Thursday, May 23, 2013


This is the story of a boy and his chicken
We started raising chickens last year and I have to tell you they are the best pets EVER. They stay outside, you feed/water them once a day, they make wonderful fertilizer for the garden, they weed the garden and you get fresh eggs.  What other animal will do your gardening chores? And if you really never tried a fresh egg, you really must, its wonderful! 

To start your chicken adventure, you really only need a storage container, heating lamp and bulb, bedding, food and water. Local animal feed shops carry day-old female chicks and all the material to start your urban farm. You can also order chickens and chicken materials online. 

It is very important to make sure you select the right breed of chicken for you. We go for the gentle tempered breeds so that the chickens, the kids, and the bunny can all play together peacefully (mostly).  My Pet Chicken actually has a search engine to help you find the right breed. Would you like some chickens and don't know where to start? My Pet Chicken also has a helpful Chicken Care Guide to get you started.

As your chickens grow and start hopping out of the box, you have to get them outside and into housing. I would love to let my chickens roam free, only we have a serious chicken hawk problem. I lost 4 chickens last year to birds of pray. I would say the most difficult and expensive part about chickens is the housing. Recently I've found several people on the internet who re-purposed old children's playhouses into coups, very creative and very easy and less expensive. I wish I thought of that!!!

Urban gardening has become quite popular recently, probably because its very easy and the benefits are so high. You would be surprised how many townships allow chickens! 

This year, our friend gave us some eggs to put under our existing hens to hatch and boy was that fun for the kids, but it drove me crazy. Every day, for 21 days, the kids asked me if the chickens hatched yet. When they finally did (23 days later) we were over the moon with our new little peeps! We decided to do a photo shoot to capture the cuteness!!! Now if I could just get the kids to corporate for their photo shoot as easily as the chicks!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Make Thyme for Mom!

As you can see from this blog, we really love giving and getting plants! What better way to share a plant with someone than by personalizing your gift with something you did yourself!  Mother's Day is coming up so I am adding a clever saying on this one to make it memorable!  


  • Terracotta Pots (I used 4 inch)
  • Acrylic Paint in your choice of colors (I used one 2 oz bottle to do 2 coats on 7 of my pots)
  • Paint brush/ paint sponge
  • Black Sharpie Marker or paint pen
  • Water proofing spray for your pot (you can use a Thompson's water sealer or a clear acrylic sealer. If you are going to plant edible plants, then it is important to use a nontoxic sealer.)
  • One penny per pot to cover the hole to keep in the soil but still allow for drainage
  • Soil
  • Thyme plants or seeds
  • Paint Mask


Rinse your terracotta pots with water and let completely dry.  This will wash away any clay dust that will get into your paint. I usually let them dry overnight.

Put a white/cream/light colored primer coat on your pot.  This helps the color go on smoother and remain more true to color.  Since this is your primer coat, only one coat is necessary, don't worry about streaks.

Paint your base color.  This will require two coats. Allow your first coat to dry (this happens pretty quickly maybe 10-20 minutes. An exact time is not able to be given due to temperature and humidity conditions as well as the thickness of paint that effect this time, but you will know because the paint is no longer glossy.)

Paint your accents!  Always use two coats with dry time between each coat!  If wanting to write something or add certain details, you can use a Sharpie or paint pen to help make this easier and neater for you!  No need to try to fight with a brush for this step!  This should be fun and not stressful!   You can also use Q-tips or the eraser on the back of a pencil to make your dots or cut sponges to make shapes with your paint.   Get creative!!

When you have allowed your project to dry/cure for 24 hours, it is time to waterproof your pot inside and out.  Follow directions on the label of your product.  Remember if this is a planter for an edible plant, you need a nontoxic water sealer to prevent chemicals from leeching into your soil and then your plants.

Put a penny, rock, piece of broken pot, or other item in the bottom of you pot to cover the hole and help with drainage without soil loss, then fill with soil and plant your seeds or plant!  Now you have a one of a kind gift that everyone will love!

If you want to make the watermelon pot, I used Apple Barrel Light Pink for my base and then painted Folkart Extreme Glitter Neon Pink over it.  I then used Apple Barrel Sage Green with the Folkart Extreme Glitter Peridot.  Then Black Sharpie Marker for the seeds and writing!  Using a Sharpie was a lot easier than trying to paint the seeds and write with a brush and black paint!  One tip to remember though is to make your seeds random and this is a case of less is more!  

The most fun I had with this project was using the Extreme Glitter paint!  I love it!  I see a lot of sparkly things in my garden in the future!  I really loved this product!  Happy painting!

Grade: A

Skill Level: Easy to Moderate
Difficulty Level: Easy to Moderate
Frustration Level: Mild

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Turning Trash Cans Into a Work of Art

If you have animals or enjoy feeding the wild birds then you always have an issue with where to keep the food/grain/seed. If you keep it in your garage or shed, you run the risk of getting bugs and rodents. According to my local feed store.  the best way to do it is to keep it in a galvanized trash can outside. However, that galvanized trash can is ugly (U-G-L-Y ugly, and it ain't got no alibi cuz its ugly) and most importantly, it doesn't go with the decor in my outside living space.  Eventually, I had to give into the ugly can when a brigade of crazy squirrels, high on pesticides, ransacked my garage and ate through the rubber maid container full of chicken feed.

I bought 2 cans of Rustoleum spray paint and some lace doilies from the dollar store. 

1) Painted my can and some other garden metal things blue so they would match.  I waited a few days for everything to dry, 

2) Used painters tape to tape on the lace doilies,

3) Spray painted green over the doilies then removed them,

4) Waited 2 hours to dry, put the seed in the can and placed strategically in my garden along with the other blue painted items.

Grade: A

Skill Level:Easy

Difficulty Level:Easy

Frustration Level: Mild

OOPS!!! Next project: Painting the cement driveway.

Here is a bigger view!! So cute!!