Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Charlotte learns to knit

Charlotte had inflammation for several years. Terrible skin rashes and very sensitive to touch, sound, light. We tried everything, creams, lotions, allergy testing and nothing worked until we found a very oily steroid cream. We didn't feel that we wanted to lather her up with it each night but until we found another solution we went with it. We tried lots of diets including GAPS but found that the only way of reducing the inflammation was to reduce her grain intake. So we replaced it with vegetables, fruit, salads, eggs, fish and meat. She is so happy now. I often say to Mick, I can't believe how different she is and I feel the tears well up when I remember the nights we held her to get her to sleep and the sensitivity she had every morning when she opened her eyes. What has this got to do with knitting? Well, she can sit, quietly and knit some pretty wool together to make something lovely, which for a long time...would never have happened.Bless

Monday, 9 September 2013

Sewing for Charlotte

I have been staying up and making some kindy skirts for Charlotte. I love making scarves for her and watching her skip through the door at kindy with her colours flowing behind her

Lovely blog I have found

I haven't done a link before so here goes. This blog is so lovely and has great Waldorf style projects for little ones.Lots of ideas here and things I haven't seen before. Charlotte and George tried the fairy houses from egg cartons and loved it. Beautiful photos and sweet simple style form mostly found objects. www.daily-colours.blogspot.com

Pottery Tile

This is a lovely project and simple enough for children to do on their own. Its a basic clay tile which is rolled out and then you add your picture. I have used buttons on cork tops for the background pattern which looks nice. I seem top draw and pot in the same style. These girls show up throughout my work.

Golden Valley Tree Park

Sunday afternoon we piled into the car and headed for the Golden Valley Tree Park in Balingup. Had a picnic on the rug while the girls climbed the enormous pine trees and hunted for pine cones. We talked about turning them into door knobs for the new house. We climbed Oak Hill and collected acorn caps and watched as the girls piled sheep bones into their bskets. Do we really need all those bones? Oh, yes Mummy....Such a great afternoon.

Sunday, 8 September 2013


The kids were making little sculptures from off cuts of wood from our house build.This is what they cam up with. I was going to judge the best one but it was like choosing a favourite child. I couldn't do it....it was a draw. They had so much fun...quiet fun which on a Saturday morning...is rare.

Saturday, 7 September 2013

New Projects

September is already here so a project list is in order. I find that posting it on my blog helps keep me accountable and more inclined to tick things off. So here goes..... 1. Bind quilt 2. Finish girls shorts 3. Finish girls summer skirts 4. Shorts for George 5. Trip to Golden Tree Park 6. Finish knitted scarves for Little Lamb 7. Sew summer scarves for my sisters 8. Source beads for Knitting Needles 9. Make grain free tortillas 10.Felt balls 11.Make rabbit soft toy 12. Sew Daisy's rag doll

Thursday, 5 September 2013


Entering the Peace Art competition with the family. Here is my little painting.

Charlotte's drawings

I love to watch kids draw. So quiet, in the zone or the moment. This is one of Charlotte's drawings of girl from when she was 3. I still marvel that she can draw such interesting people.

More felting...

If your kids are new to felting, making balls is so simple and lovely. All you need is some roving and detergent in some water and layer and roll....

Little Liberty lap rug

This poor little lap rug has been waiting to be finished in a lonely basket in the corner. She needs some attention and tonight I think I may finally finish the binding.My quilts, like everything I sew, is a little bit wobbly, but sewn with love.


At sewing circle the other day, one of the girls was sewing a rag doll for her little girl and it reminded me of the one I made for Ella's 8th birthday.Daisy's birthday is just round the corner so it's time to start sewing something special for her. The hair didn't work very well but it was lots of fun especially knitting the little scarf.

Wooden Boats

We have been using old off cuts from the house build to make wooden boats. They are heavy and don't float but are fun to push around on the floor if you are small.

Pottery Tiles

A long time ago now.......three years, I did a pottery course with a local potter and learnt how to throw on a wheel which was great.I made this tile which is going somewhere in our new house. The background pattern was made from a button stuck on a piece of cork.


Now that I have moved on from fiber snobbery and embraced felting, there is roving everywhere! We have been making a felted woodland with some old branches that fell down in the storm. Mick has cut them and we use them as little houses and thing for the fairies.Ella has been making necklaces, Charlotte a nest and Daisy is making beads to string on a necklace. I love the way the kids respond to natural materials. They are so calming and interest them for hours. Peaceful.....

Friday, 16 August 2013

Little Shops are open!

Gosh, that took a while. It's actually quite time consuming opening a little shop..even an online one. We finally have a few little products for sale on ETSY and Madeit and soon to be found at LOFT in Bridgetown. Sweet boutique for hand made local crafts filling a much needed market in our town. Hopefully it will here for years to come and providing an outlet for lovers of hand made goods and those who love to be creative.

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Rescue Chickens

We have some new chickens. They have been rescued from a commercial barn laying setup and are 60 weeks old. They came cram packed in a dusty old truck....about 10 to a very small cage. When the man gave them to us he held them upside down by their legs and then dropped them on their heads in a box. My poor children watched as their new pets were treated like no one loved them. One of the chickens has lots of feathers missing...my guess is stress. It has been good in a way because the girls wanted to send back the ugly chicken and we talked about acceptance and having a good heart and that the chicken probably had a beautiful heart and we shouldn't...judge a chicken by her feathers..... We already had a chicken, Pecky, very loved and pretty with black and green feathers. These girls are Highlines and large and well ..we just all need to get used to each other.Day two today and they are all in their new lovely hutch and seem like they are becoming friends.

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Lunch sacks

We have been making a big effort to get rid of some plastic in our house. It appears to be never ending...Lunch boxes, plastic toys, plastic bags, plastic toothbrushes. I was reading a good book about plastic and a lady wrote down everything in her house that had plastic in it. Frightening. So, I made a tupperware mountain and threw it all out. Well, I left it by the outside bin and I threw out 80 percent of it. Anyway, I have made the girls some cotton lunch sacks and snack bags in the Japanese triangle bag style.They have been so cool about not having a plastic lunch box and really seem to like them. I really get a kick out of filling them up so will post a few photos. It makes me look forward to packing their lunch. Next step is to get them some fabric they like. I saw some really lovely linen bowl covers in the 101 cookbooks shop. May try to make some on the weekend.

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Raw/ Grain Free /Chocolate Fudge

Thought you may like to try this......
Chocolate Fudge Cocoa Soaked dates Almond Meal Coconut Pumpkin Seeds Sunflower Seeds Dark Chocolate Chips (Optional) Mix everything together. Wrap it in a log shape Slice Dust with cocoa

Rainbow days

Charlotte and I had so much fun dyeing our first mini skein of rainbow wool. After we painted it together we rinsed it in lavender water and dried it by the fire. We couldn't wait to knit it up and admire our work! I want to sell some of these with child size knitting needles in the Madeit shop, Little Lamb which is really for children and beginners. My ETSY shop, Pommeraie, is for Knitting Needles topped with handcrafted ceramic beads and linen needle cases.

School Jam Project

Our little school produces a line of jams and chutney that are sold throughout the year at various fundraisers. Today I was finding more clever Mums to whip up some of their favourite recipes. So far we have Onion Jam and Zucchini Relish. Hopefully we can find some seasonal produce to make it worth our while.I hope this is something that is carried through the school for...years and years.One day we'll look back on our first batch of Plum Jam and Tomato Relish

Monday, 5 August 2013

Little Lamb

I've been doing a little bit of work on the design for my shop.Everything I've ordered has started to arrive.Its nice to get little parcels each day.I think with four children it is better to focus on a product I can source and assemble rather than actually crafting something. That way I'm not under pressure to do something really well which is hard when the kids are little and need you. Well that's for me anyway. I like design and packaging so I'm going to enjoy finding nice wool and pretty beads for the needle tops. I have found some great large wooden needles for kids and no I'm just working on the best wool. I really like the chunky Merino wool and its great for little hands. Now to work on some pretty pastel and earthy colours. Emx

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Simple Grain Free Tips

Changing your diet can be hard. Especially after eating a certain way for such a long time, maybe even since childhood. Changing your ways can feel....isolating at first. However when you start to feel better, behave in a better way and look better, it gets easier. I remember back when gluten free was 'different', now its very mainstream and readily available in supermarkets and on the go. It won't be long before grain free hits the shelves. Sometimes its hard to go into a supermarket and find you can't eat 70% of what is on the shelves! I love eating this way now and don't see myself going back in the near future. The kids eczema has gone, the tummy aches, irritability and the constant hunger that comes with too much wheat and sugar. Now we have a lovely network of local people who eat this way too and its nice to share notes. Here are some of my tips. 1.Introduce change gradually. Maybe start by eliminating processed foods that aren't healthy. Take pride in small changes. 2.Make sure you get enough good fat with avocado, coconut oil, nuts and seeds. We use butter too. 3. Buy a food processor.Our kids found chunky vegetables too hard so we use the processor to make great mixes which we use for salad and sauces. We also use it for dips and icecream. 4. Icecream in our house is frozen banana with cocoa or blue berries or seasonal fruit. We also use Greek Yoghurt as a base too.

Saturday, 3 August 2013

More hand dyed wool

This is some more yellow yarn created with parsley from the school kitchen garden. Very pretty.

Tree Wrapping

One of the trees in the main street has been wrapped. Its right next door to the local wool store and is a fantastic advertisement. So lovely to see something different as you drive down the street.
I have been playing around with simple pattern ideas for the knitting kits. As I'm a beginner I'm hoping that if I can master it, another beginner could to. Last night I made my first ball with hand dyed chunky Merino wool, pink and teal. It was very simple and fitted nicely in Charlotte little hands.

Friday, 2 August 2013


Having only ever knitted in a square or rectangle, I have broken out and started to knit George a jumper. I've nearly finished the back and have now started on the front.It's going to be a bot neck style and plans are to finish it before the winter is up. Today at sewing circle with my lovely friends, I admired a beautiful skein of wool from Italy, bought in England and now being knitted with in Australia. How far will we go for a bit of loveliness. Some of the wool for my knitting kits is hand dyed from Bath in England. I don't mind though because I'm also doing local wool which I feel balances it out. Kind of......


I have always had an aversion to felting. Sort of a fiber snobbery. I didn't like the feel or look of it. After taking the kids out to a local Alpaca farm and doing some felting with them....I've changed.Daisy made a sweet butterfly picture which we framed. Today Charlotte did some felting for her options class at school.George and I went along and helped and had ball.Kids ranging in age from 2 up to 10 all worked very independently and produced some great work. I managed to felt little ball with some left over wool. So.......people can change.

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Hand Dyed Wool

Today I had my first attempt at using vegetables to dye wool. I boiled some purple cabbage which created a lovely light pink . When I let it boil for half an hour it turned my second batch a lovely lilac. When I added some baking powder it turned into a teal colour.
The first batch used vinegar to set the dye but it was too smelly so  I tried Cream of Tarter but that turned the teal back into lilac. So clearly a few more trials. I was such fun showing the girls and seeing all the jars lined up on the window sill. I dried them on the oil heater but will try them in the sun tomorrow.


Monday, 29 July 2013

Little Lamb

I have started a little ETSY and MADEIT shop. Yippee. It is called Little Lamb and will sell knitting and crochet kits for beginners/kids. I have ordered the materials for the kit and now I'm waiting for them to arrive, packaging, labelling and seeing if it looks the way I envisaged.   I'm excited about having a new hobby and sharing  it with the girls.
I will be using hand dyed yarn and promoting local wool. That's the plan.
Now I'm looking for a little pattern for to include.

As we are all beginner knitters it will be something fun for all of us.
We have already learnt some new terms like mini skein, spindle, roving...
Maybe I could include some of this in the kit.......sort of educational too?

Sheep outside our window

Friday, 26 July 2013

August Project List

At the moment I'm trying to have a project list that is value drive so I use my time to do things that are enriching. As opposed to lots of projects, they are small but meaningful.

Finish Georges jumper- Progressing....
Knit squares for Daisy's blanket
Bake mini friands and freeze
Make herb butter
Plan chicken run-Decided on design and area
Make guinea pig hutch- Finished
Plan Etsy Shop-Finished
Jam project with the girls-Sourced jars
Bind Liberty quilt
Buy clay for the girls-Bought
Make cushions for the cottage
Manure for garden
Mulch for garden
Finish path
Find BBQ area for stone fire pit-Had our first BBQ at the cottage
Paint cupboard and attach handles
Source knobs for dresser

Muesli Slice

This is a really simple slice to have for a snack and easy to load with lovely seeds and nuts. The top is sprinkled with baby chocolate chips which always helps to encourage the kids.

Muesli Slice

1 large bag GF muesli
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 tb honey
Added seeds of choice
Small dark chocolate chips

I've just bought a small cupcake tin and looking forward to making mini friands for the weekend. I finally found some segmented lunchboxes so I can arrange bite size food for the kids.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Sweet Potato Burgers

This is our new Vegetable Burger recipe. One of our daughters has a potato allergy which leads her eczema to flair up so we use sweet potato instead.

Sweet potato roasted and mashed
Red onion
Cannellini beans
Rice flour
Brown rice
Finely shredded vegetables
Sesame seeds

I coat these in Tapioca Flour and fry them in coconut oil.

Making Changes

Today I went and refilled my glass bottle at the health food store with Levander Grove Olive oil. It seems such a small thing but it felt ggod to make even a small change. Sometimes its so easy to get caught up in convenience, especially with a large family and a small budget. So we have laso been making our own dips which the kids love when they come home from school.
Avocado and Cream Cheese
White bean and Herbs
The chicken patties have been a hit. They are a great size for the lunch box and snacks and mixed with lots of fine vegetables too.
Made little falafals which are great with a teaspoon of dip on top and some grated cheese too. I'm excited to have some new healthy recipes for the kids and us too!
I'm reading The River Cottage Vegetarian Cookbook at the moment and its got some lovely meals. It's inspiring me to use less meat and more vegetables, which with the help of Hugh should be a breeze!
Went to the markets and bought some somap from....another local olive grove...name escapes me. Thats not good marketing. Anyway, we love this soap. Lemon Myrtle essence again but without the slime. I think maybe a bar a week in a family of 6!
I ahve frozen some banans for the girls to make a super Chocolate Banana Peanut Butter Smoothie after netball today. See how they like that.

View of Olive Grove from the window

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Health food store

Our local health food store sells eggs from a local organic apple orchard and we can get our local olive oil from Levander Grove at half  price if we bring our own bottle. I can get a lot of things there so I am going to try and use it instead of the store. Some things I will have to get from the store like milk, cheese, nappies etc. However we can make small changes.

What's working:
Lights off
Cooking on the fire while its on
Op shopping
Less consumption

Changes in line with values
Health food store
Farmers Markets
Mindful consumption
OP shop/Mend Clothes
Vinegar/Lemon/Bicarbonate cleaning
Lemon juice
Grain free cooking
Less cooking
Nature time each day

Friday, 19 July 2013


Tody we made quite a few changes. We started a compost bin which now has worms, soil and scraps. It is the girls job to take out the scraps for the compost and the chicken. Poor solo Pecky really needs a friend. I bought some candles so we can focus on turning off some lights and helping the kids get into more of  natural rhythm. We cooked on the top of the fire tonight. 1 hour later and the potatoes still haven't boiled. It was fine to heat up dinner though. We set up the cottage a little bit more so we can go there after school and feel a bit more at home. I'm going to stock the fridge with raw food so we can graze without cooking while we re there. We timed our showers to 3 minutes and the kids shared.
Small simple changes.
I'm going to make some cordial now and knit.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Local Produce

There are two farmers markets on this Saturday so we will go to one and try and buy enough vegetables for a fortnight.  Is that viable? Will we have enough to last or will I be running back to the store? I have been watching low impact man and I think it's a really good idea to try to reduce in stages eg. shop local, reduce rubbish, save power, less tech. I loved the way they talked about questioning the way we live the second part of our life and values.

1. Use the wood stove to cook.
2. Think about what I'm cooking and when eg. double batch
3. TV only on at certain times and for limited time
4. Turn the lights off.
5. Paper?
6. Make own chutneys, jams
7. Reduce meat/buy grass fed
8. Eat seasonal produce
9. Create water run offs
10. Vegetable beds
11.Second hand clothes
12. Put a jumper on!


We have made our first batch of Marmalade. Ella helped and we are taking it up to her Granddad as it's his favourite. I normally buy some and bring it up but we decided this time to try it ourselves. It was a bit difficult because none of us like marmalade and didn't quite know how to try and taste test. It was quite bitter to start with so we added some honey and it rounded off the flavour. I hope he likes it. so nice to do something special with Ella and share the joy.

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Local Support

We have thrown out all our crappy soap and have decide to support our local olive grove and buy their soap and olive oil for 3 months. Considering it is not something we can make ourselves at the moment, I think it will be good to help others that are making lifestyle changes too. When I walk into the bathroom , I get a nice waft of Lemon Myrtle from the soap....lovely.

We are using essential oils in the toilet and laundry and for cleaning at the end of the day. I am using lavender oil in a spray bottle and an eco cloth I have knitted from cotton yarn. Nice to know the girls can help with cleaning without worrying about chemicals. Maybe these small changes that we make will help make it second nature for them when they have their own homes.


Grain Free Chocolate Cake

This cake is lovely and moist and will keep fresh for 2-3 days. I have been playing around with using natural sweeteners and find that this recipe, using apple sauce and honey, good.

Chocolate Cake

1 cup almond meal
I cup coconut
4 eggs
1/2 cup butter
2 tb honey
1/2 cup apple puree/sauce
1/2 cup cocoa
1 ts baking powder

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Chocolate Nut Cups

These were a big hit and  way to help the kids learn about healthy seeds and nuts. I cut up some home made trail mix and put it in a mini muffin paper cup along with a spoonful of peanut butter and topped with melted chocolate. They all loved them.
We had them with some of Kylies lemon and lime home made cordial. It was made from left over fruit from her orchard. Lovely.

Tried the new bacon. At $30 a kilo it is not something we can eat lots of but it cooks beautifully and smells unlike any other bacon we've tried. No, corn or wheat or potato, lovely.
We have decided to eat less meat but by grass fed from Boyup Brook. Looking forward to getting started.


Hearty Stew

Today I tried a new recipe from Nourished Kitchen. It is a very basic stew that simmers in beef broth and doesn't need any wine or tomato to flavour. It is very light and leaves you feeling like you have eaten well but not about to fall asleep.

Hearty Stew

Beef cubed
Sweet Potato
French Beans
Beef Broth

Nice over mashed potato for the kids.

Just bought some peanut butter chocolate from a New Zealand company and making a note not to buy it too often as there is not much left!

Whittakers Chocolate

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Lemon Myrtle Soap

We bought some Lemon Myrtle and Lavender soap from Levander Grove today.  They have some handmade gloves I'm going to buy for my sisters knitted from Alpaca Fleece. Such  a beautiful set up with Olive Grove and Alpacas. Very inspiring. I'd love some animal pens for some goats or lambs.....
The snacks went ..ok.  
Everyone was still hungry. We bought a large box of apples which helped for the drive home.
Started the ribbing on Georges jumper. Looks good. Shale Grey.
Try to buy local. Have found a local farm we can go to for local winter vegetables.
Tomorrow we are off to a small farm where they are producing pink garlic.
Lovely day


Friday, 12 July 2013

Winter List

I was just looking at last winters list and I'm feeling inspired......
Ideas for this winter

Georges jumper
Tomato pickle
Help Daisy with her blanket
Focus on herb beds
Cut and dry lavender
Finish Liberty Quilt
Make lunch sacks
Find more healthy recipes
Find some special picnic spots

Now to find the time.....

School Holiday Cooking

I really want to test lots of recipes over the holidays so next term I won't be stumped with what to cook. The plan is that we will have a list of go to meals and snacks to inspire the whole family!
I'm also on the look for leftovers that will transfer well to the lunchbox......

Zucchini Fritters
Corned  beef  fritters
New vegetable Frittata
Tomato Pickle
Fish pie
Almond milk smoothies
Zucchini puttanesca
Roast chicken

Picnic Food

We are going on a picnic tomorrow to the Alpaca Farm. What shall we eat.......

Bacon and egg muffins
Peanut butter and chocolate truffles
Baby carrots

Tonight I'm making some bars which I'm wrapping in waxed paper to make them look store bought!
Excited about making the peanut butter truffles, rolling them with the melon baller and then putting them in their pretty mini patty pans.

Hoping for a sunny day

Thursday, 11 July 2013


Healthy Cooking Plans

Plan school lunch ideas
Make more triangle lunch sacks
Banana Pancakes
Herb butter
Sweet Butters
Source local grass fed meat
Bulk Almond Meal
Buy Food Mixer
Make coconut butter
Support local growers
Wrap energy bars in brown paper
Use Almond Milk

Grain Free

We are trying to adapt to a healthier lifestyle in our family. So I thought I might keep track of the recipes we're trying  and keep  a journal of what works.

What worked today

Getting the kids involved
The girls got up early made a garden salad and a fruit salad. They loved using the melon baller and squeezing lemon juice on the fruit salad to keep it fresh. They served it for morning tea and it was delicious and quite sweet with the little shapes they had made from the melon baller.

We are serving our Greek yoghurt in small bowls with blueberries and honey. Just  small amount of yoghurt, one large tablespoon seems to satisfy them and is  healthy sweet snack.

Routine Foods
Having routine go to healthy food that they recognise is comforting for us all.

Chocolate Truffles
1 cup coconut
20 dates softened
half  cup cocoa
1 tb coconut oil

Roll into teaspoon size balls and roll into coconut.

The kids only need one of these and it is  sweet little bite on the run

Baby Carrots
Having small  carrots in  little basket is something they like and its  a vegetable!

Cauliflower Rice
We had a sit down lunch with vegetables, tuna, cauliflower rice and cheese. Such  healthy lunch and the not only ate it....they also enjoyed it. Not always the case but such  a bonus for a basic cook like myself. Next time I will try and sneak in some avocado and sesame seeds......