Feathered Nest at Windy Corner

Saturday, September 10, 2022

Open September 24th & 25th for Jordbruksdagarna

To mark Bishop Hill’s 50th Jordbruksdagarna
The Feathered Nest
will be open on
Saturday, 9/24 & Sun 9/25
from 11:30 to 4:00

featuring special Harvest Wreaths
crafted from materials grown and gathered
in and around Bishop Hill, IL.

Please stop by for a pack of complimentary cleome seeds
harvested from our garden for you! 
Located 3 blocks west of the Village Park
at 502 W Main St, Bishop Hill, Il

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Time to Etch Eggs for Easter

Easter is just around the corner and I've had requests for some special etched eggs.

I gathered my tools together but didn’t have any etching solution on hand. I've always used toilet bowl cleaner for this so I went to the local Dollar General and picked up a jug of the Works. It used to contain 20% hydrochloric acid but the strength of the current product available is 9% acid. Hmmm.

I thought I’d better do a test. And while I was at it, I decided to sample other household chemicals I had around. I’m sharing the results with all my egging friends and anyone else interested. Eggshells are made up of calcium carbonate so I put several brown eggs in cups of cleaning products that claim to "bust" calcium buildup. I checked at 10-minute intervals to see if the outer brown layer of the shells was being etched. Only four solutions did a reasonable job.
In my experiment, CLR was the winner followed by the (new 9%) Works Toilet Bowl Cleaner. At just 10 minutes, the eggs in these cups revealed a clear, white layer of shell. Vinegar and Comet Cleaner did a fair job but it took 45 minutes for either to work and the results were uneven.
Once my waxed eggs were etched, I melted the designs, sketched details, and carved the shells. I look forward to doing a few more of these eggs this season featuring letters of the alphabet, bugs, bunnies, and for my granddaughters, cats!

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Giving Nature a color make-over

Can you tell which eggs are natural shades and which
have been enhanced with dye?
The answer will amaze you.
Hint: Only two shells have been dyed.
Did you get it right? #1 and #10 are enhanced! 
The rest reflect the natural color range
of chicken and duck eggs!

Friday, January 29, 2021

Medieval Quilling
The art of paper quilling can trace its origins to 15th century Europe where it was used by French and Italian clergy to decorate religious objects, adding opulence with scant expense. Spun paper was an economical substitute for carved ivory and precious metals. When gilded, it was hard to distinguish from gold. Many exquisite examples of medieval quilling still exist.
January Snowflakes - light and white
Over the centuries this art form has been revived again and again and today it is being rediscovered and embraced worldwide. Only a few tools and materials are needed to create it. The real joy of quilling comes from stretching one’s imagination to combine simple elements into objects of extraordinary ephemeral beauty. I can think of no better match for technique and subject than quilling snowflakes. It is said that no two frozen flakes have ever fallen; my flakes are also one-of-a-kind. Though paper can be conserved, it does not last forever. These flakes are formed as spontaneously as the ice crystals they imitate. These are meant to be enjoyed here and now and spread joy as you hold them in your hands.
February Valentine Snowflakes
As covid struck the Midwest, my granddaughters became homeschooled. I instantly applied for the position of art teacher and the projects began! Quilling is something we all enjoy. January’s white and ivory flakes have made way for February’s snowflakes incorporating pastel colors and hidden hearts.

Micro quilling on Eggs!
We have fun making these flakes and hope they inspire you to make a few of your own one snowy afternoon. Up next: Micro quilling on Easter Eggs!

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

It's time to make the wreaths!

Anyone who experienced the 80’s should remember a commercial featuring that beleaguered Dunkin’ Donuts guy who meets himself coming and going while mumbling, “It’s time to make the donuts.”

I would like to thank all my clients for turning me into that guy! I am happy to have shipped so many Christmas wreaths this holiday season. 

For me, for a while now, it has been “time to make the wreaths!” Ah, but the end is in sight. While it was a joy to be so busy, I will appreciate a long winter nap before the Easter bunny shows up to remind me that it’s time to make the eggs!   

Monday, October 5, 2020

I've moved my business for the last time!

It was only a year ago that I moved my goods into the Cobbler Shop on Bjorklund Street. Though I declared it to be my last shop, I've moved out. Corona and knee surgery influenced my decision to make a new plan for The Feathered Nest. Our “littlebrick” property on the edge of town is no longer for sale. I'm delighted to report that our daughter and family will take up residence there soon. They have offered to “share’” the woodshop on the property. So...this allows me to use the renovated barn next to my new home as my studio. Yippe!
I jumped at the chance to install my business! It will be a fine place to receive clients. I have created a corner dedicated to cutting silhouettes.
Likewise, I’ve set up an egg carving station so I can demonstrate how my Victorian lace eggs are cut.

The balance of the space will contain a changing selection of seasonal wreaths and the vintage goods that I sell in my etsy shop online.

This really is my last shop. Maybe my best one. But defiantly the last one. I’m looking forward to settling in. Want to visit? Please email me for an appointment or stop in when the open sign is out!

Monday, August 10, 2020

Have you seen Sammy?

Sammy is 5 years old. He has long hair and is an orange tabby cat with a permanently curled tail. We took in this young stray 5 years ago. On Saturday, 8/8/20, Sammy did not come in for breakfast. He is a friendly cat and would engage strangers but has always come home to us at 502 West Main Street here in Bishop Hill.

If he has wandered off and is visiting you, please alert us. Likewise, if you have seen him around Bishop Hill, please call and let us know. Sammy is a cherished pet and we would appreciate any help in finding him. Call 309-737-0260 with information.