• Live Life Inspired. Dream With Possibility! Donna Downey
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Daisy Birdhouse

Remember the frame I made a while back using the daisy paper from Imaginesence? I came across the scraps from that paper and realized I had enough to do up a little birdhouse to match.

The small design really worked well with my tiny birdhouses! The reverse side made a perfect roof as well. I went a little nuts again with the Scribbles, dotting everything in sight. I also pulled out some chipboard flowers from American Crafts (dotted with Scribbles, lol) and some Rhinestone elements from Heidi Swapp I got in the card kit from Memories from the Attic (I won this from a drawing on Scrapscene!).

Totally simple and totally makes me smile!


Teacher Gift Birdhouse

Well, today was the last day of 1st grade for my son, Michael! He’s been ready for his 6-week summer break for about a month now, lol!

I had originally planned on making another frame for Michael’s teacher, similar to the one I made for his kindergarten teacher last year (here), but Michael insisted that I do a birdhouse for her instead (I’ve got him addicted too, lol!). Since his school loops their teachers two years in a row, I can always make her a frame next year.

So I asked him what her favorite color was – of course he didn’t know, but he did say she wore red a lot. Sooo, I picked out a couple of coordinating papers from My Mind’s Eye’s Tres Jolie line that featured a pretty shade of red. The manila paint from Making Memories happened to go nicely, so I used that for my base. I wanted to keep it fairly simple, so the only decoration I used was the Prima flowers, with dimensional paint from PSX for the centers. I just kept looking at those x’s and decided some understated bling was in order, so used a clear glitter pen from Sakura for the centers there. Just the right amount of sparkle!

On a funny note…the Beacon’s 3-in-1 glue I use has a tendency to occasionally bubble. Usually it’s easily noticeable and quick to just pop with a needle tool or my fingernail. However when i attached the birds to this one, apparently I didn’t notice a bubble. It wasn’t until I went to photograph it zoomed in that I saw the hardened bubble…yup, right under the top bird’s rump! It was comical, but I decided my son’s poor teacher didn’t need to see the birdie doing it’s thing, lol! So there’s a little excess clear glue under there, but at least it’s no longer a big obvious (how did I not see it??) bubble anymore!

Southwest Birdhouse

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!

Country Birdhouse

This was another one of the birdhouses I was commissioned to make for a friend to give as a Mother’s Day gift. I have to admit, this is my new alltime favorite one I’ve made! I love how the colors came together and the little basket and hat were so fun to play with!

The paper is from Daisy D’s. Flowers from Prima. Mini buttons are mixed from Making Memories and Dress It Up. The paint is also Making Memories. The basket and hat are from Darice. I also used Glossy Accents to seal the wire “stems” into the basket.

Girly Birdhouse

This birdhouse was one that I was commissioned to make for a friend to give as a Mother’s Day
gift (there were three of them altogether – I’ll share the other two this week). The paper is from Bo Bunny and is Stickled and Scribbled everywhere! Lots of Prima’s and even THOSE have centers of Scribbles covered with Stickles, lol! The closeups (click on each picture to get a larger view) show the bling a bit better, but still not the full sparkly effect of this little birdhouse. I think the most fun was adding the little pot of flowers! It’s a tiny regular clay pot that I filled with some of my son’s glittery Moon Sand then stuck in picks covered with more Prima flowers and then I “set” the whole thing by adding Glossy Accents over the Moon Sand, sealing everything in. Then I used E6000 to glue the whole assembly to the house itself.

Dinosaur Birdhouse

I am so in love with Basic Grey’s new Archaic line! To be honest, when I first saw the previews online, I just wasn’t feeling it. It wasn’t until I saw it in person that I found myself wanting every single piece, lol!

My first birdhouse without a resident birdie, but I decided the the little dinosaurs I cut from one of the papers (were just too cute not to use instead. All I used were a few pieces of paper (with lots of scraps left over) and a couple of pieces of the border stickers from the sticker sheet (the overhangs in front and back). This paper was so fun and it was quite enough all by itself. The palm trees are also cut from the piece of paper the dino’s came from. My son begged and begged for this one, so it’s happily sitting in his room….but I think I need to make another one for MY collection!

Marah Birdhouse

I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter weekend!

I’ve been dying to find a way to make Marah Johnson’s papers work for a birdhouse but the designs are so large compared to these tiny birdhouses I didn’t think I could. On Saturday I went over for a crop at Blessed 2 Scrapbook in Champaign and in looking at the corners of one of the papers, found enough design in a small area to give it a try and I’m so glad that I did! I took the paper I needed from the corners and laid them out exactly to keep the design from the corners centered at the peaks in the front and back – LOVE the result! She has so many gorgeous papers I’d love to take a shrink ray to so that the design won’t be lost in a birdhouse this small and I’m so happy I found ONE to work, at least! I edged everything with black Stickles because I ended up having a few issues with trying too hard to capture the design that I figured out too late that this particular birdhouse was terribly uneven – to keep the designs where I wanted them I had to sacrifice perfect fit and the Stickles cover this nicely. Of course, I had to also cover it in Prima’s! I realized I’m out of little birdies so this house is still uninhabited for the moment. As usual, for a much closer look, simply click on the picture for the gigantic version!

On another note, I got a new toy this weekend! I finally broke down and bought a video camera! I would LOVE to do a few video tutorials so let me know what you’d like to SEE rather than just read my long-winded explanations of, lol! And then be patient…I have NO idea how to edit the video yet. More software to learn – just what I needed!