AWARD

Monday, 25 February 2013

A Rainy day Muse

"Look at the birds of the air, they don't need to plant or harvest or put food in barns because your heavenly Father feeds them.  And you are far more valuable to Him than they are." ( Jesus)

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It is raining on the coast of western Canada, once again.  Winters can be long and very wet here,  and when it is Not raining, it is thinking about it.  I grew up here, and I should be use to it by now, but truthfully, I'm not.  I long for the spring especially now that we are getting closer to it; only one more month to go!  Just a few days ago, while sitting at my desk, I heard a  funny noise outside my window, and turning to look, there perched at the top of the garden gate, grooming himself, was a ROBIN!  It was a nice plump robin, too, and the very first one that I've seen this year!    Interesting, how the sight of a rather common bird becomes noteworthy and can make the rain feel a little more bearable.  Thank you God for robins!.. 
The sight of this harbinger of Spring, caused me to remember something that I had stashed away a while ago.  I had picked up a package of colorful pencil erasers at a dollar store,( I can't recall which one,now) but the reason that I bought them was because the shapes looked like little birdhouses.  So this past few days has been dedicated to the transformation of erasers into birdhouses and this tutorial is for all of you who long for Spring and the hope for renewal that it brings.  I dedicate this post
 to the birds that inspired it.
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This is the dollar store package of pencil erasers that I thought looked like little birdhouses.




For this project I used the contents of the photo above;  I used the  PIN from the pushpin, and the  FLAT of the earring post.  To remove the pin from the pushpin, hold the plastic end with the metal pin close to a candle flame and pull the pin after the metal gets hot and is easy to extract with some pliers.
The tools that you need are the drill with the bit and a pair of nippers  to remove the earring post.

Of course you will need Quick Grip or your favorite quick grabbing  glue.   This glue is the messiest and hardest to control.  It wants to oooze out all over the place but it DOES get the job DONE!
That is why I use it so much and until I find something better!!.....
Now this is the Best Stuff!  It is a paper adhesive and it is made for paper.  It is also a sealer and this is what I am using it for.  It dries clear and mat and it is smooth not lumpy and it has a little bit of wiggle room so that you can position projects as needed before it sets up.  It can also be mixed with acrylic paint.  It will make the applied paint almost like a softer version of the color without adding white.
Here is one of the erasers that I have coated with the Glue N' Seal.   It is still wet and shiny.

Using a marker, make a dot on the eraser where you want the entry hole.  Try not to mark the hole too high to the roof or too low to the eraser, just above the middle is the best.


the eraser is dry and the hole has been marked and now comes the drill.  This is a hand drill and I recommend a drill because if you just try to push a hole through, the eraser will tear and the hole will be very raggedy around the cut.

I did not drill this on the pencil!  This is just for the photo. 



Say "Ahhhh"
Now here is a tip, after you have drilled the hole just 'saw' around the edges of the hole to clean it up or to enlarge it as needed. 
 
With the pushpin you will now use the PIN ONLY for the perch just below the hole you just made.
Because the eraser is soft, the pin will go in with just a little pressure, but don't push too hard because you don't want it coming out of the other side!  Below is a view of what it looks like from the inside.

If you find the pin is longer than you want, clip it off with a strong pair of pliers.  The nippers in the picture I showed is not tough enough for this metal pin.  Right tool for the right job, Right?

(You know, I really should take better care of my hands!  My nails are a MESS and I should 'smarten up', after all I am in the beauty business?!!!! sigh, but I would much rather play)
to continue... 
This is where the Quick Grip glue comes in.   I squeezed in a lot!  I did this so that it would stabilize the pin and it gives some weight to the birdhouse.  Add glue to the bottom edge of the eraser, too.
Using the earring post, remove the pin with the nippers.

This is what it looks like with the perch installed and below is what it looks like with the bottom on.

Now the perch has been painted and the house is basically done.  In the photo below, I added an  eye pin to enable this house to be hung up, in a tree or on a bracket, but you don't have to.   



Here are some other options if you don't have earring posts you can use thumbtacks for the bottoms. They will give the bird house just a bit more height and be more noticeable but they can be painted along with the house if they don't match. 

And now the fun begins!  paint and decorate the birdhouse any way you want.  I have used all of the above in different combinations and layered over each other until I was satisfied.

Nail polishes are Great for the roof for the metallic effect.  Just have Fun! 

And here is the finished collection of birdhouses!  I call them the "PINOCCHIOS"
as they remind me of some illustrations from that book I read many years ago  AND,( I cannot tell a lie), the perch looks like a long nose!
I hope all of you have enjoyed your visit.
OH LOOK!..... the rain has stopped

*******


elizabeth

36 comments:

  1. Hi Elizabeth,
    You have chosen just the right time to post birdhouses. The little birds are very active at this time and will,love their new houses. I like them on the long pole.

    Yes, I think the plants do look like allium giganteum - giant ornamental onion. I have several in the garden and the bulbs really are gigiantic!

    Janine

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  2. Thank you Janine! If anyone would recognize and name a garden plant it would be you! I will tell you again, that I was so impressed by your mini allium in your 'MINWORKS' French garden and I wanted to do some as well. I have grown the giant ornamental onion before but not in the right location. I moved the bulbs to a better spot and I have my hopes up for this year. My chives are always a treat though and are very prolific. I planted the birdhouse in the pot because of a remark that you made about something similar and it stuck. (You see how much you influence me?!!!!)) Working on the birdhouses and the flower pot was good for my soul and the rain HAS really stopped!
    (for now)
    elizabeth

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  3. Thank you for the tutorial, Elizabeth! Your little birdhouses are so cute and I love how you have weathered them! They look like they have been out in the elements for a long time.

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    1. Hello Lucille! Thank you for your comment and the by the way, I have only now noticed that the little doll that you are holding in the photo, is the one you sent me a picture of with your bed! I bet she has a name. hmmm? Anyway, I am glad that you liked this tutorial and I always enjoy things looking old and weathered.... just not ME! hahahaha

      elizabeth

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  4. Elizabeth...I think you made it stop by making the sweet birdhouses. No! No! I will not head out to the $$$$ store! But I may just look into Sheena's old school stash for erasers...hee hee....
    While you were making birdhouses I have been making umbrellas. Now which one of us made it stop raining? Isn't it funny?
    BTW...not "victorian" umbrellas. More like modern day.
    Counting sleeps until the Seattle show.
    fats

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    1. Hey Fats, my reply was bumped below Susan's, so keep reading!

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  5. I love reading your posts! Robins in your vicinity heralding spring and I heard a Currawong heralding autumn during a break in our rain. Like you, I can't wait for the next season!! Autumn is my favourite. Love your bird houses, lovely shabby effects.

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    1. Thank you Susan! I have never heard the call of a Currawong before. It must be quite distinctive. I shall google them and find out more. Seeing the robin on the gate was a real treat for me as it was only about 6 feet away and totally confident that it was safe and unobserved. It gave me an opportunity to marvel and although I am not a die-hard bird watcher, I DO love to view them and their behaviors from wherever I am. There is always something new to see and be thankful for.
      I am happy that you enjoyed the birdhouses. They were lots of fun to do.
      elizabeth

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  6. Thank you Fats! That would be the first place that I would look too! Sam, had sooo many pencils and erasers from her years at school that I could have opened my own dollar store and stayed in business!
    I am looking forward to our trip to Seattle, too, and am Dying to see the mini umbrellas that you have made and knowing you, they MUST be FABULOUS!

    Counting sheep while I'm counting sleeps!
    elizabeth

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  7. Awesome idea, I love the little cottage shape of them. I am yearning for the warmth and green grass, I still see a yard of snow...but sooon..soooooooooon *crazy cackle*

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  8. Thanks Jane, I was going to say "Poor You" because of the yard full of snow and then I recalled that last week after a glorious day of sunshine, the weather turned rancid and the skies opened up and torrents of heavy, wet, plops of snow mixed with rain came down and dashed my hopes for an early spring. However that was last week and I have since revived and hope springs eternal once again!

    elizabeth

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  9. I have just remarked to someone how I take our tropical sun for granted. I am thankful , Sun, for you :):).

    Love the birdhouses that you have created with erasers :). And once again, a well written tutorial!

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    1. Hello Sans, Again my reply got bumped so it is below Meli's! keep reading.

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  10. Thanks for this turorial!!!
    Your ideas are always fantastic!!
    Greetings
    Melanie

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    1. Hello Melli! Thank you for that compliment! I always look forward to feedback and love it when it is expressed with as much enthusiasm as yours! I have made other things with erasers and I hope to share some in the near future with everyone. I am also, back working on my doll's house( FINALLY) and will post some of the ins and outs that I run into with that. More to come!

      elizabeth

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  11. Hello Sans, and thanks for the comment! I think that anything that you don't have to think about repeatedly, is easily taken for granted. If I didn't have to think about the layers of clothing and the waterproof gear that goes with this type of environment, then perhaps I would take the rain for granted too! The main concern is usually THE HAIR. One does not want to waste precious time doing THE HAIR, only to look like a wet dog after a quick dash from the house to the car! During the summer it is different, but in living here I have observed, that give us ( Canadians) ANY decently dry weather at ANY TIME during the year, and people are out and about in shorts and T-shirts and flip flops! This happened just last weekend. It wasn't raining and a lady was wearing flip flops in the mall even though the weather outside was cold. Actually,... perhaps she suffered from hot flashes just as I do. hmmm, Maybe I should try flip flops, too!?
    elizabeth

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  12. Such a brilliant idea. You are so inventive. Thanks for showing.
    Knus
    Wyrna

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    1. Thank you Wyrna! I was visiting your blog yesterday and I see that you too, have the Winter Blues! Meanwhile, you have created some lovely items for your shop that I admired! It is so nice that we can pass the time in this way, by being pro-active and productive while we are waiting, isn't it? Denmark is a long way from Canada but here we are both feeling the same and doing something creative to keep us from focusing on it. I have a desk/table that faces the window and it has a Huge impact on how I feel. I think that your moving your desk to the window will change your mindset enormously. You'll see!
      elizabeth

      elizabeth

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  13. Ah- I love this! I have some of those erasers in my craft room and a few of these birdhouse would be so adorable hanging for sale in my flower shop dollhouse! Great eye- thank you so much for the tutorial! I am excited to try this out- and I don't even have to go shopping for any supplies- bonus!

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    1. THIS IS GREAT KIM! I love it when that happens! Everything at the ready and no need to hunt it down in the store; Just shop at home. I am very excited for you to try it out and hope for some feedback if you do!!!! I think that they would be an excellent addition to a flower shop as well as part of the decor in a shabby-look dollhouse or even in a garden attached to a exterior wall. Plenty of options with birdhouses.... Keep me posted!

      elizabeth

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  14. Good idea! Thanks for the tutorial.
    Bye Faby

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    1. Hello Fabiola! Thank you for the comment and the compliment! It is always appreciated. I hope that you will try out this idea! Erasers are so inexpensive and they come in so many shapes and sizes that you are not restricted to any one kind. I have made many different things from them and I hope to share this with you at a future date. Take care and stay tuned!

      elizabeth

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  15. Hi Elizabeth :) wonderful tutorial. I have some of these erasers I bought them because they looked like birdhouses but shame to say I never done anything with them lol yours are fantastic so I will hunt mine out and see what I can do :))) Thanks for the ideas.
    Hugs Maria

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  16. That's what I'm here for Maria! hahhah
    I often pick stuff up or buy that I think " This could be something or, this looks like a ......? and that is as far as it goes. Then because I am no longer looking at it, I completely forget I have it but then up it pops again when you least expected it! Kim, has these erasers too and now that you do as well, lets see what your projects turn out to be! This would be very interesting to see how both of you reinterpret these birdhouse erasers. Get busy and have fun!

    elizabeth

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  17. I would have never thought of making those erasers into birdhouses. What a great tutorial. Love the finishes you did on them. The one on the post in the plants is a great idea. They would look adorable in a landscaped yard.

    Thanks for a great tutorial.

    Dale

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    1. Hello Dale! Thanks for the comment and thanks for the Great Tutorial on making mini books that I recently viewed on your video blog!
      When I saw these erasers, I immediately thought 'birdhouses', but someone else may see them as something else entirely! That is what makes this such a totally absorbing hobby and why I enjoy it as much as I do, I think that you probably feel the same way. Painting the erasers was fun and they certainly evolved as I got into it. From Candy to Shabby!!! They were cheap and fun to do. I am going to be making some more flower pots and the next post will be touching on what you just commented on.
      Wait and see.

      elizabeth

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  18. you never fail to amaze me with your cool ideas and eye for everything bitty bitty. Again I can see why you saw that in hindsight but am not so sure I would envision it. It's a gift!

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    1. Hello Q! It is ALWAYS a Pleasure to hear from you! How've you been keeping? I hope the Little Top Cottage is progressing nicely? Your know Q, there are some things that I can easily see and there are others that I look at and say, like you, "how did they think of that?" It all depends on who is doing the looking! Anyway, if it is a gift, anyone can cultivate it and have the same. As I said before, it just takes practice! Hope to hear from you again soon.

      elizabeth

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  19. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  20. the above comment was deleted as it was only spam junk mail

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  21. This is super clever! I am pinning this to my Mini Things board. :) Thanks for such a great tutorial! I love how aged you made your birdhouses look... no one would ever know they were originally an eraser!!!

    toddlindsey.com

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    1. Hello Lindsey! Thank you for the compliment! I am very pleased with the way the birdhouse turned out and this was one of my favorite projects. It didn't cost a lot, was very quick and easy using the things on hand and the materials were minimal. The painting did take some time though and initially, I was thinking of leaving them the brilliant colors, but when I did they looked like erasers so the camouflage paint came about. As I got more into it, I tried for different styles, but all of the end products became a type of 'shabby chic' which I liked. Fatima liked this project so well that she bought me even MORE erasers to make even MORE for the doll house show in June. So I guess I'll be making MORE. Thanks Fats

      elizabeth

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  22. what a great tutorial..thank you so much for sharing it :)


    Hugs
    Marisa

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  23. Hi Marisa! Thank you for taking the time to comment as I know that there is a lot happening in you world right now. I hope the snow has let up some so that you can wear your good-looking boots! The only boots that I am wearing regularly are ones that are waterproof. We have had a tremendous amount of rain and more recently wind. That makes it both WET and COLD. When it it not raining the weather outside is just plain bitter, so I find myself making excuses not to go out into my garden and get to work. So that is why I started making the birdhouses to pass the time away. I hope that you will give them a try, it may take your mind off the Peyton Place happenings at you work place!

    elizabeth

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  24. Hallo Elizabeth !
    Coole Idee. Danke fürs zeigen.
    Liebe Grüße
    Skiddi

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  25. Hello Skiddi! I am so glad that you have enjoyed it! Thank you for taking the time to comment! Much appreciated!

    elizabeth

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