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21  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Re: Wooden Block Letter Ornaments on: December 30, 2013 06:44:37 PM
Thank you, I appreciate that you've featured my ornament project.
22  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Wooden Block Letter Ornaments 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.

23  HOME SWEET HOME / Exterior Decorating / Yard Art / Gardening: Completed Projects / Re: Bottle Bells on: December 24, 2013 05:44:47 AM
Thanks for the kind words.  I posted the "Light up my life" patio lights a few weeks ago.  At the moment, it's a few posts below this one in this same thread.  I hope you like them as well.  Both were fun projects now that I've figured out how to cut the bottles with any degree of success.
24  HOME SWEET HOME / Exterior Decorating / Yard Art / Gardening: Completed Projects / Bottle Bells 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.

25  HOME SWEET HOME / Exterior Decorating / Yard Art / Gardening: Completed Projects / Re: Light up my life on: November 16, 2013 09:55:39 PM
I was going for the solar but your chandelier idea is great.  I might have to try it next.  Hubby was an electrician in his former life (before retirement) so he's available to help with the electric part.They'd make lovely patio lights if they could be strung but I'm afraid that wouldn't be practical.  On second thought---what about smaller beer bottles?  I'll have to ask him.  Thanks for the inspiration.
26  HOME SWEET HOME / Exterior Decorating / Yard Art / Gardening: Completed Projects / Light up my life 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.

27  HOME SWEET HOME / Exterior Decorating / Yard Art / Gardening: Completed Projects / Re: Painted Mailboxes on: November 15, 2013 06:17:52 AM
Thanks for the kudos.  I painted the first mailbox at least 4 years ago. I spend the winter months in Florida so, of course, mine is the one with the geckos.  Before we leave for home every year, dearest Hubby replaces it with the old one so it isn't left outdoors in the scorching heat---that means it's more like 2-3 years old.

I used Folkart Enamels & baked it in my oven the same as I do when painting glass items.  Just read the labels to make sure it's the paint you bake in the oven (300 degrees for 30 minutes)   

I tried spraying it with a clear acrylic but found it peeled off.  My paint stayed but the acrylic turned yellow & peeled.  I didn't spray the other two.  When I was in VA last summer & visited the one with the yellow flowers, it was still looking great.  The pink flowers went out just yesterday here in FL so it's too soon to tell how it will last.
28  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Pottery, Ceramics, etc: Completed Projects / Condemned Toad House 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.

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

30  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Re: Tree of life afghan on: October 24, 2013 07:34:02 PM
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