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Spring Bling

Oh! The "tweet" sound of spring is in the air. To honor the event, I say we make a little spring bling -- for yourself, or for a sweet person in your child's life, like Grandma.

MATERIALS:

  • At least 3 colors of oven-bake clay (I prefer Sculpey)
  • 18" thin strip of leather (string, yarn or thin ribbon will do if that's on hand already)
  • Assortment of buttons (see if you can dig up some fabulous buttons from Grandma's button box!)
  • Thin, sturdy stick gathered from the yard, park or found on a walk
  • Toothpick
  • Pipe Cleaner

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Think of a bird -- real or imagined. Squish its likeness from the clay. Be mindful not to make any parts too thin as they can break off easily once it's cooked. And not too thick as the bird will be a pendant so it shouldn't require a membership at the gym to wear it around!

2. Start with a hunk of clay (1/4 of the clay square) and roll it in your hands to get it nice and pliable. Then form a head, body and tail. There's your base.

3. Next, make some wings. I like to combine a couple of colors to get a swirly effect. (You can certainly use this technique for the body, too.)

4. Add eyes and a beak.

5. Be sure to secure all pieces to the body by really squishing the parts in. You don't want them flapping off!

6. Next, using the toothpick, poke a hole from the top center through to the bottom center of the bird. (Sorry, birdie -- what we do for fashion!)

7. Place the bird on a cookie sheet and bake at 275 degrees for 15 minutes. Let it cool.

8. Thread the leather with the buttons. I like to weave the string in and out of two of the button holes so that the buttons lay flat and their colors and designs show.

9. Knot one end to the stick. Next, drape the buttoned string around your neck to see where you'd like the bird to hang (and be sure to make it long enough to slip over your head). Knot the other end of the string to the other end of the stick. Great!

10. Take your pipe cleaner and make a loopy swirl at one end which will act as the "knot" so the bird won't slip off. When your bird is cool, thread the pipe cleaner through the hole and secure it with a loop to the middle of the stick.

Voilá!

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