Sunday, March 22, 2015

Azalea in Bloom

Hello and Happy Spring to you!.  I have a little spring garden in a birdcage to share with you today. I was given the honor of having my creation showcased at Our Creative Corner for this month's Top Talent.  I encourage you to visit this inspirational challenge blog to see all the terrific work by the hugely talented Design Team, and while you are there you can read  a little bit more about me, if that interests you.


Autumn Sweetheart™
These are the real deal! Pretty!
I have been wanting to make some azalea blooms using Tim Holtz' Tattered Florals Bigz die for quite some time, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity.  Azaleas are big here in this area, and we even celebrate with a weekend long Azalea Festival here in Wilmington. Many gardens and homes are on tour and Azalea Princesses dressed in Vintage gowns welcome you. We even get some national talent come to perform in our sleepy little town for the event. Somehow, Mother Nature always makes sure the azaleas are in bloom for this weekend. Wilmington has the most amazing display of these ubiquitous flowers, and they range in colors from white to purple and everything in between. The purplish- pink ones are my favorite, and I've tried to duplicate them using Distress stains-Seedless Preserves, Picket Fence and Spun Sugar.  I didn't have any stamens, so I made my own using string and micro beads.The flowers are made from coffee filters. The foliage is just green card stock cut from Tim's Tattered Poinsettia die, distressed a little, and inked with some Distress ink.  Not exactly as Mother Nature would have it, but I think they rather resemble the flower.





I also made some little wispy something-or-others to resemble unopened buds, and altered a metal vine garland using alcohol inks and Distress paint.  I find I can stretch my crafty dollar with a little dumpster diving every once in a while, and I found this lovely moss on a wreath a neighbor tossed out.  Hot glued over some oasis, it makes a nice base.  I was inspired by Mixed Media Monthly Challenge "Birds of a Feather" to use a birdcage to house my flowers.  Donna says get creative, and create something that reminds you of birds!  Well, not a feather or egg in sight, but birds outside my window seemed to say "let something else be in the cage for awhile"!     The bird cage was a black one I've housed some bats (these are mammals, but having wings they remind me of birds!) in for Halloween.  I spray painted it white and added some alcohol ink colored pearls for a little shabby look.  It IS shabby and pretty beat up!



I decided at the last minute to make some sparkly butterflies.  I used Tim Holtz Movers and Shapers butterflies and cut them from acetate waste packaging.  I used Perfect Pearls and Pearl Ex powders dusted over Glue and Seal and when dry, I painted on some Distress Paint.  I heated them slightly with my heat tool and bent the wings.  I wound some wire around the bodies along with some seed beads and twisted up the antennae.  The really sparkly butterfly is made as previously described and then I layered it with a second butterfly also cut from acetate, dry embossed and wiped with Stickles. The yellow butterfly inside the cage also has Stickles dotted on it for extra bling. I used thin wire to make them appear to be hovering over the flowers.





The hardest thing about making this birdcage garden display is that there are NO OPENINGS and I had to make it like a ship in a bottle. It was equally difficult to photograph!  Here are a few more shots!





I hope this brings you a little breath of spring-like fresh air!  Thank you so much for visiting today and leaving all your lovely comments! Hugs!

Sara Emily

I would like to enter this into the following inspirational challenges:

Altered Eclectics "March Already"

Inspiration Journal "Spring Blooms"

Country View Challenges "Anything Goes"

Frilly and Funkie "Bring On the Bling!"

That's Crafty! "Wings and Things" Challenge

Mixed Media World "Anything Goes"

A Sprinkle of Imagination "Anything Goes"

The Mirror Cracked #7 "Wings"

Mixed Media Monthly Challenge #10 "Birds of a Feather" In my text I mentioned how I was inspired to use a bird cage--this reminds me of birds!

Craft Hoarder's Anonymous "Go Green" This is their last challenge! :(.  I stretched the color theme a bit, but I just wanted to enter for their last!)

61 comments:

  1. Wow Sara, I love it! I can imagine how tricky it was to build the whole thing with no opening. The flowers are beautiful, a lovely tribute to your towns display. Hugs Jan x

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    1. Hello, Jan! So happy to get this wonderful compliment from you...I really appreciate it when you appreciate the work in something! Yes, TRICKY is the perfect word! There was a lot of "French" being spoken during the making of this!

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  2. Great work Sara.. You are so good at these 3 d projects! Love the flowers, they are so real! Nikki xx

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  3. This is such pretty garden in a cage! The blooms are really good. I have actually been thinking about something like this lately...and you got there first, my dear. Congrats on your talent spot at OCC. Loved reading a little more about you. Big Hugs and happy crafting.

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    1. Rupa, you always say the nicest things, and your comments are like a ray of sun on a cloudy day! I can't wait to see how your garden in a cage turns out! You do amazing 3 D projects! So this is such a compliment from you! Hugs!

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  4. This really is amazing! Those flowers look like the real deal! Love it, and that you had the patience too! Yay! It's Spring!! Chrisx

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    1. Chris, your comment really put a great big old smile on my face! I wasn't feeling too patient at times when I was making this! In fact I said a few words I'm not too proud of! Ha!! We need to remind Mother Nature it is Spring here!

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  5. What a colorful project this is!!! And to arrange everything without having an opening, is like making those ships in a bottle I bet! Wonderful flowers Sara, they look so real!

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    1. Wow, Samra, this is one special compliment coming from you...I consider you a flower SPECIALIST/QUEEN! So your high praise really is appreciated! And yes, it was quite a challenge to assemble...the elements were the easy thing.

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  6. I would love to see this in real life, because I know pictures can't begin to capture all the delights of a 3-D project such as this, and it really is delightful even in the photos. I'm so glad you decided to make the butterflies! I love the contrast their bright colors and sparkly wings add to the beautiful vignette you've created here. The coffee filter azaleas are just beyond fabulous...so realistic, and you captured the color so well. This just shouts spring! I love it!

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    1. Hi Kathy! I've missed you and all your head expanding comments! You always seem like you study everything you comment on and find something awesome to say about every detail! I'm happy you think the azaleas look realistic! And I would love it if you could see it in real life, too! That means we would be crafting together! Hugs!

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  7. So pretty and so spring like!! I love what you've done to capture a little spring in that beautiful bird cage xx

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    1. Thank you, Georgie! Now we just have to get Mother Nature to cooperate! Azalea Festival is just 2 weeks away! I worked with my gardener hat on yesterday, and it was cold and rainy! Brrrr! Lots of beautiful flowers are blooming in the garden I tend, but no azaleas yet!

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  8. I just saw this on the OCC blog, such a stunning project Sara, it truly looks amazing!
    Oh and of course thanks for adding ti to our challenges at MMM and CVC too!

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    1. Astrid, I'm always tickled pink when you leave a comment here! Thank you kindly!

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  9. Hi Sara!! I love this birdcage!! And you even took it from your Halloween creations and turned it into something for Spring!! How cool & versatile is that!! :) :) I love the azaleas, too! Those are the first blooms of Spring around here (the mountains of North Idaho) and there's a house that I pass that has two big azalea bushes in a bright sunshiny yellow and then an orangey salmon color that I just LOVE!
    Congratulations on your Top Talent Spotlight at Our Creative Corner! Very much deserved, Sara!! Happy Sunday to you!! Happy Spring!! XOXO-Shari

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    1. Good morning, Shari! I'm so happy you stopped in. I appreciate your congratulatory greetings and so pleased you like that I've transformed my beat up bird cage. Yes, I've finally set the bats free! Ha! Ha! Those azaleas you describe sound beautiful! I've not seen any in yellow here; I bet they are a sight to see! Happy Spring to you, too! I am hoping the weather will start to be more spring like here!

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  10. What a lovely entry for our Wings-challenge over at The Mirror Crack'd, Sara!
    And I am glad you shared this enchanting creation with Our Creative Corner too!

    The perfect project to celebrate the start of Springtime season!

    Greetings from Vienna and thanks for playing along with us at TMC!

    Claudia x

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    1. Claudia, thank you for your lovely compliment! It really put a big smile on my face this morning!

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  11. I love the beautiful azaleas! You are the reuse Queen and I was even more impressed when I heard that there is NO opening in the cage!

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    1. Nancy, thank you for your amazing compliment! I DO have a lot of junk in my trunk, that's for sure! And it was very tricky getting my fingers to cooperate in getting everything where I thought it should go. Sometimes I just gave up and let those butterflies land where they wanted! Ha!

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  12. This is just so creative! Thanks for joining us at Craft Hoarders Anonymous!

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  13. Wow Sara Emily, you never cease to blow the hair right off my head when I visit you!! This is just an incredible piece and I am so in love with your Azaleas...sure hope you do a tutorial on those! Glad you decided to add the glittery butterflies, they are just so eye catching, and what garden doesn't have butterflies anyway!! Great idea for your stamens and I love all the wonderful greenery! WOWSERS!! I would like about five of these garden cages to hang around my house! You sure are a talented lady! big hugs :)

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    1. Wow, Pamellia! I wouldn't want that to happen! Somehow you manage to say the nicest things...I'm sure this was not the easiest thing to compliment after YOUR amazing garden! But how funny that we both were creating our little gardens! I hope I can remember how I made these flowers enough to do a tutorial...they happened quite by accident and in the dark! We were having one of our famous day long power outages when they were budding! I had to make something that didn't require a heat tool! Thanks for making me smile this morning! Hugs!

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    2. Wow, Pamellia! I wouldn't want that to happen! Somehow you manage to say the nicest things...I'm sure this was not the easiest thing to compliment after YOUR amazing garden! But how funny that we both were creating our little gardens! I hope I can remember how I made these flowers enough to do a tutorial...they happened quite by accident and in the dark! We were having one of our famous day long power outages when they were budding! I had to make something that didn't require a heat tool! Thanks for making me smile this morning! Hugs!

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    3. Hmmm, I just wrote you a nice long comment (imagine me doing that!) and blogger ate it! Anyway, thank you for your amazing compliment...I would imagine it is not the easiest thing to do, after that mind blowing garden you created! Funny that we were on the same creative wavelenth again! I will try to recall how I made these enough to do a tutorial...they were made quite by accident in one of our daylong power outages, in the dark! I had to make something that didn't require a heat tool! Thank you for putting a huge smile on my face this morning! Hugs!

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    4. Hey, I lost both of those and looky here! There they are!

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  14. Oh wow,this is one delicious piece of art,it's stunning!!
    Thanks for joining us at MMW and good luck ;)
    Big hugs
    Donna xxx

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    1. Hi, Donna! Thank you for such a gracious comment! Hugs!

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  15. This really is a beautiful piece of art Sara Emily! I love the gorgeous Azaleas that you created and the sparkly butterflies look wonderful too! Thanks so much for joining in at Inspiration Journal this month. Anne x

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    1. Anne, thank you for such an uplifting compliment I'm happy you like my azaleas!

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  16. Beautiful..... So much detail.

    Thanks for playing along at Altered Eclectics.
    Lisa - Altered Eclectics Design Team.

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    1. Thank you so much, Lisa! I was happy to be able to play along this time!

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  17. This is really fab, I love the bright colours and the beautiful little details. Thank you for joining in with our challenge at Country View Crafts, and enjoy your weekend. Sue xx

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    1. Thank you, Sue! I REALLY appreciate you leaving this lovely comment! You have SO many entries to comment on at CVC this time! I hope you are enjoying a relaxing weekend, as well!

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  18. What a work of art Sara!!! This must have taken so much patience to put together and I can just imagine it taking centre stage in the Easter display of a major store. Thank you for joining us at Frilly and Funkie. Jenny x

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    1. Awww, Jenny, you are kind! I will say it took more patience than I think I have! Thank you for taking your time to visit and leave this lovely comment!

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  19. An utterly charming springtime creation, Sara - it must have required so much patience, but so worth the effort!
    Alison xx

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    1. Thank you, Alison! I'm so happy you like this little springtime scene!

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  20. Fabulous project so many wonderful things to keep you looking! Thanks for joining us at Frilly and Funkie. Sue C x

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    1. Sue, this is so sweet, thank you! Yes, there are a lot of things going on in my little garden! Ha! Ha! Thankfully, no weeds growing!

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  21. How gorgeous is this for spring. It'll look good on your Easter table. Thank you for entering it into the challenge at ASOI.

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    1. Thank you, Jaine! It was a fun project to make and we enjoy looking at it!

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  22. A really fabulous spring project in wonderful colours! Thank you very much for sharing with us at The Mirror crack'd!!

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  23. What a gorgeous altered bird cage! It's so creative and beautiful. Thanks so much for joining us at The Mixed Media Monthly Challenge.

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    1. Thank you kindly, Donna! I'm so happy you like my birdcage!

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  24. Hi Sara, I saw this over at Our Creative Corner and just had to come and take a closer look! I love it, and I would love to own it too! Absolutely stunning, I am going to have to keep an eye out for a simple bird cage because I would love to make something truly beautiful like you have done - a truly stunning creation Karen x

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    1. Wow, Karen! You have certainly made my day with this fabulous comment! I hope you can find a bird cage with an opening in it! It was all fun until it got to the part of getting all that stuff in through the bars and that little hole! Ha! Ha! But it WAS fun and well worth it! Especially when it is so well received! thank you!

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  25. Beautiful! Thank for joining us at Craft Hoarders Anonymous.

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  26. Amazing work!! Love this birdcage ... so detailed and brilliant! I just planted 4 new azaleas in my yard this weekend - I hope they like Atlanta as much as they do Willmington!! Thank you so much for playing with us at The Mixed Media Monthly Challenge!!

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    1. Thank you, Karen! Ours are just starting to bloom, and survived our recent frosts. I think they do well in the Atlanta area; actually different varieties are found in many of the states. We had the little ones up north; the Formosa variety are common here--the big flowers such as these.It sounds like you are a gardener, too!

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  27. So pretty! Love all of the special details you added! Thanks for joining us at The Mixed Media Monthly Challenge!

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    1. Thank you, Debbie! I'm so happy you like my birdcage garden!

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  28. beautiful, sara! love that you housed it all inside the beautiful bird cage! Thank you so much for playing with the Mixed Media Monthly Challenge!
    -Rachel
    rwkrafts.com

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    1. Thank you, Rachel; I'm happy you liked my decorative birdcage!

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  29. Wow! That is so pretty and lovely! I miss the azaleas that we used to have when we lived in North Carolina. We don't have them out here in So. CA. We have pretty flowers, but they are still...sort of like tropical vacation rather than "real" flowers to me, even after 10 years! Thanks for being our wonderful champion at Hoarders and for playing so faithfully! Giant Hugs!

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    1. Awe, you are such a sweet heart, Gloria! I have REALLY enjoyed playing along with Craft Hoarders...it has been such a huge source of inspiration for me! I am stalking, I mean Following you on Bloglovin!

      I understand about missing the native flowers from your home state...I would certainly miss the azaleas! I do miss the lilacs and peonies from up north, though, even after (oh, my!) 43 years! big hugs!

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