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A French-Inspired Garden and Home by Judith Stringham

Nest Feathering

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Everyone feathers her nest to   
make her home meet her needs and dreams.

Gathering materials, one little twig, leaf, or grass tuft at a time, 
a little chickadee weaves her nest all together into a refuge against the weather. 
Yet, who hasn't seen a bird's nest also with something a little sparkly in it, 
sunlight glancing off a piece of tinsel, 
or a stray snag of ribbon fluttering in the breeze? 

My little feathered nest is created with eye-catching appeal by 
looking for great discounts, 
making homemade one-of-a-kind items, 
using objects in unexpected ways, and 
repeating colors and themes within view of each other. 

Nest feathering involves more than creating a safe haven from the world, 
more than gathering the essentials needed for a shelter.

Nest feathering includes finding the little tinsel to brighten our nests, 
or finding that snag of ribbon to flutter in the breeze,  
those special things that make our nests comfortable 
and welcoming to family, to guests, and to ourselves...

and that makes our nests uniquely ours. 

Looking for those special touches to weave into my home, 
I found these blue and white checked placemats from the 
Pottery Barn Outlet earlier this summer. 
(Someone please straighten those mats!
The shade of blue is a perfect companion for the 

I like leaving the mats on the table even when there aren't 
any dishes on them.  Plus I like using one as the base 
for a small collection of other things that feather my nest. 

Creating items myself is one way I feather my nest. 
The blue nest sign is the latest addition to my ever growing 
collection of handmade garden signs using reclaimed wood 
and photo canvas signs printed on the computer. 

Many of us find making items ourselves is a way to save money 
allowing us greater choices in how we spend our incomes. 

For me, there are two other major factors in making something myself. 
First, by making it myself I create things I cannot find in a store. 
I get to have a BLUE nest sign. 

Most of the garden signs are in shades of green or brown, 
traditional colors for gardens that appeal to many people. 
These signs will be part of my annual French Country Christmas event. 

The BLUE ones, however, are to feather my nest. 
They are the tinsel that sunlight glints off in my breakfast sunspace. 

The second other factor for making things myself is I enjoy the creativity. 
I can spend hours finding just the right twigs for the birdhouse perches, 
winding a slender vine so that it flutters around, tying an ultra narrow 
snippet of silk lavender ribbon, and positioning a single stalk of lavender. 
Creating each little birdhouse so that no two are alike... 

A decorative birdhouse emerged from a plain 2"x4" pine stud. 
Its roofline is two simple cuts to form a peak, its tin roof was cut 
from a small sheet of tin from the hardware store, and its entrance 
holes and perch holes were cut using two different sized drill bits. 

By flecking the tip of a small artist's paint brush loaded with red paint 
onto the painted white background, the spatters add visual interest 
and depth to the birdhouse's finish. 

A small spotted brown REAL bird feather gives the impression we just missed 
seeing the bird fly away. If we had just turned our heads a second sooner! 

Unexpected uses catch the tinsel and ribbon...  
and stretch our resources in our feathered nests. 

The blue ceramic platform holding a small bird surrounded by 
speckled blue eggs is a drink dispenser stand, another great 
buy from the Pottery Barn Outlet, but used in an unexpected way.  

Nest feathering... 
Using collected objects that are connected by color and by theme, 
like the garden signs and table vignette, creates maximum impact. 

A blue nest sign on a stake stands near the other garden signs. 
Variations on a theme, with no two exactly alike. 

Just as no two bird nests are exactly alike. 

Please join me at these inspiring sites...




  1. Judith!
    How perfectly you paint nature for us, by hand and by tech!
    I love your BLEU NEST!
    You have inspired me to hang onto every scrap of cedar from our deck project!
    After the rain, Michael placed the spindles in our family room. The house smells like fresh cedar inside and out!
    I am so looking forward to the magic of your French Christmas Boutique 2014!
    Happy September!

  2. Lovely post! And I love this room. Birds of a feather. :)

  3. Oh Judith,
    Its béen far to long since my last visit here, and so happy you took the time to visit me.
    I so agree with you in creating what you like (blue) nest, and blue any things :)
    I create much in this way of not finding the soul or calm in the mass marketed pieces.

    Love your little sweet garden of beauty you create over here, it makes me want to get busy with bird things again :) but as for now it's a little of this and that's.
    I am going to stay in touch, I want to see all your country creativeness with the holidays approaching :)

    Thank you so, for gracing your beauty over at my place, your comment made my morning and it will carry me through my creative day.

    See you soon


  4. Hi Judith! Your pictures are just lovely! You have such a good eye for making your home comfortable and beautiful. The birdhouse is precious and very unique :)

    May you have a wonderful day!

  5. Your creations are magnificent and your birdhouse is create with a lot of love and talent
    Bisous français

  6. You had better watch out for others wanting to push you out of that lovely nest and move in themselves.

    L O V E L Y !!!

  7. Beautiful post, Judith. Your new placemats were a great find, and all your bird,egg, feather, nest details make me smile.

  8. Chère Judith,

    The blues, the gorgeous French table I spot in your kitchen, the all speaks to me! Enjoying your days? I am, though they are busy! Teaching French all day long is my DREAM JOB. Now I must run - Il faut que je m'en aille! Wishing you a perfect day. Anita

  9. Bonjour Judith!

    How I love to feather my nest! And I do it the same way you do. With bargains, yard sales, re-dos, even curbside treasures! I enjoyed your words and your nest images sooo much. Please stop by and visit us in Peacock Paradise & on Golden Pond - we'd love to have you for a cup of tea!

    Blessings, Edie Marie

  10. This is so pretty! Love the nest elements! I like to read your writing now too and pay attention the the images your painting with words! Great job!

  11. Feathering my nest is one of my favorite things to do. Now if I could just do it full time, it would be a real joy! Your next is lovely!


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