July 2009

The Crafter’s Kit

Whether you’re a novice crafter or an experienced craftsman/woman, there’s something you should always have on hand: your own crafter’s kit. You never know when the latest magazine, TV show, or child’s request is going to inspire some amazing project to be born—and having everything you need already within reach will make it easier to start (and not “postpone” the creation until you forget it or lose interest).

Here are a few things that you may want to assemble in your own crafter’s kit. We have ours in a small three-drawer cabinet, but that’s because we have a lot of stuff. (In fact, it doesn’t all fit in the cabinet!) You can make yours out of a simple shoebox, appliance box, or any other container that you’ve got on hand. You may even want to decorate it with stickers, glitter, glued on objects or drawings. (We do this with our holiday decoration storage boxes, too—it’s lots of fun!)

Making Homes for Backyard Friends

Whether you want to attract birds, butterflies or bats, you can easily find a way to lure them to your garden. In fact, chances are you’ve already got something they want—whether it’s flowers or bugs. But to really set up residence, wild critters really need a place to live and have babies.

Fortunately, you can help them do this by creating a home for them. Below is a list of some common animals people may wish to attract to their homes and how you can make your casa their casa.

Butterflies: Who doesn’t love a yard full of butterflies? Butterfly houses are not only easy to make, but they are also cool additions to your yard.

Getting Crafty Outdoors, Part 3

Now that we’ve provided for the fairies and the birds of the yard, why don’t we start looking for a way to get nice and dirty with our crafts by getting into your yard itself?

One really fun craft that will provide hours of enjoyment is a sunflower tent. Be sure to pick out some giant sunflowers that will get super tall. Plant your sunflowers in two rows across from each other—about four or five feet apart. As they grow, they will begin to lean toward each other, creating a “tent” that you and your child will love to play in all summer.

Get Crafty!

Crafting items out of beads and crayons may be something you associate with your childhood but, crafting as an adult is alot more fun than you would ever guess. Its a whole new craft world these days with new materials, innovations, and resources to bring out your inner artist.

As an adult, you may say that you don't have time for one more hobby with your already hectic schedule of juggling work, family, and a social life. Making a little time for creative expression, by cutting out television or happy hour, is time well spent. Yes, even for working adults and no, not just for little old ladies who have been knitting for the last 40 years.

Getting Crafty Outdoors, Part 2

I’ll always remember what my high school English teacher, Mike Huskey, told us about analyzing poetry: “Form follows function.” This applies to quite a bit more than just poetry, I have learned.

Some of the best outdoor crafts are ones that aren’t just fun to make and pleasing to the eye, but also provide shelter and sustenance for wildlife. Have you ever caught the show Backyard Habitat on Animal Planet? In it, the hosts would visit a family and help them figure out how to attract local wildlife to their own backyard. Their refrain for every episode was that every animal needs water, food, cover, and a place to raise their young.

We can help attract wild birds to our homes with some simple crafts like these: