Pop over to http://sunshineweavers.wordpress.com/ to see what we have been busily crafting for our Steiner School Fair.

Our stall has some lovely needle felting this year thanks to the inspiration of Marie from Softearth’s World, as well as our annual favourites.  Do take the time to click through,  scroll down and have a look.

 

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I have returned from the other half of the world, and back to my blog, just in time to take part in a lovely swap for the south. Katie Cadamn seems to be hosting a southern hemisphere seasonal exchange… it would be lovely to get on board for some summertime crafting … Here is what she has posted…

SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE SEASONAL EXCHANGE  – Ready for a ‘Summertime’ crafting challenge!
Southern Hemisphere Seasonal Exchange is inspired by the small nature table I have tried to start for my young children to mark the changing of the seasons. However, I have found most material and craft project sourced for inspiration is often based on seasons in the northern hemisphere which is not always relevant to us, as seasonal changes where I live in the Southern Hemisphere can be subtle and quite different from what is happening in the northern hemisphere.
 
Like my children, I am also learning about the unique seasonal differences in Australia, I am new to crafting and new to keeping a nature table. I would love some inspiration and I am sure other people would as well.
 
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have Seasonal Craft exchange reflective of the seasons of the Southern Hemisphere.  I am sure there are many of you like me, who are ready for a crafting challenge, a chance to create your own symbolic item reflective of the current season and a chance to inspire a stranger through your chosen craft.
 
So here goes, to get the ball rolling and to keep it simple I thought we would start with a ‘Summertime‘ themed craft swap.  As it is a busy time of year, to participate you need to include a minimum of one handmade item that you can swap with your allocated partner.
 
GUIDELINES
The crafted item should be related to the current seasonal theme, in this case ‘‘Summertime.
 
The swap is open to all those in Australia and overseas. [You don’t have to live in the Southern Hemisphere to participate!]
 
As a participant, you must be willing to mail overseas and honour your swap commitment.
 
The details: Participants will be allocated one (only) swap partner. You will send directly to your partner and they will send directly to you. Swap partners will be randomly allocated.
 
No prior crafting/ art skills required.
 
Participation should be done in the spirit of openness, appreciation and sharing. The only requirement is the item you send should be handmade by you with love and care. Make something special that you would love to receive yourself.
 
No returns!
 
The exchange is open to all ages!
 
All packages must be mailed by the 1st December, the first day of summer and should be suitable to send in the mail.
 
So…. if you would like a small handmade summer inspired keepsake to add to display over summer sign up now!
 
REQUIREMENTS
At least one, no more than five items.
 
One of these items must be handmade. It can be an object, an artwork, an ornament, small handmade book, something to display. The key requirement is it is something made by you.
 
If you would like to include additional items things that could be included might be items from nature (unless you are shipping internationally), a card, additional artworks, a candle, purchased items made from natural materials (no plastic/polyester/foam/etc) etc.
 
All of the items must be theme and seasonally appropriate.
 
Optional: You may want to include in your package a little blurb about your items and/or yourself.
 
In addition, it would be wonderful if you were able to document the process of making and the final product. These images can be posted on the Flickr group Southern Hemisphere Seasonal Exchange http://www.flickr.com/groups/1548872@N21/
 
HOW DO I SIGN UP
Sign ups will take place here until 18th of November.
 
The first 100 people to sign up are in!
 
Please email at southernseasonalexchange@gmail.com
 
In your email please send your
Real Name, Mailing address (in English), Email address, [Optional: Facebook and/or Blog URL and Blog name.]
 
**Please make sure you email me this info to be entered into the swap.**
 
PRIVACY: Your privacy will be respected and your details will not be passed on unless you give permission.
 
Partners will be allocated after sign-ups have closed.
 
I will confirm when you have been added to the list. Please be patient, this may take a couple of days.
 
Sign ups are open now!
 
DISCLAIMER
As I mentioned previously I am a mother of two very young children, new to crafting and have never undertaken co-coordinating something like this before, so your patience and understanding is really appreciated in this first attempt. I am excited to see if anyone else is interested in participating and will give it my best shot to get it up and running.
 
If it is a success we might try it again when autumn comes around.
 
INSPIRATION
Thanks for Seasons Round Exchange http://seasonsround.wordpress.com/ and New Zealand Handmade Christmas Ornament Swap http://www.newzealandhandmade.co.nz/2010/10/new-zealand-handmade-christmas-ornament.html for inspiring the idea of the craft swap.
 
Want some inspiration check out some of the swaps on flickr. Here are some to start with
Seasons Round Exchange  http://www.flickr.com/groups/seasonsround/
The SavVy { Seasons } – a modern Swap http://www.flickr.com/groups/1437999@N23/pool/
Soft trees swap http://www.flickr.com/groups/15961496@N00/
Rhythm of the Home http://rhythmofthehome.com/
 
Also another wonderful webpage is Seasons South and North http://www.seasons-south-and-north.co.uk/

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

Candlemas

February 3, 2009

Usually at this time of year the winds start blowing some wisps of cooler air through the evenings, and the worst of the summer heat has been quenched by thunderstorms and a few welcome overcast days.  NOT THIS YEAR!  Usually we spend candlemas melting down our old stubs from christmas  (and the rest of the year) making sand candles, dipping candles, or even rolling fresh beeswax ones.  This year it was just too hot still, so all we could do was sort out our stubs into colours, and put fresh candles from our supplies in the holders and candlesticks, … and we wait for the cooler weather …

seashore1

Above is one of last year’s sand candles on our nature table this year.  The boys love to set shells in the sand before pouring in the wax to create little sandcastle looking candles.  We like to say this little blessing as we make them.  

Bless this little candle light

May it shine so true and bright

May it catch the warmth of sun

and shed it’s glow when darkness comes. 

candle

Our storytime candle  (verse below)

Fire faeries come to earth,

and the fire faeries come,

bringing golden light from the sun…

We snuff our candle at the end of the story so we don’t “blow away” the mood the story has set

Goodbye fire faeries,

time to say goodbye, 

Goodbye.

A Glimpse of summer

January 16, 2009

A little peek from our nature table, imagine a golden spiral lazily swirling in the almost non existent breeze above, (doesn’t photograph well) and the buzz and bump of insects at the window. The languid humid heat is inescapable, and we think fondly of the few days we have had here and there spent in the cool of the sea (and forget the sunburnt sand encrusted sunscreen sticky moments) p1010011

Advent love

December 7, 2008

Light the advent candle two, think of humble shepherds who

Heard from angels, wonderous sight, love the child was born that night.

Candle, candle burning bright, in the darkness of the night

Candle, candle burning bright, fill our hearts with Christmas light

pb300017

Our nativity has been gaining something everyday, silks for the sky and earth, little stars, bigger stars, the christmas star, gemstones, stable, and now we move into the plant and water realm for week two – the palm trees have appeared, as will small bushes, a well, a pile of hay…

May your Advent activities bring you love this week.

Halloween

October 31, 2008

I am still not sure how this fits in the southern hemisphere, we are in the midst of spring and new life flourishing, and it is a good time to consider new life from death, seeds reawakening, and the closeness and bustle from the spirit world.  It is hard to shut out the commercialisation of this festival, even here in Australia where it is not really celebrated, just marketed.  It is nice to celebrate the stored harvest, pumpkins or turnips put away in autumn, brought out to carve and eat as we wait patiently (or impatiently) for the fruits of late spring and summer still swelling from blossoms.  It is still dark enough for little ones to light a lantern before going to bed, and ponder other realms, infact there is an evenness to the light and dark (close to solstice) that balances the dark and brings a new day to awaken in the morning and look for saints and angels hiding in the clouds. 

Two of my favourite halloween stories are the traditional one found here…

http://naturenest.wordpress.com/2008/10/25/the-little-hobgoblin-a-story-for-halloween/

…and one I have made up for our playgroup unique to a springtime halloween

Pumpkin Bumpkin

 

Once upon a time there was a little gnome called Pumpkin Bumpkin.  He lived in the bottom of the vegie patch and looked after many of the little creatures who called that corner of the garden home.  He carefully hid the snails under the big leaves of his pumpkin vine so they were safe from the magpies and didn’t eat the lettuces, and he gave the Bluetongue lizard the overripe fruit which was only a little spoiled to keep him from raiding the strawberries. 

Pumpkin Bumpkin’s favourite job was polishing the huge pumpkins that grew in the Autumn on his lovely rambling vine, but there was plenty of jobs to keep him busy all year round.  At the moment he was busy picking and podding the springtime peas, and snipping the flowering seed heads off the parsley, but today the whole garden was abuzz with more than the usual spring bustle…

When Blue wren flew past Pumpkin Bumpkin stopped him to ask what he knew.  “Its Halloween, all hallows eve” said the little wren.  “The world of the humans and the spirits grows close, and sometimes people can see the little people like gnomes and goblins.  Some people put out biscuits to thank the helpful gnomes and faeries, or to stop the goblins getting up to extra tricks. Some folks light lanterns to see the little folk, and others carve pumpkins and turnips into lanterns to ward off witches.” 

“This I must see” said Pumpkin Bumpkin, and he carefully took his lantern and set out across the garden towards the big house.  When he got there it was growing dark, and Pumpkin Bumpkin was getting hungry.  Then he spied a large plate of spiced biscuits on the back step. He clambered up and broke off a chunk of the nearest biscuit, sitting down for a good nibble when he suddenly saw a little boys face pressed against the glass, giving him a wink!!  Pumpkin Bumpkin was about to turn and run, when he saw the most amazing sight, a large glowing pumpkin face all orange in the twilight.  He stored it in his memory, waved to the boy, and lifting his lantern high hurried back to the safety of his garden home, to tell his friends of the marvels of Halloween

 

It’s Halloween all hallows eve so raise your lanterns high

You may see a pixie or a goblin going by

It’s Halloween all hallows eve so raise your lantern high

Tomorrow saints and angels may bless you from on high

May the blessings of all the saints be with you tomorrow, and always.