Friday, April 17, 2009

Crocus Kettle Gourd Birdhouse-Final Steps

I have finished the kettle gourd birdhouse. It was very enjoyable to paint with such bright vivid colors for a spring design.

I added 3 coats of exterior spar urethane (sanding lightly between each coat) for a very durable and long lasting finish. Since Michigan has such sever temperature changes, I always use the best product for the most extreme conditions.

This is a close-up of the flower detail.
I tied a bit of raffia around the hanger and added some seed beads for a nice touch. What bird wouldn't want some home decor accents right?
The hanger I use is a heavy duty suede cord tied at the end.

The front view of the final product.
I hope you try painting one of these birdhouses for your use.'s pretty addicting!

Have a great week,


Monday, April 6, 2009

This is not what I Call Spring Showers!

Well needless to say we here in Michigan have seen many different types of weather at many different times of the seasons. Just last week Tom and I were enjoying warm 60's and starting to put our wonderful homemade compost into the vegetable gardens preparing them for a nice new crop of garden delights this summer.

This is our wonderful may not be pretty it makes beautiful compost.

From coffee grounds and vegetable trimmings to this beautiful "Black Gold" compost. Who could ask for more and it's all free too!

We knew this great weather may not last so we have been outside almost daily planning some new projects for the yard. We will be building a pergola and putting in a privacy fence and a nice wooden picket fence for the vegetable garden.
After having some nice conversation about these projects yesterday we also turned on the news and NOT to our amazement we heard about a Winter Storm Warning heading our way for Sunday night. We both just laughed and decided to chalk it up to "Michigan Weather" again. This is what we woke up to this morning.....let's hope it melts fast. We have yard work to do LOL!!!!

Enjoy your day...

Kettle Gourd Birdhouse-Painting Process Continued

Step 2 - Painting the Design

After you have basecoated your entire gourd basecoat the crocus design with a light buttermilk color. I usually thin my paint and use 2-3 coats before it has good coverage.

Trace a light outline of the petal details.

I did a light wash of pink over the light basecoat and then began adding shades of purple.

I added two shades of purple on these petals and then added the stems and leaves using 2 shades of green and 2 shades of brown.

I added the stamens and white dots using shades of gold, yellow, rust and orange. A few vein lines were added with the darkest purple shade.

The next post I will show you the top of the gourd design and the final touches.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Kettle Gourd Birhouse-Painting Process

Step 1 - Base Coating

I usually like to make the top section with a decorative edge and coordinating color but you can paint the entire gourd one color if you prefer. I mark a decorative edge around the top approximately 3" down from the top.

I used DecoArt Americana acrylic paint in Hauser Dark Green for the base coat. Since this color is very dark it takes 2-3 coats for nice coverage. Once the base coat is on I highlight over the entire area with Lt. Avocado and Hauser Light Green. It give the gourd a nice mottled look like you are looking through a nice blurry wooded area.

I draw out the flowers on paper and cut out around the pattern. Transfer your pattern onto the gourd using graphite paper. I decided to put two sets of crocus blossoms on each side of the entrance hole (in reverse directions) and then a set of three blossoms centered in the back. All the designs will be located coming from the bottom edge of the gourd as if they are growing from the ground.
I'll post more steps in the next few days everyone!


Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Kettle Gourd Birdhouse with Crocus Design


I'm in the mood for spring so I've been working on some new gourd birdhouses. This is one of the new designs for a spring gourd birdhouse. I thought I would share some of the process with you. Please feel free to use any of my ideas and paint a birdhouse for yourself. Change up the design and colors too! I'd love to see what you create. Please post a comment with a link to your creation. I love to see all the beautiful creations from the gourd artists out there :-)

First step.....Selection and Preparation

I always choose my individual gourd for a specific project and design. I have chosen this one for a wren/finch birdhouse with a nice spring crocus design. Sand and seal your gourd before drilling and drawing on your design.

I mark my 4 holes on the bottom of the gourd for drainage just in case wind blows and water gets into the birdhouse. You don't want those little babies to drown!

I also drill two holes for the hanger, 1 for the perch and a 1" hole for the entrance to the birdhouse (between 3-5" from the floor of the gourd).

Clean out all the loose seeds and debris that is inside the gourd. I use a dust mask so I don't inhale the gourd particles. They can cause lung irritation in some people.

The perch gets glued in with weather-proof glue.

I'll be back with more pics of the design and painting process later this week. Grab a gourd and paint along with me!
Have a great week,