Monday, November 21, 2011
I love surprises and my Dear Mother-in-Law, Elida is always coming up with some thoughtful little gift that makes me feel so special. On our visit to Michigan this summer for my husband's 40th high school class reunion I received this set of kitchen towels and dish cloths. In my kitchen I have double ovens and I like to decorate by hanging colorful towels for the season over the handles. So now I have a new set from my ovens and to make it even more special I took a piece of brown scrapbook paper and using a calligraphy marker wrote familia then from my ribbon collection I added a green bow and a large headed white pin to attach it to the towel. I now have a wonderful memory and decoration that will last all the way until time for Christmas decorations which are coming up this weekend.
Saturday, November 12, 2011
My Garden club, "Garden Path" and Art Club, "Art and Soul", recently in 2 seperate meetings got together and made these fabulous concrete dishes or bird feeders or bird baths (whatever you want to use them for).
Photo #1 shows three uncleaned bowls
Photo #2 shows a partially cleaned bowl
Photo # 3 shows a clean, unsealed bowl with 2 fall leaves posed on top, artsy :)
Photo # 4 shows a clean bowl and 2 uncleaned bowls
You are seeing unsealed bowls with the natural concrete color, this was my preference.
These were so much fun and really easy to do (because in each case we were fortunate to have one of our husbands mix the quickcrete) Thanks, Lester and David and Jason who did some clean up of the sand in the second batch! You guys so ROCK!
Here are some basic instructions in case you want to do this yourself and you can also google concrete leaf bird feeders.
You will need, leaves of the size dish you want to make, rubber gloves, play grade sand, quickcrete with gravel, and concrete dye if you want to tone your concrete. There are many colors available at your local hardware store where you can get all of these supplies but it is expensive in comparison to the other supplies. A wheelbarrow or big plastic tub to mix the crete in and a hoe to mix with. Water source. (right here is a good spot to find someone with muscles to mix the crete and clean up the tools after LOL).
I find being bent over to work is very hard on my back so having some sturdy folding tables to work on was great. Next make a domed pile of sand on your table, pat the pile firm, then keep checking to see if it is at least 4 inches of sand between the edge of your leaf and the table.
Place the leaf face down on the inverted bowl shaped sand. If the stem of your leaf sticks straight up and you do not want a drainage hole, clip it off at this point. Put on rubber gloves and scoop crete by the handfuls and smooth over your leaf. You want the crete to be a little over 1 inch thick. Keep adding concrete until your leaf is covered and has extend past the edges of the leaf about an inch. Smooth the concrete and add extra to make a base if you want. I did not add a base as my leaves were not that large but I did make sure that there was enough of a flat area built up so that my leaf would "sit" level.
Make as many as you have supplies for. Note - have all your sand mounds set up before you mix the concrete as you don't want it to set up before you are done. If you have done this outside (vs. your garage) then cover with trash bags or plastic and let sit for 48 hours. Rain was a real possibility and you don't want them to be rained on. After 48 hours you are ready to take the wire brush and clean them up, seal and or paint as you prefer.
Congratulations! You now have wonderful presents for your friends or special one-of-a-kind garden art. Now wasn't that easy?
more projects to come in the future so remember to check back in. Happy Fall!