Sunday, May 12, 2013

Getting Crafty at the White House Today

 Mason Jar Solar Lantern

I was lucky enough to get my grandma's canning collection after she passed away. There was a few of the old pretty blue Ball jars in the collection. These are way too pretty to use for canning so I've been planing a solar lantern project for a while. As usually I found on Pinterest some very similar ideas.
A little trial an error and I think I've gotten it. 

My first attempt at the Mason Jar Solar Latern
I found in the shed of treasures some old copper wire that Tony told me was the old ground wire when they replaced the wiring to the barn a few years ago. I consulted Pinterest to see if someone had made a handle out of wire for a mason jar or something similar. Of course there was - Click Here.

It basically says to take your wire and about 8 inch or so from one end, twist the wire around a pencil to make a loop. Then wrap the two ends of wire under the lip of the jar and twist together opposite the loop.  Put your pencil back in the loop and twist one or two times to tighten up. Then take the long end of the wire and make a large loop (your handle) up and over the top. When you figure out how long you want your handle to be trim the wire leaving yourself about a 1/2" to 1" extra. Put this end through your original small loop and bend the end upwards to secure in place.

Well the copper ground wire was way too thick to bend easily. I used a pen instead of a pencil to twist and broke the pen. I used a pliers to twist it the best I could and a side cutter to cut the wire. I made it work but it's not very pretty. Still cute but much room for improvement. So I'm keeping it my self.

Next I took the metal rim with out the lid insert for the canning jar and my solar light top that I removed the stake from. I hot glued the solar light to the top of the metal rim. Seemed to hold okay at first but it didn't keep the rain water out and it let loose. So I easily pulled off all the glue and bought some clear outdoor silicon. I put the silicon around the top edge of the metal rim and and placed the solar light on top.

For my next version I bought some copper wire that I could easily bend and did the same as before but we decided that mom would want some more sparkly shinny things for her garden so I left the shorter end about one and half inches long after I twisted the two wires together and added a little curl, and did the same after I bent upward for the hook and securing the handle. Once I curled these ends I added some chandelier danglers I bought at a thrift store on my girls day out months ago.

John thought the jar was too empty and we should put something inside of it. So we decided on pine cones. Tons of pine trees on our farm you would think that would be an easy task. Nope. James and I went hunting. All the ones in the yard are the long skinny closed up "dog turd" looking ones as I call them. He started laughing and said, "Grandma will be like WHAT you picked up a dog turd for me, gee thanks." I laughed so hard. So we went up the hill standing in the middle of 30 pine trees and we find ONE, yes 1 pine cone, it's still long but at least open and pretty. We find Tony and ask him if we have any short pretty open pine cone trees around here. He takes us on a hike across the poopy plains, over the muddy river and up the mountain. (This is how we do our Dora the Explorer adventures when Caya is along - luckily she was napping with John babysitting.) Really it was through the barn yard, across the wetlands and up the hill to the Red Pines. I didn't wear my mud boots either so we had to take a longer route.  We found the pretty ones we were looking for. We started heading for home and the wind picked up, the sky turned dark and it started to sleet little ice chunks and rain on us. We went running though the pasture. Poor James tripped in a big cow hoof print and fell in the mud (and poop), he was not happy, but was a trooper about it. It was a cold slightly painful run home but we were all laughing so hard when we got in the door it was a lot of fun.

I've had some requests for more Caya pictures here. Here's one of Caya looking a little worn out but having fun and refusing to come in the house. Poor kid all her mom gives her to play with is rocks.

But Look What We Made With Rocks...

Mosaic Rocks

Caya's is Mickey Mouse down in the front. John did the Angel & Cross on the left and the dragon fly right next to it. James did the Angel & Flower in the center and the other angel to the right of it. I did the dragon fly over on the right. Lots of fun gluing on the pieces with the kids, but way more work than I bargained for grouting around the pieces. Very very messy project.

Stained Glass Garden Stake

Another Pinterest inspired project. Yeap I'm addicted to that website, but at least I do some of the projects on my huge list.

I really want to make one for myself too! (And see just how long it takes for the kids to destroy it.)

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