Tuesday, April 23, 2013

* 5 Easy Ways Make Your Backyard More Bird Friendly



1. Provide the Birds With Shelter. 


In addition to bird houses, we have made sure that our landscaping
provides cover and places to raise young for our back yard birds. 
We have bushes, shrubs, and evergreen trees around our property. 


The girls and I stock our empty Suet feeder with nesting materials every spring. 
We include things like pieces of thread, yarn scraps, wool felting bits, cotton balls, and raffia. 
(We keep it stocked with suet cakes all winter)

* EXTRA CREDIT: Make your yard a Wildlife Habitat * 
Read more about how my family got our backyard 
Certified as a Wildlife Habitat HERE  by the National Wildlife Federation.


2. Provide Food Sources for the Birds. 

Hang up Bird Feeders. 
We have several home-made and store-bought feeders around our property. 


We picked up these bird feeders at the Dollar Store and decoupaged them with 
tissue paper squares and Outdoor Formula Mod Podge. 


Make some Birdseed Cakes for your backyard friends.
Instructions to ours can be found here

3. Provide Fresh Drinking Water for the Birds. 



We provide clean water with a bird bath that we refill using a watering can and our rain barrel. 
I do keep a Mosquito dunk inside to battle the Asian Tiger Mosquitos that love our area.

Note: Don't allow pets (like your dog) or children(!)
to drink from  or play in bird baths - our little feathered friends do carry
diseases and bacteria that can make your canine companion or child very ill. 

4. Practice Sustainable Gardening in your own Yard. 

We try to garden without chemicals or yard sprays - I use corn gluten and milky spore for grubs.
We mow and weed-whack with a rechargeable electric lawn mower  week-whacker. 
When we do mow, we mulch the grass clippings back into our lawn 
instead of bagging them for the landfills. 
We Xeriscape - we have replace LARGE sections of lawn and grass with mulch and
hardscaping (slate, river stone, and brick.)
We have a rain barrel to water our veggies and we have a large Blue Planet compost bin
in the backyard for kitchen and yard scraps 

5. Nurture A Love of Nature. 
Encourage your children to 
EXPLORE and LEARN about Birds and their habitats. 


Set up a Bird Watching Basket or 
Bird Watching Station for your kids to observe their backyard feathered friends. 
We have ours by our family room window stocked with:
binoculars, bird identification books, a Bird Song "Identiflyer" and 
a journal to draw birds or record observations. 


filled with 13 fun Art and Craft Projects to add some artsy fun to your backyard! 
Discount Code:

Warmly,
Pink and Green Mama,
 MaryLea

Here are some of our backyard favorites!




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Monday, April 15, 2013

Easy Kid Craft: Mod Podge Bird Houses

Sponsored Post Disclosure: I have been compensated for this post, however all opinions are my own and truthful.


The girls and I had so much fun with our new Apple Barrel all purpose acrylic craft paint and our new favorite Mod Podge (Mod Podge Washout) that we made some cute little bird houses for our backyard. The girls know real birds can't live in them but they sure are a cute addition to our garden and we've been using them as fairy houses. I picked up the unfinished wood houses at Michaels craft store. 


Both girls loved the spring colors our friends at Apple Barrel paint sent us and got to work painting their houses. The paint covers well and washes out of clothes and off of skin with soap and water! 


The artists at work!


After the paint dried on the houses, we applied some birds and flowers with Mod Podge Washout. 
We cut the birds and flowers carefully out of these napkins I picked up at Ikea (so cute!) 



Once the houses were dry, we took them out into the garden to play Fairy houses with! They've been a fun addition to our backyard spring outdoor imaginative play. 



Happy Spring Crafting! 


Warmly,
Pink and Green Mama
MaryLea







Thursday, April 11, 2013

Spring Windowsill Garden For Children with DIY Flower Pots Using Mod Podge Washout and Apple Barrel Paints #plaidkidscrafts



Spring weather always beckons my children into our backyard but lately we've been experiencing some chilly temperatures and "rain delays!" The girls have been eyeing all of the beautiful bulbs and flowers for sale at the garden center and begging to buy some for our own yard. I was hoping we could find a way to bring some spring indoors. When Blue Print social sent us some some Mod Podge Washout and  Apple Barrel paint in cute spring colors to play with, I knew this little playroom windowsill garden would be the perfect cure for our springtime wanna-be gardening blues!


We picked up some terra cotta pots and dishes at our local garden store and the girls painted them with the Apple Barrel paint. The girls picked yellow (Banana) and green (Lime Tree) paint for their pots. We love their all-purpose acrylic craft paint for our family projects because it cleans up with soap and water (while wet) and Apple Barrel paint comes in so many pretty colors!


The coverage on this paint is great, it only took two coats to cover the terra cotta pots nicely and it dried quickly - a plus when you're working with kids who are impatient and want to move on to the next step!


After the paint dried on the flower pots, we cut the bird and flower shapes out of some decorative paper napkins I picked up at Ikea and applied them to the flower pots with Mod Podge Washout. It's the same great formula as "regular" Mod Podge Gloss but it washes out of clothing and furniture with soap and water, even when it's dry. This will be my new "go-to" Mod Podge for kid's projects. It is great for moms and teachers!  


We also Mod Podged the top edge of the flower pot with some botanical leaf print paper napkins we found in a drawer. Blue napkins on the yellow pots and orange/hot pink napkins on the green pots.

HELPFUL HINT: Whenever you Mod Podge decorative paper napkins to a craft surface, make sure you separate all of the layers of tissue - the image is printed on the top layer and there are usually at least three or four layers on the napkin to pull apart. Paint the area with Mod Podge, press on the napkin and gently dab another layer of Mod Podge on top to seal it.


The girls really love their new playroom windowsill garden. When the bulbs are done flowering, we're going to plant them in the yard and try growing some other green kitchen garden goodies like an "avocado" pit tree, lemon seeds, and scallions. We're bringing science, art, and nature to our playroom! A special thank you to my friends at Plaid Enterprises for sharing such fun art supplies with us, we have another project coming up with Apple Barrel Paint and Mod Podge Washout that I can't wait to share with you! 
Follow Plaid Crafts on Twitter Like Plaid Crafts on Facebook
Happy Spring Crafting! 


Warmly,
Pink and Green Mama
MaryLea


This post was written as part of a campaign with The Blueprint Social,
but I really DO like Mod Podge Washout and Apple Barrel Paints!
As always, all opinions are my own.




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