IMAGINATION and creativity were given free rein this summer as men and women from Linthicum Heights United Methodist Church sawed, hammered and painted functional and decorative birdhouses. Now the fruits of their feverish labors are ready to become part of "Turning Houses into Homes," Arundel Habitat for Humanity's birdhouse show, sale and auction this week in Annapolis.
Church members made more than 70 birdhouses, including an adobe house, a castle with draw bridge, outhouse, Noah's Ark, lighthouses, churches, windmills, and buildings in the style of the old west. There is even a duplex shaped like a covered bridge with openings at either end.
Where appropriate, the houses were painted with acrylic paint and sealed. Some were given an artistic touch of flowers, vines and Christmas decorations. Others were left rustic, including several made with wood from a 100-year-old tobacco barn.
Bob Abel, the church's liaison with Arundel Habitat, has been coordinating the birdhouse project. He said he didn't know how popular birdhouses were
when he started.
"Things just snowballed," he said. "I did not realize that birdhouses had become decorative collectibles."
Church member Jim Allis designed and built 40 houses. Allen Chambers, Marion Graham and George Grahe also built several houses. June Allis, Beth Francazi, Sue Latini, Tracie Sommers and Joyce Stevens applied the artistic decorations.
Habitat for Humanity helps provide affordable homes to low-income families. Linthicum Heights has supported Arundel Habitat for 1 1/2 years with money and work crews.
The sale will be held at the Annapolis Harbour Center, Route 2. More than 400 birdhouses and 150 birdhouse Christmas ornaments will be available. The public is invited to bid in the silent auction and preview birdhouses for the live auction from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. The live auction begins at 4 p.m. Sunday.
Musical entertainment will include a Wednesday performance on the hammer dulcimer by Maggie Sansone. A children's corner will have a magician, a storyteller and birdhouses that can be decorated for a fee.
For more information, call 544-9686.
* On Sunday, members of Linthicum Heights will get a chance to hear Gigi Gruenke from Church World Service speak about the (( program "Blanket The World With Love." The service buys wool-blend and cotton blankets in bulk for $5 and sends them to areas where they are needed.
Sue Latini, project chairwoman, said people can buy a blanket in honor of or in memory of a person or a special occasion through a special offering Sunday.
Sunday school children also will participate by preparing presentation cards that can be given to those honored by blanket purchases.
The Linthicum Lions Club is participating in the Linthicum Community Fair, scheduled for 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 21. Volunteers are needed to help sell hot dogs and sandwiches.