Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Garden Improvements

Last week my partner was out walking the dog and noticed a load of branches had been chopped off a tree near our house, after checking with the people who lived near by we grabbed them to start off a garden project I've been thinking about for a few months now!

We started with a big pile of branches...
And chopped them down to the main branches....
.....and smaller twigs.

We then started leaning the long branches together and tieing them in.....
I'll bet you know what we're making now!!
Then take all those other littler twigs and start weaving them in!

This is how far we got until running out of branches! We've also cut out a little sitting area to the side so I'm now on the look out for some tree stumps for the seating area, and more twigs/willow etc to finish off the walls!

Hoping to have it all finished by next spring and possibly start growing something over it for a bit of camouflage!

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Peace Day

September 21st saw countries all around the world celebrate International Peace Day. http://www.internationaldayofpeace.org/ "The Universal Peace Federation is a global network of individuals and organizations dedicated to building a world of peace, with a special focus on interfaith dialogue, peace education, and service"

As I just had a couple of little ones on this day we took part through a bit of art and creativity!

Started off by drawing out some Dove outlines

Which the children then tried out my new 'less-mess' paint pens to make lots of pretty patterns!

They came out really nicely! I then cut them out, cut a slice where the wings would be and put some concertina paper through.
With a bit of selotape to secure the 'wings' punch a hole through and they can be hung up to decorate!

Monday, 12 September 2011

A Bit of "Spare" Time

I call it spare time completely tongue in cheek as it was time I really should have been hovering or doing some form of paperwork but the urge to do some knitting just grabbed me! I wont pretend to be a knitter, as I'm really not, but I do like to pick it up occasionally and see what I can put together.

The problem I have with knitting is, as I am a total novice, it just goes so slowly!! I'm quite an impatient person and I never seem to get anywhere fast with any pattern I try so I usually end up getting a bit bored and move onto something else. But on this particular Sunday the urge just grabbed me and didn't let go all day, and I have to say it was a day well spent!

I made this cute little basket. I made it up as I went along really but it turned out quite nicely! Then on our evening walk with the dog we picked up conkers, acorns (which arent quite ready but I like to show the children different stages up close) and some pine cones.

This was the other little thing I made. I got the pattern from 'Creative Play for your baby'. It's suposed to be a sheep, but the ears are a little out of proportion so I think it looks more like a pig really! But he is still quite cute if I do say so myself!

I also just wanted to take this opportunity to properly introduce Popcorn!

We've had him for about 2 weeks now, we were told he is a Mini Lop but we think he's more of a Dwarf Lop. He is about 17 weeks old now. He's inquisitive, full of energy, and has a bit of attitude! We are keeping him as an indoor and outdoor rabbit. His main run is in the garden but he also has an indoor cage and loves to come in for cuddles and run around the house for a bit!

As you can imagin the children all LOVE him! I have one little boy who only recently started comming to me, and is a recent crawler but Popcorn is one big incentive to get him moving!

He is settling in very nicely, our dog (J) was a little unsure of Popcorn at first but they are becoming great friends gradually!

Next up I want to try my hand at some crochet... I found a book at the library last week full of patterns to make 'Crobots' = crochet robots!!!! They are amazing and I really want to make some for my nephews for Christmas, they will love them!

Friday, 9 September 2011

A Few Days of Fruit!

I love this time of year, everything is so alive and beautiful before the cold winter arrives! Now is the time to find, forrage and store away for the cold winter months just around the corner.

To this end we've been spending some time doing just that!! In the last few days before the children were summoned back to school, we spent some time at a local farm picking some of the seasonal fruits on offer.
We managed to grab a few late season Strawberries, lots of Raspberries and Blackberries!
Then as we have a recent new addition to our little family....


....we stopped off to dig up some fresh carrots too!

With a quick stop off for a snack and some fun!

Today we decided to use up the last of our blackberries and some apples I had left over from my parents garden to make some fresh juice. We chopped it all up and let it stew while 'I' had her nap. When she woke she helped me strain off the juice and get it into bottles.

I did my usual trick of not measuring a thing and made it up as I went along. But loosely:
- Chop up all the fruit and put it in a pan with enough water to just about cover it
- Cook it all up until all the fruit is soft
- (Optional) Add just a little bit of sugar to take off some of the sourness, this depends on the fruit you've used really
- Strain all the pulp and put the juice into steralised bottles, preferably while it's still hot