Feathered Nest at Windy Corner

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. 

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Happy Midsommar to all!

As we celebrate Midsommar and the summer solstice this year in Bishop Hill, we reflect on what a fickle pickle our social interactions have become!
Unlike past seasons, there was no lineup of bands in the park today, no maypole, no revelers dancing like little frogs around it! Instead, most folks marked the day quietly, in the company of family and friends.
From the time they could walk, my little granddaughters have made this date special for me and today was no exception. We held a private party, punctuated with Midsommar flower crowns. This year’s headdresses were created spontaneously. The were made from what was on hand: white Dutch clover from the lawn, pretty purple clover plucked from the roadside, Annabelle hydrangeas and a few gold sedum blossoms from the garden.
However you marked this occasion, may it become a happy memory of a special day, the longest, brightest one of the year.   

Friday, May 1, 2020

Jelly, jelly, jelly. I'm on a roll.

Last week it was dandelion jelly. The experiment was so successful, I decided to make a second batch with my granddaughters Deirdre and Fiona. It has been hard staying away from my darling girls during the pandemic. They are two of my favorite people. We decided to risk a visit and, all the while, maintained a safe, six foot distance. Difficult to do, but so worth the effort if that's what it takes to enjoy their company.
Decades ago, back on the farm, I sold  jam and jelly at my roadside market. These were made from homegrown and wild gathered materials. I am thinking about launching a line of jellies next season - maybe by subscription -  something like a flavor-of-the-month club.
So... this summer I will be hauling out the canning kettle and dusting off some of my favorite recipes to review and refine. Maybe nothing commercial will come of it, but I am having fun experimenting, making something from nothing more than what's at hand.