Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Bird Brained -- C'est Moi!

For those who follow me on Facebook, you know that I recently acquired one bad-arse bird cage (about 50 inches tall!) while out 'garage saling' last Saturday. I asked for ideas on decorating it and received lots of great suggestions.
Originally, I was undecided about keeping it for myself or selling it in my little antique mall shop space. That's a common problem for collectors who are also sellers:)
I asked the assistant manager for her opinion on whether or not I should sell it "as is" or try to doll it up some. She advised me to keep it simple and sell "as is."

HOWEVER, there was one idea I came across via Pinterest via this blog  that I just could not resist -- and that was putting sheet music in the bottom.

Now, I love to hate my printer because it's always so uncooperative, especially when it comes to cardstock. But, it prints just fine on brown paper bags! If you've never printed on a brown paper bag, you really should try it. For my bird sh*t sheet music liner, I knew I wanted something rustic and shabby chic, just like the cage itself. So I printed my sweet little French song "Petit Oiseau" onto a chunk of brown paper bag.

The bird cage bottom is a long rectangle, as you can see. I simply cut my bag so the heart of my image was in the center and pieced together enough of the leftovers to cover the rest.

I've tossed in a few pine cones and I was going to add a string of lights but the ones I have are too big. So I really am going "simple" on the retail display. Still, I didn't want all those great ideas I received to go to waste. So, back to the printer and another side of the brown paper bag ----

I'll trim this down, add my sales tag (a vintage looking shipping label) and attach to the bird cage. IF it doesn't sell quickly, it's nice to know I do have options to 'charm it up' as well as the option to keep it:)

I have mentioned before that I have an offshoot of Adult Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD/ADHD) which is so bad, making me so scattered from one end to the other, that I call it ADZ. So I was having trouble leaving the bird cage "as is" and wanted to add "just" one more thing -- something bright inside it since it is a dark green itself. 
Well, I remembered a set of Audubon Society books I have. They were printed in 1965 and the covers are a plain white. I was thinking I'd just open up one of the books to a colorful bird picture in lieu of the real thing and display it inside the cage. You know. A dash of color. That's all. ADZ kicked in and I began to really examine the books page by page. I never realized there were so many stunning prints between the white covers. 
So I did a most scandalous thing: 
I cut pages out of the books. 
Bird picture pages.
And then I began working my brain overtime on how to get my printer to cooperate with me.
Overprinting on magazine and dictionary pages has been quite popular for some time now. So it felt exciting to actually be doing it myself! 
First, I spent quite a bit of time deleting the background from the "Petit Oiseau" image. If I had been working digitally, it would have been easy to see exactly where the bird song would "land" on the bird print. But working with actual pages, I decided to ... uh ... wing it! 
The bird print pages are about 6x9. I taped each page to a typing sheet of paper, 1 inch down and centered. When I got ready to print, I lowered the opacity of my sheet music to 70 percent. OH...and it is important to remember to print with the image facing you, turned upside down!

This is a small sampling. I have 21 prints all together.

The prints were beautiful "as is" but I figure adding the French sheet music is kinda like adding chocolate. Chocolate makes anything taste better. A touch of French turns any object into an 'object d'art' :)

And now, I guess I better quit talking about what I've been doing and actually get everything loaded up and down to the little shop .....


marda said...

So you're going to sell it huh??? Thought for sure you'd want to keep this. You do sound like you got "off track" a bit but that's what makes a person creative right?
Good luck.

Gail Thayer said...

Wow, fab project! I can so relate to the 'jumping around' type of behavior....some days it makes it hard to complete any ONE task....hahahaha!
Oh well, it can always be worse, right? We could have not even one creative bone in our bodies......think that might just do me in if that was my problem.

The Queens Table said...

Oh that is a massive beauty! What to do...what to do???

Ann said...!!
printing on paper bags..this never occurred to me....duh!!! i love the look and plan to do it!
how you can bear to sell this is beyond me! it is magnificent..and i love the "paper" you did for the bottom. i guess i wouldn't be good at selling in an antique mall..wouldn't be able to part with stuff!!!