Friday, January 30, 2015

OHC and Window Star Tutorials

Hello everyone! It's a lovely bright shiny day here after our snow storms of yesterday. Unfortunately, we did not make our art lesson as the passes over the Peaks are both still closed. So instead we went on a nature walk.

 Before I share that with you, a couple of lovely readers wanted to know how we made the window stars I showed you in yesterday's post. There are lots of lovely tutorials out there, we used this one from Frida Be Mighty. They don't give the exact measurements but I cut my rectangles to measure 11 cm X 5.5 cm. Garden Mama has a tutorial which gives a slightly different 'shadow' pattern within the star.

I found this YouTube tutorial if you prefer to watch it being done.

Moving onto our OHC this morning...

The girls wanted to check to see if the small lake in the park below our home was frozen, as well catch a few downhill runs on their sledges. So we combined those things with a twig identification walk. I find that winter is a good time to identify trees as they have very distinct differences. Without the leaves you are able to see the trees spread - an important part in identifying trees, the bark and of course being able to get up close and observe the twigs. We used the Nature Detectives Twig ID sheet to help us along.

We saw lots of Hazel catkins, I was hoping to find some of the Witch Hazel female flowers but I think it may be a bit early to see the flowering twig of the Parrotia persia species yet. The flowering period is from February to March - we'll keep an eye out for that, and a bit late to catch the Hamamelis mollis species which is autumn flowering.

What we did do was take a twig of what we identified as Ash. We have popped it into a vase of water and placed it on our nature table. We will wait and watch to see the leaves come out in the warm environment of our home. 

Do you ever force branches of flowering shrubs indoors? 

2014 - Forced Magnolia
Each year around late February early March, when I become desperate for spring to arrive, I cut small branches of Forsythia and Magnolia from my garden and bring them indoors. I place them into a vase of water and after about a week of the warm environment, they burst into bloom giving a lovely display. The Magnolia although beautiful is quite messy. It drops it's flowers fairly quickly, but for the first day or two of the flowers being out, it's worth it!

Right, I think that's a wrap for now. Have a wonderful weekend everyone and I look forward to seeing you soon :)


  1. Blue sky & sunshine here again today too after yesterday's snow - but I'm hopeful for more at the weekend!
    Have a happy one,
    hugs xx

    1. I wouldn't mind a bit more snow either - winter should be winter after all. I love each seasons distinctive characteristics. By enjoying what winter has to offer I know that it will make me love spring all the more when it arrives :)

  2. What a lovely walk, and adore your pictures. I'm getting in the Spring Mode, as the tree in front of our balcony is beginning to bud with white blooms. Have a great weekend.

    1. Spring blossoms already! You do live in warmer climes though so I suppose you will enjoy spring a little earlier :)

  3. Thank you for the tutorial links, Shirley! I am excited to make those. Your photos, too, are lovely. We forced blooms successfully last year and I am eager to do it again - our crabapple blossoms did the best!

    I am so happy to have found your blog and to indulge even more my fascination and enjoyment of English life!

    1. You are welcome Kelly, I love making these window stars each year, I find making them rather relaxing as I don't think of anything else other than the folding :) I

      I think I may try a few branches from our apple trees this year thanks to your comment about your crabapple blossoms ;)

  4. Lovely post - beautiful photos - such a different landscape to what I look out on!


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