The Blue Bird Box

ImageImage

This craft all began with the fact that my friend is getting married and the theme for her wedding is blue birds. It certainly is a lovely wedding theme as blue birds mate for life.  I found part of her gift right away, by walking into the tea room/gift shop in Morrisburg, called “The Basket Case”.  It was there that I discovered the first part of her gift -a perky little pair of blue bird salt and pepper shakers.  I was thrilled with my purchase, but I wanted the gift to be extra special so I decided to make a decorated container for the pair.  I found an unpainted wooden chest-shaped box at the dollar store and planned how to transform it.

I decided to paint the box a pretty sky blue with acrylic paints.  Once it was painted inside and out, my husband sprayed it with acrylic glaze.  Then I lined the inside bottom with soft blue felt which I glued in place and trimmed with scissors.  I wasn’t sure what I would use to decoupage the top until I remembered that I had some pretty blue flowered paper napkins.  I first of all separated the two layers of napkins and then I cut carefully around the flowers.  I then covered the top of the box with white glue (I will probably use less glue in future projects).  I placed the cut out flowers on the glue in a pleasing pattern.  After the glue dried I placed a number of blue and silver sequins on the box top as well with glue (I restrained myself from adding more than about ten).  My next step was to add Mod Podge  by brush all over the paper flowers and sequins.  I did about three coats, drying each coat carefully before adding the next.  I stenciled “love” in a darker blue on the front and covered it with Mod Podge too.  The final step was spraying acrylic glaze over it all again and putting the blue felt on the bottom of the box to protect any table it is put on.  Altogether, I was very pleased with the results, although I need more practice in stencils.

I had also been working on a painting of blue birds to go with the gift.  I tried it in various medium and liked the results I got with water colour pencils, gouache and soft pastels the best.  I was very anxious to know how my friend felt about the gift, so I was relieved that she and her husband-to-be seemed so delighted with it.  It was an enjoyable project to do and I would do something like it again.  I’m thinking of maybe making my three grandchildren treasure boxes with their names on them the same way.  I love having crafting projects.

Colour, Colour, Colour!

ImageImage

I revel in colour.  I love colour.  I enjoy painting and the natural world around me is a constant source of richness.  If everything were black and white or just grey or even only one colour, I would find life very bland.  Poor Midas who turned all he touched into gold.  No more scarlet or azure or violet.  What a sad world!  I feast upon colours and I am a greedly little pig about it.  I’m not a gardener of any sort, but I gorge upon the gardens of others.   I even love the spring dandelions that most homeowners hate.  My office is red because red is my very favourite colour, but I’m a fair opportunity employer when it comes to palettes.  Bring on the rich purples, the opaline whites, the chocolate browns and robin’s egg blues.

And that brings me to our feast of colour today.  Birds.  Lots of birds.  Birds preening, birds flitting in and out of trees, birds nibbling at the bird feeders and birds strutting their colours.  My husband and I had spent the morning at a nursing home where he led the service and we both took part in the choir.  Our choir leader and other members had kindly consented to sing their hearts out for the seniors today. After a wonderful morning praising the Lord, my husband  and I went on to the tire shop to change our car’s tires over from winter treads to summer.  It just so happens that the tire shop is just a few seconds away from a delightful antiques shop/bed and breakfast/tea room.  So off we went to enjoy a delicious two hour lunch with a picture window view of their lovely garden full of bird feeders and birds.  We had the best seats in the house and while we feasted on cream of lovage soup, salad and quiche (me) and Montreal smoked meat sandwich (Bud,) we watched the passing parade of colourful feathered performers.

While we munched, we observed spectacular rose-breasted grosbeaks, pretty house finches, sunny yellow goldfinches, robins, starlings,  blue jays and shiny black/blue grackles.  There was a mourning dove as well ,fluffing up his breast on the wrought iron fence.  At one point six goldfinch, three males and three females, clung to six different perches of the feeder full of niger seed.  It really was a feast for the eyes.  We spent our whole meal exclaiming over the beauty of the birds.  It was my pre-Mother’s Day treat and I ate up every scrap of my meal and my colour banquet.  The two pictures above are my versions of two of those birds, the rose-breasted grosbeak and the gold finch.  Wish I could do them  justice.

By the way, if you are ever in Williamsburg, Ontario do stop in at the Bed and Breakfast Tearoom and ask for the table by the picture window that looks out on their patio.  Be prepared to indulge your eyes and your stomach.  Bon appetit!