This is a piece that I created as a wedding gift for our friends Raven and David.
I had originally envisioned a freestanding piece with a bird as the centerpiece. I love Julie Haymaker Thompson's Steampunk Lily piece and was hoping to do something along those lines. Unfortunately, my original bird just didn't have the "it" factor that Julie's pieces have. Her bird was whimsical - mine was cartoony. Her bird was artsy and mine looked like it came straight from a dime store -- not what I was going for, and certainly not something I wanted to give as a gift.
So I scrapped the original piece altogether and started over.
I still wanted a bird of some sort, so I painted a little wooden bird that I had, and gave her hardware features (a la JHT.). The rick-rack flowers were salvaged from a pair of vintage earrings that I had on hand. Their black color was too stark, so I toned them down with a metallic silver paint.
As you can see in this photo, the calendar piece was originally too dominant. There was too much brass showing, and it looked heavy on top of the bird. I went back in and lightenend the center with the metallic paint and graphite, and watercolor pencils. It helped it to recede into the background a little bit. I also repositioned it so it wasn't sitting right on top of her head.
It was interesting to see how quickly the piece came together once I was able to let go of my original vision, stay true to my own style, and focus on the recipients of the gift.