote me a quick poem on Saturday morning. As I have mentioned before she hasn’t been keen to read and write, but she really wanted to write a poem for me. I was really touched. She says she will write it again on card so I can frame it 🙂


That’s one to melt a mama’s heart – a definite keeper! 🙂

Unfortunately the weather had turned by the weekend and it was much cooler and quite breezy. We still had a good day though. We went out for brunch and played cards and then visited a favourite garden, with a beautiful wildflower meadow, for a couple of hours. It was so uplifting to see these beautiful flowers.





There was no rushing about (except for the children’s running!) – just a slow quiet day with my favourite people!


with plenty of time to smell the roses 🙂




I don’t know if you know, but the Fairies always have a big celebration on Midsummer’s night! We invite the fairies to celebrate in our garden by setting up a party area for them. My daughters set it all up by themselves this year amongst the flowers and it was just perfect for their fairy friends 🙂


There was a seating area,


two fairy dance floors,


and a fairy feast


and a bathing area with poppy petals floating on it for the fairies to rest on.


In the morning it was clear there had been guests that night. Things had been moved and green fairy dust was scattered all over. They even left us two little green crystals in the walnut bowls the girls had left out for them. My daughters adore the magic of this night. I remember as a child feeling that Midsummer’s night held a special quality too. Some books I would recommend to share on Midsummer’s Eve with children are:

Little Fairy Can’t Sleep by Daniela Drescher and The Flower’s Festival by Elsa Beskow.

The next evening I met up with a few friends for a Birthday drink by the beach. It was quite breezy, but at the end of the evening the wind had quietened and we marvelled at the evening sky and the twinkling stars. We are so small in this great vast universe and yet so interconnected to everything.


We spent a little time throwing pebbles in the sea, making wishes and with each throw, letting go of things that no longer serve us. We all found it very cathartic. I would highly recommend it!


Now just a little bit about what I have been making so this can count as a weekly round up/craft post (!)

I finished the Geranium dress for my eldest. She is really pleased with it and wore it straight away. Here she is on my birthday wearing the dress



and briefly from the back, here she is wearing the Front Range sweater in the short sleeved version.


I didn’t manage to capture her wearing it from the front as she soon decided it was too warm to wear all those layers.

I have also finally finished knitting my first sweater for myself.


I am really pleased with it. I just need to block it a bit to stop the hem riding up, but it looks great on – a lovely flattering fit I find.

And now to think of new projects. The girls would like me to make little sweaters for their dolls in the left over yarn. And I have some lovely soft alpaca yarn that would be perfect for a shawl…hmmnn let’s see….

I hope you are enjoying whatever you are working on. Joining Nicole for Crafting On. 


May begins….


We enjoyed a lovely long weekend, with it being a May Day bank holiday on Monday and my husband’s birthday on Tuesday.

On Saturday I took a trip to London to meet a German friend of mine and her family and be a tourist for a day. We did a lot of walking along the river and caught up on each others lives too, which was nice. Her boys are the same age as my girls and are very sweet. We met them in Germany a couple of years ago and had a lot of fun together. My daughters didn’t want to come this time – they find London too busy, overstimulating and tiring and I must say I came to the same conclusion by the end of the day – I was so exhausted I missed my bus stop twice on the way home!!!


On Sunday we met up with friends in Sussex for a walk amongst the bluebells. What a deep joy it is to see that lovely blue haze amongst the trees. The place was literally carpeted in these beauties.





We met our very best friends with their daughters – who are like sisters to my girls – and we all had a wonderful time, playing fairies and just enjoying each others company amongst wonderful scenery.



I even spied a pheasant taking a stroll through the bluebells.


I love May and bluebell time – it is such a joyful season.

On May Day (1st May – Beltane), I added our little May Pole to the Nature Table.


I made these needle felted children when my eldest was still in Kindergarten and I didn’t have much needle felting experience. I was determined to make some children dancing around the Maypole! They are rather “rustic” and don’t stand up very happily, but as with many of the rustic items for my nature table, they have been imbued with some special quality after years of use and so will continue to dance for  years to come 🙂  Who knows how many more years my daughters will still appreciate the Nature Table? I imagine I will continue to decorate regardless for a while as I love having a Nature Table – it is nourishing for me too!

I did have to make some new decorations for the mobile over our dining table as the tissue paper flowers were looking very worn after years of use.


These paper flowers are so easy to make and bring a smile to my face. The May Day mobile is probably my favourite mobile of the whole year, so it was worth the small effort to make them anew. I thought I would share how I made them, just in case anyone out there fancies having a go and isn’t a regular crafter.


Cut out two identical circles of paper by folding some tissue paper in half and tracing  a circle around a tiny plate, bowl or play doughnut (!)


Cut petal shapes into it or just snip many many times into the sides of the paper for daisy like flowers


Scrunch up a little green piece of tissue paper and stick it in the middle with glue, making sure to putthe glue on the green tissue paper not the flower itself or it may tear.


Take hold of the centre of the flower on the underside and let it fold into itself naturally – when it is opened, it looks very natural that way.


Pin the flower to the mobile – using a pin in green or a similar colour to the flower itself.


Make lots of tissue paper flowers and pin them to your mobile with ribbons for a May Day Maypole effect. Add a candle below and let your mobile dance 🙂

My youngest had a party to go to on Monday, but before she went, she and her sister sowed their beds with (plenty of!!) meadow flower seed. We have given each of them a small bed to grow things in. They have decided to grow flowers this year, with the bees and butterflies in mind and because they, like me, like to bring cut flowers into the home.  My daughters love to watch the visiting wildlife and since it was “flower” day in the biodynamic calendar, we seized the moment!




There is always Maypole dancing at school, which we are invited to, but it will take place later in May this year because of the late Easter. There is quite a bit of practising to do I believe – there are some quite intricate dances! Here is a favourite photo of my daughters dressed in their May Day finery when my eldest was still in Kindergarten. We gave it to Daddy for Father’s Day at the time. They have grown up so much since then….


A favourite book for May Day is Little Grey Rabbit’s May Day


This lovely book tells us of some of the pagan traditions for Beltane. The animals wish to decorate the May tree for May Day and Hare has to ‘obtain’ a couple of Crown Imperials for the top of the crowns. I smiled when I recently discovered this row of Crown Imperials at a garden we visited, They are quite remarkable.


My husband celebrated his birthday yesterday. We spent a quiet morning together in a village nearby, enjoying a leisurely breakfast and walk.


We picked up our daughters at lunchtime as we always like to celebrate our birthdays as a family – luckily my eldest was only missing out on handwork and eurythmy so it was fine to come home early. We went for an afternoon of fun at a nearby National Trust Property. As it was midweek, it was nice and quiet, so the girls and my husband managed to have the rose garden all to themselves to play chase in. I joined in towards the end to give my husband a break. Great fun!




We were all hot and out of breath by the end of it!

Of course there were the usual birthday traditions and decorations. We wouldn’t have it otherwise 🙂



My eldest made up this cross stitch book mark for her Daddy in a couple of hours on Monday, whilst her sister and I were at the party and my husband was working from home.


I know I am probably biased, but i love it and find her so creative.


and my youngest, knowing there was little time to make a present, chose to make Daddy some birthday bunting in coloured card, which looks lovely and festive and will no doubt take pride of place for many birthdays to come!  🙂


Since I last wrote, I have been doing a fair bit of care for our little guinea pig ‘Pipkin’; dosing him up on medicine and special food via a syringe and also giving him water by a pipette as he wasn’t drinking either. He patiently let me look after him and didn’t struggle when I wrapped him in a towel to keep him still whilst administering all these things.


In fact it has been a really lovely bonding experience. Caring for a sick animal is quite humbling – a real soul to soul experience. My daughters also spent a lot more time than usual with him  (and his friend ‘Bubble’) and we think he is recovering quite well. His abdomen is still a little tender and swollen, but he is eating well now – mainly hay at the moment as we heard that greens, especially new spring grass can be very gassy for guinea pigs.


We have been doing quite a bit of research online – thank goodess for the internet! We have now re-introduced carrot and parsley and have been giving him a twice daily tummy massage with an electric toothbrush, which seems to help and he finds it relaxing!! The things you do for those you love!! 🙂 I do hope we have turned a corner. He certainly seems to be back to his old self – fingers crossed!

Apart from all the above, I have been trying to put the house back together after the school holiday (!) and had a good session sorting our new ‘studio’ space out on Thursday.


It is getting there – it just needs a bit of prettying up and an injection of colour/inspiration, but those are just the finishing touches, important at they are 😉



I am so looking forward to getting some sewing done in there. It has been a while since I have sewn anything much, except little things by hand. My youngest daughter’s birthday is coming up at the end of the month, so I had better get started!

I hope you have had a enjoyable start to the Merry Month of May!