Birds and Branch Painted Fireplace


Birds and Branch Painted Fireplace

It took me a long time to finally paint my fireplace, and then I took ages trying to decide what should go up on the mantel.  Finally I realized that I wasn’t happy with anything I put up there because I with the bookshelves on either side (shown here), it just seemed like there was already so much on that wall.

I thought about buying a stencil to add a branch and some birds, but with the depth changes between the brick and the mortar, I’d have had to trace it first and then paint it in my hand anyway to get it to look right.  And when I realized a stencil would run about $50 once I paid for shipping … well, NO.  So why not just try painting it out by hand in the first place?  (If it was awful, I could always just paint over it, right?)  I ended up with this, and I think it will do.  Maybe I’ll add some low candles to the right, if anything at all.  Total cost: A tester pot of Martha Stewart’s paint in Seal, about $2.50, and a set of paintbrushes from the kids’ art aisle for 99 cents.   WAY better than $50!

Spool Birds Mobile

Spool Birds

I made this mobile of Spool birds several months ago, but they’ve just been hard to photograph, so I haven’t bothered to post about them.  Christmas morning, while waiting for the girls to wake up, I snapped another pic from my seat on the couch.  I love the shadows they cast enough that I think I’ll go on and post this anyway.

Here’s a more straight on view.

Spoon Birds Mobile

Check out the Spool Sewing birds here and find the free PDF pattern and tutorial here.  They’re hand sewn and very easy, a great craft to do on the couch in the evenings while you relax.

If I had high ceilings, I could see me doing something like this:

The Ceiling at Flight

Sorry for the blurry picture, but doesn’t it make it look even more like they’re flying?  This is the ceiling at Flight in Hendersonville, NC.  I was lucky enough to visit there on a girls’ weekend several years ago.  I have so many happy memories from that trip!  My little bird mobile makes me think of it and smile.

For the Birds


If you’re crafty and frequently have snips of fabric and little pieces of thread left over after a project, find a jar, pretty bowl or even a bag you can hide away and save up those scraps.

Cut up the larger pieces as you go so you have a collection of skinny bits.  Once you have enough, stuff them into a clean suet bird feeder.  Early next spring, hang it in a bird friendly spot.  (Don’t quit saving up your scraps, make another for a friend!)

For the Birds

Hopefully your friendly neighborhood birdies will come upon this jackpot of nest building materials and fill your trees with the most colorful nests you’ve ever seen!

This would be a good lesson for a young child.  While cleaning up after a project, you can talk about how it’s good for the earth (and our personal economies) to get as much use as we possibly can out of everything.  You can also teach them about bird families, and how much Mommy and Daddy birds love their babies and prepare for them just like people do.  This just reinforces what kids already know – they are indeed the center of the universe.

When it gets cold again, your suet feeder can be used to feed the birdie families you helped in spring.  Which puts us right back to the recycling bit again … :)