As the weather turns cold and we spend a few more hours of our day inside our minds can't help but turn toward making things for the upcoming holidays. There are many different traditions and reasons to celebrate coming up in the next few months and we try to make, rather than purchase, as many gifts and decorations as possible for our celebrations.
Being nature lovers we also love to incorporate nature into our creations. In that spirit, we here at The Magnifying Glass are excited to start a series called Gifts from Nature. Over the next two months we are going to be sharing some gift ideas that use those wonderful items you empty from your pockets when you arrive home from nature walks... those treasures on your nature table or in bowls and on windowsills around your home. Special things you and your little ones have collected and would love to share with others in the form of a gift.
So to kick things off I would like to share with you the idea of making kindling bundles. My kids love to collect sticks. We have lots on our nature table and various other locations around our home. There does come a time when I wonder just what to do with all of those sticks.
Last fall I read a wonderful book called A Handmade Life. In it he talked about making bundles of kindling from twigs and fallen branches. He also suggested having your little one make a bundle to set aside for the lighting of a special fire. He noted Christmas but I was thinking it would be the prefect thing for our Solstice Celebration. Fall is a great time to make these because there are usually lots of windy days to knock down those loose twigs and branches and it gives the kindling enough time to dry out for the special fire.
In addition to what could be gathered from our "collection" of sticks Hurricane Earl provided us with more than enough fuel for our bundles. With eager little hands that love to help out we were on our way.
We start by gathering all of the twigs in one spot. Then the breaking begins... this really is the fun part.
Then they get stacked in piles. We usually have a few piles going at one time so we can spread out the different size twigs.
Then they get tied. My little guy chose to tie the Solstice bundles with wool rainbow yarn. And he made five of them. One for each member of our family and one for Mother Nature. I guess he plans on having quite the bond fire. Those were set aside in a special spot in the shed.
We have plans to give some of the other bundles away as gift in kindling baskets along with some other "fire starter" materials I will share soon.
In the mean time start gathering up your acorns, rocks, pine cones, dried leaves, driftwood and sea glass. There are some fun and exciting gift ideas coming up.
Have you started making gifts for the holidays? Please leave us a link or post pictures to The Magnifying Glass flickr group. We would also love to see what you have been making from the things you are finding out in nature.