Pinecone Trees & A Winter Zen Garden

I wanted to do something a little different for Christmas this year and when I stumbled across the idea of creating seasonal zen gardens, inspired by this video from Idunn Goddess on YouTube, I knew I had to try this! I used most of my own pieces as well as a very quick and easy DIY pine cone tree, but Idunn Goddess' video actually provides some other crafts and ideas to create your own winter zen garden including a DIY snowman and fir tree, if you're stuck for ideas or need some items for it, but this is a really fun way to get into the Christmas spirit and keep calm during the festive season!

I already had a zen garden base from when I bought mine from The Works a couple of years ago, so I simply removed the attachment that hold the gong from the back of the base, and created some spirals in the white sand, before adding on the pieces I chose. 

I decided to use my clear quartz and my chrysocolla gemstones to create an icy feel, and I found this clear bead while putting our Christmas decorations up so I added that next to my chrysocolla. I like the effect the gemstones give against the white sand, and I can imagine this working nicely with any blue or clear coloured gemstones such as amazonite or opalite too. 

The pinecone I had been given by one of my close friends while at university, and I simply painted green and added on white splashes around the ends of seed pod to create the snowy branches effect before gluing on a button in the shape of a flower that had this iridescence to it, so it looked like a star.

The little bear is a Peruvian soap stone bear I got from The Rock Shop in Ambleside for my birthday this year and I thought it would look cute next to the tree, which it does.

I'm really pleased with how this looks and waking up to see this on my bookshelf instantly makes me feel like I've been transported to a winter wonderland, and I may have to continue this on as the seasons change.

I'm linking up with both Stella and Sarah for Two Uses Tuesday today.

Hope you're all having a lovely Tuesday!



Project 365: The Favourite Five - November!

I know this has become a cliche but this year is flying by, and I can't believe that I only have one month left now to go before another year of Project 365 is done. I'm not sure if I will do it again next year (the first time I did 365 was in 2014) so I may skip the next year and pick it up again come 2018, which feels like a lifetime away if I am honest! Having said that this year has been really fun for me in terms of photos and while I'm no photographer and won't refer to myself as one, I am loving learning more, picking up tricks and getting tips and advice from the very talented bloggers and photographers I interact with online, as well as all of the encouraging comments I get here - they've definitely spurred me on this year, so thank you!

So, without further ado, here are my five favourites from this month!

1. Droplets

I was waiting in the car one afternoon while my Mum had popped out and I loved the way the autumn trees seemed to turn into a watercolour painting as the rain outside fell on the windscreen. Listening to rain hitting windows is also one of my favourite sounds, it's incredibly comforting, and I always sleep the best when it's raining. 

2. Snow Covered Fells

My first glimpse of snow this year on the fells! This was my first 'snow' photo of 2016 and it couldn't have come at a better time as I was feeling quite low that day. The peaks only had a sprinkling but it looked so pretty against the blue sky, and the autumn colours from the ferns, scrub and heather which had now turned for the year made it all the more wintry!

3. Amber Light

Autumn calls for cosy warm evenings and the glow from my light, and this evening fit the mood perfectly. I've been using a lot of candles throughout this month but a couple of weeks back I finally burned through my last one so I've had to use my main light in the evening again, but it looked particularly amber and cosy this evening. 

4. Neon

My Mum and I had popped out briefly to the shops on this evening and I loved the bright colour and the glow from this shop's neon lights so much that I had to take a photo. I cropped the edge slightly because I wanted that nice contrast between the black of the night sky and the yellow from the light, and this for some reason, reminds me of the kind of image you see on an album cover!

5. Frosty Beginnings

Waking to hoar frost on the plants in the garden outside is a sure sign that winter is finally on it's way and I won't lie, this is one of my favourite sights come the colder seasons. I just think it's incredibly pretty and I still love the old legend and folktale that throughout the night Jack Frost has been about! 

While November has been an odd and busy month for me I hope yours has been better and brighter and if you're still doing Project 365 let me know what your highlight of November have been!

Hope you all have had a lovely weekend and that the week ahead goes well for you all!



One Fair Autumn Afternoon

With December now finally upon us I wanted to share these photos I took while out near Kendal from mid November, before I dive into all of the wintry goodness that nature has to offer come December time (I've got some snow capped mountains to show you all). I'm also a little sad to see autumn come to an end this year as I've really enjoyed watching the leaves change. 

I didn't spend as much time noticing the change in colour last year as I have done this time around, so not being able to see the vibrant oranges and reds everywhere will be strange for a few days, but I am very excited for frosty mornings! While they're always undoubtedly and obviously chilly, hoar frost always means some great photo opportunities and is one of my favourite sights come winter, so Jack Frost, I'm ready for you!

The weather on this day was particularly inclement (that's one of my favourite words) and was switching from sunshine one minute, to rain and dark clouds the next. However, when the sun did appear it hit this particular tree beautifully and highlighted the shadows the leaves created, which looked quite dramatic against the blue/grey sky behind.

The leaves on this tree looked almost like springtime blossoms when the sun hit as they shone up almost coral pink.

I love old stone walls and whenever I see ones like these, covered in moss, it always reminds me of Labyrinth (one of my all time favourite films) and I always find them enchanting. The few dried autumn leaves which were laying on top of the wall added to that crisp autumn day feeling I had while I was out too, and a few birds (I think they were blue tits) landed on the branches behind while I was out, so I sat and watched them for a moment before I left.

I couldn't resist another photo of the moss covered wall!

This might be my favourite out of them all. I love seeing dappled light anywhere but when it falls across the trunk of a tree like this it looks amazing to me. This tree had vast, wide branches covered in leaves so when the sun moved and the clouds shifted, they created these canopies which cast these impressive shadows over the trunk.

This was a pleasant surprise that day as I was in the area running an errand and I wasn't planning on taking my camera with me that day as I wasn't sure I'd get any photos (especially considered the forecast that day; clouds and rain) so I was happy to get these and I thought they would be a nice ending to what has been a busy November for me!

I'm linking up with the lovely Jen for Photo Friday today.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!



Frost & Sunshine

Coming home from a quick trip out I couldn't help but stop and get a photo of the sun as it shone over the frosty countryside today. I loved the way the hedgerows looked almost black against the blue sky, and the brief covering of hoar frost on the grass make it feel especially wintry. Each season has it's own beautiful moments. 

I'm linking up with the lovely Sue for (Almost) Wordless Wednesday today.

Hope you're all having a lovely Wednesday!



An Autumnal Paper Tree!

With December now hot on our heels, I'm making the most of the last few autumnal leaves and flashes of gold, red and amber which have adorned the trees for weeks now. This past week has been decidedly more frosty than the previous ones, and there has been plenty of snow on the mountains, heralding winter's arrival.

So when I stumbled across this extremely cute DIY I knew exactly what I wanted to do for this final week of November before I dive into all things Christmassy next Tuesday! I followed instructions from Pikadilly Charm's blog post here, and while this craft is set up to be one for children come autumn, I couldn't resist doing it myself, and I think it makes a lovely autumnal decoration for my windowsill.

All you need is a plain brown paper bag, which you can find almost anywhere. I actually used one I had in my craft pile from a previous birthday present, but you should also be able to pick these up at any craft shop, online or even from old shopping trips where some places still provide brown paper bags. Personally, I wish every shop still used brown paper bags - I much prefer them to the plastic variety and they always look so cute, and come in handy for crafting! I also used a paper punch which was heart shaped to cut out some leaves.

If you want to make one of these yourself, the full directions can be found here.

So after lots of cutting, scrunching, gluing and some more cutting (to get the base of the tree looking more like roots) I was done! I really like how this turned out too. I purposely left some of the branches bare to reflect the fallen leaves, and also chose not to twist all of the branches together as I like the thicker, stockier look some of them have against the more spindly looking ones. 

Come spring I think I'll do this again to re-create some of my favourite blossoms that come out. You could also carry out the first few steps but leave off the leaves, paint the tree with some white or silver paint, add some glitter and make it into a more wintry tree too. I'd also like to try this out with some smaller bags to create some mini trees! Really enjoyed this particular DIY and I found all of the twisting quite therapeutic as well. 

I'm linking up with the lovely Stella and Sarah for Two Uses Tuesday this week.

Hope you've all had a lovely Tuesday!