28 February, 2012

Butterfly Wing Stone with Mod Podge

Summer brings with it butterflies. In abundance. I love that this stone is a way to preserve that beauty, once they have left our skies.

 Wanderer (Monarch) Butterfly
 Male Orchard Swallowtail Butterfly underside
Male Orchard Swallowtail Butterfly from above
 Wanderer (Monarch) Butterfly found on our recent camping trip.

The process is simple really.
I smeared a thin layer of Mod Podge underneath where I would place the wing. Carefully pressed out any air bubbles until it was dry. Then gently covered over the wing with more Mod Podge to seal it, and to protect the wing from fingers and the elements.

I have placed it on display with other Summery things. On our Seasonal Table Display in the kitchen. It gets many comments.
Next time, I will use a much paler pebble, so that the beautiful natural colours of the butterfly's wings, are shown with more justice.


Sharing at:
Frontier Dreams

27 February, 2012

Banana Breakfast Milkshake Iceblocks

I have let the iceblock making slip a little this Summer.
So Little Pip and I got busy while Mr Turtle was at school today, with 
Banana Breakfast Milkshake Iceblocks.

 We added two bananas, 2T sheeps yoghurt, 2c Rice milk, 1T honey, 1T sultanas, 1T coconut and 1T rolled outs. 
We blended it all up. Poured the yummy mix into iceblock making containers and Little Pip added the lids and sticks. Finally,  into the freezer for after school treats.

Then we sat down to drink and enjoy what was left!


25 February, 2012

Autumn 'handmaketh' Workshop - in pictures

Tomorrow (Sunday Feb 26th, 1-4pm)
is the day of our first handmaketh workshop!

Our focus is to create for our Seasonal Nature Tables.
 Autumn is almost upon us

We'll be learning how to sew and stuff sweet felt gnomes.

How to needle felt pumpkins, or a pumpkin vine if we have time...

And using our felt scraps to create something wonderful!

I have been making Autumn leaves. 
And we plan to tomorrow too!

We have had a couple of places come available. So if you are tempted and would like more details, please write to Carly and Aleta right now. There's still time!
 We would love to have you come along to our Autumn Workshop (in Eumundi, QLD).

24 February, 2012

Busy Work - Walking / Hiking Sticks

Mr Turtle made a Walking Stick for his hiking trips through the forest, when he went to NatureWeavers (Forest) School, through the summer holidays.
He didn't completely finish it, he had said.

Yesterday I was in town and thought to buy some sandpaper for all of the woodworking, my boys have been busy with of late. 
They were ecstatic to find it was 'their own'!

So while Mr Turtle sanded with his 3 grades of sandpaper this morning before school, Little Pipkin found a piece of wood and worked alongside his brother. 
He then raided my craft room to find His Handle, which we added together.

 Mr Turtle's walking stick has a lot of character. A very strong and beautiful, gnarled branch.
Which is now extremely smooth and beeswaxed against the elements.

On these rainy mornings, it is wonderful to help keep these little hands busy, and with their own real purpose.

22 February, 2012

Our Camping Trip: 5 ~ Tin Can Bay Dolphins

On our final day~ 
Another lucky and truly blessed animal encounter for us all.

A very well organised interactive dolphin experience 
A lot of clear information on signs and in discussions
This is Patch.
An Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphin.
Little Pipkin did everything perfectly and had the time of his life.
Mr Turtle was lucky enough to get to feed Patch TWO fish.
With the organisers giving him a second for free.
A proposed marina development near Fraser Island may drastically impact the wildlife (eg turtles, dugong & dolphins) of the Great Sandy Strait area. You can help prevent this, by joining their Click and Save campaign. It takes 3 seconds to act. And you can click HERE for further information on the marina project and expected risks.
I did.

21 February, 2012

Our Camping Trip:4 ~ Our Op-shop finds

 In Childers, our massive thrifty discovery.
Oh My!

As a rule, I don't buy Disney. However, this 55 story compendium
was published in 1976 and cost us 20c! 

A trip down memory lane...
Just a portion of the Grandpa shirt selection!
Our 'new' Old Skool camp cooker.
Green - perfect!
My Man doing his best to fit everything in!
My Man's favourite board game when he was a child.
So we 'had' to snap this up.
This game is still in fantastic condition.
Containing an envelope inside, postmarked 1973.
Across the road, still in Childers.
I was blown away by the commitment of the volunteers.
Matching and sewing their donated buttons, to cards!

Now at the Op-shops of Maryborough. We needed to stop again on the way back through town. Just in case...

A fantasy puzzle, with all of it's pieces. In PERFECT condition.
Was given to our boys, for Free!
I can't wait to turn this 70's dress into a skirt. A treat for me!
Womble pillowcases! And African animal ones too. 
Do I make both into shorts for the boys? 
I'm tempted to keep the Womble ones whole.

♫ Underground, Overground, Wombling free.
The Wombles of Wimbledon Common are we.
Making good use of the things that we find,
Things that the everyday folks leave behind 

I couldn't leave this wool blanket behind.
So many colours to cut out and use,
once I have fulled it into felt.
Whitby was one of our favourite towns we visited in Britain,
when we lived there.
(Whitby was on our short list of girl's names, although, we had two boys.)
I wanted this tin, so very much, to remember Whitby every day.
We can't wait to head out to these towns again, to see what other exciting treasures we may discover. 
And really, they're only just up the road!

Lucky Us

20 February, 2012

Our Camping Trip: 3 ~ Mon Repos Turtles

Well, this is it. This is what we came away for in the first place.
It has always been a dream of mine to experience wild turtles, nesting on the beach. And their little ones emerging from the sand. (I have had a couple of false starts). The entire life cycle of the marine turtle fascinates me. Only 1 hatchling, in a thousand survive. Incredible. 

Our turtle experience was blessed from the beginning.

'Mr Turtle' strokes an hatchling
We arrived at 6:45pm. Were told we were numbers 36-44 out of 250 visitors that night. Therefore, in Group One (important to us, with our small children). We were only in the Mon Repos Conservation Park Visitor Centre for 15minutes, before we were called to walk as a group on to the beach.
The emerging nest took two hours to empty. 
"Gorgeous little acrobats dancing through the sand."
All of the children there grew tired, but it was worth it. 
We watched 66 flatback sea turtle hatchlings emerge from their nest in the sand banks. They were adorable! Two were selected to be lovingly caressed and photographed by the group. 
(We were assured that research has suggested this has NO detrimental effect on the future survival of the hatchling).

Source: The Age article
Then finally, we watched in delight, as part of our group formed a corridor, with their legs and torches, as the babies made their way down to the sea.

Tired, yet elated, our group proceeded up the beach toward the centre. Mostly carrying our children. And then, we happened upon a turtle track that crossed our path. There were already 3 volunteers documenting a 106kg mother turtle, laying her 4th nest, extremely late in the season.
Such luck!
Even our boys, who were asking to go 'home' to bed. Wanted to stay and witness this miracle.
 Our second of the night.

And here is the nesting mother we gratefully saw, as we were heading back to the Mon Repos Centre.
Remember, the beach is intentionally dark, with little interfering light, so it was difficult to get a clear picture. I hope the outline is helpful.

When we did finally return, our group was the second to last to leave the centre. We were the only ones to have the experience we did. And we were told how very fortunate we were. Although, I think each of us already had that inner understanding.

Our experience was completely wonderful. We had the perfect weather. And had taken with with us, some gorgeous new friends to share it all with.

One of my favourite quotes is:~ 
“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, 
but by the moments that take our breath away..."

Have you had any close encounters with wildlife that took your breath away? 

19 February, 2012

Boys Making Stick Spears & Paper Targets

Writing this post makes me feel a little uncomfortable. You see. I don't understand the appeal of weapons. AT ALL.
I've been consulting with those wiser in the world of children, than myself. And also those with testosterone levels, higher than myself. They all assure me that this latest obsession is quite natural for boys. And has been since the dawn of time...

One of the Stick Spears

I have wanted to encourage my eldest boy. Who in this photo is wearing pyjama pants. Because, he has been working morning and afternoon on woodworking. 
Making "weapons"

He has been planning, creating, sanding and waxing.
Each, wonderful skills to learn and practice.

Some reassuring advice I was given by two extremely wonderful parties, was to make targets to throw these spears at. Make it a game. Give them purpose away from weaponry.

Here Our boys are creating their targets.

As I stood back and watched. And took photos (apologies for any blurriness, I wanted the boys to work this out without too much interference). I found positives.
Look at this cooperation. Little Pip hands Mr Turtle a tack, from a pile, and passes him a small hammer.

Mr Turtle using hand eye coordination and rhythm, to mount the target onto the fence.

Again, coordination and balance as he aims his 'spear' at the target. He learnt here too, that the 'spear' was too heavy at the end and soon snapped that off so that it 'flew' straighter through the air.
The boys were also having 2 throws each before swapping. Taking turns was their own solution to wanting to both throw at the target.

Again, the boys work together to find the Stick Spears, which are well camouflaged amongst the leaf litter. 

When the target was too marked to decipher where the Stick Spear had hit it, Mr Turtle used the fork end of the hammer to remove the tacks and replace the target with a new one.

So in the end, how do I feel?
I still feel queasy and would rather they were hammering more aeroplanes or sitting still, finger knitting. But it's not up to me, as my boys get older. I need to trust and guide them, as safely and encouragingly as I can. Thank Goodness there are others in my life that I can turn to for my own guidance!

I have never agreed that there can be differences between boys and girls, just between children. But when things like this come up, and none of my advisors with daughters can help. I find people say to me 'Boys will be Boys', and well, I am inclined to agree with them.
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