Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Inspiration from Great-Grandpa #1

My great-grandfather grew up during the Great Depression.  Like pretty much everyone who lived through that time, he learned to be resourceful and re-purpose pretty much everything.  He had a knack for turning everyday objects into the most fun and unique playthings and pretty little accessories around the house.
In their retirement, he and my great-grandma raised roses (that's a whole long post in itself for another day) and being the generous hearts they were, they gave away hundreds and thousands of bouquets from their own backyard roses to folks in need of a little cheer.  They delivered them to friends, family and strangers.  People in the hospital, folks receiving the Meals-On-Wheels they helped deliver, people they read about in the local paper who were going through hard times.  You could always count on a beautiful bouquet with your favorite rose tucked in for your birthday especially.  They had so many roses that they had an extra refrigerator in their breezeway to hold all the fresh-cut flowers during the peak season.

One of the problems was that there was always a need for vases.  Being the resourceful kind of guy that he was, my great-grandfather came up with a way to get free vases in pretty much constant supply that he didn't have to worry about getting back from all these people he enjoyed sharing the bouquets with.  One of the things he did was let the local cemeteries and churches know that he could make use of their extra vases.  After funerals and weddings and such there are always leftover vases from the floral arrangements.  Many times these got thrown away or given away so he got a good study supply from those sources.  But at the rate they gave flowers away, often they still didn't have enough or they were too large for the bouquets he was making.
However, a large majority of the food bought from the grocery store came in glass jars back then.  There was a study supply of food jars in all sorts of sizes and shapes - salad dressing, pickles, condiments, etc.  Once the labels were removed these were the perfect containers for smaller arrangements.  Problem is, they were a little blah...  Great-grandpa also loved spray paint.  He came up with the idea to spray paint the jars - sometimes inside and other times outside.  He usually did at least two colors to give a fancier look - often with a gold or silver mixed in.  The blue salad dressing jar is the only one I still have.  It is one that he gave me for my birthday.  It is painted on the outside.  I saved these three jars to make my own.  A pickle jar, an iced tea bottle and a jelly jar.

A little spritz of gold spray paint on the inside...  Just little short spritzes at different angles.  You don't want solid coverage because you want your second color to show through.
Although this one was so pretty I almost did it in solid gold...
For my second color I chose red.  The great thing about this is that it does use much paint so its a great way to use up your leftovers from other projects.  I plan to use these for fresh-cut summer flowers on the deck.  With the paint on the inside, the water may eventually cause some of the paint to peel.  That is easy enough to fix with another layer of fresh paint in either color.

Join Amanda and Brittany for the Two Girls and a Pin Series


Mary Sullivan Frasier said...

What a great idea! ...made especially sweet becuase of the history behind them. Your great grandpa is definitely smiling down on them - and you from Heaven. Stopping by from Stuff and Nonsense and newly following. Have an awesome holiday weekend! ~ Mary

Unknown said...

Hi Mary - Thanks so much for the comment and follow! It's nice to meet new friends! I know he would be grinning that I was sharing this - he loved it so much he built a cool spray-paint booth in his garage, haha! Happy weekend! :)

Michelle Day said...

April, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this idea! And the beautiful story about your Great Grandpa and Grandma. These turned out beautiful. Thanks so much for sharing at Creative Thursday last week. I can't wait to see what you'll share this week. Have a great day.


Michelle Day said...

You're being featured on Creative Thursday this week :) Stop by and take a peek.


Karah @ thespacebetweenblog said...

What a beautiful idea!! I love roses, great inspiration color!! Thank you so much for linking up to our party!! :)

Linda @ it all started with paint said...

Love the gold and the red! They'll look fabulous with some fresh cut roses too ...

Thank you so much for sharing at our Crazy for Color link party!



Eclectically Vintage said...

You grandparents sound like amazing people!

And your blinged out vases are perfect!

So glad you joined our Color party.

Brittany said...

Thanks so much for linking up with us! Great DIY project! I'm in love with the colors of the glass. Seems like it's pretty simple also. I love simple!

You were automatically entered into the giveaway, we just ask that you link up your post to the linkup with either the Two Girls and a Pin Badge or a link to the original post is fine, too.