Friday, 22 January 2021

Spring Greetings Card

I blogged recently about the goodie bag that East Lothian Creative Club had sent me. It contained a lovely inspiring collection of small items to use in craft projects. A few days ago, I made this greetings card which includes the floral stickers from that goodie bag along with items from my stash and green card stock that I recently bought from a 2nd-hand shop in the brief interlude when such shops were allowed to open between last year's lockdown and the current lockdown. 


 The top right hand corner is blank so that I can customise it for the appropriate occasion, though it's probably going to be an Easter card.


Thursday, 21 January 2021

Snow Cats

 This really made my morning today! There was a lot of snow last night and someone made these two snow cats outside our neighbour's flat. 

The snow cats are looking into the window of the flat 

The flat is home to our favourite local cat - I wonder if she appreciates the snow cats?


Meanwhile I'm very pleased to have a haiku included in this week's Haiku Dialogue Selection.





Wednesday, 20 January 2021

Winter Wonderland in North Merchiston Cemetery

It snowed last night and while in most of our local area, the snow quickly melted, it was still lying in the cemeteries when we walked round them on our Daily Exercise lockdown walk this lunchtime. The photos are all from North Merchiston Cemetery




The snowdrops continue to bloom, even as they're covered in snow 




Monday, 18 January 2021

Tree Following - January Update

I thought I'd take a closer look at the silver birch tree that I've selected to follow for Tree Following this year. 

The tree stands in North Merchiston Cemetery in Edinburgh. The whole cemetery is covered by a tree preservation order, which means that no trees can be removed without explicit permission from the council and can only be removed for health and safety reasons.

Silver birches are very familiar trees of rural and urban areas in the UK. They're very easy to identify at any time of the year as they have very distinctive white and black bark. They don't grow very tall but as they age, their trunks become more gnarled. You can find out more about silver birches on the Woodland trust website here

Our silver birch is quite mature and has developed a gnarled trunk with a few fissures in it




 A holly bush is growing right next to the tree 

and there's what looks like the remains of some sort of fungus at the base of the trunk 

In common with all trees in Edinburgh, our silver birch has a number 

It also has a nest box that was recently attached by the council forestry officer (you can read about the day Friends of North Merchiston Cemetery put up bird boxes here). I look forward to seeing which species of bird will set up its home in this lovely nest box 


If you look closely at the twigs, you can see the buds and last year's catkins.

 

Edited to add: I just found this interesting article on the Trees for Cities website about the benefits of trees

 

for Tree Following and Nature Notes.

Sunday, 17 January 2021

The Penguin Lessons by Tom Michell

 

 In the 1970s Tom Michell was a teacher in a boarding school in Argentina. One day when at the coast, he came across the heartbreaking sight of a beach full of dead penguins, killed by a huge oil spill. Amazingly he found one penguin that wasn't dead and rescued it, calling it Juan Salvado (John the Saved) and taking it back to school with him. 

This is the wonderful true story about a Magallenic penguin with a huge personality who won the hearts of everyone who met him, who became a swimming coach and the mascot for the school rugby team and helped shy students build their confidence. 

Interwoven with the stories about Juan Salvador are facts and observations about marine pollution and Argentinian politics and living standards in the 1970s. 

It's a wonderfully entertaining and moving read. With beautiful portraits of Juan Salvador drawn by Neil Baker.

The Penguin Lessons by Tom Michell published (2015) by Penguin.


Thursday, 14 January 2021

Pretty handmade gift bag

 I blogged recently about the goodie bag that East Lothian Creative Club had sent me. It contained a lovely inspiring collection of small items to use in craft projects. Well yesterday evening I finished my first project including items from the bag - a little gift bag! 


The bag is made up of three items from the goodie bag (the plain turquoise fabric, the ribbon bow and the green pom-pom) the rest of the materials are from my stash. 

I already have some ideas for what I might make using some of the other items from the goodie bag! 

**

I've recently added a few pairs of handmade earrings to my Crafty Green Poet Etsy shop, you can see them here!



Wednesday, 13 January 2021

Homemade Valentines Card

Given that Crafty Green Boyfriend is now working from home he may see this post, though I hope I can keep it secret as he rarely reads my blog.

East Lothian Creatives Club recently posted a prompt on their social media to create something inspired by hearts, so I made this Valentine's Card. 

This is the front 

and this is the back

All elements of the card came from second hand shops (including the 'Handmade by' stamp).

East Lothian Creative Club is a very inspiring group, offering regular inspiration for creative people in East Lothian (and Edinburgh!). You can catch up with them on Facebook (their page is here and the group is here) and Twitter.