Thursday, March 25, 2010

Ball #83

The final Craiglist ball. This one was a funky purple, aqua and white swirl pattern. I covered it with purple iridescent, dark purple, light purple, mini purple and translucent aqua in concentric circles. It has a large aqua at the north pole. The mini purples are at the equator and approximately at the tropics of cancer and capricorn. The repeating pattern of aqua and purple changes between each mini row. In my imagination I was going for an ombre effect. It's still only in my imagination!

I donated this ball to a fundraiser and it brought about $40.00 in a chinese auction.

Ball #82

Another ball from the Craigslist haul. This one was a brown swirl. I covered it with clear with a gold iridescence and cream opaque. There is a large clear round at the north pole and 3 amber butterflies.

Ball #81

This ball came from Craigslist. It was black and I painted it navy and decorated it in red, white & blue. It has a large cobalt at the north pole, and then has concentric circles of clear, clear with white cat eye, translucent red and translucent cobalt. It also has some opaque white and cobalt stars.
7-09-11 update - This ball was given to a friend who is a master gardener. He said he is going to tell his grandchildren it came from outer space!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Ball #80

Here is the next Craigslist ball. It was black and I painted it periwinkle blue. Across the top is a dragonfly made with large cobalt for the body and opaque white for the wings. On each side is a dragonfly with a white opaque body and small cobalt wings. The rest is filled in with opaque periwinkle and clear with a periwinkle cat eye. Dad bought this ball to give to one of the ladies in his Rotary Club.

Ball #79

I bought 5 balls off Craigslist a few weeks ago and this is one of them. It was dark green swirl and I decorated it with dragonflies with turquoise opaque bodies and lime green opaque wings. The rest of the ball was filled with translucent dark, medium, and light green.

Cat Proof Wastebasket

Clovis is a busy little cat, and one of his penchants is raiding the bathroom waste basket. In an attempt to keep him from dragging garbage out and leaving it around the house, I decorated this former litter bucket. (Someday maybe I'll do a post on my other blog [] about the various uses I've found for the hundreds of litter buckets that have passed through my life in the past 15 years or so. Very handy items!) Clovis still gets into things, but at least one little spot in the house is cat-proofed.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Bowling Ball Decoration Part 4 - Marbles

Finally - it's time for the marbles. I use GEII silicone as the adhesive. Be warned - check the expiration date on the tube!!! It's very small and hard to see, but I have learned from experience that it does not have an eternal shelf life. One batch was so hard I couldn't squeeze it out of the tube. The other bad batch was grainy and never hardened. If it is good, it should be smooth and should tack up in about 30 minutes. Give it 24 hours or so to completely cure. You can buy the GEII at Lowe's, Home Depot or Walmart. It also comes in caulk tubes, but the caulk gun is hard on the hands and the opening is larger, making it hard to control how much comes out.

Marbles? - I'm always looking for them. For some reason, they are considered a floral item, so will be found with the flower arranging materials at most stores. Michael's has a great selection. Then AC Moore, Joanne's and Hobby Lobby. Walmart has larger sized bags and changes their color selection frequently. Also check the craft area of Dollar Tree. Finally, independent dollar stores tend to have unusual items, but the bag size is smaller. A few years ago Dollar General had some interesting shapes (flowers, butterflies, shells) but I haven't seen them since. Moral of that story - if you see something you like, grab it!!!

Pick your starting spot and have a go! Most of the time I try for the north pole, assuming the thumb hole is the south pole. Concentric circles take a while because you can only put on 6 - 10 marbles at a time, let them tack up, and then turn the ball. Flower power and dragonfly go a little quicker because you can fill in large areas at a time. For the penny balls, I did two layers, using the second to fill in spaces between the first layer. I also used the same side of the pennies showing for each layer, except for the "renegade" ones. I lay out the marbles or pennies face down, load them with the adhesive, and then stick them on.

Bowling Ball Decoration Part 3 - Painting

If you have a pretty ball, you just need to paint the holes. I use craft paint and mix it as needed so it blends into the ball color. The green swirl ball needed green and dark blue to make the correct shade.

If you have an ugly ball, or you just need a different color, then you can paint the entire ball with Krylon fusion paint for plastic. They have lots of colors and textures to choose from. Just check the label to see if it is weather-resistant or not and choose accordingly. I use wax paper or parchment paper between the ball and the can.

Now is a good time to paint your stand also, if necessary. Lately, I have been using cat food bowls from Dollar Tree.

Bowling Ball Decoration Part 2 - Finger Holes Day 2

After the putty seems dry, push down on it. If you can push the putty down, do so and then put more putty over the top and let it dry. When you are satisfied that the holes are filled in, sand them smooth.

Bowling Ball Decoration Part 1 - Filling in Finger Holes

I LOVE the Pioneer Woman, so I'm going to do a PW wannabee and detail some how-to posts with lots of pictures. Unlike PW, I have yet to figure out how to control the placement of text and pictures, so instead of one long post, I'll post in increments.

One of the things I do first is fill in the finger holes of the ball. I leave the thumb hole open so the ball can be mounted on a rod if desired. Of course, you can fill the thumb hole in too if you want. For the ball I covered with pique assiette mosaic (pieces of broken china), I filled in all the holes. Anyhow, I use wood putty and push in as much as possible with a screwdriver and my finger. I then pat it smooth, wipe off the excess and let it dry.

You can also buy wood putty in a tube and squirt it into the hole. The putty is much more expensive that way, but it is also much easier to work with. Since you can stick the nozzle down into the hole, you eliminate air bubbles.