Guest post by children’s picture book, young adult, and new adult author Deb Gardner Allard.
CRAFTING GOURD BIRDHOUSES
There are few things that brighten dreary days when my heart is troubled, but one thing does the trick–working on craft projects. As my focus drifts to creating, I forget about burdens and think about the person who will receive my handiwork. Surprising someone always tickles my heart.
One of my favorite projects was a gourd birdhouse. Pat Reiter and I got the idea when we attended a writing event at a restaurant in eastern Michigan. A unique red-barn style shop was part of the facility. As if the place needed more charm, a large wagon wheel decorated its front yard. After lunch, Pat and I decided to do some serious browsing, but we didn’t make it far. A nearly overflowing bin of unique gourds by the door snagged our attention. Some of the shapes and sizes were perfect for birdhouses or feeders. I purchased two and couldn’t wait to carry my treasures home.
Unfortunately, the gourds needed to dry before removing the seeds and goop on the inside, so I tucked them away on a shelf for about a year.
The next spring, when I finally sat down to begin work, my excitement swelled as I scoured the internet for ideas. Pinterest has tons of painted gourd projects as well as instructions on how to make birdhouses/feeders. I scanned through pictures for a few days before deciding on the right design–a sunflower with leafy vine.
The new project took several days to complete due to waiting for coats of paint and varnish to dry. That gave me time to find the right size mailer box and card.
I was beyond excited when I finally sent the finished project to Pat. She’s someone who enjoys making crafts for others–fun things like Christmas tree bulbs decorated like snowmen, decorative gift bags, and much more. She’s sent me things over the years that have blessed my heart. I was excited to bless hers.
To my surprise, once she received the gift, she hung it over her porch and took pictures for me to see its new home. Her enthusiasm brought me overwhelming joy.
I haven’t had time to work on crafts these days. My life seems to get busy in spurts, but one thing I know for sure–thinking about brightening another person’s life is a surefire way to distract our own minds and fill them with joy.
You can learn more about Deb at: http://debgardnerallard.com