Well folks, it’s about time I posted something … after all it’s been months and months … not that I haven’t been productive! But before I begin, I thank you all for your entertaining and enjoyable projects posted throughout these past months. It seems everybody was kept creatively busy!
I had lots of fun myself up at our cabin this past summer within my little workshop … but that’s another story, as I’m still trying desperately hard to find those photos!! So until I’m able to post about that piece of whimsical Intarsia, I’ll blog about my most recent fun project.
Freed from commissions for the time being … it’s all about me right now! ... and the incredible fun of whimsy!!
Now … I have to admit that the idea is not my own, having found inspiration within the pages of a gardening magazine … but I certainly put my own slant upon this Birdhouse Villa.
Our old family bench has had numerous layers of paint slapped over to ‘spruce it up’ throughout its long life … and although it has been our inherited treasure for at least 30 of it’s 70 years, it is the most uncomfortable bench I’ve ever sat upon! As this has obviously been ‘my time for whimsy’ it was definitely the right time to enhance this old bench.
So much other stuff and chores had to come first … like winterizing flowerbeds and outdoor maintenance … yada, yada, yada. BUT … as you can tell, I couldn’t wait to collect all my spare scraps of wood and start creating!
I’m definitely no carpenter … however I do have to say that I’ve improved upon certain skills since way back in my early 30’s when I tried (and failed miserably!) to build a dollhouse for our two little girls. Now, even my granddaughter is too old for dollhouses, so I just won’t go there again!
The following photos tell the whole construction story from beginning to end, so I won’t have to bore you all with too many more words!
As I wanted the villa to have a layered look, some of the birdhouse faces were built up from behind.
And of course, once the back layer of ‘houses’ were constructed, it was time to paint!
It’s taking shape, with really no plan mapped out … just ‘by gosh and by golly’ ... and whatever my scraps allowed!
I definitely had to make room for this cute little hand painted porcelain bird I’d acquired from an artist friend … and what better way than to have her sitting pretty amongst a goodly supply of food! Bird seed was mixed with white wood glue and lathered on, then set aside to completely dry before knocking off loose bits and pieces. Another layer of watered down glue was brushed over top. With exterior varnish applied afterwards, this supply of seed will last as long as the bird will!
The back row is completed and strategically screwed in place. I have to say that lots of brain power went into just how I could attach these faces to the backrest of the bench without really damaging the ‘antiquity’ of the bench (after all, if someone down the road doesn’t like my creation, screw holes can always be filled … and they don’t go all the way through!). But the trick was to be able to hide the screws afterwards. And of course, I screwed that up! But … I’ll explain later …. Onward, to the construction of the ‘front homes’.
And what villa isn’t complete without a picket fence?!!That kept the old grey cells worked up!
Ah yes … now this is where I screwed up! I was so proud of myself for coming up with the idea of attaching these picket fences from behind the birdhouse faces, leaving clean fronts. The main reason for the fence was to hide those ‘strategically’ placed screws fixing birdhouse faces to bench along the bottom … and they did! However … it didn’t take long before I realized that once the fence was fixed to the face (from behind) ... I couldn’t screw the birdhouse faces to the bench backrest because those cute little adorable picket fences were covering those strategical face screws!!! Good thing God invented double-faced tape, eh?!!
The concept was good. Flawed … but good! And to think I spent so much time on that that part of this project!! Anyway … I’m over it now. It’s time to wrap things up! Those painted sticks screwed to each side of the backrest was just an idea to tidy things up. Nobody will see the back of this creation, but from the side view it does look better. And that horizontal stick helps situate one of the faces. Remember … I was working with scraps!
And now … drum roll please! Bare old uncomfortable bench magically transforms into a Whimsical Birdhouse Villa!!
Thanks for viewing this blog and keeping tabs on me. It was just as much fun relating the story of this Villa-in-the-making as it was to create it within my workshop! Best wishes to you all, and keep happy in your own workshop!!
-- Elaine in Duncan