Beat the win­ter blues by bring­ing some of na­ture’s beauty in­doors. Cre­ate your own nat­u­ral framed art, with Lou Smith

Countryfile Magazine - - Month In The Country -

Win­ter can of­ten make us feel like na­ture is hi­ber­nat­ing and that we should too, but a wood­land walk with a mis­sion can do won­ders for your mind­set. Wrap up warm and set out on your favourite trail, tak­ing time to spot the changes the sea­son has brought. Col­lect fallen leaves, caught in the mid­dle of chang­ing colour, pick up uniquely shaped twigs and bark chip­pings, and pocket the odd pine cone left­over from au­tumn. Use th­ese won­ders of na­ture to cre­ate a spe­cial col­lage that will see you through to spring.

You will need:

• 23cm x 23cm wooden frame, 4.5cm depth (the one pic­tured is from IKEA) • Dress­maker’s pins • Tis­sue pa­per • A bag or bas­ket for col­lect­ing items

1 Col­lect ma­te­ri­als, such as fallen leaves, twigs, pine cones and seed heads that you find ap­peal­ing to look at. Leave them be­tween two lay­ers of tis­sue to dry overnight, which will also al­low any in­sects to crawl away. Press any flow­ers and dry any mush­rooms you want to in­clude be­fore use.

2 Back the frame’s board with card­board to aid with pin­ning, and ar­range your items on the board. Start with larger ones (such as twigs or big leaves) and ar­range the smaller items (such as sycamore seeds) around them. Once you’re happy, take a pic­ture to re­fer to while pin­ning.

3 Care­fully be­gin pin­ning your items in place. Start with the larger ones again, such as big leaves or pine cones, as th­ese re­quire sev­eral pins. Place a pin un­der­neath larger leaves to give them sup­port, and pin around twigs rather than through them.

4 Now, pin the smaller items in po­si­tion around the larger ones. For small leaves, aim one pin through the cen­tre, or one at the top and at the bot­tom. Place in­side your frame. Now you have a nat­u­rally beau­ti­ful work of art for your home or to give to a friend.

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