Thursday, August 27, 2015

Black oil

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My neighbor upstate gave me an old bird feeder, probably because I enjoy watching the birds at his feeder so much. I was thrilled and cleaned it out in preparation for filling, setting out and watching the local avian population gather to eat. I went out in search of wild bird seed and received a rather unpleasant shock...wild bird seed in expensive! The least expensive bag I found was $10 and that was for a mixed bag of seeds. The premium bag, comprised of all black oil (sunflower) seeds was even more expensive. That's when the light bulb went on. I grow sunflowers, I thought. I'm gonna use those seeds.

Upon my return downstate, I clipped some of the ripe sunflower heads to remove the seeds. One of those heads was nearly as large as the dinner plate I set it on (upper left photo). When I finished seeding that head, the seeds filled that same dinner plate (lower left photo). After seeding all the heads, I had filled a large pasta bowl with premium black oil sunflower seeds (lower right photo) that will fill my bird feeder on my next trip to my mountain home. My garden feeds me and my feathered friends. What a rush!

Can you see me smiling?

Ballo ergo sum

- Gitana, the Creative Diva

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

A Small Bookcase Gets a Makeover

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Bookcase - Before
Bookcase disman
 I get a certain satisfaction out of taking something unwanted and turning into something beautiful. Recently I picked up a small wooden bookcase from a fellow Freecycler for the purpose of refinishing it for my home in upstate New York. It presented with a few challenges, most notably that it had stains from wood knots showing through the painted finish. I took it apart, stripped and sanded everything except the back. Then I gave it several coats of white paint especially made to cover stains and dark colors to obscure the wood knot stains.
One side stripped.
A shelf is sanded

By the time I got to the back of the bookcase, I was anxious to move on to another project so I opted not to paint it. Instead I covered over it with three pieces of white wrapping paper in the spaces corresponding to the shelf openings. Then I used a fun stencil from The Crafter's Workshop,  TWC97 - Swirly vines. I wanted a coordinated look but not cookie cutter sameness so I chose to color the flower elements in each panel in a different color palette. When the back was replaced on the bookcase, I was pleasantly surprised to see it looked even better than I imagined it would. Next up is to make some low trays/containers for each shelf to hold miscellaneous items. I think I'll make each tray in a solid color to echo the background and low enough to allow the design on the back to show through.

 I want my new home filled with small treasures made by my own hand. This bookcase will join the birdhouses that I recently painted in the kitchen/dining area and they will be among the first things I see when I enter my home.

It's little things like this that make me smile.

Ballo ergo sum
- Gitana, the Creative Diva