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Some of my recent whittling

I’ve spent a lot of my time lately whittling! It has become probably my favorite pastime, despite the occasional blisters and the wood chips that trail their way about the house… I like to think it’s bringing a little bit of nature indoors. Although we have a lot of that already.

Something I’ve made a lot of lately are these interlocking spiral sticks. Both of these in particular are cherry but I’ve done a few single spirals out of elder whose pithy center pops out perfectly with minimal knife effort.

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I have also made quite an amount of cutlery. I have not yet mastered forks but for the time being I’ll manage with spoons and butter knives. The two center spoons are green beech and the outer spoons are oak (left hand) and something unknown handed to me at the Art of Mentoring (right). I’m pretty sure the two knives are cherry (we have a large cherry tree in the garden who provides us with plentiful wood often)IMGP1644

This little wren is the end of a handle of a butter knife I made for my dad’s birthday. I used a fork cherry branch and whittled it down into a bird, and then burned in patterns on the wings.IMGP1651

As usual, if anyone would like a tutorial I would be more than happy to make one!

Leibster Award Nomination!

I was nominated for the Leibster Award a while ago by the lovely Kara (Thank you!)

Here are the rules if you have been nominated!

Rule 1: You must answer 11 questions given to you by the person who nominated you

Rule 2: You must list 11 random/fun facts about yourself

Rule 3: You must pick 11 nominees

Rule 4: You cannot nominate the person who nominated you

Rule 5: You must let the person you’ve nominated know that they’ve been nominated

  1. If you had to pick one type of dessert to reflect your personality what would it be
    Probably a wild berry pie cooked over a campfire or something along those lines!
  2. Why did you choose that dessert for #1?
    I am one for the forest and the hills, and the best times of my life are those spent around a fire under the stars with amazing people.
  3. Would you rather visit a place that many people have raved about or a place that no one has ever visited?
    A place that no one has ever visited, for sure!
  4. Why did you choose that response for #3?
    I am a lover of the most remote places, and a forest or mountain that is completely untouched would be my idea of heaven!
  5. What is your favorite memory from your childhood?
    I suppose I’m no longer a child… Probably walking in Glendalough (A very beautiful place in Ireland) And eating lots and lots of bilberries/blaeberries, dipping my toes in a mountain stream and walking in the valley.
  6. Describe a time in which you made a mistake but learned from it.
    Hmm, that’s difficult. I make mistakes a lot! I think I’m good at accepting them though.
  7. How do you think your birth order has shaped you (being the youngest, oldest, middle, or only child)?
    I am the youngest, but I only have one sister, and I’ve never really had any sort of sibling rivalry or anything, so I would say that it has shaped me to be more peaceful and contented. I don’t think I could manage staying somewhat sane with lots of younger siblings! My sister is gone to college, as well, so at the moment it’s just me and my parents in the house. It’s nice to have the company and support of an older sibling too.
  8. What song best expresses how you’re feeling today?
    A thousand songs… But at the moment I am in love with a piano peice by Einaudi called Primavera… It’s just one of those songs that is so beautiful it’s actually painful!
  9. How do you think technology will change in the future?
    I’m not a very strong advocate for technology, in many ways. I think in some ways, for health reasons, and for helping others, it’s good, and I think it’s great that at the moment, information can be shared and spread to people across the world in the flash of an eye. I think that the younger generation are wasting their entire lives (including me) on their phones and computers, and that everyone is suffering from a lack of time spent outdoors. My ideal life would be without technology, living in a self sustainable community and peacefully connecting with the earth, but I suppose technology does allow me to stay in contact with those who I could not talk to otherwise, and make contact with other people through blogging etc.
  10. If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be
    Pasta. I love pasta.
  11. What is the best advice someone has ever given you?
    I have a terrible memory for words, but at the Art of Mentoring I learned some things I will never forget, about how I must meet my edges and fears, and just sit with them and be okay with them in order to overcome them. I can say, that when I remember, I become much more free and happy, whatever is happening, both outside and inside.

Here’s the questions for my nominees (Probably not the right word but anyhow…)

  1. What is your biggest aspiration in life?
  2. What is the funniest moment you can remember of your childhood?
  3. Are you a dog or cat person?
  4. Who is your hero?
  5. What is your greetest passion?
  6. If you could take only three things/people to a desert island with you, what/who would it be?
  7. Where would you most like to travel in the world?
  8. What annoys you the most?
  9. What would you do if you won the lottery?
  10. If you could have the life of any person in the world, who would it be?
  11. What inspires your blog?

Natural Dreamcatcher DIY!

I’ve now had this blog for some… two and a half years, methinks? A lot has happened in that time, although I think the last few months has been my longest blogging break yet 😦 But I’m back now!!
It’s been a beautiful summer… And autumn… 20 celcius in September for two and maybe more weeks? Never before. I’m happy, and I think I become more creaitve in the sunshine. It’s like solid happiness for me! I’m out of school too, so I have had some serious crafting/whittling/drawing/music sessions over the past while, and the sun only makes it better!
My mum is starting her Forest School training group soon, and I’m going to be helping out, so I made some dreamcatchers as examples as they are some of the things we will possibly teach the kids to make. However, thinking I was beginning to make some regular natural dreamcatchers didn’t exactly turn out, because yeah, I never do things the same way twice! I think the sunshine was giving me cravings of some brighter colours so I used cloth strips. And you know what, I actually took photos for a tutorial! I have never fully succeeded in doing this before as I usually get too carried away to remember to photograph the important stages…
Enough talking, here’s the tutorial!
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Equipment and materials:
Scissors
A long, bendy stick that will not break or crumple when bent into a circle, preferably willow (I used dogwood, common in Ireland at least) Test around a bit, it might not work first time!
Wool/string of various colours, I like to use earth tones myself.
Feathers, Nuts, any beautiful natural things you can tie string to!
1cm wide strips of cloth, from 1/2 ft to 1 1/2 ft long
Imagination! (Most important)
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Bend your long stick into a circle. It won’t be even, so bend it a bit with your hand.

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Get your wool or string and tie it around the circle where the thick end of the loop stops.

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Wrap your string once around the thicker part and then cross over both to wrap towards the thinner part

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When it is holding together the ends well, pull the string toward the middle of the wrap and create a loop above as shown. Once the loop is made cut the string with a reasonable tail to tie off the loop with (about where my scissors are in the third photo

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Pull that loose end upwards and tie off the loop with the string as shown.
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To begin the weaving, cut a long peice of wool or thread (I was using a different, green one in this) and tie it around the top where the loop is. I used a timber hitch for extra strength but it’s unnessacary if you don’t know it.
Bring this peice of wool to another place on the frame and reaching underneath, pull wool through itself and pull tight (See pictures, it’s difficult to explain!) repeat all around the frame.
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Once you reach the top of the frame again, make the last section a little shorter. Then bring the wool around the first string in the same way as you did the frame, and pull tight until it is in the center of the supporting string. Continue this way until you reach as far as you’d like. If you run out of wool along the way tie another peice on to the end of the previous.
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If you wish, tie some of your natural things to some strings and attach to the base of the dreamcatcher. If you want you can leave it at that but I highly recommend the next step, as, in my opinion, it gives the dreamcatcher a very beautiful and summery feel.
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Take your strips of cloth, and if they are neat and orderly, attack them. Pull them, stretch them, twist them, fray them.
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Next, fold your strip in half and push the top around the dreamcatcher frame. Push the two loose ends through the top and pull tight. Continue around the base of the dreamcatcher as much as you wish, and ta dah!
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If you have any questions, comment or queries please don’t hesitate to use the comments box below! I would be glad to help you!