• Belinda

Needed: One Songbird

Can you believe we are in the third month of 2021 already? This year is racing along with no indication of slowing down. It's important to slow down where we can, and appreciate the simpler aspects of this harried existence.

Some objects bring a sense of peace and timelessness with them; just looking, or even thinking, about that thing can cause to rise within us a deep, appreciative sigh. Consider dangling toes in a water fountain, curling up in bed with a book or movie, or a pot of Grandma's secret recipe casserole cooking on the stove. Whatever brings one that sense of time slowing, whether a sentimental attachment and associated memories, or just the very idea of the object itself, we can all do with a bit of slowing down in our days.

One object that resembles timelessness to me is a bird cage. It's not sentimental, in this case, but purely the style and idea of a sweet little birdy singing from a gilded cage. An icon used often in vintage imagery, it speaks of yesteryear and a less complicated way of life. So when I started working on this first project for March, I enjoyed that wonderful sense of time slowing as I worked away on it.

Here it is...

the Bird Cage

Dry run of the Bird Cage and stand
Dry run of the Bird Cage and stand

This kit is a beautifully quick project with minimal parts to it. It makes it an ideal project for someone just getting started with these MDF kits.

The design is classical - timless - and the end result is so sweet. It could even double as a place to hang earrings from - on the filigree detail at the top of the pole.

The steps to construct this lovely kit are uncomplicated. The only watch point I would say is to inset the side bars into the top and bottom circles of the cage at the same time - don't try to insert them all into the base then try to put the top disc in place; or vice versa.

I had all sorts of plans to add a lovely little bird into the cage and place a cat at the bottom, but I could not source the items I needed on the day I was out shopping. If I do manage to find some bits that suit and add them in, I will update the blog.

Base pieces covered in decorative paper
Decorated base pieces

My approach having completed the dry run was to work out how I wanted to decorate it. Right from the outset I knew I wanted the pole to be black, and this gave me a great starting point to choose the rest of the design. I chose a 6x6 piece of embossed paper from Kaisercraft out of my stash to cover the base of the stand and also the base of the bird cage. I used gel medium as the adhesive.

Both the top side and underside of the bird cage base is covered in paper. I had to cut little slits out of the paper so the side bars would fit in place. It was a heavy weight paper, so quite thick. With a damp cloth dipped into metallic gold paint (Resene's Blast Yellow) I gave the pieces a gold edge and then wiped lightly over the whole paper to pick up the embossed pattern a little more. It added a beautiful and subtle emphasis that unfortunately doesn't really show in the photographs. The underside of the larger base piece is painted black.

Bird cage pole detail gold accents
Bird cage pole detail

I felt the pole needed a little embellishment as well. I cut a couple of ovals of the same paper and adhered them to the central area of the pole and painted the sections above and below that with the Blast Yellow. I also painted the top circle on the pole in the gold paint. I chose this particular gold paint as it has a more antique look and has a warmer tone.

The bird cage sides were all painted with the Blast Yellow and the top connecting ring in black.

Bird cage painted in Blast Yellow metallic gold
Painted bird cage

The final touch was to suspend the bird cage from the pole. I have a reel of gold-plated chain from which I cut a piece, a bit longer than I intended so I may shorten it some time. I wanted a single length but the links were too small to fit the jump ring through, so I had to go with a double, which I think still looks good. If you don't have access to chain then anything could be used - baker's twine, 3mm satin ribbon, coloured wire, etc.

So here is the completed project. It really is quite darling, but so difficult to photograph at my house.

This is the first of my Design Team projects for Faith Pocock Craft Studio. I hope you enjoyed it. Please do go and check out this kit and all of the other wonderful kits - there is something to suit everyone. I can't wait to share the second project with you. It's so much fun!

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