Another Decorative Watering Can

I started gardening when my boys were very young.  When they were playing outside, I needed to be there to watch and supervise them.  While I would play with them, I found myself thinking of ways to enhance my landscaping and would decide to do something new to plant. When I were planting, I would have the boys help me.  As young boys, their favorite thing was to haul mom’s supplies with their Tonka trucks.  I would often have to walk behind them and pick up plants, rocks and/or mulch that bounced out of their trucks, or weeds that never quite made it to the disposal area. Now that my boys are older and no longer playing in the yard, I still  enjoy the time in my gardens.  Working in my gardens has become a relaxing and creative thing to do.

One of my more recent joys is to make art for my gardens.  One of these yard art pieces was a beaded watering can that I posted about two years ago (July 12, 21017).  Recently, I saw another watering can idea and decided to add it to my gardens.

So, another new project – a lighted watering can!

Materials

 

  • Watering Can. Unable to find a copper one to match the copper art in my yard, I found a copper colored brass one at Target that I decided would work.
  • Fairy lights.  I originally tried using solar lights, but found that they did not last.  After one week, and trying several different types of rechargeable batteries, they would not hold a charge.  To replace them, I purchased battery operated lights that had a four hour timer. These have been in my yard for over a month and are still working well.
  • Drill with metal drill bit.
  • Support to hold battery case inside the watering can.
  • GorillaWeld epoxy
  • Brass wire
  • Shepherd’s Hook

Steps:

International Cat Day!

In honor of the day, I thought I would post some photos of my feline friends.

Our first cat, Squigglez, enjoyed 14 years in our house. This was much longer than we expected to have him. Shortly after adopting him, he was diagnosed with the cat version of Ehlers-danlos syndrome. EDS a connective tissue disorder that is caused by a genetic defect in the production of collagen. This weakens the skin, gastrointestinal system and heart. The average lifespan of a cat with EDS is five years. Even the slightest scratch can damage and tear the skin of affected animals, leading to scarring. Heart failure is the usual cause of death.  Amazingly, his heart remained strong, but sadly his GI system was too fragile and deteriorated with age.  But, we had many more years with him than we expected.

About a year later, we adopted another cat.  Comet was a really young kitten that was abandoned in the ditch near a friends farm.

My second son, Sam, adopted him as his own. Comet was incredibly playful and loved to run around – thus the name!

Comet also got along with everyone, human or pet.  Both Squigglez and Duke (our Yorkie who past away a few months ago) would allow him to eat and sleep near them.  That’s saying a lot because both of them were very independent and did not get along with any of our other pets.

Eleven years ago, Comet got out of the house one night. Now this wasn’t too unusual for him. Comet loved to roam the woods behind our house when it was dark outside. Usually around 5:30 am I would be awakened by him meowing as he walked through the front yard asking me to let him in. Unfortunately, one morning he never returned. We searched the neighborhood and contacted Eagan Animal Control, but he was not to be found.  Every Monday and Friday I would go by the South Metro Humane Society to see if he may have been taken there.  After six weeks, he was not to be found.

img_3203Each time I stopped at the Humane Society, I would spend some time in the cat room playing with the kittens.  After six weeks, I had fallen for one of the kittens that was really affectionate.  I decided I would adopt her.  However, this was early October and I was told that the Humane Society policy was not to adopt out black cats the weeks before Halloween (apparently there are some people that have done evil and cruel things to black cats at that time of the year).  Sadly, I left without her but I would return and visit her several times a week.  My plan was to adopt her after Halloween to take her home.  Luckily about a week before Halloween, the staff decided that I was not going to harm her and allowed me to adopt her earlier than I had anticipated.

IMG_5018

img_3855

 

Onyx has since become my constant companion.  She is close by me almost all the time.  In fact, as I write this posting, she is sitting right next to my computer!  Of course, she is sitting on the computer case because it is the softest thing near me.

 

img_3854

Hopefully we have several more years to enjoy her companionship!

 

Dyed Fabric Strip Quilt

IMG_3010

One of my original posts on this blog was about fabric dyeing (Sept 22, 2015).   At that time, I mentioned that I had watched a Craftsy class about dyeing fabric.  Before jumping in and buying numerous colors of dye and supplies, I decided to try a sample kit.
The purchased a gradation dyeing kit which was a smart decision.  This kit gave me the opportunity to try my hand at mixing dyes to get different colors, as well as working with low volumes and how to best handle the fabrics.
The first color kit I purchased was “STONES & SHELLS”. Stones&Shells
Colors included were: Camel 5181, Old Rose 5220 & Stormy Grey 6160
Following the directions, I created thirty fat eights in a gradation of earth tones.  While the samples were fun to make, I had no idea what to use them for.  So,  these pieces of fabric have been sitting on my shelf waiting for some inspiration.  Earlier this year when I was doing some strip quilting, I decided that a strip quilt might be a good use of these fabric as well.
To add some pops of color, I dyed three fat quarters of cotton fabric using a variety of techniques – marbling, sun dyeing and batch dyeing.  For the sides and the backing, I dyed a three yard piece of 108″ wide cotton with a evergreen dye.
The gradation fabrics were cut into 2.5″ x 20″ strips.  These were then sorted by color and then   The green pops of color were cut into 2 1/2″ x 5 1/2″ pieces.  The strips were then sewn together with dark green on each side.  After sorting the gradation fabrics, I split them into three groups and pieced starting with the first color of each group.  This allowed for the fabrics to be distinct rather than blending from one gradient to the next.
The quilt top was then put together using my long-arm machine just like a did with the black strip quilt earlier this year (May 8, 2019).
Another fun quilt to donate.  And, more fabric used from my stash!

World Emoji Day

We’ve all seen and used them. The ever present emoji, especially in social media communications.

Well, today is a day to use them even more. It’s World Emoji Day!

So, our office decided to have some fun. Each member of our team picked out an emoji. Then, using my Silhouette Cameo cutter, I digitized and cut out heat transfer vinyl to iron the emojis onto T-shirts.

Here are a few close ups of the T-shirts:

And a couple group pictures:

img_3771

img_3772

img_3770

Fused Glass Turtle

img_3091.jpgWaste Not, Want Not – that is my approach to my crafts. I just hate to throw away fabric, yarn, glass, or anything that could potentially be used in another project.  That’s why I have baskets of small pieces of fabric scraps, drawers of larger pieces of fabric, other drawers of yarn, embroidery supplies and beads.  I even save small pieces of batting because I never know when I might need only a bit.

In my glass room, I save all my glass scraps as well.  I even save my failed projects, things that crack or just don’t turn out the way I wanted.  These failed projects are given new life with pot melting.  These pot melts are really cute made into  mushrooms, of which I have made numerous.  Running out of people to give mushrooms to, I really needed to find another idea for using pot melts.

For the past  year, I have had three different pot melt circles sitting on a shelf in my glass studio waiting for me to come up with an idea.  When making the glass centipede for my garden, I finally had a bit of inspiration.  I was looking at clip art pictures of different garden animals and insects and saw a cartoon of a turtle.  Looking at the image, I thought that the shell of the turtle could be made out of a pot melt circle.

So, a new project – fused glass turtle!

Materials
Green COE 96 1/2″ pebbles, 2 pieces
Black COE 96, 12″ x 18″
Castalot Glass Mold Material, 3 cups mixed with water according to directions
Cardboard box for forming mold
Exacto Knife for shaping mold
Copper end caps, 1/2″, 2 pieces
Copper pipe, 1/2″ x 1 3/4″
E6000 Adhesive, clear and black

IMG_3088

Steps:

1. Pot melt a 7″ circle of glass. Slump over a bowl shape. Since I already had some of these, I used what I had.  In the future, I probably would not have fused the white pebbles onto the pot melt.  But, since I had already done this, I used what I had.

Turtle

2. Draw a turtle outline on paper and trace onto clear plastic.  Cut two pieces of black glass  from the turtle pattern.

If you want to replicate this idea, I am providing the turtle pattern.  Print out the photo, making sure that your printer is calibrated to the 1″ box on the pattern.

IMG_3603

 

 

3. Full fuse the two pieces of black glass.

4. Contour fuse eyes to the head piece.

TurtleMold5. Create a slumping mold.

Again, I am providing an outline of the mold.  If you want to make one, the mold is 1″ thick.

 

IMG_3639

6. After allowing the material to set for an hour, remove the cardboard and use an Exacto Knife to carve the edges of the pattern smooth. Allow to dry overnight and then fire according to the directions on the package.  Coat the mold with several coats of Primo Primer Kiln Wash.

IMG_3640

 

7. Place your turtle shape over the mold.  Slump the shape according to your kiln settings.

 

IMG_37568. Using the black E6000, adhere one end cap in the center of the back of the turtle and allow to set over night.  Meanwhile, run a thin bead of clear E6000 along the edge of the turtle shell and allow this to also set over night.  This bead will provide a cushion between the shell and the body of the turtle to avoid having glass against glass that could cause breakage.

9. Cut a piece of copper pipe the height of the slumped pot melt. Generally you want the  turtle shell to light rest against the turtle body.  Insert this pipe into the cap on the turtle back.  Add a copper cap to the top end of the pipe.  Place black E6000 on the copper cap and adhere the turtle shell to the copper.  Note that the copper pipe is not glued or secured to the copper caps.  This will allow you to take apart the turtle a wrap it for save winter storage.  Allow the adhesive to set overnight and your turtle will be ready to invade your garden.

IMG_3089

img_3090.jpg

 

 

Happy Independence Day!

In honor of Independence Day, I decided to post a few Patriotic Crafts.

Red, White and Blue Quilt donated to Quilts of Valor

IMG_2806

A quilt given to a foreign exchange student to remind him of his time spent in the USA:

IMG_2768

A woven scarf:

img_3734

And, some Raspberry & Blueberry Scones:

img_3733

Raspberry-Blueberry Scones
Makes 6 scones
1 cup  flour
1 Tbs baking powder
1/4 cup granular sugar
1/4 cup butter, cold, cut into pieces
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 Tbs dehydrated blueberries
1/4 cup white chocolate chips
2 Tbs freeze dried raspberries, cut in half

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Combine flour, baking powder and sugar.  Cut in butter (a mini food processor works really well).  Add milk and vanilla.  The batter will be very crumbly but should hold together when pressed into a ball (add a small amount of milk if necessary).  Mix in berries and chips.  Divide into six scones.  Bake at 375 degrees for 15-18 minutes.  Drizzle with glaze (optional).

 

 

Flower Power

I love this time of year, the temperatures are nice, the days are long and there are few bugs so far.  But mostly, I love the flowers.  And, right now, my yard is lovely.  So, I decided to take some photos today.

Warning, photographic overload!

IMG_3055IMG_3056IMG_3057IMG_3058IMG_3059IMG_3060IMG_3061

After taking some general photos, I decided to play around with the Macro setting on my camera.  I need some more practice, but I had fun doing this.

Lest you think everything in my yard looks great, I thought I would also show the large patch of lawn that I am trying to repair.  Hopefully in a few more weeks the grass will fill in better.

IMG_3062