Tag Archives: tin cans

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 :-))

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Tin Can Party Favors and Strawberry men – What I Have Been Up Too

15 Mar

 Purim, my excuse for not blogging came and went a while ago, and for some reason, maybe because of spring and because I am planning my garden, I have not managed to bring myself to blog, or even to read others blogs.

 There is something about this bilingual blogging that is a bit of a drag. Writing in one language and then translating it into another, having to post all of the images twice means that one single post takes a lot of time. I can not just sit down quickly blurt something out – blurting might be ok in one language, but I do not think it translates exceedingly well.

 Any case, I didn’t log on to bitch and moan.

 Purim (in a way the parallel of Halloween, at least as far as costumes go) is usually about mothers running around like chickens without head to either buy or make fancy dress costumes. This year my kids were quite adamant about wearing their costumes from last year (a witch and wolverine). After considering persuading them to go for something new, I realized how crazy that would be and thanked my lucky stars that they are creatures of habit, and I would have fewer things to worry about this year.

 At my daughters preschool, they have a Purim feast, and the parents have to bring a disguised dish – or a dish with a fun presentation. I decided to make a fruit plate and was quite happy with my strawberry men.

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Another tradition that is associated with purism is giving small, sweet gifts to neighbors and friends, since I didn’t have to spend time making costumes I could spend more time getting into trouble with the sweet gifts. Of course, I made ozne’ haman (which are cookies with a poppy seed filling) and regular cookies, but as far as I was concerned, they were not as important has how I was going to package them.

I thought that I could make boxes like Chinese take away boxes out of cereal boxes. I did, and the kids and I decorated them with stamps I made out of some packaging I found in an air conditioning box, but I didn’t love them. They were a little big for what I wanted, and lacked fun. Although we all had fun making them, they were not whimsical, and I wanted whimsical.

I was getting quite desperate, since time was running out, and I knew there was no way in hell I would give my neighbors cellophane covered plates. To  boring.

 I noticed out of the corner of my eyes the huge tin can collection I have on my fridge, (it has since been moved) and I decided to use them. If I had thought about it earlier, I would have painted them, but I love them au natural, though no one but me can figure out why.

 I made sleeves out of baking paper, which I tied of at the top, hot glued candy around the edges and made a festive little greeting flag.

 I love the result, and intend to use it again.

  I didn’t get any feedback at all from my neighbors, so I hope I am not alone in thinking this was a terrific idea.

Finding My Doodle – Doodled Tuna Coat Hangers

26 Feb

I have been reading a lot about cardboard furniture, and fantasizing about industrializing the whole process, without even making the tiniest piece of furniture. Not for the lack of trying – I am collecting boxes from here and there,  and am finding flaws in the boxes which make them unsuitable for what I want to make. It’s a bit frustrating, and I am sure there is an element of procrastination, do to the fact that I am really quite scared of trying and failing with this.

In the meantime, I am tuna canning again.

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I have always been a doodle freak, except in the past few years, when the jewelry took over every available grey cell in my brain, and even my doodles were jewelry oriented.

Parallel to writing this blog, I have started a new sketch book, dedicated to finding my doodle again, and it is coming back slowly but surely.

In addition to that, I am enjoying my tuna can coat hooks, and want to make more of them, both because I could use more elsewhere in the house, and also because they would make nice gifts.

Anyway, it seemed like a good time to combine both these activities and I have started doing a series of doodled tuna cans. I did the initial black with an Artline marker, and was going to color it with acrylics, but discovered its harder than it seems, mainly, since I didn’t have a tiny enough brush. Even though I did give one of my brushes a hair cut, it wasn’t as accurate as I needed it to be, and as you can see, I needed to wear my optivisors, a serious throw back to my jewelry days, to be able to hi the right spot with the brush.

I have since purchased a good one, I hope, but have not put it to use yet, instead, I decided I would try the easy way out, and color in with markers.

Although I do like the results, I realize how limited the markers color palate is, and although it’s hard for me to imagine life getting any better than being able to do my art in bed, I will, at least temporarily abandon the markers in favor of my new brush and acrylic paints.

Any tricks for painting tiny areas accurately?

How To Make a Coat Rack from Tin Cans

15 Jan

I finished them, or kind of did LOL.

Tin can coat hooks

It was quick, light and fun as anticipated, and I would have been able to say that I finished them completely if I was happy with the colors, and had the hardware for the wall… (I don’t know what it’s called in English, neither does Google translator….the little plastic thing you insert into the hole in the wall, into which you can screw a screw….)

BTW, the reason they have light canvas totes hanging from them instead of heavy leather coats is because they are secured to the wall with blue tac at this point in time. It was quite amusing trying to get the bags to stay up long enough for me to walk the 2 steps back to photograph them….

I wanted them to be gradated shades of light blue or light blue/gray. Color is not something I do often so getting the colors to look exactly like I wanted them, with the subtle differences you would see on paint chips has proved harder than I expected. Being disappointed with the blues I thought that it would be more subtle in shades of cream….Not quite sure yet.

Anyway, the good thing is that Tuna cans are not hard to come by, and this isn’t a time consuming project which means I can be as indecisive as I want to….!

Of course you can treat these as a blank canvas, dolling them up or keeping them as plain as you want. I love the clean industrial look the bottom of the cans have, which is why I decided only to use color.

I have put together a short tutorial for your benefit:

You will need:

Tuna can/cans

Metal snipers,

Drill or nail (to be used as a punch) and hammer

Flat nose pliers, preferably toothless so you don’t scar the metal

Primer

Paint

Polyurethane to finish.

Drill 2 holes right near to the bottom of the can, about 1.5 – 2 cm apart. (more or less o.6 – o.85 inches)

Starter holes In Tin Can

Cut with metal snips between the two holes and then down to the bottom of the can. It helps to mark the lines before hand, since you snips will pull you sideways.

preparting tab

Pull the tongue out towards you and fold the edges towards the inner side. (I like the fold to be visible. If you would like the fold to be invisible, then fold the edges towards the outside of the can).

Push the tongue inwards till it is perpendicular to the can and fold the edges on the can itself inwards. The folding makes things look a bit tidier, and also helps you avoid cutting yourself or ripping your coats. This is a bit more complicated to do since you need to find a way to grab the edges of the can with your pliers from the inside…It is doable with a bit of patients.

Finish folding the tongue so that when placed on the table, the opening of the can and the tongue are flat.

Drill a hole in the tongue big enough for a screw.

Paint with primer and get creative with paints. It’s a good Idea to finish it off with poly since coats and bags might be rough on the paint and vs. versa.

Enjoy!

Whoohoo….

12 Jan

Remember my List?

Combine that with the fact that on the same day I wrote the list my coat hanger rack, or one of them, magically fell of the wall in the laundry room. It kind of felt as if the powers that be were trying to give me a big fat hint as to what item on my list would be a good place to start……

 mystery hook

This coat spent the whole night hanging on my new trial coat hanger…..it  is just a sketch to see if it would work, and guess what – It does.

 Of course, like the rest of the things I am making, it will take time before I can actually show you the finished product, all nicely gussied up for guests and for show and tell, and I am wondering if I should leave this as a cliff hanger to get you to check back soon, or if I should go with my instinct an my inability to keep my mouth shut and show you this:

Tadaaa!

I am really excited about this, and have a whole master plan R hasn’t heard of yet…. (Although he did giggle in delight when I showed it to him yesterday) he tends to get stressed by the thought of old cans hung on our walls in plain view…..

‘Nuff said!