Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Take-A-Seat Bird Feeder

Once upon a time, someone told me they wished they could spend a day in my careful what you wish for.

This story is about a chair.  I seem to be drawn to chairs; and in the spirit of a true junker, I happily accept broken chairs.  After all the usual projects using backs, legs, and spindles, I find myself left with an abundance of seats with holes.  What to do?  This particular chair seat is flat but has a large hole at the center back.

The heavy hardwood seat with the hole gave me an idea.  It's sturdy enough to use as a base for something....but I want the base to look even heavier than it is so I give it my secret heavy metal finish.  (Okay...I promise to share the secret in a future blog).

When there's a hole, find a peg.....   Digging through my bin of legs, I find the perfect "peg".  The old table leg is round and tapered at the bottom, perfect for the hole, and flat on the top.  It's already white and I like the natural distressed look so I just sand it a bit here and there and give it a coat of clear paste wax (Fiddes Supreme in Light).

Now that I have a base and pedestal....I need to make something useful....

I have a little collection of unfinished bird houses that I purchased at an estate sale but you can find them at Michael's or JoAnn's.  I  pull out my old craft paints and set to work painting the little house.  I like things to look a little old and worn so I sand a little here and there and wax it with Fiddes Supreme Wax in Rugger Brown.

Now I have a tiny house sitting on a tall pedestal with a large heavy base....I need visual balance and more recycled outdoor dining perch!

Awhile back I purchased a vintage brass chandelier that was missing some parts.  I take one of the arms and give it a verdigris finish using a chemical patina solution from Modern Masters and then a coat of spray sealer.

I love using lamp and chandelier parts because the threads are universal and so it's easy to find hardware.  Using a short coupling screw as a guide, I  drill the appropriate size hole into the wood leg.  When I need something to be extra strong, I'll put Jen Weld (a two-part epoxy), in the hole of the leg and then insert the screw.  That way, it's more like a welded in bolt and then you just screw on the chandelier arm.

For the birdseed dish, I use a rusted iron bobeche (at least that's what I'm calling it).  I give it a coat of spray sealer and use the shortest coupling screw I can find to attach it to the chandelier arm.  I like everything to have a finished look so I use a brass cap instead of a nut to attach the bobeche to the chandelier arm.  I also give the brass cap the patina treatment. I said, I like everything to have a finished look so I need something for the little holes where the chandelier crystals used to hang.  I don't want to use crystals because that's not a re-use and it might scare the birds away which would defeat the purpose.   I make a little chalkboard that said "welcome" on one side and "come again" on the other.  I attach it with some recycled chain that received the patina finish.  I found a little bell from a garage sale purchase of a bird cage.  It's  a perfect door bell for my new bird house/feeder.

In the spirit of "nothing wasted",  I add the tiniest beginnings of a real bird nest to the inside of the house.  For those who don't know me, I live in the country and have a large collection of bird nests.  I started with one many years ago that my husband rescued out of a rolled up awning he was cleaning.  From that day on, everyone brings me the nests they find when cleaning.  We have a beam on our back patio that isn't the best place for building but there's always a bird that tries and so during the building season I can go outside almost daily and find the beginnings of a nest on the patio where it wouldn't stay put long enough to be finished.  I pick up all the sad little starts and figure someday this will be useful for something....because it's already beautiful!

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