Chicken Diaries #2

It’s not every day that you see a chicken going for a ride in a grocery cart.  Like I told you in the first     Chicken Diaries post.  The chickens are very friendly.  Ginger I think is more like the family dog than the family chicken.

In Ginger went and about minute later she flew out of the cart.  I’m surprised she lasted that long.

Pic of the Day-Crayons

If I had to sum up my life today with a picture, this would be it.

Crayons, crayons, and more crayons.  We did a melted canvas project today in one of my classes.  It was very fun, very cool, and the students loved it.

Felt Sparrow Necklace

I’m kinda on a jewelry kick lately.  You’ll find with my posts that I love to do it all.  For this tutorial, I wanted to work in felt because of the bright colors.  I have this Mexican dress that has lots of hand embroidery on it in all different colors.  It was my source of inspiration.  I also have an affinity for birds.  Even before birds became all the rage as they seem to be right now.  So, putting the two ideas together gave me the idea for this necklace.

Here’s what you will need for the Felt Sparrow Necklace:

  • 2 small pieces of felt in high contrasting colors (Colors that will pop when put together!)
  • A piece of trace paper or cardboard for the template of your bird.
  • A pair of scissors.
  • Tacky Glue
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • DMC Floss
  • Chain
  • Lobster Claw Clasp (or similar clasp)
  • Round Jewelry Pilers
  • 2 Large Jump Rings (to attach chain to the felt on the back of the bird)
  • 1 Smaller Jump Ring (that is a good size to go with your lobster claw clasp)

My jewelry components were found at JoAnn’s.  The one packet contained jump rings and several lobster claws.  I found these to be the most cost effective.

Cut your two pieces of felt about 2″ x 5″.  Draw your bird design on tracing paper or on a piece of cardboard.  If you choose to use tracing paper, you could use any clip art for your bird image, print it out, enlarge it on a copy machine, and then trace the enlargement.  You could also use a paper design of a bird from a Cricket or Silhouette machine.

Place your pattern on top of the piece of felt and cut out the bird outline.

Pinch and fold your top piece of felt that is going to have the cut outs. Snip a hole into your piece of felt just large enough to get the tip of your scissors into. Carefully cut your shape. repeat as necessary.

Glue the two pieces of felt  together using Tacky Glue.  I used a toothpick to get coverage on some of the really small areas. Let the glue dry.

Next, you can leave your bird necklace like it is or you can further embellish it with DMC floss.  I will have to admit that I am an amateur when it comes to embrodiery.  I used mostly french knots to make the dots of color along the body of the bird.  The greenery along the neck of the sparrow is just a series of stitches at an angle.

Take and  cut two small pieces of felt about a 1/4″ thick by about 3/4″ long.  Make a loop and hot glue it to the back of the felt to secure both the felt and the loop.

Open your two larger jump rings with your round pliers.  Hook them through the felt loop.

Cut about 16″ of chain or open your links on your chain.  I held the chain up and to my kneck taking into account the sparrow and came up with 16″.   You can adjust the length of chain depending on whether you want a longer or shorter necklace.

Take the ends of the chain and attach them to the jump rings that are looped around the felt.  Close both the jump rings and the chain attached to the jump rings.

Now for the clasp…  Attach the smaller jump ring at the end of the necklace on one side.  The other side will get the lobster claw closure.  Open the lobster claw closure with the round pliers and attach it to the chain.

Now, you have a beautiful hand made, one of kind, piece of jewelry that’s a real eye catcher.  You’ll definitely get compliments.

 This is part of Get Your Craft On Tuesday at Today’s Creative Blog.

Chicken Diaries

This is just a little series based on the funny antics of our chickens.  I would never had guessed that chickens could be so funny.  We have jumped on the backyard chicken band wagon.  It all started when my daughter wanted chickens for her 7th birthday. My husband and Emma went to a local feed store that happened to be just right down the street.  Emma fell in love with them.  What seven year old wouldn’t?  So, after some research, debating, and some hemming and haughing, we decided to go for it.  We bought two Lacy Wyandotte chicks.  Emma came up with their names, Browney and Blackey.  Not very original, but cute, and this is what she wanted to name them and they were HER chickens.

We raised them from chicks that were 3 weeks old. The girls held, petted, and played with them.  We gave them lots of TLC and still do.  We watched them grow up to be these HUGE chickens.

Here, meet the girls.  This is Brownie and Blackie.  Brownie by far has the most beautiful markings.  Pretty golden and rust color browns with the black .  Brownie is sort of the ring leader and a real take charge girl.

With Blackie, the name says it all.  She has some of the golden and rusty colors but not like that of her sister.  Yes, they are sisters.  Blackie is the biggest and by far the heaviest of the chickens.  She is not so heavy that my daughter cannot carry her.  All of the chickens will let Emma pick them up and Emma often carries them into their coop at night.  We built the coop after the chickens were a little older…so they aren’t yet fully trained go to their coop at night and sometimes have to be carried.

We ended up receiving a third chicken.  At first, I wanted no part in having a third chicken.  Then I heard that a co-worker of my husbands had bought five chicks at once and it was too many for him.  If he couldn’t find a good home for this chicken, it was going to be SOUP.  I didn’t want that to happen.  So, I reluctantly said o.k. and here we are with a third chicken.  Her name is Ginger.  The elusive Ginger or sometimes we call her Roadrunner.

When we first got her she was in sad shape.  She was really skinny and her feathers looked unhealthy and were matted down.  It looked like she had been picked on and may have been the runt of the group.  My husband brought her home one night and the girls were so excited to have a third chicken.  Although, this didn’t bode well with the sisters who are inseperable.  Blackie immediately started pecking on her.  I guess it’s true what they say about the pecking order.  Eventually, they have grown to put up with each other and they all get along pretty well now.

Ginger has to be the funniest though.  This chicken LOVES to be around us.  Whenever we’re outside she is right there on our heels.  Emma picks her up like a dog and strokes her feathers.  Ginger will even come to the window in the evening to watch t.v. before it gets too dark.  Who knew chickens like to watch t.v.?  Yes, that is blue paint on Ginger.  When we painted the chicken coop, Emma painted her blue and tried to say Ginger did it.  She painted the chicken’s feet first.  I was convinced that it was Ginger who stepped in the paint.  This gave Emma free reign.  She thought Mommy was convinced Ginger was being a dummy and getting into the paint, so, Emma painted her feet some more.  Then I looked and the sides of her neck and they were painted.  We had a blue chicken.  Needless to say, Emma was so busted!  She had been found out.  My husband and I had to wash Ginger’s feet off in the laundry sink.  Never in a million years would I have imagined myself washing a LIVE chicken’s feet.

You can see a little of the remaining blue paint on Ginger’s neck feathers

So, this is my little introduction to our girls.  Besides providing us with more than a dozen, free range brown eggs a week, they are quite humorous.  I will be keeping you posted periodically of some of the antics of our backyard chickens.

 

Rainbow Hands

Here’s a great art lesson to teach color and color theory for kids ages 2 through 6. It is a super fun activity for kids anytime of the year, who doesn’t love a rainbow?

Materials you will need:

  • -Finger Paint
  • -Drawing Paper (I prefer not to use finger paint paper for this project because it’s a little too slippery.  Regular drawing paper is just perfect because it has a little texture which is great for applying the hand prints and little hands don’t slide as much.)
  • -Spoons or Paint Brushes
  • -Mixing Trays/Plates/Bowls
  • -Glue Stick
  • -Newspaper
  • -1 Piece of Constructions Paper (any color 12 x 18)
  • -Cotton Balls (4 to 6)

Begin by putting your finger paint in the trays.  Place a dab of each of your primary colors in a tray.  These three would be red, blue, and yellow.  To create your secondary colors, place a tray between each of your two primary colors. This helps the children to visualize the color relationship and see the colors side by side before they begin to stir the paint.

After explaining which two colors make the third color when mixed together, have your child mix them with a spoon or paint brush.

Line up all of your containers in a row in the rainbow order.

Now that you have this, it’s time to make the hand prints.  I have tested both of these two ways.  First, I put Lily’s hand directly into the finger paints.  This left too much finger paint on the paper and the hand print was not very clear.  The second and best way I found to make the hand print was to take either a foam brush or regular paint brush and paint the finger paint directly to your child’s hand.  To ensure that your child’s hand makes it to the area of paper you are aiming for, use the hand over hand method. Do this for each of the six colors, washing hands after each color has been used.

Let the finger paint hand prints dry. If you want to speed up this process, you can use a hair dryer. Cut each hand print out. Next, glue each hand print in order of the rainbow with a glue stick. Cut out two clouds, one for each of the sides of the rainbow. Glue these down too. Put a couple of books on top of the project and let it sit for a couple of minutes. This will prevent the edges of the hand prints or clouds from peeling up. After everything has dried and been flattened, have your kids glue the cotton balls on top of the clouds.

Now, you have made a fabulous looking rainbow and a keepsake project for your scrapbook while explaining to your kiddos how the 3 primary colors (red, yellow, &blue) make all the other colors in the rainbow.

I’ve moved

Hi…This is the new home of my blog. I’m in the process of moving from

http://artzycreations.blogspot.com/

Please bear with me while I work out any kinks in my new site.

Thank you,

Melanie

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