Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Happy NOT back to school day!

Today was an awesome day.

We got up early. Not because we had to, but because we wanted to.


The girls did lots of bike riding. They're practically obsessed with riding - horse riding as a first choice, but when there are no horses around the bikes will do just fine, thank you.

We visited the library.



We spent time in our garden, soaking in the warmth of the sun.

We read.


We studied. A little ;)


We followed our own interests. 


Oh, and there was plenty of fun thrown in for good measure!

Yes, it was a great day. And the best part is that we can do it all again tomorrow. Lord, I am so grateful that you opened our hearts to homeschooling. I am so grateful that you have given me the privilege of being with our children all day, every day. And I am so thankful to be able to learn and grow right alongside them.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Hand woven dish cloths



Over the weekend I wove some dish cloths with some beautiful Australian 10ply cotton that I rainbow dyed. I've been wanting to try out waffle weave and thought that kitchen cloths would be perfect.


All of these were woven on the same warp on my rigid heddle loom. Did you know you can do that? Warp once, weave many, much easier! Just leave a gap of 5 - 6 inches between each cloth, towel or whatever item you're weaving. I hemstitched each one on the loom and left a short fringe at each end.

They sold like hot cakes with an order for more and I'm not surprised. If you've never tried a handmade cotton kitchen cloth (either woven, knitted or crocheted) you really should, they are far superior to any commercial cloth. I use mine as a multi purpose kitchen cloth for wiping and washing. They last a long time and can be thrown in the wash and line dried. My next order is for re-usable baby wipes - another great idea.



These are some other cloths I wove last year in plain weave so the baby wipes will be similar - fairly thin and very soft for baby skin.
The next thing for me to look at is tea towels. I really wasn't happy with my last lot - I think the cotton was too thick, I need specific weaving cotton. 

If you're interested in trying waffle weave on your own rigid heddle, there is a great pattern sequence HERE, look specifically in the comments section for the sequence.
You need one pick up stick but it's very easy to master.

Specifications for my cloths: 
10 ply cotton (warp & weft)
7.5 dpi
60cm rigid heddle loom
Hemstitched on loom.
Wet finished, laid flat to dry.

Linking up with Creative Friday on Natural Suburbia.



Saturday, January 17, 2015

Encouragement

A few days ago I received a letter from my beautiful Nanna who is now in her late 80's. Nanna raised 5 children under financially and emotionally challenging circumstances as her husband went off to war. 
When we began our homeschooling journey 10 years ago she didn't understand and was very skeptical. But over the years, seeing the "proof in the pudding" she has become a great supporter. Her frequent letters never fail to tell me what a marvellous job I'm doing as a wife and mother. This means so much to me.

About the same time as the arrival of Nanna's letter I also received my copy of Above Rubies, an American evangelical magazine I've been subscribed to for many years. When my girls were babies and toddlers and things were really tough, this magazine gave me great encouragement. I only had my husband for support during these years and he had to work a good deal to meet our mortgage and living expenses. Many family members (not all) and other associates looked down on our decision to homeschool and raise our children in our faith, so we were essentially left alone to figure it out for ourselves without support.

Above Rubies is written by mothers, for mothers. It's a sharing of knowledge and experience and although it's not a Catholic magazine I find a lot in common with the mothers featured. Homeschooling, contraception free, faith filled and home grown. Aiming for Heaven and taking others with us. Good stuff. 

The last few issues I hadn't appreciated so much and though I made time to read I didn't feel that I came away with much. But reading this recent edition made me realise something major. I need encouragement. Desperately. When my Nanna - mother to 5 during a depression and war times says that she "really admires me for what I do" it brings tears to my eyes. It means that much.

If you see a Mum struggling in the supermarket or trying to keep her kids quiet during Mass or looking completely frazzled with more kids hanging off her than you can count, ENCOURAGE HER! And if you are a Mum in this situation and no one encourages you, ENCOURAGE OTHERS all the more! You can completely turn a mother's day around with a simple smile and "you're doing a great job" or "keep up the good work". 

Mothers do such an essential and important job that at times can be desperately hard. All it take to help is a little encouragement.