Monday, July 11, 2011

Week 3: Natural Projects

This week the contestants were given the challenge to create a project using naturally found supplies, meaning things not man-made.

#1 Funky Starburst Mirror
Starburst mirrors are everywhere these days, but it seems they're always either very shiny or very "rustic." I wanted to take some natural materials and turn them into a funkier starburst.

Starting with long bamboo sticks, I cut them to size and attached them to the back of a round mirror with glue, taping the mirror in sections on the back so the bamboo was evenly spaced. Then use paper and more tape to cover the mirror for painting.

A few coats of raspberry pink paint later and this is one funky starburst!

#2 Table and Stool
 For my naturals week I have made a table and a stool - perfect for early mornings in the garden. This project was almost like icing on the cake for me - I got to cut down all the little trees growing on the mountain behind my house - cleaning up my garden, while getting material to use for this project. I cut the trees into same length sticks - tied them HARD together and there you have it - a table and a stool.
 I used a zinc tray as the top to my table - it just looks so nice and vintage.
I wanted my stool to be comfortable and was thinking of sewing a circled pillow for it, but then, since the theme is naturals - I used wool and felted it - it's supposed to be an apple tree - but the pattern is a little hard to spot. At least it is now soft to sit on. I love how this turned out - hope you like it also.

#3 Sticks and Stones Chess Set
From king to pawn, every aspect of this full-size chess set was inspired by nature.

Would you have guessed that all 32 chess pieces were hand-crafted from items off the forest floor?  They are not just decorative, they are sturdy and functional.  Each has a look that remains true to its natural origins yet is easily distinguishable and ready for play!

Look closely at the game board and you will see nature's beauty once again.  The light and dark squares are created from my own photographs of clouds and tree bark, cut to size and repeated in the checkerboard pattern.  

This is a conversation piece that no cabin or nature lover should be without!

#4 Bronze Starburst Mirror
Yay!!! I'm so happy to be here for Week 3 of One Month To Win It!
I have to admit...this week's challenge was especially challenging for me. I threw around a few ideas and decided on something that I have wanted to make for a while...a starburst mirror. Here's my version...

I started with just a few basic (and very inexpensive items)...a styrofoam circle, some spray paint, some wood craft sticks, some wood dowel caps, a small circular mirror, 2 long pieces of dried grass and some dried flowers...
I broke the tips of the craft sticks off because I wanted my mirror to look a little rougher...not as perfect as perfectly round tips would have looked. Then I used my hot glue gun and glued 2 layers of craft sticks all the way around the styrofoam circle...I spray painted the sticks and then added the mirror on top.

I took out all of the dowel caps and spray painted them the same color (Rust-Oleum's Hammered Bronze) as the sticks and then glued them around the mirror.

Finally, I twisted the grass into a circle, wired it into place and glued the dried flowers along the side of the mirror. A super-easy & super-fast project...and I love it.
Thank you so much for letting me share my project this week!

#5  Nature Luncheon Tablescape

When: Anytime a soft breeze is blowing
Where: in the garden
Who: Good friends
Why: Because we can!

We'll serve summer salads, homemade bread, fresh fruit, chocolate cake, tea
and good conversation.

 I hope you'll join us!

#6  Shell Sifting Boxes
Here's a great box for display or to use to sift shells at the beach...

Shims, weathered wood, and square wire mesh 
were used to create these boxes...

I stained the boxes a weathered grey color and added 
a sand dollar and a starfish for embellishment.

An old, rusty, metal barrel strap made great handles!
Use them for display or take them to the beach to sift your shells!


  1. Wow! Awesome projects this week ladies!! Good luck : )

  2. I'm loving this blog and voting is so much fun especially when the crafter I voted for moves on!

    I would have loved the chess set even more if it was left natural instead of painted :)

  3. So glad I was invited to lunch! YUMMMM...

  4. What wonderful projects everyone has this week!!! It's an honor to be included with these ultra-talented women...

  5. I want to go to the 5. Nature Luncheon Tablescape. Wow, such talent!

  6. I think the chess set would be really hard to play with if the pieces weren't painted--how would you know which pieces were yours?!

    Great job again, ladies!!

  7. Seeing 2 similar mirror projects is definitely a strange occurance. I'm hoping it doesn't hurt either artist, as both projects are great in their own right. I'm very new to blogging and this contest really inspires me to step up my game. Good luck to all the contestants! It is very hard to narrow down a favorite this week.

  8. that chess set is amazing! but in the end I had to accept the invitation to the nature inspired luncheon! those moss placemats are just too much!!! Love it!

  9. These are all such great projects! I agree with Lindsey, the chess set is perfect with the pieces painted. Love it all! Lisa~

  10. I love that the chess set is something the kids could have a hanger in making...I know they would love looking for the best "supplies" on a hike or while camping!

  11. All of the projects this week are fantastic! It was tough to choose my favorite but the chess set is something my boys would absolutely LOVE!!