Sunday, December 28, 2008


A present for Livinia's first Christmas

Evie's new sunglasses from Nana & Pa
Pa holding Evie's new Henry the train
Livinia's first waldorf doll, a star child, gifted by Moonchild studio from Etsy
Evie's new wooden stove, with toys being shoved into the oven.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

1 week old

Livinia was one week old yesterday. We're doing pretty well so far, life is very busy though. I picked up conjunctivitis on Monday for the first time in my life (great timing), so have been to the Doctor's twice in 2 days as the first lot of eye drops I had an allergic reaction to. That was not fun. Getting over it now though, and looking forward to Christmas.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Our 2 girls

We're back from hospital, just thought I'd share a pic of Evie and Livinia :)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

It's a girl!

Andrew here! Livinia May Ryan, born 16 December, 2008, weighing 3285g (7lb 4oz), 51cm long. Mother doing well, Evie's still trying to work things out but getting there :)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Our little Christmas tree

This is our little Christmas tree, a potted woolly bush, which is native to Albany, Western Australia. It is called the woolly bush because it feels so soft to touch. It is decorated with 7 Ostheimer angels, it needs a star on top though. Hopefully we'll get a few Christmases out of it before planting it in the garden.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Christmas is coming...

Now it's the first of December, I'm "allowed" to put up Christmas decorations, my eager little helper just wants to play with them all though :) Here's our Ostheimer 'mini' nativity scene, minus the king's animals, hopefully they'll join us next Christmas. Evie is loving all the angels in our house :)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

2 posts in 1 day- this afternoon's efforts

I couldn't resist this cute 'Echino' patchwork fabric with planes on it- Evie loves planes (and boats and trains!) I thought she'd like a "stirt" made from it. There's enough left over for a pair of pants for next year, or whenever she grows out of size 2. I made the skirt big for her to grow into, it is almost down to her ankles! I'm not a fan of little girls in long skirts- just looks like it restricts their movement too much, so she probably won't wear it much this summer. It was super easy to make, being a patchwork print, you just cut out along the lines, and everything's straight. I like a quick project :)

The hedgehog just wanted to be in the photo ;)

One chest of drawers all ready for baby

This is what I've been working on this week- we picked up this raw pine chest of drawers last week we had on lay-buy for the baby's clothes and nappies, Andrew put the first coat of paint on, and I did the next two. I was trying not to paint as I have strange cravings whilst pregnant (smells I think I might like to eat!), and yes, mineral turpentine I am strangely attracted to amongst other things. I didn't drink it though, don't worry :)
So anyway, it's all painted and put back together, so I've started to put all the little socks, bodysuits, nighties, hats, clothes, bibs, nappies etc away, ready for baby's arrival (less than 4 weeks to go!). It seems that this child will not need any more clothes, I have discovered I have way more than I thought, including a lot of gender neutral summer gear that Evie hardly wore. I've just handwashed about a gazillion little tiny tops, bodysuits and nighties that have spew stains on them- you know the stains that aren't there when you store them, but their yellowness comes out over time. I figured it was a good drying day today, with plenty of sunshine to get rid of the stains. They are however, covered in thrip now :) Oh well.
I'm starting to feel more organised now, as I'm almost finished Christmas shopping (and wrapping!), and we got a new car seat for Evie on the weekend, so the baby will have her old seat to come home in. Now all we need is a new pusher for 2, and we're set, but we can get that after the baby is born, as the baby can go in the sling for a while.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Garden Update

What a difference a month makes in the garden! The rainbow chard has gone berserk, and I've had to chop the heads off the coriander twice in the last week. There are 3 roma tomato plants hiding behind the coriander, and they are doing pretty well too. We've just planted zucchini and canteloupe in the lower bed at the front. I've been collecting about 2 buckets of clean water a day from running hot water for face/bum washers, so that's mostly what keeps the vegies alive, the thick layer of mulch really helps too.
Just had to add a self portrait of Evie, she likes to takes pictures when she can get hold of the camera :)

Monday, October 27, 2008

Steiner open day and fair

We went to the Freshwater Creek Steiner school spring fair and open day on Saturday, I'm regretful that we didn't think to take the camera :( There were chooks, calves, sheep & lambs, and a pony that Evie was quite enamoured with, and we were able to have a look around a few classrooms, and market stalls. I was staggered at the amount of fruit trees dotted around the place, and there were plenty of vegie and herb gardens, a real sensory experience for the children who attend the school. It was great to be able to buy the above books in "real life", rather than over the internet, and of course we didn't have to pay postage, a major bonus. Your average book shop doesn't tend to stock books like these, many books on the Steiner book lists are Dutch or German, and have been translated. I hope we can make it there again next year.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Great news

A new study confirming what modern cloth nappy users knew all along...cloth is better for the environment!

A little bit of sewing...

I had a chance and some motivation to do some sewing over the last couple of days, so I made this little pinafore in size 2 , and 2 of the little skirts in size 1-3. They are in my Etsy shop now.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Slowly getting Christmas sorted

This is today's efforts- a Santa sack for the new baby. It is the same design as one I made for Evie 2 years ago, with different fabric. I thought I'd better have a few gifts for the baby- more for Evie's sake as the baby won't know any different. We're planning to get a locally made raw pine toy stove/oven for Evie...that reminds me, I need to go and get some potatoes out of the griller, she was "cooking" before. I'm trying to keep Christmas simple for us this year with the baby due only a few days before, so I'm aiming to buy/make the same gifts for female and male family members. And I've made a start :)

30 weeks pregnant yesterday, 10 to go!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Evie's Spring Lyre

This is Evie's Spring Lyre from Palumba on Etsy, that I bought earlier this year. It is made from cherry wood, and has a beautiful sound (when it's in tune!) It will be great when Evie (and her sibling) can play us a few tunes.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Spring nature table

I finally got into gear and put in the basics for our first nature table (it's only a month into spring:) The blossom is from our flowering cherries (says my nana- we weren't exactly sure what they were), and we had to have a few bunnies for spring, the 3 at the front are Ostheimer, and the one at the back is a finger puppet from Folkmanis. The little fairy at the front right is from haddy2dogs on Etsy. We'll have to see what we can find seed pod/ pine cone wise when we are out walking, to add to the table.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Our productive garden

Evie & Jonty
A garden bed we made last week by ripping up some grass- mandarin and orange trees at the back, and lettuce, tomato, chives, strawberries, silverbeet, carrots and parsley seedlings.
An established and very heavy laden healthy lemon tree.
A start on a native garden
Our berry patch- left to right: blueberry, thornless loganberry, 2 raspberries, and strawberries along the front
Evie pointing to some lettuce
Evie standing between a nectarine tree and a dwarf apple tree

I finally have some photos of our garden, thanks to my dad who brought around some pea straw on the weekend. It's looking a bit prettier now. Evie enjoys being in the garden, as does our cat Jonty who came to live with us now we're back in Geelong. Above is Evie next to our (Bacon variety) Avocado tree.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Originally uploaded by anryan3215
Evie turned 2 today! She got lots of great presents in the morning, then we headed of to Daisy Hill Koala Sanctuary for a look around, and then a picnic lunch. My parents (Evie's grandparents) spent the last 6 days with us, and flew home tonight, so it was good that they got to share her birthday with us. Thank-you to all who sent her cards and presents, she has much to play with/read and wear now! You can view other photos from her birthday through our Flickr link.

Friday, June 20, 2008

How I found Evie's bedroom this morning

I found this picture quite interesting: Evie had found one cloth nappy for each of her 5 dolls in her room. Might be time to make some tiny doll nappies! If only I could find the motivation.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Brown toilet paper :)

This is one of my favourite environmental tips for around the home: use recycled paper toilet paper. You see, if you're going to go to the effort of recycling your papers, bottles, jars, cans and so forth, you also need to close the loop and buy products made from recycled goods. Brown toilet paper is an easy way to get started, it even comes packaged in recyclable brown paper. Recycled paper toilet paper has come along way, it is no longer scratchy, and you can even get it in white and I think peach, if brown doesn't suit your toilet decor :) It's quite cheap too, and Aldi (in Australia) sells it for nearly $1 cheaper for 6 rolls than other major supermarkets. All those trolleys filled with velvety soft, aloe vera infused, gardenia scented, white and printed toilet paper make my stomach churn, people wiping their bums on virgin forests is just not an option these days!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Finally, I'm back

Well it's been nearly a whole month since my last post, sorry about that, I just lost a bit of momentum. You see, I'm expecting our second child just before Christmas this year, so things have been a little slow due to tiredness, and lack of motivation. There have been a few times that I've wanted to post, but our camera is not working at all well, and blog posts without pictures can be a tad boring. So now we're organising a move back to Geelong, we had an offer accepted on a house, but are finding the loan application process a bit stressful. We've had a mortgage before, but we had a mortgage broker when we applied for that loan, which seemed to be much easier and straight forward. So cross your fingers for us please! I can't wait to get back into my own garden and grow fruit and veggies (to help with the rising cost of everything!)

Friday, May 16, 2008

Chicken and vegetable soup

I've been waiting for soup weather for a long time now, it seems I will have to wait a bit longer, as the weather just hasn't cooled down much, it just doesn't feel right. I'm used to the change in seasons, which I really like, I don't at all mind the cold in winter, I much prefer it to the heat of summer. Weird, I know, but I just don't like heat. Anyhow, this is the second batch of chicken and vegetable soup I've made this week. I'll just pretend that it's soup weather. Soup is very handy to have in the fridge, you can get many meals out of it. Good timing too, as Evie has just come down with a cold, and I've been sneezing a bit too. Evie will only eat bits of chicken out of it though (if you're lucky). She's a bit interested in chickens and ducks at the moment, so when I tell her it's chicken soup, she says "Bck bck", I wonder if she thinks about how the chicken got into the soup?

Monday, May 12, 2008

Our little trip

This is the Eastern most point of Australia, at Byron Bay. We had a long weekend holiday there last weekend, we stayed at Lennox Head, about 15 minutes south of Byron Bay. It was a lovely relaxing weekend, we'd never been to that part of Australia, so there was a bit of exploring to be done. We went to a great market in Byron Bay on the Sunday...we might need to go back sometime.
The Cape Byron Lighthouse
Lennox Head
And Evie, who fell asleep just as we pulled into Byron Bay. We gave her Phenergan as she often gets car sick, and were hoping that she would become drowsy and fall asleep for the 2 hour journey, one of the happy side effects of the medicine. Unfortunately she stayed quite alert until the last 5 minutes.

Evie's favourite boxer shorts

Just had to add this pic, Evie has always been drawn to these boxer shorts that I made for Andrew years ago. Not sure if it's the colour, the silkiness, or the mouse and cheese print, but today she wanted to put them on :) Bit big though...

Monday, April 28, 2008

What a view

This is the impressive view from the top of Mt Coot-tha, at sunset on Anzac day.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Just a pic of Evie looking pretty happy with herself, sitting on a side table with her basket of books :) Enjoy!

We love cloth nappies!

This is our clothesline full of cloth nappies in the late afternoon sun. We've been using cloth since Evie was born, and we're really happy with the savings we've made, the environmental benefits, and the most important factor- no yucky chemicals being absorbed by Evie's skin. We have a range of different brands and styles of nappies, at the moment we're mostly using all in ones (good for wriggley toddlers), which are nappies that have a cover built into them. Most of the nappies in the picture are made by the Itti Bitti Nappy Co, but there's also a Tots Bots Bamboozle in there (the yellow one) and as the name suggests, is made from Bamboo fibres. The Itti Bittis are made with either hemp or bamboo absorption layer, with a microfleece liner, and a minkee or PUL outer. We also use Bubblebubs, Swaddlebees, and Baby Beehinds bamboo nappies. It certainly feels good not to have to put a packet of disposable nappies in our trolley every week, they must be very expensive as you can tell when they're on sale- there will be trolleys full of packets or boxes of the things! Sadly, 90% of families use them in Australia though, and that creates enough landfill to fill the MCG 3 times over, every year. Every disposable nappy uses 1 whole cup of crude oil in it's manufacture, and takes up to 500 years to break down. Yuck!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Shoe thief and Hemp sheets

I was ready to catch a bus home after "Babies, books and rhymes" at the library this morning, when I caught a glimpse of Evie in a reflection in a window (she was in a Beco carrier on my back). She was holding something, but I hadn't given her anything. I eventually got her to hand it to me and it was a little shoe- complete with a Myer sticker on the sole. She had just pinched it from Myer, and we made it out the door with no-one knowing! I didn't have time to take it back, but I will when I get the chance.
This second (rather dark) photo is of fresh hemp sheets just put on our bed. I love hemp sheets, and I'm testing them out to see how long they last. We've had organic cotton ones in the past, but still managed to put a toe through them after only a couple of years, so thought we'd try hemp. Well, 55% hemp, 45% organic cotton, for a bit of extra softness. They are quite thick, but will soften with age. Hemp sheets are environmentally sustainable as they are said to last a very long time due to strong fibres, hemp requires very little water and no pesticides to grow, and the ones we bought were packaged in a cardboard box, with absolutely no plastic.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Handmade toys and turkish delight

I've had a bit of a forced blogging break due to technical difficulties with our card reader- can't blog without pictures...and Mum's visiting at the moment, so it's a little busier around here. Andrew wanted me to blog about his Turkish delight- he made it himself! And it's rather delicious, not bad for a first attempt. I can see many more batches being made in various flavours.
I thought I'd also share a photo of some of the softies I've made over the last year. From left to right is a Moopy (like a rabbit) designed by Nest studio, a dolly inspired by Hop Skip Jump toys (they always sell out within seconds of being listed on Etsy, so I don't have much chance of buying one!) and a "Little Kitty" designed by Melly and Me. I've made 8 Little Kitties so far, the pattern is really easy for such cute results. There's still a fair bit of work in them though. I just like picking out fabrics to make their little dresses in :) Oh, and I guess I made that little softie on the left, her name is Evie and I like to dress her too!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

My current favourite books

I read 'Beyond the Rainbow Bridge' over Christmas, and have just finished 'You are your child's first teacher', and I'm so glad I did. I'm not a fan of parenting manuals, but these ones make sense to me, and fit in well with my personal philosophies. They have helped me to understand Waldorf philosophies on home life and education for the child, what the child really needs, rather than what society tells us the child needs. It worries me that children are being pushed into academics at younger and younger ages, being taught to read and write before they are developmentally ready, like it's some race. There's no evidence to show that this benefits the child, but there is evidence quite the contrary to show that it can be detrimental to their education down the track. While it is possible to teach these things to small children, it doesn't mean that we should. Waldorf philosophy states that we need to wait until the intense period of bodily growth is completed (at the change of teeth, around age 7) until concepts are taught. In the meantime, we need to let them play, watch us go about our daily tasks, and imitate what they see in the world around them, which helps them to process it in their minds. The world is a new place for them, their is so much to absorb, we don't need to be overstimulating them. They are children for such a short time, and adults for (hopefully) a very long time, there's no hurry to grow up!
So I highly recommend these books to any new parents or grandparents, they are definitely books I will keep coming back to.

I just had to add that I took the photo of the books on our NEW dining table! It finally arrived yesterday after 4 months of waiting, I put 3 of the legs on, but couldn't get that last pesky little one on, so Andrew had to save the day when he got home from work :)

Monday, March 31, 2008


Evie recently learnt how to say "Dolly", so I thought I'd share some photos of her Waldorf dolls. The 3 sitting in a row are from Little Jenny Wren on Etsy, and they have flown over from Launceston In Tasmania. The one in the middle is a cushion doll, and the other two are 12" dolls. I love that they have hand knitted singlets and knickers, as with Waldorf philosophy, children must be kept warm so that their internal organs can develop properly, so the dollies need to be kept warm too. I made their clothes.
The baby in the cradle is from Oak Way on Ozebaby. I bought the cradle from the local flea market and painted it white, as it was painted in purple and cream, with Minnie mouse stickers on it when I bought it (yuck!). I made a little mattress to go under the doll, but I've yet to make her a quilt or blanket.
Waldorf dolls are made from natural fibres, cotton for skin, with pure wool stuffing so they hold the warmth of the child. They have minimal facial features, so the child can imagine it to be happy, sad, angry etc, rather than being in a fixed emotion. This way the doll can be the child's alter ego, and he or she can express themselves through the doll. So it's equally as important for boys to have boy dolls.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

We went walking again today, same track as last week, but wanted to see where the track ran out. It ran out about 10 metres from where we stopped last week. We took some photos this time, the first one is the man-made lake, the second is of Evie trying to escape from the pusher. We checked out the farmer's market at West End yesterday on my brother's recommendation, it was pretty good. I was getting a bit sick of our local one, as it appears that many of the stallholders just go to central markets and buy fruit & veg to sell on to the consumer- we bought a bag of carrots only to find after we'd returned home, that they were grown in Tasmania. Now that's a loooong way from Brisbane, a few too many food miles accumulated for my liking. So anyway, we'll be going back to the real farmer's market in West End from now on methinks. Andrew was a little put off by a male recorder player at the market (who claims to be a gypsy), who played very deliberately at children going by. I quite liked it though. Other than that, I've just been baking more hot cross buns (I know, Easter's over!), and banana walnut muffins (Evie loves them), and doing a little sewing for my Etsy shop, and making myself some pyjama pants.