Sunday, June 30, 2013

Garden Architecture

You know I love my garden, but I like something even more than the blooms----vintage planters, building fragments, spheres, and statuary to embellish my garden design.   These additions add dimension, texture, interest and most of all uniqueness to my landscape.

Have you ever come across old cement planters?  They never rot like wooden planters and when they're in a shady spot they weather with patches of moss and develop a fabulous patina.  I have three matching planters in front of my garage doors.  I usually fill them with flowers, but this year I added some metal topiaries and planted some climbing hydrangeas among the flowers.  They'll need some time to climb to the top, but the support is there for them.

Cement Planters and Metal Topiaries

To the side of the garage, my gargoyle frowns.

My Gargoyle

I have more cement planters in a grouping at the base of my side walkway.  The tall planters are actually chimney pots.  They originally were on roof tops, but they are perfect as tall garden containers.  They're indestructible.  Check out how they're weathering.  My husband wanted to power wash them.  Oh no!!!

Cement Planters and Chimney Pots

I consider my pergola garden architecture too.   I hung a wrought iron candelabra from one of the supports and covered the chain with burlap.

My Pergola Framing the Walkway

I have another chimney pot near the porch.  It's perfect with a fern.

Chimney Pot with Fern

I have spheres inside my home as well as outside.  This sphere is resting next to a fragment from an old building.

Sphere and Building Fragment
I painted a sphere yellow and suspended it in the tulip magnolia tree.  I have a fern in an urn beside the other side walkway--one of a pair flanking the path.  The garden bench with scrolly iron sides has traveled with me from house to house.  Yes I know that that gutter downspout is showing.  The plants that cover it haven't filled in yet.  Sorry.

Sphere, Urn, and Garden Bench
You've already seen my huge iron sphere that is supported by a tall planter in front of the other garage.

 I found this lady statuary and the pagoda at an estate sale near my home.  She was the center of a broken fountain.  They both are cement and very heavy.  I had to be very sure about their location because I was afraid to ask any of my helpers to move them a second time.  My Home Goods sphere is in the foreground.

Lady Statuary, Pagoda, Sphere

This photo is from last year, but I wanted to share the perennials that bloom around my statue.

You've also seen this building fragment before but it's one of my favorite architectural pieces.

Building Fragment in My Garden

This weathered iron bird bath is now a planter.  The architectural piece in the lower right corner is a broken fragment from the lady's fountain.  I scattered the broken fountain base pieces into the garden.

Bird Bath as Planter

We received a sundial as a wedding gift.  I found a cement base to support it.  It's probably part of a bird bath.

My Sundial

Near my screened porch entrance I have a tall lattice obelisk.

Lattice Obelisk

This little squirrel can confuse the real ones in the yard.  He's next to another bird bath.  Have you noticed that I like to scatter rocks in my garden so plants can crop up in their crevices.

Squirrel and Bird Bath

My Buddha bounces around the yard.  Currently he's resting against the pear tree surrounded by a field of liriope.


This rusty metal cupola is another favorite.  It's next to a chippy garden chair.  A section of iron fencing is a back drop.

Cupola, Bench, Iron Fence

Hydrangeas are blooming in front of a planter.  To the left is a textured cement orb.

Hydrangea, Orb, Planter

I have a garden arch at the entrance to the walkway to the back yard.  I lost one of the finials and replaced it with an iron bird.  He seems very happy among the trumpet vines.

Iron Bird and Trumpet Vine on My Garden Arch

So, do you decorate your outdoor spaces?   How do you embellish?


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Favorite Pins: Paint Brushes as Art and No More Google Reader

Have you ever thought of brushes as the actual art and not the means of creating?

I certainly believed that when I arranged these brushes beneath a cloche.

A closer look and a new location.  Yes, things move around at our house.

Check out these images and see if you agree.

How many works of art have these layered paint spattered brushes created?

What fabulous colors on these natural dye brushes

 Quite an assortment in this flower bucket.
These brushes seem to be swirling in their container.

A palette and paint brush vignette.

Silver plate containers always work.


Spatters on crumpled cloth even look good.

Now these well-spattered brushes and boots are famous.  They belong to Jackson Pollock.
I love the variety of containers supporting these brushes.

Quite an organized work space.

An assortment of calligraphy brushes.

I've shared this before but I love it.

Love the jumble and messiness of it all.

Simply random and lovely.

An assortment of brushes and hues.

Even tin cans look good.

Brushes artfully arranged  in their case.

What's not to love---brushes, urns, trophies, antlers, architectural fragment, books and demijohns--my favorite things.
I just loved this image of brushes in an artist's workspace.

Linen and Lavender

So, can brushes be art?


Friday, June 21, 2013

How to Re-cover a Non-removable Seat

I finally figured out a way to re-cover the seat on a bench or chair that I couldn't easily remove.  I've always attempted covering the seats that are only attached from underneath with several screws.  But, every time I've seen a chair with the seat permanently attached I've balked and not attempted it.  Well, I finally felt like I had a plan.  I practiced on a vanity bench and I did it.  Yea!!!!

This vintage vanity seat has curvy cabriole legs.  I recovered it in a creamy Belgium linen with braided trim and nail heads in the corners. I love how it turned out and I wanted to share how I did it.

Here's what I started out with---great bones, bad fabric.

I removed the old fabric(s) and the gazillion nails first.  Then I added some new batting to pad it.  I had some beautiful linen fabric I wanted to use.  I cut a piece of it larger than the seat and draped it over the vanity seat.

Yes, I'm doing this on my fold-out card board cutting board on my daughter's bed.  So professional.

The next step is to staple in the center of each side.  Make sure you pull the fabric tightly.  This step is important because you want the cover to be tight and straight. 

I use an electric staple gun and 5/16 staple size.

I then work my way around the bench top.  Continue around the bench, stapling in the center between the staples until you make it all around the perimeter.  You'll be going around and around several times but this process will keep it straight and tight. Notice that I had to make folds in the corners.  Make sure the folds all face the same way.

I followed the lip at the edge of the bench seat and cut away the excess.  (Sorry for the blurry pic.  I didn't notice it was blurry until this step was covered up and it was too late to re-take. )

Now you need to cover up those staples.  I used some braided trim.  You could use gimp, hem tape, grosgrain ribbon, double welt cording, or something I'm wanting to try--- narrow burlap on a roll.  Find it here.

Braided Trim

I attached mine with fabric glue.  You could also use a hot glue gun.

Fabric Glue

The trim does a nice job of covering the staples and the rough edge.  Glue wasn't dry when I took the photo but it dries clear.

Normally, I would cover this trim with nail head but I decided I liked the trim alone and only put nail head in the corners.  Here's the final project again.


Love the leg.

Are you ready to give it a try?  I have a chair I'm going to attempt next.


To see my previous tutorial on how to re-cover a simple chair seat--the easy one--- go here.

BTW, my friend, Mary Alice, bought the bench at Vintagepalooza.  She said that it will be perfect at the foot of her bed.   She writes the blog, Chateau Chic and sells her vintage wares at Rust and Feathers.  Please take a peek at her blog and the shop.  You won't be disappointed.