Living Room Mural/Nature Guide
We finally quit caring about that imaginary person that may or may not buy our house at some unknown time in the distant future. I think we let that person influence our decisions way too much. Of course it's important to consider the value of your house when doing anything to it. We don't want to devalue our house for a lot of reasons, but we also want it to be OUR house. So we quit caring about that cheap carpet in the craft room and when the kids get paint on it it's no big deal. We pulled the carpet out of the living room and now it doesn't really matter a whole lot what happens to that old wood floor. If and when we redo it there is nothing that can be spilled that will survive the amount of sanding we'll have to do anyway (except maybe a can of stain....) And if we choose not to redo the wood floor, we'll just cover it all anyway. So in other words: we really lightened up about our house. Hey, it's for living in right? So to set the new tone we started a big mural right in our living room. It's going to be a four season field guide. One wall for each season. It includes below and above water and ground. So we'll have hibernating critters, swimming fish, flying birds, burrowing snakes, worms, soil and rock layers, roots, and lots of plants. We'll keep you updated on the progress.
Magnetic Funny Faces
This is a great and easy way to entertain kids (and adults) for hours. Its really as simple as it looks. Cut out eyes, noses, and mouths out of magazines, glue magnets on the backs, and have fun! Some of the funniest faces come from using make up advertizements. It's also really funny if you can get a hold of a dog's mouth or something like that and add some pretty eyes. Get creative!
Bird feeder Dummy
This was an experiment which hasn't yet proven to be successful, but is still very much in the process. The goal is to train the wild birds to eat out of our hands while we sit on our deck. The method is simple. We made two dummies; one that looks like John and one that looks like Clare. We dressed the dummies up, printed and laminated images of John's and Clare's faces to put on the dummies heads, and put the dummies on the deck. Then we doused the dummies and the railings with bird seed. At first there was nothing. But eventually we had lots of birds eating on the deck and hopping all over the dummies. Now we just have to pick a time either replace the dummies, or join them. I think the important thing is to do it when it's really cold out. The birds are much more bold then. The problem is that it's much less comfortable then. We'll keep updating on the progress of the bird feeder dummy.