Sunday, December 23, 2012

Holiday Scene for the Birds
Home Decor from Costume Jewelry


This year I decided to finally decorate the bird houses I've been gathering from the dollar bin at Micheal's. My son and I made a little winter scene to brighten up our house for the holidays.

We made mini trees from cone shaped foam forms and garland. I have a collection of small ornaments that would get lost on the big tree so they went on the main tree of our little scene.

My full size tree doesn't have a lot of ornaments that look the same, no package of shiny balls for me. Each ornament is a memory of a person, a place or an event. The same is true on these little trees. The little wooden shoes were from a trip to Holland, MI when my son was three and I love reliving that memory each time I put them on a tree.

Old costume jewelry makes great ornaments
on a foam tree, just stick the pin into the foam.
The small ornaments there weren't enough to do a good job so I raided my aunt's jewelry box, just like when I was a kid. We used pins and earrings to complete the job. It was fun reliving memories of Christmases with my family when I was a kid. Her old costume jewelry makes great ornaments I just stuck the pin into the foam. For earrings I used a but of green florist wire. Easy Peasy.

The buttons on the left hand tree came out of a jar full of family memories I inherited. I'm sure the buttons on that tree were worn on my grandparents clothing at some point. Most of the buttons were the kind with the loop on the back. I found that they looked nicer and were easier to get on.

The right hand tree is decorated with buttons and charms I had in my craft stash, but these also remind me of people I have lost. The golden butterfly reminds me of my friend Vicki, the Kokopelli charm (which you can't really see) reminds me of my friend Nancy.


 The bird houses are covered Delta Creamcoat acrylic paint in white or gold . The tallest house was the first one done. It's hot glued to a candle stand, also from Micheal's. I removed the metal insert first so the top of the candle stand would be flat. I used a scalloped punch to make pages from a book look like shingles then I colored them with Distress ink in Old Paper.

For the snow I used Elmer's clear school glue and dribbled it on the roof. Then I poured Martha Stewart fine glitter on the glue. I wish the glue dried quicker because it made awesome icicles before it fell off the roof and formed puddles of sticky glitter patties.

The second house had a thick rope coming out the top so it could be hung. I pushed it into the house and tried to pull it out or the door hole. If I had to do it over again I would have just cut the darn thing. I worked for a good 10 minutes trying to get my fingers in the door whole to get to the string so I could pull it out. Now I have a think rope just long enough to hang a bird house. What am I going to do with this thing?

I painted a mini terracotta pot with the same gold paint I used on the roof as a base. The hole at the top of the house, where the rope came from bothered me so I glued a bead into it. For the snow on this and all remaining houses I used crystal DecoArt Craft Twinkles Writer. The wreath was cut using the Silhouette from my own design and decorated with a bit of baker's twine I got from Crate and Barrel two years ago. You can download the wreath design here: Katemade Designs Wreath.

The circular house is my son's favorite, it also features the wreath and twine decoration. The sides of the house are painted with a mix of white and gold craft paint I didn't like the color so much so I hand painted gold stripes on it. I Mod Podged a scrap of a sewing pattern to the roof and then when it was dry I rubbed the gold paint on with my fingers.
The last house has one of my favorite things; free paper. You know when you used to get the round light bulb, the ones that didn't feature mercury and a curly design? Yeah those. Well they came in a box that was corrugated on the inside. That's what I used to make the roof of the last house.

I sprayed it with gold Krylon Glitter Spray, traced the roof on the smooth side, cut and glued it down. I ran the Twinkles Writer down the edges but it still didn't look finished so I added an embellishment. I colored a little bit of holly from the Tim Holtz Seasonal Grungeboard collection with Distress Ink in Peeled Paint then colored the berries with red Smooch ink. (I don't think you can get this any more I got mine at Tuesday Morning.)

I Mod Podged the walls of the house with the same sewing pattern as the round house roof. Sewing patterns always remind me of my aunt who used to make our clothes when we were kids. The spools the house is on were from her sewing box. This is my favorite house because it reminds me so much of her.

This year will be the first Christmas without my dad and so, according to all accounts, it should be a very difficult time for us. The memories of other relatives and friends these decorations have evoked are helping me deal with my father's absence. I know there will be more than a couple of tears shed at Christmas Mass and as we sit down for a family meal that day but it is not nearly as hard as I thought it would be. At one point in his illness I had an overwhelming feeling that whatever happened Dad would be okay, that his future was bright and our lives without him would be okay at some point as well.

Happy Holidays,


alexa said...

I am fascinated by your birdhouses - I have been collecting all year too and am hoping to start decorating them this holiday. I will be thinking of you all as you move through the days without your Dad here, and sending you warmest regards ..

Lynn Stevens said...

What a darling Display Katie, Love that you added bits of jewelry as ornaments.

I'm so sorry to hear about your loss.
My heart goes out to you at this difficult time.
Hope 2013 brings you a brighter and happier year.
Hugs Lynn