The birds continue to empty out the bird feeders every 3 days or so. I am so very, very impressed with how efficiently they clean out the feeders too … you would think they licked them clean. Crazy.
The Grey Tufted Titmouse, pictured above, is a very regular visitor to our feeders out back. I think it’s the black sunflowers that are it’s favorites. We typically see two or three at the feeders, taking turns.
The large red bird on the right visited our feeder on the front porch and my husband managed to see it and photograph him. We haven’t seen it return, but would love to see it in person. It’s a Summer Tanager and ranges in size from 5-8 inches. That’s one of the largest birds we’ve had come to one of the feeders.
This little project with the kids has really opened my eyes to the beautiful birds in our yard and neighborhood. I’m noticing so many more than I have previous years … bright yellow finches, bluebirds, and a blue/green bird I still haven’t been able to identify. We are really putting our little guide book we purchased a few years ago to good use trying to identify them.
What birds are you seeing in your yard?
I’ve mentioned before that I am always on the look out for things to make with the many, many, many fallen branches we get in this yard of ours. So when I found a tutorial for a bird feeder made from a 2.5-3″ diameter branch, I was instantly sold. I collected branches that were the right size, and made a few for the Preschooler and her little weekly playdate friend. They each filled the holes with the peanut butter bird seed mixture and we hung it off the deck rafters. Boy were we excited when we saw birds actually eating from our feeder. And in that moment my little Preschooler became a bird lover, and our house obsessed with bird feeders.
The Cub Scout is dutifully working toward earning his Bear badge and making a bird feeder fulfills one of his requirements. I showed him a couple different bird feeders we could make … one uses a plastic peanut butter jar, another a Starbucks bottle, and then of course there is the one I’ve made. All perfect for kids to make. All use recycled/re-purposed materials so they are simple and inexpensive … have you priced bird feeders at the store?! WOW. I had no idea. Anyway, no surprise which one he choose. The one that uses a serious power tool. It was the perfect project for a my Cub Scout who is very familiar with power tools and gave him lots of good practice using the same piece of equipment.
My two littlest have adopted one of our neighbors, and by adopted I mean, they go and visit daily. I really should check with them to make sure they aren’t feeling stocked. They are super kind and oh so gracious with my little ones. We love them dearly. But I understand that daily can be … intense. Wednesday, while the little ones were patiently waiting for our neighbors to get home from their errands so they could go visit, I put them to work filling a bird feeder for them. I may have made a half dozen or more in the last two weeks, just because. I figure occasionally we need to send the little ones with something to give our neighbors so their visits have a little more purpose – other than saying hello, swinging on their swing and getting a hand full of Starbursts. They delivered it a few hours later with the instructions to send it home with the Preschooler and 1st grader when the birds eat all the bird seed and they’d fill it back up for them. We’ll see if they take them up on their offer.
Hope you’ll give one of these projects a try and let your kids enjoy the pleasure of not only making something but also seeing it used by wildlife. Watching the different birds once they discovered your feeder and trying to help the children identify each of the birds has been a great learning experience for each of them.
I’ve been looking for new trims to use in baby boy burp cloth bundles and last week I found some great options!! I got them sewn up this week and listed in the shop.
All items ship out within 24 hours of purchase, and ship USPS Priority Mail. We make gifting easy and simple. Each of my products ship packaged ready to gift. Purchase and ship once, I’m happy to make out a card for you with a special message, just leave it in the note to seller when you check out.
Back in February after hearing about Craft Hopes efforts to collect bibs for an orphanage in China (Project 20), I decided to organize a small group of sewers and see what we could accomplish in an evening or two. I have always been impressed with what Craft Hope is able to accomplish, simply by asking crafters to work together for a cause. We really do band together for good causes. And when one person puts out the call, we all manage to find something we can contribute. Crafters donated bits of flannel, quilted cotton, seersucker, cotton batting, gingham, vintage cottons … more fabric that we could use. It was fabulous!
Over the years I’ve done a handful of projects like this one where different sewers having purchased fabrics over different decades, bring their supplies together and the miraculously they combine to make something effortlessly beautiful.
Back when the preschooler was a baby and my favorite bibs were starting to fall apart – apparently this happens to the 5th child, repeatedly. I didn’t like the stuff at the store, they were too small, too big, too thin, too cumbersome, or so stinking expensive, and for what?! Really? So I drafted a pattern from my favorite, very loved bib, and I have used that pattern over and over again. It’s quick to make doesn’t take tons of materials, it’s absorbent, grows with the baby, and holds up beautiful!
Over the space of two evenings four of us (one evening for cutting and one evening for sewing) knocked out 24 beautiful bibs, in less than 4 hours. These ladies were really quick sewers, and I so appreciated their help and companionship in completing this project.
Each has a cotton or flannel front and back with either a cotton or fleece batting middle layer. I’ve found that the cotton or fleece batting makes the sewing process much simpler and helps keep the bib from being too puffy. A puffy bib isn’t fun to wear and honestly, bibs aren’t fun to wear in the first place (necessary, yes. fun, no.)
When making bibs, don’t be afraid to piece together scraps and truly use up odds and ends. You can piece together scraps in a very purposeful way, like the pink quilted bib the preschooler is wearing or the orange one below, but you can also do a more subtle piecing of the same fabric to create a piece large enough for your bib. We had to do this for quite a few of the bibs pictured, and you can hardly tell! One trick when piecing, placing the seam near the shoulders helps make the piecing seem intentional.
A friend has a snap press for cloth diapering and she let me borrow it for this project. Ahhh! What a dream that little hand held press was to use! I am totally sold. They are genius … so much faster and easier to use than Velcro, and nearly impossible for a kid to yank off! Yes, I am totally sold.
The last count I’d heard was that Craft Hope had collected about 1600 bibs! 1600, and they were still coming in. Amazing. There is still good in this world people, there is still a whole lot of good, and for that reminder, I am very, very grateful!
Wonderfully soft creations from the Etsykids Team
Like many, we reuse Easter Eggs from year to year and to date we have amassed a sizable collection. They have seen many, many Easter Egg hunts both inside and out, so some have endured long winters hidden in bushes, under beds, in corners of bedroom closets, and of course in my main stashing place. It has occurred to me that while the majority of the candy we put in these eggs is wrapped, jelly beans are not and my children are jelly bean lovers.
Yeah … see where this is going … ewwww!
And so to ease my imagination of what weird germs were lurking on the surface of our collection of Easter Eggs, all of them got a bath this morning.
I filled the kitchen sink with 4-5 inches of hot water, added a generous splash of bleach and a small squirt of dish soap, and let them soak for 10-15 minutes, occasionally agitating the mix. I then drained the sink and rinsed the eggs. I set out a few dish cloths on the counter and then proceeded paired all the opened eggs – top with bottoms – and set them out on the towels to dry. Worked like a charm. All 100 are ready to fill for Sundays egg hunt! The kids can hardly stand the wait. Have a fun and safe weekend!