Friday, June 1, 2012

Inspired by Nature

A nest, woven onto the branch 
I'm going to share with you some of the wonderful found treasures that have found their way to me. I am so grateful to everyone who has put aside feathers for me, and other wonderful finds!  This beautiful little nest is from up North. Mike's Aunt and Uncle own a property with a lot of bush. Uncle Tref was out cutting firewood this winter and found this abandoned nest for me. I'm so amazed how it's constructed. Birds are incredible!

This nest includes birch bark, pine needles, wasp nest and possibly spider webs?!
Another little nest,  found Robin's eggshells, dead bee, hummingbird nest with sparrow eggshells

A dead Bee I found in my grass, three Robin's egg shells, found this Spring


A painting I did, inspired by the speckled eggs and sparrow feathers

The tiny nest above was found late summer, last year on my parents' property. It is made mostly of dried grass and dog hair, which is kind of gross, but kind of marvelous. I'm thinking it belongs to a hummingbird - - but, I'm not certain.

I found the three speckled eggshells last year, after a big Spring storm. These were blown out of a nest somewhere in a large Bridal Veil vine that has enveloped my neighbor's fence. I believe they belonged to a small sparrow.

The above abandoned nest was found by my Dad in Cottage Country. It seems to be made similarly to the one found by Uncle Tref. Mainly pine needles, it also has birch bark and pieces of cedar woven into it.

One of my old Robin nests, full of acorns, their caps, seed pods and pinecones

The partial woodpecker wing I found on the street

My woodpecker feathers print

Lake rocks

Small sticks made smooth by the waves

We've been on a few trips to the beach this Spring. There has never been a trip to the beach when I haven't brought back a smooth stone or piece of "sea glass". The last two trips, I have remembered to bring two bags. One for myself, one for the boys. I'm thinking of trying my hand at painting a few of the smooth stones. I haven't painted rocks since I was a kid, so I'm thinking I'll do it with the boys one day, as a fun little "art project".

The smooth sticks, or driftwood, I just find compelling. They feel so lovely in the palm of your hand. I like to imagine they've been floating on the lake for years. I wonder what kind of trees they came from, how big the branch was when it first found itself cast off from the land. 

A real beauty of an Owl feather, found and sent by Wally. :)

One of my Owl Feather studies

I have a few owl feathers in my collection now. They always remind me of my Great Grandmother. We grew up calling her "Daddy's Nana". I actually never really thought about her real name until I was older. It became one word, Daddiesnana.  Auntieshirl and Daddiesnana lived in a great apartment in Toronto. I loved wandering around, looking at all of the little treasures on their shelves, in the different rooms. There were little owl figurines in the one room, and my Dad had carved an owl on a box for her when he was younger, before us kids were around. She kept that box by her bedside. I always wondered what amazing, cherished things were inside. 

Something I'm playing with 

Not Working

A couple of months ago I purchased a bunch of little vases that I thought would be interesting to paint with some of my feather studies. After I prepped some, I painted this blue jay feather. I soon realized I did not like it! I much preferred the contrast of the stark white against the coral colour. They're in my mud room at the moment. I still have a few more to paint. What do you think?


  1. I can't keep up with your posts Jody!!!! :)

    You sure have lots of beautiful treasures. Nice to have the real thing to refer to when you are painting. Here's a silly question: do you wash your feathers ever and how? I've rinsed a few of mine--not that I have a collection like yours--and they didn't look quite the same afterwards.
    I've always loved driftwood and beach rocks too.

    I think the white feathers on the vases look lovely. Why not take them to the art show tomorrow and get people's reactions? Have a good show!

  2. LOL! Kathleen, I can't keep up either! I'm trying to post everyday, but, wowza! I love doing it, but it takes longer than I anticipated. :)

    I do wash all of my feathers. I use dish soap. I usually do them as I find them, but every once in a while they tend to pile up. I fill up the sink and wash a bunch. Then, I lay them flat on a towel and one-by-one dry them carefully with a hair dryer. This way you can run them through your fingertips and re-shape them carefully. I read somewhere that you could put them in the dryer. I tried it with a bunch of feathers and some of them didn't make it, while others came out just fine.

    Maybe I will take some of the vases tomorrow and get some feedback...

    Thanks for the encouragement! :) Hope you have a lovely weekend!

    1. Thanks for the feather washing tips! I will try that! Maybe try posting every 2-3 days and see how that feels. I can't post every day. It just takes too much time and I end up on the computer instead painting and other things. Plus, dear Jody, you need to sleep! ;)

  3. Sleep?! What's that?! LOL. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz


Thanks so much for taking the time to read my blog, and for leaving some comments of your own!