Trash 2 Treasure August

“Arrrr me lovelies” and welcome to my third post on ‘How to Make’ pirate crafts. I began with simple pirate crafts with a cutlass and eye patch, moved onto a Treasure box and treasure and now am looking at the all important Pirate Ship and Treasure Map in this post. These pirate activities have been used at Coombe Mill with huge success in our weekly Activity hour session. Every time we run a pirate afternoon I add something new to keep things fresh and interesting. The pirate ship started life as a rowing boat, then was combined with a Maypole from our May Day dancing to finally form a Pirate Boat. Treasure Maps are an old favourite the children always enjoy. Both activities are great for inspiring creativity and imagination in children. 

How to make a Pirate Ship and a Treasure Map

Pirate Ship

What you’ll need:-

What you'll need for the Pirate ship


  1. Push your pole or stick into the ground (you may need to use a mallet or stone to help) and measure your lengths of floristry ribbon to make your mast and rigging.
  2. Attach the Floristry Ribbon to the top of the pole with Duck Tape Colours.
Pirate Ship Steps 1 and 2
Pirate Ship Step 3 Putting together the Mast and the Ship
  1. Cut a hole in the base of your cardboard box and slide it over your mast and rigging.
  1. Tie your ‘rigging’ to the box, if your box doesn’t have pre-cut handles like ours did you may need to cut holes to use. 
Pirate Ship Step 4 attaching the Rigging to the Ship
Pirate Ship step 5, Creating the oars.
  1. Cut small holes along each side of your box and push sticks through to create oars. 

Your ship is ready for your pirates to climb aboard and sing some shanty songs. We invented a take on the classic Row row row your boat as follows:

Row row row your ship

gently over the sea,

If you see a pirate coming

don’t forget to scream,


Kids singing in the Pirate Ship

Treasure Map

What you’ll need:-

What You'll Need for the Treasure Map


  1. Fold your piece of A4 paper in half 
Treasure Map Step 1 Fold your piece of paper in half
Treasure Map Step 2 Tear around the edges of the paper
  1. Keeping it folded, tear around the edge to make it look old and tattered.
  1. Unfold and design and colour your map
Treasure Map Step 3 Design the Map
Treasure Map Step 4, age it with an old teabag
  1. Dab the map with a used tea bag to age it.

A few fun additions you could try:-

Painting the giant Treasure Map

Vlog tutorial for How to Make a Pirate Ship and Treasure Map

Joining in with Trash 2 Treasure

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 2 Treasure sponsored by Duck Tape UK with Coombe Mill Holidays for creative fun.


Trash to Treasure is sponsored by Duck Tape Colours, makers of colourful tape to add pattern and sparkle to all your upcycling projects. My 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. 

My July winner of the duck tape colours is Kerry from A Journey of Footsteps with a Pokamon Storage Box. Pokamon storage box July Trash 2 Treasure winner

As always there were some wonderful upcycled ideas last month, Please keep them coming.

My other favourites during the month were a knights jousting pole by Leandra at Lara Bee UK and a bespoke t shirt quilt by Jill at Creating my Way to Success

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.

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Bye bye heat wave, hello Cornish Mizzle

With last week’s heat wave feeling like a distant memory replaced this week by periods of sun and Cornish mizzle; I turned to the amazing flowers in the Coombe Mill grounds for my photo inspiration.   

Yes mizzle is a real word, or at least here in Cornwall it is. As the word suggests it is a combination of sea mist and drizzle, which when it sets in has a stubborn tendency to lurk for a couple of hours or more.  Not ideal for our morning tractor rides to feed the animals or for our guests hoping for a day out at the beach. However the grounds here in our sheltered valley flourish in the warm damp conditions, leaving Farmer Nick and I endlessly mowing the lawns when the sun did come out and the guests making a dash for the beaches. As they return, with buckets and spades trailing behind them, the gardens look tidy and the flowers and wildlife hit the senses afresh mingled with that earthy ‘after the rain’ smell. It was following one such mizzle morning that I grabbed my camera to capture some of the flower power around me.

My journey began around Millers House. One of our original 16th Century cottages the flowers creep up the old stone walls, wisteria in spring and roses now.

Rose climbing the wall of Millers Holiday Cottage

Wild Lilies adorn the front gardens of the cottage

Wild lily in the farm gardens

The honeysuckle is still flowering and the colours an intense clash of peach and pink that only nature could get away with!

honeysuckle with vibrant peach and pink colours at Coombe Mill Holidays


Our less than perfect weeding reveals a handful of blackberries already ripe on the south facing slopes of our pretty valley. They made a tasty snack for my walk though I always feel tinged with sadness that autumn is just round the corner.

ripe blackberry in July on the sheltered farm slopes

Alongside the babbling stream I played with the shutter speed to capture the water flow as a smooth sheet. I’m quite pleased with the result.

Tranquil stream at Coombe Mill Holidays


This last photo is overlooking one of the lakes. It is only a weed but looks so pretty round the lake and the bees are thrilled with their presence, they must be a good source of pollen at the moment.


waterside flower and bee by the Coombe Mill Lake with mizzle droplets forming


I hope the coming week brings more sun and less mizzle and rain for everyone.

Welcome to Country Kids from Coombe Mill

Country Kids from Coombe Mill is the original outdoor family fun linky with a simple objective for healthy kids of mind and body:

“Encourage family fun outdoors, in an age where technology and screens are such a draw to a sedentary indoor life”

Welcome back if you are a regular to Country Kids and if you are new please join in. You will find plenty of inspiration for enjoying outdoor space and please do share your own adventures. We support the National Trust 100 things to do before you are 11¾ along with all other ideas for family fun outside. 

Country Kids from Coombe Mill with girls holding a farm egg

It really doesn’t matter if the sun shines or it pours with rain here at Coombe Mill. These girls have just finished an hour and a half of animal feeding in the rain and still have big smiles at finding an egg for their breakfast. 

Guidelines for Joining in: 

Thank you to my top 3 (4!) commenters from last week:

JOINT 1st Sarah from Boo Roo and Tigger Too & Merlinda from Glimmer of Hope who commented on 29 posts this week

2nd Emma from Emsyjo who commented on 12 posts this week

3rd Karen from Would Like to be who commented on 11 posts this week

Do check out their posts too. 

My top commenters post will automatically qualify for a chance at the Rockfish wellies below provided other giveaway criteria are met.

A little dissappointed to see that the, ‘link dump and run’ culprits went back up to 5 people this week, if you’re one of them it’d be great if you could go back and share some blog love!

Introducing Rockfish, the Country Kids Sponsor

Win a pair of wellies from Rockfish Monthly

Your Chance To Win with Rockfish Wellies from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays, Cornwall, England, UK. 

I am delighted to announce that Rockfish have joined with Coombe Mill to sponsor the Country Kids link up. Rockfish are a local Cornish company specializing in stylish Wellingtons for all the family. We have been offering their country wellies in our borrow room here on the farm for over a year and they are always popular for their style, comfort and durability.

Each week my favourite #CountryKids posts, which include my badge or a link back here,  will be considered for a free pair of Rockfish Wellies at the end of the month; the perfect way to enjoy the outdoors whatever the weather throws your way. 

For more more information on the Rockfish Wellies on offer with us and terms and conditions to win see here.  

Posts from last week in with a chance of the July Rockfish Wellies:

We had a tie for the highest number of post comments this week, so both Merlinda and Sarah go through for the Rockfish Wellies, check out their posts above. 

The water pistol turned paint pistol at this festival from Madhouse Family Reviews really appeals to me. 

So much fun, learning and adventure for one lucky boy to start the holidays over at Keitha’s Chaos. 

Country Kids 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

Follow Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays’s board Country Kids  from Coombe Mill on 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

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

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From Alpaca shearing to Garden Fete

So how did I make the leap from alpaca shearing to Garden fete? Well the guests staying last week were treated to the once a year spectacle of seeing our two Alpaca lose their winter coats. This is an education in its own right that I will share on a separate post. However it is fair to say the children were quite taken with the whole process and I promised them we would make something with the wool for activity hour at the end of the week. As I sat playing with the wool in my hands it reminded me of crazy hair and an idea began to form. We could make toilet roll people with crazy white hair. These could be used as skittles, which became the basis of my Coombe Mill Garden Fete, a replica of a typical local village, school or church fate hosted in summer.


garden fete fun and games

Garden Fete Bunting

I had some triangles of old sheet left from previous crafts and the children painted these up to make some bunting as a back drop to our Garden Fete.


Making bunting for the Coombe Mill Garden Fete

Garden Fete Challenges

Next we made the crazy haired skittles that began my theme. The children took turns to try and knock down the skittles with a snooker ball in a cardboard box alley with Amber while I hid a trail of ones I made earlier to the front lawn.


Making crazy haired skittles with alpaca wool for Garden Fete games


Walks are always more fun with something to collect and search for along the way. By the time we reached the lawn we had a growing collection of our little characters. We lined them up along the bank to be the audience for our garden fete fun challenges.


Treasure hunt to the front lawns


We started with an obstacle race at just the right level of difficulty for our little ones. They had to crawl under a sheet, play a tune on the nature xylophone and throw Freddie Frog through the netball hoop before running to the finish line for a chocolate.

Obstacle Course around the Gardens

Two sticks then became the river bank and the children had to cross the river without stepping in the middle where Freddie Frog was lurking; after each clear round the sticks moved further apart. The children were so good at this racing round and round laughing each time.


Jump the river stick fun in our garden fate games. I have fond memories of this one as a child myself. #sticks #stickgame #stickplay #naturegames #gardenparty #gardenfete #garden #games #kidsofinstagram #countrykids #imagination #createwithsticks #stickcreations #jump #fun #outdoors #outdoorfun #kidsoutdoors

A video posted by Coombe Mill (@coombemill) on


Even the parents were inspired to have a go

Parents taking part at the Coombe mill Garden Party


A staggered flat race meant every age range had a chance to win.


Enjoying the Flat Race in our Garden Fate Games at Coombe Mill Holidays


What better way to finish our challenges than with a little bubble catching fun.


Bubble chasing fun at Coombe Mill


Returning to the craft table the children designed their own taking part medals to take home along with their crazy haired person as a little reminder of their fun garden fete afternoon.  


Making medals at Activity Hour


We had such a good time with these games I think we will build on them for a Coombe Mill Olympics theme for next week.


Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

twitter picture and

Tree 2 My door 

I have always wanted a Magnolia Tree. Flowering in May I think they are one of the most beautiful English garden Trees around. I can’t believe I haven’t actually thought to buy one before given how much I admire them elsewhere. When Tree 2 My Door contacted me to review their tree gifting service I knew straight away what I’d like. What I hadn’t expected was the choice of Magnolia Tree. There are pink, lilac and white flowering varieties. In the end I settled on the Susan, with a delicate pink flower.

The 'Susan' Magnolia Tree from Tree 2 My Door


While I have a great appreciation of all things pretty in the garden my gardening knowledge is somewhat lacking. Thankfully Tree 2 My Door take this worry away with step by step guidelines on a well presented website and on a card with your gift tree.  I knew right from the start, where and when to plant, whether in sunlight or shade and even had direction on how to plant my tree.

My Magnolia tree arrived while I was at Brit Mums Live. Farmer Nick took receipt and unpacked it to surprise me when I came home. While I can’t now share the packaging, I can say it arrived in perfect condition and in a good sized pot ready to be planted.

Magnolia Tree Planting

My chosen spot was a sunny patch in the centre of the Coombe Mill Train track. We set to work following the helpful instructions.

  1. Soaking the pot for 10 minutes
Soaking the Magnolia Tree for 10 minutes
Jed digging the hole for the new Magnolia tree
  1. Digging our hole
  1. Gently removing from the pot
Gently removing the Magnolia Plant from the Planter
Planting the Magnolia Tree by the Train
  1. Planting our Tree.
  1. We also added a stake to protect and strengthen our Susan Magnolia Tree.
Magnolia Tree with supporting Stake

For us there was one extra step. We now had a bucket full of displaced soil and I had a very special use in mind. Over in the chicken enclosure a silly goose had lost an egg down an old rabbit hole. The children wanted to fill it in so she didn’t loose another one and our bucket of soil was perfect.

Filling the hole in the Chicken Field on the Farm

Planting our Susan Magnolia Tree really was so easy to do, the quality of the tree looks excellent and in my mind it is already a beautiful full flowering tree to delight our train passengers as they travel round. In reality Magnolia is slow growing. However one day my vision will come to fruition.

At £39.99 it is a quality gift that would be perfect for a significant birthday, Christening, Wedding or house moving present. There is such a wide choice of trees on the website you are sure to find the perfect one for any occasion. With a next day delivery option and even free delivery if you spend over £90 it is really worth a look.

Win £40 to spend at Tree 2 My Door with Coombe Mill

Win £40 to spend at Tree 2 My Door with Coombe Mill Holidays.

If you like the idea of a quality tree as a special gift complete with gift card and message of your choice just follow the instructions below. Good luck to all taking part.


£40 to Spend at Tree 2 My Door



We were sent our Susan Magnolia Tree  for the purpose of this review, however all thoughts are my own.