Calling upon our super powers

I have had to call upon my super powers as the new change of pace has really been a shock to my routine. I have gone from groundhog day of everything being the same for two months to working as an educator with 3, 4 and 5 year old little people. Whew it has been exhausting but I know what centres me and makes me happy is crafting while I am away from my studies or work.

Now that I am finished with the garage organisation for our move in 3 months!! I have bags of stuff to donate and have already sold some fabric on Marketplace. My other projects of selling my vintage clothes collection is at my Etsy shop and I soon will be adding my beaded creations below once I have given them a road test when I go to work and see if they are up for the challenge of a day out at work with children.

I have now completed an induction for my part time job and seem to be getting into the swing of getting up early to be at work by 8am. Which is fine as I am a morning person. This beautiful rainbow was created by the kindergarteners at the head office which I knew of the location as it was the end of the train line. The building had a great view of the city in the distance. So this week was a bit crazy and I have been doing extra shifts as a cold has to be treated as COVID and my co-educators have been stuck at home recovering and waiting for their test results – which are negative, whew!!

So while I have been having a nice amount of downtime in between work and cooking amazing seasonal dinners with food from CERES I have been making. I bought some Fimo to make mobiles when in isolation but I later decided I would make some beads and it has been so fun to play with clay again. I really love making the beads and also some earrings with the mix of colours. I reckon they make great gifts and I can also gather up a supply for a local market – yay! I have always wanted to try to combine my textiles crafting with clay and these are the perfect combo to jazz up a winter outfit.

After cleaning out my fabric stash down to one big box, I found this gorgeous cat fabric that I had made into a dress for Miss H and now that she is too big for it I cut it up and pieced it together for a skirt for another year or so I reckon and then it can be passed onto another cat lover!

As I am getting used to this new routine with going to work and time at home, I am making sure that the free time I have now is not wasted so my plan is to needle felt a cardigan in rainbow, do some knitting on the knitting machine, make a spring dress, finish a baby hat for my friend and continue to create with clay. Now that I have dug out my supplies I plan on getting busy and creating for the next couple of weeks before Uni starts up again in the second week of the kids school holidays.

There will be many more opportunities to photograph sand castles, children’s paintings and their creations when I am at work to document my learning on my teaching blog. Documentation and reflection is so important where I am learning so much from the experienced teachers at my work, it is so good to be working again in something I enjoy!

November and all the new things!

I cannot believe it is November already and that Thanksgiving is just around the corner! We will be celebrating in our own way this year and really missing our Thanksgiving get together in Oakland with our good friends. We will have to Facetime with them and share some love.

There were lots of new things happening over the last couple of weeks as my daughter was invited to go ice skating with her class. So, a school friends Dad drove us all to Docklands O’Brien ice rink for the afternoon. It was such a great opportunity to go ice skating! I have roller skated and roller bladed but I have never ice skated. Even when we were in California, we did not get around to it, even though the ice rink was in the next suburb. So my daughter got on the skates and no problem – she was even helping her friends get around. I got on with a very slow start and eventually I felt my balance on the skates and it was so much fun!! We are so looking forward to going ice skating again but at $50 for the two of us, it will only be on special occasions.

I have been volunteering at my daughters primary school to teach sewing to the kids. The art teacher at her school is doing textiles for the last term of school and I am helping out with the kids felt animals. This is what I used to teach the kids when I was in Mountain View California in the parent volunteer led Arts Focus classes. For the kids in years 5/6 we are doing the whole project from scratch where the kids trace their animal onto felt, cut them out, embellish the animal and this week they will be stuffing the animal learning the blanket stitch and whip stitch. It is so good to see how enthusiastic the kids are about the felt animal project. They want to keep the animal for themselves as they did have the option to make them for their prep buddy, instead now that they have practiced their own felt animal they will be given the opportunity to design another smaller one for their buddy.

The other good thing I have been becoming aware of now is the amount of fish that I am not eating. After watching the film Artifishal it has really changed my mind about consuming fish. Not only are fish stocks depleted, the fish farms pollute water, also what I found out on this documentary is that fish hatcheries in America breed fish to be distributed into local rivers where these fish breed with the wild fish. What happens to wild fish is that they become less resilient and disease spreads. This is an interesting site to check out for aquaculture in Australia.

So I have been slowly adding more plant based foods to our meals every day – which means soaking the chick peas, beans and eating lentils – there are so many varieties. There is still goat cheese in my bowls and I am not fully vegan but it is mostly vegetarian we are consuming at the moment. On the left is a couscous BBQ rub baked chick pea bowl with roasted beets and goat cheese. On the right is a deconstructed Japanese hand roll with sushi rice, vegetables, kimchi, and baked Tamari and SMALT BBQ rub tofu topped with Nori and a miso mayo sauce – yummo! Cooking dinner does require a bit of imagination and planning but I am making it work.

The huge excitement for our house is that the carpenters have been real busy and getting the framing in place and the house is starting to take shape even putting the second floor floor joists in as well. When we walked down the alleyway to check out house from the back we saw there was even a wall in place where the laundry and pantry will be. To see all this progress is fantastic and we are surely counting down the days until we move in.

The weather has been crazy here we are out on a balmy 25 degree evening flying the drone at the local park, it was beautiful. But today we have a high of 15 degrees and it is super cold. So the winter coat is still hanging at the front door and the beanie is there too for those cold southerly winds. Have a look at that gorgeous sky, its stunning!

Makers Gonna Make

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Last week I was in a flurry of making for a show with the Mountain View Parents Association on Saturday. It is a new energy of folks so it should be fun and the bonus is that it is at the community centre. I have made a lot of pouches for your glasses plus little coin or credit card purses that fit neatly into your pocket or evening bag. As I was chatting with my son I found this great little tool box he made with the scouts and I bought it off him for my table display. I had some gold spray paint and here it is living a new life holding my handmade goods.

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Some information on the holiday show here that I will be doing this weekend – if you are coming mention this post and get 20% off your total order. Shop local this holiday and support local makers – all good for everyone!

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As I was a bit of a busy bee this week with the sewing and then teaching at the end of the week and then I had to cook as a long lost friend was coming over for dinner – the week was over. Then came the weekend and now I am focussing on my studies!

The pic above is an amazing Green Tea Soba Noodle Salad I made on Thursday.

Ingredients

Green Tea Soba Noodles

Zucchini

Carrot

Watermelon Radish / Radish

Red Cabbage

Chickpeas

Coconut oil

For the chickpeas

Miso

Olive oil

Warm Water

For finishing

Sesame Oil

Method

  1. Cook your green tea soba noodles in boiling water following the packet instructions – I buy a brand from Australia.
  2.  Cut up all your veggies – I like mine raw – add them to a big bowl. Reserving the watermelon radish for finishing the dish
  3. Have your chick peas cooked and ready (use canned chickpeas, otherwise soak them overnight and cook them in a pressure cooker) and in a bowl mix the miso, olive oil and warm water slowly to create a sauce consistency. Add to the chickpeas and coat them in the sauce.
  4. In an iron skillet add some coconut oil and cook the miso coated chickpeas.
  5. Keeping an eye on the roll them around on the skillet until they look cooked – careful they do not burn!
  6. Take the chickpeas off the heat while you are draining the noodles with cold water. Add the drained noodles to the big bowl of vegetables and mix together.
  7. Pour a dressing amount of sesame oil over the veggies and coat them until they are shiny.
  8. Top with the chickpeas and watermelon radish and enjoy!

Such a super easy recipe and great for a weeknight – the prep is what takes the longest. Of course you can sub whatever vegetables you have on hand for any season – all it takes is some imagination!

And to finish my post this week with some inspiration I heard on the radio this morning from a favourite place of mine in the world – Hobart, Tasmania. This little boy is sewing teddy bears for charity and he taught himself to sew, I was so happy to hear this story it gives me hope for all those little fingers I teach sewing that it will not be a lost art after all!