Monday, 17 May 2010

Number 1 of 50 projects in 2010: bird house

I decorated this bird house to use as my "jar" for the the Jar of Whimsies swap on Craftster. I decorated it by hand, hunted high and low for tiny treasures to put in, packaged it up with love... only for it to get lost in the post somewhere between here and Pennsylvania *sobs*.
I'm so disappointed that my partner never received it, I found so many cool little bits and pieces in charity shops that I'm obviously never going to find again - things like vintage postcards that were written and sent decades ago, tiny little photo frames, a tiny ceramic bird, a little wooden owl... all lost and alone somewhere unknown in the postal system. Both packages for this swap got lost, so we're sending replacements. I'm sure I'll still be able to fill the replacement container I'm sending with lots of nice things, but it won't be quite the same and my heart's not completely in it any more. Oh well, such is life. I knew I was risking it not getting there when I posted it by surface mail, but because the house is made from thick wood it made the package unbelievably heavy so posting it by air mail (the more reliable option) would've at least doubled the postage making it cost over £20 to post!

Anyway, that's enough of that. Back to the craft.

I originally thought about painting the design on with acrylic paint, but my painting skills aren't that great yet so my design would've lacked the detail I wanted it to have. In the end I opted for good ol' coloured pencils. This meant I could put in the shading and details needed to stop the tree and grass looking like a brown squiggly mess and a monotone green blob.
It was pretty hard drawing on the wood as I couldn't get completely smooth lines because of the ridges of the wood grain. That wasn't a problem for the tree and grass, but it made it a lot more difficult to do the swallows, especially their tails.
I was really pleased with how this turned out as I've never done a project like it before. I'm really tempted to make another one for myself, it would look lovely hanging in the apple tree in the garden in autumn. I think next time I might try sanding the surface slightly before drawing to see if I can make my lines more smooth.

1 project down, 49 to go!

Next project: tree of life necklace.


  1. That's awful that it got lost in the post :( I think I'd cry! I hate sending thingsthat aren't insured in some way.. I hope any other swaps you do make it to their new home safely!

    Beautiful bird house. My boyfriend is a carpenter and is going to start making these for me to paint, can't wait!

  2. Thank you :). Hand-made houses sound much better, especially when they're made just for you. Mine was just a fairly cheap one from B&Q!
    I've definitely learnt from this, I'm not going to post anything by surface mail ever again. I'm just going to have to try my very hardest to control myself and restrict the goodies I put in the package, or make sure they're much more lightweight!