Monday, September 16, 2013

My Aviary....

So Ive been stuck about what to blog about for some time.....which is kind of ridiculous considering i constantly have "ohh i should blog about this" moments..... but i just never actually sit down & do it, almost like a "bloggers block" of sorts!......most of what Im creating just typically ends up on fb,which i dont overly get to talk to much in depth about the hows & the whys of what im doing... so Im about to make a major effort to change that! :)

There will be abit of back tracking to include past projects but Ill also be adding "what Im doing today" to keep my posts current.... & hopefully get me into a better blogging pattern!

One of my recently completed projects was this Bird Aviary I decided to make from an old wardrobe/cupboard..... 



This was actually inspired by this post i had come across on Pinterest....
 which I just instantly loved & sent my mind running & I instantly started researching things like bird safe paint?.... what would be best in an Aviary like this? etc.....And obviously I started the hunt for a suitable wardrobe....
I also was a good girl & set a budget of $200...























I came across this large old robe at my local Lifeline store... costing $80, delivery was an extra $20 but well worth it & the man delivering was a kind old man who lives on a pension who does it to help himself along....

Built of hardwood & ply with barely any damage... this would be a perfect piece.. main this is it had no chip board!... My Aviary would see a little weather so I definitely didnt want all my hard work undone by wood swelling etc, not to mention what the birds would do to chipboard! gee! 










  
I Removed all the doors (3) & the 2 doors ( L & R) were cut in half horizontally to create 5 doors in total.... this would be easier when cleaning out the Aviary without letting birds out I figured!!! Each of the doors then had a window cut in them for the screening to go.... opening up the structure....
Also as you can see the entire backing was removed, along with the shelves & the divider separating the inside of the robe.... I managed this by turning the until on its side, then drilling a hole to which i could fit my jigsaw blade to cut out the opening..... the robe certainly looked quite bare bones by this point!! but was actually still quite sturdy!!

The entire outside ( including doors)was then sanded & cleaned ready for painting...

As far as paint goes I learnt that basically anything the birds were able to chew needed to be water based & child safe.... basically if your child cannot put it in their mouth, your bird cannot chew it!!
The other major issue is fumes!, dont do a project like this wanting your bird to move in the next day.... give things at least a few days to really air out & cure... 
For the outside ( where the birds will never chew!) of the Aviary I used a Taubmans sun proof exterior water based paint, in a low sheen, I only used 1L for the entire project so came in pretty cheap around $35? ( ill have to check!!)
I did 3 quite heavy coats because I decided from the outset I wanted to distress the paint & play with it abit!
For the inside I used a water based child safe craft acrylic which I watered down to make a white wash of sorts.... I would paint it on then rub it back before it fully dried.... leaving a thin fairly transparent coat of colour.... I wanted something bright & light but wanted to be very careful to be sure if chewed wouldnt cause any harm to my pets.


Then it was onto the distressing....
I LOVE the distressed look... i guess it comes from my love of everything mixed media atm?....To achieve what I did here I started by giving the entire paint work a sand back with my handheld electric sander using a sanding pad that had already been quite worn... this worked perfect because of the layers of paint i had put down basically giving the very top coat a velvet/ worn jeans look!... Then I concentrated on some areas harder just digging in to reveal the wood underneath.... I then actually raided my mixed media supplies rubbing in some of my darker Tim Holtz distress stains to darken patches of wood & the pain work itself, buffing & rubbing it in using my hands & a soft cloth....
After I was happy I sprayed the outside work with a clear coat matt sealer.... nothing fancy just something i found at the paint store.... being careful not to get much on the interior & knowing Id be leaving it for days to let the fumes go....

I love the result..... its made me think about doing something else in the same sort of way.. but maybe with a deep indigo/blue paint....I think it would almost give a beautiful worn denim look.
Then came working on the inside again....  I decided that i would like to mosaic the floor ( not that i knew how to mosaic at that point!) .. not only for look but thinking it would help water proof things & be easier to clean....I started with an idea of tiles but soon decided plates were the go!... most of what I used were chipped & broken wear that


I got from local op shops for a small donation..... I used typical tile nippers to help break them up... I bought a mosaic glue from the craft sections at bunnings to glue them down.... now the next bit became my first hassle... I had also bought the grout from the craft section too but my first attempt at grouting failed misrabely!.. I made the mix way too runny & it ended up all bubbly & barely covered half way across my finished work..... I ended up going back & this time grabbing white grout from the actually tiling section... this product was a breeze to mix & use & really ended up costing half of what another batch of crafting grout cost for twice as much grout!

One thing I learnt though with grouting is to watch the hands!... I actually did this with bare hands & ended up with plenty of sore little cuts on my hands!& my nails a mess! next time gardening gloves will be used!!
I love the result though & it has been a breeze to clean!
After this I started attaching the bird wire to the cage.... basically a small chicken wire... securing with u nails covering the tack downs with decorative skirting inside & out....the cost of that came in at $30 also...
The doors were returned....

 The only extra locks I added was to the lower doors... this is so the 5 doors open & shut/ lock individually...
Some decorative tacks were also added to jazz things up on the outside abit.....
I fitted the inside out with just some native Australian tree branches along with some store bought toys... I also bought soe nesting boxes for the very top...

What birds did I go for?
None other than the legandary Australian native Budgerigars.... I love their funny little personalities & Ive always wanted to keep a group of them....


Ozzie ( English breeding) & Jaymz...





Mercutio & Frida.

Its only been about 2 weeks since completion & since then Merc & Frida have already started breeding.... as of today we have 2 cute little eggs...so keep an eye on updates as the babies hatch! :)



The Aviary sits perfectly under the eve of the roof...but at night ive been covering the entire cage in covers & a waterproof tarp for the heavy rainy days...
All up the project did come in just over the $200 mark & i loved making it which is the main important thing!....

Im loving sitting out the back listening to them & watching them play.... perfect way to have a cup of tea in the afternoons....

Bliss !

~Sally

1 comment:

  1. Absolutely amazing work ....now im inspired i have limited space and need a set up of sorts for breeding .....this could be just the inspiration i needed ..now im of to see what your fantastic looking aviary can inspire me to make ......thanks sally

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