Friday, May 9, 2014

Almost Free Garden Art

Don't throw away that faded lawn ornament or even that old bowling ball. Melted marbles, broken plates, tiles or pennies can be glued to almost any surface and grouted with no experience at all.  It's fun for all ages...and almost free! 
Inspiration or need usually motivate me, but sometimes it's more mundane - like just being bored.
I had tucked an old terracotta saucer into a flowerbed as a watering hole for the critters that pass endlessly by and would have been quite satisfied with the effort if the rain hadn't set in for days and days.  All I could do was stand at the window looking at the yard work that wasn't getting done.  Suddenly my saucer looked as dreary as the day, in its dark garden spot.  
Then, as if I'd lost my marbles, I dodged the rain and brought it inside.  One of the items on my dreaded to-do list had been to sort and properly store my increasing collection of melted marbles.  What a great rainy day project.  I filled the afternoon gluing the melted marbles in place, finding a use for that last bit of tile Thinset that was drying in its bucket.
On the next sunny day, I did the messiest job of grouting you can imagine, just smearing it around with my hands...
 mushing it into the crevices and filling all the gaps.
After the grout dried for 10 minutes or so, I wiped it down with a sponge, clearing as much of the marbles as I could and polished them later with a dry cloth then set it inside to dry and cure completely for a week or so.
This is a cool product, (not the coating seen on TV).  This was recommended by the paint department manager and was actually cheaper than the "other" product.  I bought the clear-coat and gave my project a good water-proofing spray both inside and out...just because terracotta is so porous and we get mildew here easily.
 And that was it.  The dark spot in my little flower bed is now a little lighter and has a touch of color.  The critters have a place to visit and I had something to do on an otherwise unproductive day.
Now I'm looking for an old bowling ball at yard sales so I can get the grandchildren busy covering it with pennies...(copper keeps slugs out of the garden)

No comments: