Birdseed Valentines

February 10th, 2015 § 0 comments § permalink

DSC_0638Backyard bird feeding is most helpful at times when birds need peace of mind, such as during temperature extremes, and in late winter when natural seed sources are depleted. So, February is the perfect month to supply these backyard buddies with a healthy high-calorie winter treat—a Birdseed Valentine.

The recipe below can be used to make 3 or 4 birdseed valentine treats, although it could easily be doubled or tripled to make a dozen. Wrapped up with a ribbon and card, these make great Valentine’s Day gifts for friends, neighbors, and teachers—or any folks who will thoughtfully hang them in backyards for feathered friends.

Materials:

2 cups cup birdseed mix

4 Tbs unflavored fruit pectin (find near Jell-O)

½ cup water

Natural twine, raffia or ribbon

Large cookie cutter or mold (heart-shaped is nice)

Waxed paper

 

DSC_0633Choose a birdseed mix with a large amount of black oil sunflower seed, safflower seed, white proso millet, thistle, and peanut hearts. Pour water into a saucepan and add pectin. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add birdseed to the pectin solution and stir it until it’s combined. The seeds should be completely coated.

Place waxed paper on a cookie sheet. Place the cookie cutter on the waxed paper. With a spoon, press the birdseed mixture into the cookie cutter. Fill half way. Cut a 6-inch length of twine and lay it onto the birdseed, forming a loop at the top, Then, completely fill the cookie cutter with birdseed, pressing again with a spoon to ensure that the birdseed mixture fills the cookie cutter and is the desired shape. Place the birdseed-filled cookie cutter in a safe indoor spot to dry for several days. Turn over several times during the drying process. Carefully pop the birdseed treat out of the cookie cutter.

DSC_6087Now you’re ready to give your birdseed valentine treat to feathered friends. Hang your valentine in a sunny spot that is safe from predators, including neighborhood cats—a high branch set away from a window and near an evergreen tree is best. That way your friends can run for cover if chased.

It may take quite a while to entice your backyard buddies to eat. Be patient. Show your love for them in other ways, too. Go organic and avoid chemicals in your yard—use compost instead. Reduce the size of your lawn—alternatively, plant bushes and trees with edible fruit. Don’t snip dead garden flowers—the seeds within them provide essential food for so many backyard critters. Provide nooks with nesting material—dry grass, pet fur, bark strips, pine needles—they are useful throughout the year.

DSC_1448For more valentine-y crafts, click HERE.

 

Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

 

 

Love Letters

February 14th, 2012 § 4 comments § permalink

Forget the fancy flowers.  We are the dreamers of dreams.  Give me a thought.

We made a valentine banner.  Constructed out of felted wool sweater and cotton fabric scraps and remnant bias tape, it’s printed with thoughtful notes to each other.  Simple to make.

Printing on fabric requires an ink jet printer, thin cotton fabric (I just use remnant drapery liner) and freezer paper.

Here are the steps:

  • Trim the fabric slightly larger than 8 ½  x 11 inches.
  • Place the fabric onto an ironing board (or thick towel).
  • Place the shiny side of the freezer paper onto the fabric.
  • Iron.  Two will become one.
  • Trim the fabricky paper to 8 ½ x 11.
  • Treat it like a normal piece of paper and place it into your printer with the proper sides up and down.  Print your image.

To make a banner like ours, cut the printed material into the desired shape, peel off the freezer paper and sew to a sturdy material (like wool or felt).  Cut two small openings in the back of the material and carefully slip bias tape through using a safety pin as a guide.

 

A simple haiku can get you through the winter and then some.

 

 

Being My Valentine

February 13th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

I’m heading out for milk

But instead find myself

Standing in this place where I

Look at you

All over you

 

 

Once, with wild hair

You carved our names into a school desk

Now you collect my secrets

Rumpled and unwound

 

There are at least 50 colors

In your eyes alone.

 

 

On Love

February 14th, 2011 § 6 comments § permalink

GirlsMy sweet girls,

It is all for you.  When I have dreams, they always have you— your piercing squeals bounding across the hills, your wild saucer eyes contemplating a cloud, your hushed whispers breaking a museum silence, your wild hair dancing across a field, your warm toasty bodies nestled in for pleeeease!  Just one more chapter!

When I pursue clarity within myself, it is meant for you—to unveil something to you—to enlighten you.  But, time and again your pure wonder and excitement is what changes me—envelops me and reminds me.  You are the reason why.

Lets wander together, tranquil and whole, across the hills and to the bend from which you will soar—high above and beyond, but always, always within my heart.

I hope that in the end, and I am to you but a memory, that I will exist within you both as love.

Happy Valentine’s Day,

Ma

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