Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Vine Ball Rescue with Wire!

Back in 2014 I made this vine ball for cheap, because I didn't want to buy
 one this size for $24!

It looked perfect in this aged, chipped urn planter for several years.

I made a base framework with wooden embroidery hoops and a thrift store grapevine garland. I soaked it in hot water and gently took it apart to make this ball.

I LOVED how it looked!

But now, 6 years later the vines are breaking down and the ball is looking really sad.
 Even spray painting it blue last year didn't save it.
So this year I decided to revamp it with WIRE, not vines,
 and I couldn't be happier with the results!

Hardware stores and building supplies have this roll of wire and 
even at our small town hardware it was only $4. 
It is called "tie wire" and is used to hold rebar together for cement projects.

 It is super easy to work with and did I mention CHEAP?

Here is that sad vine ball with about 20 wraps of tie wire. 
I cut the wire into four foot lengths to make it manageable.
 It took less than an hour to return the sad orb to an awesome ball once again.

I decided to spray paint the ball with the colors I had on hand...both sort of turquoise blue.

Then I made two more balls and painted them, too!

Then I stacked them into this awesome tower trellis The Welding Man made.

Ooooh! I like this alot!

And then I took a few lengths of wire and made this 
little tennis  ball size orb and painted it blue....

It's just perfect with those hot pink cosmos!

This was a pleasant afternoon's work, sitting in the sunshine. 
I'm getting more tire wire and see what else I can come up with!!

Wax Paper Capiz Shell Tabletop Chandelier

Pin ItI've been seeing lots of chandeliers made of faux capiz shells out in blogland
 with some made out of wax paper, plastic cups, laminated rice paper,
 even wax paper mod podged onto parchment paper.

I figured I can do that and so, I did!

 I chose a $2 thrist store tabletop lamp for the bookcase in our hallway.

And I love the way this came out!

It has a soft glow, great texture and a bit of movement when you walk by.
 Even The Welding Man likes it, he says it reminds him of a wedding dress. :o)

I took two lamp shades from my stash and removed the covers. I knew I wanted the rings to be larger at the top and smaller at the bottom. So I wired them together and even added another ring with craft wire secured with florist wire.

 What is needed is a sturdy shape with at least two different sized rings to hold your fake shells in layers.

After a coat of white spray paint I flipped it over and got all my fake capiz shell circles ready.

Dollar Store wax paper, baby!!

Next I made the wax paper "shells." I used a dry iron on cotton and put
 parchment paper on the bottom between the ironing board and wax paper.

Four sheets torn off close to the same size melt together nicely
and make a good, stiff 4 ply sheet. Let the wax paper cool then start punching.
 I found my punches did best with 4 sheets of 4 ply wax paper,
 your punch might do better with more or less.

I used a 2" and an 1 3/4" circle punch. I figured I needed about 400 circles total,
plus I cut a few extra in case of mistakes or design changes.

I sewed my circles together using my machine's longest stitch and placed 9 circles on each "run."
 I sewed several sets of nine together in a single sitting with about three inches
of thread between each set. I cut them apart into sets
 of nine and started assembling.

I wound the thread from one set of circles twice around the middle ring and put a dab of hot glue over the thread. I placed each string of circles about 1" apart.

For the top ring I let six of the circles on a string hang down outside
and folded the other three over inside the frame, using a dab of hot glue
 on the thread at the top. This gave the upper half of the lamp a fluffier look
 and more visual "weight."

Extra circles folded in half and hot glued around the upper ring give the lamp a finished look.

As you can see, the stitched circles diffuse the light and overlap nicely, giving a nice soft glow to the evening. During the day they give that corner a bit of reflected light and nice texture.

I am already thinking ahead to doing this with my dining room light. Maybe with a little color and a bit of glitter? When I figure it out and make it I'll be posting right here.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

DIY Vine Decor Ball Garden Art

Do you know how much a 12" vine ball costs? I know how much it costs because I decided I wanted a big vine ball for my urn planter. So I started shopping for one.

A foot across, made from dried vines, how expensive could it be? 

Hey, locally the price was $28! Online the price was $22. Plus shipping!
Well, shoot, that's not going to stop me from getting a big ol' vine ball for my empty urn planter.

Time to DIY.

Pink Panther theme music goes here....

Ta da! 
And it didn't cost anywhere near the twenty dollars plus.  
Here's how I worked it out.

I already had the totally plastic but painted and repainted urn planter that looks like a priceless iron antique. But it's really just plastic from Kmart and cost $2.50 on clearance. It was a bronzey tan and it now has so many layers of spray paint and outdoor craft paint that it looks like an old old metal planter. Every year it gets more beat up and vintage looking. I love it!


I shopped in my stash for the embroidery hoops and the spray paint AND the wire, so no new dollars spent there.

I found the bundle of twisted vines at a thrift store for $1.99.

I wired two painted embroidery hoops to make a good base for my sphere. Then I unraveled the vines into smaller strands. Note-soaking them in water overnight would have made them much more pliable to work with but I persevered and made them work for me. Even though they were stiff and brittle and seemed determined to try my patience. 

So, here's the start. And the middle. And basically the finish.
I wrapped those vines round and round the hoops. And then wrapped some more. And then added more. 

You see where this is going.

I used short lengths of fine floral wire at many different places to hold the vines in the round shape and basically make the whole shebang look like a rustic globe.

Lordy Lordy I love the way this came out!

So of course I had to take pictures and gaze at it and add the creeping jenny birdhouse and then take more pictures and make The Welding Man come out and look at it and then take more pictures.

Be very glad I'm only posting these few.

Oooh aaah!

With the plastic urn that totally does NOT look like a plastic urn but looks like a vintage iron planter. And the tiny curly tendrils of dried vines. And the extremely low cost of my new garden vine ball...

I love everything about this little DIY.

Extreme close up! 

I should just start saying that the urn is a vintage iron thrift shop find that cost me an arm and a leg. But nah. Plastic and paint and more paint and some weather and then the big ol' decorative vine ball on top.

It hits all the bases for my favorite has color, texture, age and low cost. Plus, it went together in no time, about an hour.

I have other urns with plants in them...and more of those twisted vines....and embroidery hoops...and wire, and spray paint. I see more gorgeous vine balls in my garden future!

Crocheted Rocks? Yes, You Can.

Whenever we're on vacation either at the Oregon coast or alongside a beautiful Oregon river, I try to do an art project with natural stones. 

And here is one of those projects...crochet wrapped river rocks. LOVE how they turned out! The contrast between the lacy threadwork and the natural stones is just gorgeous.

I made these three as a gift for our vacation hosts. But first I had a great time photographing them in all kinds of natural settings!

As for directions.
 I just used a size 6 hook since it worked with regular crochet cotton thread
and made them just like the center of a normal crocheted doily with a flower motif.
Then I started filling in with simple chains to make the spiderweb looking areas.
Once the piece was big enough to cover the whole rock I pulled the end tight
around the back side  and knotted it off. 

I just love how they look nestled like Easter eggs in  wild places.

The subtle colors and vivid textures of these lace covered stones and lovely driftwood is one of my favorite photos.

Here they are in the river where the stones originally were found.

Oooh aaaah! 

And these aren't the only rock project I did while on vacation. Here's my post about paint pens and river rocks. I love how they came out, too!

Pretty Faux Wood Grain Glass Table Top? Yes, Please!

We have this corner on our front deck that needed a convenient table and I also wanted  it to be pretty. Here is what we came up with and m...