Monday, October 22, 2012

Shadow boxes

Working on new designs for fall and soon Christmas, I wanted to make something more dimensional.  The end result are two shadow boxes of which I am quite proud.  Both feature basically the same theme, but one is a maple tree, the other an oak tree. 

The design came about after my friend Troy, a tree cutter by trade, came to our house last week with his monster bucket truck to hang seven squirrel nest boxes in the trees surrounding our property.  Troy and my husband had built a total of 14 squirrel nest boxes together a few weeks earlier, so our squirrels get to enjoy luxury housing with poly fill already inside this winter.  The city of Gardner is good at cutting trees but falls flat on their faces when it comes to replacing ANY trees, and the result is an ever decreasing natural homestead for wildlife of all kinds.  Birds need trees just as much as squirrels do, and we humans need them as well, for oxygen, among other things... 

But back to my shadow boxes.  Both are completely made from scratch, with just a few punches, scissors, an embossing pad, distress inks, glue, a picture, and lots of imagination.  I am having my husband bring one to work to display on his book shelf in hopes that maybe some co workers visit my blog and leave honest comments about the shadow box.  Pictures never do justice to three-dimensional items. 

Again, my items are for sale to help offset the ridiculous cost of wildlife rehabilitation.  I haven't added up all animals I've taken in this year, but the total will easily run 90 or so.  I will be overwintering a flying squirrel and a red squirrel plus two birds I could not release in time for migration, but I am nowhere done for the year otherwise:  I still have 10 squirrels in outside cages, four more went to Troy into his outdoor cage for release there so I don't overpopulate my area, and I am holding three doves and a robin in my flight cage until I can solve the cat problem in our yard.  A cat, a repeat offender which I have chased out countless times already, killed one of my young doves released earlier a few days ago, and I am now on the war path to make our property safe to release my wildlife. 

 This is the first shadow box I made.  The maple leaves are a Martha Stewart medium punch and are then hand colored with distress inks and shaped.  The nest box is completely made by hand with just an embossing folder used for texture and distress inks.  The squirrels are two of hundreds that I have raised or rehabilitated over the years.  The mums are clusters of individual blossoms made by hand.  The box is very dimensional with branches reaching out to the front, but that is hard to see in a two-dimensional picture. 

The price for this box is only $39.95

Here is the second box, even more dimensional than the first one.  I added layers of chipboard to give the nest box thickness and make it stand out more, and I sculpted the tree trunk and branches into more dimensional shapes.  The oak leaves are punched out with a Marvy Uchida punch and hand colored and shaped as the maple leaves. 

The price for this box is $45.95 

Note that the price for the shadow box alone is $10, and it took well over 12 hours to make each box.  I use only high quality cardstock. 

Each box is a one-of-a-kind item, since even if I make another one it won't look the same as these.   

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