Friday, December 18, 2009

Hummingbirds and Christmas Trees

I've been creating my garden art for 7 years. I estimate that I've made well over a thousand hummingbird feeders utilizing repurposed glass. A lot of those feeders have been made from fancy liquor decanters. A lot of those decanters came with fancy glass stoppers, which I've just thrown into a box because I had no idea what I could do with them. Then I had a Duh! moment. A lot of the glass stoppers are hollow with an opening, just like their larger counterparts. Wrapped in copper and decorated with leaves and red beads, with a copper "feeding" tube, these stoppers are just the right size for non-functioning ornaments in the same style and motif as my feeders. I had a glass hummingbird bead on hand (imagine that), so I made this ornament, complete with bird, for Terrie. It is now part of her collection of everything hummingbird.

Know how boring it is to hang around the pharmacy waiting for your prescription to be filled? The HyVee Pharmacy in Parkway Center in Osage Beach, MO, has rectified that with a very nice shopping area. And in this gift shop you can now find Ozarklake Distinct Decor hummingbird feeders! Stop by and say hi to April.

Hummingbird fact for today: Life in "civilized" landscapes is not without risks for hummers. They encounter pesticides, free-roaming cats, air and water pollution, and continuing loss of habitat to urbanization.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

My Latest Creative Challenge

A customer came to me with a special request. She had some old insulators that she had saved from the old family farm and wanted them made into something special for her sister. She wanted it fairly plain and simple. Well, I've never tried to make anything that doesn't hang, so the first challenge was engineering "feet" so it would hold all the glass pieces and sit level enough for her to add tealights. I used one long piece of heavy wire to make the basic frame, wrapping around the base of each insulator and dropping down into coils to make the three feet. I'm rather pleased with the end result and we'll find out tomorrow if the customer is pleased. Her request to keep it simple allows it to be used as a centerpiece that can easily be decorated for most any occassion or season.

One last show before the holidays. We'll be in Hermann, MO, at the German shopping experience, Kristkindl Markt, at the Festhalle. We get to wear German costumes and generally have a very good time.

Hummingbird fact for today: A feeder holding 8 fluid ounces of sugar solution will fill the daily energy needs of 40 to 60 birds, a more than adequate supply under most circumstances.