DIY Wildlife Feeders + Homes Projects

While researching my new clip art sets, DIY Wildlife Feeders Clip Art and DIY Wildlife Houses, I consulted a few books and websites. Here are a some that I would recommend to help you with your own similar projects. (Note that the books are Amazon affiliate links.)

Wildlife Gardening A DK book by Martyn Cox from 2009; hardcover 80 pp SLJ (School Library Journal) grades 3-6. This book has a lot of projects reasonably within reach of kids, though most with adult help. All the projects seem to have real, practical use in the garden or for STEM explorations. Because it is British, you will want to swap out plants native to your area for their native recommendations.

Kids’ Easy to Create Wildlife Habitats by Emily Stetson, illustrations by J. Susan Cole Stone from 2004; paperback 128 pp SLJ grades 2-5. Filled with information about backyard wildlife and habitats, including modern problems they face, this book also offers many useful, practical projects for making wildlife-friendly spaces.

The Wildlife-Friendly Vegetable Gardener by Tammi Hartung, illustrations by Holly Ward Bimbo from 2013; paperback 144 pp. A book aimed at adults and filled with charming illustrations on every page. Offers ways to encourage wildlife in a peaceful coexistence with your garden. Includes ideas for feeders and shelters.

The website daviddomoney.com offers a free, downloadable PDF guide to making an insect hotel that appeals to a variety of bugs, plus projects to make shelters for solitary bees, lacewings, or ladybugs.

The greatstems.com blog has a nice collection of wildlife projects for kids, including feeders and shelters.

There is good information on bumblebees and their nesting habitats at bumblebeeconservation.org.

My Pinterest board, Kid’s Gardening, has many other links to related projects.

Cooking with Kids

I have been working on sets of illustrations inspired by a Facebook conversation where I asked the question, “If, for some reason, you could only teach your child to cook five or six things really well, what would they be?” The answers attempted to assemble versatile recipes which could act as building blocks, covering as many of the basic techniques of cooking and baking as possible.

I answered with “no-knead bread, because it’s easy and really good; pasta with variations, because it’s versatile and cheap if you’re broke; and roast chicken, because it’s pretty cheap, easy, and can be served as a fancy dinner or for several meals,” and I think I’d add a quick bread or cookies, and soup.

I have completed two sets of illustrations for this Cooking with Children series, Cooking Minestrone and Baking Popoversavailable in my creativemarket shop. I may add a Baking Quick Bread set eventually since popovers are not as versatile but my daughter loves them and has been baking them since she was very young.

These illustrations are available as clip-art sets in my tpt shop [edit – I have replaced these with Knife Skills and Kitchen Measuring sets, the originals are still available by special request].

I also have cooking-themed merchandise available on redbubble.

And I have six Cooking School fabric designs on spoonflower. Eventually, I’d like to create a set of kitchen towels with the basic steps of the recipes that can be used as a guide by kids who are learning how to cook.

 


 

New 13sparrows logo

 

I’ve been working on a new logo. My old logo showed a song sparrow with 13 dots overhead and didn’t incorporate my business name. My redesigned logo features my business name prominently surrounded by a silhouetted flock of 13 sparrows. The background color is dark blue and can be changed to match the usage. It also works in a square variation, too.


Another big change I’ve made has been the creation of a unifying color palette for my teacherspayteachers clip art. Previously, I did have a color palette I used in all the tpt work but it was limited and muted. The new palette is more intense, while still reflecting my personality. My clip art on tpt stands out from much of the other work there in its simplicity.

The logo redesign and the color palette change gives me the opportunity to update my thumbnail previews on tpt, too, creating a cleaner look. As I update each set, starting with the Witch School Clip Art, I am adding preview files to give a better view before purchasing, plus index files for customer records.

E-book of new TPT sellers

I am excited to have a couple of pages in the ebook of new clip-art shops on TPT, highlighting tpt stores like mine that have only been open since the start of 2016 or more recently, and which primarily sell clip art. It was generously put together by the artist behind Bell Ink Designs.

New Products: Al Be C 123

I received the samples of the Al Be C 123 fabric I ordered and they look very nice. No need for changes this time and now they are for sale on spoonflower. I also discovered spoonflower’s partner site, sproutpatterns, where you can order patterns laid out on any spoonflower fabric you like. I think the Oxford blue colorway looks quite smart as a dress.

Spoonflower

This month, I ordered spoonflower fabric samples in order to release the patterns in my shop for sale. With variations in each of the Summer Camp designs, as well as a few Holiday designs plus insect patterns, I will have 35 patterns available for purchase. First I have to make some adjustments to line weight and scale.

Elsewhere, in order to make everything easier to find, I moved all of my illustrated zazzle products to a single storefront. Then I organized the categories and collections so it’s easier to find products with the same design theme. Collections have a neater page appearance than Categories, which is better for linking from other places. [edit – I have since closed my zazzle shops.]

Zazzle Logo

Finally, I revamped all of my thumbnail images on teacherspayteachers so my storefront looks more unified.

New Products: Summer Camp

This month, I finished both the Summer Camp: Home Away From Home illustration set and the Summer Camp: Nighttime illustration set, completing the Summer Camp series.

summer camp header
Summer Camp themes: Campfire, Nighttime, Hiking, and Home Away From Home.

I also created product sets for each on TPT.