This was the third custom birdhouse I created for a friend to give as a Mother’s Day gift. She had asked for a Southwest theme, which I immediately pictured in my head, but could not for the life of me find ANYTHING that would bring my picture to life. Seriously – cowboy is everywhere, but nothing in those gorgeous Aztec-type designs I was thinking of. So instead, I googled southwest houses and after looking through tons of beautiful stucco houses, revised my vision and took a new path for this birdhouse.
I started with some old My Mind’s Eye paper that had a stucco-like look. I pulled the brick red color for the roof from another common theme I’d seen in my “house hunting” (man, did I ever want to move, lol!). I did attempt the wavy roof, but didn’t like the way it came out so stuck with a flat roof and went another direction.
I found this leather trim in my stash and started trimming out the rooflines and bottom of the birdhouse. Gotta admit – I really loved this look! Then on to decorating.
I knew I wanted cactus. However, like the southwest designs, cactus just isn’t “big” right now…at least not in Central Illinois! I found a couple of EK’s Jolee’s that had some cactus included, but they looked completely cheesy. Not what I wanted at all! It suddenly hit me that I could repeat something I’d done years ago. A little unorthodox, but those cactus are REAL! Years ago, I helped decorate a dollhouse for a guy I was dating’s little sister. We used real cactus and they survived forever – even in the hands of a 5 year old! If you look at some of the small cactus plants you find in grocery stores, Walmart, etc. (I got these at Lowe’s), they grow by “budding”. I took these tiny wooden flower pots (painted and sealed for waterproofing) and added just a tiny bit of dirt, then a tiny bud off of one of my cacti (which I bought to discourage my cat to avoid chewing on my plants…seems to be a lesson he’s learning!). One of the full size plants had these lovely yellow blooms (look carefully – most of those “blooming” cacti actually have their blooms glued on!!!). So I recreated the look with tiny yellow Prima’s folded and scrunched and then glued on. I sent along instructions that they’d need just a drop or two of water every 10 days or so. I used a Bazzill coaster as a base for this one as I didn’t trust having the pots just glued from the sides so they’re glued to the base instead.
It’s a totally different look than my original vision, but I was still pleased with how it came out – my interpretation of southwest architecture!