Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Loving the Autumn

Encouraging indoor projects !

In September I began collecting things from Winter yard preparation, such as cutting back my Virginia Creeper vines and  trimming back poppies and rose.
I have always favored Virginia Creeper vines as they are so flexible, long and easy to work with. When first trimmed and still green I form a circle and then
twist added vines around the basic circle and then let lay flat while it cures. It is fairly easy to get a nice pleasing circular shape. I do not use glue or wire, sometimes I have used raffia to wrap and tie things on. As leaves fall I collect the colors I like and let them dry on the table, I rather like them curled and do not usually flatten them, but when I do want a flat one, I put them between pages of the phone book and just them sit a few days.
The above wreath is nice for Autumn and as it turns to winter I will add some evergreen boughs around the outside and maybe add a few pine cones.
After the season is over it also possible to save the wreath itself if desired . Another version of this is one made with all the cutting back in the herb garden, with lavendar leaves and flowers, rosemary , thyme , oregano etc. This one smells lovely.

Part of my Autumn traditions involve planting bulbs that will bloom for the Holidays, bringing fresh flowers into the house in deep Winter. This is a very lovely, especially if there is fragrance involved. This lily just amazed me and has all this bloom from one bulb and it only took 5 weeks! 
Here I am making Pomanders, a tradition many of us have done and especially nice for children because of the simplicity and the fragrances. Using a fondue stick, or metal screwer or fork makes it much easier and faster as sometimes the oranges are tough skinned or very soft. Tangerines can be done and kumquats too.  They can also be dusted with cinnamon for added fragrance. Buying cloves in bulk is much  this project more affordable.
I will post pictures of the finished ones:-)
I work on these now in the early mornings as it is a bit cold to go out and have a nice hot cuppa while I work.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Cottages and Gnomes for useful plants we Love!

Healing Cottages and their Gnomes!

Scarlet Pimpernel House
  Scarlet Pimpernel, a lovely little orange flower, sometimes also found with
a blue flower.... is common along roadsides and meadows, growing a bit like
a ground cover. The flowers are tiny and have tinges of dark purple/red. I have always loved this plant and was so deligted to find in days gone by it was highly revered as a healing plant, it would "chase troubles away" and lighten the mood, somewhat like St. Johns Wort(Hypericum) The fun thing to do is to research this plant yourself and be delighted at the finds!

In the back~ another wee door for the storing room:-)

 The lovely Chamomile Cottage! A relaxing and calming plant, helping sooth little ones and tummies all around.  One of the most loved and useful wild plants we have.

  The Sweet Violet Cottage~  The fragrance of the tiny deep purple little flowers carpeting the forest floor , playing amongst the Forget-me-nots~ is a cherished childhood memory. The fragrance alone is a great aromatherapy!  I toss the blossoms in my Spring Salads and the dried leaves and flowers make a restorative tea, antiseptic by nature. Candied flowers were a victorian treat:-)

The Windflower Cottage (Pulsitilla Occidentalis)  A wonderful homeopathic remedy 
The Calendula Cottage (Winter Marigold) One of the most versatile and useful plants of all!
I make soap and healing salve out of the fresh flowers and leaves every summer:-

The lovely Starflower Cottage! ( Boarage)
Borago offiinalis

Not only does this botanical bring use healing , but leafy food for soupls, stews and on their own. The use of this plant goes back hundreds of years and the flowers can be tossed in salads and tea used for cheer!

I will continue to add these houses, honoring the gifts Nature has given us for our well being:-)

Willodel Echinacea Cottage ( Purple Coneflower
Echinacea is one of those lovely healing botanicals we have become very familiar with for helping us keep well. the flowers are lovely as well and grace many a garden~

Having a cup of tea with Willodel Wren~

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

The BIGGEST Cottage Willodel has ever made!

The BIG Woodland Cottage

  I came upon some wood much larger than usual..and just had to make the BIGGER size Cottage~  And what fun it was!
The back has two doors and the two rooms are open to each other on the inside.
The painted wood patio comes with the set.

Here the house is being used! The ladder you see inside goes to a sleeping loft over the main room

The kitchen counter has a sink and stove burners, both rooms have painted floor covers

The side room has  a sitting bench with storage under neath
There is also a felt pad and pillow for the loft and a basket of firewood for the inner wall fireplace.  The house is 13" high and 17" wide.
It was really fun to make!

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Whispers of Springs Turn to Songs in the Breeze!

Spring Activities on the Rise!

Wee Folk and Forest Friends are gathering to go into the Woodlands & spread
useful plant seeds! It is Little Rabbits first time!

The extra Big Daffodil House is a natural gathering place as The Willodel
Wren can tell you~

And at the edge of the meadow The Acorn Cafe has put it's tables out and is serving Lemon grass tea and Elderberry Pie!

Two of the Spring Gnomes are showing Little Rabbit a cozy little meadow spot for him to eat and rest~

Friday, February 17, 2017

Waiting for Spring while the rain still come..making a little indoor fun!

My little indoor stage and backdrop, giving place for adventurers of Gnome Boatmen!

Gnome boatmen are made from florist wire covered in yard and wool with a bead head, an acorn cap and silk tunic:-) 

Wednesday, February 8, 2017


Whispers of Spring ~ Willodel's  Snowdrop House & Gnome
With it's soft sky blue roof and Snowdrops on the door, this little cottage has the feeling of 
a gentle Spring breeze & early morning songbirds singing~
Little Snowdrop gnome has invited friends for woodland tea

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Willodel Travels the World!

I have long wanted to get my world map onto my big studio bulletin board and on a snowy day..finally did.  Since I opened my online store in 2010 , I have sent over 1300 houses to new homes , some traveling very far!  In the years before the internet shop, I traveled to many art fairs in the Pacific Northwest to the Rocky Mountains, selling thousands of houses. My children all helped !

The Willodel family of friends is very large and the most wonderful kind of people you would want to know. Thank you to everyone that has supported Willodel and made my life so fulfilling!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

January Snow and January Projects

The time of Winter in the Mountains

Living in the Pacific Northwest, Winters can bring a lot of snow and  days spent mostly indoors, not to far from the fire. When the sun comes out for bit, I take to walking the lake shores and looking for twisty roots and nice sticks.
Pretty Moss, flourishes in the winter, here along the shore and also deep in the
conifer forests just behind this Alder grove. 
A troop of Spring gnomes is being  coming for what is just around the corner!
A Tomten and Fox set is also coming to life in the little workshop!

This is a house I am making which is made from a large Pine root I found along the shore, it was about 4 " in diameter and 5 feet long. I have made several houses already, but this one is the last. I consider this very special wood indeed!
The small pieces on the front, the railings and roof supports are all small Pine roots. It is almost done, but I have the doors to decorate still and I am making a pine root gnome for it.

The finished Pine Root house and a wee Pinecone Gnome too..

This is a large Amanita mushroom that I found in the Alder forest. These come in a wide range from bright red, to orange, yellow and white. it was exciting to find these , a forest full of them! This was atleast 9" across too.

So as you might know, mushroom houses have been something fun that I enjoy making and finds such as this inspire me all the more...

This is fun and also large house I have just finished .

Another project I did this month that was fun was covering a tea box with  birch bark paper. A tree down the road regularly has large bit of peeling bark, which I sometimes carefully pull off and use for something special.

This is the finished box~ I had a rubber stamp of a hedgehog I put on it, but colored it in. I used two buttons and silk ribbon to close it.  I will make al little tutorial of this project soon.

I placed the box on pieces of the birch and just made patterns on the spot. I used the glue I use on my wood things and everything really, Weldbond.
It is made in Canada and non-toxic.

Along with shoveling lots of snow, I have managed to keep a thread of work going , with the projects above and a couple other little houses. 
I look forward to next month when there will be less rain and snow! Before we know it Spring will be here, as all the while things are growing and moving beneath the snow , in the warm earth.

This house comes with a Pine cone baby!