Thistledownseed

I am an environmental educator and artist/maker inspired by nature. I’ve been creating learning ex

Operating as usual

05/06/2021

I'm loving being able to help families explore and play in their local environment 💚

It’s and you can help us build a better and greener future! “We need to restore and regenerate our relationship with nature and life by creating new ethical behaviour of care, responsibility, and solidarity” UNESCO. Here's some of the ways we show the world we care:
We tell it's stories: through the science we uncover and the imagination we help foster, our story-led packs help inspire the next generation.
We ensure that play doesn't stop: The high quality of our product means our play packs can be played again and again and again.
We tread upon it carefully: every purchasing and printing decision we make has been assessed for its impact upon the environment and society.
We give it space to grow: With nature as their partner in play, children develop key skills in creativity, imagination, problem solving and resilience. Plus there's some useful ideas in our Newsletters too.

For more info check out our new Blog: https://www.undersky.co.uk/blogs-from-undersky/helpusbuildabettergreenerfuture

22/04/2021

I've been fairly quiet on facebook lately and here's why! Welcome to Under Sky! I've teamed up with a graphic designer and started a new business creating outdoor play packs all based on our wonderful native wildlife. Each pack is story-led and contains 6-8 different activities along with all the props required. Perfect for parties, great for get-togethers, fab for fun days or simply enjoy every day with nature as your partner in play. I'll still be here as Thistledown Seed, helping school groups take their learning outside and producing my nature inspired prints. So keep an eye out for my next print from my bird series.
If you know anyone who might be interested please share and check out our new website: www.undersky.co.uk for more info.

Photos from Thistledownseed's post 08/03/2021

Here's some weavings created by the inspiring people on my Natural Weaving workshops this weekend. Every weaving tells a story about the journey that was taken collecting the items. These are unique reminders of what makes every place important and special in our lives. Outdoor and Woodland Learning Scotland
Outdoor Learning

Photos from Thistledownseed's post 08/03/2021

I've spent the weekend leading workshops on Natural Weaving with some wonderfully inspiring teachers, forest school leaders and outdoor practitioners as part of the virtual Outdoor and Woodland Learning Scotland Networking event. It was great to be part of a team of people passionately focused on sharing nature with children and families. Here's some photos illustrating some of the natural weaving techniques I discussed during the workshops.

Photos from Thistledownseed's post 31/01/2021

Song Thrush wakes me at 2:30am 1st January 2021. I have finally finished this print, between additional work commitments and home schooling. 5 different layers of paint, screen print x2, lino print x2 and final gold stencil. A month in the making!

01/01/2021

Happier New Year!

13/12/2020

Sandwiches for two. Is this a picnic?
Four slices of bread from 'Loaf: slicedx12' about to head for display on a kitchen wall.
If you were interested in your own slice, or few, then please get in touch as they are selling fast!

Photos from Thistledownseed's post 09/12/2020

Looking for something colourful to brighten up Christmas 2020? Here's a selection of large clothboxes bursting with happiness! The largest in the pic is 33cm high (when folded over at the top), 37cm wide and 12cm deep and cost £14 each. The images show the two different sides - some with different fabrics each side. Perfect for storing a range of bits and bobs from toys to hats and gloves, craft materials to Ordinance Survey maps. Or use as a fabric hamper to present a range of gifts!

Photos from Thistledownseed's post 05/12/2020

Hot out the oven! Here's some new prints perfect for Christmas present posting! Do you remember my large print depicting the quantities of ingredients that make a loaf of bread (Loaf1: Water Salt Grain)? Now its also available sliced into 12 prints on plywood (Loaf: sliced x12), representing the area of growing wheat required to bake one slice of bread. Each print is unique, approximately A4 sized and cost £30. They are currently displayed in a toast rack in the window of narture cic gallery DOUGH. Please get in touch if you would like a slice or the whole loaf.

Photos from Thistledownseed's post 19/11/2020

A happy boy! 6 months after he requested it, he finally holds his wren.

Photos from Thistledownseed's post 02/11/2020

I've been busy stabbing* a bird recently (photo secretly taken by my son). Here is it's skeleton - any ideas which species?
*For those new to this, I am needlefelting and no animal was harmed in the making of this post.

Photos from Thistledownseed's post 23/10/2020

My lino print, Loaf:1, is now proudly displayed in the window of the narture cic Studio/Gallery space at 22 Sandgate, Ayr (Old Tourist Information Centre). I hope you can pop past and see it! And this is just the beginning of an exciting art-food exploration project as artists collaborate to create something new.

Photos from Thistledownseed's post 15/10/2020

Loaf1: Grain Water Salt
My first finished artwork for narture cic illustrates the three ingredients for the perfect sour dough loaf. One metre square of organic wheat field produces 550g of flour. Add to this 350ml of fresh water and 2 teaspoons of sea salt (harvested from 300ml of sea water).
To eat this artwork please visit the bakery on Cathcart Street, Ayr.
To view this artwork please visit the gallery opposite, on the Sandgate, Ayr, in the near future.
Thanks to all those who viewed the process to completion. Look out for my next artwork: Loaf2 coming soon!

10/10/2020

Growing the Grain for Loaf

The next stage in creating my artwork for narture cic - repeat lino prints to grow 1 metre square of organic wheat field: enough grain to produce flour for one loaf of bread.

Thistledownseed (@thistledownseed) | Twitter 08/10/2020

Thistledownseed (@thistledownseed) | Twitter

I spent a fab morning with Holmston P2 class today exploring the woodland on their doorstep. It was great to share my love of nature with the children and help them open their eyes to their wild neighbourhood.
Check out my twitter page for photos:

https://twitter.com/thistledownseed

Thistledownseed (@thistledownseed) | Twitter The latest Tweets from Thistledownseed (). I am an environmental educator and artist/maker inspired by nature. I love opening hearts and minds to the wonders of the natural world. Ayrshire

Photos from Thistledownseed's post 05/10/2020

Preparing the lino cuts for my print. Guiding the tools to grow the wheat. I'm planning a repeat print with two different lino cuts to cover the 1 metre square plywood board. My artwork for narture cic is starting to take shape.

Photos from Thistledownseed's post 30/09/2020

I'm excited about introducing you to another of my latest projects.... what am I up to?! Watch this space as I collaborate with narture cic Nurturing arts; respecting nature.

Photos from Thistledownseed's post 24/09/2020

My latest needlefelt feathered friend! Much like a real Song Thrush, this commission is a friendly companion bringing joy and constancy through these altered times. Although it won't remove the snails from your garden.
Please get in touch if you are interested in your own passerine companion. Commissions welcome.

22/09/2020

Wow! What an amazing response from all you lovely people about our pack survey! Thank you, we really appreciate your time and ideas. We are super excited about bringing you closer to nature through fun activities. We will leave the survey open for the next week so please do keep your thoughts coming.
https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/VKTHM9G

Photos from Thistledownseed's post 13/09/2020

At Thistledown Seed we've been thinking about ways we can help families enjoy the outdoors together and with friends. So we are creating outdoor birthday party packs to help you host your child's party whilst exploring and loving nature. We would like the packs to supply everything you need to feel prepared to host an enjoyable and memorable party with as little preparation as possible. And wondered if you could give us your thoughts?
Here's a small survey to help us understand what would be useful for you:
https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/VKTHM9G
It would be super duper if you could take a minute to fill this in and share with your friends? Thank you we appreciate your help!

Photos from Thistledownseed's post 04/09/2020

I'm busy preparing a party for my birthday boy but wanted to share with you these party bags I've just made. How cute are they!?

23/08/2020

A recent card for a friend. Stencil print with quill and ink.

Photos from Thistledownseed's post 08/08/2020

I've been foraging! Driftwood and chanterelles. Nature's silver and gold.

Photos from Thistledownseed's post 31/07/2020

Time to reveal one of my recent experiments with paint and nature. Paper-cut Screen Printing is a process of cutting paper shapes to prevent paint from touching your paper. Much like a stencil works but with the addition of a screen of fabric to create the printing effect and allow for multiple prints of the same image. It takes a bit of time to create and set up everything required to screen print and so I haven't produced very much over the past few years. But recently I had a new idea!
I pressed thistle leaves and used these as the stencil, placed between the screen and the paper. I then pushed the paint through the screen using a squeegee. Each time I open up the screen, I have no idea what it is going to look like - its always a surprise! That's what I love about screen printing.
Have a look at the results! This is a work in progress and will have a few different layers added on top. But thought I'd show you the beginning!
If you would like to see some of my other prints, follow this link to my website: https://thistledownseed.com/portfolio/cards-and-prints/

25/07/2020

I've been quiet for a while! Busy exploring ideas, experimenting with techniques and thinking. More will follow soon!
In the meantime, anyone want to guess what this is a photo of?

Photos from Thistledownseed's post 29/06/2020

A little girl's dream becomes a reality! It was a joy to bring her drawing to life, creating a needle-felt fairy to her design. Happy Birthday! ❤️🥳

Photos from Thistledownseed's post 27/06/2020

Playing with patterns while bumblebees buzz.

Photos from Thistledownseed's post 26/06/2020

Rainbow heart, bumblebee love, teacher thanks! A present on the last day of school (mobile, pollinator info leaflet and flower seeds). Orange marigolds, blue forget-me-nots, dark red perennial wallflower, yellow pompom dandelion - all great flowers for pollinators.

24/06/2020
21/06/2020

“SUMMER is coming, summer is coming.
I know it, I know it, I know it.
Light again, leaf again, life again, love again.”
Yes, my wild little Poet.

From The Throstle by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

I love this poem as it translates the music sung by a Song Thrush into words. Song Thrush are a definite for me as their clear voice travelled through our quiet streets, gardens and parks. 💚

20/06/2020

Happy Habitats! An experiment to find the best minibeast home.

Here's the results for our Happy Habbitats experiment from our Spring Outside Alphabet Challenge. You can do this experiment at any time in the year but Spring and Summer are the best.

19/06/2020

Science is all about exploring the unknown. It's this curiosity
that drives us to look a little longer at the world around us and question.
What do you know about minibeasts? Do you know about the physiology of centipedes which mean they cannot survive in the open for long? (they lack a waxy exoskeleton and therefore dry out in the sun). Do you know why minibeasts matter? (some help make rich soil, some eat pests, some pollinate flowers and all are near the beginning of food chains). In your garden, do you know what the best habitat for minibeasts might be? (now's your chance to find out!)

This activity was part of my Spring Outside Alphabet Challenge but can be done at any time of year. See if you can find out something new!

Photos from Thistledownseed's post 11/06/2020

Look at this little cutey! I'm so pleased with how it turned out. I love the process of needlefelting, from a ball of fluffy fleece to a beautiful tactile bird in just a few thousand needle jabs. Please get in touch if you would like to commission your own needlefelt bird art. [email protected]

10/06/2020

Have you guessed what it is yet?

09/06/2020

Here's a little more of my latest needle felt creation...its starting to take shape.

08/06/2020

Here's the beginning of my next creation. Any ideas what this needle felting might become? Answers on a postcard 😉

DGOWL Group 07/06/2020

DGOWL Group

Last Sunday the Dumfries and Galloway Outdoor and Woodland Learning Group organised an amazing virtual environment fair. This was the first time any of them had attempted something like this and the response and result was brilliant! Don't worry if you missed it as you can view it all (all 5 hours and 8 minutes of it) on YouTube!

Just pop over to the Dumfries and Galloway Outdoor and Woodland Learning Group page at
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSPNsGb6rX1aUH4MzcHqGgw

DGOWL Group DGOWL organises the Dumfries and Galloway Environment Fair and you will find content from the 2020 Virtual Environment Fair here. We deliver projects, networ...

05/06/2020

Drum roll...
The winners of our Spring Outside! competition are: Rosa Finucane, Kerry Louise and Maryjean Govan. Please get in touch to choose your illustration!
Thank you to everyone who took part in the competition and to anyone who enjoyed our Spring Outside alphabet challenge. Watch this space for the next challenges!

Videos (show all)

Growing the Grain for Loaf
Happy Habitats! An experiment to find the best minibeast home.
Through Others' Eyes
Insect Body Part Song

Location

Ayr

Category

Address

Ayr

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