This is a feather pillow. What’s different about this from your usual feather pillows is that this pillow has feathers on the outside. I made this pillow from donated molted feathers from my Bird Friends all over the country and Canada.  This pillow will be winging its way to the Folks at Phoenix Landing for auction to raise money for their Parrot Adoption, Education and Rescue efforts. It costs a lot of money to run one of these Foundations. And since I’m not made of money, I decided to try and figure out a way of helping out.  I’ve always been a big believer in “One Man’s trash is Another Man’s Treasure.” And while most people throw out their bird’s molted feathers, I always saved mine with the thought that I could make something with them some day. Well, that “someday” came about four years ago when I went to the Houston Parrot Festival and made a feather scarf to wear to their “Party in Parrotdise.”

You’re supposed to wear “Parrot Gear” to the party and I didn’t have any. As a matter of fact, I look hideous in “parrot print” stuff. I completely disappear. I’m tall, thin and have a small head, so if I wear a parrot print shirt for instance, all you see is what appears to be a parrot-covered shirt walking around by itself. So that was out. But I love scarves. If you ever meet me, I will most likely either be dressed like a ten year-old boy, (See the post, “Houston? We Have a Problem” for an explanation of this…) or I’ll be wearing something black with a colorful scarf.  Of course, if I’m on an airplane I’ll be wearing my uniform but unless you frequently travel to Ecuador or Haiti, that’s unlikely. Anyway, I figured out how to make a scarf from Parker and Pepper’s molted feathers:

(Attention! All of the feathers I use in the making of these items are MOLTED feathers. These are the feathers that naturally fall off the bird seasonally. No birds are ever harmed, plucked or otherwise compromised for the fabrication of these items.)

The first one I made wasn’t very good because A.) I didn’t know what I was doing  and B.) I never had any intention of auctioning it off which is what I was asked to do and gladly did.  It was just a costume piece.

Well as the years went by, I kept making them and they kept getting auctioned off to benefit the NPRPF every year. Here are some shots of the scarves. Captions are under the photos:

This one I made in year two and Jill Bell snagged it. I embellished it with charms and pearls.

This is one of the two I made in 2009. I think we were dancing to Janice Joplin in this shot.

This is Jean Pattison wearing the African Grey scarf from this last January. this is one of four scarves I made for the auction.

Here is Myra wearing a snappy little cockatoo “Skinny Scarf.”

Nice shot of Dr. Irene Pepperberg, me and Paula Lynn Nowak with three of the four scarves from 2010.

Here are all of us including photographer Bonnie Jay wearing the four scarves that sold this last January.

Finally, here is a shot of Dr. Pepperberg wearing the scarf I sent to Phoenix Landing for auction.

I’ve started a new round of feathers scarves and items and this group will be auctioned off to benefit Phoenix Landing:

Here is my neighbor Nan modeling the Blue and Gold Macaw “Skinny Scarf.”

Nice little African Grey and Eclectus scarf.

And of course, a nice big fluffy cockatoo wrap.

And don’t forget the pillow up top! Anyway, Phoenix Landing will be the recipient of the funds generated from these items. I’m very excited about it and plan to make a few more things for them. So stay tuned for more details!