Friday, May 21, 2010

Jarvis and the Cow Pat Pit



Jarvis is getting involved in his biodynamic preps early on in life...Quite enjoying the cow pat pit. Unfortunately he thought it might taste good, although his Daddy assures me he didn't Actually eat any...

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Raking the Leaves

Goodness knows where the compulsion came from, but Jarvis and I have been raking leaves since the walnut tree started to drop them everywhere. 

I've never, ever felt the need to do it before, and I remember very clearly making fun of a friend in Canada for doing just that (we lived there five years ago, so I actually got to make fun of her while she did it!). 

Anyhow, here we are. I'm wearing my best leaf-raking outfit, complete with black flowery gumboots. Obviously I wasn't planning leaf raking activities when I got up in the morning, white dresses being perhaps the most unsuitable items of all for doing yard work. 

There's something kind of nice about adding some brown material to the compost heap, and leaving the lawn looking like a lawn (for a day or two anyway). Maybe I'll keep up this leaf raking carry-on. 

The Handsome Gardener

A couple of photos taken after a long afternoon of gardening with Daddy :)  

Total number of worms eaten - 1 

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Jarvis and the firemen!

A quick afternoon post from Jarvis & I, to share our photos of our visit from the firemen! Fear not, we hadn't set the kitchen on fire, they'd come to install several smoke alarms I've had balanced precariously on book cases for several months. Whilst two firemen got down to the business of smoke alarms, Fireman Allan gave Jarvis a guided tour of the fire truck. It was awesome :) 

Mister Caterpillar

Ah, the wonderful things that can be done with an empty baby formula tin! (Yes, I always had to supplement Jarvis with formula. It kept him alive, which was my goal. Feel free to set me on fire, I really don't care!).

Anyhow, my latest creation is one of Jarvis's favourite friends, The Very Hungry Caterpillar. I found my inspiration on this blog , be sure to have a read! It was all pretty simple really - paint the formula tin a caterpillar-ish shade of green, dig out sticky sparkly paper to make some eyes, cut large hole for mouth, done! (I actually had to make the mouth a little bit bigger after Jarvis got his hand stuck & was pretty unimpressed...). The picture doesn't really do him justice, but the sparkly eyes just aren't working out in today's light!

He feeds Mister Caterpillar all sorts of tasty treats - keys, cellphones, blocks...once he's a bit bigger I'm planning to make some felt fake food to match the story :) Wicked!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A Most Gorgeous Creation.

When I was a little girl, I used to get Make Your Own Cosmetics and Fragrances, by Elizabeth Francke out from the library ALL the time. I would spend hours attempting to make Queen of Hungary Water in the garden, and tiptoe into the kitchen to commandeer various items from the fridge & pantry for my creations. (before I channelled my desire to make things into this book, I would sit in the garden with a mortar & pestle, smashing up mint geranium leaves to make fairy potions:) )

A few years back, I happened to see the 25th anniversary edition of the same book on the sale table in our local bookshop. So, with renewed enthusiasm, and a kitchen full of my own ingredients & paraphernalia to draw on, I picked up where I'd left off as a little girl. 

I absolutely adore Dr Hauschka products. I'm a strong believer in being careful about what you put onto your skin, and their natural ingredients, biodynamic growing, and delicious smelling concoctions have always been a favourite of mine. Unfortunately they're also super expensive, and just not an option any more. Enter my magical book!

With a little tweaking, the cold cream recipe makes a fantastic moisturiser. I'm still working on the perfect proportions of rosewater, beeswax & olive oil (each time it's just a little different...), but it's all I use. Once I'm happy with the consistency I'll post a recipe - I've been making this stuff for about five years & still haven't got it 100% right. I use a toner made from rosewater (the stuff I use in my cooking), and a little glycerine. The cleanser had always left me a little mystified though, nothing I'd made could quite do the same job as my favourite Hauschka cleansing cream. Until now!

A Recipe for Magical Cleansing Cream...

  • Some raw almonds (we foraged some abandoned almonds from under a tree. They are amazing, and taste like marzipan...although I suppose that's to be expected as marzipan is almond!! It's been that many years though, I'd forgotten!).  Ground almonds from the supermarket would be great if you don't happen to stumble upon a lonely almond tree, though. 
  • Some glycerine, I get it from the chemist. Very cheap indeed.
  • Some kaolin clay (I ended up using some clay face mask I had lurking in the cupboard).
  • Some rosewater (I'd actually used it all up in a curry not long ago, so used boiled water & a little rose geranium essential oil!).
I didn't measure anything, I smashed almonds out of their shells until I lost interest, ground them up in a coffee grinder, then added the other ingredients a little at a time until I liked the consistency. You want it to be wet, but not runny. 

To use this gorgeous creation, you take a little wee bit in your palm, and rub it around your hands. Press onto your face (don't scrub!), like you're giving your face a gentle massage. Rinse with cool water. Wonderful. Just as good, might I be so bold to say, as my old favourite Hauschka one. 

It's amazing how, after a long day of pursuing a small boy who likes to scale bookcases & investigate what the world looks like from the top of the television, using a delicious concoction on your face can make you feel like a human being again. Magic.