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Homemade Christmas Ornaments: Pheasant Feathers

Submitted by Joule Charney of CA

"Joule's Pheasant Feather Ornament"

I am a hunter. The feathers in this craft are from multiple portions of a pheasant I harvested. There is an endless number of choices of 'patterns' one can create with this project. This project lends itself to making an infinite variety of truly UNIQUE ornaments for oneself or to be given as gifts.

My favorite part about making this ornament was figuring out which of the myriad of feathers to use and how to arrange them. It never ceases to amaze me how many different shapes, sizes and colors there are on one pheasant. After I remove the feathers, still attached to the skin of the bird, I snip them off as I use them. Otherwise, they 'fly' away from the craft table. The base of this project is a styrofoam egg-shaped base. I affix the feathers with school glue.

The styrofoam base was purchased at a local chain crafts store. The feathers can be purchased, even though I removed mine from a bird I hunted. Finding feathers in stores can be difficult, and they are very expensive. I recommend getting them from a hunter or hunt club. Most hunters I know throw theirs away, which I think is a real shame.

I am proud of being a bird hunter, and proud that I eat the meat AND utilize the feathers in crafts. I get a kick out of how this confuses and weirds-out a great many folks who just can't reconcile what they think of as a 'manly' sport and a 'granny craft.' I am a woman, and did not own a bird dog and began hunting when I was 40 and had a three-year old son. I now am 58 and have two black Labs, one who is almost 10 and a puppy who is almost six months old.

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