Monday, February 7, 2011
I love gardens! Okay...so that's not big news but one element I believe adds to the overall ambiance of my gardens is candlelight! Over the years I tried every candle holder known to man and some have cost a pretty penny but then I saw a form of this wire candle holder and I knew the destiny of my night-time gardens was on a new path!
So here we go...you'll need a glass jar. I'm using a jelly jar for this one.
I use OLD bailing wire...I love the contrast of the old rusty wire with the pristine shine of the glass! I've also used wire from the hardware store. I've never used aluminum wire but if you've got it try it! One bit of advice, use a soft wire because the more you bend and work wire the harder it gets. Wire coat hangers will not work as they are TOO HARD to bend and in the end you'll be totally frustrated and that's no fun!
You'll need wire cutters.
A ruler is most helpful for beginners, just to measure the wire lengths.
I measure the neck of my jar and multiply that measurement by 4. Cut 4 pieces of wire to that measurement.
Take one piece of wire and slide it around the neck of the jar as shown in this photo. Try to make both ends of the wire close to the same measurement in length.
Twist the 2 ends of the wire as shown in this photo.
Now take another piece of wire and do the same as the previous 2 steps.
This photos shows how the 2 twisted pieces of wire should look at this stage of the process.
Now one more twist of each set of wires so there is one end pointing to the top and one pointing to the bottom of the jar.
This photos shows how I use my fingers as a guide to making loops in the wire. Notice the rust from the wire on my fingertips. Think in terms of gently guiding the wire into the shapes you desire.
Now do the same on the opposite side.
Add as many loops as you desire...I know less is more for me "More is Perfect"!
I like some differences in the "flow" of the wire loops so I developed this trick...just put the middle loop between your index finger and thumb and turn it one turn...TA DAA! You can see the flow of the wire has changed...so pretty!
I added another loop and one more turn of the last loop...see how it flows?
Again I'm using my fingers as a guide for the size of my loops for the bottom wire.
Let your imagination reign...make as many loops as you please.
Take a pair of pliers and simply make a little turn of the ends of the wire to finish off all 4 pieces of wire.
Take the 3rd piece of your precut wire and make a loop...just bring the two ends together and then cross over and you'll see the loop!
My fingers again as a guide for the first loop of the top hanger.
Make a series of loops again.
Notice the flip of one of the loops and there is the "flow" again! Using a pair of pliers curl the ends into tiny loops.
Cut 4 one (1) inch pieces of wire. Make these into a loop. Now connect the hanger to the top of the wire on the jar.
Here is a close up of the loop connector.
Repeat the steps for the top hanger and make the bottom hanger.
I hope these instructions were helpful! A few tips...I've used "some" of my hanging candle holders for years....WHEN I REMEMBER TO BRING THEM IN FROM HAIL STORMS AND FREEZING WEATHER...a little water in the jar on a freezing day or night is disaster. But the good news...they are easily replaced and each time it becomes easier!
I've used glass baby food jars,those tiny jars that held minced garlic or canning jars for the candle holders. I've also used long neck bottles which are transformed into hanging rooting bottles for new plants. Use your imagination!
Tea lights are my preferred candle in these little beauties (hint...I buy a bag of 144 at Big Lots! Love that store!)
Have fun and let your imagination rule!
Saturday, February 5, 2011
I don't do Winter very well. Every year I try a new plan to overcome my least favorite season. I am just not a cold weather person, once chilled I never warm up. I put on more clothes. I drink warm fluids. I think warm thoughts but the cold creeps in and penetrates to my very soul...I shut down, on a very personal level and it spreads like a virus throughout my day to day existence until finally I sink into that most abysmal of places. It's not quite depression but I can see the doorway and read the letters etched on the glass to that place I just don't want to visit. So I struggle to create ANYTHING, I exercise, chat with family and friends, count my blessings and PRAY.
Today I'd reached the limit of my patience and this morning while saying my morning prayers I felt so alone in this annual struggle as I looked into the bleak garden areas...and then I felt compelled to do a walkabout...something I just normally don't do on a cold Winter day.
As I looked over an untouched backyard of snow I saw that I'd had visitors!
Could these be the teeny footprints of a mouse? I'm thrilled to see it's outside...sorry buddy for the COLD weather but please don't visit me in my tiny home!
Could this be the footsteps of one of the feral cats that roam our neighborhood?
To my untrained eye these look like the footprints of a raccoon!
Could this be evidence of a possum?
As I stared at these footprints and saw them from start to end...I thought...a rabbit! It's got to be a rabbit!
And then this scene...so many footprints going in the same direction starting at a wide space and narrowing down to the entry of our double gate at the back area of our property! I could only imagine each of the owners of these footprints saying, "Boy oh boy it's party time"!
Hmmm? What's this? Could it be a critter pushing that proverbial ball through the untouched snow? Or was God showing me that no matter what...I'm not alone on this journey...He is always there right along with me and just when I want to throw up my hands in total surrender...He will help me push through every event from the monumental to the minuscule...and I am grateful!