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Monday, May 25, 2015

Hanging and decorating the restored crystal chandelier

Chandelier hung but not decorated
This past Saturday, the strong young man (son, Matt) came and helped us hang the completed chandelier.

When we finished wiring the candles I thought that the candles were too large and out of scale and enhanced how crooked the candles were. We used 4" medium socket candles because that is what the chandelier originally had. I ordered 2" candles and they would have looked great but Todd was very concerned that he wouldn't be able to wire them because how the sockets sat in the candle cups and the lack of access space to attach the wire to the sockets.

So we looked for a workable solution. The chandelier had obviously been taken apart and reassembled at least once because a some of the rosettes were attached backwards and the crystals really didn't look like they were original to the piece. What we ended up doing was taking off the half inch spacer that sat at the bottom of the bobeche and before the candle cup. This adjustment made the candle a tad bit shorter and also made the bobeche not as wobbly, which was definitely a definite plus.

Once we made the minor candle adjustments, the chandelier was hung and we started decorating this amazing piece. We may add another crystal chain at the bottoms of the bobeche, change the middle crystal on the lower arms to a larger pendalogue and then move the small crystal balls to the very top where the small teardrops are. We are also looking for a finial for the top center so that we can hang a small crystal ball that will hand down just above the crystal chain.

Here is our masterpiece:

Fully decorated and lights aglo

On another note....

The chandelier we replaced is
destined for rehab
We were worried the crystal chandelier we had spent the last several months restoring was too heavy or would be too heavy for the ceiling supports. Turns out we had nothing to worry about because the beast of a chandelier we were replacing was much heavier and the junction box was correctly installed for the weight of heavy lighting.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

It's that time of year again. Time to rebuild or repair the garden totems

Still my favorite adhesives!
As we did our annual Spring walk of the property to see the damage done by the Wisconsin Winter, we made quite a list of things that needed to be repaired, rebuilt, replaced or simply thrown away.

I admit I am not good about putting things away for the winter, like the garden totems and other decorative items. Winter took its toll on a few of them and a little repair and rebuilding had to be done. So I gathered them all up, grabbed my favorite adhesives and looked through my inventory for new parts and ideas.

Here are the fixes and rebuilds:

This used to be a funky red, white and bluebird bath. The center came unglued a
while ago. I changed it up by adding a clear bowl and using the top of the following
totem that came apart.

This totem had the salt shaker and candle holder that I repurposed on the
first photo. They fell off during the winter. I remade with the glass bird because
the small bowl caulking wouldn't come apart. The bowl slipped while curing when I originally
made it, and the angle bothered me. So I put a bird on it to make it seem more aligned.
The bird and glass dish were originally attached to a wine bottle that I had cut. The
bottle and top fell off over the winter. I reattached to the wine bottle - but put it on
the stake before it fully cured - so the wine bottle fell down the stake.
Oh, well. How about sticking it on a brass flower pot?  I like this better.

Got Pine Pitch? Here's how to deal with it

You see there's this gigantic pine tree that hangs over our driveway and parking area. Beautiful tree, but it likes to spit at us -- a lot. I've asked others how they deal with removing pine pitch and searched the Internet on numerous occasions and last year found the best and easiest solution.

In the past I found that isopropyl alcohol would get the job done, it took a while but it did dissolve the the pine pitch. I was always concerned that it would ruin the paint finish as using it especially on dried pitch took quite a bit of time to remove it. Now my worries are over even though I am using another form of alcohol because the removal process is much shorter.


Yep, Purell the hand sanitizer. I wish I could retrace my search or remember who posted this amazing solution  to give credit. He was a genius.

Purell is a gel form of alcohol, a product most of us have in the house or our purse. It works much better than the isopropyl because it pretty much stays where you put it and doesn't evaporate as fast as the liquid. You also don't need a rag or cotton ball to apply, just use your fingers.  (see the photos below)

Fresh pine pitch can be dissolved in less than a minute, older dried pitch such as in the photos below takes around two minutes. Give this a try, you will be amazed how fast and well it works.

A good size, dried out spit of pine pitch
from last summer gets the treatment.

As you rub the Purell on and into the pitch it dissolves rather quickly.
Don't be afraid to use a little light fingernail action
if it is stubborn.

Wipe off the Purell and dissolved pitch.
Do multiple treatments if needed.

When pitch is gone, do a good rinse with the hose,
then wash the car to remove any residue that may be left behind.