Wordless Wednesday: Bunny Cage

Biz, age 5, was rewarded with a stuffed bunny for volunteering with me at the Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program last week. He brought home a couple of boxes and made this cage with some help from his big brother, G. It even includes water and a plate of pasta salad.

Gearing up for Easter? Hopefully your Easter egg coloring goes better than my experience last year.

homemade bunny cage

Wordless Wednesday (4.16.14): Bunny Cage Constructed by Biz and G

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Wordless Wednesday
Wordless Wednesday @ The Jenny Evolution

Pinterest-Inspired DIY Recycled Bird Feeder. Sort of.

Last year, we dug up our small yard and made some big changes. We hired someone to install a big patio. We built a raised veggie bed next to our handmade sandbox. And we added gardens. Lots of gardens.

By the end of the summer, we were left with one small patch of grass and gave our lawnmower to our landscaper. We purchased a reel mower and put a snow blower where our lawn mower used to be in the garage.

This spring is the first time I’ve really been able to work in my new gardens. Being so early in the season, I’ve only just begun. In Maine, you really can’t plant anything until after Memorial Day due to frost. (I believe there was actually a frost warning the other day, but we won’t talk about that.)

While I was waiting to play in the dirt, I decided we’d have some fun and attempt to attract birds to our yard this year. My new gardens are away from my bird hating dogs’ reach, so we moved a bird house we’ve had for years over in the middle of the new garden. I swear I’ve never seen a bird in this bird house. I’m guessing it was because we had it too close to a busy sidewalk.

Well, the new location seemed to be ideal for the birds. Lots came by to perch and eat bird seed. (Can you tell I’m not really a bird person? I have no idea what kind of birds visit us.)

And then I got the idea to make our own bird feeder.

I turned to Pinterest for inspiration. Though I’m not a fan of Pinterest, I figured I would find something that would get the creative juices flowing.

Here’s what became my inspiration.

This bird feeder was a bit too cutesy for me, but I like the idea of using materials I had in the house to make something. I had just recycled some dog food cans, and I had plenty of acrylic paint. I also had nails that I would use for the perch instead of the wooden dowel shown in the inspiration picture. (I like industrial over cute any day.)

We painted our recycled tin cans and hot glued nails as perches for the birds.

We painted our recycled tin cans and hot glued nails as perches for the birds.

I wasn’t convinced that the can would actually balance itself properly with a ribbon. Plus the ribbon was too cutesy for me. My husband came up with the idea of screwing the painted cans to a wooden post in the garden.

birdfeeder

It was not easy to get the bird seed into the cans! (And, yes, we need to mulch.)

While it doesn’t look too bad in the garden, there we were a few problems.

The nails didn’t stay on the cans (and I can’t imagine the wooden dowel would’ve been much better).

The paint clumped up in the rain. Since I’ve use the same paint for other outdoor projects, I’m going to assume the paint just didn’t stick to the aluminum material well.

The bird seed was nearly impossible to get into the can without spilling all over the ground. That seed is also sprouting now, which has me weeding every single day.

I have yet to see a bird eat from inside the can. (They go for the seed on the ground that isn’t growing yet.)

Oh, and I cut myself on the top of the can while telling my kids how sharp the lid was.

What do you think? Was this a Pinterest fail? Or maybe just new garden art?

gardenbirdfeeder

You can see our new bird feeder / garden art on the right.

The Worst Egg Decorating Kit on the Planet

About this time, it dawns on my family that Easter is around the corner. If it weren’t for tax season, we might notice it’s pending arrival sooner.

Usually my husband or I (typically not both) remember to actually buy an egg decorating kit before it’s too late.

This past weekend, my husband remembered Easter and purchased this egg decorating  kit.

paas volano eggsplosion

You’re staring at the crayon, aren’t you?

Let me give you a moment to let the artwork on the box soak in. As my Facebook friends were quick to note, there are several sexual innuendos displayed on this egg decorating kit.

Got your mind out of the gutter? Let’s move on to the contents of the box. Or maybe I should say lack of contents in the box. Because there were just six crayons and one inadequate crayon sharpener in the box. The “silly circles”, “egg stands” and “drying tray” are just part of the stupid box. The box you rip when you open, despite your most valiant efforts.

Now, if you are like me, you are used to actually dyeing eggs for Easter. You put those little colored tablets in cups of water and soak hard boiled eggs until they become the color you like. And then you decorate them with stickers or marker.

Not this PAAS decorating kit. Nope, this one requires you to shave wax crayons while you are boiling the eggs.

Go ahead and ask your kids if they are interested in shaving six colored crayons. If they say yes, see if they have any interest in doing it after about 30 seconds of shaving the first one.

crayon shavings

G was a trooper and did a good amount of crayon shaving. Guess who did the rest?

My wrists and fingers hurt just looking at the above pictures.

At this point, we were too far into the project to abandon it. G and I agreed to give it a try, despite the annoyance of having to shave down six crayons and putting the colors into separate piles that looked far too small for 12 eggs.

Luckily, I read the package before I boiled the eggs – something my husband clearly didn’t do when he bought this “volcano eggsplosion” egg coloring kit – and knew we needed to have the wax shards ready before the eggs were done. We raced to finish our colorful crayon shaving piles because the next step required hot eggs.

During this time, Biz was running around the living room with vampire teeth in his mouth completely uninterested in decorating that didn’t involved dropping eggs into colored liquid. He was also alarmed when I took the pot of freshly boiled eggs into the dining room. (Clearly I was going to burn him with the hot water.)

And then we sprinkled shards of crayon wax onto the hot eggs I carefully placed onto the newspaper on our dining room table.

waxing eggs

Sprinkling shards of colored wax on hot eggs is not as fun as it sounds.

The “eggsplosion” is supposed to come when the wax melts and the colors run together. The problem is that you really can’t move the egg around and adequately cover it with colored wax because you’ll pretty much just spread wax around and get the egg stuck to the newspaper.

Also, I was right that the amount of wax we ended up with really wasn’t enough for a dozen eggs. We ended up seeing a lot of white and not a whole lot of the “eggsplosion” the package illustrates.

waxed easter eggs

Our final waxed eggs. They look slightly better in the basket. Emphasis on slightly.

My boys weren’t impressed that the dried eggs were “bumpy” due to the wax.

I may end up having to buy another kit this week so the boys can enjoy the traditional way of decorating Easter eggs. Plus, our eggs look pretty sad.

To me, this PAAS Volcano Eggsplosion decorating kit seemed like a bad DIY Easter egg decorating craft you’d find on Pinterest, packaged in a box.

What about you? Does this project seem like fun to you or are you good with dyeing eggs the traditional way?

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