Our president Ulrike updated information on our participation in Garden Day at Heavenly Scent Herb Farm: we will be located in the various demonstration gardens, the Matthews will be giving a free plant for every guest, and there will be refreshments. Sounds like fun!
Ulrike sent around the Frontier catalog for orders. Norma and Ulrike will get together to order teabags for our Tea. Ulrike mentioned ordering lavender to fill both cellophane and cloth bags which are big sellers at the Ladies Night Out sale at Crossroads Village in November. Ulrike also mentioned that she will order Cinnamon, Cloves, and Orris Root, so we can get a head start on making pomanders for decorating the Eldridge House for the holidays, which is in November.
Mark your calendars! Norma Jones reminded us that our annual Tea is scheduled for our regular second Thursday meeting night, September 8, 2011. Norma reported that she found a guest speaker for our Tea, which should provide us with a timely theme: Jim and Wilma Dodder, local beekeepers who own Bees and Berries, will present a program on beekeeping and honey and wax related products. Their business is located on 744 N. State Rd., just north of Davison.
Ladies’ Night Out: We were again reminded to look for teacups with saucers, not mugs, for the sale. If everyone brings at least one, we'll have a good selection for our "deer widow" shoppers.
Michigan Herb Associates 2012 Herb of the Year will be The Rose. Lois Meldrum reported that she would like to have a committee to spend this year collecting interesting information about roses to share at our outreach table at next year's conference (in March).
Herb Study: Milli sent a parsley plant along with Joanne Belill, and Joanne provided information on parsley, Petroselinum crispum.
Our Speaker, on "Crafting Creative Garden Pots" was our own Norma Jones, who teaches various crafts for the Flint Community Education program, and occasionally sells her work at craft shows in the area. She showed us various projects she's created, including painted and mosaic covered pots and containers, and she included lots of tips and hints about how she does her art work.
First, Norma showed us one pot I particularly liked, which was a mosaic of colored broken glass glued on a clay pot with a glue made for mosaic work.
She had several containers and pots from the dollar store, made of plastic and wood, that she decorated with different painting techniques (Norma is an expert painter.) She recommended up to three thin coats of glaze on these.
Norma recommends using enamel paints from the craft store for outdoor decorative painting. Enamel paints have an E on the lid to make finding them easier. Enamel paint has the advantage of drying to a nice hard finish.
She also uses acrylic based 'patio paints' - the textured type is particularly nice looking - and she seals them with an outdoor rated clear glaze. Enamel paints need a chemical medium for thinning and clean up, whereas acrylic paints can be thinned with water, or used with other mediums.
Norma showed us an attractive container painted with a crackle medium. First the base coat is painted, then the crackle medium is painted over it "with a single swipe", and white acrylic is painted over the crackle medium. As it dries, the cracks appear. (I think thats how it works. Norma, please correct this if it's in error!)
She talked about her preference for an angled brush for getting into corners, and her preference for shading with the use of a "float" medium. She said she used transfer paper to trace her chosen designs onto the surface, and had several tips for the care of paint brushes. Never leave your brush point down in the rinse water, it will become misshapened. Instead, rinse it and shape the bristles into a point with your fingers. Norma recommends soaking in Simple Green cleaner if your brushes get clogged with dry paint.