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Archive for January, 2011

This post is the update on the last event of 2010, all about getting ready for winter; hibernation and food storing etc.

(As an aside; I am SO over winter… I cannot see to make anything much after 2:30 in the afternoon, it gets so dark because we are in a north-south valley.)

It was a cold day- a bit grim to be honest, but there was a very good turnout and the log burner was great so we were all cosy in the barn! We made frog homes, night and day door hangers, clay and twig hedgehogs, and used a lot of shredded paper in dormouse nests and hedgehogs sticky pictures. Here they are (well some of them).

The frog homes were just flower pots to put in the garden- but they were suitably embellished as appealing homes – with info on what frogs might like! Very popular!

craft painted plant pots

decorated plant pot

This one already has an occupant! (you have to look closely)

We had a heap of old gardening periodicals (not valuable – don’t worry) with lovely mellow aged print. They looked fab shredded (along the font lines) as hedgehog spines and for dormouse nests on the ‘sticky pictures’. The idea was to put the spines on in layers… but this sweet little one looks like he has literally been “through a hedge, backwards”. Hope his creator doesn’t want to be a hairdresser.

paper hedgehog

The door hangers were very simple, and again popular with the younger visitors. They were actually reversible, the two cards stuck together with “day” one side and “night” the other, and suitable woodland creatures in fluffy fabric added.
wonkygiraffe door hangers

For older children we had clay hedgehogs and dormouse nest. Much concentrated effort involved!

Colouring mice
wonkygiraffe colouring

this little girl likes pink- see his little nose.

Then winding nests for them- ranging from minimal, neat and ‘sartorially enhanced’ to ‘everything on’!

Some quite natural looking.

mouse house nest

mouse in a nest

some less so!
wonkygiraffe mouse nest
WG mouse nest house

and some very well housed indeed , LOL!

mice nest

The nests were shredded paper and odd bits of wool etc, glued on, wound around, and in, plastic globes. These were mainly Activia yogurt containers, and some laundry soap measure balls. Not that it mattered because you couldn’t tell what was inside once they had been enhanced!
However they all turned out to be really cute.

As did the twiggy clay hedgehogs.

hedgehog and mouse nest

clay hedgehogs

some of whom had a very piratical air!!

wg hedgehog

this one is actually called Sidney Black Eye!

sidney

At the end of the day we were very pleased to hear that is was a good way to educate children about hibernation.

Result! Thank you that daddy 🙂

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I ‘m a bit out of step with the blogging of events- what with the festive season etc, so here are a couple I prepared and didn’t finish (last autumn- oops). I’ll do the next one later on!

I love autumn, and this yearly, countrywide, celebration epitomises all the beauty and bounty of the season as far as I am concerned. Plus I love it that Apple Day events actually spread out over several days – so, depending where you are, you can get to at least one.

We had a smashing event on the reserve, lots of traditional games, trails, orchard talks, stories, tasting, planting and cooking tips and, of course, arty stuff.

apple day

There was Apple Printing (very popular with toddlers, bam bam bam!) with extra printed ‘appley’ poems and words for older children to embellish their work with.

apple print pictures

We made an apple game –a simple blockade game called horseshoe- a bit like noughts and crosses. The visitors (even grandpas) liked it even more once they worked out the winning move. There were several “Ta Da” moments when the penny dropped!

apple games

We used disks of apple wood to make coasters and pendants with (sawn from branches cut from last years poor old dead tree- but much better than burning them).

I apologise for this poor photo; it was the only one, a shame because some were lovely. The green cylinders are laundry “softener” bottle tops with thin foam shapes stuck on as print blocks.
apple circles

Then there were hanging apple decorations; super easy and endlessly variable. I will post a tutorial on this idea (later on!) as it would adapt to Christmassy shapes too.

paper apples

Lastly, local orchards supplied masses of traditional English apple varieties for tasting and local supermarkets donated apple juice for sampling. (Very popular!)

apple tasting

Sadly no cider LOL, probably not a good idea anyway in combination with all the children, paint and water.

In true British fashion it was wet and windy but we were all very cosy inside the barn.

I am not sure the story teller in his yurt felt too cosy, poor man; we had to thaw him out with hot tea…

A good day.

apple day view outside

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Well I can’t believe another year has passed zip zap!

So many things not finished… sigh

hey, a new year.. so many things to start LOL

but for now Happy New Year and do look back at my last (first!) blog year if you like.

I’m not making resolutions but I am going to try to blog more frequently- or at least more regularly; the long gaps mean things get passed by as something else happens!

FOR EXAMPLE “here is one I prepared earlier” THAT NEVER GOT FINISHED AND POSTED UP. I would like to use it as it is a good way for me to remember a start of a project. ( so, sorry, but I’m going to inflict it on you too)!

This is the first publisher template I made for the matchbox accordion booklets. I’ve adapted it a few times now but at the time I felt very pleased with myself! It has made new ones much quicker.

It also shows me how much I can prevaricate and get sidetracked! ( cue; sidetrack)

My favourite author Terry Pratchett has a bit in one of his books where he describes ideas as sleeting through the universe- sometimes the best idea “hits” the wrong brain and is wasted; other times there is a lightbulb moment for some bright spark!

This idea so resonates with me; I often feel like I am standing ( or to be honest, more probably sitting) under a veritable rainstorm of ideas- sorting them out and getting a proper solid hit to work with has always been a problem. I like the metaphor of all the randomly crashing, sleeting, rain better than butterflies fluttering. It feels much more like what happens to me at times. It stops me actually finishing so many things- I prove concept and then get distracted by the next thing.

Of course sometimes I just can’t be inspired, or bothered, (impatient and lazy?) Know thyself! 🙂

Anyhow here is a sequence taken which to me shows how I work things out ; or how i should not to do it if i ever want to finish it!
!Idea! This well known rhyme “Ladybird, ladybird, fly away home, your house is on fire your children are flown”.

Firstly a 3D paper house using my bag/box/house fold. I wanted it all as one piece but the flames are added separately on these rather scruffy tryouts. [idea 1]

wonkygiraffe origami house

Then messing about with a little paper doll [idea2]

WonkyGiraffe paper dolls

Then I think it would go well in a matchbox (at this point I had done only the doll and beetles in them) so made a rough working out of layout of the text…

WonkyGiraffe paperdoll

…and decided to try out Publisher.

Much gnashing of teeth ( Publisher was, is a learning curve all by myself!)
but started messing about with seductive clip art [ ideas3 and 4] Oooo, great fun.

WonkyGiraffe Accoridion zigzag books

Covered a matchbox with fortuitous tiny scrap from friend quilting leftovers and thought about maybe using my nice vintage ladybird or house buttons. [idea5]
WonkyGiraffe vintage ladybird buttons

Which led to the idea to use even- more- tiny scraps as individual ladybird children (as can’t bear to waste such an apt bounty) glued onto card with threads so they can dangle..! [no.6]

WonkyGiraffe ladybird fabric

Then had idea to make mini fabric ladybird ( like Agatha beetles ).[idea7]
Tried it but at about an inch long a bit frustratingly fiddly- so not really happy with it and left that.
WonkyGiraffe miniature ladybirds

I also made up some individual booklets for my cousins’ children, with their names in the text and the – second verse ( more clip art fun and games)[no 8]

Abandoned whole boxful to do other rhymes.!!!

I did actually finish baa baa black sheep ( but there is a similar abandoned boxful of other ideas for that too!).

Hmm.

But today I feel like doing the ladybird one again- can’t find the energy to start anything completely new- even if it is New Years day!

Watch this space- I may actually finish one.

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