Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Cowboy Boot Birdhouse

I entered many things in the fair this year, this birdhouse being one of them. I think it turned out pretty cute. And it was the first place, blue ribbon winner! Ok, so it was the ONLY birdhouse entered this year so I won by default- but I still think it turned out great.
Unfortunately, I did not get to keep it after the fair, although I knew this going in. All birdhouses were going to be kept and auctioned in February for our fair fundraiser. That's fine with me. I hope they raise enough to be able to buy a fair trophy for one of the kids next summer. I was disappointed though, that no one else entered a birdhouse. I always love to see other artist's creations. Let's make it. You will need: a cowboy boot-I found mine at a garage sale license plate bandana wire belt small grapevine wreath drill with bits to drill through metal plus one of those circle grindy things with the teeth little stick for a perch small piece of wire fencing-optional glue Ok, here we go. We had some fencing left over from a goat pen project. The holes in the fence were about 2 x 4. I rolled up a piece,about 12 x 6, tube fashion, tucked it inside the boot, just to support the inside of the boot so it wouldn't collapse or crush. You couldn't use anything with small holes as your birds wouldn't be able to get into the house. Like I said, it's not necessary but we had the fencing so I used it. You will have to cut your piece to fit inside your boot. Using your drill and big circle grindy thing(is it used to cut holes in doors for a door knob?) cut an entry circle in the side of your boot so your birds can get in. You can also use an exacto or craft knife. Using a smaller drill bit, drill a small hole under that to accomodate a perch. Now switch to a metal bit to put holes in your license plate. Bend your plate in half to form a roof. Set it on top of the boot and decide where you will be able to attach the plate to the boot. Drill one or two holes on each side of your plate with matching holes at the top of the boot. You will be wiring the plate on via these holes. Cut 2-4 lengths of wire-depending on the number of holes you drilled- 5"-6", long enough to fit through the boot and the license plate. Wire the plate to the boot. My boot had loops at the top so I cut a length of wire and wired it onto the loops for a hanger. I cut a 12" piece, attached it to the loop on one side, ran it over the top of the plate, and attached the other end to the loop on the other side. Add the perch by making sure your little stick fits snugly in the perch hole. Add a dab of glue to hold in place. So that's your basic boot. Now it's time to embellish it.
I had an old thin belt with a western style buckle that I wrapped twice around the bottom 1/3 of the boot. Then I rolled up and tied on a bandana, leaving the corner down, bandit style, for some color and flair. I had seen some boots on the internet with bandanas just rolled and tied on but I liked leaving a little corner. I got it to this point but felt like it needed some thing more. I headed to the Salvation Army and found just the right size grapevine wreath to put around the hole. I glued this on. Hmmm, what else? A sheriff's badge was exactly what it needed! So off to the dollar store I went. Sure enough, in the kids isle I found a package of gold badges, a sheriffs star being one of the them. Perfect! It was just the bling I was looking for. Just a dab of glue to hold this in place and YEEHAW! You done got yourself and fine birdhouse, pardner! This is a great birdhouse for the cowboy or cowgirl in your life. It's easy to make and a sturdy home for your backyard birdies. If you make one please share it with me.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Another Fair Come and Gone

Well, our county fair has come and gone for another year. The kids and I managed to win more than few ribbons. I am a crafter and baker so it's a natural fit for me to enter my creations in the fair. In fact, I was the "Top Baker" this year. In the coming weeks I'll share those recipes with you. Wait 'till you see my first place scarecrow. I hope it makes you smile. In the meantime, here are some favorite fair photos.