Mixed Media Bird collages

I found these two wood Easter plaques at Goodwill, but they had come from Target’s Dollar spot.

I like the using ‘box type’ design for making collages.  The sides of these were already colors and designs that I liked and could work with!

I had some pretty new paper napkins with bird eggs on them that I was itchin’ to play with, so I decided on a bird theme for these two plaques.

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A few layers of book pages, then the napkin, then a couple more book pages cut into ‘fancy shapes’, then a rectangle from a Chinese magazine and a bird illustration from a bird book.  A quote from a book and of COURSE, a crown!

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What do you think of my new photo backdrop?

With all the warm and dry weather we’ve been having I got a few ‘personal’ painting projects done.  One of which was this shelf and the table it sits on.  This ‘shelf’ is actually 1/2 of an old coffee table that was once a display shelf in my booth at Stars.

These are the pictures from ‘back when’ I used them as display shelves in my booth.   I’m now using the half coffee table as  a shelf atop halr of a dining table that is in my ‘office’ (which should be the dining room!)

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The lamp has always been in this spot.  I bought it to go with this collection of similarly shaped bottles; which used to be on a shelf in my living room.  I had hoped to figure out a way to display them all together in the living room; but I just couldn’t make it work.  So I settled for this set up; which I like just fine.

And the second collage; styled fairly similarly to the first one.

I extended the napkins over the edges, and they are sheer enough that the original side color and design show through.

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This is really my FAVORITE part of them!  hehe

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Since the pieces were rectangular in shape, I oriented them in different directions.

They are available for purchase in my booth at Stars.

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Sometimes, your answer LITERALLY falls from the sky!

Remember my ‘Yard Debris Wreaths’ from a while back?

I had added the nests and birds ‘as a finishing touch’, but they STILL didn’t feel done.  But I had NO idea what else to do!!  Some of you suggested adding a tag; which I tried – and nixed.  They are so ‘organic’ that the tags looked out-of-place.

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The one with the nest AND bird is hanging on my front door, and the one above on the shutter door to a cabinet in my living room.

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EVERY time I looked at them, I think: “They STILL need something!”  But I don’t know WHAT!!  sigh.

Then, while I was out working in my yard last week, picking up pine cones from the grass, I came across ONE of the wispy tree twigs that I had used to make the twiggy wreaths a while back.  It was just ONE little branch, and I still have a whole basketful of them leftover in my garage, AND about 15 wreaths already made; so I was just going to toss it into my yard debris bin along withe the pine cones.

Then BAM!!! Major BRAINSTORM!! 

THIS (this little twig that I had in my hand) is exactly what the moss and bark wreaths need!!!!

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It’s a very subtle added touch, but just that little ‘something more’ that they needed to feel ‘finished’.

The twigs show up much better in person.  So after I did the one on my front door with the branch I had just picked up in my yard; I went to my stash in the garage to find some to add to the other wreath.

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I seriously LOVE these wreaths now!

And I kinda think I like the asymmetry of the second one MORE.

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This is what I used to attach the twigs.  First I found the ‘spot’ that I wanted it to originate from and ‘punched a hole’ into the wreath with the point of my scissors.  I squeezed a fair amount of tacky glue into the hole and inserted the thick end of my branch.

Then I ‘played around’ a bit with positioning the wispy branch ends.  When I found the spot I wanted them to stay in, I used the floral pins (shown above) pushed in to hold them down.  It was a little tricky to find a spot that the pins would GO through, between the pieces of bark.  Then I just glued another little piece of moss on top of the pin to disguise it!

Do you agree with me that this was the perfect finishing touch for these wreaths?

Sometimes, your answer LITERALLY does, fall from the sky!

FINDINGS: Ginormous white wicker bird cage

Gotta LOVE finding items that don’t need any work done to them!

P1220321 Check out this huge white wicker bird cage I just picked up.

P1220325Measures 14″ x 14″ x 30″ tall!  All it needed was a good hosing down to remove the dust.

P1220323The bottom slides all the way out, as do what I originally thought were 2 ‘shelves’; since they were placed at different heights in the cage when I bought it.

P1220322When putting it back together after it dried, I realized that BOTH of these were ‘floor grates’ and meant to be placed side by side at the bottom of the cage; and NOT 2 shelves, as they had been displayed in the thrift store.  DOH!

Took this cage to Stars just in time for the BIG SALE, which runs through Monday, March 7th.  EVERYTHING in my booth is HALF OFF during the sale!

 

More ‘yard debris’ wreaths

Yep, I’ve been out gathering up yard debris to craft with again!

It all started out innocently enough last fall when I gathered up a few bits of moss that had fallen off the tree in my front yard to ’embellish’ the blue pumpkins I had painted and displayed on my front porch.

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Initially I had only replaced the ugly plastic stems with cut up branches.

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Then I was out picking up pine cones from my yard (because for whatever reason, the lawn maintenance people hired by the property owners just mow right over them and leave them on the lawn!?!?) and there was a LOT of big pieces of moss that had fallen off the tree.  That is when it occurred to me that adding some moss around the stems of the pumpkins might look good.

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Mission accomplished!

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Even the pumpkins with just a ‘stub’ of a stem, looked better with the moss added.

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I continued gathering up  the moss from under the tree once a week or so; intending to use it to add to little bird nests in the spring.

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Every once in a while I’d pick up a hunk of moss, only to discover that it had grown onto a piece of tree bark; and it fell apart if I tried to remove it.  So, I was tossing those pieces back.

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Then we had some very stormy days and a lot of bark bits had fallen from the tree and I had another ‘light bulb’ moment!  Gather up the bark and use it to make a wreath!

It took a couple of months to accumulate enough bark to make a wreath.  I just got in the habit of going out and gathering moss and bark once a week.

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First I covered one of the bulky straw wreaths with strips of brown paper using tacky glue.

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I just started gluing bark to the paper covered wreath form.  The tacky glue worked great for this project, as it’s ‘tackier’ than regular white glue and sets very quickly.  I’d lay out several pieces of bark, apply the glue to the back; then put the bark on the wreath.  In just those few extra moments, the glue will begin to ‘tack up’.  Occasionally I’d have to hold a piece of the bark in place for a minute or so for it to adhere properly.  I’d much rather do that then deal with a hot glue gun.  Plus, hot glue doesn’t hold up ‘in the weather’, and I envisioned these as ‘outdoor’ wreaths.

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That first photo of the ‘first step’ is really the only one that I took.  Beyond that, it was just ‘filling the space’ with bark bits.  After drying over night, I filled any bare spots with moss.

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Here’s what the back looks like.  I glued a strip of muslin to the back to hang it from.  You can see that loop at the top of the previous picture.

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Be sure it’s covered about 2/3 of the way around, so that none of the backing shows from the side view.

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A few ‘glue spots’ are visible in this pic, but they will eventually dry clear.

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Simple and organic looking.

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I actually had enough ‘supplies’ to make two of them.  As an after thought, I added some feather birds and a nest.

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Little bird on top of the smaller wreath.

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Little nest with eggs and a bird added to the inside of the bigger wreath.

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~::~

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Do you think they look better ‘plain’ or with the birds/nests added?

From ‘ick!’ to ‘Oo000ooo!’ Updated old birdcage

This old birdcage scored pretty high on the ‘ick’ scale when I bought it.P1200243Not sure WHY???  but at some point, its previous owner had decided that it would be a good idea to paint the base of it orange.  Not sure why they didn’t paint ALL the base orange?  Maybe they realized it was a big mistake?  Or maybe they just ran out of orange spray paint??  Very mysterious!

P1200259THIS was the ‘ickiest’ part!  At first glance (and without my glasses on to really SEE what it was!) it kinda looked like all these ‘blobs of goop’ along the edges of the base were, um, ‘droppings’!  (which I didn’t notice until I got home!)  I took it out of my car, doused it AND my car with Lysol, then washed AND sanitized my hands.  And I let it sit out in the rain for a couple of days to see if any of it would wash off.

P1200260After a good scrubbing with a sanitizing cleaner, I could finally tell that this ‘icky stuff’ was not what I had thought it was at all.  Rather a very bad welding job to repair what must have been lots of loose bars.  But STILL . . . . even after it was painted it LOOKED icky!

P1200255The rest of it, and from a distance even that icky part, looked great once it was fully painted.  I removed the base (it pulls out easily for cleaning) so painting the inside area was a breeze.

P1200256But HOW can I hide the ICK???  It sat on my clothes dryer for a few days  . . . hoping that if I looked at it often enough I’d come up with something.

P1200300The ONLY thing I could come up with was to glue some lace around the edge.

P1200301I also added some of my custom blend of paper shred inside the cage to help distract the eye from the edge.  (the glue was still wet in the pic; once it dried it looked much better)

P1200302And it’s ready to go to Stars!

P1200307It’s a BIG one too, as you can see in front of this door.

P1200305SO big, in fact, that it didn’t look quite right just sitting empty.

P1200336I tucked a few of my white bird pedestals inside to add some interest.

P1200337I decided that this little white wire conservatory needed some birds too!

P1200338The conservatory was just the right size to tuck beneath the end table that the big aqua cage was set upon.

P1200361Here is how the whole vignette ended up!

The big aqua birdcage is $99.00 at Stars.  The pedestal birds are sold separately.

What I did with the backless frame

P1120873Found this frame, without the backing, at the thrift store.

P1120880I quickly slapped on some turquoise paint as a base coat.

P1120886Then spray painted with Ivory; then lots of distressing with a sanding sponge.

(there are those darn SPOTS again!!! grrrrr!)

P1120883Just a tiny bit of the turquoise just barely peeking through.  Normally at this point I am DONE.  Tie on a price tag and take it to my booth.  But I’ve been ‘sorting and organizing’ my craft room all week and came across a faded bird egg print that I thought would look perfect in this frame.

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  I love how the egg print looks in this frame!  I mounted it on a piece of an old dictionary page.

P1120889Since the backing was missing, I had to ‘make do’ with a piece of heavy cardboard, which I also covered with a dictionary page.

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Perfect for spring!

STILL in ‘collage mode’ . . .

P1110043Getting a few ‘Valentin-ish’ ones made.

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P1110040These wood hearts with wings were purchased unfinished from Dollar Tree several years ago.  Glued vintage sheet music to it first then embellished a bit.

P1110045Just slightly altered gift box.  Such a sweet faces little cherub on this thrift store box, I HAD to buy it!  I filled it with my custom blend of paper shred (as I do with ALL my gift boxes) and added the love definition on the left side, the stamped ‘bliss’ tag and gave her a hand cut gold glittered crown.

P1110050Super simple bird collages.  Scrap book embellishment birds mounted on old book pages in repainted and antiqued thrifted frames.

P1110054More birds in similar frames but with a more layered background.

P1110056The birds have a little bit if shimmer to them.

P1110058Old dictionary pages and scrap-book paper with script writing for the background.

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More layers of papers and paper lace on this backing.

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Having used up all the birds I had, it was time to move on to the sea life embellishments.  Seahorse in a tiny frame and pair of starfish on dictionary page with tea stained backing.

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Seahorse and starfish.

P1110145Seahorse and sand dollars.

P1110141Sea shells.

P1110142In the past, I have also done assemblages like this using REAL shells.  Leave the glass out and use a sand paper or burlap backing to glue the shells to.  (for gluing on bulkier things like that I use e6000 adhesive)

P1110171Another KEY collage?!?!?  This one is just a sticker though.  I’m really trying to USE UP a lot of the scrapbook paper and embellishments I have ‘invested’ in over the years.  I buy a lot of this kind of stuff but so seldom actually USE it.  And I am NOT even a scrapbooker!  I just love the STUFF!!!!

P1110173Paris chic fleur de lis.

P1110174These metal fluer ‘charms’ (BIG charms!) I bought at the craft store.

P1110175Wishing now that I had bought more of these when they had them.  Thinking they would be neat to use on furniture.

P1110176Metal pocket watch ‘charm’ bought same as the fleurs.  Wonder what they were intended to be used for???

P1110178Bought these glitter crowns a while back from a wholesale website and had NO IDEA how I would use them.  finally came up with this.

P1110179I hand stamped the saying.

NOW, I really have to start doing some OTHER kinds of crafts!!!

Getting some CHRISTMAS crafts done!

10.13.13 botj malls projects 109It’s always difficult to ‘get in the mood’ for Christmas crafting this early.  Even MORE so this year as we are having an INCREDIBLY warm and sunny October!  I just want to work outside on my bigger projects all day when it’s this nice!  Alas, I must FORCE myself to work on indoor crafts.  These are what I’ve started on.

10.13.13 botj malls projects 106I bought the mini bird cages on clearance this past spring.  Intended to paint the red ones white or aqua, just never got around to it.  As I was packing away my spring craft supplies I thought MAYBE I could come up with something to do with these red bird cages for Christmas.

10.13.13 botj malls projects 108So then I dragged out my many boxes and bins of Christmas craft supplies and found these itty bitty spool snowmen I made last year, but never got around to actually doing anything with.  They are just 2″ tall, btw!

Here’s the post that shows how I made the snowmen last year.

12-5-12-finds-crafts-stars-0371I also used some of the tiny spools (and some larger ones!) to mount little bottle brush trees on last year.  Had a few unmounted trees left also.

10.13.13 botj malls projects 108I cut out some circles out of old cardboard to fit inside the cages and glued the trees and snowmen in place.  Once dry I applied a coat of glue and sprinkled on the snow.

10.13.13 botj malls projects 109And just slip the whole thing into the cage.  The snowman scene is actually REMOVABLE, so if you want to use the cage for other decorating projects after Christmas you can!

Birds of a feather . . .

P1080494But these two ‘thrift store bought’ birds are NOT going to flock together!

10.1.13 pics 009The white one was a salt shaker, so to hide the holes on top if it’s head, I globbed on a bit of spackling.  Then I noticed this other salt shaker and how perfectly sized they were for each other!

10.1.13 pics 010I glued them together with e6000 and let the glue cure overnight.

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Once the glue was set, I spackled the base also and let that dry.  The top and base were both slightly different shades of white, so I spray painted the whole thing to make it cohesive, and, of course, added a crown!

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This ‘pre-crown’ picture shows how petite this little guy is.  Will probably save him for spring.

10.1.13 pics 011I was in ‘Halloween mode’ by the time I got to the other bird, so it got painted black.

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Gave the bird a sheet music paper crown and glued him atop a little wood box (opening facing to the back); dug through my stash of Halloween embellishments to find this head stone shaped one to glue to the front of the box and added a little glittered spider.

10.18.13 both malls prijects 106It’s quite petite, as you can see here in my space at Stars.

 

TUTORIAL: Rustic bird finials

P1070135Here’s a picture of some of them in my booth at Curiosities.  And here is how I made them:

7.4.13 CUR + projects dresser 006I gathered assorted thrifted pillar candle holders and a bag of styrofoam balls, also from the thrift store.  (styro is CRAZY expensive to buy new!)

7.4.13 CUR + projects dresser 007It took a bit of trial and error to find the stands that best fit the size of styro balls I had.

7.4.13 CUR + projects dresser 008Don’t forget to try them UPSIDE down too.  Oftentimes it’s a better fit. and the wider flared top as the bottom created a good visual balance.

7.4.13 CUR + projects dresser 009Perfect fit!

7.4.13 CUR + projects dresser 010Once all paired up I glued the styro to the base with tacky glue.

7.4.13 CUR + projects dresser 011I wanted my birds to have crowns, but lately the paper and glitter crowns have been getting bent.   So I formed crowns out of Fimo clay fitted to the top of the birds heads.  Popped them into the oven to dry (per package instructions).  Then gently popped them OFF the birds heads, to glue them on permanently with e6000.   

7.4.13 CUR + projects dresser 012I positioned the birds on their pedestals, then glued them on with e6000.  But IGNORE that!  I learned the hard way that I SHOULD have plastered my styro FIRST, then glued the birds on.  

7.4.13 CUR + projects dresser 018Got out mu big ole tub of joint compound and covered the styro balls with a thin layer and let dry overnight.

7.4.13 CUR + projects dresser 022And NOW glue your birds onto the covered balls using e6000.  Let your glue dry for a day, then add another layer of the joint compound.  You can smooth out the joint compound with your hands once it’s partially dry.  I wanted to leave some of the lumps and bumps for a more organic look.  You can also sand off the excess lumps and bumps once completely dry.

7.4.13 CUR + projects dresser 025I wanted the WHOLE piece to have that organic look, so after the second coat on the balls dried, I applied little bits ‘here and there’ on the birds and the bases.  Let dry overnight again.

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And sand to smooth as much as you want.

7.4.13 CUR + projects dresser 024This one is a bigger ball than the rest of the others, and the base has some nice decorative indentations on it so I didn’t cover them with joint compound.

7.4.13 CUR + projects dresser 029Then I spray painted then all white.

7.4.13 CUR + projects dresser 030Forgot to mention that I bought the birds at the craft store.  (on SALE of course!)

7.4.13 CUR + projects dresser 032Did this one little one with no ball, just for some variety.

7.5.13 curiosities only 009Voila!!

4.10.12 stars birds 025This is a batch from a couple of years ago with just the birds on white pedestals.

4.10.12 stars birds 035And some more from my ‘pre-crown’ days!

4.10.12 stars birds 083And some more!  Yep!  I make a lot of these, because I SELL a lot of them!

5.1.13 Stars Curiosities 024And some that I put the sheet music crowns on.

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6.4.13 projects CURIOUS Stars 088And some with glitter crowns and even as cloche toppers!