Blue Skies Please…

Ah the grey and rainy days of November have not been enjoyable this year on VI.  I guess it’s making up for the beautiful summer we had  here where I cannot even recall it raining (although we spent a month of our summer in Ontario where it rained and rained also!).  Anyway I was looking at photos I took back on October where the sky was such a beautiful shade of blue.  And ofcourse the girls were in the Japense Maple climbing and swinging and having such an enjoyable and carefree day…

Big C a.k.a. master tree climber

Just hanging and posing

What’s funny is Big C is such a good tree climber and we have so many nice trees to climb at our place that she has taught many of the kids on our block how to climb!  Her little sister is doing pretty well herself…

Little C in the tree

 

Getting ready for take off...

Crash landing!

It was a beautiful day!

Little C admiring her pumpkin

Big Comfie Couch and Etchings

Was it ever a relief to have this new couch in my kids’ playroom this weekend.  Little C started to feel unwell with a sore tummy and burning fever on Sunday.  It was so important that she stayed away from big B the entire time she was sick – he cannot get a fever!  Once I realized she was unwell, I immediately put her in the play room and let her rest on the couch.  It also made me realize I was alone in the care of my sick child due to the potential risk to big B which was both stressful and tiring to me.  Anyway here is a cute shot of the girls on the big comfie couch (for those of you back East who have been wanting to see)  It’s very child proof for it’s dark colour and easy to clean material.  And it was MADE IN CANADA – I purchased it at the Bay…

Made in Canda couch!

I”m loving this space with the girls because the lighting is nice for reading or just sitting and talking in the evening.  And the last few days have been very dark and dreary.  The colourful lights around the adjacent window also perk it up a bit.

I’m also scheming to frame some cute cards that I have set aside over the years that I know the kids will love to look at.  Recently I purchased an etching from an artist in Port Alberni.  She gave me permission to write about her in my blog – her name is Janice Sheehan and I happened to chance upon her adorable gallery at the waterfront.  Sometimes my work takes me to this community and I’m discovering there are a number of talented artists including Janice and many potters etc.  I had to buy this etching at once because it reminded me of my daughters…

"Rock Beach" by Janice Sheehan

The girls  are infamous for their rockcollecting!  My house is living proof.  Anyway Janice’s website is www.janicesheehan.com – she nicely explains the process that is involved in making her beautiful etchings and the inspiration behind many of them – the West Coast of the island ofcourse (she will also mail you her etchings if you cannot make it to Port to buy them in person!)

I also just love these little cards with Fairies and Toadstools on them…

fairies and toadstools

Just some hodge podge from the playroom…

Little C managed to find the energy today to start decorating the house for Christmas.  She found these German wooden Santas in the closet…

HAPPY BIRTHDAY GRANDMA BONNIE!!

Waldorf Christmas Craft Faire

Today we drove down to the Duncan area (not flooded at all where we went compared to Cowichan Bay) to the Sunrise Waldorf Christmas Faire.  Wow what a great yearly venue!  The whole Waldorf school was open to visitors free of charge to partake in sampling baked goods and delicious vegetarian food items; to listen to all sorts of musicians playing violins and various drums;  and best of all was the large gymnasium full of local professional artists displaying their amazing goods…

Hand-crafted gnomes looking rather cheeky

Big C was drawn to the tie dye right away

Mama and her baby

 I managed to stock up on some wool in beautiful colours…

Beautiful colourful wool

Enchanted garden gnomes and colourful silk scarves

They had many activities and crafts for the kids to participate in for a few dollars.  The girls experienced an enchanted garden where a Waldorf verse was read aloud about harvesting food and then the kids could choose a gnome and crystal to take home.  It was beautifully set up in a dark room with strings of lights and canopies strung everywhere and tables with little gnomes harvesting food.  Very enchanting indeed.  The girls also fell in love with these dyed scarves which they can creatively drape around furniture or even on their wee bodies – they cannot have them til Christmas though!

A nice window

All and all we had an enjoyable day out.  Ofcourse it rained all the way home!

Felted Projects

FELTING has to be one of our favourite crafting hobbies at the moment.   My interest in felting began about 8 years ago when I found a great starter kit from Salt Spring Island.  In fact, Big C was a tiny baby when I completed it and she has it stashed away in her bedroom somewhere.  I also have a fascination with anything Waldorf.  I love the philosophy behind this educational approach and it’s close ties with child psychology and child development (stemming back to my undergrad years in psychology which I so fondly remember 🙂 ).   We also share our passion for felting with many of our close friends (both homeschoolers and nonhomeschoolers) and in fact we meet on a monthly basis at a special farm lady’s house to inspire one another and advance our skills in felting.  It is so much fun!   Here is a sample of some of my projects…

Felted polar bear

Felted Mother Earth doll

I’m not going to include any of the kids projects in this post.  Instead I would like to do one focusing soley on their creations.   Big C has created a beautiful mermaid and a mushroom but I haven’t taken photos of her stuff  yet.

Little C's head in my basket of wool

The coolest wool for making hair from the farm lady's very own sheep

This last photo is our nature table which got completely out of control because I let the girls basically take over!  That’s ok we’ll clean it up and get it ready for the change in seasons…

The "autumnal" nature table

On a different note.  I cannot contain the amount of sorrow that I’m feeling today.  I’m sending out positive energies into the Universe for everyone suffering from one form of cancer or another.  Namaste

Flashback: Canning Fun

It feels like the typical wet West Coast weather is finally here.  The rain has been coming down relentlessly for the last 2 weeks.  I’m amazed the creek running through our backyard has not overflowed yet.  This is a sure sign to bring out the comfort food!  Alas I have cracked into the canned goods that I made at the end of the summer.  The one canned item that everyone in the family seems to love the most is the Dilly Beans.  I had never really tried these before and my running partner SD kept going on and on about them that I simply couldn’t resist.  So when I found the recipe for Dilly Beans in a new canning book I purchased I thought I’d give it a try…

Fresh local beans waiting to be turned into Dilly Beans!

I found the Dilly Bean recipe in the above book called “The Beginner’s Guide to Preserving Food at Home” by Janet Chadwick (2009).  I really love this book for its straightforward recipes and the vast amount of information for preserving food by drying, freezing, root cellaring etc.  I highly recommend it!

Little C putting the beans in canning jars

I’m always amazed by the level of interest Little C has in partaking in my crazy kitchen adventures.  She was so keen to put the fresh beans and dill and other ingrediants into the jars.  And it was a great help for me because her tiny hands could fit in the jars! 

My trusted little helper

Yummy Dilly Beans

And my friend SD was treated to a jar and she said they were simply divine

Soap-making and Fun With Rubber Chickens

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Surprise buttons!

This past rainy weekend was spent mainly indoors.  The girls had this great idea that they wanted to make soap.  Actually they wanted to make soap from soap and as Big C pointed out it is kinda cheating.  But it’s a starting point.  I know there is a lot to making soap and I’d like to eventually take a soap-making course through Hazelwood Herb Farms with my neighbour sometime.  The kids did this form of soap-making at farm hands so we thought we’d give it a try…

Busy hands putting soap in muffin tin molds

Little C and Big C spent a fair bit of time shredding two types of soap and then mixing it all together with a smidge of water.  I think the biggest thrill for them was to bury surprise buttons in the soap!  Reminds me of the Little Rascals’ surprise birthday cake.  The soaps in the mold form then went in the freezer for an hour and they are still hardening on the cookie tray as we speak.

They actually look like yummy cupcakes

Freshly made soap was soft to Little C's pokey touch

Ah this is where the afternoon got really interesting.  We were at the Dollar Store earlier in the day and the kids begged me to get them each a rubber chicken.  Why I’m not exactly sure.  It could be that we know so many people with chickens at the moment that it just seemed right.  The girls played all afternoon with these crazy birds and they even took them into the tub to play!

Big C's rubber chic

Little C decided she wanted to cook her chicken up for dinner!  She wrapped hers in wax paper and away she went with a toy frying pan and utensils.  I think this is a sign of things to come! (perhaps getting chickens that is!)

Little C cooking up her chicken

Lean-tos, Bowers, and Totems

While in Tofino back in October, I had a great time taking photos of the girls on the beach in the various lean-tos we found made of driftwood.  My inspiration for taking these photos stemmed from one of my all time favourite books.  It’s called “BUILDERS of the Pacific Coast” by Lloyd Kahn (2008) (I’m having an APA nightmare from my university days – sorry I hope I’ve referenced enough!).  Lloyd Kahn basically spent 2 years photographing “counterculture” carpenters along the Pacific Coast whose homes and structures are made from the logs and rocks in their natural surroundings – lots on Vancouver Island to my surprise – I LOVE this book and simply cannot put it down at times.  Here’s a sample of my photos…

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Beach combers under the lean-to

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This bower actually appeared in his book - it's a fish

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Glass blowers' studio and gallery

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Hand blown glass in the drift wood

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A driftwood Muskoka chair

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Nature girls

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West Coast Totem Pole

I am so looking forward to my next trip to Tofino and getting my hands on a copy of Lloyd Kahn’s second book entitled “Home Work”.