Category Archives: Garden Beauty

A family that bees together, stays together.

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A family that bees together, stays together.

Or something like that. ūü§∑ūüŹĹ‚Äć‚ôÄÔłŹ

I have been wanting a beehive pretty much forever. Now that we live on a bit more land with a lot more flowers and fruit trees, even more so. But when do you have a spare $400 or so to splash out on a box full of insects? So, alas, it has been sitting on the Wishlist for some time. In a strange turn of events, a swarm of bees made house at Mr SAHL’s work this spring. A kindly man came and removed the swarm and a friendship was established. To cut a long story short, said bees will ‘bee’ coming to live with us in just a few weeks!

But with bees comes responsibeelity! I swear I’ll stop with the bee puns never. In preparation for our new little garden helpers, today we started to build their home expansion (they’ll be coming in a hive).

To save a few dollars, we purchased everything in kit form. It was ridiculously easy to assemble as Miss 9 and Mr 8 demonstrated.

The kids loved assembling the frames and inserting the eyelets with a hammer. The hand-eye coordination and fine motor exercises won’t harm them either ;). Tensioning the wires was left to the adults, but all in all, it was very simple.

They all wanted to help with painting the box, even the doggies, which my OCD struggled with, but hopefully, I can fix that on the final coat.

Overall it was a productive afternoon. It was so nice to not even have to ask the kids to help, they were actually interested and motivated. Let’s hope this motivation keeps up once the actual bees arrive! wiring the framesframe with foundation

Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens.

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Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens.

I don’t know why, but I always seem to find myself at these gardens in autumn or winter. Annoying really as I would love to see them in full spring bloom. ¬†None the less, the gardens have a pretty impressive display of succulents, cacti and other odd specimens that are impressive all year round.

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So if you are wanting to get out of the house for a few hours, pack up the picnic blanket and head down to the Mount Coot-tha Botanical gardens. Open 8am to 5pm daily, with an onsite cafe to grab a bite to eat if you don’t feel like packing your own lunch.

Rustic Clay Wind Chime

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Rustic Clay Wind Chime

It has been entirely too long between entries. ¬†Life gets like that though I guess. I actually made this wind chime back in May, but have not had a chance to blog about it. Pretty sad when you can’t find a spare half hour in 7 months… but hopefully I will make up for that over the next 3 weeks while my schedule is not so hectic.

I am really happy with the way this project turned out, but it may not be something everyone can make at home, as you will need access to a kiln for the baking of the clay. ¬†I am lucky enough to have that access ūüôā ¬†The discs were made from potters clay, available from any good craft shop, about $30 for 10kg (it’s really heavy when wet!). I rolled some clay out to around 5mm thick, then cut the circles out using a metal egg ring. ¬†I then used a variety of leaves and flowers from around the garden, laid them over the clay and rolled over gently with a rolling pin, just enough to create the patterns as you can see.

Clay craft

Clay circles with leaf and flower prints.

Once baked and cooled, it was time for assembly.  Mr 5 and Miss 6 were happy to help decorate the pieces of fishing line with some chunky transparent glass beads I had in my bead stash.

Threading beads

Threading the beads on fishing line before assembly

We then went on a hunt for the perfect stick, attached it to a chair and began assembly.  I wanted the discs to taper down, so this was not something the kids could help with.

Assembly of wind chime

Assembling

Once I was happy with the positioning of each string, I tied them in a few more knots and decorated the top hanging twine. ¬†Cut off any loose ends and it’s done. ¬†As simple as that.

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Each disc touches the next ever so slightly, making a lovely sound in the breeze, without being too noisy.

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Bugs and Bees and Butterflies! So Sweet!

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Bugs and Bees and Butterflies! So Sweet!

Check out these cute bugs the girls at All Tizzied Up put together on the weekend.  Made from pipe cleaners, pom poms, wooden pegs, goggly eyes and tulle.  So simple and so cute!

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They have kindly taken step by step photos so you can be inspired too, to create your own colouring creepy crawlies.

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Easy Sun Catcher, Kids Craft

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Easy Sun Catcher, Kids Craft

Everyone loves a sun catcher Рwell according to Pinterest they do! This is basically the same concept as the Valentine Hearts  we did a few weeks back, but instead of random shapes, we used a punch to make stars and circles etc from the cellophane. Once laminated, we cut out smaller shapes and hung them from a branch with some beads.

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This is yet another almost impossible thing to photograph, it looks so much more bright and colourful in real life. I don’t know why I keep doing this to myself, or maybe I just need to do a photography coarse, or even read the instructions for my DSLR…

Turn Recycled Cans into Cute Garden Ornament

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Turn Recycled Cans into Cute Garden Ornament

This little piggy went to market… ¬†And this little piggy just wants to play in the garden! ¬†How cute is this? Made from recycled cans and a tin bucket, some pink paint, wire and a few screws!

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The assembly process was very similar to the Tin Can Men from a few days ago. You can see how they did it in the pictures below. I want one!

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This clever school holiday project is bought to you by All Tizzied Up.  If you are in Australia and in need of some bows, check out their page.

Tin Can Garden Men! School Holiday Project

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Tin Can Garden Men! School Holiday Project

I must say I am quite jealous of all the projects the girls at All Tizzie Up are doing this holidays. ¬†I have been so swamped with work and other obligations I just haven’t had the time or energy to get any of the things I wanted to done. But that will change! ¬†In the meantime, I am very happy they are helping keep my blog active! ¬†Here is some cute little tin can men they made using recycled cans, wire, paint, beads and some bells.

 

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Watch the slide show or click on the images for step by step instructions to make your own recycled can garden critters.

 

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Autumn Tree, Family Craft Activity

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Autumn Tree, Family Craft Activity

This week I am excited to feature a project from a local crafty mumma from All Tizzied Up .  She and her gorgeous girls have brought nature and some textiles together to create a colourful fall themed wall hanging.  

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They have gathered up some bark and leaves and painted the leaves while still fresh using acrylic craft paint. ¬†The paint has slowed down the drying out process and kept them supple so they don’t crack through the next few steps. ¬†The rest if fairly self explanatory, or run your mouse over each picture for more details.

Once all the collage was together, mum then filled in the surrounds of the tree with blue paint and there you have it.

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DIY Wind Chime, Candelabra/Sun Catcher.

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DIY Wind Chime, Candelabra/Sun Catcher.

I dragged the kids to the $2 shop to stock up on some supplies for other projects, and came across these cute little glass bottles.  I had to have them.  And I had to use them right now!  So much for Halloween craft this week! lol.

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I didn’t have a small enough pre made wreath wring to use as the frame, so I just used some gardening wire and platted it loosely along with a piece of twine. ¬†I like the rough look it gave and thought it fit well with the theme. ¬†The little glass balls were another score from the junk shop, they are actually part of a floating candle set, but I had bigger ideas. ¬†I love those old glass buoys as decorations so I figured these could be made into mini ones. ¬†I slightly filled the little jars with some crushed crystal beads I bought off eBay years ago, just to add some colour, then tied them all up. ¬†Originally I was going to position each one, stepping them down as I went, but as they were all different heights and widths, it just didn’t give a worthwhile effect. ¬†So I just tied them randomly, but so they would still hit each other to make a noise in the wind. ¬† The candle holder in the middle was a last minute decision, I just thought it was missing something, and that finished it off perfectly. ¬†To be honest, I wouldn’t leave the candle lit unattended, as those strings are flammable, maybe a battery operated tea-light would be a better idea.


Anyway, I am pretty happy with it.  I think I will do it again, after I collect some larger bottles to hold more candles.  Create something a little different again, and probably use wire to hang them next time.

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The finished product

The finished product

If you would like to see more craft and DIY projects like this one, please follow my blog and Pinterest.

 

 

Autumn Theme Mobile, Using Oven Bake Clay

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Autumn Theme Mobile, Using Oven Bake Clay

I have had this idea in my head for a while, but wasn’t sure what medium to use. ¬†This product is really fun and easy to work with, however, it sets more like a hard rubber than a ceramic clay, so it did not achieve the wind chime noise I had in mind. ¬†Oh well, its still pretty!

 

Nature theme mobile / sun catcher.

Nature theme mobile / sun catcher.

Upcycled CDs. Sun Catcher.

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Upcycled CDs. Sun Catcher.

We were having a clean out of old computer stuff and were about to throw away a pile of old discs, but I decided those shinny little things must be good for something else? ¬†So after a bit of thinking, I came up with yet another sun catcher idea. ¬†Anyone would think I like sparkly things? ¬†It took me ages to work out what to cover, a sphere didn’t seem practical as the CD pieces are flat obviously, so after some uhmming and arrring, I decided wooden cubes were the best solution. ¬†The lovely man at the local hardware was kind enough to give me some 3″ x 3″ off cuts for free. ¬†The rest of the instructions are on the pictures. ¬†I just used clear drying craft glue to attach the CD chips to the wood and the grout is standard bathroom tile grout mixed according to instructions, available from any hardware (we had some left over from the laundry renovation).

Recycled DVD / CD Sun catcher

Recycled DVD / CD Sun catcher

Sun Catcher.  CD / DVD

Sun Catcher. CD / DVD

 

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DIY Sun catcher/Wind chime.

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DIY Sun catcher/Wind chime.

This project was inspired by another bloggers post, which I can’t find again on Pinterest, so will have to edit it back in later when I can find it. ¬†Anyway, I ended up doing something completely different to hers, because I couldn’t get my hands on the right kind of cups. ¬†The original mobile was created with plastic (recycling number 6) disposable drinking cups. ¬†I hunted high and low however, the only ones of them here were solid colours, so I had to settle for these shot glasses. ¬†The shot glasses are a lot thicker though, so the entire method required adjusting. ¬†As you can see in the gallery images, melting these at a low heat basically make little plastic globs that would only be good for playing jacks with. ¬† Eventually I worked out that by turning the heat up enough, I could get them to melt flat. ¬†However, they did emit a nasty smell at this temp, so I took the project out to the BBQ. ¬†

Adding the next colour

Adding the next colour

After melting the first cups, I added another cup, so there was enough plastic to cover the base of each muffin hole.  I was not too worried about thickness, some ended up with 3 cups, I broke a few cups up to splash some other colour around.  The BBQ was set to 220C with the lid down.   After cooling, this is what you get; 

The finished disks

The finished disks

 

They actually set really hard and when clicked together sound like glass rather than plastic.  Makes them perfect for a wind chime.  Just like with my previous sun catcher, I drilled holes in the sides of each piece using a normal drill bit.  None of them broke this time, which was an extra win.  Then we threaded some fishing line through, held each end together and threaded random shiny and transparent beads along the 2 lines. Admittedly I do have a ridiculously huge stash of beads and stones accumulated from over the years, but you can pick up cheap beads at $2 shops that will still make the project inexpensive if you were starting from scratch.  The first line was 11cm, then I continued along making each one 1cm longer, there is 17 in total.  My darling partner tied them on to the pre made metal loop (from spotlight Рand much to his disappointment, he is not a crafty person).  Once they were all tied on, I just slid them around until they were spaced evenly.  And done! 

Close up

Close up

 

** Please note, breathing in the fumes from melting plastic is probably not a very good idea. ¬†So if you do try this at home, try to use the BBQ or make sure the room is well ventilated, and preferably don’t be near the oven while its all happening. ¬†It not like burning tyres or anything, but it sure doesn’t smell like something you should be breathing in!¬†

 

Beaded Mobile/Chandelier/Wind chime Family project.

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Beaded Mobile/Chandelier/Wind chime Family project.

Sorry if the beads are getting old.  I really made this up as I went along. I wanted to use the rings I had bought to make Christmas Wreaths but never got around to.   I thought this was something we could all do together and the results are pretty cute, although would do it differently next time.

 

Ending the wire

 

We threaded some plastic jewels with beading wire, to make the ends. Then created patterns with different coloured beads, around 20cm long.

ends ready for string

 

Finish off the ends by wrapping the wire into a loop around some needle nose pliers.  The loop needs to be big enough to not let the beads slide off, and to allow you to thread more string on in the next step.

Then I just tied them around the ring, suspended it with some gift ribbon and suspended a glass sun catcher in the middle.  All pretty straight forward. Ms 4 wants to hang it from her light, but as she has a light fan combo, there is nothing to hang it from.

 

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Quick Kids Craft – Christmas Themed

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Quick Kids Craft – Christmas Themed

Mr 7 actually came up with this by himself.  He was not home when we did the leaf pictures, but he used that idea for inspiration.

Some craft glue, a marker, coloured paper, leaves and flowers and a brush.

Some craft glue, a marker, coloured paper, leaves and flowers and a brush.

I drew the basic outline for him, while he and Ms 3 collected some fine leaves and flowers from the garden.

Spread the paint into the area you want to cover.

Spread the paint into the area you want to cover.

Then he painted the glue on.

and start sticking

and start sticking

 

The finished product.

The finished product.

 

Too easy!  Next time we might frame them.  Or cut out the shape and put it on some different coloured backing.

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Spring goodness!

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Spring goodness!

I LOVE SPRING!  Sorry to yell at you all, but seriously?  Best season of the year.   Check out what I found at mums today Рa Willie Wagtail  has made a nest in the most picture perfect position.  Like something out of a fairy scene.

Can you see it?

 

 

 

*Updated, the eggs have now hatched.

 

The hatchlings

The hatchlings.

 

around 2 weeks

around 2 weeks

 

2 weeks close up

close up.