summer Archives - The Magic Onions

Make BEAUTIFUL Felt Flowers

. There are so many beautiful ways to craft with felt. Felt brings such an earthy rich texture into your home. I recommend crafting with the the best quality felt, always. There is such a huge difference with using the best felt. You are spending time and effort in your crafting and using the bestIf you want to read more…click here

California Dreaming

We had a glorious morning surfing. We got to the beach early when our shadows were long and the gulls were warming their cold night feathers in the early morning glow from the sun. The new sky was impossibly blue and the water was warm and inviting. Kitty is a cautious surfer and prefers notIf you want to read more…click here

Summer Days

Our last month of summer is going by so fast.  We’ve been letting the days languish, enjoying little chores around the house, getting to those things we’ve been meaning to get to. Kitty spent a day ‘mending’ her horses. She has collected quite a few over the years. We call it her ‘garage sale luck’If you want to read more…click here

Mud Kitchen Fun

  I’m sharing a post from a few years ago. It made me smile when I found it again. It’s about mud… and Teddy and how I overcame my ‘adult’ dislike of mud and allowed Teddy to have his day in the mud. “At first I fought this mud… it got into my house, onIf you want to read more…click here

Summer Slowdown

Beautiful summer, filled with golden sunshine. Our day’s are warm and slow and we have given in to delicious lethargy… and surrendered to watermelon, cold from the fridge. Lazy afternoons are spent reading in the shade of the avocado tree and suppers are cool and fresh. Baths are tepid and we sleep with only theIf you want to read more…click here

Portraits of Summer

I love this part of the summer vacation. Two months down and one to go and we have finally settled into our summer rhythm, at last! We’ve been through so many phases… the ‘there’s NOTHING to do‘ phase, the ‘begging to play games on the phone‘ phase and the ‘who is coming to play today?’If you want to read more…click here

Indoor Succulent Terraruim Fairy Garden

The kids and I have been having fun in the garden. As is our summer tradition, we have been making Fairy Gardens!! When we were at the garden center, choosing plants for our Fairy Gardens, I couldn’t quite get passed the succulents! This often happens… the succulent section of the nursery is my particular vice.If you want to read more…click here

Beauty and Insight

Welcome, July, the month of Summer. The month of watermelon and popsicles. The month of dips in the lagoon, cooling off in the sprinkler and long, balmy evenings. Welcome, July, the month of being with my children all-day-long and hearing their laughter, and mine, filling the house. Welcome, July, the month of fairy gardens, beesIf you want to read more…click here

Camping and some Duly Needed Unplugging.

Many of you know that our lives here in California have been turned upside down in the last few months. A few days ago, our Governor signed into law legislation that forces each and every child to be fully up to date on all state mandated vaccinations in order to attend school. California now hasIf you want to read more…click here

Crystal Cove

  Our favorite beach to visit in Southern California is called Crystal Cove (isn’t that a magical name!) It’s just before Laguna Beach and one of the best things about it is that it is relatively deserted. It’s hard to find a place in Southern California that isn’t teaming with people… especially a beach. But,If you want to read more…click here

Camping Food Favorites

We discovered some new camping food favorites on our recent camping trip. Firstly, Teddy is our resident fire man… he is in charge of gathering the supplies we need to start the fire. He sets the fire expertly with crumpled up newspaper on the bottom, twigs and kindling arranged like a teepee over the paperIf you want to read more…click here

Camping in the Wheeler Gorge Forest, Ojai, CA

When city life gets too much for us and we find ourselves fractious and irritable, we pack up our camper van and set off into the wild. We have found so many beautiful, out-of-the-way places in Southern California… some as close to us as  only an hour away. This time, we tried a new campingIf you want to read more…click here

The Magic of Boredom.

‘Mom, I’m bored’. ‘Mom, there’s NOTHING to do’. ‘MOM, Teddy’s irritating me!’ ‘Mom, Kitty won’t play with me’. I’ve heard these sentences a hundred times this summer. The summer is long.     We dread these sentences. They make us feel bad, don’t they. They make us feel guilty, like we are not doing aIf you want to read more…click here

Fairy Garden Feature : THIRTEEN

Here’s another magical fairy garden entered into the Fairy Garden Contest. This garden was made by Kaya (6) and her brother Nesta (3)… and a little help from mom too. It’s built in the middle of a bean teepee!!! Isn’t that so cool? Can you imagine when the beans have grown all over the teepeeIf you want to read more…click here

Fairy Garden Feature : TWELVE

The Cleary kids are hard at work on their fairy garden. Look at the tunnels and houses they have built. The buildings made of sticks and the bridges made of bark. There are crystals and gems and moss and flowers… all the perfect things to attract neighborhood fairies.     What a wonderful garden, Cleary’sIf you want to read more…click here

Fairy Garden Feature : ELEVEN

Lexi’s fairy garden is magical. I love all the little details and I LOVE all the tell-tale signs that Lexi plays in her garden regularly. And, of course, when a child plays in her garden, so do fairies too! A  unicorn rainbow tire swing.   Fairy jump-rope.     A lucky leprechaun, painting.    If you want to read more…click here

Hot Summer Days

Summer seems to be going by so fast. Kitty’s been painting. She loves the softness of watercolors. She painted the bison for her granny but I am having a hard time letting her post it off to Australia. It’s a memory from our Yellowstone trip last summer and I so want to frame it forIf you want to read more…click here

DIY Tutorial Wire and Felt Crown

We are officially in the Harry Potter stage of our lives. Kitty has read the first two books (alas, she has to wait a year to read the third). She is utterly entranced. And, of course, whatever Kitty finds awesome, Teddy finds awesome too. So, Harry Potter craze, here we come. This summer has beenIf you want to read more…click here

DIY Painted Fairy Houses

We spent the morning making pretty houses for our Fairy Garden. We painted wooden birdhouses in bright rainbow colors. Both children declared that ‘bright rainbow colors’ attract fairies… did you know that? Materials we needed : craft paper wood birdhouse (from craft store) paint (from craft store) polyurethane spray paint (craft or hardware store)  If you want to read more…click here

Super Simple Tomato Jam Recipe

At the start of summer, we planted two cherry tomato plants. Wow… have they produced!! We have feasted for weeks on gorgeous tasting bursts of summer. The kids have picked them daily, popping tomatoes into their mouths while they are still warm from the sun. We have eaten caprese salads, tomato mayo sandwiches, tomato andIf you want to read more…click here

Tutorail : Felted Ball Mirror

I love my new felted ball mirror. The blues have such a wonderful beachy,  nautical feeling which is perfect for summer. It was super easy to make too…     Materials Needed : *   Felted wool balls in shades of blue ( from The Magic Onions Shop ) *  E6000 Glue ( a great glueIf you want to read more…click here

Fairy Garden Feature : SIX

Look at this wonderfully colorful Fairy Garden made by Sophie, who is 7. I love how bright it is. And how there are SO many sweet things to play with. I can tell, Sophie plays in her Fairy Garden A LOT. I love that!     Thank you for making this sweet Fairy Garden, Sophie…If you want to read more…click here

Tutorial : Make Mini Toadstools for your Fairy Garden

We made the most adorable clay toadstools for our fairy garden.     You won’t believe how easy they are to make. All you need is : *  Sculpey clay (from a craft store) *  toothpicks *  paint and a paintbrush     Break off a small amount of clay (about the size of yourIf you want to read more…click here

Making Magic Potions

Kitty and Teddy had such a great day yesterday. They made magic potions. All day long! Colorful, bubbling brews. Glittering infusions in silver goblets. Magic potion spells in tiny corked bottles. They spent hours enchanted. Magic is so much fun!     We collected all of my silver… my silver goblets, teapots and milk jugs.If you want to read more…click here

Fairy Garden Feature : FOUR

Look at this sweet Fairy Garden. Oh I love it SO much… with it’s pink little bucket and its colorful wood house. And, do you see the little fairy? Isn’t she wonderful in her crochet dress and acorn hat! But, what I love most is Sarah and her sweet Fairy Garden sign. This, THIS friends,If you want to read more…click here

Happy Summer Days

Oh, happy summer days :: there’s nothing better! Sunshine, flowers, mending, crafting, carrot juicing and… making milk bubble with straws because, well, why not?   The kids thought that making milky bubbles (by blowing into a bowl of milk with a straw) and then eating the bubbles was the greatest thing ever. Sometimes the simplestIf you want to read more…click here

Dandelions and Poppies

Sometimes, when you are very lucky, you stumble upon a place that is full of magic. It happens when you least expect it. And often, when you are looking for something else. But make no mistake, it happens for a reason. It means that you are on the cusp of something BIG! Something that isIf you want to read more…click here

Giveaway – Summer Magic Craft Box!

Running out of ideas for summer crafts for your little ones? Who is getting to that stage in their summer vacation where they need to find fun activities to occupy their children? Whose kids are saying ‘Mom, I’m bored!’ … Well, you are not alone and I can help! In celebration of the summer vacation,If you want to read more…click here

Celebrating Summer :: Discovering Waldorf

Did you know that the official first day of summer is tomorrow? With this in mind, I’m excited to share this article written for The Magic Onions by the wonderful Maureen (aka Twig and Toadstool) a few years ago. Let’s Celebrate Summer!   If you wish to find out more about a Waldorf lifestyle, pleaseIf you want to read more…click here

What Have We Been Up To?

What have we been up to? Well… We moved into our new home… in the middle of a Southern Californian heat wave. Cooled ourselves in the sprinklers. Grampa visited us for 11 days. We had a garage sale… made $500!!! Spent our $500 laying grass and sprinklers in the back yard. Played with packing noodles.If you want to read more…click here

Sunrise Surfing

Teddy has recently discovered that he is a surfer! We wake up before the sun and set off to the beach. The oranges and pinks of the sunrise sky is breathtaking. As we walk over the sand to where the waves break, we watch the sun breaking the day orange through the palm trees. TheIf you want to read more…click here

Watermelon, Watermelon and More Watermelon

Watermelon and Summer are best friends, don’t you think? For us, nothing says ‘Summer’ quite like a wedge of cold watermelon, eaten outside so that the juice can run down your arm and drip off your elbow into the grass. Yes, this is all very ‘childhood’ but, if you are like me, you don’t reallyIf you want to read more…click here

My Hydrangea Flower Fairy

There has been magic in our garden again. ‘Where is Kitty?’ I wondered. Then I spied her, sitting in the shade of the passion fruit vine with a heap of hydrangea flowers in her lap. She was making a flower crown. She had a roll of sellotape and was sticking the stalks of the flowersIf you want to read more…click here

Play is a Child’s Work

Here is Kitty, hard at work… playing, creating. Sculpy is her new toy. She makes these tiny little figures, talking up a whole, amazingly complex, scenario as she creates. The girl with the birthday cake. The camp-fire. The cook, cutting bread with a knife. The curly haired princess looking at herself in the mirror. EachIf you want to read more…click here

Make a Treasure Moblie

So, here’s the big question… ‘What do you do with all those little treasures your kids collect?’ This is a biggie in our house. My kids are big collectors! Every trip to the beach results in a basket of shells, each hike brings pine cones, rocks and bark and even a walk-around-the-block leads to theIf you want to read more…click here

Stick and Acorn Men

A few years ago, we made these sweet little acorn guys on one of our summer camping trips and I thought I’d share them again now… We have decided that it is a necessity to take ‘magic eyes’ on a camping trip. We call these ‘magic eyes’ as just about anything can be turned intoIf you want to read more…click here

Make a Rainbow Mason Jar Flower Vase

We are feeling summery! The sky is bright blue, we are eating colorful fruit and the kids are even picking out their tie-dye clothes to wear every day. Our color is RAINBOW!So, when Kitty and I sat down to make a pretty flower vase for the flowers that are blooming in the garden, I wasn’tIf you want to read more…click here

What We’ve Been Up To

What we’ve been up to… * painting an old bookcase  to look like a three-story doll’s house * target practice with our bow and arrow * paper airplanes * packing our goodies into boxes for our big move to The Sunny House *  writing out a ‘chore’ list to earn some summer money* spending long,If you want to read more…click here

Days on the Homestead – Pickled Beets.

My dear friend, Camille, is back to share her days on her homestead with us. She shares her recipe for Pickled Beets!!! I LOVE beets and LOVE anything pickled but have never tasted pickled beets… we are going to make these in our house for sure! : : : Pickled Beets by Camille We’ve hadIf you want to read more…click here

Fruit Bowl

Once in a while, my dear friend Shannon will share some of her favorite recipes with us.  Enjoy! : : : The Summer Fruit Bowl Photo: DovieMoon Photography One of the things I love most about summer is the incredible abundance of fruit. So many different shapes and colors! First come the strawberries, their brightIf you want to read more…click here

Duties

Happy 4th of July!! I have lived in America for 10 happy years. At first, I missed my home terribly. I remember my mom telling me that once I have my own family I’ll realize that my children and husband are my home and the constant sadness of feeling ‘displaced’ will diminish. Oh Yay, itIf you want to read more…click here

Community Supported Agriculture

Each fortnight, we get a box of gorgeous organic vegetables and fruit from Tanaka Farms delivered to our school for us.  It’s called ‘Community Supported Agriculture’ and there are farms like this all through the big cities. Our box of goodies costs $35 and lasts us the entire two weeks. We visit the local farmersIf you want to read more…click here

Days on the Homestead – The Value of Chicken Manure.

I’m so very excited! Every so often, my dear friend Camille is going to share her days on her homestead with us… I admit, I drool with envy. Just look at her chickens… don’t you want them for yourself? : : : The Value of Chicken Manure  by Camille Raising chickens really is the bestIf you want to read more…click here

Our Vegetable Garden

Of course, when Teddy and Kitty play in their ‘Little House on the Prairie‘ they just have to have a vegetable garden! We made their vegetable garden by filling a big tub with soil. And then we found all kind of ‘vegetable’ for them to plant… Daddy’s big blots for carrots. Pine cones for radishes.If you want to read more…click here

Our Little House on the Prairie.

 I was honored and delighted when, a little while ago, Cassi from The Crafty Crow wrote to ask if I would write a little post for her super-stunning blog about our favorite book. I said ‘Yes!’ with great excitement, and then didn’t even have to think far to know what book I’d write about. LittleIf you want to read more…click here

The Little House on the Prairie.

I was honored to be asked by Cassie from the wonderful The Crafty Crow to present a review on our favorite book. She is hosting a fun summer meme called ‘A Book and a Craft Series’. This was our guest post.   : : : Hi, I’m Donni from The Magic Onions. When Cassi askedIf you want to read more…click here

Wild Mustangs.

There are few things that are more beautiful than a free spirit. Today, I’d like to direct you to the blog, Wild Hoofbeats, written by Carol Walker. Carol has made it her life’s work to try to protect the herds of wild Mustangs that still roam free in America. Yes, free! Knowing that there areIf you want to read more…click here

Finger Knitted Flowers.

I was the luckiest mom on Mothers Day. I received two very precious gifts… a hand-dyed silk scarf from Teddy that he had painted for me in school (I’m wearing it now as it’s a rainy Spring day here in Southern California). From Kitty, I received an utterly gorgeous finger knitted flower that she madeIf you want to read more…click here

Kitty’s Tea Party.

Kitty loves to have tea parties with her fury friends. Lately, Mr T has joined in the fun and it is so sweet to see them working together, setting out a fantastic feast for their bears and other beloved Lovies. Recently, Kitty explained that her tea guests sometimes complain that they get tired of eatingIf you want to read more…click here

Homemade Mac n’ Cheese.

Have you made mac n’ cheese from scratch before? Hmmmmm, it’s by far the yummiest kind! And, it’s so easy too… I think you have guessed by now that my cooking generally hits three targets; easy, quick and nutritious. OK, sometimes I do try more interesting, exotic recipes but not very often. Our ‘daily bread’If you want to read more…click here

Lanterns, pressed sweet peas and little birdies.

For some reason, Little Miss K decided that she did not want to make a butterfly lantern with Mr T the other day… Oh NO! She had something much more daring in mind. She had pressed some of our sweet peas a while back and has been saving them for something REALLY special. A SummerIf you want to read more…click here

Make Butterfly Lanterns

Our Butterfly Lantern hangs from our pergola outside, glowing in the sunlight and, also, glowing in the moonlight. It is ever so pretty, in a completely summery way. To make it, we needed… * pretty, double-sided, scrapbooking paper. * a paper lantern * glue * scissors On a white piece of paper, I played aroundIf you want to read more…click here

Recycled Mag Hearts.

Oh, my dear friends… how I have missed you all. I’m so terribly sorry for my sudden and abrupt departure from this space. My dearest darling computer crashed last Monday and has spent the entire week in the computer ICU undergoing, what is comparable, to open-heart surgery. Poor darling, had to be completely restored. Alas,If you want to read more…click here

Darling Little Birdseed Cakes.

I have been wanting to make these sweet little birdseed cakes for ages. YAY, I finally remembered to buy gelatine at the supermarket… it has been on my shopping list for months but, alas, it was one of those things I just could NOT remember. At last, as I was looking through the spice isleIf you want to read more…click here

Make Bark Boats.

We made Bark Boats today and took them to our local nature center to race down the stream. It was such fun that we had to do it again… and again… and again. Mr T’s boat was the fastest and won most of the races. He is a natural sailor. I took wonderful photos toIf you want to read more…click here

How to Tie Dye.

We have an early summer tradition. We raid our closets for white shirts that aren’t so white anymore (chocolate milk, ketchup, coffee stains :-). Also, during the year, if I come across a nice cheap white dress for K, I purchase it in a bigger size and keep it aside too. What do we doIf you want to read more…click here

A Place to Keep Treasures.

With summer, comes lovely long afternoons outside. I water our plants, K plays in her Fairy Garden while Mr T fishes in his fountain. We keep each to our own for a while until a chore arises for us all to participate in. I have become wise with experience… if I say ‘We need toIf you want to read more…click here