March 22, 2013

Hippity Hoppity DIY Crayon Bunnies

This project just screams "oh, do me!" If you have any children in your life, you know that eventually you will have crayons that get tossed aside and that are no longer used to color with. You know the crayon that has been colored down where the nice little factory point is nothing but a nub?Then to be discarded never to be used again? Admit it we all like using the ones with a point!  Well, do not throw them away, they are treasures. (Yes, I am a crayon hoarder) You can reuse the old crayons for a lot of things, but our favorite is to make new crayons. Especially when they can become cool shapes, like bunnies!


Here is how to do this project:

 For the project you will need a metal pan. I used a Wilton Rabbit cake pan. I have seen these crayons made in cupcake pans. However, using shapes makes for more fun!  Sometimes you can find these pans at thrift stores or garage sales. Re-purposing is the best!

 Collect old crayons. Peel off the paper wrapper. This part is a bit tedious and your fingernails will be multicolored and sore. I usually employee my husband or kids to help in this effort.

Once all the paper is removed, break the crayons up into as pieces. This is when your creativity comes in! Group like colors and hues. You can also place the crayons in desired ways you want them to turn out, for example a rainbow that is layered.

 Fill the crayon pieces as much to the top of the pan as possible. But do not go over. See the above photo for the right amount. You want enough crayon pieces to create a thick crayon, but not have it spill over.

The final step is to melt them. Because I used a metal pan, I used my oven. Set your oven as low as possible, I had mine at 200 degrees. Put your pan into the oven and allow the crayon pieces to melt. This does require a watchful eye so as to not burn the wax. As soon as all the wax has turned into liquid, remove the pan. Set in a safe place to cool down.

Once the wax is cooled, you just pop out the new bunny shaped crayon! If the wax does not remove well from the mold, try to gently tap on the back of the pan, or use a butter knife to loosen the sides. Don't use too make force, or you will break your crayon mold. But if that does happen, just break it up and use it for another bunny crayon.

Of course to give as gifts you have to put them in cute little baggies and use fun Easter tags! 


March 19, 2013

My 15 minutes of fame!

I am not really a "Toot Your Own Horn" type of person, but today I cannot help it and I have to share!

Drum roll...

I have been featured with other U.S chicken owners in this month's edition of Your Chickens magazine. The magazine was originally started in the UK. However, in January they kicked off editions for the United States. The magazines are available at Tractor Supply stores and online. Each month they feature American chicken owners. The magazine has caught my eye several times while I was in Tractor Supply. It is beautifully done and provides wonderful information regarding our feathered friends. I have shared who to contact further down in the post if you are interested in being featured. Simon is very helpful and prompt. I hope you do, I would love to hear your "chicken stories." You may also find information on their Facebook.  page. If you do tell them, that Heather from The Whimsical Feather sent you.


Content editor Simon McEwan says: “We are delighted to be a launching in the USA and would like to thank all those American henkeepers who have contacted us. We have had a fantastic response. We would be very pleased to hear from more of you, with about 200 words and a high-resolution photo of you with your chickens. Just email us at:”


March 12, 2013

Still waiting for Spring? Why not pick up a new hobby?

 I do not remember wanting  Spring to come as much as I have this year. Living in Ohio we have crazy weather. For instance, Sunday it was almost 60 degrees and sunny. Today some light snow flurries are falling and it is cloudy and cold.

What do we do here? We take it in stride. We take what we can get and maximize our time.This year between the daily life stuff, I played with a bit of fiber crafts. I found on Pinterest some cute little bird designs and took some creative license. So I pulled out the embroidery hoop and thread, and made these cute little hen and rooster designs on our pillow cases. Yes, I am chicken obsessed, how can I not be! My poor husband has to sleep with chickens now. Honestly, he did not mind and to join in the fun, he set his alarm clock on his phone to a rooster crowing. Yeah, the first morning I heard it I jumped up half asleep, thinking our hens were crowing, stumbled into the wall while trying to get dressed. Ha! Ha! Honey, I hope you enjoyed your laugh.

I thought about adding more to the pillow cases, but I liked the simplicity of it. With that in mind do not judge the lack of ironing, I am a simple girl who does not like to iron if I do not have too.

My next project is doing a blanket for my youngest son. I am crocheting it. Now, I am far from  fiber craft perfection and still have a LOT to learn. At this time I can just do the basics. Knit and purl, single and double crochet, and do the basic stitches in embroidery.

My goal is to learn more. I am such a hands on learner, that watching a video or looking at book are not always the best way for me to learn. Locally we have a Fiber Crafts group that meet a few times a month. I hope to get to one of those craft days and learn some new skills.

Hopefully, I can do this before the weather gets warmer, because after that happens, It is all about Garden 2013!

March 7, 2013

It's Time to Play in the Dirt!

This post my be redundant, I have to say, but playing in the dirt makes for a wonderful day!

Oh, the dirt!

Planting we will go!

Construction of a great find!

Took all but 5 minutes to set up. Voila! A dog and cat proof area for my seeds! *Notice to the right, "photo bomb" dog rear end, she was so interested, but keeping her distance.      

March 2, 2013

I promote reading!

This is not much of a homesteading topic, but one that is near and dear to me. Reading. I guess you can tie this into homesteading right? You have to be able to read seed packets, animal husbandry books and the like. Some of my earliest memories are of being read too. Today is the birthday of one of my favorite children authors, Dr. Seuss.

 <--------------See? This was my birthday last year, the big 40! I had a Seuss theme for it. Yeah, I am a big kid at heart. Maybe that is why I have a degree in Early Childhood Education and Development.

But I digress...

Today not only is Dr. Seuss' birthday, it also marks "Reading Across America." The movement is to promote reading and literacy. Honestly I do not know what I would do without being able to read. Reading is so much more than just gathering valuable information. Reading takes you places, from the world of Narnia, to Victorian England of Jane Austen. Besides being out in the garden, my other favorite place is in a book store or the library. I love the smell of old and new books. When I was teaching I bought so many books, that by the time my children were born, we had a extensive library. The joys of hearing a child put the phonemic sounds of speech together, creating words and then the moment they realize that they just read. It is one of the most fulfilling things for me. Truly, a gift.

To promote Reading Across America, I want to share one of my favorite books. It is a children's book (of course) and one that I think everyone should have in their home. Oh, and of course it is farm related, so I guess this post does reflect "homesteading."

Here it is....

  Yes, the author is Carly Simon the singer. Which for me was another bonus! I happened upon this book years before I had children. I fell in love with it. My copy has went through four children, and a few classrooms of preschoolers, so it is a bit beat up. But that gives it "character."

The illustrations are something straight out of my dreams. David Delamare illustrated it. I said if I ever wrote a book, I would use him.

Here is an excerpt:

"One night in July
We woke to hoots and howls-
It sounded nothing lie a nightingale
Nothing like an owl.
We looked out the window
And the sea was very calm
But the joint was jumping
On our Martha's Vineyard farm.
Just when you'd expect
Every living thing to doze
Vegetables and flowers
Were putting on their clothes."

March 1, 2013

Smelly Goods! Review of Lally Broch Scent Shots.

Aromatherapy is one of my loves.  My house always has candles, warming tarts or oils burning somewhere. But I will admit when it comes to what smells I have in my house, I am a bit of a "Smelly Good Snob." There are only a few products that I have found that "meet" my standards. See? Snobby!

A few weeks ago our friends over at Lally Broch Farms asked us to do a test run of their new "Scent Shots." Even though I have products I love, I was very willing to help our friends out. Boy, am I glad I did! I loved how they packaged them. Lally Broch provided great information on how to best use the product,  and the description of ingredients were labeled.

I also received a little bonus in my package too. How fun! They sent me a sample of their Goat Milk soap. I have really wonky skin. Prone to dryness, allergic reactions, and I have two patches of psoriasis that I battle with. Guess what? My skin is loving this soap! It lathers well, and is rich. The scent Maine Woods has a great earthy smell that my whole family loves. My husband and I will never buy "store soap" again. You can order all these awesome products here.

Lally Broch uses soy and essentials oils so that was a major plus in my book. Gotta keep it as natural as possible. Like I said, I received my smelly goodness a few weeks ago. By now "normal" tart melts lose their scent. NOT these! I am still getting amazing fragrance from these, and I melt them everyday. I chose two scents, Mediterranean Dreams and Flower Child. Oh, be still my heart, nose!