I have been dithering over this one for nearly a year and finally decided to take the plunge and start a new linky based around upcyling. This all came about from Activity Hour which we run weekly here at the farm. After a year of creating something from nothing crafts and games with the children and sharing the joy they bring as part of my outdoor fun linky Country Kids, I thought it was time to respond to some of the requests I’ve had on how these crafts and games are made. I already have a few ‘how to make’ random posts but my new linky will make them more regular. The linky will cover not just kids’ crafts but any upcycling. Farmer Nick has some wonderful upcycling for house and home I plan to share here and I hope to take inspiration from all who join me too.
If you have post about something you have made with something from nature or something you would have otherwise have thrown away please come and share on Trash to Treasure. Posts can be kids crafts, adult reclamations turned into something beautiful or useful or even yesterday’s meal turned into something tasty for tomorrow.
The linky will run on the 1st Monday of every month and stay open for the full month. The first link up will be Monday 6th July 2015.
That's it, please come and join me on my upcycling journey and lets all enjoy sharing ideas for making something from nothing, or turning Trash 2 Treasure. If you've never tried upcycling, pop over to the linky from Monday the 6th July anyway and see what it's all about. Hopefully it won't just be my posts!
After 3 years of attending BritMums Live, did year 3 match up to those before? Hell yes! In fact this may have been the best year so far. My expectations going there were pretty routine, I wanted to catch up with my Mum before and after while I was up country, I hoped to meet with old blogging friends and introduce myself to new friends I’ve made on line and hopefully learn a few tips for my blog too.
For me BritMums delivered on every count. I had a lovely time with my Mum topping and tailing the event at her new flat and exploring the surrounding countryside. I find it so hard to leave the business and travel up there but Brit Mums provides the opportunity.
I proceeded to make the most of every minute of the 2 days in London. Meeting so many people in a short space of time does feel a little overwhelming and I found myself having to apologise for my failing eyesight at reading the badges and hopeless recognition, but once I was put straight on faces to blogs it was truly wonderful to meet, hug and exchange stories.
I lost count of the number of times I failed to make it to the coffee table for bumping into fellow bloggers I just had to stop and hug. If ever there was an event to make me feel included and welcome this was it, even if I was one of the oldest bloggers there. I didn’t capture everyone but if I stopped to chat, the chances are you are in these photos.
Socially, I couldn’t have asked for more: Thank you to everyone who came up to me recognising my fabric logo and a huge thanks to those who thanked me for running Country Kids; you made the work I put into the linky promoting the benefits of outdoor time for children worth every minute.
When it comes to content from the two days I always find the best sessions on the Saturday and infuriatingly they often clash. Please BritMums spread out the popular topics more next year. I missed the YouTube session and Improve your blog design that I had hoped to attend. Never the less I made my choices and on balance learned something from each session I that I can do right now to improve my blog. In no particular order and without looking at my copious notes these are the main action points for me:
There was so much more besides from analysing key words to learning to knit and meeting brands but the points above are the things that I feel will make a difference quickly for my business. There were some inspiring presenters that knew their stuff and I need to go over some of the slides again in more detail, that said there are also some real gems I picked up from other bloggers in coffee lounge chats. The whole event is such a learning curve, even for an old timer like me, in fact I discovered a whole crowd of us over 40 bloggers and I’m joining their facebook group as there are some real characters in there who make me smile and are at a similar life stage to me.
I came home hoarse and exhausted but feeling the blogging love and excited to move my own work forward as I handed out my lovely goody bag amongst my family.
Thank you Brit Mums and all the sponsors, I might even be back for a 4th year!
We had a wonderful family day at the Launceston Fair a couple of years ago and on hearing it was taking place again we were keen for a follow up trip. I am still coming to terms with my teens choosing not to accompany us on all our family outings and reluctantly left them to fend for themselves at home instead taking just Guy, Clio and Clio’s friend.
On arriving the sun was shining and the fair had a real festival buzz about it. The kids wasted no time in spotting the most sick making machine at the show and insisted on making it their first venture. I conceded on the basis that at least they hadn’t eaten anything yet! It was rather like a mini fairground wheel that tossed you upside down and back to front, it made me feel sick just to watch but Clio insisted her screams signified she was enjoying the ride!
Guy found a paintball shooting range. What boy could resist proving himself here with plenty of scary targets waiting to be struck?
The girls then sauntered off to look at jewellery and clothes tents. I was really impressed with the range of stalls there, always something to tempt you that you don’t see in everyday shops.
Besides the stalls there were endless displays in the arenas. Guy set his new back pack come stool up in the front row to watch as the Minion dance moved into war time classics before the mini plane came thundering down the field, although apparently there was insufficient space for it to actually take off.
My favourite display was the kids on their motorbikes. How they make those stunt bikes climb and jump I don’t know but it is a thrill to watch.
Motion in miniature had us all captivated as from fairground ride to steam trains every stand had a mini working model. Further down the big brother counterparts whistled, chugged and sputtered oozing charm and nostalgia for a bye gone era.
Having munched our way round the stalls and invested in far more impulse purchases than strictly necessary we were about to leave when Guy spotted the bike challenge from last year and just had to have a go. It looks so easy, just cycle a few yards on a bicycle with the handlebars on back to front and claim £15. Needless to say it is much harder than it sounds and poor Guy had to forfeit his last £2 and concede defeat. No doubt he will be back for another try next year!
The video captures much of the fun from the day and the children are looking forward to more Cornish events this summer.
If you have been out enjoying the summer days from playing in the garden to an organised event like ours then please come and share with me on the linky. Country Kids is all about motivating us to leave sofas and screens and enjoy some good old family fun in the fresh air; you’ll be surprised how positive it leaves you feeling. Please do grab the badge or link back here and remember to check out the other posts, you might just find the perfect idea for your next adventure.
Country Kids is around in these communities, I’d love you to join me:
Pin on the Pinterest Board Just ask for an invite to pin and include Country Kids on your pins for me to stop by on your boards too (no need for a hash tag in Pinterest)
Join the Google Plus community page for Country Kids and add #CountryKids to your tag elsewhere for a +1 from me
Share your posts on Instagram and Twitter with #CountryKids for a like or a re-tweet
A few of my favourites from last week:
Farm fun with animal interaction that reminds me of Coombe Mill on a day out for Life at Cooks Cabin
This fairy walk from The Evans Crittens will have you captivated
Outdoors Mom combines nature and Frozen to the delight of her children.
If only Edinburgh Zoo was closer, North East Family Fun make it look like a great family day out
Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary takes the family on a real adventure camping where the sunset and sunrise meet
All my Geography lessons in one day with these welsh Caves from 92 three 30
Small Wonders proves that you don't need to wait for a sunny day to enjoy the outdoors
Here on the farm we favour a traditional countryside childhood of yesteryear. Children are encouraged to be hands on in their learning and fun. From feeding the animals in the morning, to running around in our 30 acres, dabbling in the stream and imaginative play in the fairy gardens in the afternoon, it is a busy day here on the farm for little ones. By the time they have joined driver Guy on the evening train ride it is time for baths and bed ready to do it all over again in the morning.
A wonderful experience for all our little ones but one that can leave parents and grandparents with a long evening stretched out ahead of them. There are always the TV and DVD players in our properties or lovely log burners to curl up in front of with a glass of your favourite tipple, but how about sharing that adult time in a more traditional manner, just as the kids have done during the day? Older children will enjoy this too as a change from modern day gadgets on holiday.
In our borrow room you can find everything from first stage children’s jigsaws to scrabble and other board games or puzzles for adults. Gibsons, the family run traditional puzzle and games company trading since 1919, have a wonderful selection on their website and for those who enjoy quintessentially British landmarks and London’s iconic buildings their 1000 piece jigsaws could happily take up your evenings on holiday. We are lucky enough to have their Buckingham Palace Jigsaw Puzzle here to borrow.
The Gibsons puzzles are of a high quality with a beautiful picture quality. We have had a go ourselves but as non experts were soon defeated; however if I were relaxing on holiday it would be quite addictive and fun to do as a family. Experience the Queen’s official birthday with the royal family as it comes to life as you complete the challenging puzzle. With the royal family just welcoming baby Charlotte it’s the perfect time for the nation to put the pieces together and discover the true beauty behind the palace gates.
The Buckingham Palace Jigsaw Puzzle is just one of Gibsons British-themed gifts. Go to www.gibsonsgames.co.uk to see the Royal Babies and London Landmarks puzzles. I’m rather taken with some of the old style farming countryside puzzles myself.
For your chance to win this challenging yet stunning jigsaw from Gibsons worth £12.99 just follow the instructions below. It would be perfect for taking on holiday, family evenings in or as a present to someone you know who enjoys a good challenge.
I was sent my copy of the Gibsons Buckingham Palace 1000 piece jigsaw to review and keep in our borrow room for our holiday guests to enjoy. All thoughts and opinions on the puzzle are my own.
for 2 years we had carefully nurtured young Priscilla and Percy our peacock and peahen in the hope of breeding them, yet in Peacock World they failed to thrive. Last year we let them free range and risk predators in the hope that maybe their freedom would bring the conditions they required to breed. Sure enough Priscilla began to lay eggs. Our joy was soon dampened when they were stolen by predators so we tried incubating a clutch, but failed to bring these to term, two dying during hatching. On the plus side the pair remained on the farm and roosted well, until one day we found just the remains of Percy. We suspect he was taken by a fox, just what we had feared all along with allowing them to free range on the farm.
Ever since Priscilla has remained savvy and avoided the fox, however she clearly missed her partner and we missed his magnificent display of affection for her as we passed on the morning Tractor rides.
Nick has been on the lookout for a new partner ever since but failed to find anything within a sensible distance of Coombe Mill, until now. Our local Wadebridge fowl auction had not one but two pairs of birds going in. I agreed to manage changeover with Amber while he set off early for the auction. All morning we crossed our fingers that he would win one of the lots. Finally he drove back into the car park, the boot loaded with two beautiful looking peafowl.
Theo had the Tractor and Trailer ready at hand, all be it brimming with brambles where he had been clearing the fairy garden for me in preparation for my Bug Hotel. He and Nick carefully transferred the carry cage on to the trailer and drove them down to Peacock world. The last nursing sheep and new lamb had been released to the field that morning in preparation and their quarters cleaned out in anticipation of our new arrivals.
Priscilla was hovering close by the whole time and came swooping in for a closer look at her new playmates as we moved back. Nick was keen to capture her and keep her inside Peacock world too in the hope that she might lay some fertile eggs this season with her new younger man. However hovering close by was one thing, encouraging her through the door without letting the other two escape was quite another.
Cue a little lateral thinking! Nick rigged up a trap with a cage and pull down door, placed some food inside and ran a piece of string attached to the door through his shed spy hole. Jed was assigned to project ‘Capture Priscila’ and spent the rest of the afternoon popping back to the shed and peeping through the window to see if she had fallen for Nick’s trap. Needless to say by night fall the trap was still in place and Pricilla free ranging nearby!
However it was only a matter of time before Priscilla did indeed fall for the trap and we had the three safely in together. Priscilla had begun laying eggs outside so we were hopeful our plan would work.
Nick set her a nesting box and she laid an egg on top of the house! WE moved the nesting tray and she pooped on it laying her egg on the concrete. Things were not looking hopeful and in fact four eggs was all she produced so we took the decision to collect them for the incubator with our fertile bantam eggs.
We are now playing a waiting game, to be fair it feels like a real long shot that these will hatch but we are hoping against the odds. Either way they are clearly happier free ranging and we will have to risk their not so friendly predators again later this season once the trio are firmly established here at Coombe Mill. For now they appear to be best of friends and I have even caught the young Peacock showing his forming feathers for the ladies so fingers crossed for our happy threesome!