Friday, October 15, 2010
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Friday, January 08, 2010
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Yes! this is the image I keep coming back to as we prepare all our goodies for the Christmas catalogue.
Handmade chocolates and really these are as good as the photo suggests.
This is all a bit different for us because this year we are branching out in a tiny way by supporting a friend with her new ´simpler life' idea.
We lived near Beatriz when we were living in Portugal, She is originally from Argentina and always wanted to be free from her 9.00-5.00 job so that she could realise her dream of making chocolate.
What a dream to have had!
Finally after lots of thinking and planning she started experimenting with high quality chocolate.
understandibly we were very happy to lend a hand with the tasting!
Now, Beatriz is ready to launch her amazing chocolates to a discerning public.
And who better to be her first international customers, than the truely discerning Monkey and Sofia supporters?
You can find out all about the chocolates, the sizes of the boxes and the costs by emailing us.
I know what treat I'll be asking santa for!
Now, having got ourselves thinking christmas-sy, chocolatey thoughts now is the time to nip across to flikr to see all the photos of this year's Monkey and Sofia Christmas Catalogue.
As everyone knows, who has been involved with Monkey and Sofia over it's short history, we make cute things as part of our aim to live a simple, sustainable life.
When we started this we were travelling around Spain and Portugal in a van, looking for the right place to settle.
We wanted to growing our own food, live in an unpolluted place, somewhere we could feel the true scale of nature.
It took some finding.
For nine years we travelled as far as Canada, hoping to find our place.
2009 turned out to be our year
I can tell you how it felt over the years, thinking we'd never get here and just how hard having that thought was.
But somehow we kept on searching, something must have driven us. Sometimes friends told us that maybe we werejust meant to have all those experiences that travelling for nine years can bring you.
But the amazing thing is, it really does seem to have some truth in it.
Now we have our little place, all the things we've learned, everything we found out by living in a different cultures already seems to be enriching what we can see will be our life here.
So here we are, sending out this year's collection of special gift ideas from our own place.
And of course those knitted cats will still be special to us.
They have been therapy, meditation and a comfort throughout and its wonderful to knwo there are so many of them across the world taking our special message of a simple life with them.
So check out the photos and email us soon.
Maureen and Phil
ps We really do look forward to hearing from you, and as you know we love getting letters so keep in touch and tell us your news.
Just click on the link below to take you to see all the photos.
Then as usual, email us for further information.
Monday, July 06, 2009
finally we have found our permanent home...
amd where visitors are always welcome
At present the facilities are minimal (basically none),
but camping is possible for hardened types,
and b&b's are available in town (a 2km forest track walk away).
So if you are a tree-monkey with own chain-saw,
or have experience of tree planting in arid areas,
please get in touch.
We´d also like any unwanted seeds and cuttings
(e-mail to request a copy of our specific plant wish-list).
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Sunday, February 01, 2009
Hoorah! I love it when I finally get round to doing something I've been planning for a while!(although I am convinced that it all happens when its supposed to anyway) and on this occasion, its getting pdf's made of more of my patterns so that I can get them out to people who have been asking for them. The crocs and penguins were part of one of our Christmas catalogues and I spent many a happy hour (very many actually!) making little sets of these babies to send out to people. They aren't difficult to make at all, a bit fiddle perhaps and it's definately be worth investing in a set of those sock needles before starting. For the uninitiated, sock needles are short so much easier to use when making little things. So if you fancy having a go, just email and I'll send you a pdf......no money involved, though obviously trades would be fab! XXX
Friday, January 02, 2009
We stopped here because it was too difficult to go any further in the heat and because we had arrived in the Picos de Aracena, our chosen area.
It's been good, living in a little town like this, getting to know people and about life here.
Initially we felt six months would be long enough to either find our place or to decide if it was worth staying even if we hadn't found it because sometimes these things take time.
We have decided that Cortegana is a bit too big and town-like for us.
We need to feel the soil and even though its a small rural town, its still a town.
Now we are hatching our plan.
If reading this it sounds as if we love to travel and move house,
nothing could be further from the truth,
we hate it!
When we do find our place, that will be IT!
The rucksacks will be put into permenant storage and our passports will be tossed away.
Will 2009 be our year?
We really hope so.
And if the collective will is to be believed,
we have enough positive thoughts coming our way from all our wonderful friends we should arrive in our meant-to-be place on a big fluffy cushion!
We really do have a good feeling that this year it could happen.
So with everything crossed we hope that it will.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Every year, since 2004 when we invented Monkey and Sofia, we have produced a catalogue of gifts for Christmas.
We love to make things and our simple life allows us the time to spend on designing and inventing things then turning our ideas in to real knitted, sewn or constructed things.
Each year we send out our catalogue, then everyone looks at the photos of all the lovely things.
Then the fun starts!
Emails fly back and forth as everyone contacts us to tell us what they want and then packages wing their way across the sea.
We love to hear from all our Monkey and Sofia friends, to catch up with news, find out how things have gone this last year.
The very best thing though, is to know we are all still thinking of each other.
So, here's this year's selection of specially made goodies which we hope you'll like.
As ever the prices are kept as low as possible so that everyone can be part of Monkey and Sofia.
If you would like to know more about any of the things or make an order, talk to us.
Email and ask anything and we'll let you know all the details.
The world can be a difficult and lonely place to live, especially if you are trying to live a life which has meaning, so it's great to hear from fellow travellers, those who are making choices about their lives.
Christmas is a time for joining together and although we are miles away, we will definately be spending time thinking of all our friends.
Visit our site on flicker, by clicking above and see all the lovely things.
Then send us a message!
Tell us how you're doing, we love to hear from you!
Then, we can then easily send you the price list and all the info on ordering things.
We're looking forward to hearing from you.
Maureen and Phil
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Not long after we arrived here the annual fiesta Jornadas Medievales took place; a four day extravaganza celebrating the cultural past of the town. Everyone dressed in costume, streets closed to traffic, stalls selling exotic eastern cakes and coffee and masses of crafts.
Live music, fire eaters, dancers, jousting, archery and fireworks. What better opportunity to introduce our Monkey and Sofia goodies to our new neighbours and friends?
The stall looked fab and provided us with a marvellous opportunity to chat with people we had started to recognise in the little streets.
Added to this four day, or should I say mostly night time experience, our life in Cortegana has already been enhanced by the arrival of our first Spanish kitten! Plush, as we have called her because her sparse black fur is as short and soft as velvet, is wonderful. She was tiny, starving and howling to be rescued. Born, according to neighbours on the first of June, the very day we boarded our flight from Vancouver, so was obviously meant to be ours!
So, life is coming together. Looking after Plush, trying to find a real home and making things for our next catalogue is keeping us busy.
More news soon.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Sunday, March 23, 2008
And below is what can be made from an ex-coffee sack.
A useful big shopping bag.
The coffee beans come to river City in huge hessian sacks and when the beans have been used the sacks are finished with.
but they are wonderful things, full of potential.
The owners of river City realised this and decided to sell them cheaply and raise funds for the breakfast club at the local school.
A wonderful circle of recycling, creativity and a good cause.
Monkey and Sofia crafts are made using recycled, thrift shop and found materials wherever possible.
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Yerba Buena - Micromeria chamissonis
Evergreen Huckleberry - Vaccinium ovatum
Shallon - Gaultheria shallon
... being able to drink fresh spring water each day is probably more important to our healthiness than what we eat. And that's why it's taken us seven years of searching to find the right kind of land, one with its own source, to create our edible forest and build the house of our dreams.
Meantime, on Texada Island, British Columbia, we have been able to enjoy real spring water, albeit from a spring shared with our neighbours, and this is when we discovered also the joys of making our own tea from the herbs growing nearby. Followed by planting a whole range of others, found on the Plants for a Future database site. By the time we left there were: yarrow/ nasturium/ blackberry/ strawberry/ lemon grass/ mints/ rosemary/ comfrey/ marigold/ nettles/ lemon balm/ mexican tea/ cleavers/ self-heal/ and pennyroyal. And a few leaves of each, harvested first thing each morning, mixed together, beat any kind of dried or shop-bought tea. Now we are in Canada it's got even better, we are fortunate enough to be living with a garden that doesn't need any planting, it's got hundreds of years of self-seeding to do the job for us, and even though it is the middle of winter right now we are enjoying another wonderful selection, starting with the three pictured above. Try it for yourself and discover the difference.
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
at The Flying Yellow Bread Bowl,
was really great.
Not only is it the finest diner in Powell River.
it's probably one of the best vegetarian restaurants
in the whole of British Columbia......
The food is great, Carol cooks like its part of her personality and everyday is different, she make delicious bread, like bagels and big soft granary loaves and the menu for each day has stuff like thick spicy pumpkin soup, garlicky hummus on bread, stuffed vine leaves, spicy falafel burgers, mmmmmmmmmm, can't you just taste it? The diner is tiny, and packed with people, the music is perfect, like Natasha Atlas, things with an eastern vibe that goes with the food, the atmosphere is wonderful, everyone eating, chatting with friends and and really enjoying it.
This is what eating is all about.
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
visit Katz castle
This is one of Kay's three lovely kittens, enjoying their first Christmas, just look at all their Christmas goodies!
Friday, January 04, 2008
Monday, December 31, 2007
Now, in the interest of feeding our souls, we have travelled to British Columbia, a place of such amazing natural beauty our eyes couldn’t believe it! We are living temporarily on Texada Island, with a window full of ocean and cedar forest - seals, birds, black squirrels, eagles - and the snowy peaks of Vancouver Island across the Strait.
It’s a really awesome experience being surrounded by nature so much bigger and more powerful than us, it certainly puts us humans in perspective.
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
See what you think....
Tell us what you're interested in, and we'll email you and give you all the details.
This is a little detail from Monkey's cool jeans, he is a very stylish cat, obviously. Only Monkey and Sofia and their friends have such a stylish wardrobe for knitted toys.
Penguins and Crocodiles
These little knitted toys, three penguins or two crocodiles, make a really special little present all wrapped up in their own cellophane bags.
This is what each penguin looks like, in his own little ski cap and scarf.
Bags Bags Bags
The Moroccan shoulder bag, ecological shopping bags and sweet little draw-string bags.
These are little details from the shopping bags, so you can see how stylish they are.....
The lovely tassley front pocket of the Moroccan bagThese are two different fabrics used for the Moroccan Bags. Both are red and gold, the one with the thin stripes is chenile and the other is broader, bolder stripe in red and gold.
for those people who love to give or recieve practical presents. The Moroccan bag is wonderfully textural, soft and strong. In reds and gold with a useful zip pocket inside and a pocket with a flap on the outside
The front flap has a jingly morrocan bell and fluffy wool tassle.
Now, these are perfect presents in every way.
Practical, environmentally friendly and very stylish too.
Denim and Calico shopping bags
fold up easily to fit in a pocket, ready to bring out to use.
SAY NO TO PLASTIC CARRIER BAGS
Get Organised.....Storage in the shape of little drawstring bags perfect for all sorts of things and all sorts of folks: Hanging on door knobs with all you mail inside, in the bathroom to round up all those bits and bobs, in the kitchen, anywhere. And for children, great for little toys, jigsaw puzzle pieces, finger puppets, bits of lego. Lovely soft cotton fabric, pretty prints and coloured lining.
This year we have been experimenting with different types of beautiful fabic, inventing some animals full of character who will definately want to become friends with whoever has them for Christmas.
a cool mum with a strong sense of fashion! She is made from soft, bright pink flannel fabric and her little pink baby is sitting in her apron pocket.
A totally oriental character with lots of rich colours, gold and glitter.
made from very beautiful fabric with hand stitched felt ears and a gentle face
Hand knitted socks
I know, it seems crazy and too obvious but.... Socks at Christmas? Too obvious? I don't think so, these are socks with an important twist. Fabulously warm and cosy, knitted by hand, a really thoughtful and cosy gift.
If you're stuck for a present idea, who wouldn't like warm feet this winter?
The Mice This is a close up of Girl Mouse's bag
This is the back view of the little Mouse Boy's trousers
Real cutesters! These two little mice with their impressive fashion sense! He has a very stylish pair of dungarees and woolly scarf and she, a soft cotton dress, a neckerchief and a very nice bag for her to keep all her secrets.
If you are still wondering what to get a particlar person, searching for that elusive, original gift then our bookshelf could be the answer.
We publish books about our ideas and the results are beautiful and unusual. We have four titles:
A Simpler Life
'A little beauty! '
Newly published, this is book tells of our journey to Spain and Portugal, our odyssy to find how to live in a more simple life, closer to nature. This is the book to read if you're ever wondered about changing your life. Lots of thoughts and ideas and how nice is it to know there is another way to live?
The knitting Book
Yes! Changing the speed of your life will definately make more room for the important things, like knitting! This is a lovely gift because it is part travel journal and part collection of patterns,especially for people who like to knit small things. Perfect for people involved in fund raising or knitting groups.
It's very pretty too, with lots of coloured photos and illustrations.
A thoughtful book, which begins in our garden in Yorkshire, where we first got interested in self sufficiency. Lots of ideas, thoughts and descriptions of our garden and information on growing food, recycling and making things.
The Cook Book
A collection of vegetarian recipes using food from the garden. A popular publication full of simple recipes which always succeed.
Fully illustrated and easy to follow
You see, in the Monkey and Sofia Catalogue, there really is something for everyone!
Your gifts will not only be unique, but you and everyone you give to, will be part of this usual and very exciting project. If you'd like to know more about any aspect of Monkey and Sofia, do contact us: