Nature Studies, Backyard, Gardening, Vacations

Spring Break

I have a few announcements to make. First, please welcome our new sponsors The Felt Pod and Armadillo Dreams. Stop by and check them out. We are planning something special with each of them in the upcoming weeks... stay tuned.

Second, It is spring break time for us. Kimara and I will be taking a bit of time off from the blog as we enjoy some out of town company, get some spring cleaning done, and finish up a few odds and ends to get the store ready. We will be back after Easter, hopefully refreshed and ready to embark on a new phase in Wee Folk Art... aka the Market Place. In the meantime I've collected some of our Spring Projects to keep you busy.

Third, we will probably be turning our comments to moderate after today. It is hard enough to keep up with the spam while we are vigilantly online... impossible on vacation. Please keep posting, asking questions, etc... just know that your comments may not show immediately while we our on vacation.

See ya soon!

Spring in the Thicket
Projects for Your Gnome Home

Flower Fairies

Flower Garland for Gnome House

Flower Fairy Carpet

Spring Sleeping Bags

Peg Flowers

More Spring Time Toys

Walking Bunnies

Lily Pads and Water Lilies

Wooden Frog


Felt and Wood Reeds

Cashmere Frog

When the Snow is on the Ground (When, indeed!)


The Little Robin Grieves - Nursery Rhyme

The little robin grieves
When the snow is on the ground,
For the trees have no leaves,
And no berries can be found.


The air is cold, the worms are hid;
For robin here what can be done?
Let's throw around some crumbs of bread,
And then he'll live till snow is gone.


The other day I came upon a stack of large flip charts. Do they even use those any more? Anyway... opening them brought on a ton of delightful memories.


I didn't homeschool my children. To be honest, at the time, I only knew of 1 family that homeschooled, and the thought never even crossed by mind. Instead, I surrounded our children with enrichment learning, and I think my family would all agree, that some of their best learning, certainly the most enjoyable and memorable, occurred within the family. One of the things I always did, was to print poems on flip charts, which were displayed in our family room, which I then surrounded with picture books and resource books on the topic. We kept a poem up until everyone had a chance to mostly memorize it... at least become intimately familiar with it... and we had enjoyed crafts and outings that corresponded with it.

I thought it would be fun to share some of the poems that the wee ones haven't learned yet.  The nursery rhyme, The Little Robin Grieves, has long been one of our favorites. I think I like the poem so much because it speaks of the seasons and encourages us to help these lovely creatures :)   


Although we haven't gotten any noteworthy snow yet, the above picture was taken last year, our feathered friends still appreciate the food and heated water we provide for them. 

Above is this year's winter picture, sans snow or sun!!!

If you've never looked at Michelle's Winter Wonderland Curriculum, you are in for a treat. Although it is geared to preschool/kindergarten, many of the activities will be enjoyable for children of all ages and it has a list of some wonderful winter books. One of the crafts we will be doing this week is to make the ever popular pinecone feeders. The tutorial is available in the Winter Wonderland Curriculum. We will doing other activities, which we will be sharing, too.

BTW... we have many books on winter, birds and animals in winter, but I just read a review on the book, A Bird in Winter by Hélène Kérillis and Stéphane Gire , and thought it would be perfect. It was inspired by Pieter Breugel's painting, Hunters in the Snow, and is about an eight year old peasant girl named Mayken who finds an injured bird in the snow. She nurses the bird back to health. Not only is the book's water colors suppose to be lovely, but I'm hoping it demonstrates the joy in helping all creatures, great and small :)


Hunters in the Snow by Pieter Bruegel the Elder (1565)

The book is due in on Tuesday. I'll do a review on it them :) And, fingers crossed... Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow!

Peg Flowers and Fairies

A few days ago I shared a little Black Eyed Susan flower that I made with felt and a wooden peg. When you pushed the petals down, you discovered a little flower fairy. I began thinking about other flowers, focusing on the petal shapes. I came up with 4 different shapes, keeping the necks the same size on all of them. I'll share some of the flowers I made, but the sky is the limit! Look at your favorite flowers, pick the petal that comes the closest, and before you know it, you'll have a bed of your "bestest" favorites :) Or, throw caution to the wind, get wild and crazy, and mix and match petals and colors, to create unique fantasy flowers. The choice is yours. For now, let's get started and learn the basics.

wooden pegs - 7/8"x 2 3/8"

Make a copy of the pattern found HERE.

Begin by painting the body of the peg green. MAKE SURE TO USE CHILD SAFE PAINTS.

Paint the heads the color to match the flower you are making.

Pick your petal shape and cut out 8 petals in the desired color. You can make the petals all the same colors, or multiple colors for variations. You can even cut out 1 or 2 petals in green to represent leaves.

Many flowers have ridges or scallops on the outer edge of their petals. You can cut saw teeth or scallops at the edge of the petals.

Using quilting thread or 2 strands of matching floss, starting at the edge of the first petal, sew a running stitch to the middle of the neck.

Take the next petal, and overlap the first, and continue the running stitch sewing the two together. Stop at the middle of the second neck.

Continue adding petals in this overlapping fashion until all 8 petals have been adding, stopping in the middle of the 8th petal. IMPORTANT: when making your running stitch, make sure you do not overlap the stitches. You will need to pull the thread to gather around the wooden peg's neck.

To join the petals to the wooden peg, wrap your petals around the neck of the peg, overlapping the 1st petal over the 8th. Sew a couple more running stitches connecting the petals.

Pull firmly on the thread until it is tight around the neck. Tie off.

Work the thread in and out of the petals a couple of times to hide the end of the thread, and clip the thread close to the petals.

Using a fine tipped, permanent marker, add a face and some "seeding looking" designs to represent both hair and seeds. Using paint, add a touch of pink for checks.

Here are the flowers I made... loosely based on real flowers :)

Petal A - Black Eyed Susan. Might also be used for dahlias, cone flowers, chrysanthemums, leaves etc.

Petal B - Poinsettia. Might also be used for irises, ruffled tulips, leaves, etc.

Petal C - Poppy. Might also be used for tulips, peonies, violets (scallop the edge), etc.

Petal D - Chicory - Might also be used for daisies, asters, coreopsis, etc.

Where can your imagination take these flowers? Have fun creating your own flower bed.
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Black Eyed Susans

When I was a little girl, I fell in love with Black Eyed Susans. They weren't flowers in my mother's garden, but rather they grew wild in the park by our house. I was intrigued by how alike and how different they were from daisies, another favorite. Once I had a garden of my own, I filled it with Black Eyed Susans. Who knew I would spend the next 3 decades in a love/hate relationship with the flower! I still love them, but I'm always battling them to keep them under control (They can be so pushy :)

Anyway... this year, like all of my plants, my poor Black Eyed Susans are looking a bit frumpy from the heat. It got me to thinking, and before long, I decided to make some playful Black Eyed Susans for inside. I have visions of surrounding the gnome house with flowers!
Of course, who wants flowers around your gnome house unless they have personality? So, you simply push the petals down and...

tah dah... meet our newest little flower fairy. We will be sharing the pattern later in the week, hopefully with some variations to chose from!

What flower is a "must have" in your garden?

Postcards from Vermont 2011

My mom shared some pictures of her latest trip to visit the Little Lady so I needed to share some of ours. We went in the other direction. We just got back from our annual trip to Vermont (here are last year's pics). This is something we've been doing since I was 11 years old and it is so wonderful to share this experience with my children now. We have been going to the same place for so long, when we get there it feels like we've come home to this magical place where time seems to stand still. We love the boundless outdoor activities and are always on the go from dawn to dusk. We come back feeling both refreshed and exhausted. LOL.



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