Altered Birdhouse #2

Since I had purchased two birdhouses (a just in case :)), I altered the second one, too. This one is round. The first thing I did was cut off the roof, then drilled 2 more 1″ holes spaced somewhat evenly around the wall. The wall is covered with a dark brown cork, the roof is covered with part of the patchwork leather purse. Small screws have been screwed into the leather and roof at the joined leather, then wrapped with leather string. I wired in a gear at the top after removing the twine hanger. The bird has a leather top hat, gears over his eyes and the metal petal wings, too.


There was a wooden ring between the house and the roof that didn’t survive it’s removal, so I bought 2 metal washers and a metal bushing from the local feed store. The washers were too shiny, so I covered them with caramel alcohol ink. The rim of the house was uneven, so I glued leather rings to both sides of the bushing/washer/ bushing sandwich. Small holes were drilled between the holes in the house and I wired the bushing ring down to hold it in place and add a little decoration.The other bushing and washer were glued to the base.

front door

Copper foil was applied to the inner windows and around the base of the house. It was tinged with caramel alcohol ink, as well.


A nut was glued under each “window”; a bolt was screwed into the front opening. There are leather rings around each hole, too. One hole is covered with a gear, one with a watch crystal (it has the numbers actually on the crystal) and the front door is a large watch gear. I used a miniature dollhouse hinge on this one, so it opens. Antiqued bobbins were glued between the windows and lower to the base as added decoration. There is a leather “belt” with a small buckle around the bottom, too–just more decoration.


I needed to be able to hold the roof on, which presented a challenge. This is what I did: cut 3 strips of leather and attached with screws to the roof so that they fell between the windows. I used two Tim Holtz buckles to secure the front two strips to birdhouse wall and a large snap to the back wall. The buckles didn’t hold the roof down well until I pulled the buckles down, acting as a lever. Worked fine.


To finish it off, I stuck some hook and loop around the washer under the roof and the top of an LED tea light so that the tea light hangs down into the birdhouse. Take the roof off, flip the switch on the tea light, put the roof back on and voila!, a night-light.

Altered Birdhouse

Art or the Creative Mind is a Yahoo! group I rejoined about a month ago. The August swap previews were posted and one of them was an altered birdhouse. The birdhouse is from Michael’s (approx. 3.5″ x 6″, give or take, and cost about $1.50). I really like Steampunk, so that’s the direction I took. Here is the birdhouse that will go to my swap partner:

AFTCM birdhouse front The sides were covered with some turquoise green leather Melissa gave me for my birthday. She gave me a bag of leather scraps from a bookbinding place. How cool was that!!!???

AFTCM birdhouse back (back)

The roof is covered with embossed copper sheeting that’s been patina’d. It’s “patched with more leather. There are small screws (smaller that #4 size) on each side of each corner that have been laced with black wire. I drilled a second 1″ hole on the “back side” of the house (before applying the leather). The back hole is covered with a Tim Holtz gear; the front hole is finished with a watch bezel. It was a perfect fit.

AFTCM birdhouse side closeup(back close-up)

I cut the bottom off the box to stuff in a nest with another bird in it. Before re-attaching the bottom, I covered it with some black vinyl. The bottom has some tiny holes drilled around the edge so that I could insert the gear flowers. Some, I glued some dark brown cork and little wooden cups for feet (dyed with eggplant alcohol ink).

The front of the house has a 1/4″ x 1-1/2″ bolt inserted into a drilled hole. I sawed off the original wooden dowel perch.

AFTCM the bird The top hat is made from an old patchwork leather purse. It’s got some nice thinnish leather. Mr. Bird has small watch gears glued to his eyes and his feathers are flattened, reshaped, resized metal petals. He is perched on top of an antiqued bobbin (Spare Parts) that has been attached with another bold. This birdhouse had a hole in the top where a heavy twine hanger pulled through–this was removed.

Shoe Card

I got a little carried away making a card shaped like a shoe for the Art for the Creative Mind  Yahoo! Group. This was my first effort, but it seemed a little plain, so I added a copper/brown stickles to the shoe opening and the dots on the paper’s design. That didn’t work well, so I took the rhinestones off and used the stickles in those areas, too.AFTCM Shoe card

Template is from Sara Sandberg at

AFTCM Shoe card 2

Some others I made:

AFTCM Shoe card 3Shoe card 5Shoe card 4

Seashore Treasure Charm

The ArtCharms group had a Seashore Treasure swap. We just happened to be on Sanibel Island when this swap was open, so I learned the Sanibel stoop. This wasn’t my original idea, it’s just the one that survived implementation.

Seashore Treasure ArtCharm

My first idea was to bead the shell, so I drilled tiny holes along the edges with my Dremel. It took about 8-10 drill bits to get thru 12 shells–should have tried one first to see what it looked like, but I’d forgotten about the swap, so I was in a hurry.

I started off with 2 rows of holes along the curved edge and used 28 gauge gold wire with gold beads (Mill Hill beads, I believe). It looked nice, unfortunately when I attempted to put the head pin thru the top hole with the freshwater pearl, the twisting put too much pressure on the top and it broke. This happened on 2-3 times, so I switched to the above design.

Glass Fusing

The Art Studio in Marathon has a glass fusing studio, as well as clay. I had time after using the pottery wheel to partake of their Glass Bar. It’s basically some pre-cut projects that can be put together for fusing. However, you also have the option of doing your own thing. I made a night-light based loosely on one I had seen in a catalog. The Art Studio has lots of pre-cut bases, multiple sizes and colors of frit, strings, rods, etc. They also have Glassline’s glass paint. It’s a fireable glass paint. I had been eyeing it in Delphi’s glass emails and their website so getting a chance to use it was right up my alley! The cat is painted on with the Glassline paint, the rest is frit, rods and strings. Oh! They also had an adhesive for glass fusing that you just dab onto the frit in place. Worked out great.

cat night light

We had visitors while we were there and needed something to do for an afternoon. While Stella made a sushi bowl, I played with the Glassline paint again. Not so great results, but that really wasn’t the point :)… Here’s the pendant I painted. If you can’t tell, it’s a jellyfish over coral. There’s obviously a learning curve, LOL.

Jellyfish pendant



Thrown Clay Pots

We just spent some time in the Florida Keys and I had some time to explore The Art Studio on Marathon ( They offer paint-your-own-pottery, access to pottery wheels, slab roller and a glass fusing studio. I took advantage of 3 of the 4 :)… It had been awhile (high school) since I’d used a pottery wheel, so I took one of the classes they offer weekly. Lynn already had one-pound balls of clay prepared so we could get right to throwing. The first one didn’t make it through the end of the throwing process–it ended up in the scrap clay pile to be re-used. Here are the pots that survived. There are definite flaws in most of them, especially the pinkish one with the blue sprays. Pretty glazes, though. Now I need to find a place closer than Florida that has wheels.

Thrown pots-outsideThrown Pots-inside