Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Elegant Chicken Wire Nest Creations

So now that Spring is here, I’m inspired to play with my beloved chicken wire again. While I do love chicken wire, it’s the size of the hex that really matters most to me. The smaller the hex, the more beautiful the design becomes, due to the added detail and wire for sculpting. Mine is ½” hex, but even smaller would be fabulous. Yes, some women need diamonds, but all I need is a plethora of DIY and Crafting supplies….:) I’m working on several designs, but this post I’ll show you bird’s nests. Nest #1…..

Chartreuse Reindeer moss wrapped up in chicken wire….

Filled with silver leafed eggs

With German glass glitter swirls (I used chunkier glass glitter because it sparkles more), spattered with Caramel alcohol ink to give them patina

And silver crinkly wire springing around them…..

And Yay to the Dollar store for stocking Styrofoam eggs, a dozen for a $1. It’s important to note that this is the smooth Styrofoam (like packing and peanuts), and not the rough kind in floral supplies.

Isn’t she tres chic perched on top of a vintage sugar bowl? Nest # 2…..

Aged excelsior wrapped in chicken wire…..

Filed with zinc-ish looking eggs (also Styrofoam) painted in grey, spattered with white, metallic Champagne, and brown paint

And spotted feathers tucked in….

Perched on top of this oh-so-fabulous, very aged vessel. I believe this is a sugar bowl also, and it’s the biggest I’ve ever seen. Quadruple Plate too. Old and gorgeous!

I accessorized the bowl with some chunky, textured chain, as the warm gunmetal finish gelled perfectly with the bowl’s patina. Just for fun, I made a cork tag, attached a zinc circle, and stamped it with Q & S 1862. (If you read my post showcasing the seed tray I chalk-painted, you’ll recall that I designed it with the words “Quality Seeds” and the year “1862”, as a fictitious seed company with its founding date.)

Since I can’t get that out of my head, I thought the tag could look like a cool antique fob of some kind. I think it looks wonderful next to the engraved monogram on the bowl. As for the aged excelsior, I have become addicted to ebonizing. It started with this Tiffany blue tool caddy I chalk-painted last year, and most recently the mercantile-inspired seed tray. It occurred to me that if you can age wood with this technique, then that means you could do the same thing with anything produced from wood, from shavings to paper. So of course after researching it, I found out lots of artists have been aging paper this way for a long time, to create Old World-themed books. Live and learn….:)

I wanted the texture of excelsior because it looked so authentic for a bird’s nest, but the cream color looked too new. (I could've used Spanish moss, but it was curlier than what I wanted.)

So after immersing a big clump of it into a container of tea, I scooped it into a tray, let it dry, then dunked it into my rusty vinegar. Again I scooped it into a tray, and let the ebonizing magic happen as it dried. (Save those foam food trays. After cleaning them, they make perfect crafting trays.) Now THAT looks old and weathered. Perfect! In the next post, I will show you how I built the nests! 

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