All is fine

I hope you are enjoying this first days of summer the way we are, all four of us. After two hospital/rehabilitation months and a lot of mama-recovery, I wanted to let you know we’re doing so very well. Not such a recent pic, but one I really love, one of being at home, and sibling love.

See you soon!

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Oil cleansing, day three, and preparations

Yesterday I had a night out (!!!) and didn’t feel like cleansing at night. You know, mothers of young children combined with being overly sleep deprived going to a cafe at night. I drank a looot of coffee before I went there, but, well.. I was kinda tired when I reached my bed at one.. Might be getting old, hah :-).
But I did cleanse this morning. It was a good feeling after this (ridiculously short) long night out, to have a little beauty moment in the morning kinda made my day. I don’t have any tense feelings anymore at day three. I’m quite surprised, really. And no nasty unwelcome spots arise in my face, thank you very much.

I finished the pajama pants this morning! I made the ‘basic pocket pants’ from -again- ‘growing up, sew liberated’, by Meg McElwee, eliminated the pockets but kept to the pattern. I like the result.

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He put the whole thing on and it was just so adorable! He loves the animals. It’s a Robert Kaufman fabric, I fell in love with it and paid for it with my eyes closed. Only at home I saw the name and it got clear to me, why I fell in love: it’s just really good quality, with very bright colors. Easy to iron, no fraying. What’s not to love?

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Then I finished the last thing on my list: a toiletry bag. I improvised on this one, I didn’t have a pattern. Last summer I made myself a toiletry bag, and now made a different one for my boy. The size is exactly right to get his shampoo fit, and new toothpaste and toothbrush are packed. Tomorrow morning at 7:30 he needs to be in the hospital, and the examinations will start. It will be a busy day, and last preparations will be made. Friday morning we’ll bring him to the operation room. We are a little.. Tensed.. But he will be fine. He’ll have to, having all the animals watching over him!

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The big frog cuddly (handmade! Whoop whoop!) was a present he got in daycare today. We wanted life to be as normal as possible for him, and he loves to be there and play with his friends. We are very grateful they were accepting a child like him, he has a carer that’s there only for him, to look after him and is free to stay with him in case of emergency. It has never happened, but we feel very safe. Anyway, she told me they gave him a present with the group today, and if I thought he would be allowed to bring it with him in the hospital. She had a hard time saying bye today. I thought it was just the most wonderful thing to see. Everybody loves him. It is giving us a lot of strength.

Oil cleansing day two, and other things

This was the second oil cleansing day! I really love the feeling after the treatment, it is unbelievable! I had some problems removing all of the oil yesterday night though, I need to take care of the eyes and hairline parts. It feels very heavy if there are any oil residues. In the morning, only use a towel and some hot water to steam the night away. My skin is a little tense afterwards, so I just dip my fingers I the oil and put a little on, then I’m fine for the whole day. I have a very dry skin at the moment, so I think about changing to almond oil as my secondary oil. Anyone has experience with it? I already think that, after two treatments, my skin is less dry. I might just have to give it a little more time..

I’ve been spending hours in my studio the last couple of days (I have a studio!!! Since this summer, but I finished renovating in November, then it got too cold and too much to do, so I didn’t really use it yet – until now!) sewing for my kids. At Monday Sara will have a dress up party and she wants to be a princess (almost done!), and this Friday will be the next open heart surgery of out little hero, so he needs new pajamas. Here’s the shirt, I made it today:

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I used Meg’s pattern ‘heartwarming reversible baby sweatshirt’ from her book ‘growing up sew liberated’ to get the pattern for the main pieces, but didn’t make it reversible, added two inches length at the bodice part for my tall boy, and added straps on the front side instead of having a part of fabric to go at the back of the child, which would mean some toddler throwing after surgery, which I wanted to, well, NOT do. Having little satin bands at each side, we can put this on laying flat, and open it quickly when the doctors come in to examine.
He loved it so much, he didn’t want to take it off.

The trousers are going to be finished tomorrow, they’ll have to, since that’s my last day. He’ll get it at Thursday morning, op at Friday morning very early. Give him a nice thought, please! He’s the best!

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Oil cleansing and ripping

There has been lots and lots of ripping. An almost finished dress for me (too wide), and this one..

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And many, many new knitting and sewing projects are on!

Do you know the oil cleansing method? I had to start immediately after reading about it. Yesterday evening was the first time, and I didn’t have canola oil at home. I took sunflower oil only and I was amazed. I will buy canola tomorrow and see what happens. Day one: lovely feeling, no tension whatsoever, feeling clean and fresh.

Hope you’re all doing well!

A little birthday, a little late

Good, that’s kind of understatement. The birthday was big. For her. She loved it, she was so happy to have her friends over to play, and eat pancakes. Though this was July, now that we are moving inwards again, the real value of my birthday present to her is shown. They are playing everyday in their tent, calling it an Indian tent, or a train, or a bed, or whatever. I think, giving her this for her birthday was a good thing for both of the kids. They just love hiding, don’t they?

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It’s the Hideaway Play Tent from the book Growing Up, Sew Liberated by Meg McElwee. It really is a fantastic book. I want to make everything!

And when I was cleaning up and tidying the house to prepare for (dare I say this word already?) Winter, this is what I found and hung on the wall above Saras bed. It was above mine from birth on. Isn’t it lovely? It’s made by my mothers best friend. I love it so.

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How to make calendula salve

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Here, Calendula is still in full bloom. It’s adding a lovely color to the falling red leaves.
Last year, I made Calendula salve, and we loved it so. It made little wounds and ouchies disappear. And the cardiologist of the little one was so amazed about the invisibility of his scar (I used it twice a day and the wound healed so fast!), that I have to say: Calendula is just a fantastic little flower.
Now that we know the second surgery is going to be anytime soon, I wanted to make sure to have a new batch of orange goodness on hand. And, of course, for all the daily life scratches and wind damaged lips and cheeks, after a good autumn walk. So here we go: a little tutorial for you, so you can join me in making this (did I mention Very Easy) salve!

First, you must take a walk (with the kids! they love it!) and pick up some Calendula flowers. Back home, put the flowers on the table, and put your kids to work. My 18-months-old worked just as hard as his 3-year-old sister, to take off every single orange leave and put them in a bowl. You can pour yourself a cup of tea now..

Cover the leaves with oil. I used olive oil. But mix it up, if you like. Let it sit for a week, shake once a day.
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Now we get back to work! Cute kitchen help is recommended. If you don’t have any, don’t worry. It will be fine.
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Put the leaves/oil mixture in a saucepan. The kitchen help can do the Very Important Job of stirring very, very well.
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Heat it up slightly. You don’t want to fry the leaves (you would never, ever do that, would you? I can tell you, it smells horrible, believe me. And now just don’t do it..), just to warm them up. I just put my finger in regularly, to check the temperature. When I notice it’s getting almost too warm for that, I turn the heat off.

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This is a picture by Sara, trying her best with the camera. I’m there (hello!), mixing it all up with a hand blender (do you see -hah, do you see anything?- my hand? I was injured. And wrapped in by a doctor to my elbow. In knitting season. Need to say more?).

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Now we need to strain. I took a little cotton bag and put it on a tea filter holder. Don’t know why my camera was so strange. Couldn’t get a proper picture. Oh wait, wasn’t there a kitchen helper that took pictures?

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Oh right! Cleaning the lens makes sense! So: filter the mixture, and squeeze all the oil out. You will be left with just a little bit of pulp, and a lot of orange juice.
Now, put it back on the stove and add a little beeswax. Heat it up just enough to make the wax melt. Stir, and put a little drip on a plate. Let it cool, and try the consistency. Add more beeswax if it’s still too soft/fluid.

Pour it in a little glass jar when still warm, and let cool. And then: start using it! Because it is an all-natural, homemade and inexpensive salve, my kids are allowed to take salve themselves.. They are so happy to have their own little jar!
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