At the end of the Christmas holidays I had a big sort out in our craft cupboard, I was hanging onto far too many bits and bobs on a ‘just incase I find a use for them’ and was trying to be ruthless to make a path into my overflowing cupboards. the trouble is I hate to throw anything away if I can think of an upcycling idea. I had sorted all the crayons out and had a bag of scrap stub ends, but instead of throwing them out an idea began to form. As I child I remember to this day finding myself in all manner of trouble when I began experimenting melting my crayons on my parents radiators. It made a lovely pattern much to my parents horror. Images flooded back to me and I thought I build on the idea in a more constructive way. If I could find a way to melt the crayons into new, more fun shaped crayons, and even add a fragrance to them it would make a great experiment and a wonderful sensory experience for little ones. It took me a few goes where the kitchen looked like something out of a chemistry lesson before I found something that worked, but the end result is worth sharing.
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 2 Treasure. The linky will run on the 1st Monday of every month and stay open for the full month. Posts can take any form, all that matters is that the item made has primarily been upcycled from something of little value or found in nature. Leaves and loo rolls, sticks and staples, there are so many throw away items which, with a little imagination, can be turned into something of value. Most of my something from nothing craft tutorials will come from fun keepsakes we have made with the children in our farm activity hour but sometimes I will share bigger upcycling projects from Farmer Nick too. I hope through the linky to acquire some new ideas and I welcome all posts old and new.
A little extra from the awesome folk at Duck Tape Colours
Trash to Treasure is sponsored by Duck Tape Colours, makers of colourful tape to add pattern and sparkle to all your upcycling projects. Our favourite upcycling post each month will receive 3 colourful rolls of tape to inspire your next project. Do check out their website for plenty of creative ideas.
|January my not have had the most link ups ever but wow there were some great upcycling ideas making it so hard to pick a winner. In the end for a beautiful finished job I chose Emmy’s Mummy with her pirate bedside chest of draws completing Harry’s new bedroom. Congratulations Clare, 3 fun Duck Tape Colours on their way to you for more upcycling projects.|
I said this month was hard and if you take a look at these wonderful ideas you’ll see why:
A sock and a syrup tin made a wonderfully simple stationary holder for Time to Craft
Some spare fabric made a great school bag for Boo from A Journey of Footsteps
A wooden spoon and a plastic bottle makes a clever rain gauge with help from Nature Mum Blog
turn an old supermarket food tray and a coke bottle into a pet feeder for nights away with this clever trick from Saw it, Pinned, it Did it
When joining in please use the hashtag #Trash2Treasure on twitter, instagram or Google Plus and I’ll find you
If you link up I’ll send you an invite to pin on my Trash 2 Treasure Pinterest board
Please grab my badge and join my crafting journey and do pop back to check out other people's posts during the month.
January may be the most miserable month of the year in many ways, the excitement of Christmas has past but the days still short and cold, yet when running a holiday business it is a busy month with summer bookings coming in thick and fast. I always say I know by the end of January how our year will pan out, this is less so now than years ago when I would expect 70% of the annual bookings in January, but still booking deposits in now give a good feel for the investment we can afford for the year. I can now say 2016 looks like being a good one for Coombe Mill and my optimism is reflected in my photos this week with some gorgeous sunny spells. We even managed a family beach trip late last Sunday and enjoyed surfing in the fading afternoon sunlight.
View from the car as we left the beach, salt in our hair and smiles on our faces
I love this photo, you can see the misty rain beginning to roll in from the sea yet on the farm it was a beautiful sunny end to the day, the wind howled round the valley that night but thankfully no damage was done.
I love how the farm is filled with snowdrops and daffodils of spring right now and yet the mild winter still has last year’s hydrangea in flower too
We have had our fair share of rain between the sunshine this week as you can see from the flooded fields from our neighbours farm, deceptive with a beautiful sunset behind!
I don’t often share black and white photos as I’m a real colour fan, yet somehow I love this photo taken as Farmer Nick and I were relaxing at the end of the week with friends at our local Village Inn Pub.
I hope January has has a positive spin for you too and that longer evenings bring hope and optimism for February.
After a successful summer season and either side of the Christmas festivities we allow ourselves a 6 week window of closure at Coombe Mill. This is an opportunity to take stock of our year, tackle maintenance work and begin larger projects. So far we have installed cattle grids to work the fields leading to the Scandinavian lodges, bitten off rather more than we should have refitting the play barn and installed new wood burners for Honeysuckle and Willow cottages. More on all these projects over the coming weeks, ahead of the start of the new season from February half term.
However life is not all work and our close down periods ether side of Christmas allows us some much needed family time. For the first time since last winter we have been enjoying two day weekends, no changeover, no emergency problems to sort or duties to perform past feeding and caring for the animals; the fact that it is only for a few weeks makes us appreciate it all the more. It is lovely to have the farm to ourselves, to turn the music up in the gym or pop over for a late night hot tub at Tree Roots Cottage; however it is also a chance for us to have a mini break away. We now have Amber to take care of the farm while we are away and took advantage of this taking the kids away for the weekend to our honeymoon hotel in Devon. Nick and I try to return a couple of times each year for a short adult break, yet after taking the children with us this time last year, they have spent all year asking if we would be able to do it again and were super excited when we said we had booked.
The weather was pretty awful which was no surprise at this time of year but we still managed to enjoy some golf on the little 9 hole hotel course and some windy and wild coastal walks.
When the rain came the kids headed for the indoor pool or the squash and Badminton courts. So many matches and rematches took place and Nick and I were delighted to hold our own against our very competitive children, well some of the time anyway!
Perhaps the best part for me was not having to think about cooking meals. It was a pleasure to have all my family dressed up for dinner with me, this year they were all old enough to join us in the restaurant, grown up enough to sample and enjoy strange foods and be trusted to sit there long enough without being bored and making excuses to visit the toilet. The introduction of charades by Jed between courses really did help to keep everyone going.
Breakfast was enough to set us up for a full day of outdoor pursuits, although I did find all my full English ended up vegetarian as the boys swapped all their tomatoes for my sausage and bacon! Fortunately I’m the only one who likes black pudding so I managed to keep that.
It was only 2 nights away but it felt like longer and I was still excited and feeling rejuvenated driving back over a windswept Tamar bridge into Cornwall, after an almost a perfect break.
I say almost perfect as we then spent half an hour with me flicking through the owner’s manual and Nick cursing beneath the car on the side of the dual carriageway trying to free rusted bolts from the spare wheel thanks to a huge blow out.
Thankfully after only one ruined set of clothes, and much cursing, we were finally back on course for Coombe Mill, refreshed and ready to finish the projects we set ourselves with renewed energy.
I’d love you to come and share your outdoor fun with me here on the linky. All posts are welcome from playing in the garden to days out. All I ask is that the post is predominantly outside, away from screens and enjoying some fresh air. I’d be delighted if you would take my badge or link back here and please remember to check out some of the other posts, it might just be the inspiration 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
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A few of my favourites from last week:
I love these wild winter fun beach pictures from Would Like to be on a day out from her Coombe Mill Holiday
for many snow was a feature last week. I love this post from the woods by Over 40 Mum to One and this one from Little Steps who lives close to us where there was no snow but went off to Dartmoor for the day and were rewarded with plenty of snow fun
Walking with children is always more fun with something for them to look out for or do. Diary of the Evans Crittens took scooters along a path to the beach to keep the kids enjoying the fresh air.
I'd like to extend a huge thank you to Muddy Puddles who have been our Country Kids sponsors for the past 4 months generously giving a pair of free wellies to a lucky country Kids winner each month. I really love their kids clothing and feel privileged to have been working together. We have a new sponsor for February who I will introduce next week, but we are already talking to Muddy Puddles about plans for later in the year so it is and case of 'au revoir' rather than 'goodbye' and watch this space!
The popular channel 5 Milkshake series Pip Ahoy as produced by CHF Entertainment has now come out on DVD and Digital download with volume 1.
Meet Pip, a happy-go-lucky young pup and his best friend Alba the kitten who have a series of adventures in the colourful and enchanting seaside resort of Salty Cove.
Pip Ahoy! Brings over two hours of fun and laughter for little ones with a combination of the extraordinary and the familiar. Pip Ahoy boasts a star studded line up with the hilarious Only Fools and Horses Star Sir David Jason as the voice of Pip’s caring uncle, Skipper, and singer and reality TV star Stacey Solomon who recorded the theme song and is the voice of the pink flamingo, Fuchsia.
Salty Cove boasts everything a good old fashioned seaside resort should have – a sandy beach with little coves and pools to visit, along with welcoming beach huts and a sunny promenade.
The folk that live in this idyllic place are as motley a crew as you could imagine. Residents include Pasty, the acquisitive crab with a collection of bric-a-brac, Hopper, the one legged seagull, Madame Éclair, a French poodle of high-breeding, Mrs. Twitcher, a keen birdwatcher, a colony of well-spoken puffins and seagulls – Kevin, Cyril and Percy – who make mischief. A quintet of singing limpets, the Squiblets, pop up from time to time and beneath the waves resides a multi-limbed musician; the renowned Rocktopus.
Volume 1 has a whooping 13 episodes to enjoy. Watch Pip and Alba as they help the famous drummer Rocktopus who lands himself in a spot of bother and see who finds the treasure at Captain Skipper’s lighthouse. All this and much more to entertain you from Salty Cove and all from the comfort of your living room.
Fear not if you order misses the activity sheet you can download these ones below to do time and time again, simply click the picture and print for an A4 sheet.
If you like the sound of the adventures of Salty Cove with Pip Ahoy we have a copy of the DVD to giveaway to two lucky winners. To be in with a chance just follow the instructions below.
I was sent my copy of the DVD to create this review and to keep in our borrow room for Coombe Mill guests to enjoy on holiday with us after a fun day exploring the Cornish coves and beaches.
This was a project that became a bit of a square peg in a round hole and had us working day and night for the end result.
We had spent months trying to find a good option to replace our tired looking play equipment. It had served us well for many years but was beginning to rot underneath and fall apart and we knew it needed attention. Having failed to attract any of the big companies to quote on our little barn Nick had resorted to scouring EBay and came across what looked like the perfect fit for us. I put it up on Facebook to great excitement when we had secured the winning bid and it arrived.
Since it was still the summer season and we didn’t want to ruin anyone’s holiday by making the play barn off limits we waited till our autumn close down period. Then it was all hands on deck removing the old soft play which we managed to sell on again via Ebay.
Faced with a spacious empty barn Nick decided that damp proofing and lining the floor would be a good move to give insulation for little feet and prevent the new equipment ruining through condensation. I was impressed with the speed and efficiency with which this stage was completed and new lining laid.
However we were blissfully unaware of the problem we had just created. It was only when we began to construct the frame of the new equipment that the cost of raising the floor a couple of inches became apparent. We jiggled and wriggled but the frame would not fit between the rafters.
With only 3 weeks before our Christmas opening the pressure was on, we considered cutting into the rafters and reinforcing them elsewhere but in the end called our builder and agreed to splash out on a whole new roof and raising the height of the walls. This of course meant exposing the new equipment and floor to the December weather, never before had an accurate weather forecast been so important. We waited a week for our clear day of dry and went for it.
With just one rain shower and a much better quality roof we were back on track, if down a couple of thousand pounds down on the project!
From here it was like a giant jigsaw trying to fit pieces together and we were very grateful of our growing lads to help maneuver the weighty frame. Once the frame was complete the kids played around with the floor pieces and accessories to slot everything into place and Nick spent hours with some Duck Tape Colours cleverly protecting ripped fabric joins from moving the equipment.
Finally it took days to patiently thread the protective netting securely into place before I gave the whole room a thorough clean. The finished result was one we were all proud of just one day before our Christmas opening!
It wasn’t long before little feet were enjoying our hard work. With the wettest Christmas and New Year weather I can remember it was much appreciated by all our guests and worth all the hard work.
We have added a table and chairs but I am still keen to add some shoe boxes and possibly a baby play pen so that tiny tots can be safe while their older siblings leap around. If you have any other ideas for the space at the front please let me know.