Monday, September 30, 2013

a week of doll making

The last week has seen me very happily working away on quite a few wee dolls. I am so enjoying being back in the doll making groove again, I thought I'd share some of my work with you...

This hound dog is his birthday present. He is a massive Elvis fan and as I can't ever seem to give a present that is not handmade I thought I'd make him his own wee under rainbows doll
I really loved making him. He's about 5 inches tall including his hair ;-) and is complete with wiggly hips, flares and side burns.
All of the other doll making I did this week were snuggle buddies, here are some of them, I think there are 2 more not pictured that I worked on...

 I don't think this week will be as busy sewing wise, but I am so enjoying it. Oh and I finished my dress too, I will try and find someone to take some pictures for me :-)

Monday, September 23, 2013

i am grateful for...

Oh I am grateful for so many things in my life right now.

I am grateful for this guided mantra meditation when my head gets too full.

 I am grateful for beautiful handmade gifts (thank you, thank you)
 I am grateful for all of this wonderful food that we bought for a mere 35 euro at the whole foods warehouse on Saturday (affectionately known in this house as the crazy grabbing place)
 I am grateful to have found an acapella choir to sing with on Wednesday evenings
 I am grateful for him bringing over a huge box of veggies when he popped over for tea
 I am grateful for felt tip pen beards that wash off
 I am grateful for amazing puppet shows
 I am grateful for our wonderful bin men who brought the kids sweets this morning because they think they are so great and it makes them smile to see them lined up at the window waving every Monday morning
I am grateful that I get to be Rebe's sunshine on a rainy day.
What are you grateful for?

Sunday, September 22, 2013

autumn equinox 2013

Every year since we have moved to west cork the children and I celebrate the end of summer and the beginning of autumn on the autumn equinox. There is a wonderful post written here with some great information and ideas about the equinox, do check it out! 
When we first moved here, we were very lucky to find a wonderful equinox celebration organised at Pairc a Tobair; an ecology project run by 2 Sisters of Mercy nuns.
 The project is set on the edge of a beautiful little town about 45mins from us. We park the car at the gates and walk up the slope to where the sisters live.
 They live here in this little wooden house. They live off the food they grow on their land and live kindly and gently on the earth. They run organic allotments and also gardening courses for people living locally and are the most gentle, welcoming people. They live as if the whole world is God and they live with respect, love and kindness for the whole earth.
 Each year they welcome us with open hearts and arms into their community to give thanks for the summer growth and the bountiful harvest and to reflect on the change of seasons.
 A bonfire burns in the fire pit waiting for us to gather around it.
 Each year we are led in simple songs and dances, written by the sisters or friends of theirs or learnt from Native American tribes.
 This year I was asked to read a poem, it was very special to me being able to offer my thanks and love by participating in this way.
 The kids played around, pretending to be gorillas, but joined in the dances and songs and listened quietly to my reading.
The ceremonies were brief this year. In years past we have watched the sun go down on the surrounding hills in silence or to the music of a flute, but this year we were shrouded in mist and darkness fell gently with no passing of the sun.

 After the ceremony we shared a feast of home made, locally produced food. This year we brought tomatoes and cucumber salads from the garden, coleslaw made from veggies we had grown and that had been gifted to us and an apple cake with organic apples from the farmers market, sweetened with honey and molasses (which Rebe thought were made of mole's asses he he!)

The kids busily helped keep the fire lit by gathering sticks and minding it very carefully.
There was play and chat and meeting people, old friends and new. It was lovely and we stayed until it was dark when we headed back down the hill to the car by torch light.
We love this celebration, it is always the one of the highlights of our year. (this is when we went in 2011 and 2010) In the evening after the kids were in bed a good friend and I shared a glass of wine and reflected on what this year has looked like for us, how much we have grown, how much we have harvested and we both found that our hearts were full of the bounty of being alive on this earth as who we are at this moment.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Buddies ~ a new start

**In September 2011 6 families got together and started Buddies Home School. Each week we meet in each other's home and follow a simple rhythm: movement and music, craft/ baking, snack time, free play and story time. Each part of the session is led by a different family. We are sharing this week's session with you here...***

 On Wednesday we had our first Buddies Home School session of the year. It was sooooo nice. There are a few changes at Buddies this year. One of our original families no longer comes (how we will miss them!) and we have a new family to welcome and get to know. Also the group is all around the same age this year ranging from 1 and a half to 3 years old, Joa being the oldest Buddy this year! What is also going to make a big difference is that there are only 6 wee Buddies, one to each mama which will make the noise and busyness level so much quieter!

Anyway we were delighted to be starting back with our weekly Buddies gatherings and we kicked things off at Amanda's farm :-)
 After circle time, singing our welcome song and a few others, we went to look at the tractors in the shed and then on to the orchard to feed the hens.

 The orchard is one of the best places in the whole world and the trees were heavy with apples. We searched below them for interesting things, wind fall apples, feathers and so on which we gathered in a bag.
 Then we really spent the rest of our time there eating :-)
 Back inside the farm house we got out the paints and paper plates and the Buddies painted the things they had found and made prints with the apples (and their hands).

 It was so sweet and with only 1 child to mind each there was a minimum of mess and fuss.
 After a quick snack of bread, fresh tomatoes and berries the kids went out in the garden to play,
 or looked at books together while us mama's had a cup of tea and a chat.
We finished the session with this story.
I am so glad that Buddies has started again, the kids really had a lovely time together and it was so fun and relaxing :-)

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

and there among the cucumber plants, I saw a fairy...

a wee custom project I finished this afternoon. A tiny (possibly 5 inches) doll. She was so fun to make her with sparkly magical tights and her felt boots, hat and wings :-)

Monday, September 16, 2013

irish spellings

At school the kids learn Irish. Benny is just starting with songs and the like, but Rebe has now moved on to reading and writing,
...and that involves learning spellings..
 Rebe really got the hang of them last week and only got one wrong in her test on Friday...

 I, on the other hand, am completely rubbish, I can barely spell in English let alone Irish, but I have been working really hard this week to actually remember them and Rebe tested me this afternoon when she finished her home work
 Look 8 out of 10!!...
But on a more serious note, it seems to be a method that works for Rebe; teaching me is helping her learn them herself and it is also lovely for her to know that she has more knowledge and skill than a grown up.
I wonder if I'll be able to keep it up lol!