Sunday, December 19, 2010

Summer gifts and parties

I have been busy in the sewing room making fabric and felt playmats, birds, books and other bits and pieces. I have received orders for 6 playmats, 18 birds and 2 book holders in the last couple of weeks.

The playmats are for orders for Christmas presents. I have settled on two designs that I then vary as required.

Here is an animal mat that DragonGirl set-up for me so I could take some photos. I had planned on making them more detailed but as I was sewing I kept simplifying and refining. As it turns out, that was the best option and it opens it up for the kids to be creative and imaginative.

And here is the other design. The car mat suits matchbox-sized cars.

A close up of 'Reepicheep'. DragonGirl had fun playing and planning with the mat. I think I will make her one for Christmas too.

Simple felt buildings.

The idea of the mats is that they are portable and low fuss. You could easily add 3-dimensional buildings, trees and other accessories. I have been making felt trees that have a circle of velcro on the bottom which sticks well to the felt.

Being the season of festivities, we decided to hold our annual Summer party. We had a great turn out of friends and neighbours, lots of food (we're still eating the leftovers!) and fun for the kids.
I had colouring pages, air-dry clay, a loom frame for a nature weave and other activities ready to go. DragonGirl had planned on having egg and spoon races, a rope pull and some sack races but we didn't get around to it. The kids were having far too much fun on our other party guest...

There were 22 kids on the day and at one point they were all on there. They all had so much fun and I think it was money well spent.

Over the afternoon people went off to other parties and family dinners and we were left with a couple of close friends and a very light dinner after eating all day.

Last night our favourite neighbours joined us for dinner (leftovers!) and we lit the small fire. The back patio is so much warmer and more comfortable when the wind is blowing now that the end wall is up.

We have little on this week and it's going to be nice to just wind down to Solstice and Christmas Day. Corby is home for a week which will be good. A week spent at the beach if all goes to plan. :)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

A day at the park

We needed a break away from our busy schedule and decided to head to the park for a run with the ducks.

Even though we homeschool and so avoid the hectic school routine, this time of year always seems to fill up with socialising, planning and preparing. Activities come to an end, with parties and performances. There is food to make, cards to write and post, costumes to sew, handmade presents, planting Summer and Autumn veg and preserving the harvest.

In amongst all that we needed some time to just relax, so we packed a picnic, some food for the ducks, our nature journals and got on our bikes. Despite it being a little windy, the weather was gorgeous.

We love the space at the park to run around. Boo finds the biggest leaves he can and flaps along behind the ducks. It he wasn't following them, they were following him, hoping to get a snack.

There are some lovely old trees to climb. Some are easy to get up into but others require a boost. DragonGirl tried them all out of course. She is needing less and less boosting these days as she gets ever taller.

We gathered leaves, feathers and seeds for craft activities. We've been making wreathes, solstice decorations, seasonal dolls, collage and doing some nature weaving on a big loom made from prunings from the garden.
I took some photos of interesting textures that I will use in my art journal.
We wandered from one end of the park to the other. Around the lake, up the hill and back - all the while the ducks were waddling along behind.

Boo was as cheeky as always!

After spinning around and around, she was laying down on the grass and watching the sky spin.

The wonderful thing about taking a break from our daily activities, is that it actually makes us more productive. We come home refreshed and ready to get on with it. It reinvigorates us for current projects and inspires new directions.