Friday, November 20, 2009

Finished for Friday

This is the first time that I've participated in Lit & Laundry's Finished for Friday. Be sure to check out the other posts at her blog!

I decorated some little baby food bottles and made some hand cream to give to some of my friends and relatives. Here's a pic. Yipee, I actually finished something. And gave 2 away already last night.

I decided to put a pic of my great grandmother Annedia on each bottle and also some flowers and/or butterflies.

Home made hand cream gifts


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Vintage Christmas Gnome Ornaments - VTT Post!

I thought i would do my Vintage Thingies Thursday post early this week. Visit Coloradolady to see all the others!
Here are some Gnome ornaments that my family used to hang on our Christmas tree during my childhood in the fifties and sixties.


My brother and I were totally enchanted by them when we were kids. Each gnome is sitting in a little bower which has 4 metal legs like a little stool on the bottom. Four of them are holding paper instruments and one a song book. Their arms and legs are pipe cleaners, their faces plastic, their bodies looked like a covered bead to me then I squeezed one and realized they are hollow thin plastic spheres covered with flock or thin felt. Each one is sitting on a tiny pine cone, in my memory, I thought their bodies were made out of pine cones, but no.
We've been after Mom to give them to us for years. I just found them in her Christmas closet yesterday and she agreed that we could have them. Not sure how we'll divide them up.

I'd like to make new ones.

If you are interested in making Garden plate flowers check out my tutorial, part 1 posted Sunday and part 2 this morning.


Plate Flower Tutorial Part 2

Hi there!

When we left off we had two completed plate flowers ready to have hangers attached to the back so they can be put on stems in the garden. I made the glass flower to attach to the other side of a flat sided bottle that already has a plate flower on one side:


I put GE silicone II for windows and doors, clear around the edge of the bottle where it would contact the back plate of my new flower and some in the middle. Then I pushed the glass flower onto the bottle, centering it with the already attached one, and let it sit over night. The "stem" that I inserted into the mouth of the bottle is a metal stake coated with plastic. Some people put plastic or bubble wrap when they put metal against glass. As for the design, my thought was that a similar flower would look best. I'm not so sure now that I've done it, but here it is:



I think it needs some more bling in the form of beads etc. It is also very heavy, so I'm not sure I'll do 2 large flowers back to back again, unless the bottle has a large mouth and a bigger stake can be used.

Then there was the other plate flower:

For the back/attachment: I flattened a stainless steel spoon and bent the handle backwards. Then I attached the flattened spoon to the back of the plate flower using Plumbers goop. I personally trust Plumbers goop more for glass to metal. The silicone is great for glass to glass or ceramic.

UPDATE: August 2010: I think automotive goop is better than plumbers in terms of wide temperature variations and that's what I used on the plant labels. But I've also started using ge silicone ii (for windows and doors, clear) on the spoon backings. I'm doing this because I now have a bunch of metal adhered to glass with it in my garden that has survived another winter and very hot summer.


I have flower height 1/2 inch electrical conduit in the garden pounded in over a 10 or 12 inch piece of rebar with other plate flowers. Both the conduit and rebar can be cut to length with a recipricating saw. Here is the back so you can see how the spoon handle goes in.


And here it is from the front, in the garden. Almost everything is dead except the grass. So its nice to see some color!


Carmen/Gardencraze at GJunk came up with the spoon idea, and dcarch took it to new heights by cutting it to look like a leaf, and by doing the same thing with forks, bending them into beautiful objects. You can search for their posts on the Garden Junk Forum if you are interested.

Here are 2 more variations: a plate flower in winter. Lately they have been gorgeous with frost on them, but I don't have the skill or the camera to capture it.


And here is a nodding plate flower. You can see the pipe fittings that I used to use. I am changing because after a year outside the fittings separated from the plate. If/when I do this one over, I think I'll use a spoon or a fork hanger. The sun was reflecting off it and I had trouble getting a clear pic.


Finally dcarch at Garden Web on the Garden Junk Forum has done some amazing backings. I've not tried to to these but someone reading might have the skills.

A spoon cut with a dremel and the electrical conduit stem cut for leaves.

Spoon backing by dcarch from garden web

Two forks bent by heating and soldered together

Double Fork backing by dcarch from garden web

Another pretty fork:

Bent for backing by dcarch from garden web

So that's it!
Please let me know if I need to go into more (or less) detail about any part of this. I've never written a tute before. Also let me know if you make any plate flowers, I'd really love to hear AND see pictures!

Y si quisiera instruciones en español, dime, y preguntaré a mi profesor a aydarme.

Have fun!


Sunday, November 15, 2009

Plate flower Tutorial, part 1

Several people have asked for a plate flower tutorial. The process takes a couple of days because adhesive needs to cure, so today we'll make the plate flowers. Tomorrow I'll attach the hangers, and Tuesday Wednesday after I put them in the garden, I'll post about hanger choices and show the final steps.

I owe everything I know about making these to the wonderful people at the Garden Junk forum at Garden Web.

The first step is to get some dishes. I favor clear and colored glass because they sparkle in the sun, but I'll make an opaque and ceramic one today too.


A rule of thumb, is 1 dinner plate, 1 small plate or bowl, and 1 center/candle votive or salt cellar. I buy what I call "daffodil" votives when ever I see them for less than $1 (I prefer 50 cents or less).


For adhesives GE silicone II for Windows & Doors, Clear. And I'm going to use Plumbers goop on a metal holder. Check the date before you buy! Sometimes it goes bad. There are some people who drill holes in the center with a ceramic/diamond bit. This tute is for the silicone method. Keep a rag or paper towel to wipe silicone off your hands but try not to get it on them.


Then once you have the materials: protect your surface, work where you have ventilation, and begin to pile up plates and votives to find a look that is pleasing to you. I had made a flower about a week ago to test a new idea I had of attaching the flower to a flat sided bottle which would go onto the "stem". Since it was experimental I didn't use my favorite plates. A cool thing about this method is another flower can go on the other side of the bottle. So I decided to create a similar flower for the other side today. I also decided to use some opaque and ceramic dishes because I know my vintage-loving friends are interested in using that sort. Here is what I came up with.


Gluing: Lay the largest (back) plate in front of you. Take the next plate or bowl and put it on the largest plate where it will go. Notice where the medium plate contacts the larger plate, this is where you want the ge silicone to go. You see here my medium plate has a rim on the bottom. I put ge silicone along that whole rim, being careful not to leave any gaps for moisture to get in. GE silicone ii for windows and doors dries slightly opaque which bothers some people, but it last through NH winters!


Then carefully place the siliconed plate in the center of the big plate, pushing in gently until the plates are in contact. Next test the little center plate on the medium plate which is now glued to the big plate. Its four little feet fit inside the indent on the medium plate which is good, but I need to fill in the gaps between the feet, as you see here. I put lots of silicone in between the little feet, up to their level, and less on the feet themselves.


Press it gently and firmly into the center of the medium plate. Now it has to set up. It doesn't take long to start to firm up, but should be left for the day to ensure total curing. But if it doesn't begin to set up within 10 minutes, your silicone is bad and you should return it.

Now same process with the glass plate. I used some extra silicone in the center of the gold ashtry because it is so heavy. The center piece here was flat, but I still want a solid seal, so I show a pic below of how I did the silicone. I put a green marble in the very center because there was a rounded gap. If it had been flat I may have glued a glass glob.


Here they are. The glass one I'm showing with the back of the one I made last week, you can see the flat sided bottle that I am going to attach it to.



Now they both have to sit. I'll post the final steps on Tuesday when I put them in the garden!

If you want to look at more plate flowers, here is a link to search results at Garden Web's Garden Junk forum for "plate flower". Scroll down to see the threads.

See you Tuesday!


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Vintage Thingys Thursday

Since I've been sewing lately, I decided to post some of my vintage sewing and fiber craft vintage items.
This pic includes a potholder that I embroidered when I was a little girl. I still remember how thrilled I was!

Vintage sewing and crocheting

And this is the Sewing basket that my Pepere gave my Memere for their 1st wedding anniversary 1927. I also have my Memere's (grandmother's) ham and sleeve presser and other small things.

1st Wedding Ann. Gift from Ernest to Augustine Couture

I've been getting ready to make Christmas presents lately. On Sunday I'll post a plate flower how to!

Visit Coloradolady to see all the other Vintage Thingy Thursday posts!


Sunday, November 8, 2009

Inspiration Organization

Lots of us save photos or descriptions of things that we would like to do someday. I tried keeping them in notebooks or folders, and I never looked at them again. So I am going to share what works for me. We are all different so I don't know if it will work for you, but I now regularly look at my inspiration pieces and more important find what I'm looking for. I have a place to keep them all.

I saw these cool photo albums on sale. The kind with clear plastic slots to slide your pics into. And I bought them even though I don't use that type for photos and I had no plan for them. (They were such a good deal,lol)


Then one day I wanted a place to put articles or pics from magazines or things that I printed on the internet and I grabbed the big album. It perfectly holds 8.5x11 folded in quarters. And quite a few folded pages fit in each slot. I try to fold it so what it is shows throught the plastic. If not I write what it is on the article where it shows. Recently I began the little one as a sewing inspiration to keep in the same room as my sewing machine. A plus is even tiny things don't get lost and I can quickly look at 8 in the big album and 4 in the small at once.


What works for you?


Thursday, November 5, 2009

Vintage Thingys Thursday

I've been sewing each day and finished my curtain but not my dress.

I decided to post some of my old family pics for VTT. First photo: My grandmother and a cousin in a birch bark frame. My grandfather and his cousin, cabinet photo. (He is on the right!)


Second: My dh's great grandfather as a boy, then great grandmother and he in a nice paired frame.

For web page

Third: What I have done with copies of some of my old photos. I call them ancestor worship candle holders. Dh's family on the right one and mine on the left.


Check out everyone's VTT posts at Colorado lady! I'm still learning so I apologize if my link to her blog isn't hot.