Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Free Garden Makeover

It's easy to get frustrated with your garden when you don't have any money to work with but a great way to get around that is to walk through your garden plant catalog in hand and circle the things that you do have. You may be surprised and how expensive some of those plants would be if you had to go out and buy them.

I had a lot of white violas and I was surprised to find out they'd have cost me between 8.95 and 12.95 per plant if I'd had to buy them.

Mixed in with the violas I've got hundreds of lily of the valley plants that I'll be doing another project with.

My first plan was to use them in containers with some lily of the valley plants in the center for height and interest.

As I filled one pot after another I realized that there were enough of them to plant as a row along the edge of my path in the front of the garden and make things really look welcoming from the street. We'll see which of these ideas wins with my family. If there's digging to be done I'll have to depend on them for that.

It's a good thing that I didn't have them put in the ground right away. We had a surprise snow a few days later and a stretch of cold weather so I had the pots brought in the house while the flowers bloomed.

Unfortunately by the time I took this last batch of photos I'd already clipped the flowers and put them into my indoor butterfly habitat.

No matter what the weather does I'm having spring in my heart and my home.

As you can see they've grown quite a bit already.

The weather finally warmed up the violets in the yard are in bloom.

The ones in the pots were put in around other pots on the patio.

I planted this urn with a small maple tree at the center and lily of the valley and hosta in the middle then finished it off with the white violets around the outside edge. The reason the urn is sitting on that small table instead of on the side of the covered bench was because we'd painted it from blue to white so that it match the patio furniture and form part of the structure for the container garden.

The lovely thing about this is that it's just the right size to fill a gap between our place and the neighbors and offer a bit of privacy once the plants get bigger.

Brighten Up Your Garden Tools With Paint

The weather and hard use can really mess up your tools and take a lot of the pleasure out of gardening. It's especially true of watering cans because I will often use them as a vase when I'm out picking flowers or taking pictures.

This pail is where I keep a lot of my small garden tools and supplies. All the twist ties on the handle are there in case I need to wire plants to supports or trellises.

Another thing to remember when you're doing about a project like this is that trowels and other small tools can be held in flower pots so that it's easy to decorate the handles without smudging anything.

So far I feel that it's going pretty well and I can't wait to see how it is going to turn out when I've finished it.

I'm using easy floral designs that are made up of simple dots, comma strokes and straight strokes. Almost anyone can achieve these with just a bit of practice.

Beautiful tools make any job a pleasure.

Somehow, I got more and more involved and it went from just touching things up to re-doing the whole design.

With this last shot you can see what a difference each design element makes. I'm looking forward to finishing this piece so that I can get back to using it in the garden. Because of that I'll spray it with several coats of exterior polyurethane to make sure it will hold up to the weather and to hard use.


This daffodil was the very first flower to bloom in my garden this year.

I photographed it from a couple of different angles so that I can base some drawings on it on cold or wet days when I can't be out in the garden.

Some of the daffodils have been placed in the bottom of the butterfly habitat too.

We grow several different varieties of daffodils. Here are a couple of the ones with orange bands around the centers.

Even the Butterflies are enjoying the daffodils this year.

It wasn't long until all of the projects began together. As I began to write people about all of this, I added drawings to the photos.

No serious drawing yet. Just a few loose, lazy sketches to relax me and share my experiences with my friends and family.

They've been a joy for all of us here and I hope they will be for you too.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Painting Everything Bright and Fun

I just couldn't resist adding a little color to this old, black pool cue case. I still haven't decided what kind of design that I'm going to paint on the top but I imagine this will be quite a little conversation starter the next time I out to play pool. I'm really looking forward to it.

 Yes. I'm still painting posts and rails on my wheelchair ramp too.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Greeting cards and other Projects

 Inspiration comes from all sorts of things and all kinds of places.

The first thing that caught my eye was the paper plate that I'd been laying my paints out on. It occurred to me that elements of the design (dots and comma strokes) will lend themselves well to paint and folk out projects. I think it's got real possibilities.

I've tried this floral design and variations of it on many posts on the deck and wheelchair ramp here.

I was writing someone about the ramp hen it occurred to me that it would be nice to use the same design to decorate the card and envelope with.

After decorating the ramp card I thought I'd pursue the design further as the whole design for a card.

This last card was a lazy experiment using a cut out from a coloring book.

The important thing is to be spending time with paint and pencil whether or not you're creating art.

Things like this get me loosened up and ready to do some serious painting.