Saturday, April 23, 2011

Pussy Willow Nest


*OK, stop your laughing...lol.  Geez, if you get me laughing like that, then I can't type! Plus, Martha can say it without laughing (I don't know how she does it, but she doesn't seem to struggle.) Actually, the checker at Whole Foods handed the bundle of willow over to his co-worker and laughed uncontrollably.  We are all mature adults here, but for some reason this always makes us laugh.  Like passing gas or something?  Who knows?*


picture from marthastewart.com

Pussy Willow How-To

Choose fresh pussy willow branches, which will bend more easily than dried ones. You can find them, as well as the dried grasses you'll need, at garden centers or florist shops.
1. Create a base for the nest: Crisscross lengths of 24-gauge brown wire onto a 10-inch wire wreath form. (This doesn't need to be neat because it will be covered later.)

2. Cut branches into varying lengths (8 to 15 inches). Wire the end of 1 branch to the base of the wreath form. Bend it around the form's curve, wiring it in place 5 or 6 inches from the tip. (For a natural look, the loose end should stick out.) Repeat with the remaining branches, overlapping as you go.

3. Once the wreath form is covered, tuck dried grass into branches; wire shouldn't be necessary. (If the grasses are stiff, soak them in water until pliable, about 1 hour; pat dry.) Insert feathers among the grasses. Line the interior of the nest with additional grasses, and fill with decorated eggs.

Read more at Marthastewart.com: Pussy Willow Nest - Martha Stewart Crafts

How many times have we seen a craft project that we were totally going to do?  Uhhh, yeah include me in that (sighs).  I've spotted some very beautiful, natural looking birds nests before that Martha features in her various publications.  When I first saw the quaint, natural looking project, I smiled and dreamt of the day that I'd have the time to do it.  The next second I had moved on to yet another task (probably changing a diaper or something).  This year I'm making that way of living old news.  Finding the time AND the energy to create, to give back, to make something other than babies for God's sake (I'm a super-grateful mama, but you know what I mean?)! 


NOTE: I did not use a wire wreath form, as suggested.  I chose to construct my own form from reeds that I had found from my local reed marsh. I've been meaning to weave a basket from these (as local Maidu Indian women once did) but that can stay on my mental to-do list for a little while longer *smiles*.  Maybe next year I'll progress from nest maker to basket weaver?  Who knows? 
If you don't have your own reed marsh close by (and I don't suggest robbing the whole marsh of reeds either) then look for fallen branches or similar materials near where you live.  Make sure that you remain respectful of flora and fauna as you gather.  Have fun with it and you'd be surprised at what you can find out there! 



Photo Gallery

The reed marsh is located at the beginning of our road.  To the right, you will notice two, old houses and the reed marsh (as I call it).  This is a beautiful area that has a very old, historic feel.  I'm always drawn to old things, so I particularly enjoy spending time here.
Notice the brown colors.  The "browns" are the fallen down reeds.  Those were used to construct the wreath form. I paid careful attention as to not disturb the wildlife that dwells there.  Several beavers call it home, among other living creatures.
  
These buildings were probably built during the Gold Rush.  Even today it remains a beautiful place.
Sarah and Me!
I'm continuing to pass along nature wisdom to the next woman in line...Sarah.  It's a big responsibility, but one that she can handle.  At the age of two, Sarah's inner strength is admirable!
The dry reeds needed to take a soak in the bathtub.  Luckily nobody came over that day because I would have had to excuse the reeds bathing in my tub! 
I used floral wire to help me tie sections together.  The circle is about ten or so inches in diameter.
Next, I wrapped pussy willow branches around and through the wreath form (made from reeds).  Pussy willow can be purchased from Whole Foods in the floral department. 
To make the inner "nest", I purchased this basket liner from Jo-Ann Craft Store.  It will bend and fold to your desired circumference. 
For the first few days, I just put several wooden eggs inside the nest.  The wooden eggs can be purchased from Jo-Ann Craft Store.

Since I had purchased so many bundles of tulips, I had to share with Ben too!  Here you go love!  A fresh bundle of red tulips for you to keep!  I held off on purchasing the tulips until just a few days before Easter (I bought them two days ago and they are still fresh inside the nest).
The pussy willow nest with tulips... 



~Happy Easter Decorating~


3 comments:

Jenny Cave said...

This is absolutely gorgeous, Morgan...well done!

Carl said...

What a lovely Easter blog post. I love the old abandoned structures. So much soul. Check them for the old rusty hand made square-shanked, square-headed nails.

The tulips are magnificent. "Tip-toe through the..."

Make a Beautiful Pussy Willow Wreath said...

Sooo beautiful...who knew they had so many personalities? I love that idea from Anytime flowers but they are all gorgeous...thanks for the inspiration.

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