Copper yard art for hidden animal repellent.

img_2345Our neighborhood is called “The Woodlands” and, true to the name, has a lot of trees.  Along with the trees come wildlife – squirrels, rabbits, deer and even a rafter of turkeys.  Over the years, I have learned what plants I can and cannot plant to avoid the damage caused by these animals.

This year, we have several additions to the neighborhood wildlife – triplet fawns and about a dozen baby turkeys.  While these young animals are really cute, they do like to eat plants, even ones that the full grown animals have learned they should stay away from.

Two motion sensing sprinklers have helped to chase the turkeys out of the backyard.  However, the fawns treat the sprinkler as a play toy, each taking turns triggering the spray while the others run and jump in the water.  Luckily I found an ultrasonic repellent that the fawns do not like.  So, in addition to the sprinklers, I have added one of these in my back yard. My backyard plants are now safe and are reviving.

Unfortunately, my front yard has not been so lucky.  The baby turkeys nibble away at any plant they see.  I have tried several different spray animal repellents but without success.  These young turkeys seem to like to eat anything!

While the motion sensing sprinkler did work for the turkeys in the backyard, I did not want to set this up in my front yard because it would spray anyone delivering packages to the house.  I tried the ultrasonic deterrent, but the setting that worked for the turkeys was audible to the human ear and quite annoying.

A few years ago, when I planted apple and pear trees in my back yard, I had read that most animals do not like the smell of Irish Spring soap. At the time, I cut a bar of soap into four pieces, tied the pieces in an old nylon and hung them in the trees to keep deer from damaging the new trees.  This seemed to work well at the time.  My trees are large enough now that I no longer have to worry about the deer eating them.img_2341

 

With the plant damage I was experiencing in my front yard, I decided to try the Irish Spring soap to keep the animals out of my flower beds.  I tied a piece soap in a nylon and hung in in various places in my flower beds.  This really seemed to work.  The young turkeys and deer were no longer eating my flowers and plants.

img_2334Unfortunately, I did not like the way the nylons looked and wanted to find a better way to place the soap pieces.  In my garden shed, I had some old copper pipe.  I just needed to make or find something to add to the end of a pipe that could hold the soap. After much thought, I came up with the idea to add a copper “flower”.

714gHanvLIL._SL1000_I purchased a rain chain made of copper lotus flowers, separated the chain into individual flowers, added a copper cap to the end of a 2 foot piece of pipe and soldered one flower to the cap.  The other end of the pipe was hammered flat, the pipe was pushed into the dirt and a piece of soap (1/8 bar) was added to the center of the flower.

Now I have a decorative way to keep the animals away from my flowers. And, the soap is creating a nice verdigris affect to the  copper.img_2344

 

Suncatchers for year-round flowers

Another gift recently given was to my younger brother.  He grows Dahlias in the summer and they are gorgeous.

Living in Wisconsin, these beautiful blooms are only around at his house for a few months each year.  With his birthday coming up, I thought I would make him some sun catchers to bring some color to the winter months.

The background was a single sheet of clear glass, with strips of the same glass used as the hanger.  The stems were green noodles, the leaves were scraps of transparent green glass, and the flowers were various sizes of glass frit.  The project was fired following a Contour Fuse schedule.  Quick and easy project with a lovely outcome.

Fused Glass Daisy

IMG_2127Last week’s post reminded me that I have not posted about a another four pane glass project that I created for my sewing room.  This project was ultimately inspired by two different items.

multicolored daisy

The first was an image of flowers that I saw when looking for ideas to embellish for one of my landscape quilts.  The image was a collection of four canvases each with a white daisy painted on a different colored background.  I really liked this and thought it would make a good glass project.  However, since I had just finished my four seasons tree (shown at the end of my previous post),  I wanted to try something other than four panels side by side.

White DaisyAbout that same time, I received a birthday card from a friend.  This card had only part of a daisy printed on it.  This gave me inspiration for how to display my daisy idea – four corners in different colors.

IMG_2423I found a four section frame at Michael’s that looked like a window. After purchasing it, I removed the hardware and spray painted it white.

Since the leaves were green and the center of the daisy was yellow, I decided to use the other colors of the rainbow for the background (orange, purple, red and blue).  Originally I was considering hanging the project in a window, so the background glass is transparent. When the project was finished, I realized that it would look better hung on the wall.  The transparent glass still looked really nice even though no light is shining through it. Maybe someday I will add some back lighting to it.

For each background, I cut two pieces of glass the size of the individual window pane – one piece of clear glass and one piece of colored transparent glass.  These were fused together using a Full Fuse schedule.

The daisy petals were cut from white opaque glass.  To add texture to the center of each petal, I sprinkled almond colored opaque glass fine frit down the center of each petal.  The petals were Heat Polished (maximum temperature 1300) to round the edges.

The leaves were cut from Uroboros glass – Oasis Green on Dark Green. Each leaf was scored with a curve near the middle and split into two halves.  The resulting pieces were then Heat Polished.

One set of leaf pieces and three daisy petals were placed on each background and Contour Fused.  The center of each daisy was Tack fused and each pane was secured to the frame with E6000 adhesive.  Due to the size of project, each color pane required four separate fusings for a total of sixteen kiln cycles.

Very colorful addition to the wall of my sewing room!

Fused Glass Sun Catchers

I’m playing with glass again!

I have read that it is best to put glass on a kiln shelf to make sure that the temperature around the glass is as uniform as possible. But, I have a small kiln with a bit over 4 inches of height, making using a kiln shelf only possible for fusing flat. Also, I have been wondering if I can “double up” and flat fuse a couple items at the same time, one on the floor of the kiln and one on an elevated kiln shelf.

To test the effects of location in the kiln, I decided to make some sun catchers for my sewing room.  After cutting the glass pieces, I compiled one sun catcher on the floor of the kiln. Then the kiln shelf was elevated above it on 1″ posts. Two more sun catchers were put together on the shelf. The glass was fused following a contour fuse schedule. I selected contour fuse because I wanted the glass pattern be more distinct and crisp than full fuse would create. Also, I thought this temperature would better show if any differences would result from the location in the kiln.

What a learned was that placing glass directly on the kiln floor caused the glass to reach a higher temperature.

The sun catcher fused on the floor of the kiln was closer to full fused and lost much of its defined lines. Still pretty, however. 

The two sun catchers fired on the kiln shelf were truly contour fused – defined glass edges but nicely smoothed. 

These are now hanging in my sewing room window. I think I may actually make some more soon for the other window in the room.

Garden Art – Fused glass flowers and butterflies. 

I’ve recently shared some of my art projects for my gardens. Over the years I have enjoyed making several other projects. This year, having to  redo a worn out front yard (retaining walls and plantings), I am relocating some of my older pieces of art.

So, I decided to post a few pictures of some flowers and butterflies that I made in the past.

Enjoy the images!

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Spring Has Sprung!

It’s April, the birds are singing outside my window, the bulbs are coming up in my gardens and the grass is starting to get green.  So, it’s time to change the decor in my bedroom – a new Daisy Bed runner really added some springtime color.

 

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To make this bedrunner, I used the leftover blue fabric from the backing of my butterfly quilt as the main background.  To supplement the blue, I took out some of my custom dyed fabric samples, generally ones that were trials on different dyeing techniques. For added color, I decided to try out some fabric paint crayons.

A few years ago, I took a class on Shiva Paintsticks and Rubbing Plates.  I enjoyed the class and purchased some supplies.  However, time being in short supply, I really hadn’t used them since completing the class.

This project, I thought would be a good use of the paintsticks to embellish the fabrics that I had in my collection. After a day of painting, I set the fabrics aside for a week to allow the oils in the dye crayons to dry.  The dye pigment was then heat set by ironing the fabric between pieces of brown paper (absorbs the excess oils very nicely).  The resulting fabrics were really interesting.

Triangles were cut out of the fabrics and the border was then made by alternating triangles of blue and color.

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To enhance the bedrunner, daisies and leaves were appliqued onto the center panel. The runner was quilted and the binding added.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Window on My World – quilting and hand embroidery. I’m done!

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After hours of quilting and hand embroidery, I have finished my lanscape quilt. I am very pleased with the result. Hopefully when I look at it, I won’t find something that I want to change.

Each season has lots to look at – animals, plants, etc.  It really does look like my backyard.

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Winter / Midnight
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Spring / Sunrise

 

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Summer / Midday

 

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Autumn / Sunset

 

Some of the details:

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Our first dog, a German Shorthair Pointer named Striker, and some hand embroidered flowers.
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One of our first cats, Comet, who liked to climb trees, and some more flowers.
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Our yorkie, Duke, barking an our cat, Onyx.  Onyx is always trying to get up and away from him.
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Our oldest cat, Squigglez, who will be thirteen years old this summer, does enjoy wondering in the yard in the summertime.
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Having a heavily wooded yard and lots of plants, we have lots of wildlife that visit.