Several weeks ago, I received a text from my husband that read, "I have a present for you!" Hmmm. I love presents and given that I had just shown him a picture of the Tiffany ring my cousin received for her anniversary, I was sure I would be getting something big and sparkly...and I did. It was a big, sparkly-eyed white duck or swan planter, a curbside find.
And now it was all mine.
All kidding aside, the guy knows me well. I have an affinity for birds, especially farm birds - as long as they're not alive. Real birds creep me out, but decoys, paintings, carvings and statues are my weakness. The whole house is plastered in them and my thoughtful hubby had just brought me a new treasure to add to my collection.
I was actually thrilled, she was super sweet and obviously handmade. I am sure someone loved her.
Simple. Rustic. Farmhouse.
This one had good bones, but I would've preferred a cleaner profile.
And lot less orange.
I have always wanted one of those big white swan decoys, but they can be very pricey. However these types of duck/ swan planters are everywhere. I walked by them at yard sales and thrift stores, because I couldn't get past the beaks.
After sitting with this one for awhile, I could see the elegant beauty within.
So, I got to work.
I started by using a small finishing saw to remove the bump on her beak. I was surprised by how easy this was to do. The saw cut right through the wood and on the proper angle.
The right tools really do make all the difference.
Speaking of, the tool guy had left the saw out for me before he went fishing, but I didn't know where the sandpaper was, so I grabbed an emery board to smooth out the beak. Next best thing, right?
It worked pretty well, no splinters or sharp edges....and since I'm not really a perfectionist, a tiny rough patch didn't bother me at all.
The husband noticed it right away. He is a perfectionist and quite the craftsman.
"Did you sand this?"
"Yes, of course I did." I was emphatic. "I am crafty, I understand protocol. I sawed it and sanded it all by myself."
I didn't see the need to mention that it was with a nail file.
I removed the eyes with a screwdriver and painted the beak with white craft paint and a foam brush. It took several coats to cover.
The tricky part was deciding on a new look for my fine, feathered friend. I looked online for some inspiration and the same folk art decoys kept catching my eye. I used a pencil to sketch out the new face and filled it in with black craft paint.
I used a foam brush for the large parts and a small brush for the outline.
She had a simple new profile and muted details, just the look I was going for.
I tried her out in several places.
On the patio, perched on one of my galvanized tubs...
Nesting near the pond...
Relaxing in the garden...
Eventually, I brought her inside, which is where she currently resides. I think the style of the room suits her well.
Plus she's among friends, lots of chickens and roosters already in here.
I think she brightens the space and adds a little sparkle to my living room.
Best gift ever.
Even if it doesn't fit on my finger.
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