Friday, June 21, 2013

HEADS UP!

 

I love art, especially garden art.  For some reason ( can't really figure it out--not that I've tried) I love sculpted heads.   I have many.  Inside my home and in my gardens.  Below are just a few which I enjoy every day. They add a bit of whimsy to my garden walks. If I told you that I talk to them, you would probably think that would be okay, as by now we are friends and friends always let friends enjoy talking heads..

Okay, I have to say it ,"Two heads are better than one"..sorry, couldn't help myself. I caught Stella enjoying a peek-a-boo moment with one of my favorites. They are both so pretty, love 'em both.  Well, maybe the furry one a bit more.

 Happy guy greets me at the entry to my workshop. He never disappoints. Cheerful no matter.
 
 
I often wonder what he is thinking as I look out my kitchen window each morning.

Ummm..? Is he buried up to his neck in rock hard problems or is he just napping in a hot stone bath?

She regally presides over my forget-me-not garden.  Who could forget such a beauty?
Scary, you say?  Well, I love this one.  He makes me laugh every time I step into my screened in porch.
Just in case you were thinking I may be a bit too bizarre with the head thing, here you go, I like torsos too. I call her Jezebel and she feeds my birds in my kitchen garden.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

GARDEN TOTEM

Many years ago a favorite cousin of mine was an exceptional artist. He was clever and unique.  He would make art installations and people would beat the door down to view his latest works of imagination.  About fifteen years ago he called to tell me one of his installations was chosen to be shown in all the windows along Broadway in New York City. AWESOME..for sure! He did the installation and all pieces were sold. Unfortunately he did not live long enough to really enjoy his great success.  Many of those particular pieces now reside in  famous galleries and fine homes.

 Okay, now we have a back story.  His art of choice on his last installation were glass totems. These beautiful totems were made from vintage lamp globes.  Some were many feet in height.  I have always wanted to try my hand at making a totem.  Yesterday a friend gave me an old globe and I thought, why not--go for it.  First, I must confess, I do not have the storehouse of beautiful globes to choose from nor do I have his talent, but I went looking in my "holding pen" of treasures and found a few small pieces to work with today.
 I found a tall clear vase, a frosted small globe and an etched amber fluted globe. I decided I could work with these. Plus I had the neat globe with the super cool finial my friend gave to me.
 Tools for this project were--a towel (I am messy), landscape sealant and gun, craft sticks to manipulate the glue( did I say I was messy?)
 Adornments. I chose shells for this one. I placed some of the prettier shells in the vase and a few around the frosted globe..just because I thought it might look good..I think it does.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

RANCH OAK STYLE TABLE RE-DO

Stella heard the door open and she is excited to see you, my friend.  Welcome, today we are going to check out a small DIY project to get us started on the road to getting acquainted. 

 I tried my hand at a woodworking project at the early age of nine and I have the scars to prove it! I wanted to make a table as a surprise for my mother. I got my little red Radio Flyer ready and headed out to our local lumberyard.  In those days the lumbermen would let me come in to their work area and pick up the scrap wood left from a days work.  Off I went gathering up my wood treasures.  When I was sure I had all the right pieces, I headed home for the big project. I knew exactly what I was going to make, so I had the nails and hammer ready.  I assembled the pieces just so...  bam bam bam away I went on my creative journey. All was going great until I decided one leg needed my hand to hold it steady..BAM..went the nail right into my little nine year old palm. Well, yepper, my mom was surprised all right. The screams got her attention, she got a wobbly table and I got a bandage. Did I stop my treks to the lumberyard, absolutely not and it is still one of my favorite places to visit.
Let's get started.

 
 
SMALL RANCH OAK STYLE NEGLECTED TABLE
NECESSARY TOOLS
I always use gloves and a mask when messing with chemicals.  I did not when I was younger, but wisdom came with a price.
 
I start cleaning the project piece ( if really nasty)with Murphy's Oil Soap.  Do this in the shade and with as little water as possible. After the piece is dry, I take a clean rag and go over it with a light touch of paint thinner. After all my years doing refinishing projects, I have found a number of things which just plain work. Finally, I give it a light sanding with fine grit sandpaper .Go over once more with a light touch of paint thinner.  I usually use Minwax finish products.  On this little table I chose Golden Pecan.
                                         After stain is dry I apply a thin coat of polyurethane.
                                          After the protective coat is dry, I add a coat of paste wax.
                                          I am going to share a SECRET with you. Years ago I discovered
                                          when I placed a piece of fine steel wool in a nylon stocking
                                          and rubbed my project piece vigorously, a wonderful patina
                                          occurred. the action of the nylon against the paste wax creates
                                          a fabulous finish as well as a super protective one. My wax of
                                          of choice is Briwax, but any good paste wax will do. You who
                                          are into PAINTED finishes, will find this step a great bonus as it
                                          adds even more character.  I will show you in my next project.
 
Nylon and steel wool secret.
You can see how the wood grain becomes beautiful
and the metal button glistens. The finished project is now
ready to enjoy.
 
Thanks for stopping by to visit today. Stella sees a squirrel, gota go.. See you later....

Sunday, June 16, 2013

SIT A SPELL

I thought the best way to introduce you to my new blog is to welcome you in through one of my garden gates. I found this iron fence in Corpus Christi, Texas, on one of my many adventures.  This is one of many gates I purchased from a man who brought these wonderful architectural treasures back from a trip to Egypt. I think they were originally used as window safety covers for a large mansion.  I saw them as  garden courtyard embellishments and gates, as well as great trellis homes for honeysuckle, jasmine and clematis.

The gate in the picture needed a Texas Touch.  I took an antique spur, attached it to my gate post and yeehaw..the coolest latch ever.

So, come on in, sit a spell and let's get acquainted.  In the future, I will be posting some neat DIY projects with easy instructions.  I will be sharing finished projects as well and I would love to hear all about your Rusty Dusty finds, projects and adventures. Now finish your cold sweet tea and let's have some fun.