Tag Archives: garden chairs

Paper Mache Planter

28 Apr

A long time ago, back in the dark of winter, I wrote a post called How To Make A Paper Mache Light Fitting – Part 1 and never wrote part 2.

Don’t get all excited – I am still not writing part 2, but I have finally found a use for at least one of the paper mache spheres that I made way back when.

If you read this blog with any regularity, you know that since the beginning of spring I have been on a garden kick. I have sown seeds, and will soon be planting a vegetable garden, I have finally fixed some old garden chairs I plucked from a dumpster and I have a 2do list as long as my arm as far as outdoor, spring / summer projects go.

Anyway, I also find myself wading into the studio every time I want to get something or god forbid actually make some work, and something needs to to be done about making some space for me.

I have already gotten rid of all the cardboard I collected to make cardboard furniture – my space is just to small and my kids to curious for me to be doing that right now (that is kind of unfortunate, because now that I don’t have it anymore, I need a big strong piece for the solar oven I need to build but can’t find anything but small and or flimsy). Even so, I still have a pile of unfinished and ‘halfway’ projects, and something needs to be done about it.

Although I was stumped as to how to make the paper mache spheres into light fittings to my liking, I do love the forms, and how imperfect they are.

I decided that I would transform one of the larger ones into a planter, and carry on dressing up my front porch, turning it into a pleasant place to have a cup of coffee.


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I had a lavender plant looking for a home and I thought it was the perfect combination.

I didn’t want to paint the sphere in just one block of color – I wanted to experiment and create some more interest so before priming it, I taped a line of masking tape around it and primed and painted only bellow that line.

Since the chairs are definitely present in their bright purple, the sphere needed to be a quieter color. I mixed a quiet bluish gray that complimented it and would also compliment the lavender plant.

I gave it 3 layers of polyurethane to water proof it, so that it wouldn’t melt into a pile of mush leaving the lavender homeless once again.

Just before I planted the lavender I decided to do a little test run to see what would have happened if I had decided to use it as a light shade. In the background you can see a fitting I made out of plastic cups which I never posted about here.

So what do you think – does it work as a light fitting?


Popping Purple

12 Apr

I am on a purple kick. I haven’t been on one of those since I was 19 or 20 years old. I painted one of my walls deep purple and loved it. On the wall next to that one I had a stripped piece of fabric in blues and greens hanging on the wall behind an aquarium which had nothing but water plants in it. It was beautiful. I was young and it was all about having fun. Of course I don’t have a digital picture of back then, but I can just picture a bunch of us on my bed, wearing sunglasses and drinking beer  because we were cool, and it was the 80’s!

Then I went off purple for a very long time.

Couldn’t stand it.

Didn’t get it.

And for about a quarter of a century (yes, that long!) I would have nothing to do with it.

It must be a mid life crisis of sorts, because now I am completely into purple again.

I am not wearing it, and don’t have purple walls inside my house, but have painted (or am painting to be more accurate) some wooden garden chairs which I saved from trash the exact same shade of purple my wall from all those many years ago was.

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I was painting it in front of my house, where we have some fantastic gazenia’s growing. The are a very dark yellow, almost orange, and when I stood back to look at the newly painted purple chair, which happened to be standing right in front of the gazenia’s it was as perfect as it could possibly be.

The colors looked perfect together and I felt myself literally filling with joy. Way back when, in the age of the purple wall I used to say I felt like Coca-cola, all bubbly and excited inside.

So one thing lead to another, and since I have a lot of seeds started for my summer garden, a window right above my beautiful gazenia’s and a huge collection of tin cans just waiting to be used, I decided to paint some purple and use them as a sort of window box when my flowers are big enough to be transplanted.

That was the plan, but then Passover came along, and I remembered that this too was a time of a year where modern consumerist tradition called for gifts (at pass over gifts for the house are usually given – dishes, hand towels and so on), since I am not much of a consumer I remembered a little late, and decided to use my freshly painted purple tins and to gift my family herbs. It seemed to be a great spring gift, and I knew it would look great.  So I picked up some Oregano, Thyme and Taragon at the nursery and planted them in the tin cans. Before I did that, I drilled holes in the bottom of the cans so that the water could drain, and prepared little tags for each one out of a tuna can.

To prepare the tags:

Cut the side strip of the tuna can (you can use any tin can for this).

Flatten it with some light hammering with a raw hid hammer (a rubber mallet would be just as good).

Snip of the corners and fold the edges up. By doing this you both eliminate the danger of being cut by the tin, and also give the tag a nice boarder.

Write the name of the herb with a permanent marker on the tag.

(I play around with embossing the names of the herbs on the tag, but since I don’t have letter punches and it wasn’t looking very good, I decided to leave good enough alone and go with the marker.)

I am usually not 100% happy with things I make, but for some reason, this just seemed to pull together well. The purple, the lovely shades of green the herbs have, along with the cute tabs makes me just about pleased as punch!

(Or it could just be spring :-))