Category Archives: DIY

Homemade Suet for Birds

We got some wintery weather over the weekend, and I loved every minute! It wasn’t the 5-8 inches of snow the weather man promised, but I’ll take whatever I can get.

DIY suet for wild birds

DIY suet for wild birds

The temperatures have been in the single digits the last few nights, and when it gets that cold I start worrying about the wild birds. You Do It Suet was kind enough to give me one of their suet molds, and I figured the birds would appreciate a treat today.

The mold came with a book of recipes, and I tweaked one of them to use what I had on hand. I stirred together 5 tablespoons of dried mealworms, 5 tablespoons of Quick Oats, 5 tablespoons of whole wheat flour, and 3 tablespoons of peanut butter.

Yes, I had mealworms on hand. I’m not a total weirdo—my chickens love them. It was incredibly strange to measure worms into a mixing bowl though. You can use sunflower seeds in place of worms if you’re squeamish.

DIY suet for wild birds

I reheated my saved bacon grease, stirred it into the dry ingredients, and poured everything into the mold. Umm… yum? Daniel came into the kitchen smelling bacon and squealed when he saw my bowl full of worm soup.

DIY suet for wild birds

I put the mold in the freezer for a while, and then popped the suet out. I left it in the freezer for about 45 minutes. If I had left it longer the “You Do it Suet” logo would’ve turned out perfectly, but I was itching to feed my feathered friends. (They can’t read anyway!)

DIY suet for wild birds

DIY suet for wild birds

I haven’t put bird food out for at least 6 months, but within 1 minute of hanging the suet outside birds flocked around it and started chowing down!

DIY suet for wild birds

Fern seemed to love watching the birds with me for a few minutes. Then she started screaming and thrashing around, because nap time.

DIY suet for wild birds

Definitely consider the You Do It Suet mold if you want to try making your own suet, or if you need a thoughtful gift for a bird lover. It’s a great product and a nice way to put leftover cooking grease to use (or any leftover worms you may have sitting around your kitchen). You can also use it to make suet for your pet chickens, so you know I’m trying that next. Fat happy chickens, here we come!

Drawing Challenge 2016

What better way to start out the new year than with a fresh drawing challenge? If you’d like to join me, hashtag your drawings #WWdrawingchallenge on Instagram. I can’t wait to see what you make! Work at whatever speed is best for you—I’ll be posting two drawings a week on the blog for the month of January. Just because my shop is closed for maternity leave doesn’t mean I’m not still creating!

wit & whistle drawing challenge

THE CHALLENGE! Draw these things:

1. your favorite childhood toy
2. a monster
3. your favorite letter of the alphabet
4. a map
5. something that makes you laugh
6. where you live
7. a houseplant
8. something geometric

Koosh DIY Ornament

It’s time for my unofficial December tradition—a DIY ornament! I thought I had a really great idea for this year—spray paint a koosh ball gold! Remember koosh balls? It was going to be great on so many levels. First, I would get to smell a koosh ball (that wonderful nostalgic rubbery smell). Second, who doesn’t love spray painting things gold? Third, I imagined it would end up looking like a sparkling, starry, snowball of sorts. Sadly, my koosh ornament didn’t turn out as well as I hoped. You win some, you lose some.

golden koosh ornament diy

Things started out great, but the more paint I put on the more the rubbery tentacles clumped together. When I un-clumped them the paint peeled revealing bits of neon underneath, which gave the ornament that I-made-this-myself look (in a bad way).

golden koosh ornament diy

WOMP WOMP.

golden koosh ornament diy

Maybe the golden koosh isn’t the worst DIY ornament ever, but don’t go out of your way to make one or anything. I’d recommend making one of these lovely DIY ornaments from previous years instead—a wooden bead snowflake, a ceramic lace snowflake, or a monogram ornament.

golden koosh ornament diy

Butternut-Squash-O-Lantern

This year instead of carving a pumpkin for Halloween, I got the bright idea to carve a butternut squash. I don’t know what made me think I’d be able to easily summon enough brute strength to carve something pretty into one of these tough vegetables. Now that I’ve done it, I don’t recommend it. I see now that pumpkins are much more suitable to carving. That’s why it’s pumpkin carving, not squash carving, that became a Halloween tradition.

Halloween butternut squash carving

If you’re curious, this is how I Halloween-ified my squash. First I sliced the top off with my big chef’s knife. I planned to use a smaller knife to remove slices from the solid squash neck until it was hollow. Within a minute I had snapped my knife blade off in the squash.

I decided power tools were in order and got my drill. I didn’t get my battery-powered drill, I got my big manly drill that plugs into the wall. That worked pretty well to hollow out the neck of the squash. I drilled a bunch of holes until they all banded together and formed one big hole. Hole cooperation.

Halloween butternut squash carving

Next I flipped the squash over and cut a traditional serrated “pumpkin top” shape into the bulb at the bottom. I scooped the seeds out of the base and continued drilling down the interior length of the squash until the whole thing was hollow. Then I put the top and bottom back in place.

Halloween butternut squash carving

I tried to think of something to carve but couldn’t come up with anything that wouldn’t also lead to me losing a finger. I already had my drill out… so… I just drilled holes all over it. It’s a technique I used a few years ago on a pumpkin, but maybe I get bonus points for using a butternut this time? It’s way too much fun to drill holes in food with power tools. I couldn’t resist once I already had the drill laying there next to the squash. These are the drill bits I used.

Halloween butternut squash carving

Taadaa!

Halloween butternut squash carving

Halloween butternut squash carving

Happy Halloween everybody! What did you carve this year?

Denim Bleaching Attempt

I’ve had a jean jacket in my closet for a long time. I’d say over ten years. I don’t think I’ve ever actually worn it, because the fabric is so stiff and uncomfortable. I was going to donate it, but then I decided bleaching it might soften the fibers and give it a comfy, worn feel. I soaked my jacket in a bucket filled with a quart of bleach and 6 or 7 quarts of warm water for 4 hours.

denim bleaching attempt

The result was… meh. The jacket got quite a bit softer and more flexible, but my bleach bucket was a tad too small so I had to wad up the jacket a little to fit it in there. Although I stirred the bucket regularly, the wadding caused mottled dark splotches here and there where the bleach didn’t penetrate the fabric thoroughly (especially in the right armpit).

denim bleaching attempt

The worst part is that the whole jacket turned a strange yellowish green shade. It’s not that apparent in the photo above, but look at it next to standard blue denim…

denim bleaching attempt

I guess if there’s no regular blue denim nearby to compare it to, it doesn’t look too bad. I think I’ll keep it around for a while to see how often I end up wearing it.

denim bleaching attempt

Have you ever tried to bleach denim?