Hello and welcome to The Compost Bin. I'm Compostwoman and I live with my family in rural Herefordshire. We have nearly four acres of garden and woodland, all managed organically, which we share with Chickens, Cats, Guinea Pigs and assorted wildlife. We also grow a lot of our own food, run courses in all sorts of things and make a lot of compost!

I work as an environmental educator, lecturer, writer and Forest School leader at Moors Wood . I am a Master Composter and have spent the last 11 years as a volunteer Community Compost adviser with Garden Organic and my local Council. I offer talks and run workshops and events where we talk about compost, veg growing, chicken keeping, cooking, preserving and sustainable living. We also make crafts and have fun.

We try to live a more self sufficient lifestyle here, as best we can, while still having a comfortable life and lots of fun. To learn more about us click on the About Compostwoman tab and remember to click on the photos to make them full size!

Saturday, 7 November 2009

A crafty time, for me to enjoy........

A wreath made by a then 7 year old Compostgirl, the sort of thing we will be doing.

Twig stars, wands and wreath bases. I have also made some twig hearts. The bundle of sticks is not cinnamon but red dogwood.

Weeping silver birch wreath base, ready for decoration with greenery or ribbon ( or both!)

A recycled materials wreath. Plastic strapping, oddments of ribbon tied around and trimmed.

I have spent a very pleasant afternoon and evening making christmas-y stuff(wreaths, twig stars, ribbon wreaths, Gods Eyes, glitter pinecones, paper craft trees and flowers, paper fabric with pressed flowers etc) in preparation for a craft workshop I am running next week for various nursery staff and teaching staff. :-)

They get to make stuff from natural and recycled materials (which I provide, harvested from the garden or from the Scrapstore) with a bit of my help and also any new ideas they bring along ...and hopefully they can take their ideas back to their children and the children get to make the things as well.... :-) and I get paid for making fun stuff and passing on my ideas :-)

I now have a nice collection of things to show them, step by step photos to show on the day as a powerpoint presentation and I have written up a "how to " sheet and also done the risk assessments for making the stuff. I have just added where to get specialist supplies (raffia, brown paper bags, newsprint paper for printing wrapping paper, cones if they can't forage for them ...)I hope they can get twigs and suchlike!

I am running all the ideas past Compostgirl this weekend to see what age level I should say can do the crafts, and how I can modify them so younger ones can have a go...she loves helping me to make the things I am running sessions about and I give her extra pocket money as "my helper"

I also have some good news. I have just heard (literally just!) I have been accepted on to a an adult teaching/lecturing/tutoring course, the PTTLS course, 80% funded so I only have to pay a small amount towards it!

It starts soon, one day a week ...until end Feb. I am doing a lot of adult training workshops, so it was a good idea for me to actually have the qualification to go with the work I have been doing.

You know, I sometimes think it would just have been easier if I had done a PGCE all those years ago when I was first offered a place back in 1995, rather than ending up doing things the way I have done, what with the Forest School Leader training and now the lecturing course.

But then, I wouldn't have got all the interesting bits and bobs of experience along the way, would I? and I never really wanted to be a teacher in a school...teach people things, yes! ..but not be in a school..(IYKWIM ) ..not my cup of tea I suspect!

Off to make more crafty things for next week and to take some pictures of the most amazing Tudor House Compostgirl has made for a school project...watch this space!


  1. Great stuff CJ! A teaching course, how wonderful! Perhaps in 1885 your time would have been taken up with the young ones? Now seems like a great time for you! Good luck,,,and E N J O Y!

  2. Interesting where life takes us and along what highways and byeways.Enjoy the course!

  3. Enjoy the teaching course, is it the pttlls? I did it two years ago & now teach adults sewing - clothes & soft furnishings & love it but beware if you end up within the adult education system the paperwork for non exam courses is a PIA on occasions!

  4. These are great. I just made a twig star too, just this afternoon. Glad to see there's a name for it. Until I saw your post I was calling it my Christmas star thingymajig. :-)

  5. I loved your recycled material wreath - It put me in mind of a wreath I made years ago out of lonely single sox and mittens. I stuffed them and attached them to a wire wreath - embarassed to say I had enough to fill the whole thing up. It was colorful and fun, got lots of comments!

  6. Good luck!

    Also loving your crafy bits - I love decorating for the festive season but sometimes it's all too familiar, getting the same decorations out year upon year, and feeling as though it's been hardly any time since I last got them out. So youve got me thinking about making my own decorations with my own assortment of oddments! Thanks!


Hello! Thank you for reading my blog and for commenting. I try to reply as quickly as I can and I really appreciate your interest in my life and doings here in The Compost Bin.