Monday, October 7, 2013

Histoire Naturelle

My Dad gave me this section of a bird's nest that he found, and I've had it quite a while, looking at it occasionally hoping for inspiration. Then I attached it to some chicken wire to stabilize it and it stayed like that for a while. Then I attached it to this burlap covered canvas using lots of plaster over the chicken wire, and it's been staring at me, all that white plaster, for about a month now and I finally decided over the weekend to bite the bullet and do something with it. It feels so good to finally have it completed! The plaster is covered in a couple of layers of encaustic wax.

This piece, and the one below it, are made from the top and bottom of a gift box. I just played and had fun with these, this one below is covered in lots of plaster as well.

Now more Christmas goodies for the upcoming show I'm doing. This gift box had an inner section with the square cut out, so I glued a vintage Christmas picture at the bottom of the box, and covered the actual hole with a piece of acetate stamped with a small Christmas image.  I should have taken a picture of the side which I decorated also, it's about 1 1/2" deep.

These ornaments are little tiny cages with little trees in them using bottle caps for bottoms - I saw something similar on the cover of one of the Somerset magazines, and created my own version. I think they look like a tray of bright candies or something, I just love them, not sure I'll be willing to sell them!

*** I'm adding this to my original post as I've had some questions about how to make these little cages and thought I'd share a few tips about how I made mine. I used 3 pieces of pretty thick wire for the cages, and the 2nd piece needs to be a little longer than the 1st, and the 3rd a little longer than the 2nd.  Then I wrapped them in paper tape and just bent them and inserted them into the bottle caps which I had filled with modeling paste into which I had already put the little tree (they sell plastic tubs of "snow" in craft stores that you can use and are probably cheaper, but I didn't have any).  It takes a little fiddling, but once you're happy let the paste dry, then I wrapped a piece of wire around the top and attached a vintage mercury glass bead making sure to leave a little loop at the top. I also glued a little round piece of Christmasy paper to the bottom and spread a little stickles glitter over the dry "snow".

Another tip is that if you don't want all your little trees green, you can put them in bleach and they'll turn white, then you can use some ink or dye in water and color them any color you want.


  1. You had me at tiny cages! Swoon~don't know if I could get rid of them either ;) BUT that means that they would be the first to sell of course! Good luck, it all looks gorgeous. xoxo

  2. Ohhhh I love every beautiful thing you have shared here so much!

    The tiny cages are especially cute .... they make me happy :)

    Karen x

  3. I love the pieces you show here, Terri! They are all very special! I love those tiny little cages. May I ask what material you used for the cage itself and for the "filling"? I think it would look very nice on a Christmas tree and maybe I could craft some with my 8-year old daughter.

  4. Oh, for heavens sake. Those bird cages just put me right in the dirt. I love them!! What a great idea. I have 75,000 bottle caps and don't want to make charms with them.

    That nest is so poignant. I don't know what it is about that, but I was really touched by it.

    I've tried to read and comment on blogs via my iphone. I don't care how much bigger the screen is, it doesn't work. One must be on a desktop, and here I am. I like the pictures better here, anyway.

    Great work.

  5. Thanks so much for your additional information, Terri! I appreciate it very much!

  6. Love the nesty/birdy piece, all waxed up and everything - very cool.

    And those bird cages, how cute are they?! I don't know if I have the patience necessary but I'll try making some (altho it's quite tricky to tack down those dinky little bottle brush trees in the UK). I know I've got some, 'somewhere', just goodness knows where!


  7. Ha! You crack me up. Thank you for your sweet visit - hope you're happy and well~ xoxo

  8. What beautiful work - I love the tray of little trees in cages, they are adorable and I know I would have trouble parting with them if they were mine! The birds nest collage is gorgeous - the checkerboard in the background is perfect on it, and I love the fact you used a real nest. I love the little box with the key and am now regretting throwing out all those little gift boxes I've been given over the years! It's been lovely catching up on your wonderful work - your blog is always so inspiring and always makes me want to start creating, and that's just what I need at the moment - inspiration and motivation!

  9. I love the piece with the nest, very cool! and so are those little cages, I wouldn't have realized they were so tiny till you mentioned bottle caps!


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