Welcome to our blog.

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

Three children *** One big, grey dog *** Two parents *** Country loving *** Cottage dwelling in the South-West of the UK. That’s us!

We’ve been blogging, about everyday happenings that bring us joy, since January 2010.

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Just a thought….

“A moment spent in wonder is worth a lifetime spent in awe.”


Thank you….

  • Merlinda Little The riddles game reminds me of that Tom Hanks film called Da Vinci Code! Its so awesome and sadly I am not very good with... 25 Feb
  • Louisa Your code wheels sound like great fun. My daughter is also fond of riddles and is always testing me with them. I enjoy the thought... 24 Feb
  • Craft Mother Absolutely. It ticks so many boxes but, most importantly, captures their imagination and creativity. Hope your son enjoys it in the future. 24 Feb
  • Craft Mother Never easy, but worth the effort. I need to keep reminding myself. 24 Feb
  • Christy I love the idea of riddle solving and hidden messages. Creative and gets them thinking! I'll definitely be using this when my son is older.... 24 Feb
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crafting with nature

So you have a pocket full of shells.

painted stones ready for a game
Imagine the scene. You take a family walk along the beach. Everyone has had fun exploring and making new discoveries. Tiny crabs have been picked up and examined. Seaweed has been waved around like mini, festive streamers.

Pockets are filled with sea shells and interesting stones. Tired, but happy, you call it a day.  Before you climb in the car, with half the beach in your sandals, the day is finished off with ice creams and ice lollies from the local van positioned perfectly in the car park. At least one child has chosen the ice lolly that turns their tongue blue, and then spends the next five minutes making sure everyone has seen it.

Sigh. It is the kind of day that lives on in the collective memory of all the family.

Hours, days or even months later, you reach into your pocket and find a few shells still nestled in your pocket. Along with a generous sprinkling of sand that instantly squeezes under your nails. The memories flood back.painted stones for a game I cannot deny it. I love beachcombing. Each year, our collection of seaside finds seem to grow.  I have jam jars on the windowsills, filled with shells, pebbles and fossils. Not forgetting my favourite sea glass. It really is time I started crafting with them.

Today, Middle daughter and I came up with a plan. We made a game that we’d read about in one of our maths books. Four seaside pebbles were painted with a snail, a butterfly, a grasshopper and a snake. All creatures we find in our garden. Continue reading

Cats, mice, cops and robbers crafting

cat and mouse acorn craft

Sunday was a quintessential overcast, rainy autumn day. Perfect for a bit more crafting inspired by Pinterest.

cardboard maze acorn craft

To start, we created cardboard mazes, inspired by this pin. Lots of snipping and sticking. We used the lids from shoe boxes, cardboard from recycling bin and lots and lots of sellotape.

handful of painted acorn craft 2

Next came the acorns. Inspired by this pin and this Totoro pin. BL decided that instead of one acorn, she wanted two: a cat and a mouse. TF decided on cops and robbers. Acorns were painted to match.

cat and mouse acorn cardboard maze craft

Their idea was to race the mouse or robber from one side of the maze to the other. If the cat or policeman caught up, then the game was lost.

cat acorn and mouse in cardboard maze

If the mouse or robber made it through, then the game was won. Simple but fun.

cat and mouse acorn cardboard maze craft 2

Making the maze was fun. I helped them, but they each knew how they wanted the mazes to look. At one stage I wasn’t sure my roll of sellotape would last. It did. There was a lot of little bits of cardboard under the table and chairs by the end. Always a sign of a happy creative time.

robber acorn entering cardboard maze craft

It’s funny to listen to their running commentary as they tilt the box lid up and down to move the mouse or robber. Little stories are created each time the game starts.

cops and robbers acorn cardboard maze

In each story the mouse is cheered on. A few times, the mouse has eaten the cat. I notice that the cop and robber take it in turns to be the lead character.

I suspect that these are toys that they will come back to time after time. Picking up and playing with them in an odd few minutes. They had fun making them and love playing with them. (It also encourages them to think strategically and is an exercise in coordination.)

handful of painted acorn craft

Another perfect rainy day activity for the children.

Linking up with LetKidsBeKids A sentiment close to my heart.

Acorn paintings

We are so fortunate to have a number of interesting trees in our garden. At the moment it is the hazelnuts and oak that are fascinating the children. They are a great source of nature finds. The children (OK, me too) eagerly collect nuts, seeds and leaves on our walk home from school too, which they then squirrel away in their individual collections of nature finds. Today, I took a little basket, when I picked them up, and asked if they would collect the nuts for me, this time, as I had an idea for a crafting project.

In all fairness, its not my idea. I read about it on GreeningSamandAvery.

Due to no acorns, Abbie and her children didn’t have the chance to make the paintings. From Abbie’s description, it sounded similar to rolling marbles through blobs of paint on a tray. Mostly, I loved the idea of painting the acorns at the same time.

I set all three children up with a box, brown construction paper, blobs of paint and a selection of things to roll. I gave them acorns, pine cones and hazelnuts. Then I stood back and watched. I should have known it would end up messy, when our dog made a hasty retreat from the room. How do they know?

The problem was that the nuts and cones were too light to build up enough momentum to make it through the gluppy paint. So we added a couple of marbles to spice it up.

It added speed, but not enough, so the children decided to quit rolling the box and start using their hands. I still do not know how, or why, TF ended up with such a good covering of paint on his hands. They all loved this activity. I wish I had captured the giggles when they started spinning the longer acorns in the paint. I had to plead for them to stop in the end, as I needed to start supper. They were still asking for more paint when I was serving up.

The paper had more coverage than I expected.

As did the nuts and cones. I think the pine cones turned out the best. So pretty. The acorns and hazelnuts look more like plasticine after all the colours are mixed together. I might experiment with some oil or wax and see what happens.

Pretty as the sheets were, I cut them up into the shapes of acorns. TF and I used glitter glue to add a hint of magic. TF’s acorn had more magic than most. We have blue tacked them to one of the kitchen cupboards. I hope we add more to this collage, as our Autumn banner, in the same way that we added to our insect mobile back in the summer.

Fun? Yes.

Objective met? Yes. And more.

In terms of messiness? Around the 12 out of 10 mark. (You should have seen the sink after they had washed their hands. On the other hand, maybe not.)

Did the children enjoy it? Most definitely!

I’m linking this up to The Magic Onion’s Friday Nature Table. Go and have a look at more nature inspiration.

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