Saturday, March 28, 2015

Fancy Ladies!

About two weeks ago we hit the fancy chicken jackpot!  I have been wanting bearded silkies since before owning our very first chickens and despite going as far as hatching out our own "show quality bearded silkie" eggs, we were never able to find any (or hatch any) with a beard or one even close to resembling one....until now!  Let me introduce to you my new silkie girls as well as three other fancy pants that we picked up!

Bearded Silkie 

Bearded Silkie

Show Girl 

Millie Fleur D'Uccle

Gold laced polish 
They even got their own new house! 

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Pressed Flower Ornaments

Last fall during the first few weeks of using Oak Meadow's First Grade Curriculum, we pressed what very little flowers were left in our garden and have kept them tucked away in a book not really knowing what to do with them. Recently I came across the most beautiful tutorial found at Twig and Toadstool for pressed flower ornaments as well as a wonderful recipe for white clay (which I'll be using more of in the future) and despite being nowhere near Christmas, I needed to make these pretties STAT! 
Here's what you'll need:

  • 1 cup of baking soda
  • 1/2 cup of corn starch 
  • 3/4 cup of warm water
  • Rolling pin
  • Pressed flowers
  • Mod Podge
  • Paint brush
  • String or Twine
First you need to start off by making your white clay following the directions below.
In a medium sauce pan, combine the baking soda and corn starch, then add the warm water. Over medium heat mix all of the ingredients.  
Bring the mixture to a boil. Stir constantly.
The clay will begin to bind and pull away from the sides of the pan.  When the clay begins to resemble play dough, remove the pan from the heat and allow the clay to cool.  
Next you will shape and bake your ornaments.  
Preheat your oven to 200 degrees. 
Once the clay has cooled, kneed the clay, form it into a ball and roll the clay out on a flat surface using your rolling pin, about 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch in thickness.  

Once the clay is rolled flat, cut out your circles by using a round cookie cutter or the top of a mason jar (which is what we used).  
Place the cut-outs on a lined baking sheet and create a hole in the top using a straw (we used a skewer).
Bake your ornaments for about 1 hour at 200 degrees and allow to cool before decorating.  
Lets Decorate! 
After your ornaments have fully cooled, brush a thin layer of Mod Podge over the top. 
Before the Mod Podge has a chance to dry, carefully place the dried flowers on top. It helps to have a set of tweezers for this. Once the flowers are in place, carefully brush a second layer of Mod Podge over the top of the ornament and set aside to dry. Once the Mod Podge has dried you can string your ornaments.  We used twine, but fishing wire or a thin string would work as well! 

We are days away from spring and have no tree to hang these beauties from at the moment, so the kids and I found a nice branch outside and strung it up in the front window to hang our ornaments from.  

Don't forget to press your flowers this fall, come Christmas they will be ready to be turned into beautiful ornaments and will make such a wonderful gift for those that you love!  

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Pumpkin Bird Feeders

We had one itty bitty pumpkin left from last years garden and we finally decided to gut it so that we could save the seeds to plant next year.  Instead of throwing out the shell, we made these simple little pumpkin bird feeders! Here's what you will need to make them.
  • A pumpkin, orange, grapefruit, et. cut in half and cleaned out. 
  • Two wooden skewers 
  • Twine 
  • Bird seed

  1. Pierce the skewer through one side of the pumpkin into the other, one on top of the other. 
  2. Tie the twine on one of the skewers, opposite sides of each other. 
  3. Fill with bird seed and hang! 

Monday, March 16, 2015

Handwriting Practice with "Storage Bottles"

Handwriting can be a bit tedious so today we switched it up, went outside and used these super cheap bottles that I found at Harbor Freight filled with water to practice writing letters.  Simple and a great way to involve multiple senses for better memory retention.  

Reuben Omelette

  • 3 eggs, beaten  
  • 3 slices of turkey or corned beef, chopped
  • 1/4 cup sauerkraut 
  • 3 tablespoons french dressing
  • 3 sliced of swiss cheese 

So, this is pretty simple.... 
  1. Turn the broiler on in your oven (or toaster oven if you have one).
  2. In a medium pan over medium heat, sauté the turkey/corned beef and sauerkraut until browned. 
  3. Depending on how you like your omelettes, you can either pour the eggs over the top of the sauerkraut and turkey/corned beef or in a separate pan you can cook the eggs and add the fillings later.  
  4. Cook the eggs and flip.  Alternatively you can cook the eggs on one side, and add the pan to the over to cook the top.  I prefer this method because it makes for a perfect omelette but is a little more time consuming. 
  5. Once the omelette has cooked on both sides, spoon the french dressing onto the eggs (and add the turkey/corned beef and sauerkraut mixture if you cooked them in a separate pan).  Fold the omelette in half and arrange the slices of swiss cheese over the top.  
  6. Place the pan inside of your oven for about 5 minutes, or until the cheese has melted on top.  
  7. Enjoy! 

Monday, March 9, 2015

Mother Nature News Article

Mother Earth News just named Our Little Coop as one of 11 Fascinating Farm Blogs!  We feel pretty honored.  Thank you MNN!

You can find the entire article HERE.

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