One Smile Gala

The Minnesota Dental Foundation held their annual One Smile Gala last Friday evening.  The gala was an evening raising funds for the Foundations outreach to the under served in the state.  It was a fun evening seeing colleagues and friends from around the state.

The vision of the Minnesota Dental Foundation is to eliminate unmet oral health needs in Minnesota. The Foundation raised over $1M in 2018.  These funds were used for the Minnesota Mission of Mercy, Give Kids a Smile, and several other programs.

Along with attending the gala, I also donated a few glass items to the silent auction.

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These garden flowers were well liked and raised a couple hundred dollars for the foundation.  Perhaps next year I will do some other glass garden art for the auction.

 

 

 

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:

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

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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.

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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.

 

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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.

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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.

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Glass Centipede

IMG_3635Centipedes (from Latin prefix centi-, “hundred”, and pes, pedis“foot”) are predatory arthropods belonging to the class Chilopoda of the subphylum Myriapoda, an arthropod group which also includes Millipedes and other multi-legged creatures. Centipedes are elongated metameric creatures with one pair of legs per body segment. They are found in an array of terrestrial habitats from tropical rainforests to deserts. Accordingly, they are found in soil and leaf litter, under stones and dead wood, and inside logs.

Okay, enough with the scientific definition.  According to a patient I saw this week, a centipede is a “creepy crawly bug with a lot of legs”.  Gotta love working with kids!!

Cartoon

 While looking at ideas on-line, I saw a cartoon of a centipede and thought that this might be a fun idea for a glass project. 

My first idea was to fuse copper wire between sections of glass.  This idea didn’t go so well.  The glass was very fragile with the embedded wire.

So, instead, I decided to solder a framework (or exoskeleton, if you want the scientific term) for the centipede and then use a glass adhesive to secure glass sections to the framework.

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Materials
Green COE 96, 1″x1.5″, 16 pieces
Black COE 96 chips
Copper wire, 6 gauge
1″ (7 pieces)
6″ (7 pieces) with ends bent back
Copper foil tape, 1″ wide
1″ x 3/4″ (8 pieces)
E6000 Adhesive

Steps:

1. Position and solder copper wire and foil tape.  Bend the wire 1″ on each side of the framework to make legs, then bend each tip outward to make a flat surface to support the glass sections.  

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2. Full fuse two pieces of green glass with black glass chips.

3. Contour fuse eyes to the head piece.

IMG_36344. Adhere each piece of glass to the framework.

This new bug can now be found in my front yard flower garden crawling among the daylillies.

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One Smile !

Generic-OneSmile-logo-Outlines-652x256Tonight is the Minnesota Dental Foundation annual fundraiser gala. The vision of the Minnesota Dental Foundation is to eliminate unmet oral health needs in Minnesota. The foundation supports the Minnesota Mission of Mercy, Volunteered Dental Services, Give Kids and Smile, and many other programs.

The annual gala showcases the recent activities of the Foundation and highlights the organizations that benefit from the work of the Foundation.

I’m looking forward to spending a nice evening with many professional colleagues and some of my business partners.

One of the activities at the gala is a silent auction.  You can preview the auction items at  www.qtego.net/qlink/mndental.

Normally I do not purchase any items in the auction.  At this point in life, I really don’t need more “stuff”.  But, I do support the auction by donating items.  This year, I donated two custom made items.

Fused glass serving plate with the MDF logo.

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Stepping stone with MDF logo.

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Hopefully these items will bring some nice bids.  Looking forward to a nice evening!

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

 

Glass Stepping Stones

While I was working on the redo of my front yard, I kept thinking that stepping stones leading to the stairs would be nice.  I shad seen some lovely ideas on-line that were made with glass and concrete.  I really liked them, but when I realized how much the glass would cost (over $100 for the number of stepping stone I would need), I decided I would skip making them.

Then, one day my sister-in-law texted me to say she was at a garage sale and the lady had a box of glass scraps for $5.  After asking, I found out that it was stained glass.  Unfortunately I can’t use stained glass for my fused glass projects (I have tried before and the glass melts poorly and has a dull, burnt look afterwards ).  But, then I realized that this glass might work for the stepping stones.  Not knowing what colors were in the box, I responded back to go ahead and buy the scraps – after all it was only $5.  If I couldn’t use the scraps that wasn’t too much of a waste.  But, if I can use it, that is a great deal for the glass.

When she dropped off the glass at my home, I was amazed at how much glass was there. The box has many colors and held over $200 worth of glass.  So, I decided to try making one stepping stone to see if I liked how it turned out.

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Circular mold with stones attached to contact paper

IMG_2390The first one I made was a circular stone.  After cutting the glass, I used contact paper to hold the glass pieces in place.  To hold the contact paper in the mold, I used spray adhesive. After mixing and carefully pouring the stepping stone concrete, I let the mold cure for two days. Unmolding was rather difficult, but once I did get the concrete out, I was really pleased with the result.

So, after numerous trips to Hobby Lobby to buy more concrete mix (using a 40% off coupon each time), I made a total of three large circular stones and seven square ones.

 

I still have a lot of  stained glass left over, so I may be trying some mosaic projects in the future.