Saturday, May 11, 2013

"Ladybird" ~ (or Bug!) ~ House Tutorial...

When I was small, I thought it was so confusing to hear Ladybugs
 
 referred to as "Ladybirds"...(that was First Lady Mrs. Johnson, right?)
 
Weren't they bugs?
 
I probably read this somewhere...maybe a book I had called them that.
 
Anyway, Cornell University refers to them as Ladybugs, Ladybirds and Lady Beetles.
 
You can read more about them here...
 
They are so good for the garden!
 
So, even though they are not birds, the Fairies can refer to them as such if they want.
 
And provide little houses for them.
 
;^)
 
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Here's what I used; a marble-sized amount of lavender polymer clay;

a tiny bit of brown clay, an acorn cap, a sort-of straight twig

(I used chopsticks for the first ones, and you can do that...I rubbed a

little brown antiquing gel on them ~ but this looks better, I think);

liquid polymer, and a little Pearl Ex mica powder.

A paintbrush was my only tool.

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Condition the lavender clay well by kneading it until soft;

roll it into a sort of egg-shape; flattening the ends a little.

You want your house's roof to have a little overhang,

so you may have to adjust the amount of clay you use, depending on the size of the cap.

I used a drop of the liquid polymer as "glue", but if you don't have any,

just pretend that you do and put the "roof" on, anyway ~

then you can use regular glue to attach it permanently after it's baked.

The liquid polymer just saves a step.

Set the house aside for now.

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I could have used a toothpick for the perch...

I knew that a twig that small would be too fragile...

But I liked the fact that I could make a tiny snake of clay,

bake it, and then cut it to size with scissors and it would look

more like a miniature "dowel"; the look I was going for.

I rolled it out super-skinny and baked it for 30 minutes.

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While waiting for the perch to bake, I used the end of the brush handle to make a door.

Then I used the handle again to make texture on the surface of the clay.

The house will probably be a little misshapen now, but you can re-shape it

and give it texture at the same time...
 
After it had cooled completely (it will be too soft and flexible to do this
 
with while it's still warm), I pushed the perch into the clay, right under the door.
 
Then I removed it and put a drop of liquid polymer in the hole
 
before replacing the perch. I also trimmed it a little more with scissors at this point.
 
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Use the paintbrush handle (it's much sturdier!) to make a hole in the bottom

of the house for the twig. I used a drop of liquid polymer here, too.

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Lightly brush with a little Pearl Ex powder, and bake for 45 minutes at 275° ~

(Using Premo...refer to specific directions if using another clay.)

 Ta-Da! ~ You have a Ladybird Ladybug house for your Fae!

I think they would look cute in a potted plant, too.

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Update on the robins...

I read that it takes 12-14 days for the eggs to hatch, and I think this is only day 8...

In the meantime, the parents watch me carefully when I go near

their little willow!

When the babies hatch, I will take pictures every day. :^)

Just to reassure myself, and maybe some of you, I looked this up about baby birds  ~ ♥

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Cyrus has chosen a new napping-spot, I discovered this afternoon ~

(Look at his little tongue...he often leaves it sticking out a little ~ I think it's so cute!

Sometimes it's way out...)

His spot is behind the door, behind the sack of kitty food...

He wants to be sure he's the first to know when I put more in the bowls!

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And finally, Tallulah ~ helping me from her little cushion by the computer...

(If she doesn't have this, she sits on the keyboard...)

Have a Happy Mother's Day, all!

Love,
 
Photobucket

14 comments:

  1. enjoyed THIS, LOVE LADYBUGS. happy mOTHER'S dAY. I LOVE YOU.

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  2. That is the sweetest little house! I am sure the ladybirds (they call them that in the UK too) will gather there!

    Love your kitties!

    Happy Mother's Day!

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  3. I can't leave food out with Truffle because she'll tear into it and eat it all. I love your kitties!

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  4. Happy Mothers' Day to all the US readers of this blog!

    I just had a little giggle - my confusion as a child was the same as yours, but in reverse. I received a book of nursery rhymes from my mother's aunt in the US and- well -the little red spotted flying insect is a lady bird, isn't it? It is pretty and bright but bugs are nasty little things that get into the mattresses of people who share their beds with strangers who have poor hygiene, aren't they? How the use of the English language varies as you cross the Atlantic! By the time I started school, I'd mentally changed the rhyme to Buggybird, buggybird, Fly away home and, when my own children came along, I had to make a conscious effort not to recite it that way!

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  5. Adorable pictures. Love the little tongue. Looking forward to seeing the baby bird pictures. Happy mothers day. Hugs GJ x

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  6. Cyrus is such a cutie,,He looks like he got caught with his paw in the cookie jar..Anxious to see the babies..

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  7. Very cute little 'ladybug' house. I enjoy reading your posts. I love nothing better than to find a the discarded hatched robins eggs on our lawn. A friend of mine once told me they can have 3 or more hatchings in a season. Poor little robin moms.
    Keep smiling and creating. Have a great day.

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  8. Who knew that you could make a cute little ladybug house, what 's next? A Ladybug condo? I've had a Ladybug infestation in one of the room upstairs last year and this year. They somehow come in through some tiny opening around the windows. They have come in by the hundred and I had no other choice but vacuum them.

    You have the most beautiful cats with beautiful eyes.

    HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY to you and your readers.
    Hugs,
    JB

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  9. Hi Anne,
    thank you for the tutorial. So cute. But the nicest thin is the face of Cyrus.
    Best greetings, Johanna

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  10. We always called them ladybugs, but I've heard the other terms too. The ladybug house you made is adorable! I love how you pay so much attention to the little details. Happy Mother's day to you!

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  11. We always called them ladybirds in England, but we call them ladybugs here in Texas. Took me a while to get used to it. Your little house is so cute.

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  12. Love your kitties and I love your tutorial! Thank you ;o) Happy Mother's Day ;o)

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  13. Awesome tutorial, thanks Anne! Such adorable pictures of your furry friends too!

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  14. You know I love these! :)))
    Another one on my loooong list of "attempt" to make...thank you for your very generous tutorial, dear friend...
    Hugs to you and your gorgeous fur babies!
    xoxo,
    - Irina

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I love your thoughts and comments, and I read each and every one! Sometimes life gets in the way, though, and it takes me a while to respond...Thank you for understanding! ♥...Time is precious, and the time you've taken here is truly appreciated!