What do you do with all those treasures your children collect from the ground? My little ones can’t come home from a walk without filling their pockets with beautiful things they’ve found. Leaves, acorns, shells, seeds, blossom, pebbles and feathers have all made their way back into our home at varying times throughout the year.
Our old Edwardian has the original fireplaces in both the children’s bedrooms and there is always a handful of things they’ve gathered displayed proudly on their mantlepieces. We also have a shelf above our victorian school desk in the kitchen which houses many of their nature finds including an old bird’s nest. It’s one of my favourite things to do, to bring touches of the outdoors home and I find these collections a reminder to notice the shifts in seasons more.
Late last October Indie asked me to make a mobile to hang in her bedroom using some of the things she’d gathered and preserved over autumn. She carefully chose each piece herself, deciding on what order I should string them in and how low or high they should be threaded. Her selections included a dried astrantia head from the garden, a tiny dried fern sprond, a preserved beech leaf and seed pod, an acorn’s cap, a preserved red oak leaf, a sprig of hydrangea from our backyard bush which had been hung to dry and rosehips picked from a wild bush on our allotment.
She found a thin twig in our local park and I attached each item carefully to the twig with floristry wire. Because of the fragility of dried leaves and flowers this was a slow and gentle process better suited to my hands than hers. Often I found winding the wire a few times around the stems first before stringing the other end of the wire to the twig worked best. Once every treasure had been strung I tied some twine to each end of the stick so she could hang it on her wall.
I love how the colours of the leaves seem to glow in the afternoon winter light and the leaves create shadows on the wall. Isn’t it lovely how we can create something so simple and beautiful out of nature’s offcuts.