I finished the front side of the Jack-O-Lantern mailbox decoration. As soon as it dries, I’ll turn it over and work on brightening up the back.
This is a “box turtle” we made from metal scraps. As you can see, being outside in the weather has taken its toll on the poor guy. He’ll be my next project.
The top of his ‘shell’ has peeled off in several places.
His face looks like he was in a fight and lost.
We had an extra section of tower when we got the parts for our ham radio tower awhile back. My husband had put it in the pile of stuff we would take to the next city clean-up. I suggested we use it to display some of the critters we make.
My husband made a form recently and dug the hole a couple of days ago. Yesterday we got 4 bags of Ready-Crete, mixed them up and poured the concrete for the tower. This pic shows the project before we started mixing the concrete.
Here’s a close-up of the hold before the concrete was poured.
We plan to attach things like shovel birds, dragonflies, and other weird things we make to the tower at various points. The tower is beside our ‘watermelon’ propane tank and will greet people when they get to the top of our driveway.
You wouldn’t think a guy coming to fill the propane tanks would be fun, would you. We had the best time two days ago when the man came up the driveway.
First, he made sure we wanted fill-ups on both tanks (we have a 1,000 gallon tank for the house and a 250 gallon tank for the shop). Then he turned to his truck to get started and stopped, and started to laugh. He looked at us delightedly and said, “Oh, this is wonderful! I wish all my customers were so creative!”
We told him that it wasn’t OUR creativity, that we had seen this on the Internet and decided we wanted to try it. He said he didn’t care, he thought it was GREAT.
We’re still walking around about 3 inches off the ground from his nice pat on our heads. :0)
Last evening our Fedex man brought us a delivery.
He jumped out of the truck with a serious look on his face. He looked at me and said, “You should sell this stuff.” When I looked a bit blank, he added, “My wife and I just joined an artists group and they’re going to have shows. You and your husband should bring your artwork and sell it. I bet it would sell really well.”
Well, THAT made our day! :0)
We discovered that his wife is into interior design and furniture, and apparently has a real gift for decorating. But then he started talking about our critters again. I told him that it was harder and harder to find scrap metal. We used to be able to go to a junk yard and prowl around, gathering things that looked interesting. We did that at auto salvage places, too. Now, due to liability issues, no one will let you prowl around anymore. Sometimes we luck into things, but it really has limited our critter making.
He told us he would be on the lookout for interesting scraps and would bring them to us when he found them.
Isn’t he wonderful?
I took my camera on my way out to see my husband in the shop.
Right now I’m really pleased at the display of twice-blooming deep purple iris we have around the yard. Here are some pictures –
Here you get a feeling for how they’re blooming much of the way down one side of the driveway. (You can also see the flying pig we made :0) )
Here are a few I cut to bring in today.
The orchid my friend, Nora, gave me several years ago is going nuts. I don’t think it has ever bloomed this much. :0)
My spinach sprouts on the window sill croaked. :0( I’ll try again. Meanwhile, here are the latest celery plant and several spaghetti squash plants ready to transplant into the garden. (The glass on the left is a try at being able to grow romaine lettuce from some bought at the store.
And last, but most important, the reason I went outside in the first place (other than to stretch my legs), is my husband at his reloading station in the shop. I offered him lunch, and he took me up on it.
Now that my break is over, I’m back to my ‘important stuff’ list…
This poor shovel bird was desperately in need of some attention after standing out in the Taylor’s yard for several years. I wish we could figure out a way to combat the effects of sun and weather better, but so far, we haven’t.
His refurbishment started with pulling off the remaining google eye. I wiped him down to get excess debris off and then gave him a scrubby bath – first with Simple Green, then with soap and water, and finally with “Pre” a spray-on degreaser that makes paint adhere to metal better. I put fresh primer paint on the spots that had rusted, then repainted the mail colors.
I used a metallic pen to do his ‘feathers.’ When the painting was dry, I sprayed him with polyurethane to protect the new paint as much as possible.
The last step was gluing on new googly eyes. I used Liquid Nails as a glue, then held them tight with clothes pins and heavy rubber bands until completely dry.
We’ll take him to the Taylors this Monday evening, when we pick them up to go bowling!
We made a shovel bird for our good friends, the Taylors, and gave it to them several years ago. Mother Nature has done a number on him, as she always does, making it necessary for some serious refurbishment. I’ve taken pics of the sweet bird BEFORE I start cleaning and repainting him.
One of his googly eyes fell off, and his beak looks like it was never painted.
Even with using rust resistant paint and then spraying on several coats of polyurethane, there are patches of rust. Of course, he’s dirty, also, having stood in the garden, weathering wind, rain, sun, and snow.
The first thing I did was pull the other eye off. Then I spent a long time cleaning him from top to bottom with Simple Green. Now I’ve painted the first coat of paint.
It will probably take two or three coats of paint, then I’ll use a silver pen to do the ‘feathers.’ I’ll paint on some polyurethane, rather than using just the spray, for as much protection as possible, and finally, I’ll glue new googly eyes on him.
I’ll take pics when he’s ready to go back to the Taylors.
This photo shows you several of our critters –
- 2 dragonflies with stained glass wings
- farmer robot
This is Mama and Baby Snail
My friend Carla came and helped me do the light green base coat It took me two evenings to finish the darker green (almost looks blue, doesn’t it?)
It’s not as good as the picture from which I was working, but few things are. That doesn’t bother me.
I couldn’t bear to repaint the tank white. It was truly boring and ugly – except that it was filled with propane, which we love.
Now, at least, it’s different. I can wait until the UPS delivery guy sees it. He laughed out loud when he heard our plans. :0)
This is our 1000 gallon propane tank after pressure washing. It looked a LOT better than it did, but paint was peeling and we had to repaint. My husband thought we should paint it white again. I decided that was boring and looked for other ideas.
I found this cute idea on the net, but don’t know who came up with it.
Our friend Carla came over about 7pm last night and we got started. Since our paint sprayer didn’t like the exterior latex paint, I opted to use rollers for the base coat.
We got most of the base coat done last night.
I’m going to paint the pipe that goes in front of the tank the same green to help it blend in.
I have feet of the propane tank, areas we missed, and some that need a second coat with a brush today.
My husband painted the dome with a brush. I decided to give it another coat with my roller and knocked the whole thing off, upside down, into the grass. :0( We sprayed off the grass and dirt and left it to dry. I’ll repaint it today.
Once this is dry, I’ll start with the darker green paint. I haven’t decided whether I’m going to try to make it look like a wedge has been cut out of the watermelon or not. I would try to mainly do the vertical slice. I haven’t decided about painting the wedge, either.
I would welcome your opinion.
My husband and I tried to use the paint sprayer a couple of evenings ago to paint the light green basecoat on the 1000 gallon propane tank. We tried adjusting the spray and changing the nozzles to no avail. My husband now has an order in for a nozzle that is supposed to be for exterior latex paint, but I’m going to go ahead and do the tank.
This is the watermelon design we found on the net, created by some creative someone. I wish I could give credit, but it wasn’t supplied. Anyway, we laughed when we saw it and hope visitors to our place will do the same.
Our good friend Carla wanted to know if I wanted help painting the tank. DID I!!!!! My husband is showing no interest in the project, particularly now that the spray painter let us down. Carla is coming for a ‘Painting Party and Cookout’ this evening about 7, when it starts cooling off a bit (we hope). While we’re painting, my husband will grill some delicious burgers for dinner.
We have short rollers and a long roller and several roller heads, so I’m hoping that the two of us can make pretty short work of the painting of the light green first coat. I have no idea if we’ll need one coat or need two to get a really good base, but we’ll see. Then when it’s dry, I’m hoping she’ll return to help me free hand the dark green paint.
I’ll post pics when we get the first coat of light green paint done.