Friday 28 June 2013

My Birdhouses

Thought I would feature my collection of birdhouses in this post. This collection is quite different to any other that has been featured as these birdhouses have all (well almost all) been made by myself. They don't have a very long history either. Maybe, as they get older, they will become more collectable to future generations. So far I have nine birdhouses and one bird feeder.

My most recent birdhouse is a Red Barn Birdhouse which I made a couple of months ago. I have always wanted a big red barn and it looks as though this may be as close as I'll ever get to fulfilling that dream. I was inspired to build this birdhouse after seeing one that was somewhat similar on Facebook. Below are some photos of this birdhouse.
As you can see, I like to use very weathered pieces of wood where ever I can. I think this adds a lot of character.
Another rough piece of wood on this side too.
The Red Barn birdhouse in position on the fence. I gave it a branch perch and added three rusty barn stars as decoration. Who knows, someday I may even add a couple of other things to this birdhouse such as a little barrel and a little ladder.

Thought I'd try a rusty tin roof on this cream birdhouse. The tin actually came from our old rusty downpipes from when we had them replaced late last year. I try not to waste anything.
As you can see, the tin is very rusty. More character.
Pink this time with a heart shaped hole and an old door knob. I try to do something different with each one.
Small orange hardwood birdhouse
The little orange birdhouse was actually cut out, but never assembled, 7 or 8 years ago while we lived in Melbourne. It sat in pieces in my workshop for many years until one day I felt I just had to achieve something and so finally put it together. It then sat around unpainted for a few years. Finally, it received its colour scheme of orange and green after seeing these colours used together on something on the internet. It's made out of some old hardwood garden edging from our Melbourne house.
The only bird feeder that I have made. The idea for this feeder came from a plan off the internet, found by my lovely daughter, Ashley. She wanted one for herself so we decided to make one each while we were at it. Don't think she has assembled hers yet.

The bird feeder is made from western red cedar that I've had for many years. I was going to make some more fly screens for the house with the thinner pieces. The wide pieces have a more interesting history. They are actually cut from a long board that was bought to replace a damaged piece on our house. About twenty years ago, someone very kindly blew up our letter box one night and part of it went flying down our verandah damaging the board. The damage to the board wasn't too significant and I just never got around to replacing it. It was just what I needed for the bird feeder.

The bird feeder has been well received by the local bird population and is visited by them everyday. The rainbow lorikeets actually wait in the trees nearby for me to put some seed out for them each morning. Haven't seen the rosella pictured above for sometime now. I think the lorikeets have taken over.
This little birdhouse was made by me in Melbourne. It's almost identical to my little orange one and was cut out at the same time. It has hung next to the front doors of both our Victorian and Queensland homes. I used part of an old wardrobe door handle as a hanger.

This is probably one of my favourite birdhouses and I think possibly the first I ever made. I call it the Gothic Cross birdhouse and just absolutely love the colour.
I designed the Gothic Cross Birdhouse on the computer and built it while living in Melbourne. It's actually made out of some old drawers that were found in a wall of a friend's house at Mordialloc. We were helping them do some renovations to their sunroom and had to remove some old wall sheeting on an unusually thick piece of wall. We discovered that a previous owner had used a series of old drawers to pack out and build out the wall, hence its unusual thickness. Why they would do this will probably remain a mystery but thankfully I quickly saw the potential in the timber and colour of the drawers. Our friends were only too happy for me to have them and so was born my Gothic Cross birdhouse. I still have some of the drawer timbers left over and one day I'll use them for another creation. 

Detail of the Gothic Cross and distressed paint finish.
OK. I didn't build this one but I did do the crackle paint finish. Sometime I will add a little more decoration to this birdhouse.
Detail of the crackled paint finish. I used Crackle Medium by Folk Art to achieve this.
One of my natural finish birdhouses. Rusty tin roof again.
Another simple natural finish birdhouse. Made another one of these with my grandson, Max over the Christmas holidays.
Max loves the drill press.
Max trying to get those pesky nails to go in straight. Not easy for a little guy. Note that I am trying to keep my fingers well away from Max's flying hammer.
Max proudly posing with his birdhouse. Well done Max!

Because I like the birdhouses to have a rustic weathered look, it's easy for me to knock one together, paint it and mount it on the fence all in one weekend. I gives me a real sense of achievement to start and complete a project in such a short time. I'm sure there will be many more birdhouses to come.

Oh, and by the way. I am always looking out for some more old timber to use in my creations. So please let me know if you have any old fence palings or other timber that you want to get rid of.

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