The song 'Birdhouse In Your soul' by They Might be Giants is 'our song' for my friend Peter and I. For anyone who doesn't know it, it's told from the point of view of a blue canary shaped night-light (go and listen to it now, it's great and weird and happy and dark and smart and a bit more great http://youtu.be/NhjSzjoU7OQ
So, I decide to make Peter a birdhouse. Since he's a carpenter, and I'm definitely not, the usual construction methods were out and I ended up using Teesha Moore style patches (those are... like little stuffed fabric pillows with loads of stitched embellishments) to build with
I'm really happy with how it came out. I used some types of stitch I wouldn't normally (feather stitch, chicken scratch, lazy daises...) since I didn't want it to be all stem, running, back, blanket and seed which are my usual fall-backs. each patch is linen and cotton, and I just used ordinary stranded embroidery thread
one of the roof panels is hinged (riveted-in eyelets done up with ribbon) with button fastenings (done up with ribbon loops) to secure it down. that's so you can get in a change the battery
(I'll explain the need for a battery in a bit)
and in the little birdhouse lives a little bird, of course!
he's felt and blanket stitch, and is attached to his house by a ribbon with stamped lettering of the song lyrics 'blue canary in the outlet by the light switch who watches over you - make a little birdhouse in your soul'. I copied the basic shape of the bird from that of the bird print on the backing ribbon. The ribbon conceals the conductive thread I used to wire my canary up.... oh yes, my birdie is powered so that his belly glows!
the LED is behind the bird's belly felt, the resistor is inside his body, and there's a metal press stud that operates as a switch in his tail, attaching him to the house while he's lit up - the battery holder is inside the house, assessed as needed via the hatch - and like I mentioned the positive half of the circuit runs up the ribbon.
While I'm really pleased with the finished result, there are things I would do differently - primarily finding a different way to close the hatch (or some way of doing without an opening, maybe putting the battery holder in a different position to be more accessible) since it bugs me that that roof section sticks up. But overall I'm pleased, and I can't wait to give it to Peter for christmas!