Tuesday, 14 February 2017

sending love

On this day when so many are sending their greetings of love, my wish is that we can extend that love over every day and all our encounters. Lots of love to you all this valentines day.

Jo x

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

yarn along:dreamcatcher

Joining in a little differently with the yarn along today, I mean, it is mostly made of yarn so I guess it counts right! This dreamcatcher came about by just playing with yarn and a hoop really, there wasn't any kind of plan it just evolved as I went along. The hoop is an old kids basketball hoop which I covered in a layer of tightly wrapped yarn. The tree started with the strand you can see going straight up from the bottom middle to the top middle, making the trunk. As I wrapped and thickened this central line I just took bits and pieces branching off whenever I felt like it. All the yarn wrapping took me about 2 days on and off in between normal mothering duties, cooking for hungry mouths and homeschooling. I then added the traditional netted 'dreamcatcher bits' in really really thin sewing thread (this was a delicate operation for sure!), and sewed some silver and white beads and crystals to it. The dangle underneath is made up of threads, lace, beads, a dried teasel and some dried everlast flowers that faith gave me a few years ago. It now hangs above my bed, hopefully letting some lovely dreams in.

Jo x

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

days out: january

Cold and beautiful January saw us visiting one of our favourite spots more often than not. A secluded piece of moorland with rocky pathways to a sparkly lake. It is rare for us to find anyone else on this particular walk as it's pretty hard to get to, so we enjoy the solitude and immense calm that seems to emanate from the lake. In the warmer months we take picnics and swimsuits and spend the day. This time of year we just take ourselves, wrapped up in layers of wool, stand at the edge and soak up as much as we can before hurrying back to the van. There are plans afoot to acquire a tandem kayak for adventures here but we will have to see how that can be worked out, fingers crossed!

Jo x

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

yarn along

Joining in with the yarn along today, just working on some socks while I wait for some creative inspiration to strike. Socks are always my standby, always needed, easy to transport and I've made so many that no pattern is needed (although here is my general sock recipe) so I can stop and start as necessary. Got some lovely purply mottled sock weight yarn from a local shop ad I'm really enjoying how they're coming out. Reading Ink Heart by Cornelia Funke, this was bought as a christmas present for Faith but I'm enjoying it too, If you like a bit of fantasy then I'm sure you would too - thoroughly recommended.

Jo x

Saturday, 28 January 2017

In the woods

We are having the most beautiful winter, cold, fresh and sunny. The weather has been so warm here that the leaves clung to the branches much longer than usual, suddenly dropping in between our two visits to the woods.  I have winter in my heart and although I enjoy the long nights of summer and all the good fun that brings, winter is where it's at for me. Going out, getting cold, feeling our cheeks go red in the wind and then coming home for hot chocolate and blankets, snuggles and stories.

Jo x

Thursday, 26 January 2017

make: all the beads

Montessori maths materials. Need I say more. Well, yes, probably! The Montessori method for teaching maths involves a lot of manipulative materials that are tempting to touch and lovely to look at. The bead cabinet is one of my favourites but the price tag is a bit off-putting! This one is great and the cabinet to store it all in is too but together the cost is reaching thousands. Obviously not affordable, but crafty doesn't say can't, so here is my homemade version for considerably less (approx £40 total by buying the beads when on sale). 

The materials. Beads - a whole load in various colours, wire ( I ended up going back for more), pliers, wire cutters, jump rings and plastic mesh.

The beginning - when I had no idea how long this was going to take!

The thousand cube! Yes it is solid and made of 1000 beads all wired together. Do you see the plastic mesh in between the edge rows and the second row in? That's what holds it all together.

The squares and cubes 1-10. I made one cube of each and the number of squares equal to its size, eg, 3 - 3x3 squares, 8 - 8x8 squares, 10 - 10x10 squares etc.

Bead bars, approximately 60 of each, although more of the 10 bars.

The bead chains. Short bead chains that show the square of each number (eg, 6x6), and the long chains show the cube of each number (eg 6x6x6). Let me tell you that the long chain of 10 is very very long and time consuming to make! It's extremely cool when you can compare it to the 10x10x10 cube and see that they are the same though!

I also made snake games which involve some more of the bead bars, some bead bars 1-10 in different colours for holding places, and again in another different colour for negative numbers. Somehow I forgot to photograph the snake game but here is one by another DIYer so you can see what I'm talking about.

I have plans to show you how we are using these beads in our homeschool, but for now I'm just taking a breath after all that bead stringing!

Jo x

Saturday, 7 January 2017

Winter Wood

Just before the new year we went on our annual visit to the winter woods, a truly magical experience from rogue theatre that includes meeting fairies in the dark, trees lit by strings of lights and disco balls and fire dancers to guide your way. After a story from old man winter you make it to the tent where hot chocolate and warm blankets wait and then a wonderful show telling a winter story. This is one of the things our family looks forward to most about the winter season and if you ever have a chance to see it then make sure you get there.

Jo x

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Catching up

A lot has happened in the 3 years (3 years!) since I was last here but when I look at my photos I see what is truly important, I see the occasions that made me reach for the camera, the things that I want to remember and cherish.
Most of it is pictures of the outdoors, my children, and knitting!
 Our home is important to us, we spend a lot of time there homeschooling, baking, making, reading, sleeping, snuggling, nesting, but the outdoors is where we are free, where our minds can reach out, where we can see to the horizon and imagine what lies there. Getting out there every day is my tonic, my recipe for health and connection. We are blessed with living on a peninsula and having the ocean on 3 sides, it brings wild wind, warm sun, rain storms, mild winters and 'keep-you-on-your-toes' weather changes. That Cornish wind can really blow the cobwebs out if you've been inside for too long!
The last 3 years have been kind and cruel in the way that time usually is and is meant to be, we have all changed and grown in ways we wanted to and ways we never thought we would, and some things have remained the same, the constants that keep us stable and grounded. Life goes on and life is good, and I am so grateful to be here, talking to you in this space.

Jo x

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Yarn along

Joining in with the yarn along today. Anyone else in the uk knows how much rain and grey january can bring so I really felt in the need for some colour...

These patterns were lots of fun to make. Revelry notes here. The original patterns use very different colours and are from the book fair isle basics and beyond. The fingerless mitts in particular are in very muted colours in the book and look quite different. I made the hat on bigger needles than suggested and I also made the large size and then I felted it down so that it would be really wind proof and snug. If you do this I would definitely recommend checking that your wool felts because I have ( more than once ) made something too big in 100% wool only to find that it's superwash and won't felt. Giant slippers anyone...

Can you see how the picot edging on the mitts curls up? That's because I was too lazy to block them! 

It feels great to be knitting again after having quite a break and just not feeling like picking the needles up for a while.

Happy yarn along

Jo x

Ps. I also discovered how extremely difficult it is to take a selfie on an ipad and got many many photos of the wall, the floor, random colourful blurs, really strange expressions, etc so forgive me but the 2 I've put in are the only ones that show the hat and that I don't look like a complete loon in!