a fantastic art project to give to a hiker for the holidays. my son was going to use it for some Boy Scout project, but he gave it to me instead! i came up with the idea because i’ve been struggling with an idea…to use for all the beautiful fall foliage i have around the house. the photo above is the dried hiking stick…
Step 1. find a thick, tall & somewhat dry stick. find some really cool leaves, (fresh, like pick them off a branch). remove some of the bark (on the stick) with a knife. apply masking tape in whatever pattern you’d like. i use tinfoil as a drop cloth because its recyclable & NOTHING can go through it. i taped it to the table, so it wouldn’t slip when i moved the stick.
2. the watercolor magic can be found at most art/craft stores. i really believe it is just fabric dye because it will stain ANYTHING. (it took more than 10 hand washings to get it off my hands yesterday) Watercolor Magic is rich saturated deep color & looks great on paper. i used it to stain the wood. first use one color to paint some of the stick as seen above (i used turquoise) wash brush & use your other color choice. i picked these colors because they are opposite-ish of the yellow, red & green leaves i collected. the leaves need to be fresh, not dry. i removed the end stems on most of the leaves because they wouldn’t stay stuck…
step 3. apply the next color & remove tape & clean up mess.
step 4. we call this stinky glue (below photo) in my art classes, but gosh, i LOVE the smell of Mod Podge because it means i’m creating! pour the Mod Podge into a small plastic cup (if you’ve got one) have a paper towel on hand because the ‘watercolor magic’ bleeds. you’ll want to wipe off the brush if you pick up some of the paint color.
step 4. before applying leaves, have string (warm colors work best) or raffia because the leaves do NOT like to be wrapped around a stick. the photo below is me fighting with the leaves. i put a puddle of Mod Podge on the tinfoil. i put one leaf at a time in the puddle, put it on the stick & painted more Mod Podge on the leaf, once you’ve got enough leaves to cover your naked part of the stick, wrap the leaves in whatever you have cut. my hands worked better than anything during this project. (if you hate the feel of glue on your hands…i wouldn’t do the project. i love pulling the dried Mod Podge off) i used some dried hydrangea flowers that i soaked in water, i put them on the stick upside down because that is the way they stayed on best. some of this can be frustrating, but damn, it is so cool when it was done!
Just me struggling with leaves. my son took these images with my broken iPhone which is why the quality of every.damn.shot.is.soft.on.focus.
Henry wanted to show how messy my hands were. i had dried BLUE hydrangea in a vase. i took the petals, soaked them in water, then i Mod Podged them on upside down because the texture on the backside is so cool. When you have finished applying the leaves (or whatever you did/do) put Mod Podge on the whole stick–i recommend that you first paint the glue over the watercolor magic one color at a time because the Mod Podge will pick up the color from the stick. (you could wait for paint to dry, or spray it with varnish, but i was too impatient-i have other things to make)
this is the finished stick this morning. i LOVE that the top of the stick looks like a femur or tibia bone. i had two viola flowers in a pot outside. i plucked them off & glued them onto the stick.
‘live viola’ oy. guilt. it was alive…yesterday. but like Han Solo was frozen in carbonite, this viola suffered the (almost) same fate. except it is dead now. i did cut the long raffia after i took this shot with my BROKEN iPhone.
like all collages, you can use any type of paper to decorate a stick. i wanted to go natural. but i have some really cool scrapbook paper i could have used. this project has so many possibilities. you could Mod Podge colored string onto it. cut tissue paper in strips & wrap it. my son wanted to put a hook at the top to use as fishing pole–Boy Scout project. i do intend to string some beads & tie it around the top, just to swing while in use.
about the ghost-we had one but i think we got rid of him. the list below is all the things that have been broken by him…
i am separated (almost divorced) from my children’s father. he moved out over a year ago. shortly after he left, we had some super strange, creepy & expensive to repair/replace stuff start happening…
- my photo printer. (i bought a new ‘wireless’ one, that has NEVER been used without having to plug it into a damn computer)
- my Apple computer desktop (someone poured tar into it. i couldn’t edit anyone’s photographs from shoots, so i bought an apple laptop. shortly after buying it…my desktop started working better)
- lightbulbs i cannot reach went out.
- all of my paintings, hanging on the wall, went crooked (even after we straightened them…they would be crooked again within minutes.
- three roofing nails in my tires (one was plugged, two went too deep to repair & had to be replaced-the tires i mean, not the nails.)
- the back deck fell after someone walked on it. the rain made it fall another 6 inches & began to pull the fireplace down with it.
- the front deck has one rotten support beam that needs replacing
- my daughter got tendonitis in her foot/ankle
- two lamps in my sons room broke
- my iPhone screen shattered (and my camera inside broke. i replaced the screen, but the camera never (as seen above) worked well again.
- my daughter’s iPhone screen (repaired)
- a maple tree branch broke in 2008, broke again this spring & landed on the dinning room roof. right over the broken deck-which meant it cost a gazillion dollars to have removed.
- my right Sacroiliac joint (requiring a steroid injection every 2 months)
- my Nikon D90 hit the tile floor & broke right before the busiest time of year for me–Holiday pictures. big lose of income.(i hate tile floors, never wanted it in the first place)
- my Nikon flash (that broke last January, i’ve had to turn down so many jobs because of this)
- my iPhone screen AGAIN. (tile floor from two feet high–SMASH)
- lightbulb over my daughter’s sink (to replace it, you have to crawl up in the attic. we opted out of that)
- two toilets (we only had one toilet to use for about a week)
- missing watercolor paintbrushes
- missing acrylic brushes (those came back)
- the lightbulb in the garage above the car i drive. (i ALWAYS forget to replace that one-because during the day, the windows light up the garage & i seldom go out after dark.)
- one dog just got hotspots due to the food i have ALWAYS fed him
- my husky’s right front paw hurts her
- my cat Hobbes disappeared. (we think he went off to die)
- the teenage boy that drove his car into my mailbox (i made him help me put it back together)
- my hair dryer
- the ice machine in our 2 year old fridge (we use the one that was made in the late 80’s that WORKS JUST FINE)
- So me & my two children sat at the dinner table one night talking about the ghost. we decided to name him, so we could order him to leave. i choose the name Hades & we counted to three & yelled, “GET OUT OF OUR HOUSE RIGHT NOW, HADES!!!!” After dinner i walked through the foyer, there is a big mirror there and i saw…A HUGE HAND PRINT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE MIRROR. Since than, our pictures remain straight & we’ve had no further creepy things happening (and expensive to repair) When i was researching Christmas & found out that pagans believed that bringing evergreens into the house, & hanging them over windows & doors, kept away evil spirits & ghosts. So i’ve decided that i’m going to get some, not for Christmas, but to keep Hades from returning–because i can’t afford to keep repairing & replacing everything he has done.