Pinecone Spheres

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This holiday decor project takes very little time yet it?s surprising how many uses you may find for some festive pinecone spheres. Many years ago I collected a large number of pinecones from trees in my garden and neighborhood. After drying them, I had the idea to make a few different sizes of pinecone spheres, mostly for the sheer fun of crafting. Year after year these cheery pinecone balls make their way out of the Christmas decorations box and add a natural touch to the festivities.Make These Easy Pinecone Spheres - an easy nature project for festive holiday decor

These pinecone spheres are festive for sure, but I don?t think they scream ?Christmas? and have great longevity to dress up your home or garden for the fall and winter months. You can use them to decorate a holiday mantle, but they also make a great table centerpiece, fun tree ornaments, and fitting winter decor for windows and shelves. You could even set them outdoors in your holiday planters. Or use smaller ones to decorate holiday gifts.Make These Easy Pinecone Spheres - an easy nature project for festive holiday decor

I?m sure there are many more shade sails nets_2465 places these pinecone spheres would look right at home, but for now, let?s just make them!

Pinecone Spheres

Materials

  • various sized foam spheres (I used for large pinecones and for small pinecones)
  • various sized pine cones, dry and open (I used  and small )
  • twine (optional)
  • stapler (optional)
  • & glue

Make it!

Collect pinecones of different sizes and set out to dry. They are dry when they open up and are no longer cool to the touch.Make These Easy Pinecone Spheres - an easy nature project for festive holiday decor

If you plan to hang the spheres, then staple a loop of twine onto the foam before the next step. Use a hot glue gun to affix the base of each pinecone to the sphere, starting with the largest pinecones and adding in smaller pinecones to fill in the gaps.Make These Easy Pinecone Spheres - an easy nature project for festive holiday decor Make These Easy Pinecone Spheres - an easy nature project for festive holiday decor Make These Easy Pinecone Spheres - an easy nature project for festive holiday decor Make These Easy Pinecone Spheres - an easy nature project for festive holiday decor

When dry, set your pinecone spheres indoors or out in any way that you choose. I display them on my mantle for a simple, natural-looking holiday display. The cedar garland is a project from my book, , which you can read more about .Simple and Natural Holiday Mantle with vintage mason jars, string lights, real cedar garland and DIY pinecone spheres

More Crafts with Pinecones:

I love to craft with pinecones! If you do to0, then here are some more projects you might like:

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Catnip may drive your cat crazy, but it?s a sedative for chickens. Lavender, bee balm, and chamomile are relaxing for people, and hens too. If you keep chickens, or want to add some to your garden, then you will want to read about the health benefits of culinary herbs for chicken-keeping. If herbs for hens can help prevent mites and stimulate laying, then it?s worth adding these herbs to your chicken garden (or perhaps adding some chickens to your herb garden)!

41 herbs for hens

There are a load of benefits to having chickens in the garden, including keeping soil healthy and gobbling up unwanted insects. If you have ever wanted a practical guide to gardening with and gardening for chickens, then you will love expert chicken-keeper Lisa Steele?s book, . This book is filled to the brim with the answers to all your questions about how to create harmony in the garden with chickens. There are creative garden plans to help you design a ?Garden for Orange Yolks? and a ?Nesting Box Herb Garden.? Her love of chickens in the garden pours through on every page, which are so well written that you gobble them up like hens gobble up herbs.

Today, Lisa has joined us to share her guide to 43 herbs for hens and the health benefits of them.

Health Benefits of Culinary Herbs for Hens

From by Lisa Steele

I grow a wide assortment of herbs to use in cooking and also in conjunction with raising our chickens. Overall, I find herbs boost my chickens? immune systems and keep them healthy naturally. I put fresh herbs in the nesting boxes to calm setting hens, repel insects and rodents and add an aromatic scent to the chicken coop. I brew herbal tea for our chicks and put fresh herbs in their brooder to give them a good start in life.chickens_pg-68

In short, all of the culinary herbs are perfectly safe to use around the chickens. Toss a variety of herbs into your coop and nesting boxes any time you trim your herb plants. Offer them fresh from the garden or dry some and add them to your chickens? feed. If you?re looking for herbs for a more specific use, read on to see 41 different healthy herbs for hens and their specific benefits.

43 Healthy Herbs for Hens

COMMON HERBS AND THEIR BENEFITS

  1. Basil ? antibacterial, improves mucous membrane health, repels flies and mosquitoes
  2. Bay Leaves ? antiseptic, antioxidant, immune system booster, insect repellent
  3. Bee Balm (bergamot/monarda)- antiseptic, antibacterial, calming,  respiratory health aid
  4. Borage ? high in calcium, beta carotenes and niacin, soothing, supports cardiovascular health, antioxidant, aids in mucus membrane health, insect repellent
  5. Calendula ? heals wounds
  6. Catnip ? sedative, insect repellent
  7. Cayenne pepper ? aids circulation, appetite stimulant, antiseptic, improves digestion
  8. Chamomile ? kills mites and lice, repels fleas, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antibiotic, calming and relaxing, detoxifier
  9. Chervil ? heals bruises, thought to prevent illness, high in vitamins and minerals, aids in mucus membrane health, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, overall health tonic
  10. Chives ? aids digestion, stimulates appetite, good source of iron
  11. Cilantro ? antioxidant, fungicide, builds strong bones, high in Vitamin A for vision and Vitamin K for blood clotting
  12. Cinnamon ? promotes healthy breathing
  13. Comfrey ? pain reliever, anti-inflammatory, heals wounds, high in protein and Vitamin B-12, promotes muscle, cartilage, and bone growth
  14. Dandelion ? general health tonic, laying stimulant
  15. Dill ? antioxidant, relaxant, aids in respiratory health, stimulates the appetite, aids in digestion
  16. Echinacea ? antibacterial, aids in respiratory health, strengthens the immune system
  17. Fennel ? laying stimulant, insect repellent
  18. Garlic ? laying stimulant, anti-fungal, benefits circulatory and respiratory system, relieves diarrhea
  19. Ginger ? stress reliever, appetite stimulant, antioxidant
  20. Goldenseal ? antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, useful for treating wounds
  21. Hyssop ? improves circulation, heals wounds, detoxifier
  22. Lavender ? stress reliever, increases blood circulation, highly aromatic, insect repellent
  23. Lemon Balm ? stress reliever, antibacterial, highly aromatic, rodent and insect repellent, calming
  24. Lemon Verbena ? aromatic, fly repellent, antiviral
  25. Lemon Grass (citronella) ? fly repellent
  26. Lovage ? aids respiratory and mucous membrane health, blood detoxifier, anti-inflammatory
  27. Marigold ? produces vibrant egg yolks, feet and beaks, insect repellent, antioxidant, laying stimulant
  28. Marjoram ? laying stimulant, anti-inflammatory, decongestant, improves blood circulation, detoxifier
  29. Mint (all kinds including spearmint, peppermint, orange mint etc.) ? insect and rodent repellent, antioxidant, aids in respiratory health, digestive aid, results in larger eggs, thicker eggshells and increased egg production.
  30. Nasturtium ? laying stimulant, antiseptic, antibiotic, insect repellent, wormer
  31. Oregano ? combats coccidia, salmonella, infectious bronchitis, avian flu, blackhead and e-coli, strengthens immune system
  32. Parsley ? high in vitamins A, B,C calcium and iron, aids in blood vessel development, laying stimulant
  33. Peppermint ? anti-parasitic, insect repellent,
  34. Pineapple Sage ? aids nervous system, highly aromatic, antiseptic
  35. Plantain ? Antibacterial, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant, prevents infection
  36. Raspberry Leaf ? antioxidant, relaxant, supports healthy reproductive system
  37. Rose Petals ? highly aromatic, high in Vitamin C, antioxidant
  38. Rosemary ? pain reliever, aids in respiratory health, insect repellent
  39. Sage ? antioxidant, anti-parasitic, general health promoter, laying stimulant, thought to combat Salmonella
  40. Spearmint ? antiseptic, insect repellent, stimulates nerve, brain and blood functions
  41. Tarragon ? antioxidant, appetite stimulant
  42. Thyme ? aids in respiratory health, antibacterial, antioxidant, anti-parasitic, laying stimulant
  43. Yarrow ? antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, clears sinus and respiratory systems, stress reliever

41 healthy herbs for hens

Note: While not much research has been done on the benefits of herbs to poultry specifically, the overall benefits of herbs are widely known and studied, and benefits generally apply to both humans and animals. I will continue to add herbs to my chickens? diet and environment, since I?ve had such wonderful results with my flock?s health over the years incorporating these herbs.

For more information on feeding your flock, check out this list of

Reprinted with permission from Gardening with Chickens: Plans and Plants for You and Your Hens by Lisa Steele ? 2016. Published by Voyageur Press. Photography courtesy of Voyageur Press.

About the AuthorLisa Steele, author and chicken-keeper extraordinaire

is an enthusiastic chicken keeper extraordinaire and the darling of the backyard chicken community. A 5th generation chicken keeper, Maine Master Gardener, aspiring herbalist and coop to kitchen cook in addition to being a top-selling author and the creative mind behind the Better Homes & Gardens award-winning blog ?, Lisa engages fans worldwide on her Facebook page of the same name with her easy, fun and accessible approach to raising backyard flocks naturally. She inspires both the newcomer and the seasoned chicken keeper alike to grab a pair of kitchen shears and head out to the herb garden on their way to the chicken coop.

Lisa is also the author of (St. Lynn?s Press, 2013) and (St. Lynn?s Press, 2015). Her writing can also been found in such publications as Chickens, Backyard Poultry, Molly Green and Hobby Farm magazines as well as at HGTVGardens.com and BHG.com. She has appeared on numerous national radio and television programs and most recently is hosting her own television show called Fresh Eggs Daily with Lisa Steele.

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Do you have a go-to baked treat that you can whip up in a flash for guests or gifts? I?m going to let you in on my little secret weapon for the holidays: palmiers. Palmiers are made from layers of pastry rolled into butterfly or heart shapes. They look elegant and sound fancy, but they couldn?t be easier to make.These flaky and sweet cinnamon palmiers fill the house with a warm butter-and-spice aroma. They also are very easy to make when unexpected guests arrive.

Palmiers can be made sweet or savory by switching out the cinnamon and sugar for any number of ingredients. I have often made them with my . These , made with pumpkin butter, taste like pumpkin pie in a cookie. Savory cookies can be made with pesto, herbs, tomato sauce, cheese, olive tapenade, and pretty much anything else you can imagine.These flaky and sweet cinnamon palmiers fill the house with a warm butter-and-spice aroma. They also are very easy to make when unexpected guests arrive.

This recipe is one of my very favorites for holiday gift giving, which is why you can see it graces the cover of my holiday gift eBook, . This book is absolutely packed with ideas for holiday baking, herb gifts, and other ideas for gifts you can create in your kitchen.

Get  here. 

is a comprehensive idea book that includes over 40 simple handmade gifts to cook up and give away. There are five chapters: Herbs & Spices, Love in a Mason Jar, Sips, Oven-Baked Goodness, and ?Tis the Season with full-color photos of each project to inspire you. The recipes are simple and can be done by the most novice chef, with classic and creative packaging. Each and every project has unique and decorative examples of wrapping or presenting the gifts included.These flaky and sweet cinnamon palmiers fill the house with a warm butter-and-spice aroma. They also are very easy to make when unexpected guests arrive.

Cinnamon Palmiers

These flaky and sweet cinnamon palmiers fill the house with a warm butter-and-spice aroma that is heavenly all in itself. They also are quick to make when unexpected guests arrive or you need a hostess gift, pronto! If you can find a good-quality frozen all-butter puff pastry, then keep it on hand and you will always be stocked up.

Ingredients

  • All-butter puff pastry
  • Sugar
  • Cinnamon

Make it!

Thaw frozen puff pastry in the fridge overnight.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Yes, it?s a hot oven that crisps these pastries up and candies the sugar.

Pour 1 cup of sugar in the center of a non-stick pastry mat and spread it around. Roll out a square of puff pastry on the sugar.These flaky and sweet cinnamon palmiers fill the house with a warm butter-and-spice aroma. They also are very easy to make when unexpected guests arrive.

Sprinkle sugar evenly on the top to cover the pastry and then sprinkle cinnamon.These flaky and sweet cinnamon palmiers fill the house with a warm butter-and-spice aroma. They also are very easy to make when unexpected guests arrive.

Form the palmiers? heart shape by rolling the two sides towards the center. You?ll end up with two long rolls that meet in the middle. Wrap the rolls in plastic wrap or parchment and put it in the freezer to firm up for 15 minutes.These flaky and sweet cinnamon palmiers fill the house with a warm butter-and-spice aroma. They also are very easy to make when unexpected guests arrive.

Remove the rolls from the freezer and cut them into 3/4? slices.

Lay out the slices on a parchment-covered baking sheet. Press the palmiers down a bit to flatten them and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake the palmiers for about 6 minutes, or until the pastry has browned and the sugar has melted.These flaky and sweet cinnamon palmiers fill the house with a warm butter-and-spice aroma. They also are very easy to make when unexpected guests arrive.

Give palmiers in gift boxes labeled with a personal message and tied with twine for a heartfelt thank-you or hostess gift.These flaky and sweet cinnamon palmiers fill the house with a warm butter-and-spice aroma. They also are very easy to make when unexpected guests arrive.

There are many great ideas for holiday food and this recipe is just one of the many that are in this year?s Handmade Holidays BlogHop. If you want to start drooling, have a look through some of these other amazing recipes for ideas and inspiration to get you in the festive mood.

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