Friday, 13 April 2012

Chicken Update

Lots of exciting news since the last chicken post, we had our first egg on march 16th from Ginger much earlier than we expected. So that was a big surprise not only to us but also to the chicken who was caught short and laid it in the middle of her run with a very confused look on her face.

The egg on the bottom is our first egg from Ginger, the egg on the top is for size comparison, it is a medium free range egg and only slightly larger. It was about a week later we started getting eggs from Dotty, then another week after that that Zelda joined in, rather dramatically as her first two eggs came just an hour apart with no shells.

This was a few days worth of eggs at the beginning of April, as you can see a different size and colour from each chicken, very handy for recipes requiring different sizes and the children love to pick out the egg they want for lunch. The chickens have changed quite a lot too, their combs and wattles have grown as has their tameness.

This is dotty now, she lays the caramel brown speckled eggs and loves to sit next to you on the garden bench especially if you have food.

This is an updated photograph of Ginger, layer of the first egg, she lays quite large medium brown eggs and is quite vocal.

This is what Zelda looks like now, she lays the light creamy coloured eggs. She is 'the boss' chicken and a regular escapologist, my husband has had to raise the height of the run several times. When she escapes she usually just digs for worms and grubs in the veg beds, although once she was caught eating the cabbages.

This is a very common view of the chickens, always digging about. They are currently watching my husband making some changes to keep Zelda in.

The chickens are very curious creatures, what ever you do in the garden, they are right there with you especially if you are digging or weeding. As soon as they hear the back door open they come running up to greet you, or should I say frisk you for food.

The children have been having the time of their lives spending time with the chickens and can often be found in fits of giggles, worm in hand being chased round the garden by three chickens. This has also been very educational for them and they have learnt many new things, one of their favourite jobs is collecting the eggs while they are still warm.

We now get three eggs every single morning and got a very large surprise the other day as you can see above. The egg was huge and weighed almost double that of some of the other eggs, it was laid by Dotty and turned out to have a double yolk.

Here is another picture of the large egg next to two of the other eggs I had in the egg box. We are all enjoying being chicken keepers and especially loving our three little feathered friends at the bottom of the garden.

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Melted Fabric Flowers

Over the Winter I have been trying out a few crafts and I thought I would share a couple of photographs here with you quickly. Melted fabric flowers are something I have been wanting to try for a few years, and kept putting off, but as it turns out they are quite simple.

I have cut out a few circles of man-made fabric decreasing in size towards the middle and snipped the edges where the petals should go. Then you slowly lower the edges towards a candle flame...I started quite high above the candle you will notice when the fabric starts to melt probably about 4 to 6 inches above the flame, you need a gentle approach here and never get low enough to touch the flame.

Man made fabric melts whereas natural fabric would probably burn, I took safety precautions here and had a bowl of water close by just in case but nothing has ever caught fire. As you can see in the photo when the edges melt they curl inward like flower petals. I have stacked together a few colours and glued beads in the center to give the flower an anemone look.

I used one of the flowers on this hand made card for my daughter. I also sewed one on the crochet hat I made for my youngest daughter.

This hat was very simply worked without a pattern just increasing from a ring until it was the right size. I made the flower to go on the side of the hat as seen in the above photo but my daughter had other ideas and always wore it on the front of her head like a little mini pink Dalek.