Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Inspired - Roald Dahl

Roald Dahl in his chair in the writing shed at the bottom of the garden

This week marks the birthday of one of the greatest storytellers of our time, Mr Roald Dahl (1916 - 1990).
Pronounced Roo-ahl, he was named after a famous Norwegian polar explorer.

Roald Dahl was not only an incredibly imaginative author, he was also an inventor.
When his infant son was injured in a freak accident he utilised his creative mind to help create a new medical valve that would reduce the pressure in his sons brain, thus saving him.

The world that he created in his children's book is one that I keep very close to my heart.
My favourite book as a child was George's Marvelous Medicine, and now that I am revisiting his books with my own children my favourite it Danny, the Champion of the World.

The gypsy wagon that Roald Dahl wrote Danny, the champion of the World in.

I find it interesting that many of the protagonists in his tales are orphaned at a young age and quite often end up in situations where they must think and act for themselves without intervention of a grown up. Perhaps this kind of freedom with responsibility is what appeals to children?

One of the best purchases I have for the children has been a CD set of Roald Dahl books read by various British actors (Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie etc.). It has made some long, otherwise boring  journeys very enjoyable.

Happy Birthday Mr Dahl and thanks for all the stories!


Friday, September 13, 2013

Cubby House

Since the weather has started warming up, the family and I have been spending much more time out in the garden. We finally have the posts in for the long-awaited cubby house in the corner of the garden.
I've been dreaming and scheming up ways to incorporate recycled building materials into the cubby.
Currently I'm planning a wooden shingle roof made from fence offcuts, a rail made from silver birch branches from my parents garden and ship lap style cladding, again from old fence palings.

Some other additions planned are:
- a trap door in the floor
- a bird feeder
- a window box for strawberries and flowers
- a periscope or telescope
- an old fashioned weather vane with cockerel
- a flying fox that sails from the top of the garden to the cubby door step

It sounds like the kids have gone a bit wild, but in all honesty these are my crazy ideas!
I think I'm looking forward to it more than they are :)

Here are some of my favourite playhouses and tree houses found on the interwebs:

Hope they have inspired you to think about creating a fairytale inspired place for your kids or yourself!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Spring has sprung!

Man, this weekend we had the best weather we've had for months.
We were fortunate enough to have the most glorious sunny-with-no-wind two days for ages.
In between going to a house warming party, fathers day breakfast and kids party we had plenty of hanging around the house and garden, reading, playing and of course doing some crafty stuff.
To top it all off, before bedtime the kids snuggled up with me on the couch and we looked through our library loan copy of Material Obsession 2 by Sarah Fielke & Kathy Doughty. All of us oohhhing and aahhhing at the designs and colour combinations and the kids asking every second page if I would make one of those for them, to which my answer was always "of course". :)

Feeling very lucky to have this little family of mine.

Snugglepot & Cuddlepie in their own gumtree