special lovelies for special teachers
Oh the busyness! Oh the exhaustion! Oh the nerve-wrackingness of not being able to boot this silly little laptop up for a whole week. Oy!
The last week has seen us finish up school for the year, travel to Brisbane, finish packing Mum’s house, experience the franticness of the big moving day, say au revoirs (not goodbyes!) that were tinged with lots of sadness to those we love in Brisbane, journey down Australia’s glorious east coast, stopping at all our favourite places along the way … and every night, I pulled this here little laptop out of my bag and tried to boot her up. Nothing. Well, not nothing. Each night as I lifted her screen I was greeted by the grey boot up screen with a never ending beach ball. Thankfully, I was too tired and otherwise occupied to gnash my teeth and wail.
But now, here we are in our favourite seaside village and tonight, Abby plugged in this temperamental wee electronic lass … she thought and churned and thought and churned and after a loooooooong wait, finally graced us with her presence. Phew! There’s some serious back upping in order.
For now, melodrama aside, I have some end of year prettiness to share … the teachers’ presents. This year, for those who taught Abby and the ever-so-lovely Bob who supervises the pedestrian crossing – homemade fruit mince pies. Hannah, Abby and I chopped and cooked the fruit – a medley of sultanas, raisins, currants and prunes combined with lemon zest, lemon juice, grated apple and a whole bunch of grated wee dutch carrots, with a hearty helping of brown sugar, maple syrup and enough rum to satisfy the booziest pirate. We filled 4 jars and left them to sit for a few weeks until it was time to whip up some pastry (almond pate brise), fill the cases and bundle them up in cellophane and narrow gold ribbon.
For those special teachers Abby adored … Mrs. Horgan (english), Mrs Walker (homeroom, music and r.e.) and Mrs. … ( oh dear, forgotten her name, the lovely Japanese teacher) we made special gifts. And I completely forgot to photograph the finished patchworked and quilted cushion (Mrs. Japanese teacher) and only have this “in progress” shot of the quilted blanket for Mrs. Horgan (it is the quilt I pieced a few months back, remember?) …
However, I was so utterly smitten with Mrs. Walker’s present … a needle felted St. Lucy (a kit from that exquisite Dutch needlefelting company De Witte Engel via the scrumptious Winterwood Toys) that I took plenty of photos – couldn’t stop actually :-)
And then offered to let Abby choose any hand stitched item from our home to give Mrs. Walker so that I could keep St. Lucy. She refused. Such a bummer. I shall have to make another one.
I know this a bit big-headed but isn’t she just gorgeous! You wouldn’t believe how soft she is. Oh all I wanted to do was rub my cheek against her glorious skirt :-) Look at that skirt – the texture is divine. I started off following the instructions … can you imagine that the only bit of non wool in her is a week pipe cleaner for her arms! But soon deviated. I’m a bit useless at following instructions. They called for something truly confusing for the skirt so I cast the instructions aside and made it the same way I made the pumpkin mama. As for her hair – there didn’t seem to be the required wool in the kit for the hair, so I used wool from my stash (oh yes, I am now growing and nurturing a wool-for-needle-felting stash!) I rouged up her cheeks with a soft pastel, added a red ribbon sash to her waist, and felted some wee red flowers and green leaves into a wreath for her hair.
Have I told you how much I adore needle felting!!! Oh how I do. It’s incredibly satisfying creating something so very substantial from long locks of wool and almost nothing else. I’m so hoping that Father Christmas has some sweet needle felting lovelies for my stocking :-)
And the teachers? Yep, they loved their presents – just as much as we loved making and giving them.