Sunday, October 25, 2009
You will need:
~ 1 med. size vine ball about a 5 in diameter.
~ 3 suet cakes (or make your own... less expensive and probably better)
~ Some extra seed, fruits, and/or oats
~ Peanut butter and/or Honey
~ Wired ribbon (Dollar Store)
~ Christmasy looking decorations (Dollar Store)
~ Glad Press N Seal plastic wrap
Throw your suet cakes into a pot on a medium burner. Break them up and stir occasionally until everything is well melted.
While the suet is melting, take your vine ball and find a spot on it that has a space big enough to fit a standard spoon. If you can't find one, break some vine pieces to make one. Wrap most of the vine ball up in Press n Seal wrap making sure you leave no holes except around the hole at the top.
When your suet cakes are melted, add in some extra seed (black sunflower seed is best for the winter months), some oats, honey, peanut butter, fruit or whatever you have on hand and take it off the burner. In the pic below I added blueberries (about 1 c.), peanut butter (about 1/2 c), honey (a few squirts) and granola (about 1 c). You can't really screw up the amounts you put in, it will all be appreciated by the birds and will stick together well once the suet hardens again.
Once you notice the suet starting to harden up again (it gets kind of like a crumbly playdoh), put your vine ball in a bowl to hold it up right or just hold it in your hand . Start spooning in the suet and packing it in. Once it's done, put it in the freezer (still standing in the bowl) for about 10 minutes (don't leave it too long, you want it to still be a bit mushy for step 7)
While you wait for the suet to harden, get your decorations ready. I got the little do-dad in the pic below (on the right) at the dollar store. I undid the flower tape, separated all the individual stems and trimmed off any excess wire (what you see on the left). I also made a bow out of the wired ribbon. I just made 6 loops and one small one in the middle and stapled it.
Take your ball out of the freezer and loop some twine through the vines. Make sure you go around thicker vines so that it will hold the weight, and then tie a knot.
I secured the bow to the middle of the twine that was going across the hole of the vine ball (where you shoved the suet through) by, again, just stapling it into place. Now take your decoration do-dads and place them around the bottom of the bow by just sticking them right into the hardened suet. If your suet froze too hard, just leave it out at room temperature for awhile checking periodically. Unwrap and discard the plastic wrap, and Voila! Bird feeder that everyone will ohh and ahh over.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Thursday, October 8, 2009
I've become an eclectic collector. I tend to be attracted to things that remind me of a gentler time, a time of wonder and innocence. My first antique pieces were a turn of the century love seat and chair, a mirror, a small table that I use as my TV stand and a vanity that I can't quite bring myself to refinish. I've had those pieces for over 30 years now which shocks me because I was quite the transient for several of those years but I somehow managed to drag them all over the country (and Canada is a big country!) I really started collecting vintage things about 15 or so years ago. It started with salt and pepper shakers, then it was lighting, then tablecloths and jewellery and lots of other odds and ends. I never buy pieces for their worth, I'm thrifty and LOVE a bargain. Recently hubs told me I was like one of those hoarders (you know, the kind who need professional help) and suggested that I don't clutter up the place too much. He's right and I must curb my urge to keep adding to my collections of things. Of course that doesn't mean I'll ever pass up something that is just too good to pass up. What is does mean is that I'll just not go in search of that special something as much as I'd like to. Fair enough, me thinks.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Hubs built a shed. And it's a fine shed. Our old shed, well, it's just falling apart, it's half torn down and we fear it won't make it through another winter. So despite mind-numbing pain that never goes away, hubs got busy and did what he had to do. Our budget doesn't allow us the luxury of paying others what we can do ourselves (I personally feel hubs does a better job anyway). As hubs puts it, he's in pain whether sitting still or moving around and it's got to be done. So it was and even though it's intended for practical use, it really has some cute country curb appeal. There are still some finishing touches to be added and I hope they actually get done in... oh, let's say the next year. In fairness, pressure treated lumber should be out in the elements for a year before being painted. We want to put a loft in and maybe insulate but that's not important for this year.