Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Paint, Beads and Wire

Have you ever had to come up with a gift for someone that was a challenge because of the color.  That was my thing this year.  I was invited to take part in a "Secret Santa Gift Exchange" with some new friends on Facebook.  Now if you haven't ever done this I highly recommend it...its a blast and a great way to make even better friends of the new friends. 

The person whose name I drew...well...he loves orange and wanted orange for his garden.  Orange is one of those colors that rare people love. If any of you have ever tried to find orange garden art in November you know what I am talking about when I say there is little or NO garden art out there after the summer garden season is over, let alone something orange that will go with zinnias!  The only way I was going to get orange garden art was to make something...but what?

Here kitty kitty!  Time to make you lovely!

To start with I knew I had two things I could possibly use, one a cat and one a gourd, both made of wire.  At least I could paint those orange.  But then how to make them look like something more, that was going to be a bit of a different challenge.  I knew had to embellish them or they would look cheap and silly and not the gift worthy garden art I so wanted to bless this new friend with and something he would hopefully like.

Paint, wire and beads was all it took

I had purchased some wire cats from a local department store during a deep discount Fall clearance a few years ago.  (I love finding great deals.)  The cats had not sold because they were a drab flat black with barely noticeable gold flecks.  This color made them literally almost disappear wherever they were displayed and they only had tiny washers for eyes which gave them NO personality! 

After giving them makeovers I sold several of them so I knew people really liked them.  I knew I had a few still hanging out in my garden so I looked around my garden to see if which of these might do with a makeover.  Sure enough I found this little thing (pictured above) with her pitiful washer eyes just calling to me.  The poor thing's pretty glass eyes were no longer anywhere to be found as they  had finally fallen off.  She was perfect!

After painting her orange I sprayed her with a mist of golden yellow highlight that gave her coat a really nice color and not just flat pumpkin orange.  Then I gave her brand new jewel toned glass eyes.  (By the way, they are not the garish green the camera shows them here, but a beautiful Caribbean Sea blue.)  She already began looking happier but I wasn't quite done with her.

No more drab kitty, now she will glisten in the sunlight!

She needed a collar so so I figured, why not make it a pretty crystal one that would catch the sunlight since she was destined to live in a sunny garden among the zinnias in her soon-to-be new home. 

To finish her I added a beaded ring to her tail in homage to her Egyptian relatives that have graced the Pharaohs palace.

Like the cats of Egypt she wears a ring on her tail too

The gourd was much more challenging.  I mean, how does one give a gourd personality??? Gourds just don't to have the personality of cats, they just sort of hang around.  This gourd wasn't blessed with bumpy flesh either but was flat black with no stem!  I decided to paint it to match the kitty but the rest was a puzzle for a while.  The I remember something I had seen on Pinterest.  Someone had created a beautiful night light with a tree made of wire and beads.  They had made the trunk and branches of the tree out of twisted wire and it was simple and inspiring and perfect.  Boy I'm thankful I pinned that idea. (whew!)  It was just what I needed.

Simple and wonderfully organic in its appearance

The inspired stem was perfect!

Next I wired the large beads around the neck of the gourd for added visual interest and attached one round bead to the tip of the curly cue....all gourds must have a curly cue.  That bit of whimsy added the perfect bit of personality this little fruit needed.

Whimsical joy in wire, paint and beads

The bead at the tip was a delightful finishing touch and I think Theodore Geisel would have approved...don't you?

The perfect finishing touch

The finishing touch was a wrap of clear glass beads on wire in a nice leaf green.

I hope the next time you are out junking or thrift shopping or even at the department store and spot a lowly wire form that looks sadly drab...remember that a little paint and a little "bling" can give it a bright new life.  Be inspired and give it a try.  I dare ya!


  1. CHEF TODD ALEXANDER was the fortunate recipient of the above handycrafts from Miss Patty. A TRUE GARDEN TREASURE.

  2. Thank you Todd..it was truly a pleasure to make them for you. I look forward to seeing them in your garden!