04 May 2011

BTW: Nesting

"Be as a bird perched on a frail branch that she feels bending beneath her, still she sings away all the same, knowing she has wings."

~Victor Hugo

The birds are staking out their claim on my front porch for nests.

I came downstairs the other day and came face-to-face with a pigeon of some sort checking out the options.

Our front door is all glass... from the front door to the side lights to the transom window. Sometimes it feels like I am living in a fishbowl.

But in spring it is more like an aviary, like the kind that they have at the assisted living facility. A big glass enclosure with dozens of tiny birds flitting about, perching on little branches.

We will wake up one morning and come down the stairs to find the beginnings of a nest and someone sitting in it. I always feel a bit voyeuristic when I see this. They fly away. My husband removes the twigs before they can complete it. (This is the only staircase in our house, and while it would be cool to watch the nests this close, we disrupt them every time we walked by. I don't want to be the adoptive momma to a bunch of baby birds. Plus it makes a huge mess. So please don't hate me!). Then the process repeats itself. Until one day I discovered that if I hung old CDs in the window they wouldn't like the spinning and color and noise. There are plenty of trees and bushes and other structures around. It is just not the best place to feather a nest in my glass front door. So what if my neighbors think I am crazy for a few weeks? ;-)
{New crackle components from Earthenwood Studio}

When Melanie of Earthenwood Studio sent me my last Design Team packet I admit that I set it down and forgot about it. And then I saw what some others were doing and I thought that I never received. Luckily for me, Miss Melanie is kind and generous and helped me realize that I had April's package tucked away with March. Needless to say, I am a bit behind. But with the sort of April that I just had, I hope that you will all forgive me!

Melanie sent use a few of her new crackle glaze components and I just love them. The set she sent me has a sort of soft pink creaminess to it (but I see that she offers other glaze choices). The crackles are such a delightful texture. And the shapes are great too. The little egg and the connector will have to wait for another day, because I had my eye on that egg shaped donut from the moment I laid eyes on them.

So my Bead Table Wednesday is more of a finished project since I didn't think to take a shot as I was working. Finishing something feels good!

I had a vision that there needed to be a nest in that hole. I suppose it would have been easier for me to just use it as a toggle, but I like to challenge myself...especially if it is really late at night and I have been sitting on a baseball field in cold and wind for a double header for 4 hours. (That is when my urge to challenge myself really kicks in ;-)

I made the messy nest with galvanized steel wire and an egg shaped mother of pearl bead from a defunct vintage necklace I picked up from an flea market shop.

I dug through my stash and found this sweet little bird tile from Marie at MoreSkyeJewels.Etsy.com but there were holes at the corners. Hmmm... I found the perfect Vintaj filigree to wrap it in, but the wholes were either visible or not lined up at all with the natural holes in the filigree. What to do? I got out my trusty screw punch and poked a few more holes in the filigree (one needs to be enlarged a bit but for now it works fine).

Then it was just a matter of bringing it all together. I found some turquoise nuggets, more mother of pearl vintage egg beads. I added some wood rondelles to call to mind the branch of a tree. But then the color I wasn't seeing was the soft pink of the Earthenwoods component. So I added three little mauve colored pearls that add a lustrous sheen to the piece.

I used a combination of Vintaj elements, like the leaf and the rings and the filigree, I punched holes in the branch to make it a connector, and I also used galvanized steel wire to cage the beads and add a different patina to the metals. I wanted this to be a longer necklace so I found this great textured cable chain from AD Adornments (I seem to recall that I bought the last of the roll that she had at Bead & Button), and I found a sweet little gunmetal magnetic flower clasp to complete the look.

I call this Remember You Have Wings.

Please go and visit Miss Melanie's blog to see what she is up to (it is always something innovative and fun), and also check out the other members of the Earthenwood Design Team.

What is on your bead table or work table today?


Unknown said...

I love the final piece! Melanie's components are so simple and then you wove it into something incredibly intricate. Thank you for helping me remember I have wings today and every day!

Cheeseboy said...

All these nests around and tons of birds would be cool for the kids, but I think it might kinda creep me out a little. But what a cool place to live!

Malin de Koning said...

I just love those new components of hers. And what you did is super nice. Very pretty!

On another topic: Yesterday an amazing parcel arrived in my mail. So *%¶**€ unbelievably amazing I tell you! Wow wow wow Erin. I loooooove it. The pendants are so so wonderful! But you are just too generous. How can I ever "repay"? I am just so crap at such things. I'll give it a try though. Thank you so so much my friend!

Marie Cramp said...

That is a fabulous piece!! I absolutely adore it! Can't wait to see what else you will make with what you got!!

Susan Marling said...

I love what you did with the piece - the nest is wonderful with the twig and leaf further up and I really like the colors. When I see other's work - I always want to ask - how they buy their beads - how do you know what you are going to use when you are at a show or store so you will have the right things when you sit down to make something? Can you help shed any light on that? Thank you. (rmar261783@aol.com)

rosebud101 said...

Beautiful, Erin!!!! Absolutely gorgeous!

Tara P. said...

It's gorgeous, Erin! I love the colors! By the way, birds terrify me and I would probably have to move if a bird built a nest even near my house!

steufel said...

Erin - I have to repat myself here: Once again - magic!

Rebecca said...

Awesome Erin! I love what you've done with that beautiful egg shaped piece. You have such a distinctive style and I love that you make a lot of necklaces and always photograph them so beautifully - a skill which alludes me when it comes to necklaces. Gorgeous and unique as always!

JeannieK said...

I know how unsettling a bird nest can be when they set up their dwelling on your house. I suppose it's better than a hornet's nest.

How clever are you making a nest in Melanie's pendant? Now that is truly nature inspired. Marie's tile is a perfect choice.

Anonymous said...

I love the nest in the hole! Brilliant!

Anonymous said...

Your pieces are so beautiful...

Jennifer Juniper said...

I love the randomness of this piece that all flows together. I would totally wear that and I don't often say that of jewelry I see on blogs!

Carolyn said...

This is so adorable! Awesome Erin!

Silver MLM

Cindy said...

Erin, what a pretty design. I love the length and all of the varied components.
I remember your nest situation from last year. It's amazing how the birds are really drawn to your house!

My Life Under the Bus said...

So funny we too have a nest smack outside our front door - luckily it is in a small tree! I found it right before Mothers Day! Beautiful necklace Erin!

Rebecca said...

Hi lovely Erin, so excited to be in your sampler club! Wish I could stretch to a full 12 months all at once but the purse strings don't allow...hope it;s a great new venture for you - knowing you, that's a certainty! x


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