Tag Archives: planter

Love Grows Here

This chair needed some love. And maybe some flowers. I imagined an outdoor planter for a certain house already filled with love.

I brightened it with Annie Sloan Burgundy. During the month I purchased the paint, Suite Pieces donated a portion to breast cancer research. I was already off to a loving start.

Because this chair would spread the love outdoors, I added two coats of polyurethane to the paint and the cane, sanding between coats. With all that detail, these steps took some patience. I knew that polyurethane could yellow, but even if it did, I decided it wouldn’t diminish the integrity of the color.

Dressing up the cane back was easy with pieces of a cranberry garland glued inside a twist-tie burlap bow.

My plan had been to cut a hole in the seat and insert a flower pot, but the cane was so sturdy I hated to break it. Because this could end up being used as a chair, I tightened some creaks with Krazy Glue. Letting drops of this glue seep into the joints isn’t the most professional finish, but it works for minor creaking, and I felt a quick fix was adequate for this chair.

I didn’t give up on the planter idea. I broke up a drawer ottoman I wasn’t using…

…and painted the drawer to match the chair. I drilled holes in the bottom of the polyurethaned drawer for drainage and glued strips of rubber shelf liner to the bottom so the planter wouldn’t scrape the seat.

The front section is a chalkboard created with three coats of Graphite with a light sanding between coats. I wrote a message that truly describes the home of my youngest brother and his family.

The chair and the planter could be used together or separately.

It was a gift from the heart and I loved my sister-in-law’s reaction when, during the big hug she always greeted me with, she spied the chair over my shoulder. Her jaw dropped and her eyes lit up. My brother’s reaction was just as positive but, as usual, more low-key. I knew they both loved it.

Lynda has changed the flowers with the seasons but she’s never changed the original message. Love really does grow there.

www.karenraelevine.com

Bloom Where You’re Planted

Betty and I had both grown up in the same Long Island town and stayed to raise our kids there too. Betty was as settled as a flower in her backyard garden. I almost fell off my chair when she told me she and her husband were going to empty-nest in an apartment in DC. That was a whole lifestyle away.  I wanted to add a little bit of garden to her terrace.

Because every garden needs a picket fence, I started with a wall hanging I wasn’t using.

img_3843

It was cute but not used, so off came the birds and the hooks, to be saved for a future project…

img_3844

…and on when two coats of Annie Sloan Pure White and two coats of clear matte polyurethane.

I’ve always been a fan of Mary Engelbreit and I knew it was Betty’s style too. I ordered fabric from Ebay adorned with Engelbreit’s artwork.

img_3921

I cut designs from the fabric and decoupaged them onto the “garden fence.” The fabric worked very well on the uneven surface of the wood. Ann Estelle, one of Engelbreit’s recurring characters, reminded me of Betty.

img_3922

The quote I chose suited the situation perfectly: “Bloom where you’re planted.”

closeup

But there was more to my wish for Betty to bloom where she was planted. I wanted her to plant where she bloomed! I wasn’t “hung up” on a solution for long.

hanging-planter

I purchased a wall planter, spray-painted it white, and add some touches of Antibes Green.

img_4047

I screwed the planter onto the faux fence. It was removable so that, if need be, the planter and the fence could be used (or not used) separately.

img_4103

I had in mind that her gift should be compact, not only for use on a terrace but, as Betty downsized a house full of memories, easy to pack. I hope this mini hanging garden will help Betty grow new roots, and also remind her that she’ll never lose her hometown friends.

bloomwhereyoureplanted

What I learned:

  • Fabric works well for decoupage on uneven surfaces
  • Bloom where you’re planted!

Flower Sifter

While cleaning out my kitchen cabinets I found an old sifter. I use flour from time to time but “sifter” is no longer part of my baking vocabulary. It was about to go in the donation bag when a word from my high school French popped into my head. Fleur. The sifter was saved.

It looked like this.

sifter-before

With my new “repurpose it” eyes, I saw it as a flower pot with built-in drainage. I painted the sifter with two coats of leftover Antoinette  from my high chair project. The color matched one of two lonely saucers I owned.

If your sifter is new, remove the label. You can soak it in sudsy water and scrub it off. Goo Gone works well on stubborn glue. I didn’t paint the inside of the sifter all the way down because I knew it wouldn’t show.

img_3591

I cut a two circles of coco liner in the bottom. Coco liner is the stuff you see on hanging flower baskets. The circles don’t have to be exact.

img_3593

Squish in the coco liner in the bottom. It absorbs the water, keeps the soil moist, and prevents overflow when watering. Fill with soil and a plant — preferably a flowering plant to keep the pun intact. If you’re thumb is as brown as mine, you can create an artificial flower arrangement instead.

I’m sure you’re dying to know how I decorated the pink sifter. I love to play with words. The French word, “fleur” is close to the English word, “flour.” And what is my sifter for? Flowers, which in French is “fleur”  Flour. Fleur. Flower. Get it? I crack myself up.

A single flower is “la fleur” and a bunch of them is “les fleurs.” You can download the lettering I used here.les-fleurs-cropped

I  used the tried and true method of rubbing pencil on the back, flipping it over and using the point of the pencil to transfer the lettering. The rectangle outline helped me position the the transfer. I knew I would cover the transfer with a dark paint pen so using a pencil transfer was not a problem.

les-fleurs

No need to wax or varnish. Voila!

img_3731

This is an artificial flower arrangement but I’m inspired to replace it with soil and a real growing plant.

What I Learned:

  • Look at odd items with an eye to repurpose.
  • Play with words. It’s fun.