CLAY NECKLACES

This year, I am once again co-ordinating the craft activities for my MOPS* group.  Once a fortnight I need to come up with a 30 minute craft for a group of gorgeous women.  Some are seasoned crafters and others are new to expressing their creative side.  I love the challenge!  I’m really excited about the fun crafts we’ll be making this year.

One of the crafts that we’ve done already this year is to make clay necklaces.**
You might remember the clay decos that Goose & I made at Christmas time.  Same concept.  Oven baked clay imprinted with leaves.

We also made some with newspaper imprints.  If you want to give this a go, remember that the image comes out in reverse.  The one attached to the necklace on the picture below is from a picture of a tomato plant from a Bunnings ad.


We attached them at the back, by first of all putting a dob of hot glue onto a small split ring and then attaching this onto the back of the cooked clay with superglue. We then slid it onto the wire necklace.  It also means that the clay images are also interchangeable.  

Oven baked clay comes in all different colours, so the possibilities are endless.
I’ve been loving working with this simple and easy to use clay lately. The kids really enjoy playing with it too and making their own creations. 

Sage & Daisy leaves were my faves.


I’m keen to try making some small bowls like this & this.  
Have you used clay before?  What have you made?

I’ve been collecting simple craft ideas on my pinterest page.  If you have any ideas for me – I’d love to hear your suggestions!

Joining in with our creative spaces once again.

There are MOPS groups all over the world.  MOPS is short for ‘Mothers of Preschoolers’ and according to our facebook page - MOPS offers a caring & accepting atmosphere where Mums have an opportunity to share concerns, make friends, explore areas of creativity and learn.  We have some really worthwhile speakers & discussions.

** Thanks Claire & Candy for the inspiration!  & thanks Claire for making 30 of those split ring/hot glue combos!

DIY BIRD FEEDER

“Spring has sprung, the grass has riz,
I wonder where the birdies is?”

anon.


We went for a walk yesterday and collected pine cones from the local golf course* – some to add to the nature collection we started at our friend’s holiday house, where we are currently staying, and some to make some of these….


Attach some twine to a pinecone, smear it in peanut butter** and roll it in some birdseed.

Hang it in a tree and wait for the birds.

So easy for kids (or adults***) to make.


* why are there always pine cones at golf courses?!
**or in this case a delicious peanut butter substitute made of sunflower seeds.
*** thanks MOPS!

NATURE BOX

It is the perfect time of year to go on nature walks in Australia. Collecting whatever bits and pieces of nature you find along the way.

But, what do you do with the collection once you’ve got it all home?

We sometimes try sticking it to paper for some creative art pieces or to plaster of paris like this.

We have a bit of a beachside nature collection thing going on our bathroom shelf.

This photo is of my daughter exploring her Granny’s ‘Nature Box’ which has developed over my life time. It even includes a dried frill-necked lizard and a sheep skull!

Yesterday we started our own ‘nature box’ containing a few insect wings and some seed pods. Although it doesn’t hold anything quite as creative as Granny’s ‘nature box’, we will certainly be on the lookout!

Soulemama & Sarah have nature tables.
Lou uses it for artwork. Granny writes letters on it.

How do you bring a bit of nature in to your house?

AUSSIE BUSH CREATIVITY


Growing up, whenever we had a beach holiday, Mum would get us to make a piece of art using shells and other bits and pieces we found along the beach. We used a disposable foil pie tin filled with plaster of paris, lightly placing our design on the top. These were then hung and displayed on the laundry wall until the next beach holiday came around.

This Good Friday we spent the day with my extended family “out the bush” just outside of Heathcote, Victoria. We had a good old fashioned Aussie BBQ on the metal plate above the fire we had made ourselves. We had egg and spoon races (with the eggs mentioned in the last post), three legged races, an easter egg hunt and a “nature walk”.


The “nature walk” was Mum’s idea. She gave each of the kids a bag and asked them to collect things that they liked around the bush. The kids quite enjoyed it, especially when two very dried kangaroo skulls were found! She then pulled out the foil pie tins and the plaster of paris and the kids made their own piece of nature art. No, the skulls are not in the artworks, but a few cicada shells are. Mum wrote their names and “Easter 2010″ on the back and an old tradition was passed down to the next generation.


If you are going to give this a try, just remember to add a small piece of looped wire to the pie tin before you pour in the plaster, to use as a handle if you want to display your lovely artworks on your ‘laundry’ wall!


addition – see here for a sneak peak at the 2011 nature plates!
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