Category Archives: Eco-friendly living ideas

Bag Of Nest Building Material, Great Gift For Birds Or Bird Lovers

Help make a bird’s job of nest building a little easier by providing it with wonderful nest building materials. After you make it, hang outside in early spring for the birds to discover. Then keep your eyes out for nearby bird’s nests: you might spot some of your offerings.

How to: Save a plastic mesh produce bag: they are the bags that oranges and onions usually come in at the grocery store. Loosely stuff your mesh produce bag with any of the following:
bits of left-over yarn, sheep’s wool , wool roving (ask a spinner), dryer lint (especially when you are drying a wool blanket or are felting a wool sweater ; but I wouldn’t recommend using fabric softeners, because the birds don’t need the added chemicals.) You can also use: fur, human hair, horse hair, snake skins(sure why not), leaves, feathers, plant fluff from a cattail plant or from a milkweed pod, straw, tree bark, pine needles, moss… For fun add: small colorful pieces of scrap yarn (5 inches more or less), strips of cloth, shredded paper… Experiment and see what happens.
Quick gift for nature lovers of all ages.

How To String A Better Clothes Line: Don’t Let Your Cloths Get Rained On


Using a clothes line can save you a lot on energy bills. Better than that, using the sun to dry your clothes doesn’t produce any pollution.

We’ve come up with a clothes line situation that works well for us. First off it is close by: right out my door. Second, it is located under an overhang of the roof so my cloths never get re-wet by an unexpected rain. Third, it is located out on the side of my house so it is not in immediate view of visitors.

A carport might also be a good location for a clothes line if there is plenty of air circulation.

How to:
A. Screw an eyehook(s) into the wall: one for each line you intend to string. Remember to place the clothes lines high enough so you can walk under them without hitting your head.

B. Use a carabiner because it has one side that has a spring-hinge (that opens) making it easy to take down and re-hang the clothes line. (optional)

C. Tie a clothes line to the carabiner.

D. Attach an eyehook to the opposite wall at the same height and matching location on the wall. Lace the clothes line through.

E. Pull the line tight and tie off the clothes line(s) on a cleat.

*All supplies can be found at your local hardware store. Pick out hardware that will be resistant to rust.

How To Make Fun Recycled Sweater Produce Pillows

Don’t be limited by the designs I have here. Have fun! Be creative!

For detailed instructions including ball stencils, check out my post called How To Make Fun Recycled Sweater Beach Ball Pillows.

Be creative and design your own leaves or use the Leaf Stencils for Produce Pillows

To make the leaves on these clever pillows you will need to score a wool sweater from a thrift store, friend or yard sale. It is not uncommon for people to accidentally felt their sweaters by machine washing with warm or hot water. During the felting processes, the sweater will shrink; thus, they end up at donation spots. Sweaters with a hole or stain can easily be worked around. Another good idea is to use an old army green wool blanket. I didn’t use it for any of these leaves but it works great.

Felting Wool Sweaters
You can intentionally felt old sweaters by putting it in the washing machine and wash with hot water and detergent. Not much to it.

Delicious looking Red Apple Pillow
To make an apple pillow, you will need a red sweater or a T-shirt, a scrap piece of a brown sweater and a small piece of a green felted wool sweater. Follow the general instruction on how to make a beach ball pillow only sew on a green leaf cut from the wool sweater. Felting instructions above.


Vine-Ripe Tomato Pillow
To make a tomato pillow, you will need a tomato red sweater or a T-shirt, and a few small pieces of a green felted wool sweater. I used a very thin red sweater. Follow the general instruction on how to make a beach ball pillow then sew on three green leaves cut from the wool sweater. Felting instructions above.


Berry Blue Blueberry Pillow
To make an blueberry pillow, you will need a blue sweater or a T-shirt, a scrap piece of the blue sweater for the top circle and a piece of a blue felted wool sweater. Follow the general instruction on how to make a beach ball pillow only sew the circle on top of the felted piece as in the picture. Felting instructions above.


Autumn Pumpkin
To make a pumpkin pillow, you will need an orange sweater or a T-shirt, a scrap piece of a brown sweater and a small piece of a green felted wool sweater. Follow the general instruction on how to make a beach ball pillow only sew on a green leaf cut from the wool sweater. Felting instructions above.

Orange Grove Pillow
To make an orange pumpkin pillow, you will need an orange sweater or a T-shirt, a scrap piece of a brown sweater and a small piece of a green felted wool sweater. Follow the general instruction on how to make a beach ball pillow only sew on a green leaf cut from the wool sweater. Felting instructions above.

Blueberry Crisp Made From Locally Grown Blueberries; From Our Backyard

summer

Glorious blueberries!

We were very excited this year when we finally had enough blueberries from our bushes (at one time) to make a blueberry crisp. I’ve been waiting many years for our bushes to get big. In the past at best we would get handfuls per day. I can’t wait until next year when I hope to have all we can eat with many more to freeze besides. That last sentence reminds me of one of my most favorite children’s books, Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey. You might want to check it out.

If you haven’t tried it, try freezing some blueberries. We call them popsicle berries: for a cool treat pop one or two in your mouth. Delightful! My kids beg for more.

Go ahead, plant some blueberry bushes is your yard and invest in your future.

Blueberry Pickers

I was going to get a picture of the crisp when it was fresh out of the oven but it was gone so fast I missed my chance. I enjoyed this dessert even more because I knew that the berries came from our back yard.

BLUEBERRY CRISP

Blueberries- enough to fill the pie crust, ¼ cup organic sugar, and 2 Tbs. cornstarch then 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice (Sugar, cornstarch and lemon are optional.) I usually skip the extras here.
Combine (with a pastry blender) 1 cup organic unbleached flour, ¾ cups organic oats, ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon, ½ cup packed organic brown sugar and ½ cup (1 stick) cold organic butter.
Tend your blueberry bushes all spring and in the summer when they become dotted with flavorful blue dots, go out in the yard and pick enough blueberries to fill the pie pan. Bring them inside, wash and remove any stems. Preheat oven to 375 decrees F. If it is important to you to thicken the blueberry juice and add even more sweetness, stir granulated sugar and cornstarch and then lemon juice with the blueberries. Put the blueberries or blueberry mixture into a pie pan.
I use a hand-crafted-in-Vermont pottery pie pan given to me by my father early in my marriage.


In a bowl, combine flour, oats, brown sugar, butter, and cinnamon. Combine ingredients with a pastry blender, two forks, or your fingers, mix until coarse crumbs form. Top your blueberries.
You will want to put a cookie sheet underneath the pie pan. Bake crisp 35 to 40 minutes or until it looks good. The fruit should be bubbly. Cool slightly and serve with vanilla ice cream.

Slugs In Your Garden? Use Beer Cans To Lure Slugs Before Recycling

Even the beer residue left in a can or bottle need not be wasted. In the evening, if you have an “empty” beer can or 2 or 3, try to remember to place them in your vegetable garden or among your landscape plants like hosta (slugs love to eat your hosta). During the night, slugs will go inside lured by the beer. In the morning, remove the cans from your garden. I don’t even waste the slugs because I feed them to my chickens. After shaking the slugs out, I rinse out the cans or bottles and put them in the recycle bin.

This Super -size slug was found outside my vegetable garden. Thankfully! Do you see the slime?! Check out the breathing pore.

C. Bennett wrote to let us know what kind of slug was in the above picture.

“It’s a leopard slug. Limax maximus to be precise…

I think their kinda pretty. And they eat other slugs!”