Today happens to be my 33rd birthday, and with that in mind I thought I ought to post something festive. Two weeks ago I was trying to come up with a contribution for the "Yankee Swap" at our store’s annual post-holiday party and thought it’d be fun to throw in something handcrafted (though not too time-consuming). Having enjoyed Gareth’s and my last birdhouse project I had purchased another cheap, unfinished birdhouse that now awaited my creative touch and thought it would fit the "$10 or less" spending criteria," so I took out my glue and scissors and got to work.
An hour and a half later Gareth comes into the room, eyes what I’m working on and says, "Oh. You can’t take that to the Yankee Swap." Puzzled, I asked why not. "It looks too good. WAAAAY too good." As only one side of the birdhouse was completed at that point I thought he might be making premature assumptions about the end result, so I kept working. An hour later I was putting the finishing touches on the thing and reluctantly agreeing with him. While I hadn’t technically spent much money on this birdhouse, it now looked like it was worth a LOT more than $10… And I wasn’t exactly eager to give it away.
Most of the credit for this birdhouse’s beauty goes to illustrator Rafael Lopez, as it was an F&G of the forthcoming Book Fiesta! (Harper Collins, March 2009) written by Pat Mora and illustrated by Rafael that I took apart and glued to the walls and roof of my avian abode. I love its bright colors and energetic images of people (what else?) enjoying books — perfect for celebrating El día de los niños/ El día de los libros, Children’s Day/ Book Day.
Inspired by Dave Vissat’s Wild Wings Literary Lodgings I wrenched out the cheap little perches that came with the birdhouse and replaced them with colored pencils. Much more fun, I think.
Yes, it took some doing to get the star to line up RIGHT over the hole for that top perch, but it was sooo worth the effort.
I think the hardest thing about this project might have been choosing which images to use from the book. They’re all wonderful, and size-wise most of them fit the walls surprisingly well.
The biggest stroke of luck, though, was the fact that this book’s title (and exclamation!) consisted of just two words, each short enough to fit on one side of the birdhouse roof.
The day after I assembled this beauty I made a quick trip to Paper Source, two blocks from our store, where I purchased a $10 gift card that made a much more suitable Yankee Swap contribution in that it didn’t lead to fisticuffs among my coworkers. AND as luck would have it that gift card landed in the hands of our store’s biggest Paper Source fan (second to me, that is). With it she can buy enough fun material to cover her own birdhouse or… do whatever it is OTHER people do with pretty paper.
If I was a bird, I’d like to attend a party in this house, be it on my birthday or at any other time of year!