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Todays guest post is all about building your own treehouse! A subject very close to my heart, I have a small obsession with treehouses and would love to have one, um I mean build one for Littlelish ;) First I need a house with a suitable tree in the garden!
A treehouse, as many parents know from firsthand experience when they were children, is a brilliant place for young ones to play and explore – and is an excellent project for the entire family to experience together!
If you’re keen to get going with a treehouse project of your own, here’s a handy guide to getting started with your project.
Choose the perfect tree
The quest to construct the perfect treehouse begins with choosing the right tree. You will need to make sure that the tree you select is strong and healthy – this will help you build a safe and solid foundation for your structure.
Look for trees where the lower branches (the thickest and sturdiest ones) fork out into a defined Y or U shape, as these are likely to provide the most support. It’s worth knowing that beech and oak are among the strongest trees and could provide plenty of structural support.
Image source: www.popularmechanics.com
Designing your treehouse
Just as a real-life builder would never jump into construction on a house without a blueprint, you shouldn’t start building your treehouse until you know exactly what the plan is. You don’t have to be a great designer to get going with this part of the process. Remember that treehouses are built from the ground up, so you’ll begin with the deck (which requires the most support) and then up from there.
Whether you choose to add a simple railing or make elaborate changes like adding walls, windows or a tower, the base is largely the same – so you can always build on your plans later.
Image source: www.dezeen.com
Height and other considerations
One important thing you’ll want to think about during the design stage is how high up from the ground you will want your treehouse to be.
If you’re building your treehouse with young kids in mind, it’s essential to think about their safety – and remember that what (or who) climbs up can just as easily fall down. This is why it’s a smart idea to keep your treehouse at a relatively low height – under a metre from the ground is usually a sensible idea for very young children.
It is also worth bearing in mind that very tall or very elaborate treehouses may require planning permission from your local authority – if you are in doubt, contact your council to find out more information.
Image source: www.greglunger.com
Be smart about building materials
Now that you have a plan in place, it’s time to assemble your building materials – these will vary depending on the scope of your project. The most basic tree houses might be made out of scrap lumber, while more elaborate structures might require a specific type of wood. If your treehouse will include a roof, opt for pressure treated material.
You will also want to make sure you have the right tools for the job. Many DIY-ers recommend utilising some sort of pulley system to get the materials up in the tree, and of course you will need a sturdy ladder too.
Click here to find out more about hiring compressors and other useful pieces of equipment from Speedy Services to help get the job done – and remember, don’t be shy about asking a handy friend for help with this type of project.
Remember I told you I had an awesome Easter weekend? Not only was I well enough again to eat chocolate (hoorah) but I got to spend it with all my favourite people. Easter Sunday was spent with my lovely family but I also managed to arrange a little get together with my bestest girlfriends more »
Remember I told you I had an awesome Easter weekend? Not only was I well enough again to eat chocolate (hoorah) but I got to spend it with all my favourite people. Easter Sunday was spent with my lovely family but I also managed to arrange a little get together with my bestest girlfriends on the Saturday night (not all of them as they are spread out across the world!) and do my favourite thing – make things!
I was lucky enough to be challenged by Swinton Home insurance, who have some great Cheap Home Insurance Quotes Online, to have my perfect night in! I always enjoy going out for dinner or to watch a band but I do love staying in too. Normally my nights in involve me cooking for people (which I love, I’m a bit of a feeder I think!) and wine :) But with a £100 budget I wanted to do something a bit creative and different. First port of call when looking for inspiration? Pinterest!
After a good 30 minutes looking for party inspiration it came to me! I would arrange a pinterest party! I am forever pinning amazing creative ideas for things to make but realistically I don’t often actually do anything with all those pins I pin. Very occasionally I’ll revisit something I’ve pinned on there… but how fab would it be to have a night in with the girls trying to recreate some of these lovely ideas that I pin?
I decided to split the budget and spent £50 on food and drinks and £50 on craft materials which actually worked out perfectly. The planning took a bit of extra thought, I spent quite some time sifting through pinterest (oh what a hardship) looking for the perfect ideas to recreate. I didn’t want anything too complicated, something that we could all get involved in and something the girls could take home with them. I am also trying to be a bit healthy at the moment so was looking for healthy food recipes and non alcoholic cocktails (I know, but everyone was driving!). I made a prelimary board http://pinterest.com/mummylish/pinterest-party-ideas/ but there was so much choice, so many ideas, craft ideas, make up ideas, nail art ideas, food ideas. Eventually I settled on making…
and these crafts to make
Shopping for the party was pretty tough, I had two ridiculously long shopping lists. It must have taken me 3/4 of a day to find it all! In all fairness, the craft shops round here are not great so I spent a while running round looking for the bits I needed and running from one end of the supermarket to the other collecting ingredients for the recipes. I still managed to forget a few things which was annoying!
The girls arrived at 7pm and we set to work following the food recipes and getting things going so we had something to eat! We started with the strawberries so we could get them straight into the freezer, they were very simple to make but were delicious. At this point I still had an excited Littlelish around so this was the perfect thing for her to help with. The quinoa nibbles and mini taco cups were also very straight forward recipes to follow, simple with only a few steps, the stacks of aubergines had a few more steps to the process but were also simple.
By 8pm we were tucking into our food. All the girls agreed, the recipes were delicious :) When I make the quinoa nibbles again I may experiment with flavour as quinoa can have a bit of a bland taste like couscous. The aubergine stacks were yummy, even without the all important feta (which was one of the things I forgot, duh)! We replaced it with parmesan and mozarella cheese and they were equally as delicious (infact we couldn’t really imagine them with feta) a little bit like mini Melanzane Parmigiana. Our absolute favourite were the chicken taco cups, we were all in agreement that this was a brilliant idea for party food and such a yummy bite.
We were all so full we decided to wait with making the chocolate muffins which were apparently only 58 calories (amazing!) and time was ticking on and we wanted to get on with the crafts. We did a quick clear away and brought out the craft stuff, ready to make our pinboards! We chose our fabric, followed the instructions, which worked well and we were there to help each other if we got stuck at all. It was lovely both with the cooking and crafting as we all sat round the table chatting, laughing and catching up. It was a really lovely, chilled atmosphere and we all agreed it was fun and different to be making something together :) There was a little bit of a joke that we were turning into the women’s institute but you know what, we didn’t care! We all love to cook and craft and chat so it was absolutely perfect combination! I may have missed some wine but I think that wine would have made the crafting a bit more difficult and we may have had a rather different outcome ;)
After we had all made our pinboards and done lots of chatting it was already 11pm! Some of the girls decided to call it a night but we still had bracelets to make! Maybe they were all crafted out ;) The ones that were left stayed up making the bracelets which were actually not that easy! I think this was definitely something to do with it getting late, I kept on forgetting which side I was knotting to, the left or right! Whoops. I tried again the next day and it was much easier. I’m a little bit addicted to this new found technique and have been making bracelets all week :)
Thank you Swinton Home Insurance, we had a fab night. In fact we enjoyed it so much we said we would make it a regular thing :) I’d totally recommend hosting a pinterest party but it requires some good thought when planning. I’ve given you my best tips below on throwing a pinterest party – enjoy! x
Tips for arranging and hosting a pinterest party
- Don’t plan too many activities, you’ll never get to make it all and you want to take it a bit easy and chat along the way
- Choose activities that all your guests will be able to do, remember people have different ability levels when it comes to craft
- Write a clear shopping list of all the ingredients and craft items you will need. Try shopping in advance
- Make some food before hand or buy some little nibbles and crisps like I did so people have something to nibble on while making their food.
- Invite people you feel relaxed around, like your closest friends. Its a pretty informal set up and you will want people to get stuck in with helping you make the recipes etc.
- It is nice if your friends get to leave with something they made :)
- Start a pinterest party board now so that when you come round to organising you have loads of ideas to chose from!
I’m happy. After an extremely sickly couple of weeks we are better and actually managed to have a fantastic Easter! I’ve loved every minute of it :) It was kick-started in spectacular style last week when I was invited as part of a bloggers day-out by Achica, the luxury lifestyle store to visit more »
I’m happy. After an extremely sickly couple of weeks we are better and actually managed to have a fantastic Easter! I’ve loved every minute of it :) It was kick-started in spectacular style last week when I was invited as part of a bloggers day-out by Achica, the luxury lifestyle store to visit Rococo Chocolates, an exquisite London based chocolatier. Lucky me!
Venturing into Knightsbridge by car was brave and I pretty much instantly regretted it due to traffic but oh it was so quickly forgotten as I parked up and ventured down the very pretty sunlit Motcomb street to the flagship store of Rococo. The beautiful blue and white shop greeted me with a smile, waiting inside was a true treasure trove of imaginative chocolate creations :)
At the back of the shop, Julie was waiting to welcome our group of bloggers and tell us all about Rococo chocolates.
Rococo was founded by Chantal Coady in 1983, nearly three decades, three books (about chocolate of course) and three shops later, Chantal and Rococo are still inspiring many through warm and inviting shops, delicately nuanced flavours and creative, beautiful packaging. In fact, the Academy of Chocolate awarded Chantal and Rococo for ‘Changing the Way People Think About Chocolate,’ and the Wall Street Journal recognised Chantal as the founder of the ‘New British School‘ of chocolate.
Always intent on using authentic, healthy ingredients (eg a big ‘no’ to artificial vanilla and hydrogenated vegetable fat) and sourcing fairly, we’re proudest of our latest venture, Grococo, the ‘home farm’ that is supplying its entire harvest of organic Trinitario cocoa beans to make the fine chocolate used in our house blend.
The original shop can be found on the Kings Road, along with a store on Marylebone High Street and of course the flagship store I visited in Belgravia’s Motcomb Street. The only location outside of London to be lucky enough to have a Rococo store is The Chester Grosvenor Hotel, which opened in 2012.
During our talk we were treated to an exquisite thick hot chocolate drink with a raspberry marshmellow dunking cube. H.e.a.v.e.n.l.y. The London traffic melted away and I was captivated, she had my full attention! Julie continued to explain how chocolate is made which I found fascinating as I’ve always fancied trying it myself! I also learnt some interesting things like what white chocolate is made out of, which is something I always wondered about! The answer by the way is cocoa butter!
It was now time to move on to the workshop where we were lucky enough to be decorating our own Easter eggs! The table was laid out with chocolate piping bags, liquid chocolate to paint on, an assortment of coloured and metallic chocolate decoration balls, shakes, glitter, yoghurt flakes, crispy bits even cocoa butter transfers which we could apply. (I’m definitely going to do this with Littlelish next Easter!)
We were let loose literally like kids in a candy shop and it was great fun to be creative in this way. I got stuck straight in applying swirls, copper dust and green chocolate balls to my first egg. Then I made a special egg for my girl, a hedgehog egg with her name on it :) As a group of creative bloggers from the interiors world and creative mummy bloggers, we had some fab creations!
We left with our extra special eggs and a bag of wonderful mini eggs, of which I will say, if you try one thing from Rococo chocolate make it the salty caramel Seagull eggs!! Yum! The Easter eggs from Rococo went to the special ladies in my life, Littlelish and my mum and were apparently divine! Thank you Achica and Rococo for a truly fabulous event. Indeed once bitten, truly smitten! Rococo chocolates is officially my favourite chocolatier :)
A fab guest post about getting girls into science!
Some subjects are easier to engage kids with than others. Science can be one of the trickier ones, as it’s often perceived as ‘geeky’ and difficult to get to grips with. But, I think there are plenty of ways to get your more »
A fab guest post about getting girls into science!
Some subjects are easier to engage kids with than others. Science can be one of the trickier ones, as it’s often perceived as ‘geeky’ and difficult to get to grips with. But, I think there are plenty of ways to get your children excited about science and shake off its ‘uncool’ image.
Girls and science
Before I look at how you can change your child’s perception of science, I’d like to talk briefly about girls’ relationship with the subject – because in the UK, the US and Canada, there is a clear achievement gap between the sexes. In fact, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development recently revealed that in these three countries, 15-year-old girls were outperformed by boys in science – but the reverse was true across the rest of the world.
There are a lot of theories about why this is. One common suggestion is that gender inequality in society causes these gaps by stripping females of the confidence in their own ability to achieve in science.
Other commentators, like development consultant at the UK Resource Centre for women and science, engineering and technology Rachel Tibbell, believe that trends like this can be traced all the way back to childhood. Speaking to the BBC, Mrs Tibbell noted toys kids are given during this time are more than just something to play with – they also help children build perceptions of their roles in society.
So, while parents should be sure to encourage their children in science no matter what their gender, if you have a daughter, try to take particular care to both buoy her confidence and ensure her toys and books don’t reinforce poor gender images/roles.
Top tips for engaging your child with science
Let’s now have a quick look about what you can do to get your child excited about science!
• I must confess, science didn’t much interest me when I was at school – something I kick myself for these days, because now it fascinates me. To help your child really engage with the subject, try to show them how it is directly relevant to the world around them. For instance, talk to them about the chemistry behind baking, or how science helps keep rollercoasters on their tracks.
• It’s also worth buying kids’ science kits. These are not only fun, but also help children learn about key scientific processes and give them the freedom to experiment. A candy-making chemistry kit, for example, lets them learn about how sugar crystallises, as well as find out about temperatures, weights and measures, while making delicious sweets.
• When playing with toys like this, or when baking (after all, baking is basically chemistry!), ask your child to read the instructions or recipes aloud. Doing so helps them interact with and understand the steps and processes involved, and also means they are more engaged with the whole activity, so they’re likely to get much more out of it.
• Remember to give your children verbal encouragement. This could be particularly important for girls, as the research I mentioned above shows that a lack of self-confidence in science leads to poorer performance.
• If you’re helping your child with a science experiment from a kids’ kit, or you’re doing a spot of baking with them, don’t give them the answer if they get stuck. Instead, ask them leading questions to help them come to the right conclusions themselves – this should not only help them learn, but also boost their confidence by giving them the sense of achievement of working it out successfully.
Last week I posted a great round up of ideas for grown up pumpkin decoration. This weekend I had a go at a few of my own decorated pumpkins. Firstly I attempted to make something similar to the lace patterned pumpkins I loved (above)! So much intricate carving requires a great deal of patience which believe it or not I do have, however finding the time to create this tiny pattern on a weekend with a little 3 year old wanting to play all the time is not as easy. Hence only the top section being complete. I still think it looks fab like this, the light shines out of every tiny hole and looks gorgeous. I created this look by hunting through my drawers for any type of tool that I thought could perforate the pumpkin skin and create a different shape. I had kebab skewers, lino cutters and my trusty stanley knife. I hollowed the pumpkin out from the bottom and put a candle inside so the pumpkin looked like it remained intact.
I then went on to play with glitter! This was great as I could set Littlelish playing with the glitter too and all mums know glitter keep kids amused for.ever. It was messy but only took a minute to clean up as this clever mummy did it all on a black bin liner. I drew around a candle on the top of the first pumpkin and hollowed out the circle shape (keeping just a fraction smaller than the actual candle so it fits snug) inserting the candle in from above. I then covered in modpodge with a brush and sprinkled liberally with glitter. Ta da! Super quick and very, very pretty don’t you think? I love this one.
I then hollowed out another space for the candle (as above) in a slightly bigger pumpkin and used a paint brush to draw modpodge lines in the natural creases of the pumpkin and then cover with glitter, blowing/wiping off the excess when dry. I just love the look of these together… they create a lovely, warm, sparkly feature.
Still rolling with the modpodge and glitter I decided to have a go at writing with the brush and glue. The ‘trick’ is to not use too much glue or it will start to drip. Once again sprinkle with glitter and allow to dry, finally shaking off all the excess glitter when done.
So what do you think of my own take on grown up, glittery pumpkin decorations? Super easy, super quick, perhaps an hours worth of work for all 4 pumpkins – not bad going hey?
It was a glorious, hot summers day and the lovely people at Forest Holidays had invited us to attend a reading by award winning children’s author Sita Bramanchi and visit the NEW Sherwood Forest holiday cabins. Despite living only 45 minutes away from Sherwood Forest we’ve only ventured up there once more »
It was a glorious, hot summers day and the lovely people at Forest Holidays had invited us to attend a reading by award winning children’s author Sita Bramanchi and visit the NEW Sherwood Forest holiday cabins. Despite living only 45 minutes away from Sherwood Forest we’ve only ventured up there once since moving to the UK so I was really excited to go and have a look around. The Forest Holidays site is a beautiful holiday park set in 3300 acres of Sherwood forest. The wood cabins are nestled thoughtfully in and among the lush, green forest. You’ll even find trees growing right through the decking because they are just too spectacular to cut down. You really do feel in the thick of it. Sure there are more cabins, 65 in total, so it is not like you are totally on your own in the wild but each home has enough space around it and the dense forest muffles and hides the sounds and sites of other visitors there.
After a lovely introduction lunch in the main reception building (which is also home to great farm style shop stocking local produce, a gorgeous open hearth and several seating areas) it was time for us to tour the site. I have to say with only faded memories of holiday parks I was very pleasantly surprised at the modern, simple, natural elements. The site really revolved around the houses and the woodland.
From a styling point of view I thought the cabins were quite stunning from both the outside and inside. The look and feel was contemporary, robust and natural. They had been well designed and felt rather luxurious not like your standard holiday park. Solid wood furniture, neutral, natural colours, a living room complete with wood burner and several giant window walls where you can take in the most glorious view of the forest at all times of day and night. The main bedroom also featured a window wall which I could just imagine would be incredible when you awaken after a refreshing nights sleep.
Out on the terrace the cabin had its own bird feeder/ nut table to attract the wildlife, birds and squirrels scampering around the forest, which is great for children and adults alike! Each house also comes with it’s own hot tub where you could sit on an evening and absorb the beautiful surroundings perhaps with a glass of champagne. Am I getting ahead of myself here? ;)
Once in Sherwood Forest there are a host of sporty, outdoorsy activities you can be involved in if you desire. There are wonderful woodland walks, miles of fantastic bike trails (my husband has been here and said it is top, top biking!), playgrounds galore and a tree top adventure place all within walking distance. I ventured (along with Jen from LoveChicLiving and her family) to the nearby (10 minute walk) mushroom village, a large play area for children, both littlies like Littlelish and older children like Jen’s. Here you will also find the tree top adventure place and bike hire.
Primarily I’d suggest a visit to the Forest Holidays site in Sherwood Forest to spend time with your loved ones because I think just getting away from it all, being surrounded by nature is the most special part. There is actually a chance to just relax and enjoy each others company without having to do anything. I think it would be great for families, for a romantic weekend for lovers or for friends meeting up for a girly weekend of chatting, movies, in cabin spa treatments and hot tubbing! One of the ladies I spoke to said she rented a cabin in the middle of the winter, around Christmas time with her family and it was totally magical being in the woodlands with snow all around! I was sold!
After our tour we returned to the reception where Forest Holidays had arranged for Waterstone’s 2011 Children’s Book prize winner Sita Brahmachari, who was staying at the site as author in residence, to read from her best selling childrens books Jasmine Skies and Artichoke Hearts. Although these stories are actually aimed at 11+, Littlelish listened well as Sita told her imaginative stories about a young Indian girl growing up. I have to say I rather enjoyed this part myself, the imagery was vivid and the Sita’s storytelling was captivating.
All in all it was a day to remember, for the glorious sunshine, the shady woodland glades, beautiful cabin properties and friendly staff at Forest Holidays. Thank you and hopefully see you again soon!
Disclosure: I was invited to tour the Forest Holiday properties with fellow East Midland bloggers, Jen from LoveChicLiving, Ruth from Minibreakmummy, Penny from The Aresidence and Rosie from RosieScribble – lovely to see you ladies! No payment was received for this post and all opinions and words are honest and very much my own.
On Saturday afternoon we spent a few precious hours in my mum’s garden. I love visiting my mum’s house, it is a little sanctuary for me. First and foremost my mum is always there offering a warm cuddle, a cup of tea and a chat. Then there is the house, a treasure trove of special finds. A glance over the latest antique book/pottery/painting she has found always inspires me. When the sun shines we are mostly drawn outside into the country cottage garden which is brimming with roses, stocks, lavender, honeysuckle and peonies calling us to come and play.
I stopped to smell one of the beautiful roses that drooped down heavy with an excess of petals. The sweet scent filled my nose and I was almost instantly transported back to being a child. This is the smell of my childhood. I adored being in the garden surrounded by nature and would while away hours hanging from the top bar of my swing by my feet like a bat. I think I often played with rose petals hence the nostalgia brought on by the smell. I suggested to Littlelish that we could do the same, would she like to make a flowery perfume? And that was it, she was off and busy for hours making a beautiful heady concoction (not sure I will be swapping my fragrance for it any time soon but hey).
How to make a ‘flower’ perfume
You will need
- One obliging granny with a garden full of flowers
- Handful of flower petals, the smellier the better (lavender, roses, honeysuckle)
- A bowl or a tub to mix your creation
- Water to add as required
- A spoon, fork or masher or all 3 to stamp your perfume to perfection
- A bottle or jar to save your perfume in (please note although the perfume may smell wonderful – ours did! I do not recommend actually using this as a perfume)
As the eternal optimist I am still waiting for summer to come… it is coming, isn’t it? I’m holding out for the fact we’ve still got July and August to get our fill of fun in the sun… bbq’s with friends, strawberry picking and summer festivals!!
This year we are heading off to Shambala festival (23 – 27th August bank holiday) as a family and we cannot wait. We are really keen now that Littlelish is nearly 3 to take her to family friendly festival, to soak up some music, culture and community vibes and after a little research it seems Shambala is the perfect festival for us.
Originally created as “a place to party, free your mind, lose your heart, learn, discuss and be inspired and see what is achievable as a community” it has the hippy in me screaming “Yes!”. Set in a secret rural location in Northamptonshire the festival is independent with a focus on sustainability, community and creativity!
“Pioneering, intimate and truly innovative Shambala Festival has perfectly blended creativity and participation for well over a decade. Shambala is a special place where you play, revitalise, make lots of new friends and return to the world fuelled-up on the beauty of being alive. As well as being known as a “legendary party”, it is also a haven for cutting edge theatrics and performance, a think-tank of ideas, and an award winning green event.”
Well I was sold at that, what about you? No, well there is more, much more…
In fact there is so much going on I can barely contain my excitement. I am going to get my whole years culture fix! With over 200 bands performing (all genres of music from Reggae to Folk), comedy, theatre, circus, film, open air art, dance and craft workshops I don’t think we are going to struggle for something to do! We are going to be well and truly spoiled for choice.
And all of this set in the most beautiful natural surroundings with compost toilets, free showers and a special family friendly campsite!
As this will be our first ever festival with Littlelish we are happy that the people at Shambala really seem to have thought about families. According to their website (which is fantastic and full of information btw) they have there very own kids field full of excitement for little monkeys. Art activities, action packed fun – circus skills, trampolines etc and entertainment in the form of music, circus shows and comedy for kids.
As well as this they even have an early years workshop tent tailored to the 3-5yr olds, a special kids cafe and sandpits and climbing areas throughout the festival ground. Plus when you’ve had a busy day exhausting every possibility Shambala has to offer you can settle down for a bedtime story in the Family Camping Yurt – I love it! It really sounds like they have thought of everything and we cannot wait to put it to the test.
So if you hadn’t heard of Shambala what are you waiting for? There are still some tickets left and they have extended the deal to pay 50% now and 50% on August the 1st until June 14th (not long now folks!). Tickets cost £119 for adults for the weekend, teens (15,16,17 ) £79, Children (5-14) £29 and children under 4 – FREE!
We cannot wait to report back to you on just how much fun it was but why not come and see for yourselves? Let us know if you are planning on visiting Shambala :)
Yesterday we visited the Luminarium – Exxopolis, the giant inflatable sculpture made by Architects of Air (with a tiny teeny bit of help of yours truly and the other East Midland bloggers).
We took off our shoes before entering the airlock where a member of staff explained that we mustn’t run, slide or bounce off more »
Yesterday we visited the Luminarium – Exxopolis, the giant inflatable sculpture made by Architects of Air (with a tiny teeny bit of help of yours truly and the other East Midland bloggers).
We took off our shoes before entering the airlock where a member of staff explained that we mustn’t run, slide or bounce off the walls inside (at which point Littlelish looked at me with great disappointment!) and then they lifted up the door and we were in! Nothing could have prepared me for the feeling of being inside a giant inflatable not that I can say I ever thought of it… All of a sudden we stepped into a magical, totally surreal glowing landscape….
The whole construction is made from PVC and the sunlight shines in through the coloured sections creating the most incredible light effect, like you are walking through an auroraborealis. Soft music is playing and you are totally transported into a fantasy world which children (and adults – me!) absolutely love. Be prepared because kids do get excited and want to run around and hide and slide in all the tunnels! Your senses are soothed and wrapped in colours and I particularly could have made a home in the blue section forever. Littlelish loved the red which I found quite overpowering and uncomfortable. Isn’t it amazing what colour can do to you?
As well as the light and colours, the forms are spectacular and I couldn’t get enough of admiring the shapes and lines. I loved looking up where in parts it felt like you were inside a giant flower or leaf looking outside as you could see all the veins of the structure. It definitely has a very organic feel. Littlelish, Daddylish and I made our way through the structure, stopping to take several photographs along the way. The last chamber of the Luminarium is a large chapel like section with long stained glass style windows that let a beautiful blue and red inside which in turn made the space glow purple. The ceiling looked almost heavenly and we sat some time just to take it all in. That is the beauty of such art, everywhere there were just groups of people sitting and absorbing the feeling…. of absolute sensory joy.
I was so proud to be part of such a small section of this art project and am forever going to be a fan of Architects of Air having experienced something so out of this world. I would highly recommend visiting Exxopolis or any of the other Architects of Air sculptures around the world. Exxopolis is in Nottingham this weekend and will them move up to Grassington in Yorkshire from the 21st – 24th of June. Check out the Architects of Air website for a sculpture in your part of the world.
Tagged with: Exxopolis
Belton House is one of Littlelish and my favourite hangouts. I’m not sure that we’ve even been in the house which is stunning because with a 2 year old it is always the gorgeous gardens and giant wooden adventure playground that have a magnetic pull. So far it has always been a fair weather more »
Belton House is one of Littlelish and my favourite hangouts. I’m not sure that we’ve even been in the house which is stunning because with a 2 year old it is always the gorgeous gardens and giant wooden adventure playground that have a magnetic pull. So far it has always been a fair weather kind of destination. But the clever folks at Belton House have noticed we seem to get rather a large amount of rain in this country (hmmm hadn’t noticed!) and have decided to convert one of the many outbuildings of the main house into an indoor play area. Seen as the sun has still not decided to make an appearance we went to see what it was like and loved it!
Despite being located in the grounds of the stately home the look and feel of the play area is very modern. My kind of modern, the kind of design that I miss from Holland. It is located in a lofty barn which has been kitted out with a lovely warm yet industrial style cafe where they serve lush coffee and cake as well as warm meals. They have made one half of the barn the cafe and the other the play area. It is not big enough to lose any children which is fab as you can generally always spot them from the comfort of your seat (with said coffee and cake) unless of course they are hiding in a tunnel. Littlelish is not the kind of child to toddle off and play sans mummy in a play area. Who would play crawling in the goblins cave or sleeping in the rabbits warren with her? So off I went to explore, but I have to say I was more than happy to, it looked fun!
They have kept the play area natural, no garish colours normally found in soft play. The construction is built from wood with faux grass and water on the floor area. There are hills, mushrooms, bee hives and a giant toadstool in and among the slides and climbing apparatus. The walls are papered with forest, it was lovely and relaxing which can not often be said about a play area! I found this really stimulated the imagination, much, much more than a normal soft play place. You felt like you were climbing to the tree tops, scampering through rabbits warrens or making honey in a bee hive… honestly you did! Littlelish loved exploring all the areas and I was dragged along for the ride which I have to state was rather necessary as it was near on impossible for her to climb up onto most of the apparatus, it was just too tall. I’m not sure if this was done on purpose but it seemed we were not the only ones struggling and there were children of 4 that also had to have their mothers lift them up or hold their hand whilst exploring. There are some things to do on ground level but it all seems very geared to climbing up up up which wasn’t easy for the little ones. Luckily she has a very obliging mother ;)
I especially loved the addition of little panels where you could press a button to hear the sound of bees or a waterfall or smell honey, cut grass and wet soil. It all added to the natural feel and gave the play area an extra dimension which I liked. We spent a good few hours playing all kinds of imaginary games and put all the structure to the test – mummy even went down the slides and in the very cramped ‘goblin’s house’.
I’d definitely suggest it is worth a trip if you are in the area and a national trust member (otherwise entrance to the grounds, not including the house, will cost 9.50 for Adults, 6.30 for children including gift aid). Don’t forget to check out the beautiful formal gardens, parkland, adventure playground and secondhand book store located in the stables (where I also managed to pick up some vintage maps and sewing magazines for 50p!). It is a great family destination, now come rain or shine! http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/belton-house/
- I’m a freelancer in creative marketing with a background in design and styling but when I'm not working I'm doing the most important job in the world, being mummy to my beautiful little girl! I love to create and craft and have a passion for colour and beautiful detail. This blog is all about my life, my amazing daughter, my inspirations and creations!
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