Feb 282014

I haven’t done a giveaway in a while, but recent wintry temperatures and a desire to see spring soon reminds me of birds, so that’s what the giveaway will be about this time: Abigail Patner Glassenberg’s The Artful Bird: Feathered Friends to Make and Sew.

Book Cover

Abigail writes about the basic construction techniques for making your own 3-D bird sculptures from nothing more than cotton fabrics, wool stuffing, interfacing, fusible web, batting, floral tape and wire. She breaks down the components of creating a bird into the body parts, head, wings and tail, beaks and eyes. When you have learned the basics of assembly, you can produce your own designs. You can also re-create one of Abigail’s designs; she includes 40 of her projects in the book.

Anatomy of a Bird

Anatomy of a Bird

All of Abigail’s birds are designed to stand up on their own. One of my favorites is the lark below.


The woodpecker shown below reminds me of the little guy that wakes me most mornings as he bores into one of the tree trunks in the woods behind my house.


Part of the fun of designing your own birds is decorating the wings. You can overlay lace, smock fabric, embellish with ribbon, cut up book pages, glue down seed beads, use free-motion embroidery, glue down rhinestones, use acrylic paints, or even sew on fabric yo-yos. The wings are a mixed media artist’s canvas, so use your imagination—your bird doesn’t have to be realistic!

Surface Design Techniques for Wings

To enter the giveaway, all you have to do is tell me what your favorite bird is in the comments below. A week from now (or later, if the minimum number of 5 entries is not reached), I will select a recipient randomly using True Random Number Generator. Good luck!

© 2014 Judy Nolan. All rights reserved.

Sep 162009

When it comes to birds and whimsy, Arizona artist Vanessa of Designs by Vanessa always has something to tweet about. “I love anything/everything crafty and handmade!,” she writes on the social network, Twitter. “My current obsessions are jewelry and paper goods.” As a fellow bird enthusiast, I enjoyed visiting her shop, where I browsed through such sweet delights as Vanessa’s Little Birdies, Pretty Birdies and Hello Cupcakecard series.

Vanessa does not restrict her creativity to her crafty cards, but also experiments with fabric. You’ll find several tutorials on her blog, the most recent of which is about how to create fabric wall art. You’ll find it easy to duplicate her step-by-step process, which she illustrates beautifully with photos.

While you’re visiting her blog, make sure you click on the Craftzine.com button. Vanessa’s tutorial about a “Shirt Full of Posies” is highlighted on this site. You can read the full post on her blog.

Something is always happening at Designs by Vanessa, so be sure to visit Vanessa’s Etsy shop and blog frequently. Vanessa is September’s Featured EtsyBlogger.

© 2009 Judy Nolan. All rights reserved. Please note that the images in this post are owned by the artist and may not be used without permission.