Tuesday, November 8, 2016

New Christmas Tree Ornaments

www.carolingrammoore.com ~  www.facebook.com/CarolIngramMoore

For several years, I have been creating a Holiday Ornament. This year it is a collaborative effort, an Appalachian Warm Glass, LLC design. The ornaments are the same size as pendants. 

We use Bullseye 90 COE glass. The base is clear glass. The red is for the top border and covers the wire hanger. The brown glass is for the base of the tree.

Dichroic glass is broken in a frit maker. The glass is then shifted until it is almost the size of a large piece of glitter. It becomes frit. There are two pieces of dichroic glass before they are made into frit.

I use Bullseye Glastac Gel to glue the glass to the glass. I also cover the tree with glue. I use a toothpick to find shiny pieces and also sprinkle the frit onto the tree.

Two trees decorated with frit. The trees are currently for sale at Heartwood and Arts Depot in Abingdon, Virginia. They are also at the Southwest Virginia Museum in Big Stone Gap, Va. Soon to be in the Charles Harris Library Gallery in Wise, Va. Next weekend, Nov. 18, 19, and 20, they will be available at our Open Studio.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Painting Pumpkins

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 On September 19, I taught a class at the Southwest Virginia Museum in Big Stone Gap on painting pumpkins. Lessons learned: 1/3 of the tiny orange pumpkins purchased at Super Walmart were rotten. The pumpkin above was purchased at the Norton Farmer's Market in late August. Where ever you purchase your pumpkins, first clean them in a solution of 1 part bleach to 9 parts water. Read to the end as I make some suggestions.
 Some materials I used: clear gesso, acrylic paint, mod podge, brushes, and BIC sharpie.
        First I covered the pumpkin with the clear gesso which helps the paint to adhere.
 I painted the top part of the pumpkin white. When it was somewhat dry I turned it over and painted the bottom half of the pumpkin. I wanted to the rush the process and used the heat gun to dry the pumpkin. Do not use a heat gun...let it dry on its own.
 I covered the pumpkin in washi tape. I noticed it was mottled and paint was coming off. Taking off the tape, the paint began coming off. If you decide to use washi tape, just clean your pumpkin and tape it up. Washi tape also comes in glitter tape.
 This is what the pumpkin looked like after I took off the paint. I continued on and repainted the pumpkin with one coat of paint and let it dry for hours.
 I used the Black Sharpie and drew designs on the pumpkin. It took awhile as the sharpie kept getting gunked up with paint. And the paint continued to come off. The sharpie covered it quite well.
 My favorite pumpkin at the museum class was the one covered in birds. It completely rotted and I am unable to share it with you. For the birds, you will need a rubber stamp, ink, mod podge, very sharp small scissors, sponge brush, and very thin paper. We used to call this onion skin paper. I inked up the rubber stamp. I made several images of the birds on the paper. I then cut it out. I tried to open the mod podge and it was glued shut. Always clean the lids after using. My husband opened the jar with his pliers. I then mod podged the pumpkin. I added the cut out stamp of the birds. Adding another layer of mod podge.
The mod podge is not completely dry. My suggestion to any crafter who is interested in painting or designing on pumpkins and would like their pumpkins to stay around for awhile... Buy small craft pumpkins that are foam or plastic. I noticed that Michaels has a sale on all their craft pumpkins. If I lived in an urban area, I would have bought some before creating this blog. Another thing I would recommend, do not use the clear gesso. Use mod podge on the pumpkin before painting it. This helps the paint to adhere. And let it dry between coats.                

I made a pumpkin coated in glitter which was absolutely gorgeous. To make a glitter pumpkin,  use mod podge in sections and then sprinkle the pumpkin with glitter. I used Martha Stewart glitter as it is the most sparkedly. It is really extra fine glitter. Go slowly, one section at a time. Glitter over a piece of paper. As you finish, put some mod podge on the bottom and place your pumpkin in the glitter on the paper.

Visiting a farmer's market and purchasing a pumpkin helps support our farmers.

         Using a craft pumpkin, your pumpkins will last a long time.                

Monday, August 29, 2016

Late Summer in the Gardens

Late Summer in the Gardens

When we moved in into our home, there was a lilac in the yard. We have been here eight years and the gardens continue to spread and grow. One of many hydrangea bushes scattered about.
A close up of the hydragenda blossom
This butterfly plant was grown from seeds I started in the greenhouse. It is blooming just before the Monarchs are due for arrival.
These lovely anemone spread and threatened to take over the yard. They have been contained this year and a large beetle has been loving the leaves.
I must have planted six packages of nasturium seeds everywhere. Some bloomed and some didn't. These seeds came from Hudson Valley Seeds.
A geranium which usually blooms in early spring but came up a few weeks ago.
I cast these cleome seeds all over the yard. They have come up in the most interesting places.
I found this flower bulb discounted at the grocery store in Big Stone Gap.
                 These seeds I found at Millmont Garden Center in Stuarts Draft, Virginia.
My most successful flower seeds: snap dragons. I grew so many of these that I donated them to the Norton Elementary School farmer's market in May.
Scarlet runner beans are grown for the hummingbirds. These beans can grow ten feet!
Entrance to the green house is covered with these black eyed susans. They are in several gardens especially near the front of the house growing up through the moss.
Cuttings of lavender that are three months old! I simply snipped leaves from plants. I put the ends in a rooting hormone. I placed them in a seed growing mixture in the greenhouse. They continue to grow.
                         This beauty came up from a seed mixture and is two years old.
Spider plant or cleome growing in between the angel trumpet.
One of my grandaughter's favorite plants, she calls them poppers. When they go to seed, you touch the seed pod and they fly everywhere.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Art in the Garden

www.carolingrammoore.com ~  www.facebook.com/CarolIngramMoore

 Phoenix rising is our latest piece of art for the garden. Ray created this fused glass sculpture as a cover for the septic tank. We unexpectedly had a new garden area created when we had our septic  tank pumped . We now have lots of plants, a bird bath, and a sculpture where a backhoe gouged out the yard. I have been bordering it with stones from the yard.
 Last year I went to the Philadelphia Flower Show with Fran Moore. We do have a good time together. While there, I purchased this daffodil sculpture. There are nice copper petals which are covered by the black eyed susans and the Japanese anemone leaves.
        A Margret Gregg sculpture is the focal point of the small garden in front of the studio.
                                                       Aren't these painted ferns  nature's art ?
The gardens are filled with butterflies, hummingbird moths, bees, wasps, hummingbirds, and adolescent birds. The front of the house is bordered with butterfly bushes. On Saturday, a hummingbird moth flew across my face. On Sunday, a praying mantis landed in my hair and did not want to leave. This all comes about from trimming butterfly bushes. Wonder what today will bring?