Monday, August 16, 2010

Remembering Stretch The Bird

Stretch was my D. Mom's cockatiel that she had for 15 + years.  She passed away a few weeks ago, and my Mom was pretty upset by it.  Stretch had been given to her by my Uncle when she (Stretch) was 5-6 years old because she didn't do well with the other large birds that he had.

My Uncle lives in Alabama, and we used to head up there every July to visit him and my Grandparents.  I remember the car ride back home that year, just barely a teenager, excited at what new tricks we could teach our new pet.  She took some coming around, but she learned to perch on our fingers and she'd talk to us too.  She was a really special bird, and has been through quite a lot with my Mom.

So when my Step Dad called and asked me to make a cross for her, I, of course, said yes.  My Step Dad is handy, but he has a tendency to put of things until 'tomorrow', and he knew that I'd make a prettier cross than two pieces of wood stuck together, so he phoned in a favor (I also still owe him from painting our doors!).

I've never really free handed anything, so I was pretty nervous about getting this right.  My Step Dad asked for me to do this on 1x2's, but I couldn't get a bird to come out looking like anything other than a blob on that small of a surface.  He asked me to put Stretch's name, some hearts or something, and a bird on the cross...or something like that.

I started by drawing out my shapes with a pencil, and then filled in my pencil lines with my paintbrush dipped in stain.

The Hearts

Stretch was yellow and green, so this bird looks nothing like Stretch did, but it's supposed to symbolize Stretch, not BE stretch, so overall I was okay with it.  It took me forever to come up with a color / scheme that I was happy with...I kept putting stain on, then wiping it off and starting over again.  Hopefully my Mom likes it!
Bird on Perch
Here's what that entire piece looked like together:

For the piece going longways, I took stain and wrote in Stretch's name.  I waited for that to dry, then put a few coats of polyurethane on it to give it protection from the weather.  Then I used exterior screws (so they wouldn't rust), and screwed the two pieces together from the back.  I wasn't sure if I wrote Stretch's name too big, which is the reason I stuck with screws.  My Mom and/or Step-Dad can re-do whatever part of this isn't to their liking easily.  I get really nervous giving stuff I've made away to other people, even if it's my family.  I know what I like, but we all have different tastes!

I think their plan is to put this out by the back of the fence where their bird feeder is, and where Stretch is laid to rest.

You were a good birdie Stretch, and you will be missed!

Hope everyone had a great weekend!  I ran 10 miles for my training run on Saturday, so that day was pretty much shot energy wise, but we were really busy and productive, and crafty on Sunday!  Stay tuned the rest of this week to see what we were up to.

I'm linking up to the parties on my sidebar...go check them out!


  1. Sorry to hear about Stretch but I love the cross - so sweet!

    Punkin Seed Productions

  2. Sorry about Stretch. I did the same thing for my dog that died a few years ago.

  3. Thank you so much! Love you baby!

  4. What a good bird owner you are. Cute cross.

    Please remember to link to me.

  5. This is so very sweet. :)

  6. Hi Kara! I found your site off of Today’s Creative Blog! I love your craft! You are so talented! I just signed up to be your 80th follower! Woo hoo! I hope you stop by my new blog. I just started it 2 months ago and would love new friends! Please come see me at


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