Halloween the best time of the year

For the last four weeks my daughter and I attended a Girls Leadership workshop at the school I worked at last year. The new art teacher had set up a lovely area for knitting and fibre arts with an invitation for the kids to enjoy when they are in the hall, the weaving was made from two branches with hooks and string and designed so the kids can add their finger knitting to make a pattern – a very cool idea!

The workshop was empowering for me but hopefully, Missy will get something out of it eventually. Being 10 years old is difficult and if your friends are not so keen the influence rubs off and its all over, so she found it boring. Whereas I found it enlightening with using the tools below to help with kiddo conversations.

IMG_5049

I think these skills are universal especially with my kids who are 10 and 13 and sometimes there is a power struggle with wanting independence, I highly recommend these workshops for anyone who has girls.

On Wednesday it was my favourite time of the year – Halloween! I wore my owl costume from last year which earned me the costume prize at my dance class, which was cool 😀 My teacher went as a sailor lady and it was so fun to see everyone dressed up and dancing. I thank Joan’s class for the excitement of getting dressed up for Halloween as it was encouraged year after year and once I finally scored a sewing machine that’s when the magic happened!

Missy was a hummingbird for Halloween as you can see in the wings, she did not want a mask or a beak. We made the skirt and she glued on all the sequins and she helped sew the wings onto the blue top. Here is a barn cat from the ranch where the chickens live, one of the other kids told us this cats mama was killed by a coyote so this cutie is all alone and the humans are super protective of him by locking him away in his cage when they have completed their farm chores.

Finally, the time was right for trick or treating in the evening and we went to my daughter’s friends place where they were playing a bunch of videos on a loop such as Thriller, This is Halloween, Macarena and a song from The Greatest Showman. The kids scored a lot of candy and I even scored some for Ash who was away in Yosemite for Halloween, thanks so much G’s family!

Thursday we had our second week of Arts Focus and had decided to limit the direct instruction and just get the kids working after their big night of eating sugar and staying up late trick or treating. We managed to get these cool yarn octopuses made and the kids just loved making them but I had to make a new tutorial video due to the difficulty of following the YouTube vid we had found. Check out our new one and make your own.

A piece a week – Making with the kids, crafting without the internet

I wanted to post the crafts the kiddos and I were working on when we were in the cabin in the woods. There was no access to the outside world so I could not post while we were there, which was fine! Amazing what you can achieve when there is no internet to distract you 🙂 We made embroidered photographs with embellishments. The idea was from an Etsy tutorial using vintage postcards.

Embroidered photos with sequins
A sequin goat and lichen in the snow
A glam marmot and mustang and sunset by the kids

I have a few select pics that caught my eye from the 1000 or so pictures that I still have to edit from our trip to Lassen Volcanic Park and Mt Shasta.

Kids making a cairn by the creek at Eddy Creek Retreat
Oh Deer
Hummer in action!
Jump in the lake! 
Junior Rangers doing their pledge
Talking to the birds via a stuffed talking bird
Reflection lake with Lassen Peak in and Brokeoff Mountain
Mt Shasta and the lavender
Lilypond lake
Mc Arthur Burney Falls – just incredible!
The yurt where we stayed, oh so relaxing!!

Going home – the UCSC Arboretum

A pink flower complete with ants
Bottlebrush seeds – a favourite from my home garden

A protea – the bees just love these!

Poker flowers from Western Australia

We have had a taste of spring of late and we enjoyed a whole weekend of sunshine on the first weekend in March. As we had been busy on the weekends doing house and garden stuff we took a day trip to the UCSC Arboretum for their annual hummingbird day. What a splendid day it was with the sun shining it’s warmth down on us while we wandered the gardens looking for the elusive hummingbird. I can understand the disappearance of the hummingbirds as the day got hotter I enjoyed a bit of shade myself as well.

So the kids ended up making their own hummingbirds and we used them as props in the photos 🙂 The highlight of the day was the collection of plants here – they are from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. It was like walking around at home in Australia except there were many flowers that I had only seen in books and it was just wonderful to see them in a garden in California growing profusely. The bees just love the flowers too and we all want to keep the bees happy pollinating away! So many flowers that I had never seen before as they grow on the West coast of Australia. I am from the East coast and there were so many familiar flowers that I had grown up with, I loved being there and I am looking forward to going back again one day. There are more pictures of the photoshoot here