Sisterhood Camp, A creative retreat for women run by Lou Archell, is but a few days away. This will be my fourth Sisterhood event, having been involved as the stylist/art director from the start and, as it always is for me, it is a privilege to simply gather with women. It is a pleasure to meet new friends, and hear their experiences and struggles. It’s a privilege to have space to be creative, and it is my greatest privilege to style and curate the beautiful spaces in which those things happen.Read More
Hannah here: Hello all! It is that time again when we welcome the wonderful Lou from Little Green Shed onto Seeds and Stitches. We are always so excited to see what she has come up with for us, this month more than most, as both Davina and I have both embarked on some serious house renovations! We love this feather mobile! Thank you Lou and over to you:
How is it October already? These months are flying past so quickly. October to me is the month of extremes; on one part it’s harvest time and another part it is also a time of decay. Cottage gardens and allotments are full of produce, chard, beetroot, the last of the tomatoes and of course squashes and pumpkins. The hedgerows are full of berries and nuts ready to be picked and stored or made into delicious warming tipples.
The flip side to all this autumnal abundance is fall. The decay and slow die back of crops and leaves, the smell of damp woodland earth and mushrooms in the air. On our Autumn walks at the moment we are finding many, many stray feathers. I have been told that birds moult at this time of year in preparation for migration; discarding old feathers and growing new plumage to help them fly off to warmer climes.
So for this months column I’ve decided to use these feathers to make an autumnal display with a ghoulish twist - well it’s nearly Halloween!
Painted Feather wall-hanging
feathers (found or bought, you can find packs for sale on ebay)
small paint brushes
Paint your feathers with acrylic paint. I used gold and white to make my design, preferring the contrast between the natural feather colour and the bright white and gold. I love gold paint, can’t get enough at the moment.
Using various styles, I chose a mix of dots (using the tip of the paint brush handle) and lines to make a native American Indian design on each feather
Once dry, thread through the quill using the needle and acrylic jewellery wire
Tie to your branch and hang
I hung my feather mobile above the mantelpiece as part of a seasonal halloween display. A more grown up way to decorate for that ghoulish night. I will have bats and pumpkins in the window I am sure!
Why not get creative with this idea, try using bright colours such as neon pink or red. Or perhaps involve your children in the process, and hang the finished mobile in their bedroom.
Hannah here: We are excited to welcome Lou back to the blog with a gorgeous beachy DIY. I am about to head off on our holiday and I'll be collecting treasures with this project in mind. Thank you, as always, lovely Lou!
Following on from last months post, on how to display flowers, this month I thought I’d talk about finding nature’s treasure whilst on holiday.
Most of us this summer, will be spending our days beach side. Whilst there, I love to look for shells, sea glass, mermaids purses, crab shells, cuttle fish bones and so on… filling my pockets as I wander along the sea's edge.
Once home, there are many ways to display your beach treasure. In a bowl or on the table; it's an instant tactile way of remembering your holiday. Or why not try a wall hanging…
You will need:
- Shells, coral, pebbles, - anything you might find
- Copper jewellery wire (I found mine on Ebay)
- Using the dremel (you can pick these up quite cheaply in DIY shops), drill a small hole into one end of the shell.
- Next take a piece of copper wire and thread it through the hole. Twist the end to secure. You can get fancy here and twist the excess wire into curls if you wish.
- Attach the wire and shell to the driftwood stick by twisting the end over it a couple of times.
- With pebbles, I wrapped them with the wire before attaching them to the stick.
- Keep adding shells and pebbles as you go until you have the desired effect.
- Finally, attach some garden twine to the ends of the stick and hang it up!
I think it would look great anywhere: above a child's bed, above the sofa in the lounge, or hanging in the garden.
So this summer, get out and beach comb and see what you can find...
If you make something with your beach treasures, please do let us know so we can see and coo over it!
Frankie and I spend a lot of time collecting treasures outdoors and bringing them home with us. I always try to display these treasures around the house, be that as an Autumn leaf garland, a bunch of cow parsley in a big jar, or seaside treasures displayed on a beach nature shelf in the hall. I have always enjoyed doing this, but having a kid has multiplied the magic, her wonder and excitement is infectious! A daffodil! A feather! A bottle cap! (?- I go with it.) For these very reasons, both Davina and I are long time readers of Little Green Shed, a wonderful blog that ticks all of our boxes: wild outdoors adventures, camping, and celebrating nature in all its forms. So we were obviously delighted when she said she'd like to work with us on a regular column for Seeds and Stitches. We decided to ask Lou some questions about what she loves, and about her wider Nature in the Home series. Its a treat. So, handing you over to Lou:
Can you introduce yourself to us: Who are you, and what floats your boat?
Hello, my name is Lou Archell and I write a blog called Littlegreenshed. I am in love with the outdoors, wild adventures with my sons, gardening, plants and nature. I like to feel in touch with the seasons, to cook and eat simple, fresh seasonal food. Gather blossom in the spring, and grow squashes and pumpkins to store in the Autumn. I also love great design, interiors, champion craftsmanship and fresh coffee.
Can you tell us about your Nature in the Home series? How did it come about?
Nature in the Home started three years ago. I noticed a growing trend in interior styling which included plants and flowers. Back then it was all about the succulent and mother in laws tongue. Since then other plants and flowers are now 'on trend'. I adore nature is all it's forms, I am a country girl at heart, but live in the City of Bristol. I started the weekly feature called 'Nature in the Home' just highlighting how using plants, flowers, feathers, shells etc as interior decor can give a room a sense of peace and a homely feel.
In it's second year I opened the weekly feature to my readers. Asking them to join me with a link up, using images from pinterest board as inspiration. I was overwhelmed by the response and soon had 50+ people weekly linking up with their finds.
NitH is now in it's 3rd year and I've changed the format a little. Using the hashtag #natureinthehome, it is now an Instagram link up. Each week I pick my top 8 images, these could be most innovate, prettiest, a colour etc. Plus there will be interviews, DIY's and further inspiration. So far the response has been overwhelming.
And what about the May day baskets? How did the recipients respond?
Ah yes the May Day Baskets. Last May (2013) I came across the old pagan tradition of May Baskets whilst researching an article I was writing. At the turn of the 20th Century the ancient tradition had fallen out of favour which is such a shame. So I thought let's revive it! Last May I encouraged a few people to get involved, leaving jars or cones on friends and neighbours doorsteps on May Day to celebrate. This year I left 8. How did they respond? With kisses and tears... good friends! Flowers will always do that.
Whats your favourite month or season? how do you like to celebrate it?
So hard to choose! I love all seasons for different reasons. But right now I am in love with May. You have just got to look at the hedgerows to see why. Frothy cow parsley, blue bells, wild garlic, fox gloves, May blossom - it's beautiful out there. I love to celebrate each month and season by having a nature table, bringing in foraged blooms, seed heads and other 'treasures' we can find as a family. I also like to celebrate the pagan festivals, by lighting candles and having a big feast at home. In the mid-summer, we love to have a fire at night - I try to book a camping trip around this time, so we can fully experience the longest day.
So lovely. Thank you Lou. You'll be hearing more from Lou in a regular column focussing on bringing the outside indoors and all things wild and wilderness. (column name to be determined- any ideas?!) So, watch this space.
Happy bank holiday weekend, everyone. We'll be outside, no matter what the weather!
P.S Did you all catch Davina's lovely news yesterday? Very, very exciting.