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Mr. Cheeps was formerly an executive with a high-powered internet company. With the dramatic fall in the dotcom industry some years ago, he chucked it all and moved to a former carriage house on what had once been a large estate. Now he spends his days in a gazebo making bird houses for tourists and living off his stock options.

 

This birdhouse shop was constructed in a modified bird feeder. It had a cupola that I removed because the interior was too dark. If I had it to do over again I would use a different container with higher walls to let in more light.

The wooden bird that now sits on top I found in a gift shop. He cost more than the bird feeder did! He had wire legs attached to a wooden base that I removed. His nest was formed from excelsior dipped in a glue-water mixture. He can be lifted off so that you can look down into the shop.

The roof is the original green, but I painted the bright white walls and floor with Gray Flannel paint and gave it all a light coat of stain. The storage unit in the back of the gazebo is also painted gray flannel.

I designed the sign with a graphics program; it has a piece of foamcore behind it to give some dimension. The feather was cut from a greeting card; two more are glued on the roof sides.


The bird feeder had a wooden floor, and the rest of the cardboard base that was visible was painted with brown acrylic mixed with glue and sprinkled with a mixture of model landscaping grass and sand.

I made the grapevine birdhouse wreath with the sign which hangs from a twig with a blue jay on top. Like the other signs, this one is made of paper glued to old business cards. I used a threaded needle to poke holes and run the string hanger through. The wreath has a little birdhouse barely visible under the sign. It's made from a tiny square wooden bead with a paper roof. The wreath has tiny birds' nests and eggs, along with miniature flowers and greenery.

Here's the jay, as well as another bird perched on a Wilderness Hideaway log birdhouse. I made the cabin birdhouse from painted corrugated paper that encases light bulbs. The roof is strips of fringed paper bag strips, painted and stained, and the moss is railroad greenery.



 

Here's an overview of the front. The corrugated tin roof of the yellow Featherbed Inn birdhouse is made from the same lightbulb paper.

Mr. Cheeps tries to keep the mess swept up, but it doesn't stay clean long.

The hanging wooden acorn birdhouse was a Round Table project. The red apple birdhouse, a show purchase, has a worm protruding from a hole but it can't be seen here.

The workbench and the shelf unit at the back are both made from Michael's hutches. (See Michael's Hutches Tutorial). Past the stool is a box of wood and two paint cans on the shelf of the workbench.

The stool seat was made from a covered button from one of my old houndstooth suit jackets. I forget what I used for the base. I wrapped around it some of the paper birdhouse border that is used to trim the workbench. You also get a glimpse here of some of the wood shavings that litter the floor in front of the workbench.

This two story log house on the other side of the doorway is made from a real twig, with other bits and pieces added.

The brown multi-story birdhouse around the corner is made from the same paper as the tin roofed yellow house. The corrugations are vertical on this house and the tin roof, horizontal on the log cabin.

Here's the right side overview. Just over the brown house with its weathered tin roof you get a glimpse of the worktable; and just to the right of the purple cage is another glimpse of the storage shelves made from Michaels hutches.

The purple cage was an inexpensive metal Easter ornament; I added the bow and flower trim. The blue bird was an early purchase at the old market in Juarez Mexico. I got a whole handful of little birds for about a quarter. This little blue bird is not as nicely made as most of the other birds, but is included for sentiment's sake.

The Woodland Country Club house was made from scraps off my work table. I just picked up bits and pieces and glued them here and there to small scraps of wood.

Here's the Woodland Country Club base and a birdhouse made from a porcelain egg. Its roof is one long continuous fringed strip of brown paper bag.

This rustic red striped house (on the other side of the egg birdhouse) has a blue paper roof spattered with white paint and was made by one of my grandchildren. He painted a large square wooden bead white, then added the red stripes, poked an extra hole for the perch, and balanced his house on a flat wooden bead that he also painted.

Here's the work table top with various tools lying about. I made the little wooden birdhouse tool carrier. The styrofoam cup is the cap from a glue bottle; the paintbrush lying across it and others in the flower trimmed holder are made from painted toothpicks. I used a craft knife to cut tiny slits in the toothpick ends to suggest the bristles. A dirty water wash helped make them look more real.

Here's another glimpse over the railing at the work table.

This little birdhouse box next to the hammer is filled with nails. There are paint cans and other birdhouses in the shelf unit at the back.

Here's the back of the birdhouse shop. I covered the joining of the two Michaels hutch halves with a bird poster cut from a magazine.

This funny little cat is after something. Aha, if you look very closely, you can see a bird perched on the old weatherbeaten house with the red roof on the right.

Hey, is that cat eyeing another bird? Is that red bird on the poster or is it perched on an overhanging part of the plant growing around the old birdhouse base?

The white birdhouse's brick base is made from a piece of red paper with white lines drawn on. The roof is wood with metal strips.

Here's an overview of the little shop's left side. The hanging (crooked!) feeder and bird was a gift. The "thatched" roof birdhouse on the ground on the right is made from clay. The yellow bird is another of those little birds bought in Mexico.

The "bamboo" birdcage on the right was made from a red Christmas ornament that I painted brown. Dried materials, some greenery and a nest with tiny eggs were added to the top, along with a rope bow.

I made the standing bird feeder with the No Trespassing sign, complete with bird droppings. The wood was aged with the Thomases' Bug Juice. That bird on the messy feeder is looking at something.

Oh, I see. He's watching that cat watching another bird nonchalantly eating seeds that spilled from the feeder! Talk about confidence!

The cat and birds were show purchases.

Here's a view of the back of the worktable with the wallpaper border and the back of the wooden carrier on top containing various tools and materials. I made that blurred pink birdhouse on the right and painted its flowers with the tips of a paintbrush and toothpicks.

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If you don't see something you like, I understand Mr. Cheeps will build a house to your specifications.

He's not available right now, however. I understand he's still down in the remaining old growth forests of Arkansas looking for that elusive Ivory-Billed Woodpecker long thought to be extinct. As soon as his local chapter of the Audobon Society heard one had been sighted, they all hightailed it down there.

I really think he should've left a sign letting us know when he plans to return, don't you?

 

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