For the BirdsWritten by Judi Hunter
Decorative and elaborate or simple and functional, birdfeeders and birdhouses are lovingly coveted by many people (and birds)!
The collector seeking a new piece for den or study need only consider personal taste and aesthetics- many who enjoy careful art and craftsmanship of a beautiful birdhouse or feeder would never think of placing their precious gift outside in rain and other elements.
The serious or novice birder, on other hand, has just a bit more to consider. With a minimal amount of work and some forethought, anyone interested can enjoy observing and identifying birds from their own urban or rural yards or decks throughout entire year. It is possible to attract up to one hundred different species of birds to a yard with careful placing of just a few feeders and houses!
While any type of birdfeeder or house will prove itself a delightful addition to your landscape, you should ask yourself just a few questions to guarantee that your bird-attracting efforts are successful for both you and birds. When choosing type of feeder or house you need or want, you should consider following:
Are you trying to attract a wide variety of birds or a specific type of bird? How often do you want to clean and refill feeder? Do you want to see bird close-up from a window or would you rather lessen possibilities of window strikes? Are you ok with starlings and jays that like to perch and can dominate a feeder, or are you trying to attract strictly smaller clinging birds like chickadees and nuthatches? Further considerations include pests (squirrels…) and predators (housecats…).
This may all seem like a lot, but really, there are many resources at your local library, bookstore or on internet that are not only interesting, inspiring and fun to read but will help you answer these questions in hardly any time at all.
Make A Stunning Dried Hydrangea Wreath Written by Valerie Garner
Dried hydrangea wreaths are so beautiful and versatile in a home, and a lot of fun to make as well.
You can either purchase already dried hydrangea flowers from your local craft store, or you can dry your own. The biggest trick when drying your own is timing of when you pick flowers. It is best to pick them right before you anticipate your first fall frost. If you pick them mid-summer, they just will not dry correctly.
You can either hang them upside down in a darkened room to dry, or you can set them in a vase upright, even adding a tiny bit of water in bottom of vase, although even that is optional. As long as they are picked at correct time, it’s difficult to fail with them. It’s fun if you can, to pick several blooms from different bushes, as it will provide a nice variety of colors to wreath. After they are dried, pick off any dead / discolored brown blooms.
Now, pick type of base you want to use for a wreath. My personal favorites are either Styrofoam or grapevine type wreath bases. Take some floral wire and wrap it around wreath, then form a loop of wire to hang from wall, and then wrap wreath again. You might try hanging it from wall at this point to make sure it lies correctly, and then make any needed adjustments while wreath is bare.
To do a Styrofoam wreath, use a low melt point hot glue gun. Separate each bloom into smaller florets. Hot glue each floret into wreath base, actually poking stem down into Styrofoam base. With each bloom, space it out over surface of wreath, for example; a floret at top, next left side, bottom, then right side, then inside circle of wreath, and outside of wreath. Continue to do this with each bloom until you fill it.