Monday, 14 October 2013

Making Spider Webs

We decided last week, after some heart searching on my part to be sure I was doing it for the right reasons, that Maria was a bit too young for school at the moment. She hasn't been unhappy at school. It's a lovely school, but we just feel she's not quite ready for it yet. She's been very tired, catching any bug going, and at only just over four we decided she can enjoy home and preschool for a while longer. Yippee! (Not that I was doing it for me - that was the heart searching bit! - it's just a very fortuitous bonus that I'll love her being at home a bit more!)

Anyway, today was her first day not at school again, and it was a lovely day. The signs were good first thing. This was the view from the bathroom at 7.30am.

What a beautiful morning it was. The kind of perfect, crisp Autumn morning with the sun looking set to burn off a lovely, low lying mist. And then when we set off for school it got even better - the spider webs! The spider webs today were just spectacular. I don't know what all the spiders had for supper last night but it really got them going. There were spider webs everywhere. Amazing, intricate, beautiful spider webs - all glistening in the sunshine and dew. So, after admiring lots on the way to school, once we were back home Maria and I went for a wander with a camera and took lots of photos. And I mean lots! I won't show you them all but it'll probably still be more than you'll want to see - sorry! It's just very hard to belittle the amazing work of any one spider by leaving out her web! Even the less picturesque, more 'trap' like webs were spectacular, like these two:

How much work is involved in those? But then we get on to my preferred, more traditional 'wheel' varieties:

This one was such a beautiful one, clinging between the two stalks of grass. I think it might have been my favourite.

Although I do have a soft spot for this one too - a bit of a wonky web! A spider after my own heart!
And then we spotted a huge one, suspended from an apple tree and moored to the grass somehow.

Here it is a bit closer. Wouldn't it be wonderful to be able to quilt as well as the spider spins?!

If Maria hadn't been with me I probably would have come in, after the spider web tour, and decided to make a spontaneous spider web mini quilt (maybe some time soon!), but, since it was her first day at home with me again, my thoughts drifted more to child friendly spontaneous spider web crafts. So we thought we'd have a go making one with melted plastic beads. (Remember the plastic bead melting we did for our Fairy Garden back in the Summer?) It was very hard to get the beads to stay in their spider web position, so I dripped some pva glue, in a web pattern, on some baking paper on our tray for us to drop the beads into.

And off we went, no particular pattern, just making sure the beads were squeezed up close together so they would melt into each other. Here it is before it went into the oven:

And, after stinking out my kitchen, here it is 'cooked':

It worked well, but did have a sort of brownish crust to it that we didn't get just filling a tin with the beads as we did with our Fairy Garden. We made another one, this time bravely leaving out the paper, to hopefully reduce the browniness.

But it came out, if anything, slightly brownier, I think it was just the glue browning, rather than anything to do with the paper, and I was a bit more slap happy with the glue on the second one. But they looked good stuck up on the window:

At this point Maria was quite happy to have a break from spider webs and go and potter around outside. So I had a play with my glue gun to try and make one more. I've seen 'glue' snowflakes on Pinterest so thought a spider web might work. I just drew a very basic web pattern, on a bit of baking paper again, and then glue gunned the design. I did just small sections at a time and dropped a few silvery and chrystal seed beads into it while it was still hot.

Here it is finished:

 And up on the window:

I think it could look lovely tomorrow morning when the sun, hopefully, shines through again.

We made cakes this afternoon and I even managed to squeeze in a bit of sewing time to finish off my Bee Quilt (will take photos tomorrow). There may be days when I'd quite like Maria to be back at school, but this certainly wasn't one of them!

Back tomorrow - with the finished bee quilt, Sally.


  1. Those are so pretty! I wonder what made them all spin such large webs that day.

  2. They were amazing, and there were so many. It was as if the spiders all knew in advance that it was going to be a beautiful morning and that it was well worth getting their best webs out because they would look especially beautiful in the dew and the sunshine. I'd love to know why and how they all seem to know to do it simultaneously.


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