Fairy House Hunt

DSCN5366Today my family finally managed to get to the woods and go on a fairy house hunt among the trees.  The sun came out and children were swinging from the monkey bars and a tethered tyre.  It was great to get some fresh air after feeling poorly all week and I’m sure the walk did me some good.

Here are few photographs of some of the fairy doors/houses we found tucked up against the tree trunks.  They weren’t that easy to spot as they were well spread out. Occasionally we found fairy stickers on the trees and even some pink glitter, but these were all decoys! As super sleuths, we had to retrace our steps to uncover all fifteen ‘hidden’ doors.
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We also were entertained by the natural wildlife – the wood was full of squirrels scurrying about and nibbling at the nuts in among the fallen leaves. Their antics were amusing, as was the time I saw a gorgeous robin sitting so still and silently on a wooden fence that I thought it wasn’t real on the entrance to the woods! It flew off at the sight of my camera before I could get a decent picture of it!

Gelliplate lettering and text

Today I plunged in at the deep end and had a go at some text on the gelliplate. To do this so that it printed the correct way around, I wrote out the words on the back of an envelope with a fine point permanent marker then turned the envelope over. The pen was dark enough for me to read it from the other side and go over the outline of each letter.
I placed the reverse text beneath the gelli (you could also do this with glass or perspex or even an acetate sheet).

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I’ve used a piece of lined paper to demonstrate how easy it is to read and go over the outline of lettering if you use a black felt pen.
Once the text is beneath the gelli in reverse, you can apply paint with a paintbrush, cotton bud or something which does not have a sharp point – you don’t want to damage the gelli – I applied my paint with the end of a paintbrush then tried it again with the brush end. Be aware that if you daub paint on thick, once you apply pressure by rubbing or rollering over the final printing paper, the paint will spread and you could lose some of the defining text.

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This was one of the prints I took from the text ‘Birds on the Line’
Once I was sure it would work, I took texture from a sycamore leaf and two masks I cut in the shape of cute birds and then added the text last.

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As I’m compiling a set of prints on birds this will be added to the collection. Finally this evening, I decided to have a go at a squirrel mask to celebrate autumn and the squirrels I’ve seen recently scurrying across the grass.

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Recording nature …

Often I get to see wildlife when I have no access to a camera or the SD card is full or even that the camera battery is low. I didn’t have any of these excuses. Just the fact that no photography is allowed to be taken on the premises without express permission from the boss! Of course, nature being nature, I didn’t have time to pre-arrange a meeting with the boss to use my camera.

A colleague called me to the back entrance of the building to observe a green woodpecker in the grass. His little red head nodded now and again, looking as if he were wearing a rider’s skullcap. It was beautiful. I raced to my desk, just about to try and sketch a memory of him, when I glanced out the window and spotted a squirrel sprinting up the tree trunk, pause, and twitch its bushy tail, before disappearing into the tree’s canape.
Now I had two wonders of nature to sketch as quickly as possible. So, what do you write on of draw on when you’re in a hurry? Post-it notes!
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At least, when I nipped home I was able to snap away some photographs of our kitten, Nikon. Here’s one I took using my iPad 🙂
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Squirrel brooch

Squirrel Brooch
Squirrel Brooch

Craft 33/365. Squirrel brooch

Tough day today with many challenges. Tried a new game to inspire children in learning active verbs, so stepped out of my comfort zone. I wrote a verb on a large piece of paper and then scrunched it up into a tight ball. I instructed the children that the aim was to catch the ‘paper snowball’ and open it, then add an active verb until we had built up a large collaborative list of active verbs while actively tossing the ball from person to person. By the time we had finished the starter activity there were several verbs on the multi-creased piece of paper. It certainly engaged them, but they did become rather over zealous with enthusiasm!

My favourite verb … Squirrelling lol!