feed the birds

christmas is over.

the decorations are stashed in the attic.

the tree is outside…

but we’re not done with it.

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i asked ryan to haul the tree around to the backyard so we can redecorate it.

eventually, we will use it for firewood, but until then we will feed the birds.

we made birdseed ornaments to place on the tree!

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before i go on i have to admit that the first batch (above) was an epic FAIL! i got ahead of myself, didn’t mix the ingredients correctly, left the mixture IN the cookie cutters overnight, and they all fell apart. 

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so i started over this morning…

i used the following recipe:

  • 1/4-1/2 cup HOT water
  • 3 tablespoons corn syrup
  • 1 package of unflavored gelatin, such as Knox
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 4 cups birdseed

{go here to get FULL instructions on how to make them as my instructions will be VERY simplified}

before you mix the ingredients, prepare the cookie cutters by spraying them with non-stick spray and place them on a cookie sheet or wax paper.

mix the water, gelatin and corn syrup together until the gelatin dissolves (i heated my water to boiling in the microwave and mixed it all together in a glass measuring cup).

measure the flour into a large mixing bowl and add the liquid mixture. stir together and create a paste the consistency of a cake mix.

add the birdseed and stir until coated.

fill the cookie cutters quickly {the mixture begins to harden fast} and pack them tight. this step was messy and when we make more ornaments we will probably do this outside.

before you remove the shapes from the cookie cutters make a hole for the string {go here for directions}.

carefully remove the shapes from the cookie cutters and place on a wire rack to dry…for at least 6-8 hours…probably best overnight.

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i also used a muffin tray and packed the mixture into the coated tray, made my hole, and removed them from the tray.

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place string through the hole and tie a knot for hanging.  any type of string, twine, yarn, ribbon or raffia is suitable {avoid fishing line, however, as it can be dangerous to birds that may find it after the ornaments are consumed}.

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i’m hoping that the leftover string will be used for nest making material this spring!

hang on your tree!

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or, if they don’t work out, put the pieces on a tray for the birds to find…

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*here are two additional blog posts with more ideas on how to create the ornaments:

saltwater-kids

eclectically vintage

of course, there are more ideas on Pinterest…you can view my “winter” board here!

home is…fun with nature.

drills, crib parts, and chalk…oh my!

We finally have summer here in the Pacific Northwest and some of the projects that we have had planned for our backyard are finally getting done.

I went out last week to add some features to the playhouse and found out that our drill had bitten the dust, so I had to wait for Ryan to decide which drill he wanted to replace it with and the kids and I worked on a “drill-less” water wall project instead.

Ryan came home with a drill the other night and due to the fact that I was working on another project (someone is getting a room redesign that I will blog about soon) I did not get to use the drill until this morning.

The sidewalk and driveway at our  house are an aggregate and do not get along well with sidewalk chalk, so I have had to come up with other ideas for using the chalk…one of which was our deck that was in desperate need of refinishing (that is now done) and our fence. While both were fine alternatives for the short term, I needed a long term solution to our dilemma.

I used more recalled crib parts to make an outdoor sandwich board style chalkboard!

Here is a crude tutorial on how I did it…really, the photos are very fuzzy, sorry!

First, I bought pre-cut pieces of plywood at Home Depot, primed them, and painted them with chalkboard paint. Of course, I don’t have any photos of that process, but it’s pretty simple.

Here are the crib parts that I used…they are the small ends of the crib (the large ends were given away as a headboard and footboard for a full size bed as they were still safe to be used that way).

Next, I lined the sides up next to each other and added hinges that I found in the door hardware aisle at Home Depot.

After that I added chain to the side to keep them from opening up all the way while the kids are drawing on the boards.

Then, I screwed the painted plywood to the crib panels.

See, you can see the texture of our driveway…not chalk friendly at all.

Also, do you notice my husband filling water balloons?! He was preparing for a water balloon battle with the boys next door that should happen later today.

So, pretty easy and I feel good about my reuse of the recalled crib parts!

I also added “s” hooks to the chain to hang some cute buckets I had sitting around to hold the chalk!

I have another chalkboard project that I will blog about in the next little while…stay tuned!

home is…mommies who can use power tools!

*linking up with Today’s Creative Blog

Todays Creative Blog