Sunday, 23 March 2014

A clan, an array, a scurry and a skulk

I realised the other day that I didn't know the collective noun for a group of badgers, so I looked it up, and one of them is a clan, I really like that, don't you?
Badger badges
I have been invited to take part in a local wildlife rescues weekend fund raising event - based on badger cubs, the only proviso being that I can only sell animal themed goodies. So I have been busy tweaking the hedgehogs ( an array of hedgehogs by the way), have left the foxes as they are ( a skulk), added a squirrel badge to the collection ( a scurry) and created a badger.
I must say that I am very pleased with my badger - he is now on needle books, badges and notebooks.
needle books and badges

If you would like to come and meet some badger cubs Secret World Wildlife Rescue is open from Friday 18th to Monday 21st April, and Pickle-Lily will be there on the Monday for the day.
You can see my original woodland animals here.

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Indoor Outdoor

The past few months in Somerset have been somewhat soggy, so the forest school area quickly became a mud bath and we made the decision to stay out of it. Some days the rain was so torrential that we even decided to stay inside as the children would have been soaked in seconds.

Simple bird cakes
So we had some indoor outdoor forest school sessions. Our theme was inspired by garden birds, and to get us started we played a great game on the RSPB website.  Rook's Binocular Birdwatch helped us to learn a few of the birds we might see in a fun and engaging way.
We then made our own paper bird planes using the template from Nature Detectives, making sure we used the right colours that we had learnt with Rook.
Another great session was making simple bird feeders. Made by mixing melted lard with bird seed. A length of wool or string had a big fat knot - the bigger the better - was used to join the ends together to make a loop. The mix was pushed into a plastic cup, The knot was buried well into the mix and then put into the fridge to set.
Packing the mix.
Another activity which engrossed us for ages was building our own bird's nests using only materials we could find around school.
A beautiful nest
Everyone agreed that it wasn't as easy as we thought it would be! Birds only have their beaks and we have two hands!

A nest in a bush - with everything carefully arranged.
We also of course spotted birds around the school - and to our amazement discovered a blackbird nest right outside the library window! We have now started watching the nest, and even though there are lots of people around Mrs Blackbird is still sitting in it. Now if only Springwatch could send us a film crew!
Taken a distance - Mrs Blackird

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Chalkboard pots

I don't know if you do this as well, but I often buy a small pot of spring bulbs to put on a window sill, then plant them out when they've finished flowering, to add colour to the garden or in my pots for next year. Then I promptly forget where I've planted them and add something else!
chalkboard pots
Last week I bought two terracotta plant pots to use at a craft club I go to, got home and then received an email telling me what size I needed, and realised I'd got them too big. So, I decided to use them to plant my latest batch of bulbs in. This time though, I had a cunning plan!
I used some chalkboard paint I already had and painted around the top rim section. My paint came from Wilkinsons, is quite old and rather thick, so one coat was fine for me.
so easy!
When it was dry, I used a waterproof pen to write on the chalkboard section what was in the pots, in my best teacher's handwriting. You could do this for any plants or seeds really, even add details if you need to, and, just repaint if you want to change the contents. The pen I used by the way is a Zig posterman waterproof that I got from a local art shop.
When they've finished flowering, I'll pop them in a corner out of the way, until next spring and know exactly what's in them!
At the moment it is poring with rain, again, and they are looking good! I'm looking forward to joining in with Handmade Monday again and seeing what all the other talented bloggers have been up to.

all planted out in that rare sunny moment