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Thursday, October 24, 2013

Flock of Flamingos Comes Home

Are you a collector? Some people amass sizeable collections of Pez dispensers, vinyl records, baseball cards or shoes. There are many kinds of collections; some are used and others are purely for decorative purposes or for sentimental value. 

I have a fondness for flamingos, but I had never considered putting them together as a collection. In truth, I didn’t consider my assortment big enough to be called a collection. I only had a handful of flamingos. But recently I have been thinking of ways to display my flock. I want it up on a wall so that it functions as a piece of art, rather than taking up space on a horizontal surface (which is quite limited around here as it is!).

Today while trying to organize my art/sewing studio I spotted a box of paint and instantly I knew it was going to house my flock of flamingos. I’ve been using this box for only a few months, since the Wednesday I grabbed it off the top of a neighbor’s garbage can on trash day. It was perfectly usable, not something that needed to go to the dump, and I saw its potential. It was a drawer, a rather small one (maybe 9 by 14 inches, and 6 inches deep). The moment I saw it I knew I could use it.

I love repurposing something and giving it a new life. It tickles me to use things in unexpected ways. Oh, I’m not the first person to use an old drawer for something but I’m excited because this is my first time to give an old drawer a new look and purpose. Plus, I’d been unsure of how to display my flamingos and now I have a solution that is a little more imaginative than simply putting them on a display shelf.
I took the shelf paper off the bottom of the drawer and painted the raw wood inside the drawer. I painted it white so that the flamingos would show up well inside the drawer. I added a shelf inside the drawer so that I could display more flamingos. (Maybe as my collection grows I will have to find a bigger shelf in my neighbor’s trash can!!!) I love the effect, and I love that the idea came to me unexpectedly. Sometimes it’s good to grab something with potential for future use. Even if you don’t know what you’ll use it for, you’ll have it available for the moment inspiration strikes.

Here is the drawer before it reached its full potential:

Here is the drawer after I transformed it into a welcoming aviary:

Over the last week I have been making more flamingos! Once I had a home for them, I felt an urge to add to the collection. I had all the supplies in my craft stash, and creating these pink, wiggly-necked creatures was made me happy. Would you like to know what I used to make the flamingos? I was hoping you’d ask. I used fabric, tulle, felt, a shell, buttons, hot glue, bamboo skewers, wire, pipe cleaners, paint, foam, Duck tape, parts of ornaments, feathers, Sculpey, sequins, beads, paper clips and Shrinky Dinks.
The drawer was free, and it only took me two hours to paint, hang and arrange my flamingos display case. No longer are the flamingos sitting on my studio window ledge, peering down at me, wishing for their own space. My flamingos now have a home of their own.


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