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11  Clay Flowers in Pottery, Ceramics, etc: Completed Projects by Jenxx on: March 15, 2014 07:47:47 AM
As a snowbird wintering in Florida, I've missed my summer pottery classes.  Fortunately, I've found a local studio so I can now play in the dirt year round. 

One of my first finished pieces is about 10" x 4".  I pressed banches (Cedar?) into the wet clay & attached flowers & leaves that I modeled separately.   I wanted soft colors over all but didn't get quite enough green on the leaves.  My instructor suggested I add another coat to them & refire so I think I'll try it.  Other than that, I'm well pleased with it.  I didn't want a hole showing on the top so I'll either attach a hanger to the back with epoxy or display it on an easel.


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12  Don't drop it! Painted glassware. Lots of photos in Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General by Jenxx on: January 08, 2014 04:15:58 PM
I paint quite a bit of glassware including wine glasses & bottles.  I've done one stroke flowers for the most part but recently learned a new techniques that give me a much wider range.  I'm particularly fond of my wine diva.




























I appreciate your enthusiastic responses & thought I'd mention a few more things.

Since I began painting bottles, I've come up with several uses for them other than just sitting on a shelf looking attractive. Not being a great connoisseur, most of my wine comes from a box. When I go to the clubhouse for social hour (or any other place where I take wine) I fill one of my painted bottles---always guaranteed to attract attention.

They also make lovely oil lamps. Kits are available but my resourceful husband discovered that by drilling a hole thru a brass cabinet knob, we can roll up the end a long wick, twist it into the hole & set the knob on top of the bottle.  Note the tall flat bottle with the pale aqua flowers.

Wine cooler & beer bottles are great too. When I want to remember someone but don't want to spend a lot of money on a gift, I've found that a beer bottle will hold nearly a full bag of jelly beans or M&Ms. There are just enough M&Ms left over to treat yourself while you cap the bottle & trim the top with ribbon & beads.

Flow restrictors are available at liquor stores so some of the smaller bottles can be used for bath oil, dipping & olive oil, or dish detergent.


I don't teach one stroke painting but can give a few hints on painting the other designs.

For most of them, I captured line drawings from free clip art sites, sized them as needed & printed them. I cut around the pattern, laid it printed side down on the table & moistened the backside with a damp paper towel. After dampening the INSIDE of the glass, I pressed the pattern to the moist area. I found that a rubber spatula sometimes helps to press the pattern in place. The moisture will help it stick to the glass long enough to paint the outline of the design on the outside of the glass. I replace the pattern with a folded paper towel before I paint the details in freehand.

I use enamel paints & pens for glass---usually FolkArt brand altho there are others. For durability, I bake the finish on. Put the glass in a cold oven & set it for 350 degrees. When it reaches temperature, time it for 30 Minutes. Turn the oven off & allow it to cool completely before opening the oven & removing the glass. Most paint companies say they're dishwasher safe but I hand wash them to be sure.
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13  Drink up! in Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General by Jenxx on: January 04, 2014 10:00:42 PM
My daughter recently requested a set of 4 painted wine glasses to give as an exchange gift for her office Christmas party.  With an accompanying bottle of wine, it was very well received. 

At the time, I had no idea I'd be painting 4 more sets of 6 glasses for other co-workers who admire them & were wishing they had been the recipient. 

I paint each glass with a different flower  & color so guests will be able to more easily keep track of his/her glass---takes the place of charms.


I hope the recipients will enjoy them but will also understand that a bottle of wine doesn't come with these glasses. 

There's an alternative, non-drinkers use for them---I've made attractive centerpieces by putting a few strands of glittery excelsior & a tealight in them.  The resulting glow makes for a lovely table setting



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14  Wooden Block Letter Ornaments in Winter Holidays by Jenxx on: December 24, 2013 06:57:42 AM
For the last several years I've participated in a Christmas gift exchange with a number of my online friends.  We've found that ornaments are the best for a long distance exchange but coming up with a new idea is always a challenge.  I met it this year when I found 4 inch wooden block letters at Michael's.  I chose the first initial of the last name of each of my friends & painted them to suit the shape of the letter.

My original idea was to repaint them in more Christmasy colors but at the last minute I decided to go with them "as is".  I'm happy I did because I really am quite pleased with the bright cheery look of them.

Some of the designs are my own but I went to "Free Clip Art" online to find suitable drawings & ideas for the others.  It was fairly easy to capture & size the drawings to fit before printing them.  I used a carbon paper to trace them onto the letters & painted them with acrylics.  For a bit of glitzing, I glued on tiny flat backed gemstones (the ones used for decorating fingernails) for holly berries, ornaments, etc. 

Hubby drilled a hole in the top of each so I could put in a screw eyelet & ribbon for hanging.  I purposely hung most of them at an angle rather than trying to make them level---impossible with some of them.     

Since there were 2 J's, Hubby chose the one with the Santa for us to keep.  I'm still trying to find my favorite.  I like the way the santa hat follows the curve of the letter S, but the snowflake & Christmas tree wrap neatly around the sides of their letters.  Then there's that sweet little bird sitting on the tree limb---or the snowman---or candy canes---

They've been mailed off &, so far, I've had good reviews on them.























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15  Bottle Bells in Exterior Decorating / Yard Art / Gardening: Completed Projects by Jenxx on: December 23, 2013 09:48:35 PM
I recently cut wine bottles in half & used the bottoms for solar patio lights. I couldn't bring myself to throw away the leftover tops so I decided make glass bells from them.
I used the original corks or screw tops & suspended beads from fishing line, for the clappers.  With one stroke flowers painted on them, I think they're quite attractive but was most pleasantly surprised when I heard the sweet, tinkly sound they make.  I just wish I could record & post it here so everyone could listen to them.







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16  Light up my life in Exterior Decorating / Yard Art / Gardening: Completed Projects by Jenxx on: November 16, 2013 07:57:20 PM
I've finally been able to work with glass cutting now that my Hubby & I designed our own glass cutter---We've not had much success with the ones you purchase.

Beginning with beer & wine bottles, we've become pretty good at simple cuts & our rate of success keeps getting better.

I've been using the bottom halves of wine bottles to make decorative patio lights. After painting the outside, I purchased cheap solar lights & twisted off the top solar panel. I stuffed a bit of iridescent excelsior inside to reflect more light & super glued the solar disk to the top. The super glue seal makes them fairly watertight.  If I leave them sitting on the deck or patio during the day, they glow softly at night & cast an interesting reflection on the surface beneath them.










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17  Condemned Toad House in Pottery, Ceramics, etc: Completed Projects by Jenxx on: November 14, 2013 10:13:52 PM
One of my recent clay projects is a toadhouse.  I'm posting it even tho I didn't quite finish it---I intended to enhance the colors on the bottom with a dark stain.  I was unable to complete it because the glaze didn't stick to the piece.  The studio I go to used a new batch of clay & none of the items made with it were any good.  Just touching them caused tiny shards to flake off of the surface. 

I put it outside under the magnolia tree to see how long it will last so I guess I'm going to have to be satisfied with photos.    Fortunately, I can handle that.  I usually take photos of everything I create & then sell or give most of them away.







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18  Painted Mailboxes in Exterior Decorating / Yard Art / Gardening: Completed Projects by Jenxx on: November 14, 2013 09:37:12 PM
Several mailboxes I've painted---two for friends & my own.  All were fun projects.













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19  Clay Play---Fish Tile in Pottery, Ceramics, etc: Completed Projects by Jenxx on: September 25, 2013 09:32:26 PM
I've been playing again & this is what I've come up with.  The tile is about 6x6 inches.  I began by carving a fish into the leather hard clay along with a few underwater grasses.  I also shaped  separate fish, grass & bubbles that I affixed in front of the large fish to give depth to the tile.  The pieces were all fired separately & "glued" together when I glazed it but they could easily have been attached before the first firing. 

I'm pretty well pleased with this piece &, other than moving a few of the bubbles around, I wouldn't change much. 




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20  Ivy Leaves in Pottery, Ceramics, etc: Completed Projects by Jenxx on: September 01, 2013 07:16:14 PM
I  pulled some leaves from My English Ivy vines & pressed them into fresh clay. Then  I fashioned a vine & attached them.  Since my clay instructor was afraid the result was too fragile to put into the Kiln, I even made a separate tray to put it on for the first firing.  Wanting something more unusual, I used a golden color rather than a green.  The result is.....different.  It can be set on a table or hung by the loop in the stem.





 
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