Our Urban Garden and The Prettiest Little Bird House I Ever Did See.

We are in full blown gardening mode here in Chicago, despite the fact that the high today is 50 degrees and I am in my winter coat again lol!

We have an Urban Garden and plant all sorts of veggies, herbs and flowers in our city yard; and since I was a child we always have. My father has such a green thumb! My siblings and I grew up in the ghetto. Our lawn was always impeccable, free of weeds, beautiful and soft, like a plush carpet. The hedges were beautifully trimmed, the yard was prim and proper with uniform rows of carefully designed flower beds and so many herbs and vegetables. We grew Rhubarb there and the Strawberry Rhubarb Pie that was made each year, compared to no other I have ever had. It was our little oasis in the midst of all of the drugs and violence that surrounded us outside of our gates. It amazes me now, how my parents could have raised us there, because we all made it out of the ghetto, went to college and travelled the world. Teaching your children to work at something and see the fruits of their labor is a gift and what better way to do that, than planting and tending to seeds! Anyone can garden! Anywhere! You just need seeds, sun, water and dirt. Oh and enthusiasm, because honestly folks, everything is so much better with enthusiasm.

In the next couple of posts, I am going to share a few little things we bought recently and a few things we made to help make our garden both indoors and outside special. I hope you will enjoy them.

First of all is the prettiest little birdhouse I ever did see. I have felted in the past and love all things handmade. Throw in fair trade and a gift card and you’ve got me sold lol.


This birdhouse is made in Nepal by skilled artisans working in fair trade. It is wet and dry felted with applique and embroidery. Sigh…it is so pretty. Made with sustainably sourced materials, sheep’s wool which is naturally water resistant and antimicrobial, a braided hemp hanging cord and a bambo perch. The opening is 1.25 inches and can be enlarged to 1.5 inches to accommodate larger birds. The company is dZi.inc. which I know nothing about, they are a member of the Fair Trade Federation. You can find them on Amazon here along with many other selections of styles or in specialty boutiques and toy stores. They range from $20-$30.

I needed a hook for hanging and found one for a dollar at the dollar store. I was going to repaint it to be all bright and magical looking but Penelope was anxious to get it up, so I had to do like Elsa and “Let it go” with the redesign plans. Ha! I crack myself up.


Lastly the birdhouse was stuffed with recycled paper AKA foreign newspaper. Which is so amazing and a wonderful teaching tool for Penelope about foreign script, language, culture, and life in Nepal. We will most certainly make a craft with it.


Here is the view outside our craft room window. Our birdhouse hangs beautifully, just in front of our lovely lilacs. So pretty and magical.


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