Sunday, January 3, 2010

Washing Machine Flower Pot

This flower pot is basically just the inside bin of a discarded washing machine painted with that two color fleck spray paint. I found it in the discount isle of Wal-Mart and bought two cans of it. I did line the pot with a heavier clear plastic painter’s tarp or two before filling it with dirt so that it would not become a beehive instead. I grew Tobacco in it that I never smoked. I don’t smoke. I don’t even like the smell of cigarette smoke. And I applaud the 2010 public smoking ban in Wisconsin. But every once in awhile the smell of a Cigar I do like, it is of higher quality. Once a year, and then I get a sinus infection and swear it off completely. I don’t know why I grew the Tobacco. But it grew well and tall and it was a pretty green plant. And I broke off a little one inch square piece of it and put it in a coffee can and lit it. It smelled very good and I did indeed get a sinus infection. And I will indeed grow Tobacco in this pot again. That’s all there is to it. I suppose I could grow something else in it, some type of vegetable or mint or something.

My point being is the pot was made to stand up to water, and will not crack. When I tore apart the washing machine it had that ceramic/enameled industrial coating on it. Why put it in a landfill, it will last forever. Where I put the dirt in it is where it is staying too because it is heavy and stubborn to grass friction.

Copyright 2010 Thomas Paul Murphy

How I made a concrete Umbrella Stand

How I made a concrete Umbrella Stand

A concrete umbrella stand that you can make will be much heavier and therefore stable than what you can buy. This inherently increases its safety factor.

Materials: Inconclusively Determined

1. Enough bags of concrete to fill a bushel basket. Follow directions on bag and acquired skill acquired from mixing it as you mix it.

2. An old galvanized bushel basket you consider disposable

3. Cardboard to line it. If you tape enough cleanly around the sides and bottom you may be able to get the form out without cutting that bushel basket to oyster halves. I only made one of these and it lasts forever.

4. Some galvanized or treated chicken wire to reinforce and hold the concrete together. The analogous term in the construction industry when they build sky scrapers is rebar. When you place this in your form none of it can be exposed to the surfaces of the object otherwise you will get rust veins that run through and weaken your structure.

5. I put a coat of oil based paint around it so that it doesn’t chalk away. It is ok to use the “Its Best to Use it up Theory” and use old oil based house paint you might have around the house, and add some paint oil to it if you like.

6. You will need a rightly an properly sized hollow cylinder to run the height of the stand. The internal diameter of this should fit the external diameter of you Umbrella pole or any one you plan to buy. You need to stuff this shut with newspaper and cardboard and vertically fix it while the concrete sets to that it is straight. I used an old plastic table leg too long. This allowed for an easier up and down straight alignment. Picture a straw in a soda cup. I whizzed off the end long after it dried.

As you delight in your endeavor you might inspire the neighbor lady into adding hydraulic cement to the outside of a flower pot and adding thematically derived cracked pieces of her China Wear to the outside of it. Consider it an imitation is a form of flattery complement.

If you get good and do not get lung disease from the concrete dust or an eye infection you can make you can make different concrete forming molds, square and rectangular ones from framing built of wood and sink appropriately threaded rod studs for affixing auxiliary devices or stands. Tape the threaded rod ends to be above the concrete so that they will be utilizable and not gummed solid and needing of hard cleaning.

This can be made into an art form whereby you can express yourself creatively for display. “The sky is the limit.”

Copyright 2010 Thomas Paul Murphy


About Me

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Welcome to my Blogs. My name is Thomas Murphy and I love the forest and wildlife areas of Wisconsin and would like to share my thoughts and the pictures I have taken of the natural areas of Wisconsin. Come share in my collection of what I feel to some of the finest scenes and images of the forests, lakes, rivers and marshes that Wisconsin has to offer. I like to go to pristine and secluded areas where nature resides quietly and I feel the resulting “lost” images are profoundly unique. I am usually “in the moment” when I take these pictures. When I say in the moment I mean a sense of excitement often precedes what my eye captures through the camera. I never stage these shots but seem to be in the right place and time when I shoot them. And when I transfer them from my camera and view them on my computer screen I realize a sense of surrealism that resonates with me yet again to the time they were taken and exemplify the beauty of nature. Please peruse my sites and experience the beauty of being there as I did.