Thursday, July 30, 2015

George's Sunflowers...Garden DIY!

Sunflowers...My Late Summer Love!

Sunflowers have always symbolized to me the golden days of late summer.  Of all the months of summer I love August the most...especially toward the end of the month as it segues into September.  The days are still hot, but the light is shifting.  Purple Sage plants are busy with bees and Back-to-School banners drape bustling store fronts.  I cannot wait for fall!

Don't you just love the bright faces of sunflowers?  They are all sunny and hopeful like the faces of dogs going on a car ride.  There is no disguising the pure joy.  And I love the way their faces follow the sun as it moves across the sky.  They know where the light comes from.  Maybe we should turn our faces to the skies more often to follow the Light.

George's Rock Garden and Sunflowers...

Deck from Rock Garden
Fire pit is handy for burning a few!

For many years the northwest corner of our backyard sat empty and full of weeds.  We just couldn't figure out what to do with it.  It wasn't until a few years ago after we added a kitchen addition onto the back of the house and built a covered deck that George finally figured out what it needed...a pergola!  It took a couple of years, but once the pergola was finished, he designed a rock garden around it with paving stones, tall grasses and a fire pit for the grandkids.  It's not a huge area, but it is pleasant to sit on the deck and enjoy in the evening.

Rock garden pergola with George's first sunflower in background.
The wagon holds wood for the fire pit.

We've been collecting various rustic odds and ends on our travels in Nevada and Arizona.  George has crafted seating for the fire pit out of old milk cans and tractor seats.  Our favorite antique store in Oatman, Arizona has supplied us with most of our treasures, like rusty wheels and an old water pump.  On one visit George found some old cultivator blades that looked like the sun's rays.  That was all it took.  This would be the summer of the sunflower. He has made three in all.  Now he says he is ready to move on to making a fountain out of his water pump.  This should be interesting...stay tuned.

Sunflower One...
We found an old wrought iron candle stand at Treasure's Antiques.
George thought the curly-cue flourishes suggested leaves.

The jagged top of the candle holder became the center of the flower.
All of his flowers are made to rotate...if they so desire.

Sunflower Two...

Different style of culivator blade.
I found the fancy black piece at George's grandma's old house.
Two-toned petals remind me of those brown sunflowers from the seed packet up at the top of the page.

Side by side.  
The taller is about 6 ft. in height, while the other is about 4 ft. tall.

Sunflower Three...
The ones I love the best...wild sunflowers on the side of the road.

We have always loved the wild sunflowers that grow along the side of the road...mostly country roads.  We used to have more of them nearby, but more and more building and development has caused them to disappear from the neighborhood...along with pheasants and meadowlarks, my favorite song bird.  A couple of weeks ago, on a drive, George mentioned he'd like to make one more sunflower...a wild sunflower with multiple stems and heads.  For the blossoms, he took apart two long-handled cultivators from Home Depot.  We got the leaves from Metal Mart in Lehi.  This was not a junk project.  He had to buy all new materials this time.  But it turned out great!

I feel he really captured the spirit of the wild sunflowers.

Of course they can spin...if they wanted to.

Thanks for letting me share George's artwork with you!
I'm not proud of him at!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

First Halloweenies...It's Pinterest's Fault!

Calendar...You're Not the Boss of Me!

I have never been a summer person...unless it's Indian Summer.  My soul longs for golden days and cooler nights.  It's not just because I am in the autumn of my life...I've always felt more alive when the calendar page tears off to reveal September.  I want to drive down country roads lined with the sunny faces of wild sunflowers and take trips up the canyon to watch the first trees change color.  Labor Day weekend is usually the kick-off to my fall crafting season, but I seem to feel a sense of urgency autumn can't come quickly enough.  It doesn't help that Pinterest is alive with fantastical ideas right now.  Creativity for me comes when it comes...I can't force it.  

Yesterday, I showed one of my cute neighbors my latest Halloweenies.  She jokingly requested that I wait until at least the first of September to decorate my front porch.  I think I can manage that if I replace the red/white/blue decor with sunflowers and vintage kitchen knick-knacks.  Hmmmm...getting a few "scathingly brilliant" ideas here.  Back to Pinterest!  But first I will share the Halloweenies in question.

Spice Tin Ghoulies and Mr. Cotter!

This is Mr. Cotter.  He's ready for a party.
Paper clay and Styrofoam balls make prim pumpkin heads .

I found the little 2.5 inch black and orange cotter pin box at 
Trackside Mall in Idaho Falls.

Just like Cinderella...Mr. Cotter's party ends at Midnight.

The Watkins Brothers...
Nut and Meg Watkins.
Their hats are small gelatin molds.

Tiny silver sugar spoons became quirky arms for these shelf-sitters.
The spoons are also from Trackside Mall.
Metal measuring spoons would have been my first choice.

And Finally...

Trick or Treat Containers.
Spray painted veggie cans with candy labels on two.

New Halloween Photo Backdrop.

I couldn't find my Halloween or Christmas backdrops.  I usually make them from those science project easels from the school supply department.  I went to Walmart to purchase one and found they now come in four or more sizes.  I was cutting down the huge 36" by 48" to make 2 or 3 backdrops.  The one I used was about 22" wide by 14" tall and folds to a compact 11".  Just decorate them with seasonal scrapbook paper and you're set.

Don't you just love this tin?
Oh, the ghoulies these would make!

For some reason, antique dealers seem to think that old spice tins are made of solid gold and price them accordingly.  I could see if they were unique like the tin above.  But tins of fairly recent vintage are sometimes marked $7 to $14 or more.  I tend to find better prices at local vintage flea markets like Fleaology  held several times a year at my friend Paula's home in Payson.  Even then, the selection varies.  If I want a certain color combination, I might not be able to find it.  I found a lot of great spice tins pics on Pinterest.  Maybe I could modge podge the labels I want on some of the cans I have.  It's something to think about.  

Be it Summer or Fall...Get Your Crafting On!

Falloween Spice Tins...Enjoy!

Monday, July 13, 2015

A Vintage Summer...Lagoon and the Beach Boys!

A Vintage Summer...Lagoon and the Beach Boys!

"There's a park near the city, yeah, and all the kids dig the Lagoon now
It's full of all kids of girls and rides and we'll be flyin' there soon now
And girl for girl, they've got the cutest of the western states, yeah
They got the sun in the summer and winter time the skiing is great, yeah

Salt Lake City, we'll be coming soon
Salt Lake City, we'll be coming soon."   The Beach Boys

The Beach Boys were part of the summer soundtrack for countless teenagers during the 60's and early 70's.  They were especially popular here in the state of Utah.  When I was a youngster, I remember my babysitter telling us that she had a date to go see the Beach Boys at Lagoon.  I was so envious. Sitting on the front steps of our house, I watched her leaving for her date.  She was so beautiful...a 60's teen princess!  She wore her blonde hair in a cute flip...and always used lemon juice for a rinse.  I wanted to be just like Sharon when I grew up.  She was as nice as she was pretty.

Promotional single of "Salt Lake City."
The song is on the album "Summer Days (and Summer Nights.)"

"Salt Lake City" was written to call attention to the band's fan base in Utah's capitol city.  There is a cute story floating around about the song "Fun, Fun, Fun" ('til her daddy took the T-Bird away) which was written in the group's hotel room in 1963.  The owner of KNAK...the #1 radio station mentioned in "Salt Lake City"...had a T-Bird that his daughter used to drive Brian, Carl, Dennis and Mike around Salt Lake.  She is the girl in the song.  I love this story!

The music of the Beach Boys will never grow old.

The Association and Herman's Hermits were two more groups I loved when I was young. 
How I wish I could have seen them at Lagoon.

Patio Gardens...where so many top bands performed.  

Lagoon...When I was your age!
The parking lot and entrance to the park.
The old white wooden coaster.

My Dad worked for the Department of Corrections in Utah and we had a Family Lagoon Day every summer.  All year long I counted the days until Lagoon was the highlight of my childhood summers.  I remember one tragic year when it rained buckets and Lagoon Day was cancelled!  The prisoners in charge of food service had made a lot of food for the picnic.  The people in charge didn't want the food to go to waste, so we all drove to a depressing old school in Sandy and ate in the lunchroom. Today, I still feel sad (and mad) when I drive past that school!

My favorite ride at Lagoon.
If you had enough tickets, you didn't even have to get off.
I would ride as long as my tickets lasted.

The Midway!
The Midway in the 70's

Midway Rides

The Fun House!

The Fun House was where I spent most of my time...when my tickets ran out!

This slide was the best...if you could stay on your sack.
How well I remember the smell of those burlap sacks...and the friction burns!

So fun...but so many bumps and bruises!
Somehow they never worried about law suits in those days!

Something For the Kiddies...Mother Goose Land

I have added a few new pictures since I first posted this.
The American Fork Facebook group has been great...always contributing new photos they have found.

Childhood's End...
My last Lagoon trip before I got married.
Two snow cones are always better than one!

It's What Fun Is!