Sunday, July 31, 2011

When Bottles Sing

Well... Sort of, anyway.
A used water bottle and some old chime tubes can spice up your window, or your porch, or your garden, or anywhere! Some cutting, painting, and a lot of cussing attaching the tubes is well worth the effort, although I wouldn't want to do this on a daily basis.
I selected a design I had recently finished, and lo and behold, it fit around the bottle perfectly! Phew. Start an opening on the bottom of the bottle and cut out your design, like so-
Next comes the base coat. There are two coats of high-hiding white on this project, including the cap.
Some bottles are nicely embossed and indented. If yours is, you can follow through with your paints, using them as a starting point, and then a guide to complete the bottle art.
If the chime tubes are plain, giving them a dash of paint, whether one flat color or patterns, seems to add just a little umph. Leaving them alone or painting them has not affected their sound.

Get all your pieces and parts together. It's time for the cussing (on my part, anyway).
Now, you need to 'borrow' some fishing line. Clear, neon, whatever looks right with the set. I used a small button that snugs up under the cap to hold the center line in place. Each tube was threaded and knotted through a single hole in the bottle. A drop a clear drying glue on the knot helps keep things together if you are putting them outside in the elements.
After some cussing and aching fingers from knotting, the wind chime is complete.
Hang it up. Admire it. Let it sing for you!
Happy recycling.


Friday, July 29, 2011

Plant a Beer Can...

And up comes a Funky Flower right along with the globe basil!

For something that started out as a crazy idea, this project really took me by surprise. A few things frustrated me to no end, but the whole thing ended up so cute, I just had to give it to my husband, knowing he would 'plant' it in his prized bucket garden. His reaction to it was priceless.

Let's roll the details.

Cutting the can was easier than I thought. I made the initial cut with a heavy duty craft blade, then switched over to the heavy duty kitchen shears. The petals cut nicely. The little long triangular pieces in between were left attached. I'd figure out the color later.

To make sure the acrylics stayed stuck, I spray painted both sides in flat white, making sure the front had a few coats to cover the can colors.

Before I started painting, I  bent the petals just a little near the center to give them a little form. They might be manipulated more, but at the time, I wasn't willing to try. The colors started popping into my head.

Two coats did the trick. The orange dots were an afterthought. There are many different ways you can paint this Funky Flower and I've got a few that I want to try. Later.

The one section of aluminum left over after cutting the petals suited me just fine. I bent this piece and painted it the same color as the stem (a bamboo skewer) to wrap around the stem come gluing time. Which was now.
Attach the petals the same way. Spray with Clear. Replant.

Greetings from the bucket garden!
Happy planting!


Thursday, July 28, 2011

A Porch Brightener

One year (and one year only!) I found these great terra cotta sunfaces at the dollar store. This time I picked up half a dozen of them, knowing exactly what I would do with them. The metallic paint was waiting.
We moved to our new place a week before Thanksgiving, and it happens to have a large, covered front porch crying for decoration.
The north end post holds this bright guy, greeting the birds, squirrels, chipmunks, and us!
The south end supports this more subdued but equally shiny sunface, happily hanging amongst the petunias and marigolds.
These are painted strictly in metallics. They have survived the elements nicely without benefit of varnish or clear spray. The wind, however, can be a problem. It lifted one right off the hook and smashed it to pieces on the decking. Now, when it gets breezy, the faces come down.
Watch for these in the spring. They're well worth the painting & hanging!


The Reminder Chalkboard

When I bought this mini pizza pan at the dollar store, I knew it would eventually reveal what it could be.
A little paint, glue, and ribbon later, a chalkboard was born. A magnet on the back holds it in place. So you don't have to go hunting that elusive piece of chalk, I attached a ribbon to wrap around it.

This is my first post. At the time I made this chalkboard, I wasn't taking 'in progress' pictures, but this project really doesn't need them. Future posts will have step-by-step pictures and more detailed explanations. Sometimes, I 'paint' myself into a corner. Sometimes a project goes easy, like this one.  And sometimes everything goes so easily I have to shake my head and wonder what I did wrong, even though the finished product looks just fine and dandy! You just never know!

Catch you in a few...


Sunday, July 24, 2011

Stay tuned! A few projects are in-the-making and will be ready to post soon.