Category Archives: Spring Crafts

Let’s make a Garden in a Shell.

I’m so excited… we’ve been wanting to make shell gardens for ages.

If you are like us, you are longing for Spring to arrive. We’ve had a number of lovely sunny days here in Southern California but then a cold front has visited, the snow has fallen on the mountains and the freezing wind has returned, driving us back indoors. We have been looking forward to gardening… looking forward to planting sweet peas, ranunculus and poppies but the cold has kept us out of the garden. Today was wonderfully sunny and as I was cleaning out our shell shell display that lives in the garden, I remembered a photo I had seen a while back of a little garden planted in a shell. Kitty and Teddy were just as excited as I was to give it a try.

shell garden
We chose two of the largest shells we could find (yes, that is an earthworm in the shell… it’s Teddy’s new pet and he was very worried that it might escape while we were ‘photoing’ the shell)


He was much more comfortable ‘photoing’ the smaller shell while holding his earthworm in his other hand.


As our shells have no drainage holes in them, we decided to use succulents that don’t need to be watered very often. It’s easier to prevent the shell from becoming water logged if you plant something that doesn’t require frequent watering. I took some cuttings from the succulents we have growing on our deck… cuttings work very well; simply stick the cutting in the soil, give it a little water and roots should sprout on their own.


We put a little carbon in the bottom of the shells. Carbon helps to prevent mold and other unwanted organisms from taking over your shell. It’s not absolutely necessary but I had some on hand and so decided to use it.


We covered the carbon with a little soil and packed it down firmly.


Then we planted our succulents.

planting succulents in a shell
Our shell gardens really are amazingly beautiful. We’ve put them on our outside deck cupboard, where they are sheltered from wind and rain and we can watch them grow every day.

You see, you can still garden even when Spring hasn’t quite arrived yet :-)

our sweet garden in a shellBlessings and magic,
Donni

Wire Heart Ornaments : tutorial : www.theMagicOnions.com

Let’s make Wire Hearts.

The little village on the coast where we stayed when we were in South Africa recently was gorgeously vintage inspired. All of the little shops were filled with sweet rustic treasures or handmade art. One shop in particular was brimming with glorious curiosities made entirely from driftwood… oh, the things one can make! A popular theme in most of the shops was hearts. There were shabby chic white wooden hearts, distressed driftwood hearts and, my favorite, wire hearts. There were wire hearts made from chicken wire, wire hearts spray painted white, old rusty hearts, some even made from barbed wire… they were too delightful in their variety. Kitty and I decided, there and then, that we would make some wire hearts to hang from our chandelier for Valentines Day. Aren’t they just too wonderfully dainty?


To make our hearts, we needed:
* thin wire that is easy to bend and work with
* pliers (or if you cant find yours, scissors that you reserve for when you cant find your pliers)
* ribbon


We started by cutting 2, 1 yard lengths of wire.
We wound one piece of the wire around the other.


Our wire was wonderfully bendy and Kitty had no trouble at all with winding her wires together. At one stage she was working so quickly that I did have to remind her to mind her eyes (I am deathly scared of eyes!)


Around and around and around we wound…


Until our wires were all wound up!

Then we cut the long wound up strand of wire in half… giving us two half yard lengths of wound up wire.


We connected the two ends of each half yard wire to form a circle.


And then bent the circle into a heart shape.


We cut lengths of ribbon and hung our hearts from our chandelier… the really do look delightful.


Happy Valentine crafting,
Blessings and magic,
Donni

..

Valentines Day Crafting.

Today, I’m taking you back in time to some of the Valentines Day posts I’ve done in the past… click on each link to go to each post. They are all crafts the kids and I did… enjoy!


Photo by Dovie Moon

Finding Nature’s Hearts

Hanging Cashmere Hearts

Magazine Hearts

Heart Birdseed Cakes

Easy Needle Felted Heart

Painted Playdough Hearts

Beeswax Heart Ornaments

Mossy Valentine Wreath

Happy Valentine crafting.

Blessings and magic,
Donni

Let’s make Flower Fairies

As well as making handmade Christmas ornaments for the tree, the children and I have made a conscious choice to try to make all of our Christmas gifts this year. It’s totally liberating to learn that we can make beautiful things. It takes time and effort, of course, but we have discovered that we have both of those gifts. So, for the girls in our family, who all happen to believe in fairies, we have made Flower Fairies.

 

DIY Flower Fairies made by KIDS! :: www.theMagicOnions.cim
To make the Flower Fairies, we needed the following supplies:

* white pipe cleaners
* embroidery thread
* silk flowers (which we dismantled and used as skirts)
* round wooden bits to be used as heads (they must have a small hole… if yours don’t, drill one)
* yarn for hair
* small pretty beads
* my glue gun

 

a handmade Christmas

how to make flower fairies
Mark the pipe cleaner into thirds. Cut off 1 third. Leave the other 2 thirds intact.

making flower fairies for Christmas gifts
Bend your larger section of pipe cleaner in half.

waldorf crafts - handmade flower fairies
Twist it until about half way down. This forms the body and legs of your fairy.

how to make pretty flower fairies
Put the smaller section of pipe cleaner in place for the arms and twist them around the body to fasten them.


If your round wooden bead (fairies head) doesn’t have a hole in it, drill one. (As we couldn’t find our wooden heads, I took a round nut from a packet of potpourri and drilled a hole into it)


Put a little glue from your hot glue gun onto the neck end of your pipe cleaner and push it into the hole in the head.


Dismantle the silk flowers by pulling the petals apart.


Thread the pipe cleaner legs through the hole in the middle of the flower petals.


Push the flower petal ‘skirt’ up into place at your fairies waist.


Isn’t she starting to look like a fairy?


Thread two more petal skirts for a wonderful ruffled look.


Choose a long length of embroidery floss in a color that compliments your fairies skirts and wind it around her upper body for a bodice.


Wind it around her arms for a little sleeve too.


I loved watching the concentration on Kitty’s face as she made her fairies yellow top.


Now she is really starting to look like a fairy!


You can make different hair styles for your fairy. One of our fairies has a lovely long braid. One has beautiful loose locks but Kitty’s favorite has a pretty pony tail. We made this by looping yarn together 6 or 7 times and tying a knot at about the third-way mark.


We then cut the ends off the loops on both sides.

We stuck the shorter end onto the fairies head with our glue gun and then stuck on more hair, winding some yarn around and around her head until we were satisfied that she’d be happy with her hairstyle.


Teddy and Kitty chose little glass beads for our fairies hands and feet.


Doesn’t she look sweet in her glass slippers?


Here they are, ready for the Flower Fairy Ball.


Dressed in their pretty ballgowns.


Teddy assures me that boys like these Flower Fairies too!

Happy Handmade Christmas.
Merry Blessings and magic,
Donni

Our May Faire

We held our May Faire on Saturday. It was a wonderful success, a day of smiles and laughter and dancing, a fitting climax to hours of thought, planning and hard work.

My family was in charge of the terrarium craft and making the May Pole. Both turned out splendidly.
Here is K helping me paint toadstool rocks to be offered as treasures to go inside the terrariums.

Making the May Pole was great fun. We used a log stump as a base. Drilled a hole in it’s center to hold the May Pole secure. Here is A Good Man drilling the hole.

We secured the ribbons to the top of the pole with a screw and a washer.
We set the beribboned pole in the stump and topped it with a wreath decorated with pink ribbons and white hydrangea flowers.
I was so busy on the day that I sadly didn’t get a chance to photograph it. Suffice to say it was a magical sight with the children gayly dancing around it.
All the crafts were great fun. We made fairy tambourines, magic wands, pin wheels… My craft was the moss terrarium. The children delighted in making their little magical gardens. Can you believe that the moss chose Saturday to flower! Dainty little white flowers graced our moss gardens… now that is magic!
50 moss terrariums were made.
This is my display terrarium.

It is in a big jar I found at a garage sale when my dad was visiting. It now sits on my dining room table and is a treasure.

Thank you to all the mommies who put in so many hours of work into our May Faire. At one point I looked out the window to see 6 children skipping merrily around the May Pole, dressed in white and joyful smiles. I thought… ‘Now that is what makes life meaningful!’

Moss Garden in a Jar.

K’s waldorf school is having a May Fair on the 9th of May. We are all VERY excited.

Part of the excitement is participating in the 6 crafts that some of the mothers organize. The craft I am offering, is making a Moss Garden in a jar. K and I had a trial run today…
We assembled what we needed in our coconut bowls.

Needed:
glass jar with a lid
small stones,
dirt
activated carbon (found in the fish isle of a pet shop)
dried moss
growing moss
dropper for water
little treasures (K chose a toadstool pet rock, a tiny pine cone and a favorite shell)

First, put a handful of small stones into the jar.

Then a handful of dirt.

Then a handful of carbon.
Put a little dried moss on the carbon and then layer the growing moss on top.
With the dropper, give the moss a few squirts of water (not too much) and add your treasures. Seal the moss garden with the lid and put it in a sunny spot inside.

The moss garden creates it’s own little ecosystem and does not need to be watered for 2 to 3 weeks. You will know your moss garden needs a little water when you notice the condensation on the inside of the jar is considerably less than usual. Remember not to over-water… just a few squirts with the dropper will do. Thank you to Lisa for giving us this idea.
Our moss garden is the centerpiece on our dinner table. It is going to be very interesting to watch the moss growing every day and I think it will give my children just another reason to be appreciative for each and every living thing. Perhaps one day, we will even discover that a fairy lives inside!

The Flower Ball.

I used to complain bitterly about living in our concrete jungle. I used to lament that every tree I saw had been planted in the last 20 years and was of the fast growing type, chosen so that we could pretend. No wise old trees to seek wisdom from… no gnarled grandfathers to seek solace under.
Then I had my epiphany, which I have written about here, and I realized that beauty is all around me… I have to work harder to get it, but there it is… out my window… at the end of a 45 minute drive… through the gates that I’ve paid $7 to enter. There it is, all around me! We just have to make finding it a priority. Once I understood this, my whole world opened up. We have found jewels of wonder in our concrete jungle!

On Sunday we went one of our most famous and favorite jewels, Descanso Gardens. It is a marvel, especially in this, my favorite, season, Spring.

And would you believe, we were there just in time to see the flower fairies leaving for their Spring Ball. They were dressed in their prettiest gowns and we could hardly choose who we thought most beautiful…
Was it Blue Hibiscus, in her soft silver-blue gown?

Or dainty little Whitebelle in her white and green?

Was it Daffy Down Dilly in her orange petticote and yellow frills?

Was it Rose, in her dusky pink skirt?

Or Blue Elf in his Easter tunic?

Was it Bottle Brush Fairy, in her wispy silken fronds?

Or Dowager in her long elegant gown?

Or was it her, with her layers of frills?

Was it Red Berry Elf, muscular and handsome in his red suit?

Or was it Goblin?

After much debate, we all settled on our own winners…
Mr T’s was, of course, Goblin.
K thought Blue Hibiscus was prettiest.
A Good Man settled on Rose, as who can love a flower above a rose?
And mine? I chose Daffy Down Dilly… My beloved grandmother was called Daphne and I feel her presence in the air I breathe when daffodils are near.