NEWSLETTER Edition 4: All God's Children



One of the art hives I flit in and out of is ONE, a collective with makers of all kinds. Poets and writers, spoken word artists and singers, dancers, somatic movement therapists and practitioners, printmakers, jewelry makers, illustrators, painters and so on. Though many of us refer to ourselves simply as Creatives because we're multi-disciplinary and work in several or more of those modes.

ONE meets regularly to talk about art, and sometimes about faith and spiritual inspiration as these things relate to it. I'm multi-disciplinary, and at a meeting a couple years ago where it was my turn to share some of my visual work, I forgot to bring the illustrations and sketches I wanted to share, but I did remember to bring a few items of jewelry. Simple modern jewelry, repurposed and found object jewelry, and one particular heirloom style Victorian necklace I was really proud of. And I also remembered to bring samples of some mixed media pieces. Mostly collages that I like to build on wood. Wooden cross forms and birdhouses. A lot of birdhouses.


Above: Assembly in progress for The House That Stacks Built, a large, monochromatic birdhouse, layered with natural and repurposed elements, that sold at a gallery fundraiser for the Downriver Arts Council in 2019.

When asked by one of my fellow makers asked why I'm drawn to birdhouses, I responded honestly. "You know, I still don't fully know the answer to that. I'm still trying to figure it out. I'm not 100 percent sure, but I think I'm getting close."

Below: Celestial rainbow painted on the bottom of The House That Stacks Built, a large, monochromatic birdhouse, layered with natural and repurposed elements. It sold at a gallery fundraiser for the Downriver Arts Council in 2019.

It's May of 2021 as I write this, and I can exhale as I say that within the last year I've discovered the reason, or at least part of the reason why, for the past ten or so years, I've been drawn to and driven to gussying up wooden birdhouses.

Materially, I love wood as a canvas. I like the way it soaks up glue and drinks up paint. And, yeah, I can bang on it, bolt it, drill it and nail it. But spiritually, I feel a connection to the scriptures that imply that, while we fret about how to meet our daily needs, the birds of the air, without worry, are provided for.

I don't know if this is predicated on the fact that the first legitimate thing I wanted to be when I grew up (from the age of 9) was an architect. I still love floor plans and still build mini LEGO houses. You can laugh at that. Heck, sometimes I do.

But something in me feels good when I let inspiration loose on these birdhouses. As I slap paper and ink and glue and paint, wood scraps and metal, scrap hardware and twigs on wood...ostensibly for the becomes a bit of a meditation, sometimes about the least of these. The rejected, the discarded, the disenfranchised. And most especially the young, the children, among them. As I place otherwise disregarded branches and natural elements -- from my yard, or the yard of a client -- and discarded objects, and bits of scrap and hardware, in uniquely fitting places on each birdhouse, I consider this. I consider my own children's struggles, and consider the plight of others.

I trust The Great Creator to make building materials for nest builders, homes for the birds of the air. And it's great that we get to help out with that, and in so many fun and colorful ways. But I have seen that it's up to us to help build that bit of provision, of heaven on earth, for our brothers and sisters, because for a whole host of reasons, mostly man made, not all of God's children have shelter.

I've made and sold many a birdhouse. They vary in size, finish and style. But there's a particualr style of birdhouse that I'll want to continue making for some time. It's The House That Stacks Built.

With its name and layering giving a nod to the old story rhyme, The House That Jack Built, it comes in a specific suite of garden-friendly colors that are fine alone, but go well together. Each has a circumspect monotone body and a star-speckled rainbow as its secret stash underneath. My personal goal is to have all six dangling in my own yard...where the meditation will continue.

The House That Stacks Built is the one work I make which supports Covenant House, a New York-based, internationally active non-profit. Why Covenant House?

Because Covenant House gives new hope unconditionally to homeless youth in the way of support services and housing. Because a number of their clients are runaways for all the reasons you can imagine. Because some of them are LGBTQIA homeless. Because others are victims of human trafficking. Because, yes, I am not unfamiliar with the struggles of youth or of shelter insecurity. Because all God's children need shelter. And though shelter is more than a roof and four walls, a safe roof and walls is a good place to start. I hope you feel the same.

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The House That Stacks Built

The House That Stacks Built


WELL...the ivory darling in this picture has already sold, but it is AN EXAMPLE of the CUSTOM-made 3-D-collage birdhouse that will be made for you...for your home, garden, or gift-giving! And through partial proceeds, your purchase will benefit COVENANT HOUSE (

The ivory 3-D-collage birdhouse pictured here sold in the gallery of the Downriver Council for the Arts (DC4Arts, Wyandotte, Metro Detroit, Michigan) in 2019 immediately after it was made. We'd call that a hot potato!

"Tis a gift to be simple," and each 3-D-collage birdhouse is finished for quiet simplicity in a solid color of your choice (see dropdown menu). A lightly speckled rainbow graces the bottom, the underside, creating the impression of a starry rainbow galaxy.

No two houses or compositions are identical, as Debora Grace uses artistic license to place elements where she sees fit. AND, keeping in mind that most and sometimes all parts are unified by being covered with paint, you are welcome to provide one or more items that you want added to the birdhouse. This can include natural elements FROM YOUR HOME OR YARD. CONTACT SELLER if you wish TO PERSONALIZE your birdhouse in this way. BOTH OF THESE APPROACHES GIVE YOU A UNIQUE KEEPSAKE, THE LIKES OF WHICH NO ONE ELSE WILL EXACTLY HAVE.

This birdhouse is finished with matte or satin sea:ling. It can be used for interior/inside decor, or as an outdoor home for your feathered friends. BUT if you specify (from the dropdown menu) that you want your 3-D-collage birdhouse for possible outdoor use, its surface will be sealed accordingly.

Your 3-D-collage birdhouse comes in one of six garden-friendly colors that are great inside home, office or studio, and still ideally suited for your outdoor landscape. You can choose your preference from the dropdown menu. Actual color may appear a hint lighter or a hint darker than the photographed swatch. A suite of these -- each unique -- around the garden or yard are mighty lovely.

A finished 3-D-collage birdhouse is roughly (approximately) in the range of 10x6x6 to 12x10x10-inches. The birdhouse base ranges from 9x5x5 to 10x8x7. However, birdhouses for LOCAL pickup (birdhouses that are not for shipping) might have elements or branches that extend (like the one pictured) beyond 12 inches, since they don't need to be more compact for shipping.

The price is VERY reasonable, considering that materials, packaging, etc. are usually a significant part of the cost. Again, through partial proceeds, Covenant House ( will benefit from your purchase. COST COVERS domestic SHIPPING.

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