Friday, May 27, 2011

In the Garden

Not a lot going on in the garden. Most of the plants are getting bigger and bigger (as are the weeds!) from all the rain we have had over the past two months. When they finally bloom it will be spectacular for now I wait (rather impatiently). This weekend we are going to work on multiple small projects around the home. I need to finish painting the shutters, mulch and weed the flower beds, put up the raised bed for veggies and get that planted ASAP. All of those projects promise a pretty interesting garden post next week!

Have a very fun and safe Memorial Day weekend and
God Bless all the brave men and women in our armed forces that have given their lives in order for us to enjoy our freedoms.

Monday, May 23, 2011

In the Garden - First Poppy Edition

Oriental Poppy
This plant may have been from a seed planting as it was suppose to be a 'Princess Louise' which is a pinkish color. Obviously, this is not pink but it sure is pretty. Poppies might well be the only flower I would take in any hue :o)

I am enthralled by these flowers.
They only last for a couple weeks each year, so temporary,
but they make my heart sing whenever I see them.

Note: new shutter color highlights the lush green of the plants. It also makes the yellow of the house read more of a cream color.

Another seed planting. What color will this poppy be?

So many buds. Bear with me.
I will surely take many photos and at least a couple of the entire flower bed when in full bloom.

Now this poppy from seed(above) may well end up having the 'Princess Louise' coloring. Note the hairs on the bud are a different color on this particular poppy.

Lest we not forget the other flowers in my garden that are budding.
Heuchera(Coral Bells) (above)

Digitalis (Foxglove)


Unknown Lily (no bud yet, will we ever know what this is?)

Dianthus(Fire Witch)

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Magic Sculpt and Magic Smooth

So I promised to show and discuss the two materials I sculpted with on my Garden Gnome so here we go.

Magic sculpt is a two part epoxy resin clay. It comes in a bunch of different colors. I worked with white since the gnome was white(figured there wouldn't be problems with paint application that way). You order by weight. I ordered 5 pounds (you get 2 1/2 pounds of each the resin and the hardener) and I only have a very small amount left over so it went pretty far.
To use you take equal amounts of each the resin(white) and the hardener(gray) and roll it together until the color is uniform. When it is uniform you let it sit for a few minutes and it's ready to sculpt.

Magic Sculpt is harder than paperclay but since it is an epoxy resin, it is weather resistant. Like paperclay, you can smooth it with water to get a fine finish however you cannot add water to the clay to make it softer. Also, once the clay is mixed you have a small window of time when it is pliable and able to be used so you want to mix only as much as you can use in a short amount of time (maybe an hour or so)

I found it relatively easy to use and would use it again if I had an outdoor sculpture to complete. Because of its firm texture, I did find that it was very difficult on my arthritic hands over the course of time that I sculpted the gnome so I would probably work on a much smaller scale or allow myself much more time.

That said I would definitely use this product again.

Magic Smooth is quite evil to me. Don't get me wrong it was useful in a few applications but extremely difficult and messy to work with. I don't like oil paints because they are too messy so you could imagine my dismay. Again Magic Smooth is a two part epoxy resin but this has a thick sticky texture that the company likens to thick honey. I've never seen honey with this consistency.

Again you order by weight and to use you add equal parts of resin to hardener

I found it easiest to use an old piece of silverware (tried both spoon and knife and decided knife was the best utensil as it cleans up better than the spoon).
Because it is so sticky it is difficult to do anything with it but once it is evenly mixed it is ready to use.

Use an old piece of cardboard or something else you can throw away to mix it in/on. I found the best use for this product is to attach things securely as once it dries it is very hard to remove. You can also use plenty of water to smooth it. Water gives it a very smooth and satiny finish but I would recommend using this in conjunction with something else and to use it sparingly.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Garden Gnome Reveal (extremely image heavy)

Here are the final images of the Garden Gnome.
I got to see 4 other gnomes when we took him to the arboretum. A couple of them blew my socks off but they were also very simple and very well done.
As soon as I can get photos of the other gnomes I will post them.