I think for me, celebrating life at this time of year is easy. I just look at the faces of my two little girls and know that life is a beautiful gift. This time of year is all about drawing together with those we love, of sharing, of loving and being loved. Of the beauty of watching the circle of life as generations come together. When communities draw together, in churches, in schools, in parks. To celebrate and to sing. Tis a time when people smile more in the street, when people give a little more to those in society that need it more. Tis a time of year when I am grateful for the wonderful life I have been blessed with.
This year we have been focusing on a handmade Christmas for our girls. Some of the gifts I have made myself, others I have purchased from other talented crafters. I thought I would share a few with you before I wrap them and pop them under the tree tonight.
Two little dolls, for two very special girls, made with love by me-
A little knitted seahorse with a bell for my littlest girl who likes to make music she can dance and sing to-
These beautiful wooden figures are absolutely stunning, made by a true master crafter Rjabinnik-
Today, on the cusp of christmas, I am left feeling very humbled by the kindness and generosity of women whom I have never met. How can you adequately say thank you to people who sew for your children a gift of love purely out of the kindness of their heart?
Back in September, I posted this post in the aftermath of the Christchurch earthquake. A fellow blogger Cat from Catalina's Cottage read it and felt inspired to do something to help the children of Christchurch in the aftermath of the quake. From that, a wonderful project called 'Quilts to Comfort Christchurch Kids' was born.
Cat has poured her heart and her soul into this project and her dedication payed off with a beautiful response of kindness from quilters across the globe. Each donating their time, energy and amazing talent to create quilts for these lovely little people who have been working through the very adult concept of living through a massive natural disaster.
Recently, Cat contacted me and told me she would like both my sweet girls to have one of these beautiful quilts. Today, with great excitement they opened the package, overjoyed with their contents. Both girls instantly cuddling themselves into the new quilts.
I don't know a lot about the wonderful women whom made these quilts. I know that the one above came from Helen of Hikurangi and the one below came from Ana and friends from Portugal. I know that these women are incredibly talented, just look at how beautiful these quilts are. So to Helen and Ana, what can I say? Thank you just does not seem adequate. I guess that what I can tell you is that you have made two little girls very happy. They will treasure these quilts for many years to come and as they grow I will tell them the story of how we came to own them and of the kind women who made them.
And to Cat, who has worked so hard on this whole project, THANK YOU. On behalf of all the families in Christchurch who receive one of the quilts, thank you.
And incidentally, in a small twist of fate, I noticed this on one of the quilts.. my daughters name... must have been meant to be, eh?
Today on this, the longest day of sunshine under the southern sky, a little bit of magic was happening at our house. We talked about it last night, how on the summer solstice, the fairies like to come out and celebrate. We talked about how maybe, just maybe,in the morning, if we look hard enough, we just might find where they had been. So early this morning we rose, quietly stepping around the garden, eyes focused for signs of fairies. It was actually our littlest, Isla who found the fairy house first, bouncing up and down and pointing with delight. Their grins was a mile wide as they got down low to examine it and to discover to their surprise that not only had the fairies been celebrating in our garden, they had even left a little thank you gift- a seashell full of our favorite summer fruits. Oh happy day.
If something special has been happening in your corner of the world, I would love you to link up.
P.S. I will be taking a few weeks off from 4 seasons posts with christmas and summer holidays here but will pick up again on the 11th of Jan :-)
This past week, in our home, it has been all about celebrating the animal kingdom. Not a difficult task when you have two little animal mad girls around.
Of particular interest to my girls at the moment are bumble bees. We seem to have millions of them, many, many more than I have seen in past years. Holly adores them. She is not in the slightest bit scared of them, sticking her nose right up to them to get a better look. Every day when we pass through our front gate, we have to stop to see how many bumble bees are on our lavender bush. We discuss how bumble bees are pollinators and how they help to pollinate many of the food crops we eat.
The birds have also been playing a part in our week. We have been making sure each morning we put out some bread scraps for them, then the girls like to peak out the window and watch as the birds slowly make a appearance on our front lawn. First one, then two and soon there are many, many birds wanting their share of the bread. Sparrows, blackbirds and the odd seagull all visit our garden to share in this little feast my girls leave them. I think this is Isla's favorite part of breakfast at the moment, she literally bounces with excitement as she watches the birds appearing.
It is a lovely time of year to stop and reflect on the animals that share this earth with us. Because without them, life for us humans would be drastically different. They provide us with so much of our food. Either directly like cows, sheep and chickens or indirectly like the humble old bumble bee. They provide us transport, with protection and most of all with companionship.
Thanks to Random.org, I am happy to announce the winner of the sew mama sew giveaway. It is comment number 224 Victoria who said 'Here in Ohio in the US we have nine inches of snow. We will definitely have a white Christmas.' Congratulations Victoria, this little packet of goodies will be winging it's way to the USA soon.
If you like these wee goodies, and would like something similar for yourself, tomorrow we will be at the Christmas Craft Market. If you are in Christchurch, why not pop down. We will be outside 'Goodbye Blue Monday' which is off a wee side alley down Poplar lane from 10am to 4pm. Hope to see you there!
If you are looking for the sew mama sew giveaway, please click here.
Not sure how that happened. How did she turn one so quickly? It seems like only yesterday I was holding her tiny new little body in my arms, amazed that she was here. I remember smelling her sweet milky new born breath, stroking her near bald head and staring into her baby blue eyes.
How fast time flies. Today she turned one. I stare at her, amazed at how much she has grown and changed. The head, once sparse of hair is now covered in downey white hair. The baby blue eyes replaced with grey ones. She see's me watching her and a cheeky grin breaks out across her sweet face. She toddles over to me on feet that grow more and more confident at walking with each passing day. When she reaches me, she wraps her little arms around my neck, puckers her little cherry lips and kisses me several times. My heart swells with love for this sweet little girl.
If you are looking for the sew mama sew giveaway, please click here.
I love christmas, I really do, I love every thing about it. Christmas though is a little different under the southern sky, mostly because it falls in the heart of summer. None of the traditional trimming apply- no warm fires, falling snow or turkeys here. Rather christmas is all about getting outdoors. When I think of christmas, I think of BBQs, of warm balmy days, of sitting out in the sunshine with those I love. And, I would not have it any other way- this is my christmas.
So in line with this. Yesterday, Holly and I sat out in the garden in singlets and skirts and made a wreath from our garden to hang upon our front door this festive season. And because we are doing it southern hemisphere style, we adorned it with all the beautiful summer flowers.
Now we have a little bit of summer to greet us at our door.
Whats happening in your corner of the world? Why not link up with a seasonal post?
It was so much fun last time, I have decided to sign up again for the sew mama sew giveaway day. What I am giving away this time is a little parcel of home made goodies. First up is a fabric covered badge, a set of fabric covered hair ties and a cotton washcloth. All come in lovely soft aqua shades- my favorite colour.
So what do you need to do to enter? Simple just leave a comment, maybe tell me where in the world you are visiting from. I love how global blogging is. (Comment to be left on blog not on Facebook please).
This giveaway is open to anyone, anywhere.
You will have until Thursday 16th December to enter and I will draw the winner on the 17th.
The second week of advent has drawn to a close. This week passed celebrated the nature kingdom, the plants that nourish us, providing us with food and oxygen. And so for us, we have spent this week learning and enjoying elements from nature.
Together, Holly and I made these clove scented oranges. Inspired by Bending Birches. Holly chose to use her favorite 'baby oranges', otherwise known as mandarins. This was such a fun, festive little project to do with my girl. So much so, that she has been asking too do it every day since. They are lovely though, they give the whole house a beautiful mulled wine kind of smell- divine.
We have done a lot of cooking this week, talking about a lot of the ingredients such as legumes and nuts. Discussing what they are and where they come from. Trying to instill in them that food does not just come from a shop but is grown in and from the earth.
Both my little girls LOVE flowers, most days we go out to collect fresh flowers to bring back to our home. Isla adores twirling them around in the air, singing sweet little tunes as she does so. Holly, is fascinated by all the different types of flowers, always asking me "whats that one?". Often the answer is "I don't know sweetheart", her response- "It is a Holly Iris flower mummy". What a sweet little girl she is.
Today we celebrated out littlest one with a naming celebration. Mother nature was kind to us as usual, providing a beautiful hot day. Together with friends and family, we drew together. With the backdrop of the Canterbury plains behind us, we celebrated this beautiful little girl whom I am lucky enough to call my daughter.
We chose her name carefully. I find naming a child a huge responsibility and one not to be taken lightly. Isla (pronounced I-la) is a Scottish name derived from the island of Islay. Scotland is my birthplace, so, it just felt right to me to name her after a place with which I have such a strong connection. Rose, was my paternal grandmothers name. Holly took my husbands grandmothers name of Iris. We also found it beautifully appropriate that both our girls had flower names and the connotations that holds for us of nature and beauty.
This little girl flew a long way to land at our home recently. She was made by the lovely Mama Rae from Morning Sun Rae. She has winged her way across the oceans from The Beautiful Blue Mountains of North Carolina to our home under the southern sky in New Zealand.
Isn't she just stunning? She is an adorable little creature made entirely from natural materials. We are very pleased to welcome her into our home. My girls have been very excited about her arrival and we have been telling stories of the journey she took to get here, much to Holly's delight.
If you have not checked out Morning Sun Rae before, please do. She has a beautiful blog brimming with all kinds of creativity. A truly inspiring blog.
16 days till Christmas and a lot of sewing still to be done. This one has kept me up late the last few nights but I am very pleased with how it has turned out. A little boys play-mat, inspired by this tutorial.
I am related to a christmas mince pie fiend. I really am. It is my father. Although I am sure he would refer to himself as a connoisseur rather than a fiend. Mince pies are to him what drugs are to airport sniffer dogs- he can sniff them out from a mile away. So recently, when I got the opportunity to try some of the Baker's Delight christmas mince pies, I new I had the perfect person to test them out on-
Of course he did not say no, and happily sat down to consume said pies. While he was very well behaved at my house only eating one pie, which he referred to as 'very nice' (that's high praise from my Dad). I did notice that he left with said packet of pies and my mother tells me they did not last the day, so I guess the proof is in the pudding and the Baker's Delight christmas mince pies got the seal of approval from this pie fiend.
If a picture paints a thousand words then this picture paints a whole book on summer for me. We have had some lovely hot days here recently. So, have been able to rediscover all those oh so very summery activities like playing under the sprinkler or splashing around in the paddling pool. Holly spent a large portion of Sunday afternoon, chilling out in her little pool until she became all wrinkly and prune like.
What seasonal things are happening in your corner of the world? Why not link up-
Recently, I was lucky enough to win this lovely Michel Miller knit fabric from crafty mamas blog. Isn't it just divine? Not sure what I am going to make with it yet but I do know that it will be something for me!
If you have not checked out crafty mamas before, you really should. They have an amazing array of fabrics and patterns in their online store- well worth bookmarking.
This week, being the first week of advent, traditionally celebrates the mineral kingdom- the earth on which we live, the rocks, the dirt and the stones. In keeping with this, we have spent some time this week enjoying our mineral kingdom.
We are lucky as we live at the bottom of the cliffs, between the cliff face and the ocean. The earth looms up behind us and forms the backdrop to our life on a day to day basis. This week we took time to visit the caves that in pre european times were popular with the Maori as a kind of kitchen to bring the now extinct moa bird back to. We spent time inside the cave rock on our local beach, listening to our voices echo, looking in the rock pools but being careful not to get caught out by the incoming tide.
We finished the week with a trip to a local crystal shop to look at all the beautiful stones in all the colours under the rainbow. Before coming away with a small handful, carefully clutched in the hands of a small girl with a huge grin on her face.
This Saturday, I am doing my very first market (she says as she shakes in her boots!). I will be sharing a table with the lovely Nin from The Wardrobe. I have been working like furry these last few weeks to build up stock. Between us, I think we have a far bit of crafty goodness now to hopefully tempt and enchant a few of you. So if you are in Christchurch this Saturday, pop down and see us.