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Welcome! Our blog focuses on environmental conservation, education, green living & wildlife rescue! We have put together links to resources, books and information to help you and your children learn more about these topics. Please feel free to comment on any items posted. Rate or review us on NetworkedBlogs (Facebook app) & Blogged. Tell your friends about us. Follow us on Twitter and other sites listed on this page. There's a banner & widget if you would like to include us on your webpage. All we ask is that you please keep any comments here G-rated for the kids!

NOTE: The birds & squirrel pictured at the top of this page and in the slideshow below are just a few that I have helped rehabilitate.
WARNING: Please do not touch a wild animal, especially the young ones. If you remove a baby from it's home, sometimes the mother is just off getting it's baby food and will be back.

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Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!!

Those of us here at GreenSpot-On would like to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

A few quotes for you to ponder this Christmas:

"Christmas is the season for kindling the fire of hospitality in the hall, the genial flame of charity in the heart." - Washington Irving

"Happy, happy Christmas, that can win us back to the delusions of our childhood days, recall to the old man the pleasures of his youth, and transport the traveler back to his own fireside and quiet home !" - Charles Dickens

"When we recall Christmas past, we usually find that the simplest things-not the great occasions-give off the greatest glow of happiness." - Bob Hope

Have a safe and happy holiday!


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas Craftiness #2

Hello Everyone! I am listing a couple more ideas for Christmas Crafts! This time for adults only!!

Aluminum Can Luminaries: Do you have left over aluminum cans from you pumpkun pie filling or the canned baby formula that you haven't recycled yet, but want a fun craft to do for a gift? Why not make them into luminaries!

Aluminum Can (Large Baby formula or Pumpkin Pie Filling Can)
Sturdy Cardboard
Paint (Spray paint or acryllic)
Large Rubber Band
Saran Wrap
Small Candle holder (Cheap from a dollar store)
Votive Candles (Again cheap from a dollar store)
Cat Litter or Sand

1. Make a template out of dots (Punch holes into a piece of cardboard with a nail). A prety simple one is a snowflake.

2. Useing a permanent marker; use your template to transfer the dots onto the can. Use it multiple times around the can with enough space between the individual designs.
3. Fill the can with water, put the top back on it. If there is no top, fill it with water, then take saran wrap and a sturdy cloth with a large rubber band. Wrap the end with the saran wrap with the cloth over it and secure it with the rubber band.
4. Freeze the can overnight.
5. When completely frozen take a small hammer and a nail and punch it on the dots you made on the can. You may have to refreeze the can in between individual designs so it doesn't start leaking on you badly. The reason you want the can completely frozen is so that the force of you hammering the nail into the dots doesn't dent your can. When you get all of your dots punched, you can empty the can and let it dry completely.
6. After it is done drying, take the can and either spray paint the outside or you can use acrylic paint and paint the outside with a design. With the snowflake design, I really liked using a dark blue, that was shimmery and silver on the dots I punched (so it would show up when it wasn't lit).
7. The last part to this is to get a cheap, short glass candleholder that you can put inside the can with a tealight candle or equivalent.
8. Put either a cup of fresh catlitter or sand in the can (To help keep the can from heating up). Then you can set your candleholder with candle inside.
9. You are now ready to light your luminary!

Christmas with Grapevine: I am lucky enough to have access to grapevine in my own yard. I have to cut it back each year. Instead of getting rid of it I use it for many things. Try a grapevine ornament ball! I'll write up instructions for it when I try it, hopefully with pictures. Stay tuned!

Khrys @ GreenSpot-On
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Saturday, December 5, 2009

Christmas Craftiness #1!

Happy Holidays Everyone! I wanted to give everyone an idea that would be fun for kids, plus give them a chance to reuse items for gifts that were from your own household that would otherwise be thrown out or just left unused.

Pine Cone Christmas Tree: My sons and I did this craft recently at a school family night and it turned out really nice, so I thought I would share it here. The great thing about this craft is you are using a natural item that you can talk to your child about.

One large, open pine cone
Glitter - Any color
Cotton balls
White school glue (like Elmer's)
Dental floss and a needle
Small beads or small pom-poms

Construction Paper
A small bow or star to top off your little tree


1. Glue a few cotton balls to the bottom of the pine cone. These will look like snow at the base of the tree and help the tree stand upright.

2. Put a little dab of glue at the tips of the pine cone and then sprinkle on glitter of any color (You can spread it a bit with your finger, but keep a washcloth or damp paper towel nearby for cleanup reasons).

3. String some small beads or pom-poms onto dental floss (usually about 1 - 1 1/2 ft or more, depending on the size of your pine cone). To string the beads easier, tie one bead securely to the string. Then give the floss to your child for stringing. An older child can use a needle to help with the stringing beads or pom-poms. When the garland is done, tie off the last bead with a knot. Wrap the beads around the pine cone like a Christmas garland and glue it to the tree. In the picture on the right we used mardi-grad or party beads. My children usually get these at different times of the year and they usually break pretty quickly, so why not recycle them!

4. Top off your tree with a small bow or other decorations (We used a scrap piece of construction paper to make a star), you could make an angel or even ornaments with it for your pine cone tree.

5. Let the glue dry completely and use it for a centerpiece on your dinner table or other place of honor in your home!

Crystal Snowflake: This project also doubles as a science project! Make your very own snowflake!

Wide mouthed canning/mason jar
3 light colored pipe cleaners (white or light blue would be best)
Boiling water (Adults should boil & pour the water)
Borax (20 Mule Team Borax Laundry Booster)
Optional: blue food coloring

1. Make a snowflake frame from 3 white pipe cleaners and a string. Twist the 3 pipe cleaners together in the center to make a asterick or star shaped figure.
The figure should be able to fit inside the wide-mouthed jar.

2. Tie the string around the pipe cleaners to look like a snowflake or spiderweb. Trim all excess string.

3. Tie a few inches of string to one of the pipe cleaners to make a loop for hanging. Take the pencil and put it through the loop, so that the snowflake will hang from the pencil and dangle inside the jar.
Take the snowflake back out of the jar.

4. Pour boiling water into the jar (An adult should do this part for safety reasons).
Add about 3 tablespoonfuls of the Borax to each cup of hot water in the jar.
You should have a supersaturated solution (you will see some undissolved Borax at the bottom of the jar).
Optional: Add a few drops of the blue food coloring to the solution for a bluish colored snowflake.

5. Using the pencil, hang the snowflake in the jar and wait at least 24 hours.
After this time has passed, your snowflake will be covered with crystals.
As the solution cools, the borax comes out of the solution (less of the borax will dissolve in the cooler water) and crystals form upon the pipe cleaners and string.

NOTE: If you do not have borax in your house but want to still do the project, you can do the same type of project using supersaturated sugar-water (but the crystals will take alot longer to form). The sugar water version will make an edible rock candy. The Borax version IS NOT edible, so please be careful if you try both versions with your children so they don't confuse the two.

Christmas Cards: As Daisy previously mentioned, old christmas cards can be reused to make new ones. However, you can also make a great picture frame out of them for your child's school pictures or even a holiday photo you took and send it as a Christmas Card! Let your child decorate it with old buttons, glue and other finds around the house that you would otherwise throw away. You can use paint on the buttons to give them a new look!

We here at GreenSpot-On have been pretty busy at our homes preparing for Christmas and the family parties that come around every year. You may not hear much from us until after the New Year, so please be patient with us during this time. We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Khrys @ GreenSpot-On
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