Our First Ever Diwali

We have a little friend from India staying with us right now.

So we decided to celebrate our first ever Diwali – the Indian festival of light.

The kids made tea light holders out of clay…

Learnt about the story of Rama and Sita…

And compared different images of Ravana, the ‘demon king’…

And finally, after painting our clay light holders, we arranged them on the table…

And had a delicious dinner of chicken and coconut curry, and coloured basmati rice…

It’s fun to discover different festivals!

A Daffodil Maze

The leaves are quickly falling now, and there’s lots of raking to be done…

But before all the leaves fall, and the morning frost draws in, I wanted to plant some bulbs…

And to plant them in a spiral – lots of them – a few hundred…

Why?

Well, I wanted to plant a daffodil maze – because two out of four of my children just LOVE mazes!

I’m not sure if it will work, or if I’ve planted enough bulbs – but someone enjoyed the autumn leaves…

… AND it seems, posing for the camera! ๐Ÿ™‚

Conker Webs And Conker Creatures!

We’ve got a LOT of conkers round here! ๐Ÿ™‚

And we’ve been making conker creatures …

(just use a skewer to make holes in the conker, stick in tooth picks, and add eyes with glue)

And conker webs….

Your web looks wonderful hanging in a window!

Since taking this photo we’ve even got an orange and black one -great for Halloween! ๐Ÿ™‚

Added 23rd October : Take a conker (the seed from a horse chestnut tree), and use a sharp thin tool such as a strong needle to make eight holes in the conker (see first pic above for where) which will then have toothpicks stuck in. Take a piece of wool – around ten centimetres is a good length – and tie to a one of the toothpicks, nearest the conker. Weave this wool around each toothpick in turn (see second pic above) until you come to the end of the piece of wool, which you then knot on to the nearest toothpick. Continue this with other pieces of wool, the colour of your choice, until there is no more space left on the toothpicks. If liked, trim off the sharp end of the toothpick with scissors. Hang up with another piece of wool threaded through the top of a segment of the web – as above!

‘Pretty Good Potions’ – Professor Snape Style!

Right now our oldest is in to ‘Harry Potter’.

He is presently reading book three in Swedish –ย and I am reading book two to him , in English.

He insists he doesn’t get confused! ๐Ÿ™‚

And he insists that I took on the role of Professor Snape – in ‘ potions class’….

We picked chives, rosemary, parsley and mint from the garden…

…. and some dried herbs, some dried chili, some chopped orange peel, some pepper and some garlic from inside.

(Of course we had olive oil, and vinegar.ย And jars with lids.)

We made garlic oil…

(Keep in fridge for 2 days)

We made herb vinegar…

(Leave in a dark cupboard for 10 days)

And then it was time for Leon’s homemade version!

DELICIOUS!

And the verdict?

“Every time you need one of these dressings, ask me to do it “

I think Professor Snape may be on to something! ๐Ÿ™‚

Unusual Things To Do With Leaves

Autumn has arrived.

The leaves are turning fantastic colors, and there’s a wealth of wonderful things to collect and explore!

We’ve been finding, identifying and matching leaves…

(Idea originally from here, but made to suit our environment)

We’ve been using leaves to make our own forests….

And we’ve been threading leaves….

(Right now Alfie has an obsession with the hole punch – there’s a lot of ย ‘caterpillars’ in our garden!)

Taking photos of leaves…

(That’ll be Alfie again!)

And we’ve been using finger paint, glue and tissue paper to make an autumn leaf collage…

Let’s welcome Autumn 2011!