Let's do some back yard exploring
Ideas from the Humane Society March 8, 2010
Everything you need to help see, identify and document the plants and creatures in your yard
Ready, set, explore.
Curious to learn more about your backyard? Putting together an explorer's kit is a great first step. Here's what you need to get started:
- Notepad and pencil (for sketches or journaling)
- Magnifying glass (to examine leaves, feathers, and other findings)
- Small shovel or trowel (to uncover interesting things in the soil)
- Jar with lid (to collect tiny creatures for brief observation)
- Shallow pan (to spread soil in while looking for tiny inhabitants)
- Flashlight with red cellophane (red won’t disrupt night vision)
- Silver, Donald M. One Small Square: Backyard. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1993. (This is an excellent backyard nature activity book for kids—or for anyone else with a healthy amount of curiosity!)
Veggie Burger Wallet
Tiffany from Replayground.com was kind enough to recreate her fabulous card holder using one of Amy's boxes. Here are the instructions to make one using a left over Amy's Veggie burger carton. To view more of her recycled crafts, check out her website.
description: The cool graphics on cereal boxes are much too valuable to throw away. Turn it into something that you can store your valuables inside. With a little bit of elastic, you'll have a crafty new wallet in no time. It also works great as a business card holder.
- paper scoring tool - like a butter knife or bent paperclip
- small paperpunch (1/8" hole) or tack
1. Cut out the template and place it on top of your box. Trace around the edges.
2. Cut along the lines and punch holes where indicated either with a small paper punch or a tack. If you’re using a tack, wiggle the tack in the hole so it’s large enough to fit the elastic cord through.
3. Then, place the ruler on top of your cut-out and run your paper scoring tool along the lines. Fold at these lines.
4. Tie a double knot at one end of your cord and slip through hole A with the knot on the inside of the box. Then thread through B, going through the inside of the box and ending on the outside. Next, thread in through C and out through D. Then, thread in through E, and back in through F ending on the inside of the box.
5. Tuck in tabs A and F and fold up the wallet. Then tie a double knot in the end to secure. Make sure the elastic is snug, but not too tight. Slip the elastic over the corners of your wallet and it's ready to be filled with your money, business cards or even coupons to buy more cereal.
The instructions are here: http://www.replayground.com/pages/diy/wallet.asp
I've attached the final pics too
Wondering what to do with those left over Amy's burrito wrappers? Make a snazzy tote!
Vickie Howell, host of Knitty Gritty and author of many fabulous crafting books has agreed to take on an Amy’s recycling project. Vickie has provided the pattern to make a nifty tote out of Amy’s burrito wrappers. Start saving your burrito wrappers and after you have 12-14 wrappers you are ready to make this great tote.
Vickie is also a vegetarian and we have posted an interview with her on our myspace page. Read on to find out how to make this great Tote bag!
Burrito Bag - Recycled Wrapper Tote Instructions
By Vickie Howell
12-14 Amy’s burrito wrappers
1 roll silver, adhesive-backed contact paper
Ruler or quilters square
Rotary cutter & self-healing mat (optional)
Heavy duty needle
2, 23” pieces unbleached webbing
Paperweights (empty glass bottles work well)
Finished Size: 9.5”x14”x5”
1. Cut ends off and down the backside of packages, giving you flat packages to work with . Cut rectangles, squares and triangles out of wrappers to be pieced together on bag. It’s a good idea to cut out a few extras in case ripping occurs. Set aside.
2. Cut out: 2, 10.5”x15” ; 2, 6”x10.5”; and 1, 10”x15” pieces of contact paper.
3. Starting with one of the 10.5”x15” pieces, lay contact paper out on a table (with adhesive side up) and carefully pull-off backing. Since the paper tends to curl in on itself, it’s helpful to place paperweights at edges of all four sides of piece.
4. Leaving a little less than a ½” border around the contact paper piece, lay out burrito wrappers next to each other as if you were putting together a puzzle. Use your fingers to smooth down any air bubbles. (Note: If you choose to overlap any wrappers, you’ll need to glue down those areas otherwise, the contact adhesive will be enough to do the job!)
5. Use scissors to snip ½” squares (doesn’t need to be exact) off of all four corners of contact paper backing. Fold all four of the border edges over ½”—this will create a clean, finished edge.
Repeat steps 3-5 for remaining 10.5”x15” (back) and 6”x10.5” (sides) contact paper pieces. You’ve now created the “fabric” for your tote bag. Yay!
6. Remove backing on 10”x15” piece and fold in half lengthwise, creating a double layer for bottom of bag.
1. Using machine, heavy duty needle and ½” seam allowance, top-stitch the top edges the front, back and side pieces.
2. With wrong sides facing and ¼” seam allowance, sew the front, sides, back and bottom together. Take it slowly—the contact paper can be a wee bit slippery!
3. Measure 1 ½” in from each end of top edge of front piece and sew webbing into bag by placing raw edge on the wrong side, and top stitching on the right side. Repeat on back piece.
Vickie Howell is the mother of two sons, member of the Austin Craft Mafia, co-host of Lifetime’s web series CRAFTED; columnist for KIWI and Knit.1 Magazines; host of DIY & HGTV’s Knitty Gritty; and author of several books including the upcoming: Pop Goes Crochet and Sustainable Stitching. Her line of environmentally friendly yarn, the Vickie Howell Collection by SWTC, is available in yarn stores nationwide. For more information go to: www.Vickiehowell.com.
To find out more about Vickie Howell, her television show or her books, log on to her website.