Monday, June 30, 2008

Fresh as a Daisy

Recently a friend passed away. Several of us used to work with her and wanted to support her family and by going to her memorial service.

The next day, a friend asked me how were the services. While describing how lovely they were I reached into my purse, pulled out my digital camera, and said, "Look at the pictures I took."

My poor friend, KP, got that "deer in the headlight" look. I was slow in picking up the signals she was sending to me. For every step toward her I took she took two backing away from me. Finally I realized that she was afraid that I had taken pictures of the open coffin and was attempting to escape the horror that was coming toward her (and not so gracefully, I might say).
No, I reassured her, the flowers in the lobby were so beautiful I had to take a picture of them. This white and pink daisy was the size of a salad plate and I thought it was spectacular.

In loving memory to our friend, Donna Tuttle .

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Too Much Glue . . .

About one out of four of my hair-brained ideas turns out as well or better than I expected. When something flops I either throw it away or give it back to the Goodwill store for someone more creative than I to use.
Thomas Edison said that he never failed – he just found a few thousand ways NOT to make a light bulb. And now I know how not to make a cake/cookie stand.
I bought drinking glasses and plates from the Goodwill. It was my plan to glue them together to create pedestal serving pieces. I started with these. A clear glass and a lovely patterned see-through plate.

Pretty plate, isn't it.
The drinking glass seemed pretty plain and uninteresting to me so I stuffed some Easter-type grass that I had used to decorate on New Year’s Eve inside to glam it up. The grass is white with iridescent pink and blue highlights.

Never having worked with glass glue before and always assuming that more is better – I used a lot. After letting it set up for 24 hours I came back to this . . .

You can see the globs of glue through the glass, yuk.
Now I (and you) know not to use so much glue.
I have more plates and glass to experiment with so stay tuned for more.


Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Three Rs

Reduce – Recycle – Reuse
The previous owners of Quirky Cottage left a few pieces of furniture behind when they moved. We placed an ad on our local Freecycle site and quickly found new homes for them all. But I kept the patio table, rust and all, for a “some day” project.

In addition, many times over the past 7 or 8 years I’ve had an old patio table sun umbrella ready to send to the landfill just because I didn’t know what else to do with it and it had out-lived its welcome at my house. The cover was torn, faded and dirty. Some of the ribs were bent and long ago the stand that came with it had broken beyond repair and was tossed away.

A few weeks ago, while shopping at a Fred Myer’s, I saw some cloth-backed vinyl table cloths in red, yellow and green checks. The green one called to me and I put a round one in my shopping basket. And then I saw a vision of what could be and I bought four rectangle table cloths of the same kind and color.

After taking apart the table and spray painting it green, I scrubbed the glass top until it shined and put it all back together again.

I pried off the old umbrella cover (surprising how stubborn the thing was when most of it was already hanging lose) and using one of the panels as a pattern I cut 8 pieces out of the rectangles and sewed them together.

I was so paranoid that I would cut them too small that I gave myself way too much seam allowance and so the panels sag a bit. I’m assuming it won’t last more than a year anyway but if it should still look good next spring I’ll take it off and make it a little tighter.

So I proudly present my Recycled – Reused patio table and sun umbrella that cost less than $30. Oh, and to stabilize the bottom of the umbrella I used an old Christmas tree stand.


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Walk-about Wednesday

If there was a 12-step program for voyeurism I’d be the first in line to join. I can see it now – Hi, my name is Mrs.RGS and I like to snoop on my neighbors' homes. I love older houses and tend to stare at the details as I walk by them. Of course, since I live in the Pacific Northwest, an older home is anything that was built the day before yesterday. We barely have a hundred year history here and only recently moved out of our covered wagons. Here are two of my favorite houses in my neighborhood. Neither of them are big beautiful structure but they both have lots of interesting details.

This one fascinates me because of the use of the red gate against the purple of the body of the house. The yard is always so lovely.

The next house shows an extensive gardening project on a very small plot of land. The house was painted a couple of years ago and the color has faded a bit since. I just LOVE the fan element about the door and window. I would have never of thought of painting each slat a little lighter than the one before as they did. (the one over the door is less weathered)
Mrs.RGS (click on the photos to enlarge them)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Band Plays On!

Rich’s comment about making a planter out of his old trumpet made me envision an entire garden scattered with musical instruments as planters. What fun that would be. Surely I’m not the first to think of this. So I looked on the net to see if anyone had posted a photo of such a place. I didn't find exactly what I was thinking about but this fountain is fun, too.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Circus Clowns

The office where I work held their annual employee appreciation lunch and celebration last week. I am the office’s self-appointed head party decorator. This year’s party was done in a circus/carnival theme. While surfing the net for ideas we discovered a site that sold these posters for $150 each.

We are a state government office that has to work within a strict budget for this annual event and spending that much money on one item was beyond our limits. So I, being the adventurous copy-cat, said that I was sure I could make them for very little money.

I started out thinking that I would use the clown clip art as a guide to painting it onto cardboard. I began by going to my favorite appliance store. The minute I stepped across the threshold I realized that I should have been wearing horse blinders to keep from getting distracted by the wonderful new stoves, refrigerators and microwaves. I don't even like spending time in my kitchen but all that shinning, gleaming enamel and stainless steel insisted that linger -- but I managed to get all the way to the back counter where I asked if they had an empty refrigerator box that I could have. They did, and I went home to begin my project.

I enlarged the clip art clown and used PowerPoint to print out all the different pieces to complete the clown in black and white. As I was contemplating on what should be the next step it occurred to me that I was working too hard. If I were to print out the clowns in color I wouldn’t need to paint them and take the chance of them not looking quite as good as they could. Of course, stretching a clip art piece that much caused each pixel to be the size of a dime but surprisingly they didn’t look too bad as long as you were right up close to them. I used some black paint to give the outlines a little more definition.

Here are a couple of my co-workers enjoying the final product.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Piano Lives On . . .

On the way to the public library I had to take a detour due to a construction zone blocking my usual route. That's when I saw this surprising planter outside of a small downtown home.

I'm not sure if they have it tied down because they think someone might steal it or to keep it from falling over (more likely).

I just love the use of the moss!

Makes me wish I had an old piano, too!