Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Ways to Bring the Outdoors Indoors; Biog: Lynn Huggins Has Written More Than 300 Books Including Many Craft Titles. She Lives and Works in High Spen, Gateshead, and Spends Her Time Scouring Charity Shops and Car Boot Sales for Likely Craft Piece to Alter!

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Ways to Bring the Outdoors Indoors; Biog: Lynn Huggins Has Written More Than 300 Books Including Many Craft Titles. She Lives and Works in High Spen, Gateshead, and Spends Her Time Scouring Charity Shops and Car Boot Sales for Likely Craft Piece to Alter!

Article excerpt

LAST week's craft for children made me think about the ways we can bring the outside, inside. Collecting "treasure" from the garden, forest walks or the beach is not just for children. In my house, I use lots of natural materials such as branches, leaves, pebbles, shells and crystals as decorations - they are calming and beautiful, and best of all - free!

My staircase is covered with bark and an avenue of beech twigs; I'm slowly decoupaging the stairs. My bathroom floor is covered in pebbles and large pieces of bark arc over the bath.

If you fancy bringing a little nature into your living space, here's an idea to capture the ethereal beauty of honesty pods. I grow these every year in my garden - they are such a resource for artists and crafters. You can add them to wreaths and swags for festivals; add them to homemade paper mixes and use them in decoupage. Their silvery shine earns them the colloquial name 'fairy plates' - they are just beautiful.

WHAT YOU NEED ? Dried honesty pods (lunaria) ? Canvas in your chosen size (remainder book shops have these readily available at bargain prices) ? White mulberry tissue (or the colour of your choice - shades of blue or green can look lovely) ? PVA glue ? Paintbrushes ? Scissors WHAT TO DO ? Collect together your honesty pods. Carefully peel off the outer dull green layers to expose the seeds and the gorgeous silvery discs. Keep the seeds to plant for next year - they are easy to grow and you'll want a good supply!

Coat your chosen canvas in a layer of PVA glue.

Tear pieces of mulberry tissue and stick them to the canvas.

Coat the canvas in PVA again, and add another layer of torn mulberry tissue.

Leave to dry. ? Snip the stems from the honesty pods, and add them to the piece. Press the pods down gently and cover them with PVA.

Add a few wisps of pale mulberry tissue to overlay some of the honesty pods - it creates a lovely misty effect. Leave to dry.

Seal the whole canvas with another layer of PVA glue, or some yacht varnish. Leave it to dry, and your oneof-a-kind art canvas is ready to hang! …

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