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!


Sunday, 21 November 2010

Making twig hearts

Dogwood (Cornus alba) comes in both red and green stemmed versions which make an outstanding display in the winter. The green leaves turn red or orange in autumn before falling and displaying the brightly coloured bare stems. Dogwood bends very easily and the bright colour and straightness of the twigs makes it useful in crafts, especially for making wreaths and baskets. I use it in my craft workshops to make wreath bases at Christmas and to make twig stars, wands and heart shapes at any time of the year. Willow is also a good choice of material.


How to make a twig heart.

1. Take 2 twigs of roughly the same length (around 30cm or longer).

2. Fasten them together at the bottom, thickest end. (Using an elastic band first makes it easier to tie them )

3. Take 1 of the twigs and bend it part way along, and down. This is the curve of the heart and sets the size of heart you will make. Fasten the thin end into the elastic band holding the thick ends of the twigs together.


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4. Take the other twig and bend it part way along, and down in the same way, fastening the thin end into the elastic band holding the thick ends of the twigs together.


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5. You now should have a heart shape!

6. Adjust the shape of the heart until it is how you want it, then tie the thick and thinner ends together with your choice of ribbon or raffia. Trim the ends of the twigs to your desired length


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Variations

1. Take 2 bundles of 3 twigs, all roughly the same length. A mix of green and red is very effective.

2. Tie them together at the bottom, thickest end. (Use an elastic band first, to make it easier)

3. Take 1 of the twig bundles, plait the 3 twigs in that bundle before continuing as above in step 3.

4. Repeat the plaiting for the other twig bundle, before continuing as above in step 4.

5. You now should have a heart shape, with each half made of the 3 twigs plaited together.

6. Adjust the shape of the heart until it is how you want it, then tie the thick and thinner ends together with your choice of ribbon or raffia.

OR just use 2 bundles of equal length dogwood and make a heart as if using 2 twigs.

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