Have you ever suddenly realized that it’s been forever since you’ve done something you love? Whether that’s reading a good book, taking a trip, or just cooking your favorite meal, sometimes life gets in the way, doesn’t it?
While in Venice, Florida this past winter, I got involved with a few creative pursuits but since then, not so much.
I realized I’ve been missing it. It’s great to spend lazy days by the lake but sometimes a girl’s gotta say adios to her mani and get her hands dirty.
First up is this concrete leaf Fisherman and I made a couple of weeks ago. It was our first attempt so we knew there would be a learning curve, and we were right.
I won’t go into a full on tutorial, because we basically followed the instructions that came from this video here, so if you’re interested check it out.
I have a large weed that looks very much like a rhubarb plant, so I used one of the larger leaves (22″ wide and about the same height) for the mold. Everything was fine until a couple of days after it was completely dried it broke in half, right down the middle.
That’s the bad news.
The good news is I know why that happened. The video didn’t specify how thick the cement should be laid on the leaf, and I’m certain ours was too thin. Also, we added too much water to the cement which actually weakens the end result.
So we gave it another try, using a smaller, 11″ wide leaf just in case it didn’t work out again, but it did. This one is a lot more substantial (probably about 2″ thick along the spine) and the cement mixture was drier. I also gave it more of a curve so it can hold a decent amount of water.
I feel confident enough to do it again, using a larger leaf. Here’s a tip: when you watch videos on this process, they all mention that it’s difficult to remove the leaf from the cement once it’s set (which is typically 24-72 hours). We decided to leave the leaf on and not even try to remove it because frankly we liked how it looked. But we found that Mother Nature takes care of it for you. In just a couple of days, the leaf starts to dry and peal away by itself, making it much easier for you to remove the rest. I don’t have a picture of the final result without the leaf because I just unmolded it recently, but I’ll be showing you a more in depth process and the final result once we do the larger leaf project.
Here’s a pic of the front of our house and I’ve indicated where our fairy garden is located and where the first cement leaf was placed. We have three tree stumps from some tree removal we had a couple of years ago and rather than roll them into the woods out back we put them to use out front as ‘plant stands’. The one in the middle is reserved for the large leaf once we get to it, which will function as a bird bath.
Speaking of the fairy garden, here’s my latest addition…an outhouse, because let’s face it, we can’t have the fishing fairies going in the pristine lake now, can we??
A few weeks ago I saw this next project on Brenda’s blog and made it right away. Here’s the link if you’d like to take a shot at it, but DON’T use the glue that’s recommended unless you’re a masochist. Just use hot glue and you’ll have this done in minutes, not the hours that it would take using the glue that’s recommended.
After using the same tablecloth on this porch table for three years, I thought it was finally time to change it up. I got this fabric from Ikea years ago and like the way it brightens up this corner. Perfect for summer, and no sewing involved!
This piece of wood has been tucked away for years in my workshop. I’ve kept it all this time because the shape reminds me of a fish but I never knew what to do with it until recently. I had some leftover ‘pour on’ and decided to finish it and use it as a platter.
The wood was soooooo dry it drank it up like crazy, and the parts that are higher are much glossier than the rest, but I actually like that it came out that way and trust me, it looks better in person, and I recommend if you come across an interesting piece of wood don’t pass it by. A few coats of varnish or ‘pour on’ will give it new life and you’ll have a one of a kind piece. I can imagine using this to serve a whole fish, or even as the base for a cheese platter, albeit a large one…but that’s how I roll. I think it would look great with a few modern serving pieces to play off the rustic vibe!
That’s about it for crafts, but don’t go yet :).
The other day we went bike riding and ended up at the Bridge of Flowers in Simsbury, Ct. It’s a small bridge similar to this one maintained by a group of dedicated volunteers and they do an amazing job. There are dozens of lovely hanging baskets that flank the bridge on both sides, but I thought this was the prettiest so I decided to take a pic.
Just as I was about to take the picture, I noticed that Sharene put this one together! What are the odds of that happening? Each basket is dedicated to someone, many of whom have passed. Sharene is dedicating this to her mother and father in law. You remember her from this post and this post maybe? That’s one talented lady my friends!
Here’s my cradle planter, and just look at those potato vines! They’re really taking over, but I’ve noticed we have been getting some slug damage around the garden. If you look closely you can see a leaf with a couple of holes. They completely destroyed my peas and zinnias also. I put out some beer in small containers which killed a great deal of them, but the damage was done.
Here’s a hibiscus flower on the deck. They’re such beautiful blooms, I only wish they lasted more than a day.
Last, but not least, I want to introduce you to my new bff. He/she comes by every day, and lately I noticed a little baby bunny too. We have never seen bunnies before as our area has/had fox and coyote, but for whatever reason they’re no longer around so the bunnies are out in full force. No complaints here.
In other news…
Here by the lake at the height of summer, all is as it should be. The weather has been wonderful (though we desperately need rain) and we’ve been spending our days bike riding, relaxing by the beach and taking care of the garden. We have just booked a few days in Acadia in Maine for September. We will be taking BAM to Vermont for a couple of days with our RV group then heading to Maine from there. If you’ve been and have any suggestions, I’m all ears.