Sunday, 24 February 2019

Greek Myths and Snow

So I am sat here catching up on my blog posts, we've had glorious sunshine today and I am looking back at photos from the beginning of February where we had lots of snow, well lots for us!! What a contrast in weather, we have spent most of today in the garden, L has helped weed the herb beds and then wash all the pots and trays, not my favourite garden job but she loves doing it. I emptied the back porch and cleaned it out, everyone left me alone as there was a rather large spider scuttling about. Hubby has tidied up the grape vine and then we all headed out for a lovely long walk, popped into the allotment to check its still there, well ok what state its in and what we need to do!

Our little Monday group this term, has been based around the Greek myths, my plan was to tell a story, then link craft, art and science activities to the stories. We've had the story of Echo and Narcissus, we talked about the meaning of the story, the emotions and feeling of the characters. Then went on to look at how echos happen and what animals and how and why they use echolocation. We then drew some daffodils and once that was finished, I dissected one, so they could see all the different parts of it. Our next story was Pandora, again we spent time talking about all the negative feelings that were let loose, if we could choose one negative emotion to put back in the box what would it be and why. Then why hope is so important to us and all the things we hope for! As a craft project I had then printed out some different shapes to colour in and then glue together to make a cube, tetrahedron and octahedron, I will say the last one was rather fiddly to glue together! I love the story of Arachne and Athene, after I told the story we looked at a book on spiders, they were intrigued with the trap doors spider, do check out some of the videos on you tube about this spider they are amazing creatures. We then went on to do some weaving projects, which they loved.

I've also told the story of the Minotaur, linked with lots of mazes, they had a lot of giggles trying to draw one on the patio, then decided it was more fun to colour all the steps up the garden a different colour. Highly amusing when your black cat decides to roll in it and comes in shimmering with pink and purple patches! We made some origami birds to go with the story of Daedalus and Icarus. If L wasn't allergic to dairy we would of also tried some different Greek cheeses, though we did get to make some pitta breads, that were rather yummy.

Our last bit of fun was making a curve from a straight line or parabolic curves, Mum in the Mad House has some lovely printable for this.

Now the beginning of February we had snow, L and I went for a wonderful walk through the woods and said at times it looked just like a scene from Narnia.

Home to build a snowman with M and O

Max on the other hand was far from impressed with all the white stuff and opted to stay inside and just watch us.

We also made Ls day by taking a trip into town by bus to go and see the new How to Train Your Dragon movie, which we all enjoyed. She was very excited and has spent lots of time at home drawing various dragons, think I might have to take some photos to share, I am running out of wall space for them all!!

Thursday, 20 December 2018

Catching Up

Hopefully will now get back into blogging regularly, have lots of photos and things to share, then the computer dies on us!! Now have it back from being repaired and caught up and all the jobs that need to be done. Recovery from op is going well, loving getting out and having at least a 30 minute walk daily, still doing my physio exercises 4 times a week, its great but been busy as trying to do all those jobs I wasn't able to do before my op.

So going back to before Christmas I offered to have a couple of L's friends for a couple of art and craft sessions, this went so well that they asked to come every week! So more than happy to share my time with enthusiastic children, so in January we started to meet weekly, using the Greek myths as our theme, will share those in another post. Any way back to December we started with the story of Wilson Bentley and how he persevered until he he was able to record the beauty of the snowflakes. We also read Curious About Snow, which has some beautiful pictures of snowflakes and talks about the science behind them, how humidity and air temperature change their shape. The girls made up their own little booklets with some snow facts in then, then had some fun making gingerbread snowflakes to decorate later.

The girls work so well as a team, I can stand back now and let the 3 of them get on with the cooking, other than dealing with the oven, they are fairly self sufficient with their baking.

Mary Azarian who illustrated the Snowflake Bentley book, makes woodcut prints, I don't have the right tools or knowledge for this so we used the florist oasis blocks instead. They girls carved pictures into them, a pencil works really well for a carving tool, then printed on some brown paper I had saved from various deliveries we had to create their own wrapping paper.

Our second session was based around the story of the little fir tree, well two different little fir tree stories, we started the session of with the girls telling us what they knew about fir trees and deciduous trees. Why they loose their leaves in winter, why fir trees don't, the design of the fir tree and how this benefits the tree when it snows lots. We talked about how the little tree wished his life away, was this a good or bad thing? How much did he miss out on by doing this? Do we ever do this and why do we feel that way. In my Christmas sort out I found some wooden fir trees so they set to work painting and decorating their own xmas trees and made some paper plate wreaths.

We also made some origami fir trees, the instruction video can be found here

They also made some salt dough decorations to hang on their trees at home, we made them a few years ago with cornflour to give the whiteness to the shapes, using this recipe.

 A little bit of Christmas sewing, a gift for my Aunt, can add she loved it.

I finally finished L's Rosebud jumper, it wasn't the easiest pattern to follow but she loves it and that is what counts.

Polare bear cupcakes made by hubby and L

 and of course homemeade mince pies.

Sunday, 11 November 2018


Its been 2 months since my hip replacement surgery and so far things are going well. Its great to be able to walk up the stairs normally,without having to hang onto the banister and pull yourself up.  Physio is pleased with my progress and have lots of rehab exercises to do everyday and its great to be out everyday for a walk, with no limp. Be a while before totally pain free as still healing and body adjusting to new improved posture, my knee caused the most issues but everything I have read this seems to be very common problem and time and physio should sort it all out. Oh and Max and crutches is interesting, he spent the first week being terrified of them, then decided that maybe they were good to pounce on, not helpful but luckily only lasted a couple of days, then he decided they were best ignored! The staff at the hospital were wonderful, can't fault them, made the 4 day stay easy to deal with, though was glad to come home. No allergic reactions to any meds, yay, though was rather sick and ended up on anti sickness tablets for the first week, after that I was taking just paracetamol, which I am ok with and by week 3 didn't need anything. I am amazed at how well my body has recovered from this surgery so far, fingers crossed it carries on doing so, the only downside was finding out last week my left hip doesn't look that good and they reckon 4 to 5 years and that will need replacing too. Though at the moment it is only giving the odd twinge, which isn't bad considering all the extra work its been having to do over the last couple of months.

Now hubby had the first two weeks to care for everyone, what he wasn't expecting to do was end up cake making and decorating with L. She overheard us chatting about some of the ideas I had for different project work, one was making a sarcophagus, now not the normal cardboard box ones I had seen but a cake one. That was it, Dad was not going to get any peace until this had happened, I would say at this point he looked rather shocked and really not sure what he had been talked into! Anyway of to the shops they went to find some cake decorating bits and home to bake an egg free cake. A few questions and then all I could here was lots of giggles and chatter from the kitchen, if I say both hubby and L was pleased with the finish cake, that is an understatement and I have discovered after 22 years of marriage my husband had a hidden talent!

Slowly working on L's jumper, its called Rosebud, the body is knitted in a round and the split for the armhole shaping and neck, its a lovely pattern to knit, using a pale blue cotton yarn.

Have spent a lot of the first two weeks recuperating and binge watching way too many box sets and reading lots, then decided to get out this little embroidery to work on, I usually do cross stitch but loving the fun of a variety of stitches, might have to do some more.

Oh and the highlight of November so far was L had another food challenge, this time the garden pea, she isn't impressed with taste of them but managed to eat her way through 80g of them during our morning stay at the hospital. She started of with 1 pea, then 4 peas, slowly building up the amount she had in each portion, it does mean that she needs to keep eating them at least twice a week. Otherwise research has shown that she is at risk of becoming allergic to them again, something about the body recognising the protein but not reacting to it in the right way.

Saturday, 1 September 2018


Well its been a while since I have posted and we have been busy, another round of hospital appointments, I'm now on the waiting list for a hip replacement and alternating between a yay I will get my life back and oh no help!!! L has been back to see her allergy consultant and after the successful introduction to peanuts, feeding her peanut butter now feels normal, it took a couple of weeks to stop watching for a reaction I can tell you! Anyway skin prick tests look good for nuts, have had blood tests, if they come back negative we can go for a nut food challenge too, if she passes that, oh wow life will really change for her and us, well around food anyway. Editing to add I now have a surgery date the 12th September, only have 12 days notice,pre op on Monday, so will be a while before I blog again.

L and I are working our way through our planned summer reading, we bought a mixture of books for her birthday, so plenty to choose from. She is loving The Wombles, think we will be reading the rest of the series, she adores how they tidy up everyone's rubbish and reuses it. Giggled through the first of the Worst Witch Series, goes without saying she loved the next couple of secret seven. We've also read the first of the Harry Potter books, she's been desperate to add these to her bedtime story pile. I say bedtime but we read not only at bedtime  but throughout the day to, depending on what we are doing.

I am determined to work through the pile of books by my bed and those queued on my kindle before I have surgery. Ended up reading the Elly Griffiths books back to back, as there was a twist in the plot that meant I just had to read the next one straight away, can't wait for the next one in the series to come out next year. Also reading Sapiens, well worth a read, its well written and informative, without being too heavy, loving the comparisons to modern day tribes, the various theories on how myths,legend and religion started.

Max is doing well, has now been neutered and is enjoying exploring the garden, he has yet to attempt to leave the garden, much to the relief of his youngest owner. Will add that the kitten didn't listen to the vet when we picked him up after his op. Keep the lampshade collar on for at least 24 hours, by the time we made the short journey home in the car, he had got one paw through and stuck, unhooked paw but 15 minutes later he had it of. As to the bit where they said he would be very sleepy for the rest of the day, oh boy he was the complete opposite, he was hyper, finally crashed at midnight and woke at 5am still hyper, lunch time he finally slept and woke back to normal!

L is enjoying the sassafras zoology, we had chapter on a Canadian farm, had fun creating our own small world farm.

We then had friends come and visit and they had an amazing time creating different bases for all the animals to live in.

We have also spent time looking at ancient Sumer and the use of cuneiform and trying to make our own clay tablets, writing on paper is a lot easier!

Now along with the hip issue, I also managed to compress a nerve in my wrist, resulting in painful wrist and pins and needles/numbness in little finger and ring finger. Physio has helped but he wants me to rest, as in lay of the knitting for a while, to let everything settle down. So have been busy working through my fabric stash, made two geranium tops,one for L and one for a friend's granddaughter.

Fell in love with Nanoo bibiana skirt, L wants another one in a large pink gingham print I have.

Tuesday, 5 June 2018


We finely made to Wisley, we had a lovely time, that lovely I want to go again. M had my camera and she had a lovely time taking photos, I was on crutches, easiest way for me to manage hip pain and walk, so M became our photographer for the day. I do love coming home and loading up the photos she has taken, as you really get to see what she likes. 

The fruit gardens are amazing, I do love a walkway with the fruit trees, trained over it in an arch, I dream of having a garden big enough to do something similar in, a girls got to have her dreams.

The girls loved the herb gardens, so many different varieties to look at and smell, that moment where you realise you never knew there were so many different varieties of mint and sage!

The glasses houses had an amazing array of cacti.

The stunning bird of paradise in flower.

Finished L's top, she is really pleased with it, the cotton yarn was so lovely to knit with, hoping it washes and wears well, as I've not used this brand of yarn before.

We have read the first part of Sassafras Zoology and have spent time reading and learning about lions and as our Atlas of Animal Adventures had a lovely two page spread on the wildebeest, in Kenya, we added them into our animal studies.  We've watched a variety of you tube videos on the wildebeest migration, lions and cheetahs and some lovely videos of the Oloip Maasi dancers, I've put all the links at the bottom of this post as there are a rather a lot! Art we've had the chalk pastels out to draw some lions, while listening to Putumayo Kids African Playground

We had looked at the beaded necklaces of the Pokot people and used paper plates to sort of recreate them.

Savanna sunset, using chalk pastels and then created the animals using stencils and black paint.

Max's new hobby is watching the washing machine, he sits there with his head going round and round as the machine spins, I am amazed he doesn't seem to get dizzy! When he's not watching the washing machine, he has discovered a lovely place in the sun to curl up in.

You have got to just love the kitten ability to just fall asleep where ever you are, even in mid play!

You Tube Links
 Wildebeest migration

Books Used
Destination Detectives Kenya a lovely book covering some of the places in Kenya, lots of photos
A Kite's Flight a kite's journey over Africa seeing some of the different landmarks
A World Full of Animal Stories used the story from Kenya