Monday, January 16, 2012

A Parliament of Owls


(a small barn owl saying 'who's there?)

a Barn owl

So what do you call a bunch of owls at a
hootin' contest conflab?

A Parliament of course!

Here is a cute little safety-pin beaded owl to make:

You might be asking yourself, "Why in the world would I want to make beaded safety pins?" Well, I can answer that! Because it is a fun and easy craft to try, and the results are even funner! (Yes, that is a true word in the 'inkspired dictionary')
All you have to do is slip some seed beads onto ordinary safety pins and you can create fun items to wear, share, swap and make great gifts.
The supply list for this project is pretty simple. All you need are safety pins and seed beads. It is helpful, but not necessary, to have a needle-nose pliers and a small, flat-head screwdriver.

HOWEVER- I made a bunch and didn't use the pliers and after o1 to 4 wearing times, they would pop open and make a mess! Not so fun.. 
Depending on the pattern you choose, you will usually need between 10 and 14 small safety pins. Open a safety pin, and slip the seed beads onto it. Once all beads are in place, close the safety pin. You may want to use the needle-nose pliers to pinch the end of the safety pin so it will not pop open later. Repeat this step until all the safety pins are beaded. These are the vertical pattern safety pins.
Now you are ready to put all the beaded pins onto a larger safety pin. Open the large safety pin (the size you need will be stated in the pattern). Use the flat-head screwdriver to slightly pry apart the coils at the end of the large pin.
Slip the loop of the first beaded safety pin onto the large one. Pull it down to the loop at the base of the large pin. Pull it around the loop and up the back-side of the pin. Repeat this for each beaded safety pin.
Once all your beaded safety pins are on your larger pin, use the pliers and squeeze the loop to close it. You can now pin your new safety pin jewelry onto your shirt, hat, shoelaces, etc.
 How to Make Beaded Safety Pins
Sherri Osborn
with side notes by inkspired
The suggestions shared here might help you when you are making free patterns, patterns from other sources, or patterns you create yourself.
Safety pins come in many different sizes. Here are some tips on choosing sizes for your own designs:
·         A size #3 pin is 2-inches long.
·         A size #2 pin is 1-1/2-inches long.
·         A size #1 pin is 1-1/16-inches long.
·         A size #0 pin is 7/8-inch long. 
      A size #00 pin is 3/4-inch long.
  • A safety pin that is 7/8 of an inch long will hold 8 seed beads.
  • A safety pin that is 1 1/16 inches long will hold 10 seed beads.
  • A safety pin that is more than 1 1/16 inches long is usually too wide to hold just seed beads.
  • A safety pin that is 1 1/2 inches long will hold up to 10 beaded safety pins.
  • A safety pin that is 1 3/4 inches long will hold up to 12 beaded safety pins.
  • A safety pin that is 2 inches long will hold up to 14 beaded safety pins.
Make sure you buy seed beads only for these projects. If you use the beads that are slightly larger, you will not be able to complete the patterns as shown. (Until I wrote this feature, I was not aware that sometimes you can run across different sizes of seed beads! Although my seed beads do not have a size listed on them, they seem to be about 2mm which would mean they are size 10/0).
When using Czech seed beads (the most commonly found in craft stores) the holes in the seed beads vary a bit. You will find that, while some seed beads fit perfectly on your safety pins, others will be too small. This is normal! Simply put aside the ones whose holes are too small and save them for another project.
One last note, shared by Denise the About Guide to Parenting Adolescents: If you use brass pins, you should spray them lightly on both sides with an acrylic sealer because they will tarnish and RUST.
(I have never had this problem, as the brass pins that I get seem to already have a coat on them. Also a good reminder is that ANY JEWELRY does not like sprays (perfume, hair spray, etc.) OR water. That includes high humidity in the bathroom.) 
Keep these notes about the sizes on hand when making your own patterns and purchasing supplies. Have fun!
Eastern Screech Owls

There are two families of owls -
Strigidae: typical owls
Tytonidaie: barn owls


Owls are found worldwide in a huge range of habitats from rain forests to grasslands to wooded areas to tundra!

screech owl coloring page courtesy of (Texas)

Owls hunt and eat rodents (rats, mice, etc.), insects, frogs and birds.
 Some also eat fish.
An owl eats smaller prey whole, or larger prey in chunks.
They regurgitate the inedible parts.
Yep. Barfs 'em right up!

Little Owl in Britain

Now, throwing up your leftovers
(hair, teeth, bone, feathers, insect exoskeletons, scales, fur)
might be a really BIG gross-out time
they manage to do it in tidy oval shaped pellets.
That's kinda' cool.
These pellets are popular with science teachers who want their students
to dissect them, and and then learn all about Owl's diet
and Owl's habitat
and Owl's prey, etc.
Those goofy science teachers!

Many different owls at quiksilverdragon on photobucket

Owls have a large head and large eyes that face forward.
This would be the opposite of other birds,
whose eyes are on the sides of their heads!

Funny thing is, they can't move those big peepers!
Not at all.
So instead God gave them a 'swiveler' neck, and their heads swivel around.
That's why sometimes it looks like Owl is twisting her head all the way around!
Their entire head has a range of about 270'.
That's a lot of swivelin'.

a Great Grey Owl in Stockholm, Sweden. Photo taken April, 2009.
Sorry, didn't get the name of the the photographer. Anyone know it? Share!

Because of the placement of their eyes, owls have almost
binocular vision and very precise depth perception.
Don't you think those radiating feathers around the eyes
give them a startled, 'what?' kind of look?
Either that or they learned how to sleep with their eyes open.

Something that, even after years of trying,
I could never perfect as well as my sister, sitting in the front row of church!

Burrowing Owl, photo courtesy of Rick Scott

Here's another fairly simple beading pattern for an owl:

by unknown (she gets around a lot)

You could fill in the 'outside' area with a solid color,
and make a little peyote or brick stitch amulet.

You could stitch several in a row and make a peyote bracelet.
Try a different color combination for each owl!

You could use brick stitch and make a dimensional shape owl;
make two and you have a pair of earrings.
Make another and you have a matching necklace pendant.

Use your imagination, and come up with some other ideas!
If you bead something with this pattern

And remember....
the OWL is at the top of the food web.
It has NO major predators....
except stupid humans.

'A Parliament of Owls'
partial of a WONDERFUL painting by Scott Gustafson

I have lots more owl facts, pictures, mazes, drawing fun, etc.
but that is for another day!
If you liked this blog, you will probably like the other one I have already published.

{That makes two, two blogs on owls!}
- the Count, from the Muppets

Many of the above facts I found at
Col, Jeananda. Enchanted Learning. 1996
and on
Many thanks!!!


  1. I really enjoyed the owls. You can look into there eyes and its amazing. They look like they can speek to you. I try collecting owl stuff. I do have a few. I have a white owl from the Harry Potter movie. I been enjoying the ones Karen has but on her blog. Thank you for posting this. I look at printing some of the pictures of the owls. thank you . sign glenda