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1  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Mermaid Christmas Ornies on: January 07, 2017 07:26:49 AM
When I decided to participate  in an annual ornament gift exchange with a group of my internet friends I returned to one of my favorite mediums---felt---& decided to make mermaids.  I began by drawing her on paper---Free clip-art is great for ideas on this step. I added a seam allowance & printed several copies.  I cut the different pattern pieces I needed from each copy.  I only needed 3 pieces for her but find this method the best when I need a large number of pattern pieces.  I sewed & stuffed all but her tailfin, glued on her hair, gems & shells, & finished the details with paint pens.  When hanging, she's about 7" to the bottom of her tailfin.  Hubby was given the task of choosing which one I kept for us---the orange with yellow gold hair.  The others were well received by all of my friends.



2  Halloween / Halloween Costumes / Pink Panther Costume on: August 28, 2016 01:35:19 PM
We're packing up to move & I found this among my memories.  Daughter & I made it as a grade school costume.  I doubt she was past the 2nd or 3rd grade.  With Halloween looming on the horizon, I think it's appropriate to post it now.
 
We found a very large paper bag.  Do they still make them?  I slipped it over her head & marked the eye holes.  Then I drew the panther around them & made the reverse on the back.  We used tempera paints & stapled on a torn strip of fabric for the tail.  She wore matching pink pants.  We didn't make armholes but it could easily be done.

I think it looked pretty good then & is still OK considering daughter is now 48 years old.






3  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.





4  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. 











5  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.














6  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.











7  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.






8  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.






 
9  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.



10  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.









Quote
hope this comes out ok I retyped instructions so they are a little clearer for those who might like it.
Fabric Covered Pumpkins

You will need:
6 (inch) diameter styrofoam Ball.
1/3 yard fall print fabric
Artificial Leaves & berries.
Raffia or ribbon for stem
Green wire.


Also
Scissors to cut fabric
Dull bladed knife- eg butter knife or table knife.
4 Rubber Bands
Hot glue gun and sticks.
T Pins or straight pins.
Round pencil or down rod.

Mak a flat bottom on the styrofoam ball by shaving a small sliver off one side with a serrated knife or bang it on a hard surface several times.

Divide the ball vertically by stretching one of the rubber bands around it.
With the second band divide it into 1/4 (quarters.) vertically.
With the remaining bands divide it into 1/8ths ( one eighths)

Cut a shallow groove to the side of the rubber bands then remove them. Widen and round the edges of the grooves by pressing the knife blad against them.

Cut elliptical pieces of fabric from the pattern. Center one piece over one section of the ball and secure it to the top and bottom using pins.

Using the knife blade press the fabric into the grooves you have created in the ball.
If the ends are too long trim them with scissors
Repeat with the remaining fabric pieces.
Note: Leave the pins in the adjacent sections so the fabric wont be pulled out while you are working on the neighbouring sections.

Poke a hole in the top of the pumpkin for the stem. Place a dab of glue in the hole and insert the stem. Arrange the leaves and berries around the stem and glue into place.

Wrap a length of wire (about 12 inches) around a pencil or down rod to make springy vines to push or glue in place around the leaves and berries.

Fashion a bow from raffia and glue among the leaves.
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