Thursday, March 22, 2012

Handmade Gifts for Bird Lovers

Freckled Bird Pillow by Georgianne Holland at Nestle and Soar
Bird lovers are everywhere, and if you are thinking about a gift for your favorite bird lover, it is easy to find gifts that will decorate their garden or feed their feathered friends. How about a handmade gift for your bird fan that will decorate the inside of their home instead!

You won’t have to buy a tank of gas to shop for your bird-loving friend! Handmade bird pillows, birdie cups for their favorite coffee or tea, and special one-of-a-kind modern vintage bird wall art are easily available with a click of your mouse. And while technology makes it fast and easy for you to purchase a great handmade gift for a bird lover, you can appreciate the low-technology methods used to create these handmade items. Talk to most any crafts person, and you will be intrigued to hear about the extensive time, patience and talent needed to hand-make these collectible home décor items. These are the kind of gifts that will be appreciated for years to come.

Hand-thrown Birdie Cup at Nestle and Soar
Bird lovers tend to like birds in every room of the house; at least I know that I do! In my Nestle and Soar studio in Colorado, I have bird-themed office supplies, containers of all shapes and sizes, bird calendars, and bird art for the wall. The variety of bird species is so very extensive, it is easy to help bird lovers celebrate their favorite colors with handmade bird-themed items. Have you ever seen images of birds from around the world, in lands far away from the backyard sparrows and finches seen everyday, to be amazed by the bright colors and plumage of birds from around the world? This is the kind of variety that makes bird lovers happy, so help them celebrate the true wonder of birds by giving them a special gift.

Perhaps you have a creative urge and would like to try making your own handmade gift for a bird lover? It is fun and easy to turn soda bottles into bird feeders or help your kids or grand kids paint a simple wooden bird house from the hobby store. This kind of thoughtful gift has the benefit of being handmade by a loved one, and bird lovers tend to be warm hearted folks! One of my favorite handmade gifts for bird lovers became the big hit at Christmas time last year. I found a stash of simple drawstring muslin bags and stamped a lovely image of a bird in flight onto them. I filled each one with wild bird food from my local home and garden shop. It was fun and easy to give away these sweet gifts to all of my bird-loving friends at Christmas potlucks and gift exchanges. And when the bird seed was all gone, each of my friends could reuse the muslin bag as a simple gift wrap for another gift! 

What bird-themed gift would you love to receive?
Thanks for stopping by,


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday -- March 6, 2012

There are birds and fiber galore in this week's top ten! From a hand embroidered bluebird lunch tote to a burnished bird necklace, and 7 other wonderful items in between, I feel great kinship to those who hand-make bird-themed items and fiber arts projects! If there were more than 24/7, I'd be interested in trying my hand at many of these types of projects. Oh well, I cannot make the days any longer, but I am so happy to pass along contact information for these creative folks!

#1 Hand Embroidered Blue Bird Canvas Lunch Tote
Jemzy on Etsy makes this sweet bag which measures 9" x 11", and comes complete with a pink floral calico pocket lining. This may be the best Easter basket you've ever received! Visit with the talented Jemzy here.

#2 Sparrow Tea Cups from Rustic Peace
I originally saw these lovely cups on Pinterest and have tracked them as far as I can to Rustic Peace on Tumblr. I hope that if anyone gets further in the search for these coveted cups, you will share with all of us!

#3 Seamless Felted Mittens with Floral Design
Aurelial T Felting in Lithuania is making these charming mittens to order on Etsy! I know that winter is almost over for many of us now, but springtime in the Rockies can be seriously snowy, so these mittens look just right to me! If you live in a place where it is snowy or cold at least part of every year, this mitten purchase just makes perfect sense. Visit AureliaLT felting and see her complete line -- you'll enjoy yourself!

#4 Needle Felted Landscape Ball
I'm really impressed by the detail that The Felted Egg shopkeeper Emily puts into a simple 3.25" spherical shape! You can see photos of all angles of this ball on her charming Etsy shop, and I'll bet that you will be impressed, too! She has used both wet and dry felting techniques and 100% natural plant-dyed wool. Lovely!

#5 Pink Embroidered Felt Birds in time for Spring
The applique and embroidered details of each Beedeebabee item is artistic and perfectly balanced. Don't you love the uniformity of her hand work and the charming shapes of her designs? This little pink bird brooch is nearing the top of my list for sure...enjoy your visit with Beedeebabee on Etsy here!

#6 100% Re-Turned Recycled Norwegian Wood and 100% Adorable
Hand turned wooden birds made in Norway by Lars Beller Fjetland are catching my fancy this week. Lars used left-over wood from carpentry production, like a table leg or armrest, and turned them into these adorable sculptural birds. Let's all keep our eyes open for production of these charming pieces!

#7 Meg Hannan's Fabric Jewels "Millefiori" Hearts
I have to share with you these textural treasures from Rag Sky Art Studio in Seattle, Washington, and the hands of Meg Hannan. She has used vintage fabrics and fibers to make these layered and rolled fiber hearts. I found a shop named Great Green Goods that offers them through Renga Arts to us folks outside of the Seattle area!

#8 Peony Eco Shopping Bag
I would feel very special indeed carrying this exceptional shopping bag! Colettecolor on Etsy tells me that it folds up to stash into my purse when not in use, but it is so lovely, I think I'd proudly walk into the grocery store with it on my arm! It measures about 15"x17" and has a 22" strap. That's some good-looking grub!

#9 Burnished Nest Necklace from Sidney Hanner
I was intrigued to see all of the great classes in jewelry making being taught by designer and instructor Sidney Hanner. I also love the name of these classes: Gilding the Lily Classes! I know that classes like this are only available for specific time-frames and places, but I am inspired by this necklace and Sid's generous sharing of her techniques.

#10 Funny Animal Photo of the Week!
Someone has a sense of humor! Perhaps it isn't me, but here's my funny animal of the week!

Thanks for stopping by,

Monday, March 5, 2012

Before and After...Everything Creative in its Place

Nestle and Soar Desk Before
Nestle and Soar Workstation Before
There are those who tell me that the creative personality is messy. Having an artistic stash is almost a permission slip to have too much; too many materials and supplies, anyway. I certainly appreciate the messiness that comes from having multiple projects going at once in my studio and in my office. Maybe that is a learned habit that moms develop, like making sure each of her children is thriving simultaneously.

Nestle and Soar Desk After
Nestle and Soar Workstation After
Mostly though, I enjoy simplicity and tidiness. It is not unusual for me to spend the last 20 minutes of each day walking around my home and my studio, putting items back where they belong. And I do have designated places where items belong! A chaotic home makes me feel a little twitchy, just as I imagine my tidiness prowls before bedtime make my family a little twitchy!

I did thoroughly enjoy emptying out my office last week and taking responsibility for the mess it had become. I convinced myself that the piles of paperwork I was building slowly over time were logical, but really, they were just an excuse for incomplete work. I also couldn't make myself admit that some of the paperwork I was saving (with the excuse that they were important) were never actually going to be acted upon by me. I needed to get real with myself. I am so glad that I did! By cleaning out the office -- literally taking everything off of each surface --I knew that I would have to justify everything I brought back into the space after the dusting was finished. And let me tell you, it feels wonderful to kiss many of those important papers good bye!

I think my next tidying project will be refurbishing my Dream Board which is above the workstation in photo if dreams are ever actually a tidy experience!

Thanks for stopping by,