I had already planned to change our new Seasonal display this weekend, and right on cue this was the snowy scene out of the kitchen window as I cooked up an indulgent full English breakfast this morning. We can claim the breakfast as medicinal since three out of four of us have had a truly awful cold the last couple of days, with number four making up for her lack of cold with teething pains. Thankfully we all seem to be on the mend, even if there is no sign of actual teeth yet.
I’d already broken out the glitter earlier in the week when P and I prepared a backdrop for the Winter display. I was originally looking for some dark blue card, but then I saw this dark indigo felt and thought ‘Why not?’. We used cotton buds dipped in PVA glue to create the stars and moon, with glitter heaped on top, then the excess shaken off to settle over everything inside and outside the house, probably until next July. Cotton buds are great for controlling how much gloopy stuff- glue, paint etc- an enthusiastic toddler transfers from pot to artwork. With a bit of experience I’ve seen lovely pointellism (spelling?) effects using this method.
Since the glitter was already all over the place anyway, we did a bit of instant, post lunch/ pre nap art using pine cones, glue, two empty cream cheese tubs and yes more of the shiny stuff. Actually it’s quite a good way of minimising the glue and glitter mess and has the added advantage of involving noise and surprise, always good as far as two-year-olds are concerned! Basically, put some PVA glue in one tub and some glitter in the other. Put the pine cone in the glue tub, put the lid on (firmly!) and give it a good shake and rattle. Open it up, carefully transfer into the glitter tub, repeat the process and ‘Surprise!’ a frosted pine cone!
We began with ‘realistic’ white frost but ran out of that colour so ended up with ‘tasteful’ purple as well.
Also featuring on our Winter display is the Steiner advent calendar we made at the toddler group we go to: an angel made of cleverly tied wool tops moves up 27 stars on the dark blue ribbon until Christmas day (27 because the first Sunday of Advent is not the first day of December). The angel has a slightly unfestive bulldog clip sewn to the back of her to enable the heavenly ascent…
The Season display is becoming one of my favourite things in the house. We do our best to light the candle from it each day at our evening meal, to help P to understand that it’s a special time to sit together. We’re developing the habit of finding things or making things to add to it as the weeks go past, and while I’m lucky enough to spend a reasonable amount of time outdoors and watching the year as it turns, this focal point helps to give me a heightened awareness of time ticking by, which in turn seems to remind me to take a longer view, rather than sweating the small stuff. Every home should have one!
I know some people move into new houses and find unexpected treasures discarded by previous occupants. We’ve mainly found junk and hideous wallpaper. However, sometimes a kindly eye can be enough to transform trash to treasure.
The shelf and cupboard pictured above was hanging in our still rather neglected porch, holding a collection of junk mail, old aerosol cans and other rubbish. At first it was on my list of things to send to the tip, but then I realised that it was the right sort of size for the Seasons display area I’d been meaning to get around to creating for ages. In addition, the little cupboard was perfect for storing bits and pieces not needed at any given time.
So, a bit of soap and water and a few coats of paint- not a fabulous job, I’m pretending it’s meant to be a bit ‘shabby chic!’- and while it’s no heirloom piece, it does the job.
Here it is with our ‘Autumn’ items…crafts from the Steiner toddler group including a Michaelmas candle, hedgehog made from a conker, mouse made from sheepswool and a pine cone and a ‘shooting star’ made from a conker and streamers; a collection of leaves, acorns and nutshells collected on walks and possibly my favourite, a painting of a hedgehog in leaves by P and I. I drew the hedgehog and demonstrated how to fingerpaint the spines, but P was much more enthusiastic about handprinting the leaves, hence the hedgehog is pretty comprehensively buried in autumn colour!