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1  HOME SWEET HOME / Exterior Decorating / Yard Art / Gardening: Completed Projects / Solar Path Markers on: April 16, 2016 07:07:55 AM


I had an idea last Fall that I implemented shortly before we left to spend the winter in Florida.  I returned recently & checked to see if everything had survived intact.  SUCCESS!

I live in the country & it can get pretty dark out there at night.  We have security lights for the rare times we have to go to the out building at night but I've found that the light isn't aimed quite correctly so it doesn't go on right away if I leave by the side door.  Rather than asking hubby to add another light, I made a solar path marker.  So far there's only one because I wanted to test it first.

I used a glass jar (probably a pickle jar), a cheap dollar store solar light that's smaller than the jar & some aluminum foil.  The strip of foil---glued to the inside of the jar & lid---made it more reflective.

I hot glued the solar panel---minus the stake part---to the bottom of the jar so when I turned it over, the solar panel could pick up the sun's rays thru the glass. 

When I screwed on the lid, it was pretty much weather resistant.  I buried it level with the ground just off the edge of the concrete by the workshop.  At night it gives off a soft glow in the grass.
 
We can mow right over it & unlike stepping stones, it's almost invisible during the day.   The plan is to collect more jars & bury them at intervals across the yard so I'll have a lighted pathway to the workshop.  I think they'd also be great placed randomly in a flower garden.





2  HOME SWEET HOME / Exterior Decorating / Yard Art / Gardening: Completed Projects / Dragonfly on: March 25, 2016 10:45:30 PM



Pinterest gave me inspiration for my latest project---a dragonfly made from ceiling fan blades.  I found them & a single chair leg at my local Habitat for Humanity.  Each piece was about 25 or 50 Cents.  I also found a glass garden globe on clearance for about $1.  Most of what I spent was a lot of time.

I laid the chair leg & fan blades on a piece of paper, in the proper shape, & drew around the center section to make a pattern.  Before cutting the pattern, I folded it in half lengthwise so both sides would be the same.  I transferred the pattern to a scrap of plywood & my very sweet husband cut it out for me. 

I adapted a clip art drawing of a dragonfly to fit my needs & painted it on the blades.  I finished with 3 coats of polyurethane for protection.  Using the original holes in the fan blades, Hubby helped me drill & bolt everything together with stainless steel nuts & bolts.  He cut most of the spike from the garden globe & drilled the top of the chair leg so it would fit for the head.  We added a wall hanger to the back but could have mounted it to a stake to display it in a flower garden

Over all, I'm pleased with it & already have friends wanting help in creating their own. 











3  HOME SWEET HOME / Exterior Decorating / Yard Art / Gardening: Completed Projects / Painted garden stakes on: March 25, 2016 10:27:16 PM
I'm still enjoying making painted garden stakes from recycled wooden spindles & poles. A stair handrail that is flat on one side & was originally used as a drapery rod made 3 different stakes.  One was a flag pole that hung from a wall bracket.  The others are used wooden spindles.

I added wooden finials or solar lights to the top & either metal spikes or copper tubing to the bottom. 

My grandson deserves credit for painting the one with green zigzags. 

All have 3 protective layers of polyurethane.














4  HOME SWEET HOME / Exterior Decorating / Yard Art / Gardening: Completed Projects / Painted Flamingos on: February 20, 2016 10:49:21 PM
I've been painting flamingos again & thoroughly enjoying it. 

I had Fall colors in mind for the one I gave a dear friend.  She loved it & placed it immediately in her front flowerbed.
 
Another, for our community's Christmas gift exchange, was a great success if it's gauged by the number of people who wanted it.  I tried a lighter, more pastel palette on that one.

The most recent is named Mardi for the obvious reason---She's done up in mostly Mardi Gras colors of purple, green & gold.

I haven't decided which is my favorite yet but am well pleased with all of them.











5  HOME SWEET HOME / Exterior Decorating / Yard Art / Gardening: Completed Projects / Reyne, a garden fox on: February 20, 2016 09:53:03 PM
I hate it when I forget to take photos before I begin a project---but I did.  A friend asked me to paint a peeled & faded fox that's been in her flower garden for years.  I've not had much experience in this area but decided to give it a try.  It could always be repainted if I failed.

While I know what a fox looks like, I captured free clip art images from the internet so I could more accurately paint in the details.
 
After a good scrubbing, I sprayed him with a nugmeg colored primer---the best option of what I had on hand.

When he was dry, I began brushing on the different colors.  I was amazed that what I expected to take a day or 2 was finished in less than 2 hours.  It took much longer to brush on the 3 coats of mat finish polyurethane for protection.  I finished with a coat of gloss polyurethane on his eyes & nose.

For a first try, I was very pleased with the result & so was my friend.  We named him Reyne after Reynard, a fox prominent in medieval French fables.






6  HOME SWEET HOME / Interior Decorating: Completed Projects / Funky painted bar stools on: January 10, 2016 08:28:26 PM
When I wanted to add a splash of color to my almost white kitchen, I decided to paint the table height stools I use at the island.  I purchased them online, unfinished.

Since the living, dining, family rooms & kitchen are all fairly open I carried the colors from these rooms to the kitchen.  I also wanted the colors from the photo on the wall represented.

Inspiration was an abstract triptych on the living room wall but I soon abandoned it in favor of my own designs.  I'm very well pleased with the colors & designs but still have to add another coat of paint to the legs because I had difficulty getting it to cover properly.  After they're finished & thoroughly dry, I'll coat them with polyurethane for protection.






 
7  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Pottery, Ceramics, etc: Completed Projects / Flowered tile on: September 17, 2015 12:39:59 PM
I absolutely love my weekly clay classes.  My latest creation is a tile, approximately 6x8 inches.  I pressed a crochet doily into a slab of clay, then modeled flowers & leaves that I affixed to one end.  I used 2 greys for the tile color, orchid for the flowers & pale green for the leaves.  I achieved the pale colors I wanted.  Getting the colors right seldom happens so I'm very pleased with it & will display it on an easel.



8  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Thanksgiving / Fall Pumpkin Tutorial on: September 15, 2015 08:00:26 PM
I've made the polyfil stuffed fabric pumpkins but find these a bit different.  They're no-sew & use a styrofoam ball as the base.  I've taught them several times at craft seminars & they all turned out quite nicely.
I don't remember who first taught me this craft but recall that it didn't work well.  I soon made my own instructions & pattern.  I'm offering it in case someone would like to try it.







9  HOME SWEET HOME / Exterior Decorating / Yard Art / Gardening: Completed Projects / Yard Bird on: September 14, 2015 11:06:05 PM
I've been alternating between garden stakes & painted flamingos lately.  For my latest yard bird, I decided to leave the basic Flamingo pink, as is, & just add painted designs over it.  I found the paint didn't adhere well to the surface.  In the past, I've always spray painted the under surface white when painting plastic.   Once I was able to get the designs on, I finished it with 3 coats of polyurethane.  The result is a hard coated finish that shouldn't wear off any time soon.







10  HOME SWEET HOME / Exterior Decorating / Yard Art / Gardening: Completed Projects / Solar lit garden stake on: September 14, 2015 10:43:54 PM
Recently, I've had a lot of fun making solar lit garden stakes.  I even encouraged my grandson to join me for a "Play Day".  You can easily guess which is his---typically male.

Cameron's is made from a 36" wooden spindle I found on sale at the local home improvement.  Hubby drilled a hole in the top to accommodate a solar light (also on sale).  Then he had some nails (spikes) on hand that were about 12" long.  He sawed off the head & drove it part way into the bottom, making a stake that has an overall length of about 4 ft.  I think the bright colors & tribal symbols make it a very unusual piece.

Mine was made from a 2 ft piece of closet rod I found in the basement.  I don't know why it was hanging about but I put it to good use.  It was drilled top & bottom like the other one before I painted it Caymon Blue.  I then added one stroke flowers  & finished it with 3 coats of protective polyurethane.  It measures about 3 ft.





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