Our backyard is a constant source of entertainment. We played in it all Summer long, and now that it is Winter, we are still spending hours in it…but in not quite the same ways! Like a child, I have been busy with all sort of backyard winter projects in the snow. My first goal was to dig a sled run so we could sled around the yard for the next week (or month?) or so while the snow lasts. I did this a couple of days ago while the snow was still light and powdery. The next thing on the list was to build a snow hut. Today was perfect conditions for building and sculpting with nice sticky heavy snow. Now, you would think with a project like this I would have lots of helpers…but no..Cam worked on a minimalist block sculpture, Maya was building a fire and cooking soup, and Elle was just trying to walk, and stay upright! It took me a little while to build the hut, but I did it, and we all fit in (just)…tomorrow if the weather permits I hope to make it prettier, nicer, neater…but for now, here is our little snow hut!
After wet felting the wool balls yesterday morning, I had the idea to make mermaids. Elle’s needled felted princess was sitting near me, and I think having my hands in water made me think of mermaids…and so last night I went to work needle felting princesses of the sea. Maya specifically wanted a redhead ‘Ariel’ mermaid, and Elle was happy to have whatever I made. We have had a lot of fun playing mermaids today, setting up a little mermaid world with shells, rocks and a palm tree…blissful warm thoughts while we are still in the midst of a lot of wintry snow!
With the new found skill of needle felting I have quickly acquired lots of wool roving to felt with. Having the beautiful wool sitting around the house means my eye is always out for felting inspiration. While visiting my friend Faith recently, she was making these little felt balls. Faith very much enjoyed the needle felting lessons we both attended and went on to do a e-course on wet felting. I too thought it would be great to make these balls and so with ample wool the Girls and I set out to make them. The Girls enjoyed the set up process of warm soapy water and then sat through the making of two balls each. Both found it a little tricky to master a perfect round ball, but I am sure in a few years they will be able to do it with ease. It take a little time to make each ball, and you will get water logged fingers…as you will see I got soggy wrinkles! I am not sure what I am going to do with the colourful balls, but here are the results of our first wet felting efforts…
Most of the balls are one solid colour, but a few I tried to needle felt bands of another colour onto them. I found this did not work so well as the wet felted balls were too dense for my felting needle to penetrate. The few balls that I did needle felted bands of colour onto I threaded onto sting and made a Christmas ornament. I then made some wet felted yarn like strands that I wrapped around one of the balls and tied. I loved how this looked. I only made one like this as it took a while…I would like to do more and will get to the rest another day! I also liked the felted strand coiled, which I thought would make a great coaster. So much to do, so little time!
By yesterday afternoon the snow was starting to compact, which meant two things…time to dig out the car before it becomes a block of ice, and time to build a snowman! I am yet to build a snowman in the proper method where you start with a ball of snow and roll it and roll until the snow sticks and the ball grows. Since this method was not working, we had to sculpt the snow and pat the snow until we had made a sort of snowman. The snowman was apparently a snow princess…who thanks to Keith the owner of our house, smoked a pipe, a real pipe!
On our first day in the snow I was overcome with how fresh and delicious the snow was. Then and there I wanted to eat it! Pure white ice so fine and light straight from the heavens. I suggested to the Girls that when we go back inside we have maple ices. This was received with big smiles…and a unanimous “Yummy!”
I have been buying a very good quality pure maple syrup that is thick and rich. It sat on top of the snow like caramel. The Girls ate it off heaped with spoons of snow. We also have enjoyed the snow with grape juice, making very pretty purple slushies.