December 15, 2017

Twitter-pated with Birds

Merry Christmas 2CCC friends,

This is Teresa, finally back in the swing at 2CCC and I have lots of Christmas goodies for you in this mid-month post.

About 2 years ago, my wonderful husband made me an enclosed aviary in our basement so my pet birds could fly free without risk to their safety. Since then, my handful of birds has grown to 19: 2 doves, 2 cockatiels, 4 budgies and 11 finches. With the exception of the finches and my 16-year-old white dove, Treasure, all of these have been birds that needed new homes. As for my Zebra finches, I have had to re-home a number of them because the little darlings keep reproducing. Otherwise, I would be completely overrun (over-flown?) by tiny beeping finches. (I was not beeping out a bad word; that is actually the sound they make. )

 Even though I have a variety of species, they all get along reasonably well. Most stick to their own, but my cockatiels - Sassafrass and Frannie - have taken a shine to the doves. Who can blame them?

Most of my birds are not hand-tame, except for the doves, but my finches like to land on my head and shoulders, tugging on my long silver hair. I suspect they think it is straw and will make good nest material.
Health issues with small birds can often be fatal. Usually by the time you notice something is wrong, the bird is too sick to recover. I always keep a small hospital cage in case I ever have a sick bird on my hands. That way I can keep the bird warm (with a heat source under one half of the cage) and quiet until (hopefully) she recovers. For anyone keeping more than two birds, I recommend having a small hospital cage or small animal carrier. Being prepared can make the difference between a sick bird surviving or not.

The best way to keep a healthy flock is to provide a nutritious diet, clean air & water, plenty of exercise, an area away from drafts, and a reasonably clean environment. Over the years, I have developed a recipe that I feed to my birds, which is high in protein and has lots of nutrition, including calcium, which all females need, especially if they are breeding. They also get fresh greens daily and I often add other fruits and veggies to their mix for more nutrition and because they like variety. My first Christmas gift to you is my recipe. If you don't have pet birds, perhaps you will consider making a batch of bird bread as a Christmas gift to the outside birds around your home. They will certainly appreciate it, especially if you live in a cold climate like I do.

Aviary Appetite Pleaser

This recipe started as a modified cornbread recipe. Over the years, it has blossomed into a delicious and nutritious feed for all my birds: finches, doves, budgies and cockatiels. It is high in protein and a good source of calcium, but mineral blocks should still be provided, especially if you have breeding birds.

I do not like to bake, so to simplify the process, I first make a dry mix that will give me more than one batch.

Bird Bread Mix:
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup almond flour (ground almonds)
- 1 cup chick pea flour
- 4 ½ cups yellow cornmeal
- ½ cup quinoa grains
- ¼ cup baking powder
- 1 tbsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 cup bird seed (optional – a good idea to help convert seed-junkie birds)
Mix together and store in an airtight container.

Bird Bread Recipe: (pre-heat oven to 350 F)
- 4 cups bird bread mix (above)
- 8 large eggs or 12 small
- 2 ½ cups pumpkin puree
- 1/3 cup melted coconut oil
- 3 tbsp. molasses or honey
- 1 cup apple juice (or any other non-citrus juice)
- Optional: add crushed nuts, shredded coconut, grated carrot or grated apple
Mix melted coconut oil into dry mix with a fork or pastry blender. Continue to work with your fingers until crumbly. In separate bowl, mix eggs and pumpkin; add remainder of ingredients. Gradually mix the wet ingredients into the dry. It should be a cake batter consistency. Line 9x13 pan with parchment paper. Pour batter into pan. Bake at 350 F for 30- 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Crumble bread, or cut into meal sized squares, whichever your bird prefers. Parrots would probably like something they can hold in their ‘hands’. Once cooled completely, put crumbles or squares into freezer bags and store in the freezer. Keep no more than 2-3 day portions in the refrigerator at a time, to ensure freshness.

Serve on its own or mix in fresh fruits or veggies. You can also thaw some frozen corn, peas or berries and add them to the mixture. Corn is especially important for doves and pigeons. (I have tried adding this to the batter, but the corn dries out too much and is unpalatable) 

Don’t forget the greens – snips of lettuce (not iceberg), kale or parsley are good. Spinach can be given in moderation. Grated carrot, apple or snippets of bell peppers are also appreciated. Switch it up. Your birds will appreciate the variety of not knowing exactly what is going to be in their bowl each day.

December 1, 2017

Challenge #9 Sponsored by Sasayaki Glitter

     Welcome to our 9th Challenge here at 2 Crafty Critter Crazies.  Please do not forget to check our rules. Thanks!

       OK, let's get right to what you all want to know - our winner of the prize offered by Sparkle n Sprinkle for our November challenge is:

#69 Nanaseaside (Christine)
with this fab card

Congratulations!  Please email us at 2craftycrittercrazies(at)gmail(dot)com  so that we can arrange to get your prize to you.

     In addition, we've chosen two ladies to be our Guest Designers in January.  We do hope they are available and would like to design with us.

Donna Mundinger
Donna R.

I hope you'll both contact us by email about designing in January.

     Before we get to our latest challenge, we want to introduce you to two new DT members who are joining us this month.  We'll have additional team members joining us in January!

Lori Kobular

I grew up in Brick, NJ and I have lived in Toms River, NJ with my wonderful and supportive husband, Wayne, since 2000.  We have two grown daughters, Julie and Jenna and two crazy rescued huskies.  I was introduced to Scrapbooking at a Creative Memories Home Class in 1988 where I fell in love with scrapping!  I was a Creative Memories Consultant for 11 years, and have enjoyed designing for many companies over the years.  I love scrapbooking and making cards. My blog is here: Lori's Kreations.

Lisa Furbush

I am so excited to be working with the 2 Crafty Critter Crazies Design Team!  This is a wonderful group of designers with a passion for critters!  My blog is Don't Run With Scissors.  In November 2015 I was offered a dream job which relocated my fiancĂ© and our three cats (Luna, MJ, and Stella) to Georgia from Connecticut.  I have been a paper crafter for over 20 years and love working with new techniques and mediums.    I have done many youtube videos on the techniques I have learned and look forward to starting my 'Technique Tuesdays' back up!  Thank you for joining us at 2 Crafty Critter Crazies!  I look forward to seeing your creations!

 December Challenge

     We're sponsored this month by Sasayaki Glitter, (a new sponsor for us and we're thrilled!) and here's a little bit about them.

     Here's a little inspiration from our team to encourage you and, this month, we're delighted to welcome our Guest Designer, Edwina.  She's done 2 cards for us with the same darling image - one in red and green, and one in non-traditional Christmas colors. 

Edwina using "Christmas Dragoon"

Thanks, Edwina!  These are fantastic!

Angela using "Tea Mouse"

Donna using "Tea Mouse "

Helen using "Candy Cane Penguin "

Lori using Tea Mouse

NanaConnie using "Christmas Dragoon"

Teresa (still on leave)

     You have until 8 p.m. (Pacific time) on December 30 to enter your project.

     If you'd like to be a future Guest Designer, don't forget to please tell us in a comment, or put GDT next to your name on your entry, or even send us an email (see sidebar for address.)  If you don't remember to do any of those, our DT will be choosing someone to invite from the entire list of those who participated.

     One last thing, be sure to come by on or after the 15th to see what we have in store for you in the mid-month post.  There may be some wonderful freebies available!

    If you have any problems with the Inlinkz, please leave us a comment or send an email and let us know.

November 18, 2017

All Creatures Great and Small

For the November Challenge, click here.

"All things bright and beautiful"  is the first line of a favourite hymn, the next line, I am sure you all know is "all creatures great and small".  That's what our blog challenge is all about, all kinds of creatures as the main feature on your card.  Everybody has a favourite creature, I would have a houseful of different creatures if I could, going away with the caravan however, is not ideal if you can't take your pets with you.  The dogs come with us of course and I have seen people with cats and birds.   So what would be the smallest creature - not counting insects and micro organisms!

The Etruscan shrew weighs only 1.2 to 2.7g so could be considered the world's smallest mammal.   Slightly bigger is the Pygmy Marmoset, one of the smallest primates and the smallest true monkey, with a body length - not including tale - of 14 - 16 cm and a birth weight of 15g.

Or how about this tiny Bee Hummingbird who measure 5.7cm and weighs 1.8g 

My daughter's Miniature Poodle has just had puppies averaging 200g, which are huge compared to these tiny creatures.   Now I have nothing against small dogs, in fact I have always wanted a chihuahua, but I am against breeders trying to miniaturize further, like teacup puppies for example, as they can end up with all sorts of health problems.

Finally, Teresa did a bit of drawing while she's been on leave and she's offering this freebie of a Betta Fish for all who visit.  Right click the image and Save.

So over to you, show us your pets or favourite animals - great or small.