Saturday, February 27, 2010

Pretty Bird! Pretty Bird!

School was cancelled yet again yesterday due to icy and drifted snow conditions on the roads in my children's rural school district.  We now have 3 days to make up this school year.  I just hope this is the end of it.  Spring is technically 21 days away, but I don't see any signs of spring coming anytime soon.  It's going to be a loooong time before all this white stuff melts away. Typically, I'm not a hater of snow.  In the winter, I actually prefer it to the alternative of looking at brown grass and gray-ness (is that a word?).  But now I am at a point, in this winter that we are having, where I have simply had enough.  I want to go outside and feel warmth on my face, I want to go for a walk or a bike ride, I want some fresh air, I want color.  Oh, how I want color.  Nice segue, if I do say so myself...

Yesterday afternoon, Jenna and I sat down and worked on this very fun project that was brought to us courtesy of, yet again, my good friends at Family Fun magazine.  I got the March issue a few days ago and this project was in there.  I have an ample supply of colorful cardstock so it was nice to happen onto a project that required few supplies, little prep and we were on our way to making these beautiful little works of paper art!  Family Fun calls them Curly Birds, but we call them Pretty Birds-Pretty Birds!  (Mimic a parrot when you say it!)  You'll want to have a paper cutter to make this go much faster.  I don't know if "paper cutter" is the official term for this gadget but if you scrapbook, I am sure you have one of these handy little things.  You'll be cutting the card stock in varying widths and lengths and I cannot imagine doing this with scissors.

Here's what you'll need:
BODY:   5 (1 inch wide) strips that are 3, 4 , 5 , 6, and 7 inches long
HEAD:   2 (1 inch wide) strips that are 2 1/2 and 3 1/2 inches long
TAIL:   5 (1 1/2 inches wide) strips that are 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 inches long
BEAK:   1 (1 by 2 inch) strip
EYES:   1 (1 by 1 1/2 inches) strip
You can choose any color you like for any of these strips.
Tacky glue or glue dots
Clothespin if using tacky glue

Here's what you do:
Cut out all of your strips.  I recommend making little piles and maybe even label them, so you can remember which strips are for the body, the beak, the head, etc.  But I'm just kind of orderly that way.  :-)  I first rolled the strips for the body.  You roll the strips into a circle shape and overlap the ends by only 1/4 of an inch and hold it in place with either a glue dot (my method) or with some tacky glue.  I cannot imagine doing this project with glue.  It would be a lot messier = not as pretty and you would have to clip it with a clothespin to wait for it to dry.  I'm into more instant gratification, so we used the expensive glue dots instead.  After you have rolled all of the strips for the body, then you begin to nest them inside one another.  Begin with the smallest one and place a glue dot on the bottom.  Then, place it on the inside of the next size up circle and hold in place.  Continue on until all of the body circles are nested inside one another.  Do the same with the strips for the head.  Then glue or attach the head to the body.  Next for the tail, this takes a bit more cutting.  Take the strips and cut them into long triangles.  My triangles were not perfect since I just kind of free-handed this.  There's not enough Martha Stewart in me (contrary to what my friends might say) to go to all that extra effort.  After the tail strips are trimmed, glue them on top of one another.  The shortest piece should end up on top of the stack.  Now, with your hands, curl the tail piece down.  Glue the tail to the body.  Fold the beak piece in half, then cut it almost like a triangle but don't give it a point at the end because then your beak will be in two pieces.  I made that mistake and had to make a new beak.  You'll understand what I mean when are doing this.  Fold in the tabls and glue them to the bird's head.  Roll the eye piece around a toothpick.  I used my cake tester because it was quicker to get out of my kitchen drawer than it was to dig for the seldom-used box of toothpicks in the very back of my cupboards.  You'll end up with a very tightly rolled tube shaped piece.  Secure the tube with a glue dot, and stick it in place.  Voila!

I made mine in an assortment of colors, just grabbing strips without any thought.  Jenna, however, being the Beach Girl that she is, wanted only blues and greens for the colors of the ocean water.  I have our Pretty Birds or Curly Birds on my kitchen window sill right now.  They are my color right now during this otherwise black and white time of the year.


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