All together now

Throughout the year I’ve spent carving these birds, people have been asking me what I’m going to do with them. I honestly had no clear idea of that when I started. At some point in the past year, Debra and I decided that we’d decorate our Christmas tree with the birds, leaving all our other ornaments in the boxes this time.

We realized a couple of weeks ago that we’d need a tree topper to fit with the bird theme. I suggested a larger bird that I could drill a hole in so that it would sit on top of the tree, but Debra had a better idea: a big bird sitting on a nest. I carved the bird and she fashioned the nest.

Debra set up the tree on Friday, and Saturday she got all the birds out of their boxes while I worked on the big bird tree topper. Here are all of the birds, minus the topper, sitting on the desk just before we started hanging them on the tree.

And the tree, with 101 little hanging birds and the big bird in its nest on the top.

Click on either of those two pictures to view a much larger image. The tree image is especially large. You might have to click again to have your browser show the picture in its original size.

A few people asked how we attached the birds to the tree. It’s a multi-step process. When I made the birds, I drilled a small (1/32 inch) hole in each one and inserted a small jewelry pin that I secured in place with super glue. Last week, Debra attached a fishing swivel to each jewelry pin using a small jump ring. We got the pins and jump rings in the jewelry findings section of Hobby Lobby. We got the fishing swivels from our local sporting goods store. I think they’re #12 swivels. Or possibly #10.

The fancy hooks also came from Hobby Lobby.

Some of the birds have barrel clasps from the jewelry findings section, but the fishing swivels look better (not as clunky) and cost less.

Some of the earlier birds (the first 20 or 25) have screw eyes rather than the jewelry pins. For those we just used the hooks without the swivels. I might try to replace the screw eyes with pins, but the hole in the back of the bird is much larger, which might pose a problem.

No magic. Just working with what we could find on short notice.