When we go foraging we usually go for food ingredients but there is a wealth of other material out there to be had for the taking and not necessarily edible. At this time of year I go looking for fir cones large and very tiny ones. The fir cones can be turned into all sorts of little presents or used to make garlands and the smaller ones can be used on wreaaths nd in pot pourri. It seems a shame to pass up these freebies especially when in the run up to Christmas these items become over priced in the shops.
I do not have an open fire here at the moment but my dream house does have one or two, but as children we used to be set on at this time of year collecting them. They make excellent fire lighters or just a few added to the burning flames release the resin which in turn scents the room. small sticks were also collected and used for kindling and kept in the coal shed or wood store.
Equally when tending the herb garden if there are woody stems from the like of Rosemary and sage save them also and trim them into even sized pieces and then wrap with string to form small faggots and they can also be used for lighting the fire yet again releasing their aroma. Sage is particularly cleansing although pungent.
Getting the little ones to collect things like this also teaches them what to look for, gives little minds something to focus and think about and keeps them occupied.
Equally if you go to the seaside shells can be collected and used to decorate mirrors and picture frames; used in candlelamps and in vases to show off the simplicity of the shells and their myriad shape and colours. Little pieces of driftwood can be used to decorate frames or used within garlands. We are only ever limited by our imagination and our own creativity and during the longer winter nights its useful to have craft material to hand. Take Willow its long whips can be turned into baskets for the more skilled of us but equally those with no skills can turn their hand to small willow wreath bases to use as a form for adding other materials. There is so much out there yet not everyone sees these items or their potential.
Years ago in another time another place it was a matter of course that people collected things or put food ingredient up in different formats as it made the difference between living and surviving. You did not waste anything that came your way and everything had to be made the best of. Today there is over-reliance on the supermarkets but in my view we have a responsibility to do a bit ourselves. Oh I haven't done this or that before - do not let that stop you read, have a go - find someone who knows. Each time you do something you are learning you are practicing and remembering. Each time you have a success and you have results it will increase your confidence and then you will move on to learning something else, and you will gradually build up the things that you do do and take responsibility for providing for your family in the process. What greater way of showing your love.
So do not forget the little things, even stones and pebbles can be turned into works of art.
Catch you soon