Thursday, December 24, 2009

DIY gift for a bird lover....

TP is one of our very first few friends in the states...and she's a very kind and generous person. She has been taking care of us by giving us tips on settling down quickly, suggestions on places to go for sightseeing, eating, shopping....she has also cooked for us on numerous occasions.

For X'mas, we want to give her something special to show our appreciation for her friendship. TP is a bird lover. Her favorite past time is to sit by her windows to watch the birds come feed at the many birdfeeders that she has hung up at her front porch.

So I thought of making her a birdseed wreath that she can put out for the birds so that she can have many enjoyable moments watching the birds.

I got the idea from an online craft website and it seemed like a reasonably simple project. All I needed were some birdseeds (I bought a huge packet for $5), a bundt pan (my landlord has numerous lying around..I just need to pick the prettiest one), gelatin powder (I bought a box of 4 satchets for $1.90)..and that's it!

So first I sprayed the bundt pan with some oil and coated the surface evenly with a brush. I decided to shred a carrot and use the thin shreds to line the bottom of the pan to create some kind of design.

Next, I boiled 3/4 cup of water in a large flat pan. While waiting for the water to boil, I dissolved 2 satchets of the Gelatin with 4 tablespoons of cold water.

When the water has boiled, I added in the Gelatin solution and stir till it's completely dissolved. Then I poured in 4 cups of birdseeds and mix till all the seeds are well coated with gelatin. At this point, I removed the pan from the heat and placed it on a heat resistant surface. I continued to stir the seeds such that every single grain got evenly coated.

When most of the gelatin solution had been absorbed or coated on the seeds, I spooned the seeds into the bundt pan. Then I leveled the seeds and pressed the top gently with a spatula to compact the seeds. Then I left the pan in a cool place (0 deg C) for it to harden. You might want to place the bundt pan in the refrigerator if your home is too warm for the gelatin to harden.

Within 3-4hours, the gelatin would've set. I then inverted the pan and knocked the bottom of the pan gently to free the birdseed wreath. Then I placed the wreath on a cookie rack so as to let it air over night.

Tomorrow, I'll decorate the wreath with some ribbons all over and then top it off with a huge bow and a ribbon loop so that TP can hang it up easily.

Simple to do....& it probably only cost a couple of dollars the most. But for a bird lover, it'd probably mean many hours of joyful moments watching the birds come feed at it. I hope TP likes it!

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