A Lora Irish FaceBook follower asked to try one of the patterns from my scroll saw books, North American Wildlife Patterns and World Wildlife Patterns for the Scroll Saw. Since I am sharing it with him, I thought I would share it with everyone. Both patterns below are full-size, 100 dpi, 8 1/2″ x 11″ patterns, just like every pattern on my pattern website Art Designs Studio.
Simply CLICK on the pattern image. A new window will open with the full-sized pattern. RIGHT HAND CLICK and SAVE to your desktop. They are ready to re-size in your graphics program or just print for the large image.
Hope you enjoy them, and if you do, the books are available at Amazon.com.
This project began as an experiment and practice piece in creating a large, roofed bird house gourd. I wanted to work out how to add a wooden roof before I began the cutting steps on my large kettle gourd. As I worked I became more and more delighted with the nest egg and small bottle gourd houses that I used as my practice pieces. Adding a few dried, natural accents was logical next step to change them from just experiments into Bee, Bug, and Seed Houses that I could use for my fall decorations and in my autumn flower gardens.
Have fun creating your own gourd art, miniature bird houses for your garden, autumn wreaths, and Christmas presents.
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Basic Construction of a Bee, Bug, or Seed Gourd House
As summer slips into those first cool days of autumn, it is time for me to prepare my flower gardens for the winter months ahead. The gourd bird houses that I made last spring need to be cleaned and checked for needed repairs, the fallen leaves needed to be raked and moved to the compose pile, and its time to harvest the flower seeds for next year’s plantings.
This year I am adding a new little project to my autumn list – Bee Houses! My region has lost most of its honey bee and other insect populations because of the intensive use of pesticides and herbicides. More and more I depend on our native wild bee population to pollinate my gardens. There are several excellent articles on the net for creating wild bee homes, that offer other, fun ideas that you can do along with this Nest Egg Gourd Bee House project.
The original idea behind this project was to make a few simple, quick bee and bug houses that I could place throughout my garden as winter nests – miniature bird houses. I wanted them to be as biodegradable, eco-friendly as possible, so I chose to use some of my thinner shelled, small craft gourds and dried plant materials from my yard for accents.
One of my many autumn projects for the blog is a series of roosting houses for our winter birds made from dried craft gourds and decorated with pyrography and colored pencils. Along the way to the creating these kettle gourd houses I wanted to first play around with ideas on making different roof styles. Most DIY birdhouses use the stem area of the gourd for both hanging and as the roof area, but I wanted something different.
So I picked up some smaller dried craft gourds off of Ebay.com – nest egg gourds, small bottle gourds, and some dipper gourds. Next I got out my bench knife, my boxes of craft supplies, my dried flowers and grass, and began experimenting.
I never meant to use these practice pieces here on my blog, but they were so fun to create and have so many possibilities that I just had to share them with you. One of the little delights, shown below, is made with a nest egg gourd, approx. 2 1/2″ high by 1 3/4″ wide, with a corn husk roof, grapevine twist and barberry seed accents.
I was only going to make one or two to figure how the easiest method of adding a roof to a gourd. I ended us with over a dozen in just a couple of day’s play. As I experimented with several different roof material ideas I also came up with a multitude of uses for these small gourd houses.
Some of these miniature gourd birdhouses will become Christmas ornaments, some are made to go out into my garden as bee and bug houses, one became a little garden scene shelf decoration. But my favorite so far is my larger, 4″ x 5″, seed house that will be my sister’s Christmas present. Inside of this gourd, before I added the roof, I added 3 Red Oak trees, 5 Tulip Poplar trees, 6 White Dogwood trees, 6 Chinese False Dogwood trees, 6 Golden Chain trees, a huge bunch of marigolds, and 12 nest egg gourds – all viable seeds from my Maryland garden to her new Colorado home! (Shhh! – Please don’t tell her!!! It’s a surprise!!!)
So join me this week as I share the steps with you for making your own DIY Bee-Bug-Seed Houses for your Christmas tree and autumn gardens. Then at the beginning of October we will start the pyrography roosting gourd houses with a free Lora S. Irish pattern.
Let your friends on FaceBook, Twitter, and Pintrest know so they can share the fun.