Friday Finds

{Friday Finds} | Nature Crafts

Lilac Jelly

Here in the New England, spring  has finally broken, and summer is just around the corner.  There is no lovelier time to work on nature crafts.  Last week, we made lilac jelly from our garden.  I’ll post more on that soon.  If lilac jelly sounds tempting to your palate, you can purchase some for yourself from our farm shop.  And treat yourself to our wholesale buyers co-operative membership.  All proceeds currently go to our adoption expenses.

We hope that these ideas will inspire you to get outside and craft away in your garden. Please use the InLinkz link-up tool below to share your favourite nature crafts post for everyone to discover and enjoy.  It doesn’t have to be from your own blog.

Hollyhock Dolls – Our neighbour, June, taught us how to make these from the hollyhocks that grew in our front garden.  It’s high time we planted some here at the farm, I think.  It’s a lovely craft to make while sitting in the garden on a summer afternoon.

Crafts Made from Dried Materials – These would be lovely for any time of year.  My friends in Australia and New Zealand are heading into winter, and may have all of these materials in abundance right now as well.

Dyed Masked Eggs – Our farm hens are churning out eggs like a little factory right now.  These dyed egg ideas are wonderful!  There is such an abundance of gathered plant materials to be used – for masks and for dyes.

Here is a list of plant materials and their resulting colours (some are quite surprising!)  Use 1 part white vinegar to 4 parts water for the dye bath):

  • Dandelion Root – red
  • Yellow Onion Skins – orange to brown
  • Red Clover – yellow
  • Red Onion Skin – green
  • Queen Anne’s Lace – pale green
  • Red cabbage – blue
  • Avocado skin – pink
  • Beetroot – pink to magenta
  • Red Cedar Root – violet
  • Coffee – brown
  • Sumac Leaves – black

 

Eggshell Mosaics – If you have a super abundance of shells – washed, air-dried and stored – or if you’ve broken some from the previous project, this could be a fun project.  Not weather dependent, so good for rainy days, too.  The first time I saw one of these was in the conference room of an adoption agency.  The picture was so finely done that it looked just like a photograph.  This is a simple project to get you started, and if you like the process, try more complex designs.

Wattle Fence Making – These are very popular in English gardens.  At least, they were when we lived in England.  Panels of all sizes were available.  There is something about seeing them in a garden that gives my heart a lift.  Wattle fences can be used as a low garden edging, windbreaks, or privacy screens.  Made in the round and arched over, you can weave a garden playhouse for children, decorated with bits of moss and flowers that grow in walls.  Made on a miniature scale, they can be used for fairy houses and doll houses.

Lavender Wands – The lavender harvest usually coincides with our family birthday in mid July.  I used to love snipping the long stems of lavender, gathering them in a basket and weaving wands while sitting outside in the warm summer air.  I made a video tutorial way back when I was expecting James.  It’s not terribly wonderful.  Perhaps when we get our new lavender planted here on the farm, I will make another, better video tutorial to share

 

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{Friday Finds} Farm Hopping

Friday Finds: A weekly round-up of links to products, images, articles, or projects that are inspiring us.  If you would like to share a Friday Find of your own, just add it below the post for all of us to discover and enjoy!

Chive Flower

Rosa Multiflora

Virtual farm hopping, that is.  Brian and I draw an awful lot of inspiration and encouragement from other farmers – both in personal relationships and virtual ones.  We take to heart bits of their farm practice or philosophy, or even their aesthetic and plan to apply that to our farm here.  One of the loveliest things about the internet is our ability to virtually visit places that we would otherwise never even know about.

Here are some that have helped to form our vision for our farm.

Misty Brook Farm – our friends the Holmes’.  They taught us a lot about farming, and rented pasture from us for our first couple of years.  They have now  moved to Maine where they work a single farm (instead of five!).  We love their approach to farming.  They aim to produce a complete diet on their farm (vegetables/fruits, meat, dairy, eggs, and grains).  They have a really neat CSA model that we are inspired by

Miracoli Farm – Owned by our friends, the Sinclairs.  They are striving toward many of the same agricultural goals we are, but we are especially inspired by their care for military spouses.  They are working to create a place where military spouses can retreat and refresh.  Such an important ministry to the most often overlooked members of the military.

Ballymaloe – Stunningly beautiful Irish farm.  Proof that farming doesn’t have to be messy.  Well, it has to be messy, but the farm doesn’t need to look a mess.  I am really inspired by their cookery school and farm stay program.  They teach participants how to eat what is available on the farm.  Also a whole-diet farm.

Norfolk Lavender – One of our favourite places to visit when we were in England.  Located on the wash in Norfolk, about an hour from RAF Mildenhall, and just a stone’s throw from the Queen’s residence at Sandringham, and the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham.  Because of this beautiful place, we have always wanted to grow lavender.  Many of the varieties that they grow will grow here.  I remember Brian being completely smitten with their big copper still, used to make essential oils.  Now, they also have a farm raising heritage breeds and heirloom vegetables using organic principles.  Sweet.  It’s pretty much perfect.

Regina Laudis – Although we haven’t been (very little excuse since they are so close), what the sisters are doing here on their farm is amazing.  You already know how I love Benedictine and Cistercian monasteries, and I love their philosophy of stability and sustainability.  I also love how each of the sisters is encouraged to grow in her gifts.  Fantastic.  It makes for excellence in all they do.  I am particularly inspired by their preservation of heritage livestock breeds and Sister Noella’s cheesemaking enterprise.  Oh, and those denim work habits?  Yes.  Totally want one.

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{Friday Finds} | Spring Crafts

Friday Finds: A weekly round-up of links to products, images, articles, or projects that are inspiring us.  If you would like to share a Friday Find of your own, just add it below the post for all of us to discover and enjoy!

{Creating} | Paper Flowers

 

{Creating} | Paper Flowers

I was looking for some new projects to help bring a little spring into our home and routine. There were some lovely ideas popping up all over my BlogLovin’ feed, so I chose some to share here with you.  And tried to decide which project to start with…

We decided on paper peonies.  I sure do wish that they smelled like peonies.  I would recommend, if you’re making the pink ones, using purple, rather than red, for the darker colour (see my first link for tutorial).  I think it would have given us a more intense contrast for the centre of the flowers.  These are a really fun, easy craft.  All of those boutonnieres in training served me well.  Brought me right back to afternoons in my dining room in Woodditton, wrapping stems in tape.

DIY Paper Flowers – {If the weather won’t co-operate, then MAKE some spring}

Easter Chick Softies {OMGoodness, so cute!}

Vintage-y Pom Pom Rabbit  {I think we might need to have a litter of these}

Wooden Instruments {SO much better than pots and pans!} I think I would use my fave MilkPaint and beeswax polish for these, but the ideas are super cute and super fun.

Paper Banner for St. Patrick’s Day {You could make any little motif for the centre and really customise your banner}

 

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