Not sure if you know it- but there are BIG doings afoot in our backyard. I have a plan that I drew to scale on graph paper and EVERYTHING. It’s wicked serious, yo. And so of course, I also have a Pinterest board full of many many many many (that’s probably almost enough) many many (yeah, that’s good.) ideas.
If you will allow me to sidetrack for a moment here, and I think you will because this is my blog and you can shove off if you don’t like it, I want to say a few words regarding Pinterest. I love that site. I know there are a multitude of people who are all “blargh, Pinterest people are the worst, everybody hates them, those moms need to GET A LIFE, and also it’s just a horrible comparey place that highlights all the failure in my life and makes me feel like shit and it fosters a sense of discontent with what you have and is BAD FOR YOUR SOUL”. And to those people I say, it is what you make it. I love it. I am a visual person and so having my bookmarks all splayed out in a picturesque way is a thousand billion times better than like a hundred links that I’ve oh so carefully saved into an “unsorted” folder in my browser window, never to be opened again. Are there some ridiculous things that make their way around on that site? Of COURSE there are. But there are also some great ideas. And I’ve chosen to make my pinterest experience based in reality. I don’t pin millions of outfits I’ll never wear, or food that I’ll never make, or even houses that are waaaay too grand for my life. I pin ideas that I want to refer to in REAL LIFE. Also, sometimes a funny quote that just hits me the right way. (Don’t judge me by my someecards.)
And you know what? That means I accomplish a surprising number of the ideas I pin.
(Ps. businesses, GTFO of pinterest. You do not belong. You are trying too hard and it shows.)
(And one last thought- It used to be so much cooler back when you needed an invite to get an account. Though I will admit- even I am not cool enough for what Pinterest was in its infancy.)
But I digress. I have this board full of ideas for my backyard, and I’m trying to burn through as many as I can until I look up and it’s friggin winter again. Today’s project was to make a butterfly feeder to hang on the fence. I had the bottle (a great cider bottle from last fall that I saved because “It’s such a good bottle, I’m sure I can use it for something” and you know what, Nate? BAM. I’m not just a hoarder, I JUST PROVED IT.), and last week we went and bought paints and stencils, and I scrounged up some string, and so today we set to it. First we stuck the entire packet of reusable stencils onto the bottle (we didn’t clean it with alcohol first because I don’t so much do the fine print of directions, but I guess you’re supposed to do that?)
They are Martha Stewart brand stencils, but I’m quite sure the haphazard placement is not anywhere close to a martha-approved approach.
We talked about the dab-dab-dab technique of stenciling… but met with mixed success. About halfway through Fiona broke her paintbrush and moved on to a fingerpainting approach that actually worked pretty well because it allowed for finer control of color-layering.
You’re supposed to let the paint cure for some ridiculous number of days, OR you can set it in the oven and let the paint bake on. I went with that because patience is not really my bag. Luckily I read enough of the directions that I knew to put the painted bottle into a cold oven and THEN heat it up to 350 for a half hour. While we waited, we made up the butterfly nectar. The tutorial we were following said to do 4 parts water to 1 part sugar, but then I came across another one that said 9 parts water to 1 part sugar and to be careful not to use too much sugar because it will dehydrate the butterflies… I hope we didn’t make ours too sweet.
Okay, now imagine that I didn’t forget to take a picture of the completed but unfilled jar.
See how pretty it looks?
Okay, now let’s go outside.
Once the bottle was done, I grabbed the string and tied a sort of net around it, and kind of improvised a little feeder at the bottom. I’m not entirely sure it will hold, it looks okay, but I’ll have to check and make sure it doesn’t start to leak.
I want to get a nice big plant hanger type thing to hang it on, but Finn was excited to get it up today, and so we temporarily hung it on the hook for our (possibly illegal, definitely frowned upon) clothesline.
And because my children are insane in only the most delightful of ways, the feeder immediately attracted some butterfly attention.
She just disappeared into the house for a few minutes and returned in this. I think it’s because I told her to STOP LICKING THE STRING THAT’S ONLY FOR THE BUTTERFLIES.
Mmmmm. Sugar water through a dirty old string. Butterflies have it made, yo.