Whitsun dove

May 31, 2009


I tried a little tutorial for our whitsun doves this year… of course you can just make the simple versions with just body and wings, but we added a few firey embellishments to ours which don’t look out of place with the last of the Autumn colours on our trees right now. 


Step 1 – gather your materials

wooden bead, wool with needle for threading, small paper doily, two matching dove shapes cut out of paper, tissue paper in flame colours cut into leaf or flame shapes, sticky tape, and glue

Step 2 – thread the bead onto the end of your wool and tie in place.  this will give a little weight to the bottom so it hangs nicely and stops the dove sliping off. 

Step 3 – hold both bird shapes together and snip a cut from the middle of the back down to the middle of the birds. (This will hold the wings later)

Step 4 – tape the end of the wool and the wool above the bead onto one bird cutout, so the bead will hang just below the bird


Step 5 – glue the second bird over the first to hide the wool ends.  Make sure the length of  wool comes out at the slit.


Step 6 – fold up the doily concertina fashion, and thread the wool length through the middle, making a hole with the needle. 


Step 7 – hold the concertina folds together in the middle and slide down the wool until it sits in the slit you made in the body of the bird for the wings.  Once in place, gently fan out the ends of the doily to create open wings.


Step 8 – thread tissue paper flames onto your wool above the dove, poking holes through with your needle as you go. 

Step 9 – unthread the needle, tie a loop at the top of your wool and hang. 



Dewy Dewy Dew

May 1, 2009

Soft and new, dewy, dewy dew

Soft on the grass is the morning dew.

(a simple circle song we sing through Autumn, tiptoing rhythmically around the circle with “dewy” feet)


Today (after an early morning wash of dew on my feet, hands and face) I returned inside with a handful of daisies.  Before I knew it a few had braided themselves into my hair… old habits and sweet childhood memories linger on and oddly meander into the Autumn of another hemisphere…

For last year’s may day see here

Saints and Dragons

April 23, 2009

I posted our St George story last year, so this year I thought I would share some autumn dragons which have appeared around the house. 


 Our dragon bread always seems to get eaten before anyone has taken a photo!  He must be a very ellusive creature.  This year we used the point of scissors to snip scales in the dough after I had shaped it, (the boys really enjoyed this) and painted him with tomato paste and pesto for green and red highlights before baking.  Delicious!  No wonder he was eaten quickly. 

Instead of dying some capes of courage, we took the opportunity to over dye some of our old faded clothes with golden yellow, and the results were lovely.  Instead of faded navy and washed out reds and yellows we have a two toned green and bright oranges,  and golden yellows again.  Perfect for our autumn colours just starting to turn here. 

Have fun overcoming your dragons this St George’s Day

Autumn comes a creeping

March 3, 2009

Autumn comes in a  whisper, a light cooler breeze here, a creeping darkness in the mornings waking us ever so slightly a little later each morning, a subtle softening of the harsh sun in the afternoon.  Our nature table slowly reflects some changes of the season, but there is no noticable defining shift as there are in other seasons.   Bees made of casuarina seedpods, wool roving and tissue paper wings still circle above seasonal leaves and flowers, the shells and finds of summer beach visits slowly make way for treasures from the garden, and as the watery blue and grassy green cloths recede and disappear, the yellow from the summery sandy scene becomes the yellow background to the golden hues of autumn.  We are a long while still from the changing of autumn leaves but slowly and surely does autumn come a creeping…p2150014

Silly Seasons

May 30, 2008

As we officially move away from Autumn and on into Winter on the first of June, I was pondering on the whys and wherefores of seasons in Australia.  We imported our seasons from Europe, or more specifically England, just reversed for the land “down under”.  We have paid little or no heed to the seasons observed by our aboriginal cultures with their different season sets in different areas of this huge continent.  Even simplified they make more sense than their northern hemisphere imports.  From two seasons; Wet season and Dry season in the north of Australia,  and Hot season and Warm season in the middle, to ten seasons on areas of the east coast, according to available bush foods. 

But why when we imported our British ideas of season did we pick the First of the month for our official changes, instead of observing equinoxes or other traditional dates?   Apparently the heavy woollen winter uniforms of the soliders keeping the convicts under control were so opressive in the spring and summer heat that they moved the official dates of the seasons forward to the first of the month so soldiers could change into their summer uniforms (jettison those heavy winter coats) early, and it made the  of doing so easier. 

Whatever the reason, this season our floral imports are all confused this year with many jonquils and daffodils all peeping out already in Autumn, after our first cold snap, instead of waiting through winter and coming out in spring!   It’s as strange as Cicadas in May!


Autumn wrapping up

May 29, 2008

As autumn draws to a close I am reflecting on all those projects crafts and activities we have enjoyed, and those we can relish for next year, or the next…

  autumn digit dolls (pipe cleaner dolls wrapped in wool with a bead head in autumn colours), gumnut bracelets, crayon leaf rubbings, clay leaves, pressing autumn leaves, autumn leaves dipped in wax,  autumn leaves preserved with glycerine solution, pinecone people (with acorn heads),  beeswax modelling,  decorating candles with wax leaf shapes and pressed leaves, corn dollies and husk flowers, wheat stalk plaiting, grinding wheat, drying herbs, making basil pesto, apple sauce, apple faces,  acorn oakies, knitted farm animals,  wool fleece washing and carding,  wet felting, weaving spiderwebs, drying rose petals, lantern making, dough bread baskets, catching mushroom spore prints…

I’m sure I’ve forgotten many others, but it is a good reminder and inspiration for me to list them here instead of on the corners of lost or forgotten scraps of paper and half finished shopping lists.



May 12, 2008

I followed the instructions for these little gnomes from Carle http://environmentalhomeschooling.blogspot.com/2008/04/gnome-oakies.html.  Ironically she was inpired by Saartje knits who made cute little cork (from a wine bottle) Nisse (scandinavian little folk).  My eldest upon seeing the first little oakie said,  “Mum, you made a Nisse!”.  The Norwegian folk tales from his great grandfather are obviously sticking in his imagination. 


Australian acorns are most probably a slightly different shape to those found in South Africa.  (or mine are different to Carle’s anyway)  I had to make them out of thicker wool, and knit the pattern narrower and taller.  The little green one is the original pattern, with the smallest acorn we could find.  The others are the new custom fitted versions for chunky aussie acorns. 

I’m afraid my photos often appear fuzzy when I post them, and this is the first post I have tried to link to other sites, so thankyou for bearing with me whilst I learn.