Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Feeding winter friends

I made a big batch of suet bird balls last night and had a couple of requests for my 'recipe'.

For this batch I used some ground up fat left over from one of Mr. Pixie's sausage making adventures. I added bird seed, oats and cornmeal. My fat was quite firm as it had been in the fridge, so I heated a small portion to make the ingredients easier to combine. Then I smashed and mashed until it was nicely mixed. After I form them into balls, I pop them in to the freezer to firm up.

You can use different types of fat to make feeder balls including lard and vegetable shortening. You can even add peanut butter! The fat can hold quite a bit of dried seed/grain material. 1 part fat to 3 or 4 parts dried material will work well. You can add seed, nuts, cornmeal, fruits and grains.

When ready, tie well with string and hang on a spindly branch so that the cheeky squirrels can't get at them.

Quick notes: Rice is fine for birds and will not harm them... they will not explode. Peanut butter will not make their beaks stick together. Fat is a very good thing to feed winter birds as it is a good source of energy and helps to keep our feathered friends warm.

Saturday, December 07, 2013

Zero sleeps and another house

Well the big day is here...

I'm nervous no one will come but excited because I bought the little cupcakes for anyone who does come.

ALSO I managed to finish up another indoor house.

Again, it's about 2 feet tall and kinda cute :) I'm smitten with these new abodes.

This one even has mushrooms growing on the roof. There was some debate as to whether to put them on or not, but I said it makes perfect sense since mushooms grow on logs and trees all the time.

Because I'm the boss around these parts I won the debate and they were included ;)

Thursday, December 05, 2013

An Indoor Pixie House

When I saw these giant paper cones at Micheal's on sale for just $1.99 I snagged a slew of them because I knew exactly what I wanted to make.

So last night, when I very well should have been doing something else entirely, I made this...

The birch body of the house is a limb from a tree at the bottom of our hill that fell a short while ago. The piece is actually quite big, measuring almost 2 feet tall.

The tippy top of the roof is a deconstructed then somewhat reconstructed pine cone. I think it's really cute but man-o-man was working with that pine cone a pain in the bottom!

That's Pixie Hill moss on the roof, picked from the western lawn where the faeries troop and leave toadstool trails. That cute berry vine is the Mini Red Pip Berry Garland from Alpha Stamps.

And finally the wee door. My kidlet says the handle is too small but it'll have to do for this abode. Construction just finished! There's no way I'm doing renovations just already.

And there you have it! These will have to be faerie houses of the indoor variety because I am quite certain that the rain and squirrels would destroy this in about 10 seconds. That's fine and dandy because indoor faeries need homes too.

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Sugar Plum Reception

The Saturday reception for my show at the gallery at Impresario is fast approaching and I can feel my anxiety rising. There promises to be mulled wine and nibbles so maybe I can muddle my way through.

If you happen to be near by I'd love for you to drop in and say 'hiya!'. I'll be the frumpy wreak with a glass of wine and befuddled expression on her face :P

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Coffee Filter Roses - How to!

Last week I posted this photo of the coffee filter roses that are on one of my large mixed media canvas' pieces.

A few people asked for a tutorial... and because I loves ya I'm happy to oblige.

Monday, December 02, 2013

Fog, Tea and Fussy Cutting

This was the view all day today.

It's awfully slushy and foggy out there. All damp and dreary. A perfect day for too many cups of tea and a bit of paper crafting.

And so I spent the afternoon making ATC's, playing around with Graphic 45's newest collection: Sweet Sentiments. It's a fussy cutters dream :)

P.S. I'm mostly set up for my show Sugar Plum & Other Faeries... but there'll be a few finishing touches added on Thursday, just in time for the opening reception on Saturday the 7th. Hope you can make it!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Family Friendly Matchbox Town with Tutorial

Graphic 45 asked me to create a family friendly beginner project, so I came up with this super cute little matchbox town. I've kept little fingers in mind for this project so that everyone can play along.

My son loves to create with match boxes. Their size is comfortable for little hands. One of these little buildings can be created quickly, a whole village created in an afternoon. It’s also a great group project, each person contributing a little building of their own. 

I create regularly with children and know how innovative and imaginative they can be. Use this tutorial as a guideline. Be sure to give little helpers assistance but let them do what they do best - create! If you’re a bit of a fuss pot (like me!) offer up items from one collection and everything will match fine and dandy.

Here is the supply list: 
Standard size matchboxes (without matches!)
Tacky Glue
Scor Tape
Black ink marker/pen
Ink pad


1. Gather all of your materials! Here I’m using paper, tags, stickers and banners from the Twelve Days of Christmas collection. 


 2. Choose the back ground colour of your building and cut a strip of paper the same height as your matchbox (mine was 2.1”) then wrap the paper around the outside sleeve of the matchbox and affix it into place. It’s a good idea to make the paper wider for younger children, to give them some wiggle room, then trim away the excess.


3. Select a piece from the bunting sheet for the door, ink the edges if you like, then push a small brad through to create a door knob. I sketched three small windows and cut them out, as well as three small rectangles for window sills. **If you are working with very small children you might consider preparing windows ahead of time so that they can focus on assembly.


 4. Glue the door and windows into place. I like to ink all of the edges. I think it makes the pieces ‘pop’ and adds to the sketchy charm of the pieces.


5. Add finishing touches like Dresden trims and stickers.


For variation stack boxes together, creating fatter buildings with bundles of two or more boxes. One lonely building isn’t very impressive so make a whole holiday village perfect for imaginative holiday play or hiding little sweets and charms inside.

Hop over to the Graphic 45 blog for more photos of this project and LOADS of other beautiful papery eye-candy.