Christmas Weekend at The Lodge

A fittingly snowy last weekend at The Lodge in Aberfoyle this weekend. Intrepid Scotland were there too this week making some lovely Christmas Wreaths, along with young Kitty and Felix who kept us busy making wands. Also, David the amazing wood carver who kindly let Will have a go and Angela from AB Crafts - sooo clever with her adorable homemade crafts. All was very festive, especially as David Wilkie was keeping us entertained with his Kazoo!

Snow is falling, all around The Lodge!

Magickal Stall
 Will is let loose with the wood carving tools!
Wands waiting for witches and wizards
One of David's lovely wooden carvings - a quill made from wood, so gorgeous I had to get one!
 From left; Ailsa' ash, Iona's ash, Struan's willow and William's ash wands - most wanted power animals inscribed into the wands for extra magickal energy :-)
Another collection of lovely wands, mainly Kitty and Felix's wands - they will be busy magick making over the Christmas period then!
One prepared earlier by Will ready to sell, which it did :-)
Some fun cheeky face painting at the lodge, my first three adults (other than family) so nice to see everyone was feeling festively cheeky!

David Robertson managed to keep his snowman on all day whilst selling Christmas trees in the sleet outside, is it me or are there a lot of David's at The Lodge?
Merry Christmas everyone and best wishes to all for the New Year - a huge thank you to everyone that has joined in and supported Nix in Nature this year :-)

The Lodge Christmas Activities

Back at The Lodge again, weird how there seems to be certain favourite wand of the day each time we do the session. Everyone went for Ash today, even though the kids arrived at different times for a drop in session. 

Lily & Benjamin wanted enormous wands - more like staffs really! Lily's is really festive and Benjamin clearly wanted his wand to keep an eye on things!

Michael and his older brother Ben decorated these gems, infusing their wands with power animal magic too :-). 

Adam made this lovely wand (after sinking in imaginary quick sand a few times), then they were all off to make Christmas magic and scare away any snakes, just in case there happened to be any in the chilly forest!?
Ash wands were used apparently to protect people from poisonous snakes, native Americans wore ash leaves in their moccasins and baby cradles were made from ash wood too.
Face painting was a bit quieter this week as the weather was quite dreich outside, but Scarlett opted for a lovely Rudolf the red nosed reindeer, Luca a dinosaur and 'Spiderman' for Adam.

The Lodge Christmas Activities

Just warming up for Christmas with a wand session and festive face painting at The Lodge Visitor Centre in Aberfoyle.

Katie was whizzing about all day while her Dad was busy getting all the Christmas trees ready for sale, so she joined us to make this lovely holly wand to make her whizzing about more magical

Sunday was face painting, Rose went for a butterfly face, Robin a small panda, Elidh a flower spray and Darcey designed her own smiley face. My favourite was this one, being that it was the 1st December :-).
Cara went for Santa's eight Reindeer flying through a frosty Christmas Eve night sky.
(Do not use image for Facebook thanks).

Forestry Commission 'Light Up the Forest'

What a brilliantly cold, crisp night! Perfect for the Forestry Commission's first 'Light Up the Forest's event in Aberfoyle. I was lucky enough to be invited to help out and offer face painting for the little ones and I managed 15 faces and four tattoos type paintings so hopefully I am getting faster and still maintaining the quality :-).

The kids went mainly for foxes and wildcats, a wolf, an alien with a third eye, a pink cat, a skull that had been shot in the head, and two Darth Maul's! I hadn't done that one before, so Will came to the rescue with the phone - also with crowd control!

We just about had time to nip around to see the illuminated waterfall, gorgeous!

Autumnal tree - can you spot the hare?

Waterfall of the Little Fawn, Aberfoyle.

Spooky mirror people in the deep, deep dark woods.... 

Colour changing tree sculpture.

The Lodge Visitor Centre Opening Weekend

Fabulous weather for a fabulous opening weekend as the formerly known as 'David Marshall Lodge' in Aberfoyle re-opens, re-vamped and will now be known as 'The Lodge Forest Visitor Centre'. There are some pictures of the new building on their Facebook page, part of the Forestry Commission Scotland news feed (don't forget to 'like' them and follow their future events :-). You will see how the refurbishment maximises the amazing views and incorporates more interactive learning features within the building.

Nix in Nature was fortunate enough to be asked to contribute to the weekend with some woodland themed face painting and the 'Lets Go Batty' event, also tying in nicely with the European/International Bat Weekend. If you haven't already you can join our Facebook page too to keep up with future events, links and competitions!

Here are a few pictures from the weekend...

Face Painting

A wee cheeky pixie tattoo on my arm to welcome in my face painting victims :-)

Cheeky blue tit and butterfly, aka Rosie & Charlie

Beth's butterfly tattoo

Martha, Seth & Jack star as Little Miss Badger, Mr Fox and 'Wild' Cat 

Guided Story Telling Walks

The most excellent Rebecca and Robert from The Walking Theatre Company take us on a hilarious white rabbit and mad hatter walk around The Lodge's beautiful woodland. Like and follow them on Facebook :-)

Bat Walk

 Will tries out our new prop - the bat wings. Just the bat mobile to make now then!

 A 'big scary Dad' takes on the task of eating all the moths with his newly evolved echo-location before we all embarked on the bat hunt.

Twig World Comes out to Play at the David Marshall Lodge

The fabulous science film making guys from Twig World came to Aberfoyle today to sample some of what the area offers.  Most braved the Go Ape zip wire assault course and Dee and Lucy joined myself and Will on a guided forest walk. We managed to escape from the thunder storms in the trees being protected by the might oaks and lightening conducting holly, but unfortunately the other guys didn't get to complete the entire Go Ape course due to the weather. Hopefully see you again soon for a retry!

Dee, Lucy and Will sampling the juicy bilberries whilst learning about some medicinal properties too - piles anyone :-)?? The most impressive Little Fawn Waterfall is always worth a visit at the David Marshall Lodge, Aberfoyle