This has been a busy weekend to say the least! It all started Saturday morning with an hour and a half of shoveling for Hubby and I. I told myself I would like Winter this year, but it’s not even technically Winter yet, and already we’ve had to shovel almost 10 times in as many days! Crazy! But at least the weather was mild, so it made the experience a bit more pleasant…and I got a really good workout out of it!
…and all our hard work was rewarded by a lunch date at Angel’s! Hubby and I very seldom go out to eat just the two of us, so I never say no when he asks if I want to go out! Date time, woohoo!
I had a lot of things I wanted to do this weekend, and the only way I actually DO them is to just hunker down and get to it. I’ve had some projects in my head that were just collecting dust, so I gathered everything up and get it all done at once.
There are actually 4 projects shown above, but the 4th only got partially completed because as it turns out I’m missing a piece of the puzzle. I’ll have to show and tell that one on its own.
So number one: About a year ago, a co-worker from my last job gave me a long, rooted stem of umbrella tree. Which I proceeded to keep in a vase of water, never “getting around to it”. I meant to get it into soil since I got it, but the chronic procrastinator in me just kept putting it off. Until when we moved at the end of September, the poor thing was mostly root rotted and yellow. Except for the one leaf at the very top, that I had watched grow from a tiny little baby leaf. I took that leaf, wrapped it in a wet paper towel, and when we got to the new place, put it in water…where it’s been for the last three months. I figured if I don’t do it soon, this poor little baby is going to go the way of it’s mother.
Dollar store pot, dollar store potting mix, and voila. Baby umbrella tree. Project one, complete.
Project two – I bought this plain old twig wreath, brand new with a tag still on, at a thrift store probably about three years ago. And again, did nothing with it. I swear, this procrastination crap has to stop!! So again, dollar store treasures! A bit of red berries, a bit of glittery gold leaf thingy….and ta-dah! Ignore the fact that there is now glitter, literally, EVERYWHERE, including the dog…a few simple twists and I’ve got something pretty to display on the front door. And the bonus, my house will probably sparkle for months!! Ha!
Project number three is my favorite. Again, I got these little buckets LAST Autumn to make exactly this project, and AGAIN, never got around to it. I found a bunch of recipes online for homemade suet, so I sort of just adapted it and simplified it. Three-ingredient-wonder.
We don’t eat bacon that often, so for me to save bacon fat for this project would probably take another year. I had this tin of vegetable shortening left from a candle project I had attempted, so used it instead. Dollar store peanut butter – because I’m not spending $7 on the name brand stuff for the birds, they won’t care if it’s Skippy or Chippy! And last, this giant bag of wild bird seed mix, also from the dollar store. I’m really really hoping the birdies will come and eat it!
I measured out 2 cups of vegetable shortening and 1 cup of peanut butter. Put the heat on low and stirred until it was melted and smooth. And then I just dumped in enough seeds to make a thick oatmeal-y texture. I didn’t measure, so I couldn’t tell you how much – but it just happened to be the exact perfect amount I needed to fill both of my buckets.
My perches are nothing fancy – just a couple of sticks from the trees outside. I hot glued them to the buckets, but I’m not too trusting of hot glue on it’s own in cold weather, so I followed that up with a piece of duct tape. I used pink just because! Then I ladled in the suet mixture and put them in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
When they were set, I took them out and hot glued some ribbon around the rim, leaving enough to hang on the tree. This time the hot glue should be enough because it’s bottom heavy and should still hold with the knot even if the glue decides to quit. I think they look real purdy there, hanging in the trees! I’ve got one in the cedar just outside my kitchen window, and the other in the pines near my compost bin. …Here birdy birdy birdy!!!!!