old timer

Sunday, August 2, 2015

How To Make Plant Markers with Metal and Wood PLUS a Winner

Hi guys!!!

Let's start with a winner.  It's always fun to get the good news first ... right?   Our new friend Susan was kind enough to give me a few new ideas for some goodies to make using those funky plasma cut pieces of metal.  Remember those???  I'm going to get some of those goodies in the mail to her real soon!!!  THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!  Your ideas were so much fun!

Well, she's given me a few fun ideas... so, let's start with the easiest (to me) first.  One thing she and others have asked for is a tutorial or two using tools.  I grew up in an area you would consider country.  I was lucky enough to have a father and 2 grandfathers who loved to make things using power and hand tools.  Someone was always building something.  So, while they were gone, I got out their tools and built things too.  I was a lucky little girl because I never cut off my fingers using the power table saw.  I had to stand on something in order to reach the blade!!!  OOPS!  If I caught my kids doing that ,,, they wouldn't sit down for a week after the spanking they would have gotten.  My daughter was older when she finally found my tools.  You see she didn't clean up her messes as well as I did as a kid!!!   EEK!!!!!  She just couldn't believe that I knew she'd been in the garage.  She did good though!!!

SO!  Let's make what I would call the easiest for using tools.  She would like to make plant stakes using the metal cut outs. 

Let's start with wood stakes.  Maybe later I'll show you how to use a metal epoxy to "glue" metal to metal so you don't have to have a welder.  There are basically 3 steps to each stake we are going to build.  

First ,,, figure out what the wood "stake" should be. 

Second ,,, how are we going to mount the metal to the wood? 

Third ,,, how to drill a hole in the wood and/or metal.


Nails - a couple
Screws - a couple - if that is what you want to use
Screw Driver - the same type as the screw head has (flat or Phillips)
Twine - if you'd like to try making this type
Metal Wire - if you'd like to try making this type
*Saw (MAYBE!)  If you can find wood that's just the right size,,, you won't need a saw.

FIRST:   Here are a few different wood "stakes" I'm using.

I have so many different types of stakes ,,, so we'll use 5 different types.  This way you might see something you have in your garage.

SECOND:  Here are a couple ways to mount the metal on the wood.

We can use nails or screws ...

or wire/twine you have hanging around. 
This is my metal recycle bucket. 
I'll use the wire in it.

We can use screws, nails, wire or twine.  SORRY!  I DO NOT USE GLUE.  I rarely to never use glue for anything except mounting glass on glass.  I do use glue in wood joints that are put together with dowels, but those have nails or screws that go through the wood and dowels.  The glue is just a little extra help for that joint.

THIRD:  Let's "drill".        

I know drilling means one thing to you,,, but, to me.... it means putting a hole in something.  There are a couple different ways to do that.  I will show you 2 ways to "drill".

When you drill holes you have to feel the metal you are going to put a hole in.  If it's thick ... you can not use the nail method.  You must use a drill.  It can be a drill press or a hand drill.  The thicker the metal, the more you need the drill press.  If you can bend the metal ... try starting with a nail.

Get your hammer out.  I set my work on a
large wood board.  It's easier for this job.

Hit the nail HARD once.  You should find a nice little
hole in it.  Make a second one below it.

Did I measure?  NOPE!  We'll work on that later!

OR!  If you have a drill press, it's much easier!!!

This is what the bottoms of the holes look like.  The
top 2 are from a nail.  The bottom 2 are from
a drill press.  Either works great.

NOW!  Let's figure out what you want your piece to look like.  If you use a large stake, you will need to use a larger metal piece.  The balance of small to large pieces shows up at this point.  I'll show you what I mean in a few pictures.
Larger wood, larger metal.

Large wood, medium metal.

Large wood, small metal.  HMMM???

Large wood, tiny heart.  ICKY!

Smaller wood, large metal heart.

Smaller wood, smaller metal,,, but it's wide!  not bad!!!

Let's put one together!
Let's use this "dowel" (it's the handle of an old mop). 
See how the nail is too long.  Usually I would
cut the nail off.  Not this time!

2 nails.  One used, one new.
You can see how it will look from the front.

The nails were too long.  I just hit them all the
way through, then I hit the ends at an angle
so they would lay down.

Now let's make one where we wire it on.  You could use twine.  I had wire sitting right there, so I used it.

I used a fancy turned spindle, a metal cut
out and some scrap wire.

I used a piece of wire about 12 inches long.  I bent the
end like shown on the left.  I put it around the spindle
so the ends came out the other side.  
Think from the back to the front.

I wrapped the wires down the sides of the metal heart
and then pulled them to the back of the spindle.

Then I twisted the ends together and
cut off the extra length.

The finished look.  FUN!!!

Here are a few pictures of 5 finished plant markers.

Tall.  Short.  One metal piece on a stake.  
3 metal pieces on a stake.
Click on the picture to make it larger!

Tall with lots of room.  So, I used 3 pieces
of metal.  I would use a felt pen or chalk
 to write on the middle one.

There's a heart on each side.

I added 2 skinny hearts for leaves.

I love this little guy.  He's my favorite by far!!!

I hope you learned something here.  It's hard to tell you how to do something without taking page after page to explain things.  Remember one thing.  Art like mine is meant to be "sloppy".  I want these old pieces to look like a real vintage piece once I put it together.  I don't just want it to look old ... I want it too look ancient!

If you have any questions ... PLEASE ASK!!!  I'll tell you everything I know.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Rugby and a Few New Finds

Hi guys!

It's been a while.  I was lucky enough to turn "old" a month ago.  LOL!  I finally turned 59 1/2 and I finally got to touch my retirement money without penalties.  SO!  I gave myself a birthday present.  I went to San Jose and Sacramento, CA, to watch 4 wonderful rugby matches.  The US team won one, lost one!  Not bad!!!  They are not a pro team, just (HA!  Just!) a team thrown together full of wonderful young men who are some of the best the US has to offer.  A few play professionally in Europe or Japan.  Most are just your neighbors!!!  They play an AMAZING GAME!!!  They are playing in the World Cup coming up in September and October this year.  I hope you get to take a moment to watch ... even if it's only for a minute ... or a play or two.  You might find out this is something you like and didn't know it!!!  It's football without pads and breaks.  It's 80 minutes of near nonstop rugby!  GO EAGLES!!!

By the way.  The Eagles play rugby at Soldier Field in Chicago, IL on Sept. 5th, 2015, against a giant of a team from Australia.  It should sell out and it will be on TV.  Watch for it ... please!  Last year they played against a team from New Zealand and drew over 61,000 people to the game.  Just give it a try.  It's a sport we don't know much about here in the United States and I'm sure hoping we not only learn it, but we get ourselves a professional team.

While on this trip I stopped by every single junk shop I could find.  I stopped by many antique shops.  NOTHING!!!  I FOUND NOTHING!!!  How can this be???  ME???  SKUNKED???  AT JUNKIN'???  Holy crap people.  It was sad.  I went to a monster sized flea market in San Jose.  It was like shopping in a Mexican dollar store.  Serious.  The majority of the booths were permanent.  In other words ... the same old vendors, same old stuff every day it's open.  Might not be bad for the new guy, ME!  But, it was mostly and honestly the same thing you find in dollar stores.  The majority of the rest was stuff brought in from Mexico.  There were a few spaces where they actually had some great junk.  Just not what I was looking for.  DARN!  Oh well! 

I did find a couple things.

A couple pieces of silver plate that will become
a piece of jewelry .. probably?

This I found in an antique shop. 
It's a great advertising piece.

I think it should go on a leather cuff and move. 
It could be used when you need it!!!

I found 4 sets of embossing stamps. 


Might be fun to use on leather!  Or lightweight metal.

Of course I have both and I'm ready to stamp!!! 

This is honestly all I found in 2200 miles of roads and towns.  SUCKED!!!  LOL!  Oh well.  Maybe next trip?  I can only hope.

HEY!  Did you get a chance to think about any ideas for my metal hearts???  Any ideas for me???  HUH???  Only a couple days left!!!

HELP!!!!  P L E A S E!!!


Monday, June 29, 2015

Give Away - My First

Hi guys!

OKAY!  I'm lost!  SERIOUS!!!  I can't figure out what to do now that Sorticulture is over.

I know ... I heard ya ... honest ... tutorial.  BUT ???  On what???

Here's my deal:  I have had enough of making things that I've already made.  HUM!  Did that make sense???  I sure hope so.  So far I'm thinking tutorials on hypertufa shrooms and hearts, whiskey barrel band crowns and ????  I don't have a clue!!!  SORRY!

SO!  I'm going to put all you wonderful people to work.  HA!  Oh I do love to see others work ,,,, don't you???  tee hee hee!  Your turn!!!

Here's your deal:  I have a few funky metal cut outs that are a hoot.  When I showed them to you everyone seemed to like them.

SO!  I have a few new types now.  What I want is some ideas on 2 things:

1:  What would you do with any of the hearts you see in all the following pictures???

2:  What do you want to see for a tutorial???  What can I make?  Most anything garden related.  My materials are recycled metals, wood and some glass.  NO PLASTIC!!!  Sorry!  I HATE plastic. 

What do you have to do??? 

Leave me a comment with 3 things: 

1)  your first name and email address
2)  what would you do with the hearts you see in the following pictures?
3)  what tutorial would you like to see?

It's really not that hard.  BUT!  You do have to think about it a bit.

I'll pick a few different comments and on August 1st I will send you an email asking which hearts you would like.  I'll get your snail mail address and get your goodies shipped in the mail. 


These hearts are a little thicker
than the next pics.

These hearts are a little thinner.

None of the edges have been cleaned up

on any of the pieces.

I LOVE funky things to play with.

GOOD LUCK!!!  You can do it!!!!

These are too fun!


Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Sorticulture Recap

Hi guys!

Sorry this took so long! 


That's all I can say.  The show was amazing!  Record attendance on Friday and Sunday.  Saturdays attendance was only 4 people short!  It was FUN!  Honestly ... I didn't notice the big number of people.  I think they have a better way of keeping track of who comes in the door now.  ???  I don't know.  It really didn't matter.  It was that good.  The weather was as perfect as the Northwest can get.  Not too hot.  Not cool at all.  Ahhhh ,,, Just right!

After an amazing Friday I went home and cleaned out the house, the yard and the garage.  YEP!  I sold a lot of goodies.  Like I said the other day.  I started selling at 7:30ish and it didn't stop all day.  One sweet person even bought me a latte.  THANK YOU FOR THAT!!!  It made my day.

Saturday started off with a wonderful lady waiting for me to get there at 8:30ish.  She even helped me unload my truck.  SCHWEET!  So is she.

Sunday started off with that same sweet lady waiting for me.  I hope she found a surprise in her mailbox Tuesday.  :)

I don't have a single picture to show you.  I didn't have time to get any Friday.   Saturday there wasn't much to take pictures of.  Sunday ,,, well ,,, I was so dead tired it took forever for me to get out of the park even though I had FABULOUS help.

Monday found me crashed trying with every thing I had to stay awake.  I did great until 2 or 3 minutes before the Chicago Blackhawks scored their first goal.  SORRY!  I backed up the dvr and watched the rest of the game.  Thanks guys for winning!!!

Tuesday finds me crashing and making brownies for the recycle guys.  If they are lucky there might be a few left and I might even share them ... tee hee hee!!!

Let's see ... what sold first???  HA!  Whiskey barrel ring crowns and beer taps!  Anything hose guide related.  If it looked like it could be used as a hose guide it sold!  SWEET!  The big birdhouse with the horse on top sold.  The shower and fender light were purchased by a wonderful lady who lives in a castle.  SERIOUS!!!  I saw the pictures.  Her and her hubs took it home in their Bummer convertible.  Yes.  Bummer.  I believe he made it.  He's a car body man.  Very, very nice people.

EVERY SINGLE CROWN SOLD!!!  hahaha!  I'm sorry.  These are soooo much fun.  It just cracks me up that a practice piece and a whole lot of cussing turns out to be the piece(s) that paid for my booth again this year.

The crown fire pit sold first thing.  Both old bikes sold first thing.

Here are a few pictures, of what sold, in case you missed them while I was getting ready for the show.

I made 6 of these and they were sold by 8:30 Friday
morning and there was a bit of a tussle
over the last 2. 

Nearly every one of these were purchased by a man.
There were 20 of them.

Sold quickly!

One of the first birdhouses sold.

They all sold, but slower than I thought they would.
Still good.

All of these sold.  One was bought by a man whose friend
had to talk him into it.  He has a fairy garden and was
afraid to say he did.  It's okay dude!  HONEST!

These were sold by 8:30 or 9.  Wish I would have made
many, many more.  I'll have to find some more molds. 
I think I'll put them on Etsy.

All of these sold and they wanted more.

I sold 2 full baskets of these.  $5 each. 
They paid for both booths.

Most of the concrete totems sold.  If I were to sell
these again, I would make them the year before
to let them collect the moss.

A wonderful man bought this as a
surprise for his wife.

Ready for this?  A wonderful whirlwind of a woman
bought this.  Her husband is a car body man. 
They live in a castle.
NOT KIDDING!  I saw the pictures.
She was SO MUCH FUN!!!

Here's the deal with the show.  I LOVE the people who attend this show.  For the most part they are upbeat, excited and happy to be there!  Those that came to buy that is.  The others are just looking around in awe of how many things are there that they want.  Those who come to buy hit the vendors they like and chat and chat.  IT'S SO MUCH FUN!  I am going to miss this.  YET!  It's time.  It's Tuesday evening and I still haven't moved off the couch.  I'm tired.  My back hurts.  My feet are tired.  tee hee hee!!!  I'M OLD dammit!!!  LOL!

Time to quit whining and watch a little basketball.  Let's see if the NBA is half as interesting as the NHL.  Doubt it (she says with a smile on her face).

What can I tell you about???  What can I show you how to do???  Tutorial on ????????

Talk to ya soon.