I'd love your input on this.

granny2anbMarch 17, 2011

I love seeing all the totems and birdbaths people make and have been looking for blue glass. I finally found two blue vases and two blue plates. Now I welcome ideas on how to put these together. In the picture, they're just stacked. I haven't glued any pieces together yet.

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grannytoo, I love your blue glass. It is beautiful. I am not good at knowing the best way to set up totems. It takes me forever to finally put mine together to glue. I keep changing my mind. Your vase shapes look good together. When I put my plates on, I put them upside down so they won't collect water, but that is just my preference. You do whatever looks best to you. Let us see what you finally decide to do, although they look pretty good right now. - Marylee

    Bookmark   March 17, 2011 at 12:00PM
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Marlene Kindred

Hi Grannytoo~

Blue glass is wonderful for totems....looks so cool in the sunshine. My suggestions would be if you plan to leave your totems outside in the winter, it is a good idea to turn the plates upside down as marylee said. That way the water won't collect there and force the pieces apart or break them. Also, you might want to put a plate (not necessarily a clear blue one) on the bottom for weight and stability. You could also try turning the top vase upside down to see if it is more visually pleasing to you and of course you can add more to the top of it as well. Let us see what you decide on so we can ooh and aaahhh some more!

    Bookmark   March 17, 2011 at 12:22PM
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Hi grannytoo--it is good to see your name here again.
I love the blue and what the others have said works
for me too! A microwave plate would be a great bottom.
Bet you could find one in the Avon Goodwill!!!
Didn't we have fun there? LOL

    Bookmark   March 17, 2011 at 2:21PM
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marylee_2010, I will definitely turn the plates over even though I won't be leaving them out all winter.

marlene_2008, I turned the top vase upside down and I like it better that way. Thanks for the suggestion.

I wondered if all the blue was too much. Maybe I should get some clear glass to mix with the blue pieces? I was also wondering if some clear gems added around the edge of the plates might add some interest.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2011 at 2:23PM
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I love cobalt better than anything ;o). But the others are right about turning plates upside down. I am seeing a lot of totems on our Forum lately with the plates right-side up, and I understand cause there are so many PRETTY plates.
and rarely are the bottoms that way. So its hard to resist temptation and show off those ones with colorful flowers and designs. But water does collect on them, and over time
can weaken the glue. Plus they get dirty so easy and unless you are into cleaning them often, it can be a pain to do. You can't just hose them off. I've got only a few with plates right side up because of this.
I would advise all plates be turned upside down unless the totem is inside or on a covered porch. The good thing about cobalt, crystal, and other solid colored plates, is you can still make really beautiful totems. The hard part is resisting the pretty plates when out shopping. LOL.
Been there, done that.

hugs, Karen

    Bookmark   March 17, 2011 at 2:31PM
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i love the blue. it also takes me forever to decide on how i want to glue stuff!

    Bookmark   March 17, 2011 at 3:33PM
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I love little glass birds on the top plate edge... clear or your beautiful cobalt blue would be perfect! I also love the mix of blue cobalt & purple (I think it was calamity-jane's pc in the inspiration album). Have fun, granny...you're on a roll! Jeanne S.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2011 at 4:21PM
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nmgirl(8 S.NM)

I'd turn the vases and the plates upside down. I'd also use a clear plate or an old microwave turntable plate for the base. They're heavy and usually are big which gives the totem a stable base and makes it easier to pick up when you need to. I wouldn't waste a blue plate by using it as a base! I would use all blue glass and no figurines or glue on thingies.
I prefer totems to have a sculptural quality, like a silhouette that lets the light come in and play. I also don't enough patience to glue on beads or marbles. I tried it a few times and it makes me coo-coo. I'm in too much of a hurry to get my creation out in the garden and get started on my next project!
Love your blue glass!

    Bookmark   March 17, 2011 at 5:02PM
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I agree that it would look great all blue. It's a classic look. Wish you could find a 'bluebird of happiness' glass piece for the very top.

Great job!

    Bookmark   March 17, 2011 at 5:26PM
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Found on eBay - cobalt glass figurine.

Here is a link that might be useful: cobalt bunny

    Bookmark   March 17, 2011 at 5:39PM
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Beauiful blue, I think everyone loves that cobalt blue. it really does look wonderful with the sun shining through it.
I think the crystal iridescent glass gems would really stand out and look good on it. I like to add little adornments to my totems. But that is just my own idea. Whatever you do will be an expression of YOU and that is always what all of us like to see!LOL Thanks for sharing your pic and allowing us to be involved with your project.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2011 at 5:54PM
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Thanks to everyone for your input. As nonacook knows, it takes me forever to make up my mind about things. I have been in a garden junk slump for the past couple of years but decided this is the year to jump back in with both feet.

rosiew, thanks for the link to the blue bunny. I have it on my watchlist and if it doesn't go for too much I'll buy it. That would be the perfect topper for my totem.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2011 at 7:15PM
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rosie, I've had that bunny on my watch list and planned to bid at the end of the auction. LOL. Not for a totem tho, for my indoor rabbit collection. Had to laugh when you found him too and told the others here. My secret is out.

Granny, I hope our totem inspiration album can help with trying to decide on a design. There are so many there, and a lot are cobalt I think. I love all cobalt, but then I also like cobalt and crystal. So I find it fun to check the different ideas and see what 'inspires' me if I'm not sure about what I want to make. I'm working on a cobalt one now...like you, I've been in a slump and not done a thing for well over a year. Its time I got back into it.

hugs, Karen

    Bookmark   March 17, 2011 at 7:40PM
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chelcass(Z5 Michigan, U.P.)

Granny, Love your totem. I collect Cobalt so I have a few pieces, Next is red, then green. Here is a suggestion to help you decide how to stack. I stack, take a picture, restack take another picture, etc. Then you can look at the pictures side by side and decide which you like best.

I do the plates right side up since I put all my totems in my storage shed during the winter. Either way works. I use dishsoap and a sponge and then spray off. Takes a minimun amount of time. Dawn working wonderfully.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2011 at 8:31PM
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Chelcass, living in Phoenix, I don't have to worry about winters with my totems. And it seldom rains. But when it does, then the next day I make sure all the standing water is out of any totems. I have 17 right now, so it would not take me a "minimum amount of time" to clean them like you do yours! LOL. Plus I guess I'm lazy, its bad enough to have to wash dishes inside without washing a bunch outside. ;o) I've been using Mr Clean Magic Eraser, or SOS, on my outside ones when just the hose doesn't do good enough. I love those Magic Erasers for cleaning all kinds of stuff. Great little product!

I have to be careful where I sit some of my totems cause when the sprinklers come on, several times a week pretty much year round here, the cobalt ones sure show water spots badly afterwards. Phoenix duststorms aren't my favorite thing to deal with either. Luckily just have those late summer mostly.

Granny if you want that cobalt rabbit for your totem topper, I eon't bid against you and will wait for another one to come along.

hugs, Karen

    Bookmark   March 17, 2011 at 9:20PM
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You know, the solid color totems like that might look plain jane inside but once they are out amongst the flowers they shine! The blue contrasts so well with most flowers that a totem made out of it really doesn't have to be fancy. I agree with others that you should start with a heavy base like a microwave plate and if you could add something like that pretty blue rabbit on top, I think it would be gorgeous! Be sure to let us know what you finally decide to do.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2011 at 12:25AM
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purplemoon ~ I'm not gonna bid on the blue bunny. I'll find something else for the topper. You need it for your bunny collection. :)

I have a blue bell I can use. It's not cobalt blue but I think it will work fine. I'll be turning the plates upside down. I'm a lazy gardener and have found that a spritz of windex and then a quick wipe will clean most of the glass. We don't run the sprinklers but it rains often enough here that I don't want to have to worry about cleaning the water out of the plates.

I saw some red vases at Goodwill last week and didn't buy them. Now I need to go back to see if they're still there. If I have a blue birdbath, then I need a red one to go with it right?

Thanks again for all the suggestions. I need all the help I can get.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2011 at 7:02AM
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I LOVE That Bunny!!!!ha! And cobalt blue is sooo my fav! I look forward to seeing this finished!

    Bookmark   March 18, 2011 at 3:12PM
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sorie6(6b ok.)

I think it's great. A crystal dish to break up the blue would be pretty.
I've got 24 of these totems in my basement ready for a sale in April Hope I sell some.
I do use the microwave dish for the bottom of all mine. I think it gives the stabailty.I also turn the plates like the rest of the ladies say.
If you get red please be sure that it isn't painted. I've gotten a few that were and the paint came off when I put them outside!! Good luck and let us see the finished totem.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2011 at 5:09PM
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Here's a little cobalt blue bird on my bird feeder/waterer:

href="http://s91.photobucket.com/albums/k302/sangaree_KS/Garden%20Junk%20Inspiration%20Albums/Totems/?action=view&current=TotemBirdFdrbyjeannespines.jpg"; target="_blank">

And here's a favorite cobalt birdbath of mine ...Kirk & Carol's ...link below with "twin" bluebirds!

Have fun, lots of ideas here! Jeanne S.

Here is a link that might be useful: Cobalt Birdbath in Garden

    Bookmark   March 18, 2011 at 6:00PM
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Oh my goodness, I love the little cobalt blue birds. I'm searching for just the right thing to finish off a birdbath. I'm evening thinking of putting the larger plate on top. I'll definitely have fun playing with it to get just the right combination.

sorie6 ~ Thanks for the tip about red glass being painted. The vases I saw probably were painted. I can see that I'm going to have fun picking items to make a few totems to go with the birdbath. My problem is that I like rusty things and old tools as well as I like the bling. :)

    Bookmark   March 18, 2011 at 7:56PM
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