Introducing: Byrdhouses

Byrdhouse #1

Now that the first of my #byrdhouses is completed, I’m ready to start working on backgrounds for the next 4 that I have ready to go.Most are going to have some kind of external embellishment. Since the old barn wood frame on this one is so hard, I have the head of a screw sticking out of the bottom. I will post a final photo when I decide what to hang on it.

Detail of Byrdhouse #1

I have been working on this concept for over a year, but it keeps getting sidelined by paid commissions. One of the things I am working hard to establish this year is making time for personal projects.
This concept was inspired by frame shop samples that a friend gave me. I honestly had no idea how I was going to use them at the time, but I have a hard time passing up potential materials. The bird nest is made from grape vines growing on our property. The beautiful Italian paper was sent to me by a friend in Oregon. I used it as inspiration for the ornamental elements I painted on the background and frame.

My Mixed Media Locker

It’s getting serious in my work room now, y’all. I opened up my mixed media locker for the first time in almost a year – not really, but I have only been jamming things in there to organize later, since the last time I worked on a significant project.
Byrdhouses 2 & 3 are on my work table now, their background panels are prepped, and I have selected papers for decoupage.

I’m filling in gaps at the joints in this #byrdhouse frame before starting on the decoupage layer. I’m concerned that the sharp edges and gaps will cause the paper to tear in places I want covered.

I’m not sure how I feel about the paper layers on the first one yet, but I already have the next step planned out for the paint layers and a final decorative detail to match the quilt blocks in the background.

When I first started thinking about backgrounds for the Byrdhouses, I made notes for each of them. I’m constantly generating ideas for everything, so I find keeping notes a useful tool for reference when I have time to start a new project. I don’t always go with the initial concept, or remember it exactly the way it came to me, but making notes saves me from losing the idea entirely.

I’m let the paper application dry overnight so I can go back with a fresh perspective. I often find that I don’t hate a project near as much if I give it some space before continuing to work. Since working in 3D is a relatively new practice for me, I am going to have a lot of trial and error before I develop a system of assembling projects. I am not good at doing new things, but I committed to pushing my boundaries over the summer to work with new subjects and materials.

This is going to be a long term series and I am already feeling inspired to continue now that I have made myself get to work on it. I took yesterday off to give myself a break and feel like I have a better vision for where I plan to go with it as well.
Do you ever get intimidated by your own ideas?

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