Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Clomanders - homemade Christmas decorations

Ingredients for making Clomanders ( cloves and mandarins )

- soft mandarins
- cloves
- cinnamon sticks
- wire
- a fir twig

- cut the mandarins on 4 sides
- 2 small (not too deep cuts next to each other )

- in the uncut gaps pierce cloves in a row

- through the soft middle on one side pierce a piece of wire to come through near the middle if the other side

- wire wrap a piece of cinnamon stick with the looped wire ... then pierce through again to meet the wire at the beginning ( make sure to cut a long enough piece of wire )

- attach a little twig of a fir tree by looping the wire around it before connecting both ends by twisting

- voila ... sweet smelling Clomanders for the festive season

.... our Clomanders drying out in front if the fire

Sunday, November 28, 2010

advent table decoration

... there has always been something special about the advent in me... the beginning of a time of reflection... family connection and a celebration of beautiful things hidden in the loss off apparent beauty ...

The making of the advent table decoration ... the gathering of evergreens, leftover berries , the winding of the holly with a sprig of Holly.. the lighting of the first candle with a glow of anticipation ... a family tradition long honoured and passed down today ...

off to gather some evergreens

and a few rosehip berries

filling a basket with some soil

adding 4 pillar candles

arranging some spruce twigs

adding some ivy leaves

weaving in some Holly and a centre bowl of quartz crystals

lighting the first candle of advent


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

catch a fish , he said

An invitation to follow the illusion, extended by a young man who supervises the pattern pod in the science museum ... " Try and catch a fish " , he said , " It is late in the day and they will all be tired " ...

First tentatively ...

then with gusto and the whole body Maya leapt about in the floor chasing lifelike images of swimming goldfish .. every time she touched the floor the " water rippled" ... an illusion in and off itself as one could feel nothing else but the hard floor ... yet the eyes perceived swimming fish, and watery ripples ..

At first we thought there must be a touch sensor underneath the image that reacted to pressure and in turn make the water ripple ..

It took us a little while to observe that even without touch and by merely interrupting the projection of the light flow ... the water rippled and the fish swam into the opposite direction .

The suggestion , to catch a fish, had led us down a perceived path, easily, blindly, predictably followed ... and we could have stopped there, if not the nagging thoughts " What if " and " How come " had made their presence known..

Today I am grateful that we are homeschooling and have the luxury of time, time to throw our whole body into a curious investigation


Monday, November 8, 2010

10 .. double digits

My babe is 10 ... 10 whole years of fun and frolics, shared joy and laughter ... an incredible journey of growth , remembrance and love, sheer unconditional love ..

started by the stroke of midnight underneath big Ben ...

.. til early morning happy birthday cakes in bed

motion ... always in motion from the tiniest toe to the quiver of a hair ....

Saturday, November 6, 2010


we almost forgot ... and luckily spotted a lonely pumpkin at the bottom of a big basket that needed rescuing ... Halloween and a Samhain feast just wouldn't be so
much fun at the bottom , lonely and unlined now , would it !

scooped out ... but something is missing ...

ahhh that's better :)

what goes well with pumpkin ... homegrown freshly harvested potatoes ...

yum .. potato and pumpkin soup

a mello- lantern ... babe felt the melon wanted a piece of the action too ... so melon smoothies here we come ...


Museum of Childhood

The beautiful architectural front of the Museum of Childhood in London

We had fun at all the little hands on sections in the museum in the museum of childhood in London

They have lots of temporary exhibitions too .... Paper Cut Fold is on until January

Maya enjoyed a little Victorian dressing up playing in the make believe kitchen :)

- yeah , wooden rocking horses for bigger kids , come on old stead :)

- The Tale of the dragon who though he was a Highland Cow

- I loved the black and White Punch and Judy Puppet Boxes and so did Maya. Again it was great that they had one which larger kids could fit in to ... even though nearly 10 ... Maya still loves slipping into all the little games

- trying to make the gear connections connect so that in turn the robot will "come alive"

As we were trying as part of Maya's 10th birthday weekend, to find some museums and fun places we had not been to before , The Museum of Childhood was on our list

It us part of the Victoria and Albert Museum albeit located in Bethnal Green , not Kensington

A smallish museum but great little pockets oh hands on sessions as well as regular free arts and crafts sessions in the afternoon ... babe enjoyed making magicians hat with a pop out rabbit

- tower building in process

Maya was all inspired by the various Victorian mechanical toys on display and we will live to return here, sketchbooks in hand fir a but of inspiration for our design studies ....