February 5, 2013

Spreading My Wings A Bit

Recently, my MUCH MUCH older sister, Hallie, turned (redacted) years old and I was having trouble picking out a gift.

Not her cake, but it made me laugh.

I've gone the gift card route perhaps a bit too much lately, so that wasn't really an option (Editor's Note: This is not to, in any way, suggest that I do not want Lowe's or Home Depot gift cards in the future. Because, that's pretty much all I want.).

It had to be something I could ship fairly easily, because she lives in good ole' Amish country now - the land where progress and technology go to die.

So, I thought about things she likes (or at least that I think she likes), and here was that list, in no particular order:

1) Her baby brother
2) Her dog
3) Butterflies
4) The color purple (not the Oprah movie, the actual color)
5) UT football

I'm sure there are more, but my ADD kicked in and - oh hey look, there's a bird outside my window. What're you up to bird? That reminds me, I need a car wash.

What was I saying? Oh yeah, butterfly just seemed like the most logical choice. Like a hanging sculpture, maybe?

Since I pride myself on the ability to (mostly) take advantage of materials I have laying around from other projects, I figured I could find what I needed in my pile of scraps. And my time and effort spent on making it would be the cost. Oh, and shipping, because Uncle Sam doesn't do that for free.

This was a bit of an adventure for me, since I actually had to channel my inner artist and free-hand the design. I was always more comfortable with a coloring book than sketch pad, so that part was a little difficult for me. I like to think I pulled it off though, and for the record, she loved it. Or at least that's what she told me so, yeah, we'll go with that.

And this, my friends and fellow junkers, is why I rarely throw anything away after I'm done with a project. You can always find new uses for the most random of things...

The Body: Old handrail spindle from a set of stairs. I found it on the side of the road a while back.

The Wings: 1/4" something-or-another leftover from the previous owner. Birch plywood, maybe?

The Antennae: Leftover copper ground wire from one of the light fixtures I replaced.

The Eyes: Rusty bolt and nuts, leftover from the industrial pendant light project.

Free-handed the design, and painfully cut it out with a box cutter. Jigsaw would've been better, trust me.

A little dry fit to make sure it's gonna work.

Wings get the final paint touch-ups, then distressed

Painted and distressed the body, and attached the antennae to the back using small screws.

Cut the bolts for the eyes, drilled pilot holes and filled with glue, then hammered those dudes in.

Hanging on (my) wall. She took it a step further and hung it an angle, which I actually like more.

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