Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Michaelmas Plans

Oh, how I do love this time of year.

The changing seasons, the moving toward winter. The colours of autumn, the smells of comfort food, the walks in the woods through rich autumn sunlight....

Michaelmas is almost upon us & here are my plans for tomorrow:

The feast of Saint Michael, one of the seven archangels of Scripture, originated in the sixth century. Michael, whose name in Hebrew means "Who is like God?", is revered as the leader of the angelic army who will conquer Satan and his armies of demons, and is considered the defender of the Church.

And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,
And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.
 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
Revelation 12:7-9

Legend has it that when the archangel Michael threw Lucifer out of heaven (on what would become Michaelmas), the devil landed in, of all places, a blackberry patch, where he promptly spat on the berries, rendering them inedible! So by long held tradition on Michaelmas you should eat your fill of blackberries before they're no good!

We shall be having our annual afternoon Michaelmas Tea, with Blackberry Tea & Blackberry Jam Tarts

Blackberry Jam Tarts
• 14 oz plain flour
• 7 oz butter , chilled and diced
• 1 & 3/4 oz caster sugar
• 2 egg yolks
• 340g jar jam , use 1 flavour or a mix if you have them
1. Whizz the flour and butter to breadcrumbs in a food processor. Add the caster sugar and mix. Add the yolks and pulse until it comes together (you might need to add a splash of water). Wrap in clingfilm and chill for 20 minutes.
2. Heat the oven to gas 5. Roll out the pastry and stamp out circles big enough to fit 2 x 12-hole jam tart tins. Bake for 15 minutes then add small spoonfuls of jam to each and bake for 5 minutes.

For dinner I am going to make a rabbit stew! Goose is the traditional fare for Michaelmas, but a hunting friend has given us a rabbit, so rabbit it shall be.
To follow, the girls will be baking a chocolate cake. I found some white chocolate stars in the supermarket today which will be a lovely addition to the cake, as Rosie has started to see the nights drawing in again. She has become so used to going to bed in the daylight!

Weather dependent, we may go out to fly our kites tomorrow, but the weather is unusually hot right now.
I am planning to make a start on lanterns for martinmas, so we may do some wet on wet watercolour tommorow, that we can later use for our Martinmas lanterns.

We shall be sketching the 'Michaelmas Daisies' in our garden- a wildflower, an aster with many small star-like flowers, that blooms in late September, known as the Michaelmas daisy. They make an ideal posy for the Michaelmas table.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Our Plans 2011-2012

Here is a look at our school plans for 2011-2012 - only time will tell if it works better in reality than on paper, or if it will need a revamp!

Main Resources:

The Child's Story Bible
Telling God's Story Curriculum


Language Arts
The Writing Road To Reading
The Reading Lesson

First Language Lessons




The Story of the world 1
Activity Book
Encylopedia World History


Kingfisher Encyclopedia Of Animals
Kingfisher 1st Human Body Encyclopedia
Growing Up Green
Keeping A Nature Journal


Classics For Kids
Drawing on the right side of the brain

Outside Activities
Girls Friendly Society
Locally organised nature walks & activities
Knitting Club


Read from The Child's Story Bible

Prayer, Hymn & Memory Work (includes Bible, Lang Arts, Maths, Hist & Geog, Science, French & General topics)

Language Arts:
First Language Lessons
The Writing Road to Reading for penmanship, phonics & spelling - will see how this goes, is new to me & very teacher intensive to understand & read through all the book! I will see how this pans out...
The Reading Lesson
Daily Reader
Independent 'Fun' reading


MEP lesson

Read the story, work on the colouring page. Narration.


Read from The Child's Story Bible

Prayer, Hymn & Memory Work

Language Arts:
First Language Lessons
The Writing Road to Reading for penmanship, phonics & spelling
The Reading Lesson
Daily Reader
Independent 'Fun' reading


MEP lesson

Read the story. Narration. Mapwork.


Read from The Child's Story Bible

Prayer, Hymn & Memory Work

Language Arts:
First Language Lessons
The Writing Road to Reading for penmanship, phonics & spelling
The Reading Lesson
Daily Reader
Independent 'Fun' reading


MEP lesson

Read from history encyclopedia . Look at related library books
Complete this weeks lapbook booklet


Read from The Child's Story Bible

Prayer, Hymn & Memory Work

Language Arts:
First Language Lessons
The Writing Road to Reading for penmanship, phonics & spelling
The Reading Lesson
Daily Reader
Independent 'Fun' reading


MEP lesson

We are working as follows:
Animals approx 20 weeks
Human Body approx 10 weeks
Plants approx 6 weeks

At the moment we are working from our animals topic.
We read from the encylopedia about our chosen animal, the girls narrate, draw a picture & make a notebook page.
Then we spend time on further reading. So far this has been a very rich topic for us. With the help of our cat(!) we have had a mouse to observe, and an extremely handsome dragonfly. We have looked at butterflies & ladybirds. The cat is on our list too : )

Thursday afternoons are devoted to our Afternoon Teas
We usually drink strawberry tea & eat goodies baked by the girls. We either listen to Classics For Kids, work on our drawing, or celebrate a festival (such as Michaelmas) or enjoy a nature celebration (such as the harvest moon)


Read from The Child's Story Bible

Prayer, Hymn & Memory Work

Language Arts:
Daily Reader
Independent 'Fun' reading

Our Craft time
I always have something planned - often from our SOTW activity guide.

Nature Study
We take a nature walk & make an entry into our nature journals.

A weekly reading & activity from God's Story

My year is all planned out. I am not sure how I will fare with The Writing Road To Reading - I am feeling rather overwhelmed by it right now & may go back to spelling workout. It just is so appealing - to have such a thorough spelling course. We shall see.

I spend time every couple of months sitting down & planning out the 'lovely' things - festivals & nature studies etc etc & weekly I plan out our lessons in detail.

Monday, 11 July 2011


I have decided that we are going to re-read Story Of The World Vol 1

Having thought long & hard I feel I should have given this book more space in our schooltime.
So we shall re-read. I have purchased the activity guide & I shall be using it along with the wonderful resources from The Chronicle Of The Earth blog.
Elianna shall be making the Ancients Lapbook (all printed out & ready to go!)
I shall be using the extensive resource notes for each chapter
All the wonderful resources are listed here.

Isnt that an exciting prospect!

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Tea Time

A while back the girls & I had a regular weekly Tea Time
Somehow our lovely ritual was forgotten in the dash of outings, playtimes & laundry. But i have been pondering our days & have decided to reinstate this special time.

Elianna had asked to follow a drawing course. I spent time online researching & plumped for the older edition of Drawing On The Right Side Of The Brain.

We bought beautiful new sketchbooks & discussed what we were expecting in preparation of the big day : D

I have set aside an afternoon each week for us to have a lovely Afternoon Tea followed by our drawing lesson. Five year old Rose will join us for Tea, then can draw with us or not, as she pleases.

Elianna is now of the age were by she can bake unattended (except for popping the goods into the oven) so she has been getting her copywork done bright & early on Tea Time day, then she can use that time to bake so the goodies are ready for the afternoon.

I am so delighted that we have our ritual again. It is great fun & brightens our day no end. And our drawing will improve to boot : D

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Friday, 3 June 2011

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Sunday, 15 May 2011

A Knitterly Update

Quite a while ago I posted about my wish to make a jumper for one of my girls inspired by this wee fellow:

About this time last year I had purchased a glorious shetland fleece. It was silver grey, with darker grey patches. I washed it ready to spin, once I had decided what I wanted to create with it:

I went backwards & forwards between a jumper & a tank top & in the end, decided to go with a tank top.
I wanted the fair isle design to be isnspired by the colours of the two wee robins that we see on our nature walks (& that try as I might, I can never get a photo of them both together!)
Soft greys, deeper grey, brown, off white & that glorious deep red - orange.

The fleece has patches of charcoal grey - I combed all the fibre & then drum carded to blend the different colours within the one fleece. Some of the fibre was set aside to dye in the browns & reddish orange.

The colours I got from the natural fleece where as follows:

Off-white - from combing the lightest parts of the fleece - the combing removed the grey hairs leaving me with off white.

Silver - Blending the off white with the charcoal

Charcoal - from the darkest parts of the fleece

Brown - I hand dyed some of the off - white

Robin Redbreast Orange - again hand dyed off - white.

I was so nervous about dyeing this! I wanted it to be just right & did not have enough fleece to try over if I made a mistake! I mixed Orange Scarlet & Bright Turquoise Procion Dyes
I was delighted with the results - a perfect Robin - Red! I then drum carded the dyed fleece with some sparkly angelina fibre in 'rusty nail' to give the sweater a very subtle sparkle.

So, onto the yarn! I spun this up on my spinning wheel into a 2 ply yarn. Just a little heavier than a fingering weight. I spun in a 'woolen' method, which produces a lovely, lofty, cuddly yarn, perfect for Fair Isle designs.

I charted out a few fair isle patterns, decided on a winner & cast on a swatch. Essential! This gave me the info I needed for sizing, needle size, the look of the design knit up etc etc.

Once I cast on 'for real' I knit & knit, round & round using steeks for the neck & arm holes. Truthfully though, I am lazy & I do not sew up the areas to be steeked first, I just have at it with the scissors, assuming the fuzziness of the yarn will do its job & hold everything together : )

And here it is! Rosie's Robin Redbreast Tank Top

These photos are not the greatest - it hasnt been blocked here& I really need to get a photo of Rosie wearing said jumper.
I enjoyed creating this so much. I has brought me a lot of joy!

Daily Walk

Daily Walk

Saturday, 23 April 2011

He Is Risen!

John 20:1-18

The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre.
Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the LORD out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him.
Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulchre.
So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre.
And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in.
Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie,
And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself.
Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed.
For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead.
Then the disciples went away again unto their own home.
But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre,
And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain.
And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my LORD, and I know not where they have laid him.
And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus.
Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.
Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master.
Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.
Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the LORD, and that he had spoken these things unto her.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Palm Sunday & Easter Week Plans

Good morning!
I have just returned home from my (early) morning walk & it is a glorious spring morning!
Today is Palm Sunday - a day that we usually go for a Praise Walk, followed by a picnic (weather permitting). We are doing something different today - meeting up with friends at their caravan. We are taking some food to share: cupcakes made by Elianna, strawberries, cheese & juice. I will be taking along my knitting & also the mountain of fleece that is waiting to be carded : )
We have planned an afternoon of sitting & knitting (& carding!) while the children play. Bliss.

Palm Sunday

In All Year Round, the authors speak of Lent as a time of renewal, in gathering forces needed to meet the vital renewal of our daily lives.
What a reminder of our minute-by-minute need for God!I love this time of year - the call to deepen my love for Him.

As i mentioned, we would usually go for a praise walk, followed by a picnic ~ Marveling at the wonders of nature are prayers of praise. As we walk outdoors, we can reflect upon the Lords creation & praise God for giving us a world that meets our needs.

We will be reading "The King Comes" from The Childs Story Bible as our Bible reading today.

This evening, as each evening of Holy week, we will light a candle on our nature table.
Also this week will make time to read The Jesus Garden & our verse will be At Easter Time (Stories for The Festivals Of The Year)

Let our trust in God become
Like the good earth, firm & strong.

As the water, rising & falling,
Let God’s life be always flowing.

Our Voices carry through the air.
Softly withing, God’s call is heard.

Fire gives warmth, fire gives light.
God’s love burns within our heart.

In all the elements, God is there
Bringing new life, everywhere.

Other ideas for Palm Sunday:

~ Bake date bread & make palm crosses as gifts
~ Sew grass seeds in a bowl of earth to place on the nature table.

Holy Thursday

~Purchase Easter lillies
~Read John 13:1-5

Good Friday

Light our candle
Bake & eat hot cross buns
~ Read The Jesus Garden
At 3pm blow out our candle, followed by a quiet hour of reflection
(I give my children their prayer journals, coloured pencils & their picture Bibles, they can draw prayers to the Lord, Illustrate the story we read or look at their Bibles.)

Easter Saturday

“A quiet day, a day of Waiting”
Dying Eggs
Laying out new easter clothes
Cooking for the feast tomorrow
In secret, make a few butterflies to hand over the dining room table for Easter Morning

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Lazy Day..

We have had a glorious sun-shiny weekend, which I have taken advantage of!

I have washed one of my four new shetland fleeces, purchased from Jamieson & Smith
Now washed & dried I have begun the slow & theraputic carding process.

Here are some of the rolags, all ready to spin. Soft as can be, like wee puffs of air!

I picked a pot full of dandelion heads. My intentions are to spin a 2 ply jumper yarn from all my shetland fleeces & take advantage of the natural colours. I have one fawn, one pale grey, one white & one that is possibly white, or could be more of a natural or beige, or - who knows, 'till it is washed!

The dandelions are all cooked & I will leave them in the cooking liquid for a day or two to steep, before straining & reserving the liquid for dyeing at a later date.

I found an inspiring blog post detailing dyeing with dandelions.
Liberty's Yarn, has a great tutorial for dyeing yarn.

Well, I am back off into the garden to carry on carding.
Have a super day whatever the weather.

An update:
My friend Helen owner of My Heart Exposed Yarns left me some wonderful tips for dyeing with dandelions in the comments section.
Here they are:

"I am very excited you are trying dandelion dye Lynn, some tips for you, after your flower heads have been steeping for about 24 hours, pop in either a sliced lime or a sliced lemon without the pips and allow to steep for as long as possible, minimum of 24 hours more though.

The lime and lemon give the liquid a beautiful glowing delicate yellow colour causing the pigment in the dandelion stamens to really come alive when applied to fibre for dyeing.

Also, next time instead of using alum mordant, soak your fibre in a cold tea solution made by boiling about six tea bags on the cooker in some water then allowing to cool to room temperature before soaking the fibre. When you then apply the dandelion and citrus liquid to the pot the fibre turns a beautiful amazing burnt sun gold colour which is so unique it cant be described or repeated, will be different each time because using tea bags is not an exact science as you personally dont know the precise measurement of ingredients which make up each tea bag."

Thanks Helen!

Friday, 8 April 2011