The latest Art Sisters Exchange is all about mixed media birds and yesterday I finished mine. There are nine of us in the exchange so once again I have broken my little promise to myself about not joining exchanges where I need to make lots of the same thing! The funny thing, though, is that I found making these birds to be almost meditative (well at least once I make a prototype that I was happy with and then later, except when I stitched two to the wrong backing pieces!)
I wanted my birds to be a recycling effort and to be simple in style. The front of the body and the wing is crumpled recycled brown paper packaging. I painted the body parts patchily with gesso and then stamped them with a new little abstract stamp that I love. The wings are plain and then stamped with another favourite new text stamp called "Jack and Jill". I wanted to make my birds with materials I already had so I've used a piece of fusible fleece and another piece of quilted calico (both of which I must have had for at least 15 years) for the middle layer and backing. The fibre, buttons and beads likewise all came from my well-stocked craft cupboards. The trickiest thing was sewing all the bits together without making too many holes in the paper.
I'll share the results of the exchange later in May when all the other birdies fly over here.
And to finish - last weekend we had a family brunch for my husband's birthday and once we'd finished eating, a couple of uncles (our two youngest sons who are of course now young men) took charge of the "keeping the nieces (2 & 5 year olds) occupied" department. Neither son willingly participates in photographs very often (especially if there is the remotest chance I might share the photos beyond the family) so I took this quick snap as I just loved the symmetry of the four of them.