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Natural Kids, Literally!!

KIDS!! Aren’t they just the cutest!! Recently I made a little trip to a mountainside home (yes, that’s snow on the goats!) to meet some charming furry kids. It’s not so surprising that our own young have acquired this name as well, you only have to spend a short amount of time with some furry kids to see the similarities of fun, playfulness and sometimes mischievous with our non-furry (human) kids.

The goats you see below are for milking and some of their milk also is made into yogurt and kefir. They live outside in a lovely large fenced area to keep them safe from predators in the area (cougars, coyotes, etc). They will soon have a rooftop area to climb up to and enjoy… call it a deluxe playground for furry kids… with a view.
Kids are very curious and anything dangly was in danger of getting nibbled. Okay, maybe my kids (non-furry!) don’t really nibble clothing, strings, etc…

I think mama might be saying, “I’ve got my eye on you…”!!
On second though maybe I was getting eyed up for some butting…
“Hey chickens come back here, you’re really interesting” . These chickens co-habitate with kids and I have to say they are pretty good sports about it.

I think we had a collective thought: “more snow…again…”

You can see the teeny-tiny horns growing on the (awfully cute!) little one and some larger ones on the one below.
Goats are fun to spend time around, unless they butt you! Now is a great time to go to a farm or a petting zoo with your kids (non-furry) if you have one nearby as there are usually kids (furry) and they are a blast to watch.

For some nifty ‘GOAT’ items from the NaturalKids Team members you can connect to the shops below (hopefully I didn’t miss any!):
This post is brought to you by Natalie, of Woolhalla
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The Prettiest Easter Eggs Tutorial

This week’s How-To is Prettiest Easter Eggs Tutorial is by Donni, from Fairyfolk from the Natural Kids Team. This is a really straight-forward way to decorate eggs and it is so beautiful! You can blow the eggs (link below) for longer lasting eggs or you could do what our family does each year, which is hard boil the eggs and hide them outside in the wee hours of the morning for an Easter Egg Breakfast Hunt (along with chocolate, of course!).

The Prettiest Easter Eggs:

We have been making beautiful heirloom eggs to decorate our home for Easter. This craft makes such pretty eggs… we used transfers to color our eggs beautifully.


All we needed was white blown egg shells (tutorial on how to safely do this is here) and transfers that we found at a craft store… both the rub-on’s and the transfers that need to be dampened with a wet cloth will work.
Kitty and Teddy chose which images they wanted for their eggs and cut neatly around the edges.
We used rub-on’s and they worked wonderfully, sticking nicely to the naturally porous egg shells
It was a gift to watch the delight on my children’s faces as their eggs got prettier and prettier.

Happy Easter crafting!
Blessings and magic,
Donni

This tutorial is brought to you by Natalie, of Woolhalla

Please visit Donni at her blog The Magic Onions where you can see the original post, plus other great Easter tutorials and share the “magical journey of childhood with us”

Check out her Etsy shop Fairyfolk where you find beautiful needle felted items, including lots of cute animals, toadstools and acorns.

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Blossoms for Birds Tutorial

This week’s How-To is Blossoms for Birds Tutorial by Donni, from Fairyfolk from the Natural Kids Team. Where I live the birds are just coming back, the flowers beginning to pop their heads out of the ground, so I can sure use this great post now! Hope you enjoy this installment of the Spring & Easter Themed tutorials.


Blossoms for Birds:

Here in Southern California, Spring has definitely arrived! Our nights are cool, our mornings are crisp and our days are warm and sunny… it’s lovely weather, my favorite time of the year. The squirrels come out, the jasmine blooms and the birds start collecting treasures to build their nests with.

We have a spring tradition that we call ‘Blossoms for Birds’. Each year as Spring approaches and we start to notice the birds building their nests, we decorate a bare tree branch with lovely soft wool for them. We find a branch.

Saw it to the right length for little people to reach even the top branches.
And then we put the bare branch in a spot in the garden, just beyond our deck, where we can watch it from our dining room. It’s best to put the branch in a visible place, somewhere where you can watch it, undetected by the outside creatures.
Collect a basket of spring-colored wool scraps. I let K choose any color she wanted from my precious stash.
Decorate the bare tree with the wool, winding it around the branches and twigs.
Timone, our squirrel, came to see what we were doing.
She caused great distress by climbing down our Blossoms for Birds tree, nearly knocking it over and making K very angry… “This is for the BIRDS, Timone!” K scolded.
We were able to placate her with a few nuts while we finished decorating our wool tree.
It looks so pretty, covered in colorful tufts of wool, however, a pretty tree is not why we made our Blossoms for Birds Tree… it’s for the birds to build their nests with!
All Spring long, we’ll watch from our dining room table as the neighborhood birds are attracted to the colorful wool. They’ll twitter about in a frenzy of excitement at the lovely soft wool they’ve found. They’ll take a colorful bundle in their beak and fly off with it to build their nests. Just imagine what their nests will look like… pink, blue yellow… so pretty and soft for the sweet little baby birds.
I know that not many of you will have colorful wool roving scraps lying around, so I have listed for purchase a few packets of colorful wool bits in my shop. Enjoy!

Blessings and magic! Donni
This tutorial is brought to you by Natalie, of Woolhalla

Please visit Donni at her blog The Magic Onions where you can see the original post, plus other great tutorials and share the “magical journey of childhood with us”

Check out her Etsy shop Fairyfolk where you beautiful needle felted items, including some super sweet bunnies and chicks.

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Easter Nest and Egg Pattern Tutorial

This week’s How-To is Easter Nest and Egg Tutorial by Linda, from Mamma4earth here on the Natural Kids Team. This darling little knitted tutorial is just the thing if you like to knit… and I can just imagine all the amazing colour variations if using variegated yarn. Hope you enjoy this weeks Spring and Easter craft tutorial!


Easter Nest and Egg Pattern Tutorial:

Hello wonderful friends, thanks so much for visiting:) Today, I have been working on a pattern for Easter crafting. We will soon be setting up our Easter tree and I wanted to make something special, so I have Knitted a nest in handspun Alpaca yarn, spun by my daughter Jenna. Inside the nest are some rainbow eggs. I have knitted the nest with a textured appearance to give it the look of a true nest. I do hope you enjoy knitting these patterns:)

Materials:
Yarn for the nest, I have used handspun Alpaca
Yarn for eggs, I have used rainbow cotton DK
4.5 mm circular needles
Wool needle for sewing up
Fleece for stuffing the eggs
Pattern:
Nest:
Cast on 10 stitches
Join for knitting in the round (Magic Loop)
Round 1: Knit
Round 2: Increase into each stitch across the round (20 stitches)
Round 3: Knit
Round 4: (Increase into the first stitch, knit 2 stitches, increase into the next stitch, knit 2 stitches) repeat across the round, knit 1 stitch on the end. (26 stitches)
Round 5: Knit
Round 6: Increase into each stitch. (52 stitches)
Round 7: (Knit 1 stitch, purl 1 stitch) repeat across round.
Round 8: (Purl 1, knit 1) repeat across round.
Round 9: (Knit 1 stitch, purl 1 stitch) repeat across round.
Round 10: (Purl 1, knit 1) repeat across round.
Rounds 11- 14: Knit
Round 15: (Knit 1 stitch, purl 1 stitch) repeat across round.
Round 16: (Purl 1, knit 1) repeat across round.
Round 17: (Knit 1 stitch, purl 1 stitch) repeat across round.
Rounds 18-21: Knit
Rounds 22-23: Purl
Cast off.

Sew in the ends.


Egg Pattern:
Cast on 4 stitches and join for knitting in the round.
Round 1: Knit
Round 2: Increase into each stitch (8 stitches)
Round 3: Knit
Round 4: Increase into each stitch (16 stitches)
Rounds 5-13: Knit
Round 14: (Knit 3 stitches, knit 2 stitches together) repeat across the round, knit 1 stitch on the end.
Round 15: Knit
Round 16: (Knit 1 stitch, knit 2 stitches together) repeat across the round, knit 1 stitch on the end.
Round 17: Knit
Round 18: (Knit 1 stitch, knit 2 stitches together) repeat across the round.
Round 19: Knit
Finishing off:
Break your thread and thread your yarn onto a wool needle and thread your stitches from your circular neeldes onto your wool needle and pull tight to close the opening. I normally fill the egg from this end and make sure the the wide base is firm and then fill the rest of the egg. Close both ends by threading tight in a circle with your thread and pulling tightly closed.

Roll your egg in your hands to get the required egg shape, and there you have an Easter Egg:)

Wishing you all an inspired week.
xo Linda
This tutorial is brought to you by Natalie, of Woolhalla

Please visit Linda at her blog Natural Suburbia where you can see the original post, find a few other wonderful free knitting tutorials, plus other craft life tutorials and more. In her own words Linda is a “homeschooling mother of four little souls from South Africa. I am a knitter, pattern designer, gardener, homesteader and try to be as self sufficient as possible”.

Check out her Etsy shop Mamma4earth where you find more wonderful knitted treasures consisting of Waldorf inspired knitted and wooden farm animals, gnomes and toys.

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Tutorial: Upcycled Easter Baskets

This week’s How-To is Tutorial – Upcycled Easter Baskets by Liz, from The Sitting Tree here on the Natural Kids Team. This great basket tutorial makes a wonderful start of the Spring and Easter themed tutorials I plan to do in the upcoming weeks. It is a perfect size for a child to tote around their natural toys or as a basket for Easter goodies!

Tutorial – Upcycled Easter Baskets:

Looking for an all~natural, eco~friendly alternative to the standard toxic easter baskets you find on the shelves of the big box stores? Make your own this year out of recycled clothing!
Materials::
1 linen skirt/top at least 18″ wide (or any thin fabric) for the lining
1 thick wool felted sweater/blanket at least 18″ wide for the body
Directions::

1. Cut out a square 18″ x 18″. Then in each of the 4 corners, cut out a 6″ square. You’ll end up with an x shape. The middle square will be the bottom of the basket, and the outside pieces will fold up to make the sides!

2. Now bring your neighboring corners together. Pin and sew all four edges together.



Repeat these steps again with the thick wool fabric.
3. Cut out two pieces of linen 2.5″ x 5″ for the handles. Press each edge to
the middle and then press the whole thing in half again. Sew them closed.

4. With right sides together, match up the corners and pin lining to the body.

Pin the handles upside down, in between the two fabrics. Do the same thing on the opposite side. Sew along the edge of THREE SIDES ONLY {Make sure to include both handled edges in three sides ~ I didn’t of course!}

Next, take out all your pins and turn the basket right side out. Press your top seam flat and adjust the lining. Hand sew the opening closed and you’re done! {My wool was so thick that the top seam didn’t want to stay flat so I stitched along the top again to hold it down}
Not just for Spring, these upcycled baskets are great for home organizing and storage too! Fill them with toys, food, or {gasp} yarn!!




Need a few non~toxic, all~natural items to compliment your new basket?? I’ve added several new Spring items to my shop this week ~ Bunnies, eggs, and a seriously sweet pinafore!


This tutorial is brought to you by Natalie, of Woolhalla

Please visit Liz at her blog The Sitting Tree where you can see her original post and get to know her better and “for stories about my life as a wife to my best friend, proud mama of three homeschooled boys, obsessed knitter and lover of Mother Earth”

Visit her Etsy shop at The Sitting Tree “handmade, free spirited design”.


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Tutorial – Needle Felted Toadstool.

This week’s How-To is Tutorial – Needle Felted Toadstoolby Donni, from Fairyfolk here on the Natural Kids Team. If you’ve ever had a chance to check out her blog The Magic Onions then you’ll know you’re in for a treat with a very detailed tutorial that you can follow even if you’ve never needle felted before! Enjoy!!


Needle Felted Toadstool:

I am so excited to share a tutorial on needle felting. So many of you have shown interest in giving it a go and I encourage you to dive right in. Those others of you who are hooked will agree, it is such a fun hobby and you’ll be amazed at the things you can make. When I picked up my first needle three years ago, I was surprised at how quickly I took to it. One of the things I love most about needle felting is that you can finish a project in one sitting. You can sit down with a basket of wool and be holding a delightful bunny in your hands an hour later. Of course, you can make wonderfully elaborate creations that take hours and hours but you can also make something in twenty minutes too. I like that.

This is a tutorial on how to make sweet, needle felted toadstools… a simple and fast project for beginner needle felting.

Equipment – Needle felting requires three tools; wool roving, a felting needle and a protective foam board.

Wool roving looks like cotton candy. When the sheep is sheered, the fleece is washed and dried and then it is ‘carded’ – brushed so that all the knots and clumps are brushed out and the fibers of the wool all run the same way. It is then dyed… any wonderful color under the sun 🙂
This roving can then be spun into yarn (for knitting) or it can be felted.
The protective foam board is not absolutely necessary but it is definitely recommended when you are learning to needle felt. The needle is very sharp and if you don’t have a board upon which to steady your work, you will find yourself painfully stabbed more than once.
The felting needle is about 3 inches long. As I said before, it is very sharp. The tip of the needle has a number of small barbs and it is these barbs that felt the wool. It works because the outer surface of each fiber of wool has tiny, microscopic scales on it. When the fiber is agitated, the scales hook into one another, forming a tighter and tighter mass. The needle works because the barbs of the needle ‘grab’ the fibers as you stab it into the wool, depositing the fibers deeper into the wool. The little scales on the fibers lock together, ensuring that the fibers stay in their new place. By stabbing the wool hundreds of times with your needle, you have control over the form of your wool and can shape it as you wish. You can see the barbs clearly in this next photo…

To make a toadstool, break off a length of red

 

wool roving about the length of your hand.

Roll it between your hands as you would
roll a ball of playdough into a snake.

Roll the wool ‘snake’ into a tight spiral.
The tighter you can get it, the easier it will be to felt.

I find that rolling is key in many of my felting projects… if I can roll the wool
tightly to begin with, I can greatly reduce the time my form takes to felt.

 

When my red wool has been rolled into a tight spiral, I set it down on the felting board and stab it with the needle many times around the outside of the spiral. Be slow and deliberate with your stabbing in the beginning, and concentrate, please… it hurts like getting an injection when you stab yourself… it’s definitely not the end of the world, but it is better avoided 🙂

You will soon see that this stabbing holds the wool in
place and your spiral will not unravel if you let it go.

Now for the underside of the toadstool. Set your spiral upright and
stab the top gently many times so that it becomes a nice flat surface.
When your underside is nice and flat, turn your spiral over to what will be the top side of your toadstool. With your thumb and forefinger, gently pull the outside layer of wool a loose, just a little.

Fold this pulled layer over the spiral shape and needle felt it gently.

Continue needle felting it until it is a smooth round dome.

Now for the white spots. Get a small tuft of
white wool roving about the size of your fingernail.

Roll it in the palms of your hands until it becomes a nice firm ball.

Place the white ball onto the red toadstool and needle felt it into the red wool.

Needle felt as many dots as you’d like onto your toadstool.

Now for the toadstool’s stalk. Take a piece of white wool as long as your finger and roll it in your hands until it becomes a ‘snake’ (as before).

Roll it tightly into a spiral (just like you did with your red wool to start your toadstool).

Put the stalk onto the felting board and felt it around
the outside until it is firmly felted and holds its shape.
Leave one end of the stalk fluffy. Gently needle felt the other end of the stalk until it is round.
Place the fluffy end of the stalk onto the underside of your toadstool (the flat side) and attach it by needle felting it into the red wool of the toadstool.

Gently felt around and around the stalk until it if firmly and neatly secured.

Voila! You have made a darling little toadstool!!

For those of you who want to give this a try, I’ve put together a needle felting toadstool kit and listed it in my shop. In the kit you will get two needle felting needles, a protective foam board and all the red and white wool you will need to make 10 little toadstools (or 4 bigger ones).
I also have beginner’s needle felting kits with lots of gorgeously colored wool if you’d prefer to try your hand at something different now that you know how easy it is. And, I have felted rock kits and felted soap kits available too. And, and, I have also put together a kit for making your child a felted playscape which is a fantastic project. So, no excuse not to try needle felting if you aren’t already hooked 🙂 C’mon… it’ll be fun!

Happy felting,
Blessings and magic,
Donni


This tutorial is brought to you by Natalie, of Woolhalla

Please visit Donni at The Magic Onionswhere you can see her original post and also visit her Etsy shop Fairyfolk.

In Donni’s own words:I am consciously trying to be mindful of each and every moment; embrace life with love, laughter and learning and give freely, knowing that what I have is considerable. I am also trying to show my kids the beauty of nature in our concrete jungle; enter Waldorf, my new-found passion!”

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How to make Friendship Peg Dolls Tutorial

This week’s How-To is How to Make Friendship Peg Dolls by Ulla, from GermanDolls here on the Natural Kids Team. The following post was for a class on Valentine’s Day on her blog GermanDolls, but you can use it any day and it would make a great party favour for a child’s birthday!

How to make Friendship Peg Dolls

I knew it! The day would come when I would be able to use all those pretty fabric scraps I have collected over the years – even down to the smallest little bitty one. Of course, my husband won’t believe me. But last week I came up with the perfect project!


I was looking for a craft to do in the classroom with Elementary school-age kids on Valentine’s Day. I realized I still had some wooden clothes pins in my supply box. Not sure why I bought them years ago. You all know how that goes. It’s on sale and you throw it in the basket…We are sure it will come in handy some day. And in this case it did!


All you need for this craft is:
-Wooden clothes pins : I used small ones called baby flat clothes pins! If you use larger ones you may have to cut the clothing for your dolls bigger!
-colorful scraps of fabric, blue jean fabric scraps
-chenille stems or pipe cleaners, cut into 2.5 inch pieces
-glue
-thin tipped marker or pen
-scraps of wool, if you are doll maker you can just use the clippings from cutting your dolls’ hair

Steps:
1.Get your husband to drill holes through the pegs where the arms will go. May be a bit of wait here…Or if you know how to work the drill best to do it yourself. LOL
2.Cut squares of fabric for the peg dolls clothing. We made either skirts or blue jeans for our dolls. For the jeans we cut two one –inch squares. For a skirt one rectangle of about 1 inch by 1.75 inches
3. Cut tops/shirts for your dolls. Cut about 1inch by 1.75 inches
4. Glue on the pants by attaching on little blue jean square per peg leg and wrapping it around the legs when you glue it. A toothpick or long pointy tool will come in handy! If you are doing skirts you’ll have a much easier time! =) To avoid frustration my child took it upon herself to make 25 pegs which had the jeans put on already…

5. Glue on the shirt/top making sure you don’t cover up the holes for the arms
6. Insert chenille wire pieces through the predrilled hole and shape hands at the ends
7. Draw a face on your dolly with fine tip marker
8.Glue on hair

With the help of my daughter I made 25 kits to take into the classroom today. Looking forward to the kids faces when they finish their Valentine Friendship Dolls!

Sweet! I love this craft because it helps me teach kids to recycle and make beautifull things at the same time. Now I can work on scaling down my mountain of fabric scraps…I may be offering these kits in my shop in the near future! What do you think?

This tutorial is brought to you by Natalie, of Woolhalla

Please visit Ulla at GermanDolls where you can see her original post and read more on her dolls, needle felting, and life. She is an artist, doll-maker, wife and mother of two, originally from Germany and living in the U.S. In addition to all of this she is the Blog Leader here on the Natural Kids Blog!!

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Our Best Play Dough Tutorial

This week’s How-To is Our Best Play Dough by Emily from Yarn Miracle here on the Natural Kids Team. On her blog, also called Yarn Miracle, you will find free knitting patterns and a lot of other great posts. Check out the amazing colour of the play dough below and have fun making yours!


Our Best Play Dough
I’ve made a lot of play dough in my time. Enough to have memorized my favorite recipe. It makes a good size ball and stores neatly in anything with a tight lid that can hold two cups.

If you do this with little people, make sure you trust them with the stove. The stove is not on in this picture.

Our Best Play Dough
Dump the following into a sauce pan and mix well:

1 c. all purpose flour
1 c. water
1/4 c. salt (table, no need to be fancy)
1 T. oil
2 T. cream of tartar
food coloring to suit taste

Put your pan over medium heat. The goop will look nice and smooth like this…

…if you’ve used neon green food coloring.

Start stirring. Right about the time you think your arm will fall off (5-10 minutes), this will happen:

It will start to pull away from the sides of the pan and clump together.

Keep cooking and stirring until the mess has barely stopped being shiny and then pull it off of the heat. I also dump it out of the pot so it will stop cooking and not get too hard. Give it a few minutes to rest. When it’s cool enough to touch, knead the play dough until it’s smooth. I find that kneading is easier while it is still warm.

Wash your pot and repeat until you’ve run out of colors or storage boxes. Or in our case, both.

All this took us less than an hour to mix up.

In an airtight container, it keeps far longer than you’d think. We’ll be playing with this batch well into March. Unless it all gets mixed into a muddy rainbow. Then we’ll have to make more.

This tutorial is brought to you by Natalie, of Woolhalla

Visit Emily at Yarn Miracle where you can see her original post, and at her Etsy shop Yarn Miracle. She has lots of gorgeous knitting patterns and beautiful knitted animals in her Etsy shop… chickens, roosters, bunnies, bears and more!
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Valentine Heart Knitting Pattern, Tutorial

This week’s How-To is Valentine Heart Knitting Pattern by Linda, from Mamma4Earth here on the Natural Kids Team. Her blog is Natural Suburbia where you will find lots of tutorials and posts. This is the last “Valentine” themed craft for a while (see the last few weeks for others) and it’s a real cutie!


Valentine Heart Knitting Pattern, Tutorial:

Today I have been working on a little pattern for a Valentine Heart and I am so please to be finished and to be able to share it here. It really is the easiest pattern, knitted entirely in garter stitch, flat with the slightest shaping on the sides. They knit up quickly and look wonderful in garter or stocking stitch too, if you would like to add some variation. I embroidered a heart on mine, but you could also embroider the word ‘love’ or someone’s name for instance, too. Ok enough talking from me, here is the pattern:)

Materials:
Red yarn for your heart
White yarn for embroidery
Roving for stuffing
Wool needle for sewing up

Pattern: (Knit two sides)
Cast on 1 stitch.
Row 1: Knit
Row 2: Increase into the first stitch, knit to the end, increase into the last stitch. (3 stitches)
Row 3: Knit
Row 4: Increase into the first stitch, knit to the end, increase into the last stitch. (5 stitches)
Row 5: Knit
Row 6: Increase into the first stitch, knit to the end, increase into the last stitch. (7 stitches)
Row 7-8: Knit
Row 9: Increase into the first stitch, knit to the end, increase into the last stitch. (9 stitches)
Row 10: Knit
Row 11: Increase into the first stitch, knit to the end, increase into the last stitch. (11 stitches)
Row 12: Knit
Row 13: Increase into the first stitch, knit to the end, increase into the last stitch. (13 stitches)
Row 14-21: Knit
Row 22: Knit 2 stitches together at the beginning of the row, knit until the last 2 stitches and knit 2 together. (11 stitches)
Row 23: Knit 2 stitches together at the beginning of the row, knit until the last 2 stitches and knit 2 together. (9 stitches)
Row 24: Knit 2 stitches together at the beginning of the row, knit until the last 2 stitches and knit 2 together. (7 stitches)
Cast off

Once you have knitted two sides, sew right sides together and leave a little opening for stuffing. Turn onto the right side and stuff. Once your heart is lovely and firm, sew closed.
Sew a thread at the base of your heart, push your needle up throught the inside of the heart and pull it out the top of the heart.
Push the needle back into the top of the heart and pull it out the base of the heart where you started sewing.
Pull quite tightly so that a depression is seen on the top of the heart giving you the wonderful heart shape:) and finish off.
I embroidered a little heart and also added some yarn for a hanging ornamnet:)

Enjoy!
xo
Linda

Please note, this pattern is for personal use only, and not for resale, items knitted from this pattern may not be sold for commercial purposes, thank you.


This tutorial is brought to you by Natalie, of Woolhalla

Please visit Linda at Natural Suburbia where you can see her original post and get to know her better. She is a homeschooling mother of four little souls from South Africa, as well as a knitter, pattern designer, gardener, homesteader and trying to be as self sufficient as possible…


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Darling Little Birdseed Cakes Tutorial


This week’s How-To is Darling Little Birdseed Cakes by Donni, from Fairyfolk here on the Natural Kids Team. Her blog is The Magic Onions and she has some great craft tutorials there (and more!). As I planned to share tutorials on “Valentine” themed crafts for a few weeks (staring last week), I am delighted to be able to share this one which is about feeding the birds. Where I am the ground is frozen with a thick layer of ice and snow and I’m sure the birds are challenged to find food. As I post this I can’t get the song “Feed the Birds” sung by Julie Andrews out of my head… so I know what I’m going to be doing shortly!

Darling Little Birdseed Cakes:
I have been wanting to make these sweet little birdseed cakes for ages.

YAY, I finally remembered to buy gelatine at the supermarket… it has been on my shopping list for months but, alas, it was one of those things I just could NOT remember. At last, as I was looking through the spice isle for Cream of Tatar (to make playdough), GELATINE! suddenly popped into my head.
We have made the peanut-butter-on-pine-cone-feeders many times before and so were very excited to try something different. K is not a peanut butter person and it has always worried her that perhaps some birds wouldn’t like peanut butter either. Sweet child.
Here are the simple ingredients;
1 oz Gelatine
Birdseed
Boiling Water
Molds
Yarn or string (for hanging loops)

In a mixing bowl, add 1 oz Gelatine and 1 cup of boiling water and stir until all of the Gelatine has dissolved.

Then add birdseed. We used about 3 cups but this amount will depend on the kind of birdseed you use. You want the mixture to be pretty stiff.

Spoon the mixture into your molds.


Cut your yarn for the hanging loops, knot one end and stick the knot into each seed cake. Cover the knot with a little birdseed mixture to make sure it will set firmly.
Now, you have to wait for the Gelatine to set. This takes quite a while, so amuse yourself in the meantime by making yarn earrings…
You can leave the cakes at room temperature to set. We, however, wanted them to set as quickly as possible, so we put them in the fridge.
To get the sweet little cakes out of the mold, dip the mould quickly into hot water. They should slide right out.

Voila! Birdseed cakes for the birds.

We have hung ours all over our garden and have taken great delight in watching the birds twitter around them. Our birds are VERY happy with their new treats!

Blessings and magic,
Donni

This tutorial is brought to you by Natalie, of Woolhalla

Please visit Donni at The Magic Onions where you can see her original post and blog “where the magic of nature and the wonder of childhood collide to make each moment a precious gift”.