Planting for the Birds

June 23, 2011, 16:00 pm  Posted by Lark

Even before the recession, I’ve always been about getting the biggest bang for my buck and that includes choices for my garden. This means I plant a lot of seeds and perennials. Perennials are the workhorses of the garden–they’re in for the long haul–year after year. Like me, they hibernate and tough it out during the frigid winter months and then slowly start to emerge as the days get longer and warmer. Then these stoic performers come into their own, blooming profusely–whether for a few  weeks, or a couple of months. Heck, amortized over the years, they’re practically free.

Photo by Mat425

Happily, many of my steadfast choices do double-duty. Besides attractive blooms year after year, some varieties attract gobs of birds and butterflies. I like the chaotic English cottage garden look so my flower choices tend to include a lot of what used to be considered wildflowers when I was growing up. These flowers bring back carefree memories that make me happy. Here are some of my favorite tried-and-true bird-attracting, flowering plants. I’ve noted the ones that I’ve had success growing from seed:

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Birdwatching on Etsy

June 22, 2011, 15:57 pm  Posted by Craft Your Life Team

Birds at the office, birds downtown, bird tattoos…where else can we possibly look for birds as the month draws to a close? Well, there are a few more places where there’s plenty of birds to be found.

Today, we’re covering one of them and going birdwatching in a more virtual environment. I’ve tracked down some of my favorite owls, sparrows, and more on Etsy. Come take a look–you won’t even need your binoculars.

In the mosaic above, clockwise from top left: Flying Birds Vinyl Wall Art from ParisDecals turns any living room into a bird sanctuary, the Bird on a Wire Chunky Bangle Bracelet from BuyMyCrap lets you take some birds with you wherever you go, Bird Tags from My3Chicks are the perfect way to add birds to any present–especially if that present is a birdhouse, and the Tiny Owl Necklace from lulubugjewelry is definitely a charming charm.

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A Nod to the Urban Bird

June 22, 2011, 11:10 am  Posted by Craft Your Life Team

Pigeons: Love ‘em or hate ‘em, if you live in a city they’re a part of the landscape. Sure, they can make a mess, and they can be pests–fighting over scraps of food and building their nests where they’re not exactly welcome–but a pigeon is just doing its best to get by. And a pigeon by any other name is really just a dove. (A Rock Dove, actually.) Think about that the next time one crosses your path, and read on for some fun pigeon facts and cool pigeon-inspired art.

Limited Edition Art Print by twoarms

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Etsy finds: Bird nests

June 21, 2011, 08:00 am  Posted by Craft Your Life Team

As we turn our attention to all things bird related this month, I thought it might be worth exploring the crafty side of the bird’s humble abode; the bird nest. If you have ever come upon a nest in the wild I think you would agree that they are quite a piece of crafty genius on the part of our feathered friends. I took a look around Etsy to see how other crafters have been inspired by the delicately crafted bird homes and found quite a treasure trove of beautiful items. Continue reading for full photos and a link to the seller’s shops.

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Inked Bird Love

June 20, 2011, 14:49 pm  Posted by Lark

As you know by now, we’ve been celebrating our Bird Love month (and Lark’s blogiversary) this June, and I thought we should celebrate the art of the bird in its many forms, especially its very personal, permanent, and beautiful ink form. The following photos capture just a sliver of the wide world of bird tattoos, but what an inspiring sliver it is.

Thank you to the artists, photographers, and inked individuals mentioned below for sharing their feathered inspiration.

photo of a woman's upper back--bird tattoosthis is joy – from bewailthepast

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Doodle Stitch Along – motif #3!

June 17, 2011, 18:50 pm  Posted by guestblogger

Hey guys, this is Aimee Ray. Are you ready for another week of stitching? Here is this week’s free nest pattern! I used the satin stitch for the leaves and eggs on this one. Also, I found it easier to just wing it on the nest lines rather than following the pattern exactly, but do whatever works best for you. :)

If you’ve missed the first two weeks, it’s easy to catch up. And we’d love to have you along! Here’s motif #1 and motif #2 if you missed them.

Be sure to show us what you’re stitching by posting your photos in our flickr group: http://www.flickr.com/groups/doodlestitchalong/

Next week is the last free pattern, then we’ll be putting them all together into a cute and easy apron. Don’t miss it!


Project Instructions: Ndebele Stitch

June 17, 2011, 11:59 am  Posted by Lark

Every Friday, I post a set of free project instructions. (At least that’s what I aim to do!)

After the fantastic time I had at Bead&Button, how could I not post free instructions featuring beadwork, beadwork, beadwork?! Here’s a lovely necklace designed by Leslie Frazier.

Twisted Ribbon Ndebele Necklace, designed by Leslie Frazier

Leslie was one of the artists showcased in Masters: Beadweaving. But the instructions for the Twisted Ribbon Ndebele Necklace pictured above—get a free PDF of the instructions for making it by clicking here—were featured in the classic The Art & Elegance of Beadweaving, by Carol Wilcox Wells. Talk about a virtual who’s who of beading for 2002, when it was released! This stunner of a book includes projects by superstars Marcia DeCoster, Linda Fifield, Suzanne Golden, NanC Meinhardt, Karen Ovington, Rebecca Peapples, Madelyn Ricks, Wendy Ellsworth, Karen Paust and Jo Ann Baumann, plus another 20 top beaders.

The Art & Elegance of Beadweaving, by Carol Wilcox Wells

Masters: Beadweaving, curated by Carol Wilcox Wells


The Great Downtown Bird Count

June 16, 2011, 16:55 pm  Posted by needlearts

Each year, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the Audubon Society sponsor the Great Backyard Bird Count, when bird enthusiasts spend a specified amount of time observing birds in a specified location—a backyard, a trail, a bird sanctuary—or so on. To continue the celebration of our Blogiversary, I thought I’d conduct my own little bird count in downtown Asheville. Here’s what I saw today from 1 to 2:30 pm as I walked a lazy circle through the city.

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Transformer Jewelry

June 16, 2011, 13:44 pm  Posted by Lark

My first and favorite piece of jewelry was a necklace that transformed into a brooch, hair clip AND into a little toy girl with red hair. I thought she was awesome. And of course the plastic jewel was PRICELESS. (It was called “Sweet Secrets.” I’ll post a fun 80s commercial at the end of this blog about those gems.)

My love for dual-purpose jewelry has continued over the years with poison rings (I’ve never had to put it to use, though), lockets, ring watches…anything that has a purpose OTHER than looking pretty.

These days, I’m becoming more attracted to the pieces that have a classic look, but with a modern secret twist that can allow you to take pictures, use video, save your files to your USB necklace… it’s insane what has transformed into jewelry lately.

What would you like to see double as jewelry? A weapon? A mini computer? I’m sure if you search hard enough or wait long enough you can have it.

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Bird Finery

June 16, 2011, 04:00 am  Posted by Lark

No one has to twist my arm to get me to browse Etsy. I love jewelry and I love birds so looking for bird-inspired jewelry was a real “tweet”!

Lovely works in silver

Left to right: BeckhamDesigns, janiceartjewelry, sarahboodesigns

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