My book ^_^

Yey! My book has finally been released. The whole process has taken over a year and, at times, I really didn’t think I would get there! It’s wonderful to finally be able to show you some pictures, and also to feel a bit more relaxed about the whole thing.

The book is called “eco-friendly crafting with kids” and contains 35 step-by-step projects for preschool kids and adults to create together. (Even though the book is aimed at preschoolers the projects would also be suitable for 5, 6 & 7 year olds).

Eco-friendly crafting with kids

I picked a fairly random set of images to show you…I was finding it hard to choose. The book really does look stunning, largely due to the efforts of photographer Carloyn Barber, stylist Liz Belton and Designer Sonya Nathoo.

Eco-friendly crafting with kids. Copyright © Ryland Peters & Small Ltd

The book is split into eight sections; homemade materials, music, nature, recycling bin, paper and card, sewing and threading, science and boredom busters.

Eco-friendly crafting with kids

I would love for you to buy a copy if you like the look of it *^_^*. You can purchase one at amazon.co.uk, amazon.com, amazon.ca, barnes & noble (and many other places). You can also order it from the book depository (which does free worldwide delivery) and lots of other websites! (btw my Australian pals and I use the book depository to send presents to one another and we’ve always been really happy with the service!)

Eco-friendly crafting with kids

Eco-friendly crafting with kids

Eco-friendly crafting with kids

Images excerpted from “eco-friendly crafting with kids” by Kate Lilley. Photography Copyright © Ryland Peters & Small Ltd. Reprinted with permission of the publisher. All rights reserved.

Bell shaker – with added bling!

My two boys are like little squirrels and after every walk they come home with pocketfuls of natural treasures. As a consequence I keep finding little stashes of sticks, pine cones, feathers, stones, soil and acorn cups around the house…and in the washing machine!

Bell shaker

From their stash I ‘borrowed’ a stick and some acorn cups to make this cool shaker…I’m developing a soft spot for handmade instruments!!

Bell shaker

The idea comes from a wonderful bottletop shaker I saw on the web.

Bell shaker

They are very easy to make and you only need a few basic tools.

Bell shaker

♥ First you need to find yourself a bit of fallen branch with a ‘y’ shape bit in it! I took some secateurs (pruning shears) on our walk with us so I could hack the branch up ‘on-site’! Make sure you stamp on it a bit to check it’s not rotten.
♥ When you get home, grab a saw and chop the ends off neatly.
♥ If your stick has beautiful bark then all well and good. My stick was a bit green and slimy(!) so I removed the bark and my son helped me to give it a good sand down.
♥ Drill two small holes in the end of the stick to thread your fishing wire into.

Bell shaker

I used some bells, acorn cup and wooden beads to thread onto the fishing wire. I also put some gold leaf inside the acorn cups because it looks soooo lovely (remember my unfinished bracelet post!!)

Bell shaker

If you don’t have bells handy then you can use bottle tops (hammered flat)….or old keys would work a treat. You could also decorate the wood. Later on you can turn the instrument into a catapult – I’m not quite ready for smashed windows yet though!

Just remember full supervision for those under three because of the little bits.

Tubular (cardboard) bells!

This is really easy. Get a sturdy cardboard tube. Pierce holes at regular intervals round the outside. Using a needle and thread attach bells to tube. Hey presto…a cheap and very cool little instrument.

I got my cardboard tube from inside a roll of binbags. I reckon you could do this with a toilet roll tube but it may not last as long. Wrapping paper tubes would also work pretty well.

If you are handy with a pair of knitting needles then make some knitted ankle cuffs too!

I used a fairly thick thread to attach the bells to the tube. Please bear in mind they do come off from time to time so take care around little ones.

Keep your eyes peeled because I am doing a guest post over at ohmyhandmade.com in the next week which is very exciting.

I also want to do a big shout out for Michelle at michelemademe.blogspot.com. Michelle used my crocodile design to make some edible art – check it out!