Saturday, April 3, 2010

More Garden Art

I was over looking at Emelie's blog and her newest lovely picture when she made mention of a weather vane and it reminded me that I still had a few more pictures I could show for now. These are just some pictures of more garden art features.
This is the gate into the front yard and the taller gate is to the back door and yard.
It was due for a over-haul last year and it didn't get done....maybe this Summer I can re-paint and tidy it up again. What I really need is a new gate and fence! I wouldn't need the taller gate/fence to the back but because we have a tiny doggy, it keeps her from running out into the driveway.

Not the best picture, I had better ones, but lost all the pictures in a computer incident because someone (who me?) didn't back everything up correctly. Anyway, the wind was whipping around as I tried to get this picture of my little Caged fairy who flutters around in her cage hanging off the arbor.

And this is just a little gnome watching over the flower bed. He's a content little guy. The old window was retrieved from a friend and it marks the end of a pathway and the 'window' into the flowers.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Yard stuff

I'm always waiting for Spring and then when it arrives I'm impatient for the flowers and greenery to appear. Once it does appear, I start to lament that it'll be short lived and darn Winter will come too fast! I want to place a huge bubble over the yard to preserve and keep the prettiness and warmth all year long!!
Here's some pictures from last year showing what I'm longing for:

This is another totem....I covered a bowling ball with mirror tiles and it's sitting on a glass punch bowl with crystal dangles. I sprayed the inside of the bowl with stained glass paint for color.

This was a old pump from my family's Hunting camp in the U. P. of Michigan. My dad was going to throw it away!! I think not!! I left the paint on it just as it was at camp for years and years.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Bird House

I might as well make up for those days I didn't post and do a twofer today! I finished revamping the bird house and it's outside waiting for Mr. Wren to appear. It replaced a blue bird house that now needs to be revamped, too. I painted the blue bird house in 2003 and it has now worn away most of the paint. So it's next in line; maybe. Might be faster and less work just to work on a new house waiting to be done so I don't have to the dreaded sanding and stuff. I'm a stickler about prep work but I hate doing it.
These aren't great pictures of the bird house but good enough. I decided not to take time to paint and mainly used stamps and just filled in with color. Not a major piece of work, but it was fun. I'm sure the birds won't notice the mistakes.


I went outside yesterday and tried to take some pictures of the totems. It was so windy that it was hard as everything was blowing and swaying. I went out at the wrong time of the day, too, and I'm not the most camera savvy. Several of these Totems have been outside in the garden for 4 years and a couple just for 2 years. But they stay out there all year, we just bag them for the winter. So far none of the glass has cracked from freezing! They get dirty from the dusty dirt and dried rain but from a distance you can't tell. LOL! The birds, esp. the hummingbirds just love perching on the top of the totems. At the beginning of Spring I go out with a soft brush and give them a little TLC, maybe replace any baubles that came loose. I haven't done that yet, so these pics are the Totems after a long Summer and the Winter's nap. I've only ever had 1 to break and that was because when DH was snow blowing the blast of snow hit the same spot each time and it finally broke but it just came apart at a glued seam. He fixed it last Spring but last Winter broke it again so it's not there now. It'll get fixed again and set out in a new location! I also have some colored wine bottles that I decorate and put on stakes but they aren't out yet.

This one is 2 years old. It was a test to see what would happen if I set it close to the street. I wasn't sure if it would come up missing or someone might decide to have target practice with it. One never knows. But she still stands there in one piece! So I think you can see how this is made except for the very bottom that isn't showing. They all start with the same cheap flower vase as a base to start building on. This flower vase fits over a copper pipe which sets in the ground about a foot or bit more deep. You decide how tall you want the totem, you can set it close to the ground or raise it up. This one is nearly 1 1/2 feet off the ground. You can also forget the vase & pipe and start with a heavy bigger base and set it directly on the ground, building a shorter totem. Totems can be 2 or 3 pieces or however many pleases you.
You can see the sequence of building the Totem. Usually I start with a wide and heavier piece on the vase bottom to start to give it balance. Not always....depends on how tall I think I might be going. This starts with the plate (usually, upside down so as not to catch water and debris), I glued marbles on the plate, a bowl over the plate, a very thin glass vase that I spray painted inside for color, a clear stemware glass, a candy canister also spritzed with paint for a hint of color, a candle holder, a fluted glass shade (also painted), a crystal ashtray, a bud vase, another candle holder and a Fairy on top so she can watch over the yard! The paint used was stained glass spray and then spritzed with Mess off spray to make it run and just leave a tint. Some might have a frosted spray. Click for a bigger picture.

I managed to crop off the top of this but it really doesn't matter. This is 4 years old and needs a good cleaning and maybe some baubles, which were pink acrylic cubes, replaced. This a plant pot base started on the vase, then a big black fluted flower vase (upside down), then a decorative etched plate (14 k gold!) left up to show the design and so it stays dirty, a Kahlua bottle from Mexico, a candle cup and topped with another iron candle holder. The pink acrylic cubes were mounded in the top and several glued on down the pieces to make look like they were falling out. The metallic pieces are from jewelery I had laying around. He wears one dangly earring but you can't see it too well in this picture.

This is 2 years old. This is a amber pie plate, a bowl, a liqueur bottle, amber stemware, smaller amber stemware, bowl, tiki vase, ruffled light shade and a glass bottle stopper on top.

This is getting old and was one of the 1st. It's a bit lop-sided. The top I had on it, weathered and I replaced it with a heavy fairy and didn't get it set straight to balance. Oh well, she still sits there!! This starts with a crystal lamp base (hardware removed), a frosted lamp shade, a crystal vase, a ruffled candy dish, candle holder and a Fairy. It did have dangly earring hanging off the candy dish but they have rusted and fallen off. She's about a foot or so off the ground.

This one is old also. By now you can look and see the what the different pieces are. In the early morning the sun hits this one and shines through the green glass, lighting it up!

This is the fav of most people and was the 1st or 2nd Totm I did. It was named Pearly Blue because I did have strands of pearls looped from each tier. I just took them off as they were too weathered now. The blue glass plates are a set of 3 footed cake plates! The delft bottle on top is a liquer bottle and there's a glass bluebird perched on top. ( I bought the set of tiered cake plates for my mom at a rummage sale....she never got them! See what happens when you start doing these creatures?)
As you can see, our snow is just barely gone and so yard work and raking hasn't happened.  By July the Totems are mixed in with the flowers.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Rainbow of Glass

The last 2 years at Summer's end, I said I wasn't going to worry with flower gardening or do any more garden / yard art. The flowers could just go wild and tend to their selves and as the rest weathered and died, then that was the end.
Well, that's what I say towards Fall when I'm tired of the yard and just want to sit and not do the work any longer. It's a terribly lot of work up here for maybe 2 1/2 months of flowers, if it's a good year. Trying to grow a actual big juicy red tomato is a chore in it's self!
But, with that being explained, now it's SPRING and there's hope and wonders to come in the air, the SUN comes more often and with it is the dreams of lush colorful gardens and soft green lawns. Well, ok, so maybe that's in the garden magazines, but one can dream of all the lushness. My yard and flowers are more willy nilly, I'm not a gardener, I plant and then hope it grows! My flower beds roam along a rustic fence line that curves along the front and side of the house. I don't mind mowing but I much prefer flowers, so the more flowers that go in, the less mowing there is to do! A whole yard of flowers and pathways with no grass would be fine with me. Anyway, I call what I have a Fairy garden, full of fairies, sprites, creatures here and there and always maybe a surprise waiting hidden among the rocks or plants.....maybe hanging from a limb. Butterflies and birdies, toads and lightening bugs abound. One must have wind chimes, not just one but a whole chorus chiming away with the chirping of birds and twittering Fairies!
I used to do a lot of wood cut-outs for displays but pretty much gave up on that mostly for lack of space to do that sort of work. Now I do smaller things that I can do inside the house or at least on the deck. I said I was going to stop all that stuff, too! Of course, I love bird houses, too!
Then, I went shopping with a friend on Saturday to my favorite little store that has tons of pretty glass! First, we stopped in a small Goodwill store, where I was just going to look through the books right quick. I did find a great little trilogy set of paperback books good for art and maybe even to read, first. Then I made the mistake of wandering to the next aisle and there was a perfect piece of glass beckoning to me. When I grabbed it, it had friends there, nearby, calling my name, too. I left there with 1 set of books and 2 bags of glass! So, on to the store we meant to go to.....a hour later I pushed a cart full of a rainbow of glass items to the check out. It took the gal checking me out to get through half of the glass before she finally had another checker looking over her shoulder and she asked "what in the world am I going to do with all this glass?" So I was explaining what I do with it and she was amazed as I did a small demo with a few pieces. There were oooh's and aaaah's all over! Then we came to the last item in the cart buried under the glass, 2 packages of napkins! They have colorful birthday candles on them, so she says, Oh, someone is having a birthday! I say, nope, at least not at the moment but these napkins are to be used for mixed media / collage art or mail art when there is a birthday. Now she just gives me the "ya, right" look. Soooo, I explain a bit about separating the napkin layers and using bits of napkin in a art piece. There were gasps of delight from the small crowd that gathered to see the crazy lady with boxes of glass and 2 little packages of napkins and stories to tell on what to do with these items.
So what do I do with the glass? Totems! Totems for the garden, made of mostly stacked glass. I said I wasn't, but it's Spring and rows of colored glass get me excited! If you catch on to doing totems, it's like all the other altered arts or mixed media; anything and everything is looked at as a possible art piece and nothing in your house is safe. Hide the antiques because Grandma's crystal sure would sparkle out there in the sunlight amid the flowers!! But I have other art projects and lessons waiting and I have Sharon's faces calling to me....and now there's glass and SUNSHINE and warmer temps!!
Here's what awaits me on the table. It all has to be washed and labels removed before using, of course. I hate that part! Good thing we never eat at the table!! I just finally had it all cleared for 1 whole day because I needed to use it for something else. Ha! Here's my table now:

Isn't it all just luscious? And don't for one second think that this is all I have. Ha! I have 4 plastic totes that will now be hauled out of storage to mix and match with this new load. Because, you just never ever have just the right piece or color that you have to have to make a perfect totem! Like art supplies or books, you need more and more! I'll do a 2nd post to show what this rainbow of colors becomes.