Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Coronado Flowers

Tis the season for Spring Garden Tours.
My mom and I love going to different home tours and getting inspiration and ideas.

Last weekend we drove out to Coronado to see their Flower Show (I even got a later shift at work so we could go).
The plant sale started at 7am, and the paper said the show started at 10am, so we got there right about opening time.
We were surprised to find the show closed off, saying judging was going on, and the show wouldn't open until 1pm.
Um, wtf?

We couldn't wait around since I had to work in the afternoon, so instead of calling the day a bust, we got a program from the library and cruised around a few of the streets looking at home gardens.

Several home gardens had received blue ribbons for their designs.
I especially am attracted to plants with contrasting color and texture placed next to one another.
Sometimes a dark foliage is shocking next to a pale one, or a bold leaf can add a sculptural component.

I am definitely going to incorporate this stone path idea, with its organic lines, into my own garden

Bird of Paradise always reminds me of my grandmother's garden

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Monday, April 25, 2011

Michelle's Candle Tray

Yet another old project dusted off and finished.

I posted about the candle tray I mosaic-ed for my friend Michelle way back in 2005.
I had the same problem as I described before, with the glue not holding up.

I took a metal tray that I purchased at a thrift store, mosaic-ed using Coca-Cola themed broken plates, and embellished with bottlecaps, marbles, and mini bottles.

So I finally re-glued some of the mini Coke bottles and marbles.
You can't even see the pic I posted earlier, so these are much better.
Michelle, obviously, is a collector of Coca-Cola memorabilia.

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Monday, April 18, 2011

Jen's Mosaic-ed Plant Pot. Finally.

I'm determined to finish some old projects this year.
I started a mosaic on a plant pot for my friend Jen way back in 2005.
Oh my gosh, I finally finished it!

Way back then, I had started out using a couple different construction grades of PL glue that are used with a caulking gun, but they were too heavy duty and too messy.
Also too hard to remove if I had any excess.

I switched over to Liquid Nails for Small Projects to hold all the extra decorative trinkets.
When I grouted, however, the grout just knocked all the trinkets off.
I did some research on glue, and reviews suggested Weldbond.
Unfortunately, I had the same problem--the decorative items just wouldn't stick.
So frustrating!
I got so annoyed that I just wrapped up the projects and stashed them away.

Finally, I think I've solved the problem.
E6000 seems to actually hold, and it dries clear.
I'm crossing my fingers it lasts.
So far so good.

This pot started out when Jen bought a condiment tray in Mexico, and broke it even before she got it home.
I asked her if I could have the pieces, and I made her this pot as a surprise for her birthday (that I um, stashed away until now).
I used garden imagery throughout.

I also used other broken plates, broken pottery, and I embellished with pebbles, rocks, tumbled stones, marbles, half-marbles, jewelry, metal pins, coins, and buttons.
See the coin on the right? (click on the photos to enlarge)
There are three butterflies--two pins, and one that had been part of a plant pot.

I love the caterpillar on the mug handle, and the frog face.
There are three ladybugs.
I enjoy working in layers, and I love the three dimensional quality, versus just thinking in terms of pieces being flat.

Jen loves frogs, so there are three different frogs on this pot--this gold brooch, the green face that was a pitcher, and a small ceramic one that had been on a vase.
The dragonfly is a large button.
Note some of the additional broken plates include more sunflowers.
I think the large leaves may have been part of Jen's original item.
I added another mug handle, this time a solid blue, both to counter-balance the one on the opposite side, and to add fun to the design.

The little caterpillar figurine is by Hagen Renaker, and is one of my favorite embellishments on the pot.
There are three watering cans (or parts of) on the piece--the silver one was a pin, the small white spout below was a figurine, and the large blue spout was on a vase.
Note the ceramic rose, and there's the froggie.
See the ceramic stem with thorns? What an awesome find that was! (that was thrifted, but I did purchase some embellishments on ebay. Most of the other plates used I already had in my stash).
The small silver sunflowers are buttons
The large silver sunflower is a brooch.
The little gray bird is from a larger figurine, if I remember correctly. This is one of three birds on the piece.
The three dimensional piece is part of one of the condiment trays of the original piece Jen purchased--a blue-glazed pottery with a sunflower design, it featured of six (or was it four?) trays that grouped together side by side to form a circle.

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Friday, April 01, 2011

Geez, I finally sewed something again

I finally dusted off my sewing machine and made a gift bag for a friend's birthday.
(Jen, if you're reading this, look least until I give this to you this weekend!)

I first came across this gorgeous grape fabric by Martha Negley for Westminster Fabrics.
Jen is a wine aficionado, so I figured she might like this.
Initially I just thought I'd make a simple drawstring bag, but my projects always tend to get more complicated, so I decided to make the Slouchy Yard Bag (tutorial on Lazy Daisy Cottage).

That meant another trip to the fabric store to find more designs in the Autumn Medley fabric line, and I ended up liking this Bright Mix even more.
So the grape fabric that started me on this project became the lining

I got the grape vines in the green colorway (it's called Burst Twigs) for the interior pockets.

I decided to use a wide purple satin ribbon for the handles.
I'm hoping maybe she can reuse the bag for light shopping.

Inside, my favorite gift to give friends right now: a soy candle from Bottlehood.
Bottlehood is a San Diego company that takes trash (bottles from restaurants, bars, etc) and cuts them into reusable bowls, vases, pendants, goblets, lamps, and candles.
They also make flattened bottles into cheese boards and spoon rests.
Eventually they hope to even turn glass into countertops.

They use unusually shaped bottles, and/or bottles with permanent designs (etched designs versus paper labels).
Most of the bottles are rather manly designs, like Stone Pale Ale's Arrogant Bastard.
But I love the harder-to-find Dolce wine bottle for feminine gifts, with its gold swirls and cascading grapes
I love supporting recycled projects, mom and pop businesses, and local businesses.
Bottlehood sells at San Diego Farmer's Markets, and also have a shop on Etsy.

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