Category Archives: Art and Making Stuff

Cobbling together a new watch!

I never used to have/wear watches, not for many years, but then I picked up a few inexpensive ones from yard sales. As with most things (accessories) I like to have choices. But for some reason the bands seem to break in short order. IMG_20180708_095821_kindlephoto-2355441So now I have a couple watch faces lounging about with no occupation. I found a purpose for one that has suited me well, attached right on the outside of a purse.

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Five years ago I bought this inexpensive bracelet online.

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This is how it looked

I soon realized the peacock stuck out too far for my taste and I was never going to wear it. So I broke the peacock off the bracelet and glued it to a pin.

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But then I had the bracelet part doing nothing. I couldn’t bring myself to get rid of it. It had potential. But I didn’t know what. The bracelet is hinged and opens & closes which I thought was so interesting. It’s not high-end but it wasn’t ready for the garbage.

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The other day I got an idea to attach one of my watch faces to it. I had the perfect one. All I needed was wire and pliers, both of which I had.

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I wrapped skinny (high gauge) wire around the part of the watch that holds the band and over the bracelet. I did the same at either side of the bottom.

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It looks great!

 

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Fun shed door updates summer 2018

It’s summer!! YAY! Last year I showed how I made cute shelves for the shed door from someone’s cast-off metal bathroom shelves in a post on garden decor. I’ve added new things to the shed door and wanted to share them.

First, an overview of the shed. Check out the AMAZING hydrangea in the foreground.

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I thought to put an impatiens in one of the little pots on the shed door.

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I added a hook and red hanging impatiens on the right. Those are new white solar string lights I strung across the top.

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Finally, because the pot is there on the left I want to show you this lone tomato I’m very excited about!

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EDIT 6/20: I’ve come back to this post to include a nighttime shot of my new solar string lights. They don’t reach the ground on either side but I DID hang them evenly at any rate; the right side is blocked by plants.

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Painting a roadside find in bright colors

When it was still cold I spied this piece of wood (no pressboard crap) furniture  by the road. It’s half cabinet and half drawers. A true find! I was on foot so I had to abandon the drawers in order to haul the main piece home. Fortunately it wasn’t too heavy. More fortunately the drawers were still there upon my return. Not that I thought they’d make a break for it once set free… I just hoped no other passerby would find 3 smallish drawers all that is interesting.

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It’s 33″ long, 29″ tall, 13″ deep (a great size for many options)

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Only once I had it home did I notice the front left leg was a bit chewed up. What the hell??  I guessed a dog might have done the damage (or a big cat?) but I couldn’t think why a pet would gnaw on just the one leg.

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I decided to do a quick-n-dirty repair with spackle. I know that’s unorthodox and remembered about wood filler after the fact. Oh well.

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Somebody had stained the piece dark brown. Nothing wrong with that but I wanted color. First a coat of prime.

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I decided to get brave/experimental with the colors. I am more inclined to do this on a roadside freebee. As always I just selected from what I already have. Even these paints, except the white, were free, abandoned. This is with one coat of color. I could add another if the spirit moves me. I am super happy with how it turned out.  (By the by, now that I think about it, everything on top also was free –  from past finds and giveaways, except the actual plant and the lamp shade.)

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It only looks bad up close. Good enough!

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Let’s make a chimes/mobile thingee!

Here’s what I made this morning.

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Against the wall so you can see it better

But what is it you ask? (Pretend you asked.) I’m so glad you asked! For many years I’ve used a vegetable steamer or steamer basket which was prone to falling apart. For those unfamiliar a steamer is a metal contraption placed in a small amount of boiling water in a large pot. Food goes in the steamer, a lid goes on the pot and the steam cooks the food. Steamed food is said to retain more nutrients and it tastes pretty good too. When a tiny leg came off, my basket finally fell apart beyond my ability to repair it. I detached all the pieces (recycling the center piece) and set them aside waiting for inspiration because the metal sections looked interesting.

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A steamer basket


When an idea came to me earlier today, I tied the pieces together with dental floss (cheap & strong) and attached the three links to a piece of scrap wood. I made the top hanger from picture hanging wire. The whole thing is about 2′ long. The pieces make a satisfying “clink” when they touch plus each individual metal piece is prone to spinning. I haven’t decided if it should go outside. For now I’m admiring it indoors.

(NOTE: pleased forgive a day or two’s delay in responding to any comments.)

Dollar Tree yard decor (plus one fix-it-up project)

Yard decorations can be expensive and since they take a pounding outdoors from the elements they don’t always last. So over recent years – with most this year – I’ve picked up several cute seasonal decorations from Dollar Tree. Please don’t think they will have these particular items if you go to a Dollar Tree – their stock varies and things they have one year they might never have again. I got lucky I expect.

The earliest pieces I got faded in the sun so I’ve hit upon a way to make them last longer. I touched up the paint myself on two and followed that up with a coat of clear gloss spray paint. It seemed worth a try and this year when I bought a few new pieces I sprayed the clear gloss immediately.

I touched up the paint on these two after it faded.

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Here they are in context today.

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ASIDE: This isn’t a Dollar Tree thing but since I showed you the shed picture, I want to share a recent project, the little shelves on the door. They were on the curb, headed for the landfill. I didn’t need metal bathroom shelves but they were solidly built and I thought maybe I could do something with them.

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Hum-drum right?

A little paint later…

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All I did was get a few clay pots I wasn’t using and voilà! Art!

Back to our Dollar Tree program. Also in the shed door photo was this wonderful sun image (in the pot on the ground in the lower right corner). I moved it there because it got “lost” in other locations; but with the white background it shows up.

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Isn’t this great? That’s real glass. I sprayed all of the bird with clear gloss

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Out of the corner of my eye – and from a little distance – sometimes I think I’m seeing a real bird – especially when I hung it by the bird feeder

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I always like spinners in OTHER people’s yards – it was high time I had one.

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I was so smitten I went back for another. (Maybe I can paint them when they invariably fade…)

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I got two of the flower chime thingees but they were only painted on one side which looked stupid when they spun in the breeze…

…So I painted the “plain” sides myself using random colors I had. I didn’t worry about a “perfect” job for these. Nobody will see them closeup.

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Can you tell I like sun imagery?!

think* that’s everything.

(p.s. I’m having internet issues so if I don’t respond in a timely way, that is why. Not because I don’t love you.)

Let’s make a smallish outdoor dining table!

I was in the mood for a project this week. In the summer I put up a seasonal screen tent because the mosquitoes are god-awful and there’s no other way to be outside. I’ve used small tables in it which are fine but I was thinking it’d be nice to have something larger for a “dining” table, but not TOO large because there just isn’t space. Tables like I had in mind aren’t cheap and sticking to my usual policy of finding castoffs or making stuff, I thought maybe I could make something from the limited scrap wood I had on hand. The lumber I have is almost all wood that other people have tossed out; I very rarely have bought any from an actual store. So I usually try to work with what I have – I like stretching my mind that way and I do think it’s better than going out and buying stuff if I can avoid it.

I don’t trouble myself with looking up instructions or using intimidating “plans” – I wing my projects and learn from doing. As I said, I was going to use what what I had in my scrap wood, which wasn’t much, but I had an idea! I had made the little table but it was never quite as sturdy as I’d have liked and I was no longer using it anyway. Here’s the raw parts.

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First I made the outer frame. While I’ve never made a large table, I’ve looked at them and know that most have a square or rectangular frame on which the top of the table sits.

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Then I knocked apart my old little table to use the legs. Here they are attached. As you may see from the holes, they started life as some sort of IKEA furniture, which somebody later threw out. I just faced the sides with holes toward the inside.

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Since I only had little boards I came up with the idea of addng a middle support so I could use 6 small boards for the top. Here are the boards in place.

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Paint was going to be of the essence. I have a small collection of paints, most of which were free, either found by the road (this community tosses out A LOT of stuff) or given away by someone. This one color was so loud I wasn’t sure what I’d ever use it for but this seemed perfect. Here is one coat. I thought this color would look great contrasted with white on the legs.

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The next morning I applied another coat and clear spray gloss to the top only to help preserve the paint. Not that I think this table will last forever but just to help sustain it

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Here it is in its new home.

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I had used the legs “as is” because I was disinclined to have to handsaw those thick pieces but I could see the table was too tall. I’d left open the possibility of making it shorter (in terms of where I’d nailed on the low support pieces on either end) so I sawed off about 2.5″. Much better! (I decided to only take off a little at first lest I accidentally end up with a coffee table!)

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Oh, I should mention the bench in the photo is an old “reclaimed” bench I fixed up and the chairs were also – what else but – roadside freebies.  They aren’t exactly what I’d like (I had nicer chairs that wore out) but they are okay for now. Eventually I want something comfier again.

A day or so later I was having my “inaugural” snack at the table when it occurred to me you might like to see that. So here is a glass of homemade tomato juice and a bowl of salted peanuts in the shell. It happened to be a very hot day and it was delightful! I was so tickled with the table.

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I tend to accomplish things in spurts and when I get ideas they build on each other plus I have Serious Spring Fever. I had two little outdoor wood tables found by the road last year (I took the best two of several that were tossed). I had painted one this light green but decided to perk it up. Here is the change between the colors.

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The other little wood table is kinda shabbier and the wood is not as nice and I decided to just paint its top the same red/orange as my new “dining table”.

IMG_20170517_072458_kindlephoto-7948172I don’t know if it’s worth the trouble to paint the legs since as I say the wood is disintegrating. But what a difference even a little paint made!

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I also added fresh paint to the top of this little metal table because it was looking a bit down in the mouth. This “moss green” spray paint was another freebie someone tossed out. What a pretty shade.

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Making a display shelf for Pepsi and Coke bottles

Way back in 2o14 I did a short post on the Pepsi and Coke bottles I’d saved. I didn’t keep them because I’m obsessed with either product (I don’t drink either product) but because they evoked a sentiment and I just thought they were cool. They’ve kind of drifted around a bit, not really having a “home.” I came up with an idea and a good spot in a little hallway this week.

I didn’t want to go to a lot of trouble so this was a get-it-done project. Using scrap would I nailed one narrow board to another at right angles. I used just 4 brads at equal intervals; if this shelf was going to hold heavy objects or was wider you couldn’t get away with only using measily nails to attach it but here it’s fine. It happened that the one board had a red strip I’d painted when it’d been part of something else so I decided to leave it and paint the rest to match the green wall.

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I drilled two holes into the support board that would be flush with the wall and screwed the shelf into place. I couldn’t wait to add my bottles! Plus a red tin cup for good measure.

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