Natural treasure

Natural treasure

Last week was ‘Walk to School week’. We set a challenge to collect photographs and sketches of natural ‘treasure’ and already Burravoe and Mrs O’Connor’s primary schools have uploaded some ‘treasure’ to the group! Thank you so much!

I took a walk on Saturday morning and discovered lots of natural ‘treasure’ in the hedgerows beside my house.

Seed pods fallen from the tree, blades of grass dripping with dew, bright yellow dandelions, fluffy feathers, and a peafowl!

seed pod
Dew drop grass
bright yellow dandelions
fluffy feather
peafowl - can you see it?

Oh and these…. (not sure what they are called)

white flowers and creatures

I looked at them very closely and they were covered with creatures!

I am in the process of creating a pattern trail map!

These finds have also inspired me to get creative and begin inking up my creature for the Glow stampede!

How are you getting on?

The Great Glow Stampede

I hope you have had a lovely holiday Monday!  This week we won’t have a live Glow TV event because we want to give you time to begin to create a creature for the ‘Great Glow Stampede’!  

This is Johanna Basford’s idea and is inspired by her ‘Wonderbeast ‘ design! Johanna invited the general public to become co-creators by commisssioning her to draw a creature of their choice.  The final design included over 150 different creatures and is stunning. Take a look below at ‘Wonderbeasts’ and visit Johanna’s site to see the names of the co-creators and what they commissioned!  

The crocodile is my favourite!  

Johanna Basford 'Wonderbeasts'


We are now calling upon you to become a co-creator on a gigantic project that will be shared nationally!  We aim to create a ‘Great Glow Stampede’ of the flora, fauna and fish of Scotland to help others appreciate the beauty of our country. 

These are the instructions

Your creature can be real or imaginary.   

Your creature should  

(When uploading to Glow please include the artist’s first name and school in title of the saved file. First name School e.g AnnaEllon if there are two Anna’s in your class or school please include the initial of that persons surname)  


  • original artwork can be sent to Anna Rossvoll by Wednesday 5th June and it will be photographed and put into the final design.

I am sorry but we cannot return orignial artwork.  

And last but not least…..  

There will be a competition!!!!  

Three winning creatures will be selected from the stampede and the winning artists will receive a signed copy of Johanna’s latest book!  

So Co-creators lets Ready, steady INKKKKKKKK!!!!!

Storytelling with ‘Wonderlands’

Wendy Woolfson Storytelling in Wonderlands

Click on the links to watch and listen to Wendy Woolfson bring Johanna Basford’s designs to life through stroytelling.

Storytelling within ‘Crazy Botanic’

Storytelling within ‘Peking’

Storytelling within ‘Macbeth’

Storytelling in the Supersized Forest

Please visit the Wondertale wiki to be astounded by the creativity and imagination of young writers across Scotland (Glow username and password required)

Wendy, Johanna – thank you sincerely – what an inspiration for all of us, Anna

Inky Adventures

On Tuesday Johanna Basford joined us live on Glow TV from the DCA.

Johanna Basford at DCA - taken by Phil Wilkinson for The Scotsman
Johanna Basford at DCA - taken by Phil Wilkinson for The Scotsman

Sadly we faced serious technical issues and lost our wifi connection. Another camera was recording the session so we are editing those clips and aiming to share those as soon as possible.

During the interview Glow TV viewers asked lots of questions and we are working on a transcript of the answers. Watch this space 🙂

Johanna, thank you so much for your time on Tuesday! We can’t wait to share the Blue Peter moment you created for viewers after the live event. We will give you a clue – what does Glow begin with?…

In the meantime if you have access to YouTube – The DCA interviewed Johanna and the clip can be viewed here!

Johanna Basford Interview at the DCA on YouTube

Walk to School Week and Scotland’s Nature Festival!

This week is ‘Walk to School’ week. This campaign is organised by Living Streets and takes place during National Walking Month in May.  This year the campaign focuses on the benefits of walking and sets a task for each day.

Find out more about this campaign here

This is also the year of Natural Scotland 2013. It aims to encourage everyone to explore and find out more about our nation’s stunning natural beauty.

As part of this the ‘Scotland’s Big 5’ campaign aims to get everyone talking about Scotland’s nature and joining in the fun of discovering five of the country’s iconic species – the red squirrel, red deer, harbour seal, otter and golden eagle – and the places where you’re most likely to see them.

We have been inspired by these campaigns and while you walk to school we would like to challenge you to look carefully at natural patterns and treasures. To capture what you see in drawings and photographs and to create a pattern trail map for others to enjoy and appreciate your local area. Imagine if you managed to spot one of the Big 5!

Every day we have set a different challenge

Day1: Tiny natural patterns


I thought that these looked a little bit like dragon ears!

Day 2: Tangled natural treasure

 I’m still searching – I wonder what you will find.

Day 3: Fragile natural treasure

Our small Shetland pony ‘Tiny’ is casting his winter coat. The birds are collecting Tiny’s hair and weaving it into their nests.

Day 4: Gigantic natural treasure

I think this tree has a great deal of character and the branch stretching across the trunk looks like an arm

Day 5: Living natural treasure

Last year a pair of swallows built a nest above our front door and they have returned this year. They build their nest from mud.  It is incredible to watch the mud being layered up bit by bit. I stood for some time waiting for them to forget I was there and return to their nest. I’m very proud of this photograph.

To help you observe carefully why not try looking through a viewing frame. Simply take some thick paper, draw the shape you wish to look through – it could be circular, square, lots of little holes etc. With an adult place the paper on top of some plasticene and use a sharp object to create a hole in the centre of your drawn shape. Use scissors to cut out from the centre to the edge of the shape you have drawn.

You can download this book below to capture sketches in, or indeed create your own.

Please upload your photographs and drawings to the appropriate page on the wiki to help create a nationwide collection of Scottish biodiversity.

Beautiful doodle shared!

Our first doodle has been uploaded to the Doodle zone! It is very detailed! I see a ‘Wondertale’ within the doodle and it makes me think of yesterday’s collaborative story that involved an octopus and mermaid in a mysterious underwater land. Thank you for uploading this to the group Mrs Taylor.

Wondertales – Watch again!

Wendy Woolfson, a storyteller from Glasgow used Johanna Basford’s exhibtion to tell stories. She looked carefully at 3 of Johanna’s wallpaper designs. ‘Botanic Crazy’, ‘Peking’ and ‘Hamlet’. You can view these on Johanna’s website.

The three designs were combined to create an incredible ‘Wondertale’.

Learners across Scotland then explored the exhibtion and began to create a collaborative story with Wendy. Johanna’s boat inspired a flood of ideas and an octopus caused chaos reeking havoc below the boat! Many of the suggestions involved superhero animals, bees, penguins and mermaids. Wendy used ‘Wonderbeasts’ to help generate ideas. You can explore ‘Wonderbeasts’ here. Johanna has also created a PDF of Wonderbeasts which can be downloaded from her site and this could help to inspire your Wondertale. 

Wendy took us on an incredible storytelling adventure yesterday. To listen to her stories, undertake the warm up activity and begin to breakdown how she created her stories you can watch the Glow TV event again by clicking here. (Glow username and password required)

Wendy, thank you so much!

Before and after the live event we recorded Wendy telling more stories in the gallery and we will share these and behind the scene photographs from the event later this week.

InkyMEs arrive at the DCA!!

Today the InkyMEs arrived in Dundee to visit Johanna Basford’s exhibition ‘Wonderlands’. They waited patiently outside the gallery doors.

They crept through the paper forest. The trees were gigantic. They spotted worms eating fallen apples and peered into holes in the trunks of the trees. The black and white trees swayed gently as they strolled through the forest. They were mesmerised by the black and white shapes and patterns.

When the InkyMEs made their way out of the paper forest they were astonished by the size of the vast gallery. It was gigantic and filled with wondrous artworks.

The wallpaper was incredible. They wanted to clamber into ‘Crazy Botanic’ and be tickled by the petals and snooze under the umbrella of leaves. Most them agreed that ‘Macbeth’ was very scary and the slender snakes looked very dangerous.

The InkyMEs then settled back to listen to Wendy, a storyteller from Glasgow who happened to be in the gallery that day. It was magical!

The InkyMEs are looking forward to meeting Johanna Basford next week and they hope you are too.

Welcome to Wonderlands

On Monday 13th May at 10 am Dundee Contemporary Arts will open their Gallery doors to Glow TV viewers and we will step into Johanna Basford’s exhibtion ‘Wonderlands’! Wendy Woolfson will be our storyteller and she will help us to learn to look carefully for detail in Johanna’s exhibtion, capture the detail in words and create a Wondertale!

To join the Glow TV event click here (Glow username and password required)