Saturday, June 29, 2013

Upcycle Wine Bottles • Add a Touch of Wood Veneer

Several months ago I received a sales email from Inventables promoting their wood veneers. At the time I was (and still am) hoping to create a beautiful hanging lamp for the bedroom and I purchased a sheet of their bamboo wood veneer to experiment with. It has been sitting in a box ever since, out of sight but not out of mind.  I have been thinking about it and this week decided that the new lamp wasn't in the near future but I had a NOW idea for the thin veneer. I combined it with some disarded wine bottles (and assorted others) and flat black spray paint to create.....

A collection of striking display bottles. I love the graphic punch of this project. Using simple triangles and a variety of patterns, I created a series of unique yet related bottles that are stunning together......

Or individually.......

And it was so simple to do.

First a little bit about Inventibles. It bills itself as a hardware store for designers and you can buy some very unique items here. If you aren't on their email list, you should consider it. The stuff they have is just down right inspirational.  I purchased two pieces of bamboo veneer for my lamp but in going back to the site, they have a version that is adhesive backed. That would have been better for this project.

Tutorial: Upcycled Bottles with Wood Veneer

  • A collection of empty bottles. I used wine bottles, a balsamic vinegar bottle, a fancy liquor bottle and an old candle jar. 
  • Flat Black Spray Paint
  • Scotch Blue Painter's Tape
  • Wood Veneer (see note about Inventables above)
  • Spray Adhesive - switched to 5 minute epoxy
  • Razor Blade
  • Metal Ruler
  • Self-healing cutting mat
  • GooGone
  • Pencil
  • Fine Sharpie Marker

  • Soak the bottles in hot water and scrape off all labels.

  • Clean off any residue glue using Goo Gone. 

  • Wash the bottles in hot soapy water and dry.
  • Spray the bottles using flat black spray paint. Follow all spraying instructions. Work outside on a windless day. Spray with many light coats to prevent drips.

  • Stop and take some photographs because flat black bottles are an excellent subject.

  • Draw cut lines on the back of the veneer. My triangles are isosceles triangles with a base that is 2" long and a height of 1". Use a ruler and sharp pencil because precision matters. 
  • Important Note: Pay attention to the grain of the wood. You will want it to run perpendicular to the curve of the bottle. That will impact how you lay the triangles out on the veneer.  I did some sets as shown in the photo below. And I did some sets turned 90º.

  • Using a sharp razor blade and a metal ruler cut the triangles. The material is thin and cuts easily.

  • Use painter's tape to mark the position of your design. I made precise markings on the tape, then put the tape on the bottle to help in accurately positioning the triangles.

  • I measured the circumference of the bottle and used painter's tape to evenly space the designs that wrapped around the bottle. I wanted the pattern to end evenly so it required advance planning.

  • Curl the veneer piece around a curve object ( I used a bic pen) to give them a slight curve. This helps them stay in place. The bend goes with the wood grain.

  • I didn't have adhesive backed veneer so I used spray glue (3-M Super 77) and sprayed the back of each triangle and then carefully positioned it on the bottle aligning it to the markings on the painter's tape.
  • Update: After a week the spray adhesive started to let go. I added 5 minute epoxy under the corners and that held much better over time.

  • Apply all the triangles for your pattern and then remove the painter's tape.

  • Create different patterns on different shaped bottles. All of the patterns on these bottles were made using the same sized triangle just arranged differently.

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©2013 Ashbee Design, Marji Roy

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Thursday, June 27, 2013

Disposing of Latex Paint

Part of organizing David included addressing the collection of paint. Any DIY family seems to collect paint and our pile was out of control.  I went through it all, identified cans that matched current walls, labeled those and saved them, and marked the rest for disposal. Paint is tricky. It can't be discarded but latex paint is non-toxic when solid. I had previously tried removing a cover to let it dry out and it took years (literally) to turn solid. I approached it differently this time round.

It is called painting - contemporary style! I place a sheet of painter's plastic on my driveway in a sunny spot. On a clear, low humidity day, I dumped the first can of paint and rolled it out. With the sun shining on it, it dried within in an hour.  Layer two went on top. As the day warmed up and the sun got higher, drying times dropped to less than 30 minutes between coats.

I waited another hour and continued. It took two sunny days, but it was truly fun painting. I now have a very heavy sheet of plastic, covered in dried paint, that I will roll up and bring to the transfer station...... No, it doesn't qualify as contemporary art!

And a pile of cans with the dregs still drying at the bottom....

And a collection of lids........

Next, the oil based paint will get delivered to the monthly hazmat collection.

And I have more space emptied out for organizing!

©2013 Ashbee Design, Marji Roy

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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

More Silhouette Files for Ledge Village

Last week I introduced my Ledge Village to other crafters over on the Silhouette online store.  I first shared it with my readers here on this blog back late last year when I created the Ledge Village for my laundry room. Although I don't have room for new buildings on the laundry ledge, I do have other spaces so I added a school house and church to the buildings. One of the fun things about this project is that you can rearrange the parts and relocate them in new settings.

Here it is displayed on the floating shelves in our living room.

I also tried putting the village on a window ledge. The light from outside shines through the windows creating a different silhouette effect.

The new church file has some wonderful details especially in the steeple.

And, if you look closely into the bell tower of the school house, you will see a school bell.

Ledge Village grows. I wonder what buildings will be next?

With each of these files uploaded to Silhouette Online store, I have also posted a tutorial over on my sister blog, Ashbee Design Silhouette Projects
Links to the Tutorials:

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©2013 Ashbee Design, Marji Roy

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Saturday, June 22, 2013

Stream Running Strong

A couple of summers ago we (along with family help) built a bridge over the little stream in our woods. It has become a focal point of our daily walks. With all the recent rain it is much more than the usual bubbling brook.

Here are a couple of photos I took as I experimented with a longer shutter speed to blur the water.

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©2013 Ashbee Design, Marji Roy

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Penny Ball to Combat Slugs

If you follow Pinterest (and who doesn't????) I am sure you will recognize this project. According to the pin, copper pennies repel slugs. I am set to put it to the test. My flower gardening is limited but last year and the year before it was non-existant because slugs devoured everything.  This year I am being proactive. Here is our new garden sculpture.

My daughter, Amy is an avid tag saler and I asked her to keep hers eyes open for a bowling ball.  Didn't take her long before she had 3 at $1 a piece. Last Friday David and I had a date to glue pennies onto that ball. He was in charge of applying the glue and I applied pennies.

Note the wine. As I said, it was a date!

I wasn't sure what to use for glue so I tried Liquid Nails which is thick and goopy. Seemed to work fine. It took less than 1 2.5 oz tube but strong hands to apply.

I forgot to count but I estimate it took about $3 worth of pennies.  I also made sure that many of them were from before 1982 when they switched the copper content of pennies to almost none.

We left it to dry over night and put it in the garden the next day. Today is Wednesday and I haven't seen a slug yet but that really isn't a very good test period.

Aside from the gardening impact, the ball looks pretty cool. And, if you've been following me for long, you'll know I have a things for spheres!

Happy gardening everyone.

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©2013 Ashbee Design, Marji Roy

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Quick and Easy DIY Birthday Banner

My grand daughter turned 1 recently and there is nothing quite like a first birthday party. I decided to make a banner for the celebration but I wanted it to be quick and easy. This is my solution....

It is constructed of paper, simply folded, cut, punched, lettered and stapled onto a ribbon.  It took me about 1/2 hour to create the entire thing and it looks great!

Here are the steps......

First, it helps to have a supply closet. I can't imagine a DIY'er that doesn't. And I always keep a supply of interesting papers in my supply closet. I have found the Recollections paper packets available at Michael's ( no disclosure necessary - my own opinion) to be a solution to many projects. I keep them on hand - and often use the online Michael's coupon to get a new one.

Quick Steps:
  • For this project I picket out 5-6 different pink and purple pastel papers. I cut each into a 12" x 5" rectangle using a paper cutter.
  • I then cut scallops along the top and bottom. This paper is fairly thin so I could cut the scallops in stacks of 6. 
  • I then folded over the top 3" to form the upper tab.

  • I used my heart punch and punched a heart on every scallop - both along the top and bottom giving the edge a lacy appearance. Other punches would work as well, even a snowflake design would look lacy.

  • Using a fat black marker, I added some letters. I like freehand letters and when doing them for a light-hearted occasion, I like to add little balls to the ends of all letter strokes. It creates a fun font.

  • I then cut a stack of simple flowers out of the same paper and glued on contrasting centers.  (Forgot the photo! Sorry.)
  • I also keep a stash of satin ribbon (again often a bargain at the craft stores). I chose one and stapled the individual letters with a flower for each onto the ribbon.

  • Took a couple of thumb tacks and viola!

A Happy Birthday Banner for Mia!

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©2013 Ashbee Design, Marji Roy

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