Saturday, February 26, 2011

Eye on the Sparrow

I've never been a bird lover or a trendy decorator but over the last couple of years I've found myself sort of hopping on the "decorate with birds" bandwagon.  I didn't set out on a bird-theme mission but various feathered treasures started catching my eye on my hunts so I began picking them up and nesting them around my house.  I've tried to be careful not to overdo it with the birds because I believe themes need to be very subtle. I'd like to say I'm at my limit but we'll see what the 2011 yard sale season holds.

Here's a look at my bird collection. And I apologize for the low-grade pictures. I really need a new camera.

I found this print at a yard sale down by the Douglas Res on "Opening Day" Spring 2009 for $1.

On this table ($5 yardsale find) is a bird I actually picked up at Pier 1 with a gift certificate the fall of 2009, before the folks at Pier 1 went bird-crazy themselves. Behind the table are branches I took inside after a nature hunt with the girls this fall. I put them inside a Pier 1 vase that my mom picked up for me at the Salvation Army. On one branch hangs a bird ornament that was a gift from a dear friend I don't get to see much of these days and in another branch rests a real bird's nest I found on the ground (fake robin's eggs inside).

This planter came from the same yard sale as the print above, also for a buck or two. Sometimes it holds a green plant or flowers, but more often it does not!

The shelf the planter sits on came to be by accident. It was originally the edge of another small square tabletop (from same yardsale as table in previous picture) but after being left outside on a damp night the edge literally fell off. So I repurposed it as a shelf (with the help of my handy, dandy father-in-law) and I still use the table; I just face that side with the missing edge to the wall.

Random bird statue "Made in Mexico" found at a yard sale for dirt cheap. He's probably my least favorite bird treasure but I will hang onto him until something better takes his place.
I just love this little piece of framed bird art that I discovered at Burnat Mill Antiques. The birds are crafted out of real feathers. (It's not actually striped, that's just a reflection.)
Behind it hang both the key to my Lane hope chest (another yard sale find) and the skeleton key to our basement.
I found three of these tea-light candle holders at a yard sale for 25 cents a piece, each with slightly varied coloring. I was hesitant at first because they were a little too cute but the colors were perfect for our family room and 75 cents was worth a shot.
One of the others.

I must have found this book many years ago at a yard sale and completely forgot I had it. I rediscovered it tucked inside our built-ins around this past Thanksgiving when Darren did a major clean out of his book collection. It's now displayed out in the open on a bookshelf.
Some of the few bird-themed decor that I didn't purchase second hand were throw pillows and book ends I fell in love with from Etsy's Pillow Happy shop last year before Christmas. A new room and new couch justified new pillows. :)

Cardinal in winter branches from Pillow Happy - Etsy.
Bird and nest pillow bookends from Pillow Happy - Etsy. Books all from yardsales.
This past fall I was up at Mount Monadnock for a women's retreat and some friends and I spent our free afternoon investigating a few of the curiousity shops in downtown Jaffrey, NH. It was at Elaine's Antiques & Collectibles where I picked up this plate, along with a small collection of mis-matched individual butter dishes. (When my vision for those becomes a reality, I'll share it here.)
I'd like to hang this on a wall eventually but don't have the perfect spot prepared yet. For now it collects jewelry on top of my dresser.
At some point before Christmas this year, I had about 15 minutes to spare when I happened to be driving by Burnat Mill Antiques (BMA), one of my favorite places to go treasure hunting. So I ran in for a quick fix. At my favorite booth I came across a set of three antique bird prints by J.J. Audobon. I really liked them but wasn't sure; I needed time to think about them. And think about them I did - from that moment until after Christmas when I hurried back with a gift certificate burning a hole in my pocket (thanks to my M-I-L)! Apparently they were meant to be mine. I only picked up two, still unsure about the third. They were $25 each, and for me, that's pricy!  These prints will eventually find their home after I finish painting and rearranging things in my entry/den and dining room:

Poor picture...lots of glare...will get a better shot when they are on a wall.
Well, about a week or two after scoring these prints, the latest Ballard Designs catalog arrives in the mail and as I'm thumbing through, what catches my eye? Reproduction bird prints similar to mine (though not by Audobon himself) for $130 EACH!!
Nozeman Bird Prints by Ballard Design $369 for set of 3, confirming my satisfaction with my $25 prints that I happen to like better anyways.
The only other feathered treasures I've bought recently were at the craft store. My evergreen wreath on the front door needed a little something to carry it over until its safe to break out the spring wreath. I simply placed some birds and nests into the wreath and they can be removed just as easily:
Extending the life of my Christmas wreath.
So I've had an eye for bird treasures lately but it's God who has his eye on the real birds and on me. Matthew 6:26 says "Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?" He said it! I'm much more valuable to God than the birds, yet he provides for their physical needs. Much of this chapter talks about why we should not worry and are told not to worry. If God takes care of the birds and I'm more valuable to him then they are, then of course he'll meet my needs. I'm blessed to have experienced this truth in my life and I know Him personally as my faithful provider.

In 1905 a woman named Civilla D. Martin wrote the words to the song His Eye is on the Sparrow. I happen to like Lauryn Hill and Tanya Blount's rendition of it (Sister Act II?). Listen while reading the lyrics here:

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