December Fun In The Making Workshops Are Forming Now

Schedule your workshop now before it’s too late.

Tea Cup Mouse workshop –one day ($20). Christmas “green” sewing and craft workshop –one day ($20). Christmas “green” sewing and craft workshop –two day ($40). Here are some dates to consider:(Available dates: Dec.4, 5, 11, 12, 18, 19, 29, 30)

So far: 4th & 5th -Christmas workshop (2 day)- full class.

Dec. 30th -Tea Cup Mouse workshop – space still available

*Join a workshop or schedule another.Students take home their projects at the end of the workshop. These projects are fun for holiday decoration and often make great gifts! Workshop times: 9 -2 or 12- 5 (depending on the time you schedule your workshop). This includes time for a lunch break or snack break. Students bring their own lunch or snack.

Tea Cup Mouse workshop –one day

Students will make an adorable Tea Cup Mouse.

Skills include machine or hand sewing and embroidering.

Bring: salvaged fabric for making the mouse body and a tea cup. If you can’t find something suitable to repurpose into a mouse, let me know so I can help.

Those who have time will work on accessories (like quilts, blankets, cloths) for their mouse.

Time permitting; students will make plastic peace dove ornaments out of recycled materials. These dove ornaments can also be made into a mobile or hung on windows to discourage bird collisions.

It will be a lot of fun!

Christmas “green” sewing and craft workshop –two day

Students will make:

On day one-

Little Birdie bread dough ornaments

Simple Stick star ornaments

Evergreen tree decoration made from fabric and includes a tree branch slice for a “stump”. (bring scrap fabric with a Christmas print, some shade of green, or any print you like!)

At the end of the day, students will help decorate a class tree with ornaments made from recycled materials.

On day two-

Little Birdie bread dough ornaments (paint)

Punched “tin” ornaments

Fabric peace dove or blue bird or cardinal ornament(s) (Student donations of scrap silk, wool, or other fabric pieces, beads, sequins, or buttons will be combined with the fabric and notions provided by the teacher and past workshops.

Hot Chocolate will be served while completing projects and finishing trimming the tree.

Christmas “green” sewing and craft workshop –one day

Students will make:

Evergreen tree decoration made from fabric and includes a tree branch slice for a “stump”. (bring scrap fabric with a Christmas print, some shade of green, or any print you like!)

Punched tin can lanterns or ornaments

Plastic Peace Dove Ornaments made out of recycled materials. These beautifully simple dove ornaments can also be made into a mobile or hung on windows to discourage bird collisions. (Please donate white plastic yogurt, cool whip, cream cheese or other similar container lids.

Hot Chocolate served while trimming the student’s class tree.

I’d be flattered if you recommended these workshops to a friend.

For additional information about classes including some project picture, go to

Punched Tin Christmas Tree Ornaments: An Easy To Make Children’s Craft

These vintage inspired punched “tin” ornaments are so easy to make. I’ve been meaning to post this project for ages. I love history and learning about how people lived. Isn’t it inspiring how resourceful and creative people can be. The early Americans were no exception, because glass was so expensive and not very durable, tin was used to make lanterns. Because tin wasn’t transparent like glass, holes were punched in the sides to allow the candle to shine through producing a beautiful display of spotted light. Often times elaborate patterns were made. These lanterns were my inspiration for this project. Although not necessarily tin, these metal tops make perfect sized ornaments. Furthermore, the edges are already smooth.

I hope you spend some quality time with the kids making attractive Christmas tree ornaments using salvaged materials.

These ornaments and many more were done free hand. My girls sure liked making them.

You will need a small hammer, a selection of nails, and a board or other hard surface to work on.

You will also need “tin” tops and ribbon or thread.

To make:

1. Collect the tops and bottoms of cylindrical packaging from chips, crescent rolls, biscuits, dinner rolls, etc…

2. Get a pattern or draw your own on paper (or use no pattern at all). When I make some patterns, I’ll post them here.

3. Hold or tape in place the pattern you are using. The pattern should be centered on your “tin” top.

4. Use a hammer and nail to make holes. Make sure you have a board (or an old cutting board) underneath so as not to ruin your table. Use a workbench if you have one.

5. Add an extra hole in the top for stringing a ribbon or cord through to hang on tree.

Another Spadefoot Toad in MD! Alive and Well

Yesterday my husband found me this live Eastern spadefoot toad in our yard while doing some digging. He remembered my recent post about the dead one I found and knowing I’d be excited, he saved it for me to see. It makes me wonder how many times I’ve come across a toad like this. At first glance, it looks similar to the common American toad. But if you look closer you will see that they look very different. For example, a spadefoot doesn’t have the glands (large bumps) on its head that an American toad has.

A toad that spends most of its time underground is hard to find. Are any of you Marylanders finding this toad?

I love its eyes: amazing!

So cool: I now have live Eastern spadefoot toad pictures to share!

We let it go of course, after this photo shoot.

Time To Install Storm Windows In The Chicken House

Here is a picture of our henhouse which was built almost entirely of salvaged materials.

In the fall before it gets really cold, I like to start winterizing my chicken houses. I cover screen windows with “storm windows”. I get out of storage the pieces of Plexiglas that I made a few years ago for that purpose.

Each window is custom fitted with a “storm window”. Therefore, to make it easier to install, I used a permanent marker to write the location of the window that it fit over.

How to tips: Measure and cut out pieces of scrap Plexiglas. I used a box cutter and a metal ruler to score the lines. Then I snapped it over the edge of a work bench. This primitive technique works well enough for chicken house window covers.

To attach the Plexiglas, pre-drill holes making sure that your exterior grade screws can freely fit through. Plexiglas will start to crack if the drill hole isn’t big enough. (See crack at the top of the window in picture.)Use the kind of washers that are rubbery. That way you can get a snug fit without stressing the fiberglass.

In the spring, I remove these window coverings.

More on winterizing our henhouse in another post.

Eastern Spadefoot Found

Dead toad picture; how appropriate for Halloween!

I found this dead toad on the road near my house in Southern Maryland. I’d never seen a toad like it before so I did what any weird, I mean curious, person would have done. I took a picture and did some research. Notice the strange claw thing on its foot. These toads dig in the ground.

Follow the link below to see pictures of a live toad, to hear its call and to learn more.