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February 2011

Half term art cart

Posted by Sian Lile-Pastore on 18 February 2011

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Art Cart starts tomorrow and the theme is love....

We will be looking at lovespoons, stay busks and tie on pockets and the kinds of symbols and patterns that are found on them. I have lots of A4 sheets for decorating and colouring, but i have also made four really large lovespoons that I need some fantastic art work for. Below is a picture of the sad white lovespoons - please help!!

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A Feathery February Half Term

Posted by Gareth Bonello on 14 February 2011

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Blue Tit photo from BTO/Christine.M.Matthews

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Starling Nest photo from BTO/Hugh Insley

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Pied Flycatcher photo from BTO/Mark.R.Taylor

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This week is National Nest Box Week and next week is Half Term so we've decided to combine the two and have bird-themed activities at T? Gwyrdd this weekend and all next week as well. We'll be making bird feeders and nest boxes and there'll be a free info pack all about how to attract birds to your garden and look after them.

With the weather looking increasingly Spring-like at the moment it is time to get those nest boxes up before the breeding season gets going. Spring and summer is a very busy time for the birds as they have to feed all those chicks as well as themselves, so any help that comes from us is most welcome I'm sure!

First flower

Posted by Danielle Cowell on 11 February 2011

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My 1st crocus - 11/02/11

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Daffodils now 20cm high - 11/02/11.

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Fresh green leaves

My 1st crocus has arrived! None reported from any schools yet, but I expect the reports to come flooding in this week.

Soon, lots of flowers will appear on the map - so you can watch exactly where the flowers are opening first.

Remember, crocus flowers open mid morning and close towards the end of the day. Download my investigation ideas to test this theory with your crocus flowers.

Don't miss your flowers! If by the end of this week your crocus hasn't opened - please take your pot home over half term. This way you can enjoy your flowers and show your family what you have been growing.

I've not received any questions this week but I've had reports of shoots from St. Mary's Catholic Primary School and St Joseph's R.C Primary.

Please send me pictures of your class with their flowers!

Professor Plant

 

 

 

 

 

Spring shoots!

Posted by Danielle Cowell on 4 February 2011

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Daffodil shoots

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Tree bud

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Crocus shoots

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Tree buds

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Slowly, more and more schools are reporting shoot sightings! Cwm Glas Primary near Swansea have reported a few more shoots but still no sign at St. Mary's Catholic Primary School in Flint.

My daffodils are about 10cms tall now and my crocus have just popped through the soil. Even my mystery bulb is starting to grow and there are buds opening on my garden trees. A true sign that spring is coming!

Take a look at the pictures so you can be sure what bulbs you have growing. Send me some pictures of your shoots or how you collect your weather.

Watch your crocus very carefully now because once they start grow they can flower very quickly. As soon as they flower, send in your record so we can see on the map where the bulbs are opening first.

Competitions. Don't for get we have two fantastic competitions this year. The Daffodil Drawing Competition and the Win a trip competition. I've already recieved some very nice drawings from Bishops Childs Church in Wales School. I look forward to seeing some more from other schools soon...

Weather wise it's been very windy for most of us - so please check that your pots haven't fallen over.

Professor Plant

 

Sewing...

Posted by Sian Lile-Pastore on 3 February 2011

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After being inspired by our Quilting Club (next meeting is March 5th), I have been doing quite a lot of sewing. Over Christmas I got out the sewing machine and made about 8 bags, but mainly I've been concentrating on my quilt (see picture above). I've never quilted before (or sewn much really), so am learning as I go, and have been loving it.


This foray into sewing has meant that I've been spending lots of money on material and equipment and reading lots of books and articles. One of my favourite things I've found out is that on February 8th it's Hari-Kuyo festival in Japan. This festival gives people the chance to thank and appreciate the needles they have used in the past year by sticking them in to a big block of tofu! As one of the monks from the temple said in the article I read on the reuters website 'Sometimes there are painful things and secrets that women can't tell men, and they put these secrets into the pins and ask the gods to get rid of them.'

It made me wonder if there are any pins and needles or sewing customs in Wales (and the rest of the UK), does anyone know of any? In Oriel 1 we do have a charm bottle on display which has bent pins in it which is meant to protect the owner of the bottle from witchcraft, and of course, pins would be used with a voodoo doll or a poppet...

I had a look in Steve Roud's book 'The Penguin guide to the Superstitions of Britain and Ireland', and whereas there wasn't much about needles (other than if a needle breaks when you are sewing it will bring good fortune to the wearer of the article sewn) there are quite a few customs to do with pins. Pins used in the making of wedding dress are particularly lucky, you could also stick them into an onion as part of a love divination, but you shouldn't take pins on board a ship.

And back to quilting, and patchwork quilts in particular... 'If a lady completes one of these without assistance, she will never be married.'

Looking at Buildings

Posted by Sian Lile-Pastore on 3 February 2011

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Pupils from Raglan VC Primary School took part in my Looking at Buildings session on Monday. Here are some pictures of just a few of the houses they made. I didn't get a chance to take photographs of all the buildings so if anyone at Raglan VC Primary School is reading this, please email me some more as everyone's building was looking so fantastic!

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