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..... We make
..... We explore
..... We nuture

Three children *** Two dogs *** Two parents *** Country loving *** Cottage dwelling in the South-West of the UK. That's us!

We've been blogging since January 2010.

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Just a thought….

"A moment spent in wonder is worth a lifetime spent in awe."

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Life

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  • Briony I loved these large poppies when we had our allotment, you just never knew where they were going to pop up each year as they... 25 Jun
  • Jade @ Captured By Jade Beautiful capture! #MySundayPhoto 25 Jun
  • Carol Poppies are so pretty - funny they like to go in when closed. 25 Jun
  • Helen B Stunning photos, I love poppies. 25 Jun
  • Emma Raphael That is one determined bee! What gorgeous shots! 🙂 #sundayphoto 25 Jun
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Time to smile

"God has an inordinate fondness for stars and beetles."

- J B S Haldane

Debs Random Writings

I’ve been featured by

children’s minibeast craft activity

Felted snails

felted snails on chalk drawing

(wet felted snails)

There are some tasks that seem destined to constant interruption. Forever work in progresses. As soon as all the tools are assembled, and work on the verge to commence, a voice pipes up and my priorities are changed in a moment. A different task beckons. Sigh. I know I’m not alone.

All week, I’ve been trying to clear a weed flower bed to plant a few new plants. All week. Finally Sunday, I woke early, before the rest of the household, and dug.

felted snails on plants kids craft activityAmong the plants are a pair of delphiniums that the slugs and snails had munched through while they waited in their pots to be planted. I brought them inside and they have recovered. Bunches of new leaves, although I’m not sure they will produce flowers.

kids craft felted snail on poached egg plant

(poached egg plant)

Poor plants. They are going to need extra defences in their new location. I’ve liberally sprinkled egg shells around, to deter the slugs and snails. Without wishing to tempt fate, this method usually works well in our garden.

felted snails on armenia mixed ballerina plantSo far, so good. I’ve not spotted any snails or the tell-tale signs of their sneaky visits. Admittedly, I did relocate a fair few snails to one of our wild areas in the garden, as I cleared the area of weeds.

rainy day kids craft needle and wel felted snails

Fortunately these particular snails are 100% harmless. The children recently made them by wet felting and needle-felting merino fleece. They used the technique of making long thin rods of felt (details here) and also had a go at needle-felting. They decided wet felting has the best technique when it comes to snail making.

The felted snails are back up above our inglenook, among the felted leaves and crocheted daisies. While I’m left to keep a beady eye on my delphiniums. I have a plan B, a plan C and a plan D. I hope I’m not pushed into resorting to Plan D.

Fingers crossed.

Sharing. Good idea.

Butterfly House

painted feather butterfly

I love nature and I love it when nature inspires my crafting. I’ve been experimenting with feathers and paint. My original idea morphed into something quite different. This was all inspired by a trip to the North Somerset Butterfly House. One of the best kept secrets in Somerset.

owl butterfly

This is my kind of place. It’s no secret that I would love to be an entomologist. Where better to spend a Sunday afternoon than in a butterfly house. I love learning more about minibeasts. Fortunately, so does the rest of the family. As we waited to pay, the Bug Man showed us a hissing cockcroach. Very neat. It’s neck was perfectly protected by the shaped armour on its back and when it pulled in its head, it fitted snug. Nothing sticking out to enable a predator to strike. Fabulous engineering. It’s shiny back enabled it to slip though the forest’s leaf mould easily.

Then on to the butterfly house. First butterfly spotted was this amazing Owl butterfly (above). Amazing patterns on it’s underside.

zebra longwing

There were masses of Zebra Longwing (above) fluttering lazily around our heads. Totally unbothered by our presence. The yellow and black peril colours. Apparently they are not fakes. They are poisonous. Only if you eat them though.

zebra mosaic butterfly

The Zebra Mosaic fooled me. I focused on the fake head! Do you see the yellow tip. It looks like the head, while the real head has the same markings as the wings, and blends in perfectly. It is a clever little butterfly. Most butterflies land on tree trunks so that they are facing up. This one lands facing down, with its fake head up the tree. Predators aim at the top where the tasty butterfly’s head should be. In this case, as they will be hopefully fooled, only the tip of the wings are damaged. Leaving the Zebra Mosaic to fly away.

butterfly incubator

No butterfly house would be complete without the butterfly nursery.

feeding the terrapins

The children loved feeding the terrapins.

common mormon butterfly

So many different types of butterfly. Above is the Common Mormon.

butterfly feeding station

The banana skins on the feeding stations made it easy to study the butterflies. Might try using this technique to attract our garden butterflies, although I suspect the fruit flies might engulf the skins.

The butterfly on the left is a Blue Morpho.

butterflies

Each butterfly finds its way to survive. Whether by behaviour or markings. Or both. It wasn’t until we got home and looked at the photos that I realised that the Owl butterflies had clever markings too.

disguised butterflies

I don’t know about you, but I think its markings look a lot like a scaly lizard as you look down on them feeding.

In case you can’t make out……

disguised butterflies lizard

If you go up to the original, it should jump out at you. Not literally, of course!

Blue Morpho butterfly

Last of all are the Blue Morpho. My inspiration for a spot of crafting. I love the blue, but also the way that another butterfly seems to be superimposed onto it. I think the light behind has allowed the eye markings of the underside, to show through.

blue morpho on leg

They have such a slow flutter, you wonder how they stay up. This one took a rest on my leg. Almost pleading to inspire me.

feather butterfly

Back home, I cut feathers into the shape butterfly shape and anchored them with white tack. Using watercolours, I added colour.

painted feather butterfly side

Simple. Not sure I’ll get it off the cardboard, but that’s OK. I rather like the effect of the paint hitting the cardboard as the feather bits peter out. I’d like to try this again.

If you are in North Somerset, then I can recommend the Butterfly House. No need to be a budding entomologist. The butterflies are just lovely to watch. The butterfly house is next door to Cadbury’s Garden Centre. Makes a nice stop off as you head down to Cornwall on the M5.

This is NOT a sponsored post in any way, I’m just an unabashed enthusiast!

Linking up to #CountryKids. For more getting out and about family fun, I can recommend hopping on over.

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

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Sharing. Good idea.

Photos

There have been cases when people lifted my photos and words, and used them without credit to me or asking permission first. Using them for their own commercial gain. I have now added a level of security to deter people from doing this. Apologies to people who do play nicely. If you would like to use any of my photos, please contact me.

Copyright notice:

All my words and photos are copyrighted to me. They cannot be used for commercial benefit by anyone else. If you would like to use any of them, then please ask me first and don't just take. Written permission only. Don't pass my words, photos or ideas off as your own. It's not nice.