Saturday, April 9, 2016

Plate flowers

My daughters, and granddaughter made plate flowers a couple of weeks ago.  They are so easy to make, you won't be able to resist making more than one!

I have been collecting supplies from thrift stores and finally had enough for all of us.  If you look closely at the picture you will be able to tell I have tried to make them using a variety of different things.  I especially enjoyed mixing in metal pieces. I used an old light fixture on one, and one reminds me of an exotic jungle flower.

I added bead stamens to this one.
I really like this one.  I like the mix of silver and copper, and wavy edges, textures and color.

This one doesn't have any metal but I love the shapes and colors.

I hope if you decide to create a plate flower, you have as much fun as we did!


Saturday, November 7, 2015

Bicycle rim wind spinner

I wanted to load a video of our wind spinner spinning but I couldn't get it to work, so above is a picture.  The video is much better.  If you want to see the video you can visit my facebook page.

I have always been fascinated by kinetic sculptures and have been wanting to try making one.  The one I made (with help from my husband) (I had no idea bicycles had bearings in them) is the simplest form of wind spinner, but I hope to make a better one in the future.  Here's how we made this one.

If you know me, you know I normally make my projects out of things I have on hand, or things that are easily found, inexpensive and recycled.  I am the queen of thrift and upcycling.  My projects require more creativity and work than $.

I removed the wheel from a medium sized bike.  I also dis-assembled an old steamer.  I wanted something small, and light weight to catch the wind.  I thought the steamer fins would work perfect, and you can usually find these old steamers at the thrift store.  

I bent the end of the steamer fin so it would stand up using a pair of pliers.  The fins are soft and easy to bend.  To attach the steamer fins to the bike rim I loosened the screw holding the wheel spokes and slid the bent steamer fin underneath.  Then I re-tightened the screw.  I placed them at a slight angle to catch the wind.  

Below is the rim with the fins installed. 

I had pictures of the whole process until I got a new phone and they didn't transfer to my new phone as promised :(  So, you're going to need to use your imagination a bit for the rest.

We put the rim back onto the bike where it had been previously, minus the pedals, chain etc.  If you look closely at the picture below you can see the front of the bicycle is upside down.

If you look at the picture below, the part on the pole is where the handlebars used to be.  Basically the bike is turned upside down.  We cut off the back of the bike.  The part to the left that catches the wind used to attach the seat and the back part of the bike.  We covered this section with some aluminum flashing we had on hand.  Hubby helped a lot in this part.  He cut the bike apart with the sawsall, and riveted the aluminum sheeting on.  I was going to use screws to attach the aluminum sheeting to the bike frame.  We added the aluminum sheeting to both sides. 

To get the shape of the sheeting to match the bike, I laid the aluminum flashing under this section of the bike and traced the shape with a pencil.  I then cut it out with tin snips.  

I know it's kinda primitive and basic but we sure enjoy watching it spin in the breeze.  

You could easily pretty it up by threading beads onto the spokes, painting it bright colors,etc.  Just try to keep it light.  

If you make one please share, and have fun!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Witch Soiree

My oldest daughter Angie is about to turn the big 40, and decided she wants to celebrate by having a Witch Soiree.  Basically, an excuse to have a witch themed costume party.  It is being held in our back yard, and she has invited friends old and new, near and far.  So, I've been working on my attire.

My first thought was basic witch everyone else does, then my daughter told me that there are lots of different types of witches.  This thought reminded me of Radagast the Brown in Lord of the Rings.  So, I decided I would be a forest witch.  You know I have to be different.  So, this is what I've been working on. 

I picked up a Halloween mask for $1 and ripped off the feathers and trim it had on it.  I then painted it flat green and brown.  I then glued tree bark over the nose area, added a dried mushroom, pinecone, acorn, lichen, moss, sticks..... and more bark.

I am pleased with the way it turned out. 

Now for my witch hat.  I decided to go with the traditional witch hat shape, but with a forest twist. 

I inserted a Styrofoam cone shape into the top portion of the hat for stability. 

I gathered pieces of bark that our pine trees had shed and glued them onto the conical portion of the hat.  I added several types of moss, lychen, berries, acorns, pinecones, etc to cover the areas between the bark.  I used a piece of ivy and wound around the conical section for more stability and interest.

I am working on my attire, but am happy with the hat and mask so far.

What do you think?  Will I look earthy and project the image of a forest witch, or do I need to start over?