Thursday, July 25, 2013

Easy Summer Craft: Mini Suncatchers

Before you start screaming, "copycat!"   I totally admit this wasn't my original idea.  However, the lady before me used cake pans and I used muffin pans.  So...sorta kinda different. :)


This is SUPER easy for children and adults of all ages.  All you need is plastic beads (I used pony beads) and a muffin tin.   Preheat the oven to 400.  Line the bottom of your muffin tin with one layer of beads.  (Make sure you have some clear beads in the mix to let the light shine through).  Bake in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes.  Let cool.  Flip over the tin into a plate, they should pop right out.

Obviously kids shouldn't work the oven or touch the hot pan, but they had a great time picking out the colors and lining the pan.  Here are some of the color combos we came up with:

 Note the black and gold one.    Steelers nation, yeah!
 After you extract your sun catchers from the pans, you need to drill a hole (again, adult's job) for the string. 
There you have it!  Go catch some sun :)



Monday, July 8, 2013

The Surprise Inside

Every year, a hanging fuchsia plant is a summer fixture at 3 Fates.  It's a must for me...partly because the flowers look beautiful, like a woman wearing a billowy dress, but mostly because the hummingbirds are attracted to it. 

Yes, I'm the Crazy Bird Lady and I wear my title proudly.

Unbeknownst to me, another type of bird, a non-nectar eating species, had set it sights on my fuchsia.  After a week trip to Maine, I discovered something odd in the middle of plant... it was a mess of ...well, stuff.  Nesting stuff?
Stuff in the middle...that the heck....

 But surely, I thought to myself, no bird would be bold enough to construct a nest right in the middle of a hanging plant.  Seriously.  So I scoffed the idea and started to pick the material out...only to confirm the crazy idea... viola! Eggs. 

This little mystery bird had made a dome-like nest in my fuchsia. 

After brief glimpses of  tiny red-brownish dart shooting out of the nest (you can only see her beady eyes when she is sitting in the protective fuchsia cave), and some research, I finally came to the conclusion that she had to be Carolina Wren. 

Of course I'm thrilled that my fuchsia has become such a bird hub!  The multi-purpose mini-ecosystem!