Wednesday, April 24, 2013

"tweet treat" wreath bird feeder: take 2

I had had a fail of sorts with my last bird feeder wreath. We've had aggressive April winds which blew the feeder right off the tree and knocked some pine branches out. Since I had recently found a suet holder at a thrift store (for a dollar!!!) I decided to revamp the bird feeder.

I took inspiration from this photo on pinterest: Love this DIY birdbath
 Unfortunately, I was unable to nail down the original post for this idea. :(

Here is the wreath and coat hanger hanger (yes, a coat hanger hanger, lol) was kept from the old feeder. I added a terra cotta dish for the tray. This was under the upstairs bathroom sink. Why? How? When? No clue how a plant base ended up under the bathroom sink.

* Both the dish and the wreath were painted with acrylics from my craft stash
* Sealed terra cotta dish and wreath with a clay pot sealer (sealer was about $7 at Michaels)
* Glued dish to wreath using E-6000 glue (wind-proof, I hope!)

I'm not a natural artist so I'm so excited about how well the hand painted flowers turned out. :) I used the color wheel here to pick complementary colors: olive green and mustard yellow. Just working with what I had to avoid heading out in the snow for a craft supply run.

Color Wheel

We're still having bursts of  you can see in the photo below. Once this storm blows over we'll toss some bird seed in and wait for the birds. My 5 and 3 year old will enjoy watching these feathery friends!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Painting Terra Cotta Pots with Acrylics

One of my garden goals this year is to add more color to my garden. Specifically something that will last through the dreary winter months. Painted pots ought to do!

My first inspiration came from the DIY club. These pots were made with chalk paint and sealed with patio paint. Click on the link above for the complete tutorial. 

I also liked the more distressed look of these pots at This idea used candle wax and whatever type of paint you already have on hand.

I tried a couple looks on my pots before settling on the finished product.

Attempt 1: Straight Acrylic and sandpaper 

applied acrylic paint all over pot
rubbed pot using a damp t-shirt rag

the rag wasn't distressing enough
so I turned to sandpaper

In the end, I wasn't really happy with Attempt 1. It just didn't "look right" to me.

Attempt 2: Paint Wash and terry cloth

I created a paint wash with the acrylic and water,
then re-coated the pots.
if it seemed too dark, it was given another paint wash of
a lighter acrylic paint

then each pot was rubbed with a
damp terry cloth...
much better than sandpaper or a t-shirt rag

paint wash success the first time! 

just needs some patio paint sealer and then...
ready for the garden! 

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Saturday, April 13, 2013

Re-re-covered Glider Rocker

A friend passed along this wonderful glider rocker that has been passed from friend to friend to friend. This isn't the exact chair...but one very similar in frame color and cushion pattern. (the actual chair frame is in the back of my van which is in the shop til Monday)

The cushions were already recovered in some durable, yet tasteless, denim. Not my style. It was nice to have the recovers, though, to act as a template for the re-recovers. I simply used a seam ripper to open them up then spread them out on the new fabric.

I love the colors and swirls in this fabric...which was also on the clearance rack. Not bad for $9! And there are a few remnant pieces left over which I'm already brainstorming what to do with them.

I'm still getting to know my sewing machine so I tried a decorative stitch on the hem of the pocket-style flap on the back.

Now I need some help with the last part of this project. What color should I paint the rocking chair frame?  I'm on the fence between a creme color or a chocolate brown. Both will be a homemade chalk paint followed by a sealer. And either would match the decor in our home. What do you think?

What color of paint would look better with this fabric? Creme or chocolate brown?

Monday, April 8, 2013

Green Monster to White 'n' Dreamy

This was the Craigslist picture posted under: Free Green Twin Bed frame  I saw "free" and "twin bed frame " The painting part excites me since I enjoy personalizing the items in our home. And look at all that STORAGE SPACE under the bed!!!!!! Perfect for a smallish room. 

It was disassembled on the driveway when we picked it up. 

It quickly got a generous coat of white spray paint to tame that green down! (2 cans of spray paint almost covered it up.) 
An aerial view of the mostly spray-painted version.

Next, it was loving and  heavily coated with creme colored chalk paint leftover from repainting our master bedroom. Click here for a recipe on how to make Homemade Chalk Paint from Elizabeth & Co.  I love the versatile color, it'll allow my daughter to coordinate with it as her tastes change as she grows up. Right now, its pink and purple. Disney Princesses and My Little Ponies. 

I wanted to seal this with wax but couldn't find the brand I wanted at either Lowe's or Home Depot. Normally I'd be patient, order this online and wait, but my daughter has a mattress thrown on the floor. Ghetto princess. So....I used a can of satin polyurethane from my crafting stash. Shinier than I wanted it to look...but that's ok. Its more a functional piece of furniture than anything. And who knows what she'll do to it anyways. She has a crafty bone: markers, paint, colored pencils, and STICKERS!!!!! lol

I cut corners by NOT painting the bunkie boards.
 And now there is some green poking out around the corners of the mattress.
My lazy mind is thinking, "So, only need to paint the
top and bottom two boards to fix that."

Looking forward to using all
that storage space for her toys! 

Friday, April 5, 2013

A Spring Surprise

My friend gave me a potted tulip last year at Easter. After carefully reading the directions, it was planted in a desirable spot in the patio garden next to the raspberry & blackberry bushes. All three plants hopeful for consistent watering.

 Now's a good time to say I'm a novice gardener...getting better each year, one dead plant at a time. 

As the summer went on and the heat increased, most of my garden browned up or died. The tulip, I thought, succumbed to the heat. I left the "dead" tulip in the ground planning that it would act as natural compost, along with the raspberry and blackberry bushes.

While not great at gardening, I'm a whiz at creating compost material! lol 

Come Spring, with the melting of the last snow, the kids and I went out to "spring clean" the back patio. One grocery sack of dog poop later and we were ready to tackle the dead leaves, sticks, and forgotten toys.

What was that flash of green under the tree? Green spiky leaves were peeking out from under a layer of brown crunchy plant remnants. My brain immediately thought of weeds...but couldn't decide which one it resembled. Slowly, the memory of the tulip materialized. Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

What a happy surprise!

Here is the beauty, a couple weeks after discovery. I wanted to make sure it wasn't going to die first. Its growing quite well on its own.

 I look forward to it blooming...I completely forgot what color it is!

Do you have any Spring surprises
 in your garden? 

Bird Feeder Wreath

 This is an adaptation of an idea found at The Garden-Roof Coop. Hers was built to accomodate seed. Mine was assembled for a block of suet. As early spring moves into summer I plan on tweaking the feeder to hold seed.

Traded out the floral wire for a white wire hanger instead. 
Better stability.

$Store Wreath (I would have picked up a bigger one, but this was all they had.)
Block of Suet
Mesh bag from produce...this held oranges once upon a time
Optional: evergreen to decorate the wreath

Such a dismal day to take pictures...but that is spring for you. Here you can see the buds starting to pop open. I've heard the birds, now we hope to see them more as they migrate back and stop for a snack.

view from sidewalk

View from my couch, literally sitting on my favorite corner. It'll be nice to sip coffee and watch the birds, or squirrels, pick away at the suet. Hopefully the HOA won't complain about the feeder...they are getting so anal lately. 

And I look forward to the sun warming up the day while the green leaves brighten the view. :)