A Good Home, Birdfeeders, Birdhouses, Birds, Life in canada, Lifestyle, Renovating, Restoration, Restoring old houses

Men Who Build Stuff

I promised to follow up with two different men who both work on houses.  

One – John – has been working on a BIG house, restoring it by himself.

The other – Jean – creates tiny houses – for birds. When last we heard from Jean, he was working on his Xtreme Birdhouse.  While I was impatiently waiting for the photos of the finished product, Jean sent me these other ones, made from the corks of wine bottles and said:

“I can assure you that I was totally sober when I worked on those…. lol…..”

Jean Long's Wine cork Birdhouse
Jean Long’s Wine cork Birdhouse

I promised to believe him.  Which doesn’t mean YOU have to.

Jean Long's Creation
Jean Long’s Creation

As for his Xtreme Birdhouse, it’s complete, and it’s even larger than it looks in these photos:

Bird Cathedral by Jean Long
Bird Cathedral by Jean Long

 Which may explain why Jean calls it “The Bird Cathedral”.  Congrats, Jean, on one heck of a birdhouse! Here’s another view:

Jean Long's Bird Cathedral
Jean Long’s Bird Cathedral

So let’s go over now to Prince Edward County and check in with John, our intrepid house-restorer, and his wife Ann. When last we heard, they were about to move into the beautiful old house. Here are some photos, starting with Ann sitting on the step waiting for the truck:

Blog Photo - John's House Waiting for Movers

Blog Photo - John's House Moving Truck

John says: “The Move went as smooth as SILK!!  No surprises, no grief, and very good weather!”

Blog Photo - John's Hosue Ann unrolls carpetThe couple had spent the days prior cleaning the house,  and now it was time to roll out the rugs and put things in their places:

Blog Photo - John unrolls carpet

Blog Photo - John's living room with sofa

Blog Photo - Ann in Dining Room

Within a day or two, the dining room, living room, master bedroom and third floor den were partially set up.

Blog Photo - John's third Floor Partly set up

John’s office, meanwhile,  looks like it’s always been there….

Blog Photo - John at Office desk

Of course, there’s a lot of work left to do. They’re also keeping an eye on the garden, to determine how much work it will require. But one thing you and I know about John: he has a plan for getting it all done perfectly, and on time. 

Ann and John, congratulations.

Top 4 photos by Jean Long, remainder by John Garside.

 

A Good Home, Birdfeeders, Birdhouses, Birds, Furniture, Garden, Recycling, Woodwork

You’ve Never Seen Bird Feeders Like Jean Long’s

Imagine yourself a talented creator of furniture, wood furniture made mainly of pine and cedar. Beautiful benches, chests, cupboards and armoires furnish your home.

Blog Photo - Armoire

You end up with smaller pieces of wood, left-overs from those bigger items.

If you’re Jean Long, you use these pieces to make birdhouses and feeders.

Birdhouse with Drivers' License roof by J. Long

Birdhouse by Jean Long

An astonishing variety of birdhouses and bird feeders – most of them whimsical, each of them well-made, each unique in some way.

Blog Photo - Birdfeeeder 1

Although I’ve known Jean for years, and have been lucky enough to own a Jean Long birdhouse,  I start to smile the moment he opens his studio door for the latest tour:  I never know what to expect, but I know it will be fun – a journey of discovery!

Rustic birdhouse 2 - by Jean Long

Over the years, Jean has built hundreds of birdhouses.  

Blog Photo - Birdfeeder 3

Roughly half of them were given to friends or donated to organizations for fundraising purposes.

Blog Photo - Birdfeeder 2

Many are scattered over his 10-acre property.

Blog Photo - Yellow Birdhouse

A former educator in a demanding leadership role, Jean found building birdhouses a form of stress relief.  Retired now, he still has birdhouses on the brain.

Blog Photo - Birdfeeder 4

Since each creation is an original,  the challenge (and joy) is to keep creating new designs.

Blog Photo - Red Barn Birdhouse

Some ideas come to Jean in his dreams. Some come from the sheer drive to find out how many objects he can use in his birdhouse designs.  

“I use old rubber boots, watering cans, old lamps parts, hub caps, old metal roofing , scrap metal, old nails, old frames, old windows, barn wood, etc…. to build my birdhouses, Jean says.

Blog Photo - Boot House

Today, Jean is working on his 867th birdhouse. It’s a large, very complex one that takes much time and patience – he calls this kind his ‘’Xtreme Birdhouses’’.

Blog Photo - Jean building complex birdhouse

And they’re stunning, even when in progress.  I can hardly wait for this one to be completed.

For more information, to see or to acquire a birdhouse, please contact Jean at: jenjes@mac.com