Bird Nesting Materials DIY

It started with my first trip to Terrain, which is Anthropologie/Urban Outfitter’s new gardening cousin with built-in coffee shop and restaurant.

It’s pretty heavenly: well stocked with succulents, plants of all kinds, organic beauty products, gorgeous decor and furniture for your home. If you’re worried that the Anthropologie prices being a little out of your league, you can always grab a cup of coffee and bask in its beauty.

Anyway, while a friend and I were ogling at all of the items they have for sale, I stumbled upon a nesting ball (not available online, similar: Birds Choice Cotton Tail Nesting Ball) and gushed at how excited I would be to have some birds nesting in our yard.

Then I suddenly realized, “Wait, I have this stuff at home. This looks like dryer lint!”***

Though I originally considered reusing the plastic netting from a bag of oranges, like this:

orange produce netting

But we have a body of water in our backyard and I couldn’t risk it falling in and doing damage to any of the wildlife. I took to Pinterest, and found out how to make netting with some yarn I already had in my craft collection. I knew it would be easy, but I didn’t realize how easy.

After making the netting, I tied the ends together to make it into a little sack. I filled it with mostly colorful things, in hopes that I’ll be able to spot the nest more easily from my office window.

bird nesting materials

Most birds are beginning to build their nests at this time of year, so I recommend putting your own out soon if you’re an aspiring #crazybirdlady like I’m turning out to be. If you don’t have a hoard of craft supplies, the Amazon version is all natural, great for all nesting birds, and it’s available on prime :).

***Don’t use dryer lint for nesting materials! Use things like cotton, reeds, pet hair, wool, fabric scraps, yarn scraps, etc. Dryer lint doesn’t have the structure that the bird needs for its nest, though it looks like wool or cotton, which does. If you don’t

D.I.-whY?

“Why do you do it yourself? Why not buy it instead?”

“Yeah. What’s your why?”

During Monarch Workshop, I was asked this, and I started overflowing with answers to the question. I thought I’d share some of my reasoning.

I’ve been a maker for as long as I remember.

When I was a child going through chemotherapy, I spent much of my time in the local children’s hospital, where they had a well-stocked toyland of a playroom on every single floor. Every time I was recovering from my latest treatment, all I wanted to do there was use their canvas and paints, and I could care less about any of the other toys.

The women before me were makers.

My Granny owned a business selling her pies. My Meemaw taught me how to embroider when I was five. One year, when our mother asked what we wanted to be for Halloween, my sister aInswered, “a princess on a pony,” and I, “a flower in a pot,” and that’s precisely what we were.

I have expensive taste.

Good design isn’t cheap. By the time lower-end manufacturers catch on to trends, their attempts at creating something “just as good” often falls short of the mark. (Not to mention that you have to consider HOW things are made cheap to begin with.) With a few tweaks and a fraction of the cost, I can get the look for less without breaking the bank. And who doesn’t love that?

I want to reduce my environmental footprint.

I’ve got serious guilt issues when it comes to throwing things away. When I was growing up, we didn’t have a whole lot, so I always wanted to keep what I did. It’s like the old ladies that survived the depression and hide money everywhere, I guess. When I was older and learned about how our consumerist culture is affecting the planet, it gave me fuel to my thrift-and-adjust or change-don’t-toss ways of life.

It is all mine.

Don’t you love the feeling when someone compliments something you’re wearing or something in your home? When you’ve got an awesome story about a great deal you got on it, it’s even better. But putting your BLOOD, SWEAT AND TEARS (or, more often than not, just a little bit of effort) into something and getting kudos without the other person knowing? Knowing that they can’t go out and buy it? Golden.

It’s the climb.

Cue Miley Cyrus when she was still a doe-eyed teenager. Yeah, it takes more time than heading to Target and making it happen. I find making things fun, though. Like prefer-it-over-a-Saturday-night-rager fun. Not that I’m invited to those anyway, I’m a cool mom, but not that kind of cool mom.

Pride.

I could finish projects a lot more quickly than I do. And it’s not because of piled up housework, responsibilities as a wife and mom. It’s not because of procrastination, or because I’m second guessing my creative choices. Though the latter plays a role in the time frame I start a project, what slows me down during the process is the roughly one hundred or so times I step back, admire what I’m doing, and get overwhelmingly excited about what I’ll be looking at upon completion. It’s the pause, the thought, “This is going to be so awesome,” the bask, then resuming.

 

I’ve heard of people saying before that their hobbies are like breath, they can’t live without it. It’s not that way for me–I can live without being a maker. I just wouldn’t chose to.

Why do you DIY? Leave your answer below in the comments.

Why do people Do it themselves when they can buy it in a store

 

My Kitschy Kitchen is Complete

Well, for now*.

Bright Bazaar calls it “make-you-smile style.”

Jonathan Adler calls it “Happy Chic.”

OhJoy! keeps it simple and calls it “whimsy.”

These designers/bloggers and I have one thing in common: they design around the idea that your home and the things in it should make you happy. To them, there’s no need for fussy formalities; your home should be, look, and feel FUN. I never called it anything, but I’ve loved bright colors and silly accents for as long as I can remember.

It’s been a while since I posted about home project plans, so I thought I’d give a quick update on some progress I’ve made. Continue reading

New House Project Plans

I’ve been a shopping, cleaning, box opening, credit card swiping fool for the last couple of weeks, but I finally cleaned up and cleared boxes enough to share some progress pictures.

I have so many DIYs in store for this house, and my little head was going to burst if I didn’t go ahead and map some things out. The first room(s) I have cleaned up are the living/dining room combo and the kitchen. We have an open floor plan for these rooms, so they’re pretty much one space. (The way I figure, it’s only a different room if you can’t see its mess from where you are. hah!)

In my previous post about the new house in Connecticut, I showed you how the home we bought is a completely blank slate. We received the keys two weeks ago from this afternoon, so don’t expect any magic to have happened. In fact, it looks less like my Scandinavian + colorful  intentions, and more like a crummy apartment in need of therapy. In due time!

Continue reading

All moved in!

We’re finally moved into our Connecticut home. It’s been a long time coming, as we first learned about the possibility of moving to the Tri-State area back in March. We closed on Tuesday, the movers came and dropped all of the boxes off in the appropriate rooms on Wednesday, and here I am Thursday with the rest of the work that moving entails.

I wanted to take a break from unpacking, laundry, and the madness to show y’all some before photos from our new house. I just love the space. It’s smaller than our first house in Houston, but it’s much cozier, the floor plan works better for us, and there’s not going to be any minimally used spaces like we had before.

Another big difference between this house and our Houston house is that it’s been recently completely redone. New windows, roof, kitchen, baths, everything. And everything is WHITE. As the cable installation man left yesterday, he said to us, “I can finally say that I’ve visited the white house.”

This is perfect for me, because it is a blank slate to decorate as I wish, but without the headaches and never-ending project of remodeling.

Without further ado… Continue reading