Monday, September 21, 2009

First Day of Fall Pheasant Wreath

Tomorrow will be the official first day of Fall, so I thought I would do something to celebrate. My friend Keelie, who has a very neat blog of her own, is having an online wreath party to welcome the first day of Fall and has invited everyone to submit their own Fall wreath creations at her site. While I more than likely will be the only male to submit a wreath, I thought I would give it a try (what the heck) and make the wreath (with the help of my daughter) as a surprise for my wife. Besides, I have been saving up some really neat looking pheasant pelts for a project such as this.

So here it is, my "First Day of Fall Pheasant Wreath".

First, I had to make a trip to the local craft store, wander around through a bunch of flowers, and look for some stuff that reminded me of the Midwest, Harvest, and Fall. So I stuffed a few things in the shopping cart like I had a clue what I was doing, paid for the items, and brought them home. When I got home, I found my pheasant tails and pelts in the freezer and got them out as well. I laid everything out on my workbench and here is what I had to work with.

The next step was to find an assistant, so I enlisted the help of my oldest daughter, Katy.

The first thing to do was to attach the pheasant pelts to the top part of the wreath. The pelts I am using are from birds that I personally harvested in Iowa. Warning: Before the pelts go on a wreath or display of any kind there is some minor taxidermy work required to prevent the pelts from going bad and possibly stinking or attracting bugs. These pelts have previously been tanned or cured by myself, but you can buy a pre-tanned pelt if you wish to attempt something like this. Here we are hot-gluing the pelts to the wreath. I really like the greenish-turquoise colors these birds have just above their tail.

Next, I stuffed in some fall-colored fake leaves that I found at the craft store. These were originally a long garland, but I cut it up into about 15 smaller pieces.

Then I put in a few grass-like, grain-looking stems on the bottom left hand side of the wreath.

So here is what it looked like at this point. Looking pretty good, I think!

Next, I wanted to put an entire pheasant tail over in the bottom left-hand corner of the wreath. This tail had been thouroughly cleaned and cured (just like the pelt) and I had previously hot-glued the base of the quills to keep the tail partially fanned open. I then hot-glued the tail to the desired location on the wreath.

Then came more leaves and grassy stems for filler, and I finished it off with three pine cones. Here is the finished product.

Katy presented it to my wife and she loved it! We had told her we were making her a surprise, and she was definitely surprised to see a wreath! Here are a few more pictures of the finished wreath.

Happy Fall, Y'all!


Red Writing said...

ROb--totally awesome. What a neat idea to use the pelts! Pretty sure you are the only one who will have that...wonder if it will inspire some of these crafty ladies to start pheasant hunting??

So glad you joined in!Happy Fall!

Anonymous said...

That is so cool, ever think about taking orders.

Taylor said...

Wow! I am impressed. Pretty sure my husband would NOT go to that amount of trouble for a suprise! Lucky wife!!

Gina Stinson said...

Love the feathers! Great idea!

{ L } said...

What a unique wreath, those feathers give such a fun feel to the wreath! And you had a super cute helper. :)

Sandy said...

Oh my goodness, Rob! I love the wreath,love that you did with your daughter, (who I still remember as a baby), and love that you did it as a surprise for your wife!
I am very impressed!
You do need to take orders!

mdavis said...

Rob, I am also impressed on several different levels. The wreath was very creative and cute. I liked that you surprised Stephanie, and I loved that you included your daughter in the project. I think you and your wreath are a winner.

Kristi said...

Wow! I'm super impressed! That's great! Looks awesome! And your daughter is gorgeous!

Maureen said...

Very impressive! The feathers and the pelt are certainly unique. I really like the way you composed the wreath too. And your assistant is delightful! :)

Southern Fried Gal said...

Wow - impressive! I love feathers in the fall and you have showcased yours beautifully! Happy Fall!

Joe Mac said...

Really nice

Marian Love Phillips said...

Love the wreath and you are very creative...Your daughter is so was a fun thing to do with your daughter as a surprise for your wife..that's really nice! :)