Friday, July 29, 2016

History of Analgoue TV

Recently our whole family went out to the Open Day at Wireless Hill, had a look at their exhibition.  We discovered that they regularly do talks on technology, and Damien took Willow, Gabriel and Arden to have a look at their TV exhibition and hear about the history of analogue TV.

One of the first TVs made, from an oscilloscope.  Apparently DIY from a hobby magazine.

View from Wireless Hill

Ending our Break

We are finally at the end of our winter break, and as usual part of me is a bit sorry, and part of me is looking forward to our usual routine.  I am feeling quite satisfied that I have managed to get through most of my sewing pile!  There are a few things still sitting there, but it is significantly reduced.  I haven't finished Irving's jammies yet, so I think I'll be focusing on them next.  I also purchased some vintage style stockings from What Katie Did,  I'm hoping the quality will be nice, as Leona Edmiston no longer make stockings it seems.

We've spent a bit of time cooking this week, as well as sewing and reading.  Willow discovered that she's been accepted into a role on a youtube series, so she was very excited about that, and Gabriel has spent half the week planning for a Games Workshop tournament this weekend.  We've also been having family music nights, and reading the bible.

Making custard

Vanilla custard and Chocolate and nutmeg custard
One of Gabriel's miniatures.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Why Do You Dress the Way You Do?

Damien's Ted X talk is online.  :)
Why Do You Dress the Way that You Do?
A discussion of creativity within one's family.

Gender Equality in Education and Life

Gender equality in education is something that I feel very strongly about.  The first time I remember reading this as an idea, was in regards to Steiner curriculum, where an article I was reading discussing that the curriculum  involved all children learning all skills.  So girls learnt woodwork and boys learnt to knit.  This applied to all sorts of skills; including metalwork, crocheting, etc.  I loved this idea, everyone having an opportunity to try and learn a skill that is useful to life and that they may discover they love. At this point in time, I had two children aged about 1 and 3, and I was starting to develop a relationship with cooking.

 I moved out of home aged 21 and was a useless home maker.  Children being involved in caretaking their living environment was not encouraged in my family and I could cook a bare minimum- I could scramble and fry eggs, make french toast, make pancakes and bake.  Maybe there were a few other skills in there, but they mostly involved cans.  I didn't have the patience to cook 2 minute noodles properly.

So this complete education idea appealed because I felt everyone should be able to take care of themselves.  Going to an all girls' school that valued academics, home making skills had been rejected; girls were as capable as boys!  And whilst this is a fabulous attitude; it should also be noted, that boys are as capable as girls!  So the idea of an education that would teach both genders to be balanced and capable and caring for themselves and others appeals to me.

This was one of the reasons that we headed towards a Steiner education whilst living in the UK.  Along the way, I learnt to be a home maker in a whole sense, as did Damien.  Damien could cook when we met, I was better at cleaning, but not keen to do it! And between the two of us, we made a comfortable home life.  Damien cooked and I cleaned, usually.  However, when we had kids, my lack of food preparation abilities became more and more evident and combined with family health issues I started to take an interest in food.

For us now this is great, but really I should have learnt this as a child/young person, and IMO the same can be said for any basic caretaking skills.  Sewing buttons on, bike maintenance, basic woodwork, cooking, cleaning, etc.  People need to know how to care for themselves in their environments, and the idea that a woman or a man needed to be around to help the opposite gender is just ridiculous!

Due to this equality in education in the Steiner setting we were in, in Scotland, we saw children playing and acting and creating regardless of gender.  Some boys and girls liked dresses and princesses, some liked dragons and princes, some liked pink,blue, green, yellow.  There were far few boundaries around what was accepted for their gender.  This was beautiful, kids were liking things because the thing spoke to them, not because it was what "boys did" or "girls did".  Just because they could.  At home having a daughter and son, and very little media (no TV and only occasional film watching), our children flourished playing all sorts of games sometimes violent, sometimes delicate.  Gabriel loved being able to wear kilts.  He dressed as a fairy.  Willow did the things no-one wonders at any more, she wore pants.  She climbed and hammered things, and built. Willow and Gabriel both getting dressed up in fancy clothes to go out. Both genders trying both things. 

In our home now, this is totally a way of life.  I must admit Damien and I were already like it from the start.  I'm quite a masculine woman and Damien is quite a feminine man.  He expresses his soft side and I express my harder side.  (Generally I'm a bit suspicious of the women and men that are unable to do this.) Everyone tries everything, and everyone is valued for what they themselves offer in our home.

Arden and Irving in their sequin t-shirts from the "girls" range in Zara.  (Who said boys don't like sparkles?)

Friday, July 22, 2016


We've been a bit stressed out around here, though mostly that has been DH, the last few weeks.  I suggested that he do a TedX talk on creativity, since as a family we get a bit of interest around our presentation.  So he made a submission; “Creative expression starts with connection and the support to express yourself. Connection and support starts with the family”.  Shortly after he received a "yes".  Then he progressively got more and more stressed, til it all came together on the day.  So the week before around here, it was not a relaxing place to be.  This is his blog with his experience.

Willow and Gabriel went to hear all the talks, but since Irving is still a bit little I snuck into the Lawrence Wilson Gallery, with Arden and Irving, at UWA to hear Damien and then snuck out again.  I'm glad we went to hear it, but Irving was a bit chatting during it; particularly when Damien came out to speak, and he yelled, "DADDY!"  Fortunately it didn't put Damien off. Irving, Arden and I spent some time exploring the beautiful gardens around UWA afterwards.

The grounds at UWA

Mostly I've been working through getting through my sewing pile this week, taking in some clothes, with the help of a new book that I picked up, "The Sewing Bible for Clothes Alterations" by Judith Turner.   We've also caught up with friends, and continued reading "Little House on the Prairie", Willow, Gabriel, Damien and I went to a workshop by the Rich Dad, Poor Dad group and Gabriel, Willow and Damien went to see WA Opera perform "The Elixir of Love".

Willow has gotten back into her school work this week, and had an audition, for a youtube series, which she was happy with.  We've been gradually catching up on our feedback/meeting sessions with her, since the busy perfomance season.

It's been rather rainy this week, but we've just had a sunflower open on our balcony, and Irving and Arden have been nibbling our cherry size tomatoes that are ripening.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Winter birthday

Our Irving turned 3 just over a week ago, and we had a few friends around to celebrate the occassion.  Irving had a wonderful time, especially getting involved in baking.  We made him a love bar cake, taken from my Pret-a-manger cook book.  Was a bit sweet, but fun for the day.

 Recently I picked up some corduroy to make Irving some pants.  Gabriel is thinking of making cords when he learns to use the sewing machine, so I thought I'd do some for Irving.  He had a very old pair of cords from Target early 2000's, the style of which I love for little kids (none of the skinny fit unplayable rubbish, that is everywhere).  Since the pants were almost worn through, I cut them up and used them as a guide for my pattern and created these.  They were sewn on the selvedge, as I'm thinking that I'd like to work towards making some selvedge jeans for Gabriel.

Nice big angled pockets based off some vintage inspired pants that I have from Miss Fortune.

Pockets on my jeans.

Back pocket detail.

 Selvage seam.

I also made myself a very basic gingham top, out of a remnant piece that I picked up cheaply recently.   

The tie and buttons don't match as well as I would like, but I was just using scraps I had lying around.  The buttons were out of my collection of buttons from my Grandma.

Irving and I did some croissant baking for the weekend.  Though he made some very uncroissant type shapes this time :D

We freshened up the left over ones on Sunday for brunch, by toasting them with ham and cheese.