Tuesday, May 29, 2012

My Home Made Garden Fountain

The sound of running water is both soothing and relaxing. Having a garden fountain or water pond is something I've always wanted but never got around to actually having.  Years ago I even visited a "lily pond" with hopes of building one in my massive backyard. My husband and son never took to the idea of digging a hole, and manually performing all the strenuous tasks of creating a water feature, no matter how many hints I made. We've moved to a place with a much smaller backyard.  Recently, I came across a display of a garden fountain at a local nursery. It was basically a large ceramic bowl with a bamboo spout inserted in water. The sound was simply serene and I found it very relaxing.  The kit was relatively inexpensive compared to the cost of most water fountains. I thought, "I could do this"!  I bought the kit, which stated:

 "Turn Any Container Into A Fountain!"
  • Easy to Set Up
  • 100% Natural Bamboo
  • Split Resistant Bamboo
  • Long Lasting Craftsmanship
  • Relaxing Sound & Motion

I had a very large plastic container (25" diameter) I got at Costco for $19.99. The color matched everything on my patio so I was thrilled about that!       
 The Bamboo Water Spout & Pump Fountain Kit was an easy 3-Step Setup.  Since the diameter of the barrel was 25 inches, I bought an 18" adjustable height spout kit which would fit on any 15"-30" diameter bowl.
Step One  Loosen the black string on the bamboo by sliding it sideways.  Adjust the support arms to the desired position on the rim of the barrel, then tighten.

Step Two  Attach the pump to the end of the plastic tube.  Submerge pump into water. The pump cord goes over the rim of the water container.

  For decorative purposes, I placed rocks resting on top of the bamboo support arms and in the bottom of the barrel. You can also see a "North Carolina Jasmine" plant behind the barrel. I also added submersible led lights to the bottom of the container.

 Step Three  Plug in the pump and adjust the flow on the front of the pump.  I had fun decorating with plants, and rocks.  I think I might add a "frog" I saw floating in the water at the nursery.


  Bamboo fountains add a beautiful mix of sound and motion to any environment.  Bamboo is said to bring good luck and provide Feng Shui to a space.

We are definitely enjoying the simplicity and serenity of this natural bamboo water feature!

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Thursday, May 10, 2012

Container Flower Arrangement

 I made the flower arrangement yesterday for my front door area and now I'm not so sure if I want to put it there. After I took the time to plant each flower I realized I hadn't taken any pictures of the process.  Dummy me - I just wasn't thinking. I just wanted to hurry up and plant the flowers.  I can tell you what kind I planted, where I got them and how much they cost.
 These are IMPATIENS in white, deep pink and       salmon colors. I found them at Walmart for 
98 cents.

Plum with white edges PETUNIAS also came from Walmart. 98 cents, too.
 SALVIA (Purple) was found at the same place, same price   .  .  .  .

I added trailing VINCA VINES ($2.29 at Home Depot) in the corners and a CORDYLINE (Red Star) plant ($9.99 at Home Depot) in the center to give the arrangement some height.

I previously got the planter late winter, at Marshals for $19.99.

And, this is how it turned out!

Still don't know where to put it  .  .   .

                              but, in the meantime  .  .   .

                                             I can't wait to see the plants grow!

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Monday, May 7, 2012

Sewing With Duralee Fabric

 I love the color Plum. I'm always googling the word to see what comes up on the internet.  While we were waiting for our new home to be built  (after we sold our old one and living in a townhouse)

I came across some fabric by Duralee, a Thomas Paul creation called, "Plum" (20966 95) .  .  .   .

 And a chair at Target, also called "Plum"

I quickly order two chairs and was very pleased when they finally arrived.   I kept thinking if the fabric I saw  really matched the fabric in the Target chairs. I was able to order a sample online and sure enough it turned out to be the same material.  WHAT A FIND!!!  But to me, quite EXPENSIVE at $38.00 a yard.

I wasn't willing to pay that much, especially since
I didn't know what I would do with the fabric, except make pillows.  I eventually found a store called Heritage Fabrics that had a "sale" offering the Duralee Plum for $28.00 a yard. This was a great price and I ordered four yards - just in case I thought of something else to make out of the fabric.

I'm not going to give a tutorial on how to make pillows. You can easily find many, like I did.  I made the quickest pillows I could - just sewing three sides. No zippers, no welting,etc. - just plain pillows.

                             You can see the TARGET CHAIRS in the center of the bay window.

And, I think the pillows turned out really GREAT!!!                

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Friday, May 4, 2012

More Sunburst Mirrors - "A Grouping of Sunburst Mirrors"

More SUNBURST MIRRORS to blog about.  I was inspired by this drawing I saw in the newspaper recently.  I liked the way the sunbursts looked on the wall.  I quickly visualized doing something like that on my foyer wall.  So I . . . . 

 gathered my supplies and began working on the first of many. For the backing I found a wooden plate at Hobby Lobby. Next, I decided to use wooden dowels (pkg. of 20) I found at Michaels, instead of skewers. 

I needed at least five packs. Whenever I go to Michaels or any craft or fabric stores, I always print out coupons to cut down on costs. I had to make several trips to get the items I needed at discounted prices. I figured the total cost (including mirrors) for this project, just under $20.00.  Wooden dowels are much thicker and easier to work with than skewers. Sorry to say, I've tried making a sunburst mirror out of skewers before and got very frustrated because I could not glue them on straight, no matter out hard I tried. I would start out placing them on, like clock hands, at 3, 6, 9 and 12, but once I tried filling the skewers in between, somehow they would become slanted. Thanks to a tutorial I found on sunburst mirrors, www.bystephanielynn.com, I was able to find and print out a circle template with "16 slices".  I really needed this!   Thank you Stephanie Lynn!!! 

After gluing the template to the wooden plate, I drew extended lines to the end of the plate.

I then used the lines  as a guide to adhering the dowels in the pattern shown. I didn't have to cut any sticks which made the gluing process move along quickly. I worked my way around the entire circle using the selected pattern.  
I quickly decided to add two more dowels to the pattern.
This made for a more interesting design.
 Using a hot glue gun allowed me to paint right after I finished gluing on the last dowel.  I picked out a Metallic Satin Nickel Finish spray paint by Krylon for my sunburst.  After spraying, I let it dry for 24 hours.  Sometime ago, I had gotten a 12 inch bevel mirror at  AC Moore. I was going to use it on this project, but since the wooden plate was 14 inches, I wanted a larger mirror and  found a 14" bevel mirror at Michaels. To make things interesting, I decided to glue the smaller mirror on top of the larger one.
After attaching a hanging claw to the back using two small nails, I hung my Beautiful Sunburst Mirror in my foyer where it is proudly on display in anticipation of the rest of the "Grouping of Sunburst Mirrors".

I recently finished more sunbursts to hang in my foyer.     I am having so much fun in making these!!  

I tried different patterns in arranging the skewers or rods.
 I hung them on the wall and I'm very thrill with the way they look!  Not exactly what I started out to do.  I think because the area is wider, the look is different.  You can't get the full effect just by looking at the pictures. I don't know if it's my camera or my novice picture taking abilities.

Anyway, I love it!!  Now I'm thinking about making smaller sunburst mirrors and adding them to the wall.