REMEMBER...

LIFE IS A GARDEN; ENJOY THE STROLL.

December 2, 2016

MAKE A BACKYARD BIRD COZY

Each year around Thanksgiving, a gal pal of mine heads to warmer parts of the world for the winter, and a few days prior to her departure we do a little nature-y, garden lover's gift exchange.  One sweet thing I received from her was this bird hive roosting pocket.
linda nelson at the createaerie
©Linda Nelson 2016
Isn't it adorable?  I hung it just outside my dining room window so that I will have the perfect view of my feathered little buddies taking shelter when those blustery winter winds arrive.  My bird feeders are also close by, making it convenient to fill them up and watch the feeding action.

Now, you'd think that I'd just leave it at that; however, that's not my style.  Nope, the gears in the brain start turning, and the hands, heart and soul start creating.  That's been a Linda trait as far back as I can remember.  I needed to make a roosting pocket, and I was going to call it a "backyard bird cozy".  So, that's what I did.  I scavenged my garage for some materials and this is what I made.
linda nelson at the createaerie
©Linda Nelson 2016
The tin was a yard sale find from this past summer, and the faux grass mat was a sample piece from one of my landscape supply vendors.  I wouldn't be surprised if a squirrel tries to stuff its fat little body in there.   My squirrels are "shapely" because I don't bother deterring them from the bird feeders.

Then, while rummaging through one of my fabric bins, I came across a sleeve from a wool sweater I felted a few years back.  I paired it with a dollar store child's megaphone (they're great mannequins for making cone templates!) and.......Voila!  Another little bird cozy was born.
linda nelson at the createaerie
©Linda Nelson 2016
Hey there moms, winter break is not too far off; this would be a neat activity to keep your kids occupied........ at least, for a little while.

I'm not sure about leaving them up during the summer; they could become hornet or wasp cozies! But that's too far into the future for me to think about.  First, I've got to get through snow shoveling season.

November 30, 2016

MAKING IT INTO STAMPINGTON & CO

Oh gosh, with all this sciatica nonsense I've been contending with, I almost forgot to make my announcement -

I made it into Stampington & Co's Somerset Studio Gallery winter 2017 issue!  Aren't their publications just the best?  They do such a lovely job with showcasing each and every artists' works. Every one of their magazines are packed with visual deliciousness.

It's a first time experience for me, so I'm feeling exceptionally giddy!  I think the only other thing that would tickle me this way would be being called to "come on down" on The Price is Right.

Happy crafting, everyone!
linda nelson at the createaerie
©Linda Nelson 2016
linda nelson at the createaerie
©Linda Nelson 2016
linda nelson at the createaerie
©Linda Nelson 2016

THIS ONE'S FOR YOU, LITTLE SISTER!

My sister had been doing some clutter purging, and passed a few fabric remnants on to me when I spent Thanksgiving at her home.  I'm a sucker for handouts like that.  A few days later my mom mentioned to me that she had a box of trim, lace and sewing notions stashed away in a closet, and asked if I was interested in the stuff.  Yes, mom.  Oh my....... I'll need to prepare quite a bit for this future post because opening that box led to opening other boxes, and to opening up a running stitch of memories.  And, I can't wait to share those memories with you!

Anyway, I've decided that I'm going to return some of the fabric to my sister.  Yep, I'm going to "gift" the piece of olive green velvet fabric back to her....... for Christmas.

Ta-da!
linda nelson at the createaerie
©Linda Nelson 2016
If you'd like to make a stuffed yo-yo Christmas tree, you will need -
  • a sister who's getting rid of about 1/2 yard of fabric
  • button thread (it's much more durable than regular thread)
  • a needle
  • round templates in graduating sizes (I used pot lids dishes, etc...)
  • beanbag fill (rabbit/guinea pig bedding shavings would also work!)
  • a dowel or metal rod about 3/8"diam. (the length depends on how tall you make your tree)
  • a small pair of pointy scissors
  • tree base and tree topper (*see note)         
©Linda Nelson 2016
Stitch, stuff, cinch and tie off all your yo-yo's.  Using the pointed end of the scissors, poke a hole through the center of each yo-yo making sure the hole is wide enough to feed the dowel/rod through. Feed all the yo-yos onto the rod (cinched side facing up). Now, it's time to add your topper and base, though I must let you in on a little secret -
©Linda Nelson 2016
©Linda Nelson 2016
* I used old lamp parts to assemble my tree, but I'm confident that if you don't have any lurking around your home, you will successfully finish the assembly some other imaginative and resourceful way.  Just get creative!

November 28, 2016

GETTIN' GRITTY WIT IT

Do you know that a "pain in the a$$" is actually a real thing?  If you've ever experienced sciatica, then you most certainly know it to be true.  But, sciatica doesn't just park itself at one of your "cheeks".  No, it also takes a little joy ride down your leg and tortures you to no end.  It debilitates you.  It robs you of all energy.  It makes you miserable.  It is also your body's way of telling you that your sensitive nerves may be getting pinched by your misaligned and compacted spine....... well, at least in my case. That's what years of landscape gardening can do to the body.

My spine is responding well to the chiropractic adjustments I've been receiving, but I've had to limit the amount of time I spend sitting down; hence, I haven't been at my computer much lately.  Yesterday's spark of spinal relief prompted me to, of course, get creative.

So, here's a gritty little faux cement tutorial just for you!
  • white gesso
  • white pre-mixed sanded grout
  • black acrylic paint
  • brown acrylic paint
  • soilless potting mix or peat moss
  • green Spanish moss
  • glue
  • paintbrush
  • objects d'transformation (I chose a classic ball ornament, tiny clay pots and pine cones)
Mix two parts gesso to one part grout together in a small bowl.  Add a tiny drop or two each of black and brown paint to obtain a cement-like base color.  Paint the concoction onto your object, then let it dry.  Next, brush on (in a patchy-like fashion)some gesso tinted just slightly lighter than your base color, and let it dry.  Do not use any grout with this layer.  Then, using only the white gesso, dab some areas with your fingertip and smudge/blur it in to create the look of limescale residue.  Now, put a few pinches of Spanish moss and peat moss together into a coffee grinder and grind them up to create a coarse powder.  Brush some glue onto your object and sprinkle the powder onto those areas. When dry, buff the residual particles off with your hands.
linda nelson at the createaerie
©Linda Nelson 2016
linda nelson at the createaerie
©Linda Nelson 2016
linda nelson at the createaerie
©Linda Nelson 2016
That's all there is to it.

Now, go grab something, make it gritty and get creative.

And, most importantly, take good care of your back.