DIY Bird Seed Cookies

DIY Bird Seed Cookies from Butterfly Crafts
I have been doing quite a bit of gardening lately to make our decking area look good for our Summer Party and I am definitely gaining a fondness for gardening and pretty plants. When we move, I look forward to having a garden that attracts wildlife - bees, butterflies and birds - and to help with this in the space we currently have, I have been making up some bird seed cookies.

These really dont take long to make at all and are a great activity to do with children if you are about to start your long summer holidays from school. They can take a few hours to harden so best to start early in the day or if you make them in the afternoon, leave them to set overnight before hanging up.

You will need:
3/4 cup of plain flour
1/2 cup warm water
1 packet of unflavoured gelatin
3 tablespoons of golden syrup or corn syrup
4 cups of bird seed
Vegetable Oil
Baking parchment
Wooden Spoon
Ribbon or String
Drinking straw
Cookie cutter

DIY Bird Seed Cookies MixtureIn a bowl mix the gelatin with warm water and set aside. In another bowl, mix the flour, bird seed and the syrup. It will end up quite a tough mixture to stir. Pour over the water/gelatin mixture and give another stir.

Line a baking try with baking parchment and lightly oil with the vegetable oil, also rub some oil around the cookie cutter which will help release the bird seed cookies.

Pack the cookie cutter tightly witht he seed mixture, use a tea spoon to press it firmly if needed. Use a drinking straw to make a hole the seed cookie and leave this there whilst the cookis set - you might find it more economical to cut a straw into about four parts.

Carefully remove the seed cookies from the cookie cutter and set aside to dry for a few hours, overnight would be best. Once dry, tie some ribbon or twine through the hole and then you are ready to hang the seed cookies up in the garden.

Why not have a go? These are great for sensory explortion for little hands and also fun for children to keep an eye of out different birds that might come into your garden or any outside space that you have. I would love to see what shapes you make with your cookie cutters.

Monday, 22 July 2013 | 0 Comments

An Exciting Summer

To me this image sums up the vision of Cambridge - a sunny day punting on the River Cam. This bridge is very close to where I work and I stroll across it most days and see what is happening down on the River. Now that Summer is here the River is getting busier and busier filled with punts of tourists or students taking trips around The Backs, it always looks so relaxing and a good way to see some of the City.

I am looking forward to a very exciting Summer. I currently work part time but have a separate position for the other two days a week but I am very fortunate that in a few weeks time I will be able to drop the additional two days a week until January. I am so excited to have this opportunity and I cannot wait to explore more of Cambridge and the city I now live in with Betty the Bike. I have started a list of things I want to do, simple things such as take a walk along the river, visit some museums and explore which tea shops have good cake!

But I am also really excited that I can use this time to work on and get prepared for Christmas and all of the Christmas craft fairs I do during that time of year. I have plans to build a new craft desk in my work space and have a permanent place to be crafting and get the creativity back!

What are you looking forward to doing over the summer? Have you any crafty plans? Anything that you can recommend for me to add to my "Must Do" in Cambridge list?

Wednesday, 10 July 2013 | 2 Comments

Nana May

My Nana would have been the amazing age of 100 today had she still been alive, she always did want to live until she was 100 and get her letter from the Queen. But, sadly she passed away almost twelve years ago now, shortly followed by my Grandad.

This photo was taken when they were both still in good health on one of their wedding anniversaries, I cant remember for certain but I think it was either their 50th or 55th, I remember shortly after this photo was taken my brother gave them green edible underwear. They thought it was hilarious, Mum, not so much!

My Nana taught me how to knit when I was little, she patiently helped me make a pink tea cosy for my little china tea pot, I still have it somewhere packed away in a memory box. She was a wonderful knitter. I am a child of the '80s and was gifted with many knitted jumpers, one with Thomas the Tank Engine on it, and many more, usually every Christmas. She would also knit for my Grandad the most wonderful Cable or Aran knitted jumpers, Mum still has a few that she cant bear to part with so I suggested with turn them into cushion covers at some point.

Sadly I forgot how to knit very quickly, I found cross stitch instead and that was easier for me. But it did not stop me looking through all of the wool and helping her wind the yarn. When I was doing my MA I decided that I wanted to take up knitting again but unfortunately, about 6 months before, Mum had given away my Nana's knitting needles, she, nor I, never expected me to want to learn again. But even though I dont have her needles I still think of her as I knit, I can picture her in her arm chair with the big ball of wool beside her clacking away at something or other.

Something we do have is her beautiful treadle sewing machine, neither Mum nor I have braved using it yet, it sits in my parents bedroom under the pile of ironing as it is in a cabinet, one day though I am sure we will give it a spin. We also have the "Button Tin". There are hundreds of them!

My Grandad was a keen gardener, he loved to potter about in his greenhouse in his green coat and flat cap and I am now just starting to get an interest in gardening and I often think of him. I am glad that I can feel both of their influence on me and my skills, I may not be able to knit Thomas the Tank Engine, but I can feel Nana's hands over mine on my little plastic yellow knitting needles guiding me on my stitches and for that, I am thankful.

Happy Birthday Nana, enjoy your Birthday dance with Grandad, wherever you both are.


Tuesday, 2 July 2013 | 0 Comments