Monday, 16 July 2012

Feed the birds

Unfortunately for slightly more than tuppence a bag.

The holidays are little more than a distant memory, the tan has faded and I'm thinking about turning ark building in to a Wednesday craft.  So, its back to crafting and blogging to fill our rainy days.

Since we've been away the weather has turned my postage sized garden in to something of a jungle and we have rather a lot of visitors of the feathered variety.  Now I'm not the biggest fan of birds - they fall in to the general category of things that are nice to look at but may fly in to my face - but the small one likes them and our first floor living room means we get a good view without fearing some sort of Hitchcock style open air attack.  Besides, I like to live life on the edge from time to time so lets encourage them.

Who needs Mary Poppins anyway.

You will need:
Pine cones
Bird seed
Peanut butter, suet, honey or d) all of the above.
Gelatine (I read on the internet that this is fine for birds so I hope this is true!)
Assorted cookie cutters
Greaseproof paper
Straws chopped in to 4
Food colouring (optional)
A tall person

Basically this little lot

Easy one first.  

Tie some twine around a pine cone and leave enough length to be able to tie easily around a something. 

Base your decision on which sticky stuff to use on the likelihood of finger licking and mix together some of the seed.  

Shove in to the pine cone and squish together with your hands to form a ball and ask someone tall to hang in a tree.  

Milly is all about instant gratification so she liked that she was able to put these out straight away.

Bit more fancy pants one.  

Mix a packet of gelatine as per the instructions on the packet and allow to cool slightly. 

Add enough of the seed so it is coated but not wet (for us, that was about 700ml in a jug).  If you want to colour the seed do so at this stage by adding a couple of drops of food colouring.  We went for pink of course.

Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper and set out your cutters. Smaller cutters tend to make more mess so if that's what you have you might want protect any fabric surfaces first because this stuff is about to go everywhere.

Fill each cutter with the sticky seed and press down firmly with the back of a spoon.  Push a straw in to each shape and allow to dry (for us this took a couple of hours). 

Home made bird seed feeders

Gently push each seed shape out of the cutter and remove the straw.  If they're still a bit soft, stick them in the fridge to harden up completely.  Tie the twine through the resulting hole. 

Home made bird seed feeders
They stay inside until that rain stops

This would make a nice gift if you replace the basic twine with something like ribbon or brightly coloured string.  You could even do a rainbow of colours or wire up shapes inside of shapes with a bit of patience (so that would be us out).

If anyone who looks like Tippi Hedren turns up, leg it.

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