Friday, May 22, 2015

revival survival

I rescued this sweet little plant from one of those upscale home decor stores. You know the kind - lots of Paris themed pillows, urns, and soaps. Olive baskets, burlap stuff, and chandeliers.

This poor little guy was drowning in his cocoa tin - I took him home, punched holes in the tin, and drained out a bunch of water. I let it dry out for a few weeks and now only water him a tiny bit just once in a while.

And now he has some family to keep him company. And all their tins have drainage holes ... for that tiny bit of water just once in a while.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Thursday, May 7, 2015

8 hours

7:30 in the morning:

and 3:30 in the afternoon:

morning fog usually means afternoon sun around here ... 

Monday, May 4, 2015

making faces

I've been making garden fairies  and needed some good faces - let me show you what I learned ....

I began with magazine pictures

And used this old template I have for making circles:

I use the circle to crop in REALLY close on the features (this is good old Martha)

What I learned:
Cropping super close is what gives you the PERFECT sun or moon face.

I cut away all the non-essential stuff like ears, hair, neck, forehead,  chin. The closer in you crop, the more moonlike it comes out.

Here's my collection:

And here are the garden fairies I've made so far ....
They have so much personality, I've given them each a name.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

aluminum can flowers (tutorial)

I'm always on the lookout for new ways to recycle in my art. Here's a fun way to reuse aluminum cans to make "drought resistant flowers." You can't kill them, I promise!
Here's how:

Start with a colorful can.
Cut off the top.
(this is surprisingly easy to do with your "good" pair of "crap designated" scissors - mine are old Fiskars)
Cut the sides of the can into 16 or so spokes.
(I start with 4ths, then 8ths, then 16ths)

Bend the spokes back as shown here.
This will be the FRONT:

Flip your can over and bend the spokes in half at a slight angle as shown here.
This will be the BACK:

Flip your can over again and fold the spokes in half at a slight angle as before.
This is the FRONT:

This is the BACK:

Now you need a large can lid and a bottle cap.
Into all three of these things you will need to punch a hole in the centers with an awl:

Now you need about 10 inches of wire.
Fold this in half, forming a loop at the midpoint, and twist a few times:

Wire the three parts together.
Bottle cap, flower, can lid:

Bend back your wire loop to hold the bottle cap in place and pull all three parts to snug them up:

On the back you can twist your wire over a bamboo skewer, or make a loop for hanging, or attach to some other creation. The choice is yours.

Here I'm attaching a bamboo skewer:
(I also add a bit of hot glue so it doesn't slip down the stake)

Experiment with your folding of the metal and come up with designs of your own. Have fun!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

what I know

These are some of the metalwork  nichos (shrines) I've made in the last 2 weeks. 
I love this "heart on fire" theme. 
It's a common mexican folk art image.
Milagro corazon - or healing heart.

Did you know our hearts have neurons too?
Not just our brains?
It is strangely comforting to know that.
It means that even in the midst of something I don't understand with my mind, my heart can know a thing or two.
How many times have you said,
"I know in my heart ..." -?-
I'm leaning on that knowledge these days.

(clockwise from top)

Love: matchbox, aluminum flashing, aluminum pie tin

Love Covers Us: Altoids tin, aluminum flashing, aluminum pie tin, gold foil, bottle cap

Don't Be a Hater: Altoids tin, aluminum flashing, aluminum pie tin, gold foil, tomato sauce can lid, bottle cap

Love is Kind: Altoids tin, aluminum flashing, aluminum pie tin, wire, Italian Florentine paper