Preparing a welcome for summer

by | Nov 30, 2014 | Uncategorized | 12 comments

 Here we are on the brink of summer, and the little tree climber has come for a sleepover. Pohutukawas are great trees for climbing. They sprawl out over the beach, and their bark has plenty of grip.

 Jumping off on to soft sand isn’t hard.

 And now we’ve collected some offerings from nature, it’s time to make our summer solstice cards. The little one made her first card last year, and today is the promised day for making a new one. We gather shells & stones, together with petals & leaves.

 I still have some of my once vast collection of stones and shells gathered from North Cape to Totaranui at the top of the South Island. In my days as an artist these were my materials for installations and ritual performances.

 I’m glad now that I kept some. The mandala grows slowly.

 It takes patience to balance the tiny shells on the stones, and to protect the petals from the Wind Woman’s frisky fingers.

But finally the circle is complete. Once photographed and printed out, I paste it on to a yellow card for her, ready to be gifted to the family. In the flurry of her being picked up, and our packing up of so many playthings, I forgot to take a photo of the final card.

 Never mind, here is a picture of last year’s card. Now we can welcome in summer.


  1. Hilary Melton-Butcher

    Hi Juliet – such fun to see and she is growing isn’t she .. I love that you’re encouraging her along your own path and she’s gifting cards she’s created to her parents … wonderful to see … cheers Hilary

  2. Juliet Batten

    Hi Hilary, yes 6 years old now, and so enjoying life. She was thrilled with the cards (did another for her baby sister). Thanks Hilary.

  3. silkannthreades

    So lovely. I found a little shell my daughter painted when she was not much older than your granddaughter. I have wrapped it up and placed it in a box for her to open one day. Special moments for the solstice.

  4. Juliet Batten

    Gallivanta, how delightful to have that little painted shell, & what a thoughtful thing to do to have it wrapped & ready for her. Thank you so much.

  5. Hotly Spiced

    You have such wonderful times with your granddaughter. She must so enjoy spending time with you. I love how no matter the season, you’re always finding simple but interesting things to do outdoors. The card is beautiful. This is a beautiful season xx

  6. Penny O'Neill

    Look at Mira climbing that tree! Such a delight for you and for her, Juliet, these times you have together, with the moments you share in nature. I just yesterday pulled out the cotton ball snowman our Kezzie made for us last year. Ah, the seasons are different, but, the spirit the same.

  7. Juliet Batten

    Penny, the same spirit indeed. What a precious gift these little ones are in our lives & how lovely to think of you holding the little snowman.

  8. Juliet Batten

    Charlie, we do have such good times together. We don’t need a lot of toys; nature provides so abundantly. Yes, it’s a beautiful season with summer starting to come in at last. Thank you.

  9. Marja

    oh what a marvelous idea to make such a beautiful Mandala and make a card of it.
    I am going to do that with my grandchildren although I will have to
    wait another 5 to 10 years I guess.
    You are a marvelous grandmother

  10. Juliet Batten

    Marja, it is such fun to do this. You have something to look forward to with your grandchildren. Thank you.

  11. Friko

    You are a true granny. Far too many grannies go to the shops to buy things for and with the grandchildren. Your way is the only way to create good memories.

    The little one is a very lucky child.

  12. Juliet Batten

    Friko, I have good memories of playing in my aunt’s garden as a child, so I’m just passing on what I received, with a few extra ideas. We never had many toys from the shops when I was a child. Thank you.


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