Friday, August 22, 2014

Easy, Upcycled Bird Feeder

I love teacups.  They're practical and beautiful, and when you're drinking out of an old teacup you can imagine the history-the guests seated around a dining room table, enjoying dessert and discussing marriages and kids.  Oh wait, I may be daydreaming again.  Anyway, I saw the cutest teacup bird feeder idea on pinterest.

The artist (Robbyn Mast) used it as a birdfeeder but you could also use it to hold water for birds, butterflies and insects, or you can plant a succulent garden in it.  The possibilities are endless. This idea spoke to my love of the garden, everything old and upcycling.
It looked simple to make and I knew I had everything I needed here at home but it turns out I wasn't ready to part with my grandma's teacups so I've been checking out our local thrift stores every once in awhile.  Wouldn't you know it, they've been a little scarce these days.  But I'm patient, and persistent and it recently paid off with this find at the local Goodwill store.  The cup and saucer cost just .79 each.  I had on hand: household cement (water resistant), a narrow throated bottle (any old bottle will do) to hold my teacup upright, and some sandpaper to rough up the surface of the ceramic.  The roughing up was something that was recommended on the cement package though I'm not too sure it was necessary.

 5 items-5 minute project 
I gave the cup and saucer a quick once over with the sandpaper.

Glue the cup and saucer together.  Put the cement around the edges of the cup and not in the indentation in the center like I did the first time.  Hold the pieces together for 60 seconds. 

Put the cement around the edges of the glass bottle
Press the bottle to the bottom of the teacup and hold for another 60 seconds. 
Let the whole thing dry, upside down, for 2-3 hours (or overnight if you can wait that long).
                                          This couldn't have been more simple.

I love this is my garden

I used an old piece of rebar to perch my garden teacup upon but there are a ton of things you could substitute  (bamboo cane, broken broomstick, copper pipe, pvc pipe) as long as it fits the opening of your bottle.  
Some bird seed will scatter (and germinate) so keep that in mind when looking for a spot to display your teacup feeder.
Enjoy vintage, upcycled garden art and make your local wildlife happy.
Be well and happy gardening!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Crazy For Corks

In my never ending quest to not throw things out I've become a bit of a hoarder. An organized hoarder, as my son says, but a hoarder none the less.  I have baskets, boxes, bowls and cupboards filled with things that I'm not throwing out because I know I can make something out of them.
I believe almost everything can be repurposed, it just needs to be nicely stored until I can figure out what that repurpose is.
The problem is, at some point I have to do something with all this "stuff" or I'll end up running out of room. 

                          A container of wine corks just waiting to be repurposed

After searching the internet for ideas to reuse my corks in the garden I came across a cute and rustic plant marker on the Huffington Post.  The project is from Artsy Vava.    You need only 4 items and no crafting experience.

Wouldn't you know it, I had everything I needed on hand.
                                     Center the fork on the cork and press hard. 

                                 The natural holes in the cork make this job easy.

Wrap the twine around the top portion of the fork handle.  I found it was easiest to wrap the twine from the bottom up.  If you hold a small piece of the twine against the fork you can wrap the twine up, securing the end of the twine as you go.  Finish off at the top with a knot.
Tie a separate piece of twine over the knot and make a bow.
Write the name of your flower or herb on the cork with a permanent ink marker.

                                              My quick and cute plant marker

1 cork down, 1 full jar of corks to go.  I guess there's always cork mulching.  Check out my blog on Feb. 03, 2013, The Miracles of Mulching.
Be well and happy Gardening.