Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A Sunday at the Farm

My husband's family are generation farmers here in the midwest and, long ago, when they wanted to throw something away that was no longer useful there were not any trash haulers or city garbage pickup. So, there was a spot out somewhere on the back or middle of the acreage (usually a gully or something akin to that) that was used as a dump. It is full of broken glass, pottery, metal, etc. We go out there sometimes to look for useful stuff. I've found old, white, cold cream jars that I've turned into pincushions or candle holders. I've also found old iron items that we have turned into yard art. I have scavenged rusted fencing, barbed wire, bed springs, broken pottery, old bottles, and really aged wood pieces and used them for various projects.

Awhile ago I got this idea in my head to create a "chandelier" for the outdoor terrace by hanging an iron wheel on a tree limb and adding some lanterns for candles. I found a really beautiful piece of iron work which was priced at $300 -- !way out of my price range! Well it was really beautiful and had metal flowers which still had the aged paint on them. A showcase piece but I couldn't part with the cash for it.

So, off to the "pit" we went! Just a little Sunday drive out into the country, bouncing down the dirt path to the center of the property where there is a small stand of trees standing guard over this treasure trove.

As we approached I could tell that there had been some additions to the heap and that summer had added its covering of weeds and grasses to the property. It didn't look good to be able to find what we were after.  A couple of years ago we dug out a set of iron wheels on an axle and dragged that home to add to our garden art. We had left the matching set somewhere in all that growth. So we were hunting where we thought they should be.

We got out of the van and sprayed on the bug protection, then my husband began creating a path through the high grasses for me. We should have brought a machete I thought. Oh, this didn't look too promising! But right away I picked up a nice piece of aged wood and layed that aside to collect on the way back. We walked for a bit to the spot where we thought the wheels should be and couldn't find them so we walked a bit further looking for some uncovered areas to dig down for some jars or whatever we could find.

It was too overgrown and we decided to come back after the frost when the high growth would die back.  Then we spotted our prey! Aha! found the wheels and they were still there and intact.

Ah, they are beautiful. We managed to get one of them free of the axle and dragged it off to the van.

Ah! This is our quarry -- all safe and sound in the van. Isn't she beautiful? and Free -- just the price of the gas, a skinned shin for my husband and a nice drive in the country. This will be beautiful under the oak tree all lit up on a summer's eve.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Patriotic Heart

This little heart was made from some red velvet I bought for 50 cents at my local thrift store. I added the letters cut from a white wool blanket that I felted in the washing machine. The back is cut from burlap fabric to give the piece added texture and the white and blue ribbon finish the whole piece off nicely.

Friday, July 1, 2011

What do I do with these?

So, its garage sale season here in the midwest and I am gaining some new found objects.  I'm going to "do" something with these pieces I just haven't decided what. 

Iron finials -- I found these at about 1/3 their original price at our local hobby shop. They are black with a little gold on them. I don't really like the color so I will probably paint them cream and antique them and then add some paste wax.

Old door handle plates: I found these at a little antique/vintage store.  They are really cool just as they are so I won't do anything to them except maybe brush the dust and dirt off them. I think they will make really great stands for an art piece - I just need to make a frame that gets attached into the hole and then create a piece of art for the frame.


 Iron Stars with a nail on the back:  I originally purchased these to put on a turned post that I wanted to make into a flag stand. I haven't found the turned post yet and might need to buy a new one at the hardware store and make it look old.  The stumbling block is that the new ones are about $40 bucks and I was hoping to find an old one cheap at a yard sale. No luck yet.


Three packages of small mirrors:  I bought these yesterday at my local hobby shop. A few weeks ago I saw an outdoor art piece that had mirrors strung on it and I thought it looked really cool not to mention that it tends to keep the birds away from whatever you hang it near.  So I thought that I would recreate my version using a piece of wood from which to hand a few strands of fishing line and glue the small mirrors back-to-back.  Kinda a mobile of sorts.