Pretending it’s Spring with a Feather Bouquet

Feather Bouquet 45

So.  If you’re anywhere in the world that has been experiencing winter this year, you know that it pretty much has universally sucked.  In Ottawa, and Canada in general, we just got wind that winter isn’t ending anytime soon.  In fact, the forecast is so depressing that our country’s senior government meteorologist has gone into hiding.  I kid you not.

Feather Bouquet 42

So I’m doing what I do every year and going into denial.  I’m going to pretend it’s spring with a pretty fake bouquet in my front hall.

Feather Bouquet 47

I picked up a bag of feathers from Value Village for $1.99 about two weeks ago.  Inside the bag were four packages of craft feathers from White Rose, which was a craft supply store similar to Michael’s that went out of business when I was a teenager.

Feather Bouquet 1

Three packs of white chicken feathers and one pack of dyed chicken/other bird feathers.

Feather Bouquet 2

Also, holy smokes feathers are staticky.

Feather Bouquet 3

I didn’t want an all white bouquet with accents of brown, so I decided to dye the feathers to suit my mood.  I’ll leave the ones that are already coloured for something else.

Feather Bouquet 4

Find a dye-proof container (usually a glass bowl), and drop in 4 cups hot water, 2 teaspoons white vinegar, and lots of food colouring in the colour of your choice.  I went with red, purple, and orange.

Feather Bouquet 9

Jam those feathers in and squish them down.  You want to bedraggle them as much as possible.  You can un-bedraggle (undraggle?) them later once they’re dried.

Feather Bouquet 11

Leave them in the dye baths for 5 to 15 minutes.  The longer you leave them in, the darker they will get.

Feather Bouquet 12

Feather Bouquet 13

Feather Bouquet 14

Feather Bouquet 15

I picked plastic bins for my dye batches because I could cover them when I left them unsupervised.  I suspect if you have small grabby children this might come in handy.

Feather Bouquet 16

Pull the feathers out of the dye baths and set them to dry for several hours on a paper towel.  Just a warning that until the feathers are completely dry, they will still stain things with food colouring, so be careful where you set them.

Feather Bouquet 17

I thought that the orange batch was doing better than the other two, and I later found out why.  In the orange batch, you can see that I only have two of these long feathers with the rounded tips.  All the other ones have the flat tips.

Feather Bouquet 18

In the red/pink, the proportion of long round ones is higher.  For some reason these round ones are more waterproof (I’m sure someone who knows more about feathers knows why but I don’t really care).

Feather Bouquet 20

The purple batch had the most round feathers of them all, and so came out the palest overall.

Feather Bouquet 22

But I wanted variety, so variety I got. And I also dyed my fingers quite well.

Feather Bouquet 21

Once they’re dry you can fluff them out again.

Feather Bouquet 24

Then I took a spool of thread and got to winding the feathers together at the stems, one by one, starting with the smaller ones in the centre.

Feather Bouquet 27

Feather Bouquet 26

I added larger and larger ones as I kept going, eventually tying off the “bloom” with lots of thread left over.

Feather Bouquet 28

Feather Bouquet 29

One down, several more to go …

Feather Bouquet 30

This is definitely a job you will want to do while watching or listening to something else.

Feather Bouquet 32

Feather Bouquet 34

When I finished, I took a branch I found in the park and used the loose thread to wind the feather bundle to the thread.

Feather Bouquet 36

All finished.

Feather Bouquet 46

The Pie thinks the pink ones turned out the best, with the colour gradient, but I’m partial to the orange ones.

Feather Bouquet 44

Feather Bouquet 43

Advertisements

Author: allythebell

A corgi. A small boy. A sense of adventure. Chaos ensues.

14 thoughts on “Pretending it’s Spring with a Feather Bouquet”

  1. Oh my lord…. I completely forgot about White Rose. Remember Lewiscraft? I think they had one at Merivale Mall. I used to love those places.

    This turned out beautifully. I can’t believe how stunning the colours are. From a distance, I definitely didn’t peg them as feathers either.

    Also, I was running outside in a t-shirt yesterday. Today? Today there is a snowstorm outside. FML.

    Like

    1. Hahah, I saw a picture of you at Verve in just a tshirt and I was so jealous. Now, not so much. I’m just happy it’s cold enough that the enormous puddle in my driveway has frozen. The only thing I really remember about Lewiscraft was how darned expensive it was!

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s