Thursday, January 14, 2021

Rain's Thursday Art Date: Birds and the Sky


It's Thursday and that means we're meeting at Rain's for her Thursday Art Date.  This week, the theme is Birds and the Sky.  Unlike last week, I have a ton of art I can share on this subject.

I entitled this one Birds of a feather practice social distancing.

This book is for the Birds.

It is all handmade and sewn.  It was a gift for my dear friend Halle.

This shows the inside.

These are the first two pages.

It appears I only got page 3 in this shot.

This was page 4.

I think I got this page out of order.

This is the middle section.  We are half way through the book now.

These are the final two pages, which are pages 7 and 8.

In 2015, I participated in an Altered Playing Card challenge.  I called this one For the Birds.
When I found this quote attributed to Franklin Roosevelt, I had to use it.  In case you can't read it:
I think we consider too much the good luck of the early bird and not enough the bad luck of the early worm. 
In 2016, I was in a six player swap.  One of the people I sent to was Valerie, whose theme was Birds.

This is page 2.  Most of these images were tape transfers onto dictionary pages.

Page 3 included real feathers and a "page" of field notes that described the birds found that day.

I got a bit carried away on page 4.

This details two of the images found inside the tiny book I created.

These are the other two images and the front cover.

This is page 5, a bit of humor so I could include Bleubeard.

This is page 6 and reads "Shake your tail feather."  I used two types of alpha stickers and a lovely peacock.
To be honest, this was the last page I created, even though it is page 7.  By the time I got here, I was truly out of new ideas.  It appears Bleubeard had a few, though.

I used bits of fabric on this page and also stamped two images.  I sent Valerie one of the stamps after I realized I had two of them.  The eggs were a transfer.

We each created a tag in lieu of a sign-in sheet.  This was the back, where I would add my information.

This was my front.

I created this for a challenge at Art Journal Journey.  I started by running four colors of water soluble crayon over the 110 lb cardstock.  Once dry, I weighted it down under a heavy book for two days, but it never completely lost its warp.  

Finally, I sewed and changed thread, sewed and changed thread, and sewed and changed thread to create this.
I called this Days of Birds and Flowers.  I auditioned several ribbons and laces before sewing them, using black, gray, and white variegated thread to the computer generated image and sentiment.  Keeping with the black and white theme, they were sewn to black cardstock.
I created three bird related tags, then glued them to a page from my watercolor journal.

In 2013, I started a new altered book that I'm still working in.  This was the first entry.  Since I'm a statistician and mathematician, I wrote this about my first entry in this book:
In 2007, Nassim Nicholas Taleb wrote a book entitled The Black Swan.  Later that year in a New York Times article, he explained his concept of Black Swans:
What we call here a Black Swan (and capitalise it) is an event with the following three attributes. First, it is an outlier, as it lies outside the realm of regular expectations, because nothing in the past can convincingly point to its possibility.  Second, it carries an extreme impact. Third, in spite of its outlier status, human nature makes us concoct explanations for its occurrence after the fact, making it explainable and predictable.

Now let's switch gears.
When my friend Sally and I went to the zoo one year, I got to see a REAL black swan.  

These photos were taken with a very uncooperative subject.

It's obvious, we were in the Australia section of the Zoo.  I never saw the Emu, but I read the sign and took a photo of it.

There were all kinds of birds associated with Australia.

Some I could identify,

some I could not.

Some were colorful, 

some were friendly,

like this beauty I would never have known, had I not seen a plaque.

More color

and more I couldn't identify.  

I have tons more photos from other zoos, but I think it's time to move on.
Feel free to stop by my main floor bath

that is covered wall to wall with bird art of all kinds.

You might say I have a bird fetish.

Yes, I'm that short!

And obviously in need of a bigger bath!

Or maybe less birds.

Every nook and cranny is filled.
This is deceiving.  These are large framed birds and take up one wall in the bath.

While going for coffee several years ago, a friend asked if I liked birds.  He said he had a friend who raised them.  How could I turn down seeing something so special.
After introductions, another cup of coffee provided by his friend, we walked into the shop, where the birds were kept. 

Although I shot this with my old worthless camera, I was happy with what few shots I got.  I had to laugh at this one sitting on the feed and not letting the other birds near it.

Of course, they were all so busy skipping, hopping, and flying (see the feathers in the lower left) they didn't have time to notice their food had been hijacked.  I was surprised how well these photos turned out, especially since

I shot the photos through those tiny bars.
There was no overhead lighting in the room, just lights for the birds.
Next came the parakeets which were in a different room.  They were equally active.  The cockatiels were in the next cage further back. One blogger from Australia said what we called parakeets were actually Australian Native Budgerigars.

I even got a glimpse of the newborn parakeets and the ones that were not yet born that were kept in a box on one side of the parakeet cage.

I could show lots more, but you are probably bored and poor Laurie will probably be frustrated because I had so many photos.

 All art was created by me and all photos taken by me.  Bleubeard wants to chase all the birds and was very pleased to have been included in the artwork this week, too.  He feels vindicated for being snubbed last week by Squiggles and me
Thank you ever so much for stopping by.  I am truly grateful to you, my friends, followers, readers, and lurkers for visiting.  Please also join me at Rain's Thursday Art Date.

29 thoughtful remarks:

Betty said...

your handsewn bird book is beautiful, I bet your friend loves and treasures it.

Iris Flavia said...

People should learn social distancing from these birds, beautiful work.
Great idea - how did you do the book? Is that carton with fabric around?
For the birds sure is a fun idea, too, didn´t know that saying!
Now I feel sorry for the worms ;-)
The tape transfers are great, too.
Poor Bleubeard! LOL, "uncooperative subject"!
I saw emus - running nearly into my car, twice! Boy, they are fast.
Beautiful birds.
Clever idea with the shower!!
Ohhh, a kindy even, sweet.

aussie aNNie said...

wow this is so stunning absolutely beautiful...great post.xx

Elkes Lebensglück said...

These are all wonderful works, what great ideas for the design and the photos! Great posting on the subject of you
Have a nice day and take care of yourselves, hugs Elke

Laurie said...

Oh my gosh,, such a wonderful post. You always give 110 percent in everything you do, Such a talent you are,, amazing! said...

Wow ~ you do have a lot of art with birds as well as photos and collectibles! Terrific post ~ Enjoy your day!

Barbara said...

Birds seem to be everywhere this morning in blogs I follow. You little bird book is especially charming!

Debra She Who Seeks said...

You DO have a bird fetish! Oh well, there are worse ones to have, LOL! Lovely work -- my fave is "fly free." Because I have a cat fetish.

CJ Kennedy said...

Your bird book is wonderful. I like the pages with the colored threads sewn around them, the cardinals, and of course, the cat silhouettes. Shall I tell you I just got new lace curtains with a bird pattern? Enjoy your day!

Mae Travels said...

Birds are our favorites too -- yesterday we went to a stretch of farmland where many interesting birds often feed or roost, and we got to photograph a Merlin, which is a very nice small raptor. You obviously have the same view. I can't wait for zoos to open again!

best... mae at

Cathy Kennedy said...


I don't know...I'm not sure you like birds. lol Seriously, WOW! You've done a lot of bird art and you've photographed birds which I really stink at and you have bird decor. Yep, you like birds! Gotta fly away for now. Come visit when you can!

Curious as a Cathy

DVArtist said...

Elizabeth this is a stunning post. You hit the theme perfectly. So much about your bird art and birds around our house. Great job my friend. Have a great day.

RO said...

Such a lovely and special gift, and I declare I learn something new about you every single day! Had no clue that you loved birds so much and your collection is so fabulous! Hugs and more hugs, RO. Headed back to bed to get rid of this horrific headache! Ugh.

Valerie-Jael said...

Wonderful bird album, as you know, I love birds, too! Have a great day, hugs, Valerie

da tabbies o trout towne said...

if I showed this post to the tabbies I'd never hear the end of it....EVER !!! some really neat pieces here Elizabeth and the very first one would make an awesome outdoor garden flag !! :) ☺☺♥♥

Gillena Cox said...

Your bird post turned out to be a festival. I enjoyed today's visit very much
Happy Thursday


Birgit said...

I am loving all your bird creations. The book looks so lovely to look at especially during these time. I love the first one and the one with the black pussy cat and bold jewel toned birds. Your pictures at the bird sanctuary are so fun to see and I think that smallish bird might be a roadrunner??

Christine said...

What a stunning assortment of birds! Thanks for sharing!

Lowcarb team member said...

Great post, so much to see.
Thank you.

All the best Jan

My name is Erika. said...

It's great to see all this bird art. I only remember the cardinals and the winter in New England scene. That book you made for Halle is beautiful. Birds make great subjects in art, don't they? Hope the week is going well. hugs-Erika

Jeanie said...

I love each and every image! The bird journal is spectacular and your friend is a lucky one indeed to be on the receiving end! I loved the photos too. It must have taken you forever to pull this post together but from a reader's perspective, it was very much worth it!

Rain said...

Hi Elizabeth! :)
Firstly, I left a note for David that you couldn't visit! I don't think that there is an issue with his blog because the domain is blogger...that actually happened to me too. One of my long time blog readers wrote me a note saying she couldn't visit me anymore because of a security alert. But I was getting visitors all the time. If there is some way you can continue despite the alert, if it were me, I'd try anyway.

Wow, I LOVE your bird book!!! So much time and creativity went into that! Bravo!!! :) I love Bleubeard in the cage, that was a great touch! Your first piece though, Birds of a Feather is just beautifully painted...very talented! :) "Winter in New England" is very pretty! :)

Too bad you can't visit David's blog because he also posted photos of Black Swans from Australia!! Your photos are great! I love seeing all the different kinds of birds that we never see here. The only reason I know about Cassowaries, is because I used to watch The Crocodile Hunter and he showed all of the birds he had at his zoo. I miss him! :) What a great post filled with lovely birds!!

Andrea @ From The Sol said...

To say birds are a big part of your life would be an understatement ... your books are amazing and I can only imagine the work that went into creating them. And good for Bleubeard. He got his due for sure and I am guessing he is quite happy about it. I feel a bit for your friend who raises birds. I can't imagine having to clean all of those cages :( Anyway, I was excited when you mentions the Sandhill migration in your comment. My friend and I went there with the International Crane Foundation a few years ago. We went to the bridge at dusk and watched them come in for the night. They spend the night in the shallow parts of the river to protect themselves from predators. Many Sandhill Cranes summer in Wisconsin and since we go up there to visit the International Crane Foundation Center where they have pairs of every species of crane in the world for the purpose of breeding them and preventing their extinction, we have seen many large flocks of them in the fields. Anyway, I so agree with you that the migration is breath taking! This was a fun post, Elizabeth and I repeat what I said in my post, I am especially enjoying this blog this week because it distracts me from the horror that is going on in our country. It is hard for me to understand how we got to this point, I just pray we find a way to weather the storm. Be safe, my friend and hats off to Bleubeard :)

Andrea @ From The Sol

Halle said...

I love my bird book!

peggy gatto said...

I loved seeing all the birds of a feather all together!!!!

David M. Gascoigne, said...

An entire post devoted to birds is right up my alley as you might imagine! Well done with this feature. I am sure it took quite a while to put it all together.

Divers and Sundry said...

I love the stitching and colors in your art pieces. The zoo photos brought back fond memories :)

NatureFootstep said...

lol, you do have a lot of birds to share :)
You even sew a birdbook. :)

I visited Queensland a couple of years ago and saw some of the birds you share
in their habitat. It was a really nice trip.
Take care!

RO said...

What a wonderful tribute to nature and the beauty of birds, and I really like your special artwork. Despite seeing so many birds on this post, I'm happy to say that I won't be sending anything bird-related for your birthday or Christmas this year!!(lol!!!) Hugs and hugs, RO