Thursday, October 31, 2013

Unicorn Love And My Magical Garden Spire Totem

Fell in love with an object at first sight one evening. Living in the material world can do that to you sometimes! Actually it's an object d'art! So I guess that makes it better! You see... Once upon a time an enchanted Unicorn was living in a small tea shop, in the fancy cups section, within a mystical tall glass garden totem. It sparkled and shined, calling me to take it home. In a wink of an eye, I was immediately entranced by this very unique recycled glass creation. Unicorns are quite magical and represent all that is good. So naturally I made my plan to make the fabulous creature part of our happy home. Alas the store was not open and I stared through the window, longing for the beautiful glass Unicorn shimmering under the streetlights to be mine. I asked the King if he thought we would have enough time to stop back in Frederick the next day on route to our already planned destination. He thought it was possible, if we left home early. Please, no one buy my Unicorn treasure before I return to the little shop in downtown Frederick called "Voila!"

Excited, grateful, and relieved was how I felt when I saw the gleaming Unicorn still waiting for me in the window as we approached the next day! We immediately asked the sales person to remove it from the window display. After we made our purchase, I clutched my royal Unicorn scepter as we walked to the car, and lovingly wrapped it with the additional fabric from a jacket in the back seat. I was told that the garden totems they had displayed were made by two retired art teachers, Veronica Nehemias and Gail Padgett. They call their gorgeous glass work 'Garden Spires.' A perfect name for something sold in the Frederick area since the charming town is known for its church spires. These two artists certainly have a sense of whimsical design. They succeeded in making the different found objects relate to one another and create an object of beauty in my spire. Art lovingly envisioned from discarded items! Well done! 

Arriving home after a hike, I unwrapped the Unicorn spire. Then placed it in different large pots in the sunroom, till I found just the right spot for this radiant beauty. Since I have grand kids, the placement must be considered carefully due to the delicate nature of such a glass item. Pieced together with non colored glass items, I particularly love the monochromatic look of this dazzling garden spire. The handsome mix of frosted and clear glass is perfect, and I am quite fond of the small perfume bottle on top. A vintage mix of plates, vases, serving cups, and perhaps a glass shade, this spire picks up the light of the sun differently during various times of the day. An inspired arrangement as the Unicorn sitting inside made it totally magical! Love it! Every time I look upon that little frosty Unicorn I smile. It has become a sparkling focal point in our sunroom. 

I had seen inventive garden ornaments for the first time a few weeks before, when my sister in law had posted photos of the china and glass totems she had seen while walking the Shepardstown W.V. garden tour. Here's a few of her photos of those unpredictable one of a kind garden spires in their natural element. Hmmm some have tags from the seller.

When I viewed these photos she shared I thought it was a fantastic and creative idea. I hoped to acquire one myself someday for the little Hobbit House. So much fun! It's cheerfulness on a stick!

Wow! My power to manifest is amazing! I now have my own gorgeous garden totem with a stunning Unicorn to enjoy! Little did I know it would be made by the same artists who made the ones that you see here, as I just checked out the name on those hang tags. Yes, they are made by 'Garden Spires.'

Cool. I also really love their Garden Spires with the stacked fanciful tea pots, cups, and saucers. They remind me of the Mad Hatter and Alice in Wonderland. Definitely need one of those too! Other totems have a completely silly sense of humor with chickens or squirrels under glass. Who knew?

You can see there are usually vases or bottles on the bottom of these garden spires to hold the rod that goes into the ground. The heavy metal rod comes with the purchase of the Garden Spires.

After all of this I am considering making a garden totem myself, as my daughter likes to hang out at auctions, where she reports anything made of glass goes pretty cheaply. Perhaps when we are cleaning out the basement this winter, I shall discover some other interesting glass or china for my own totem project. I'll be saving those wine bottles! In the interim I searched the internet for some information on this "new to me" D.I.Y. craft project.

I found a wonderful tutorial at a blog called October Farm, for making your own glass garden totems. The writer at October Farm recommended having your plates and cups face downward so they do not pool with water if placed in outside gardens. That way you keep away mosquitos. I have also read on craft forums one should use GE CLEAR Silicone II caulk which is made for doors and windows. Another option is using 'Aleenes Outdoor glue' for your project. Everyone suggests that you be sure to clean the area to be glued with alcohol first. I might opt to wear latex gloves to keep the glue off my skin and to grip to the breakable glass or china. Another blog called 'The Empress Of Dirt 'also has a tutorial and videos for making glass garden totems here. That's a great name!

Seems I opened up a whole new world of art investigating this crafty upcycling project for my sunroom and garden. I have gathered videos on various recycled garden art projects with tips and techniques, in case you are now thinking of making your own funky junk glass garden spikes, as there are number of creative ways to use the discarded plates and vases. Some of the people may not have the best sense of design, but you can still get the basic idea of how putting old glass objects together works for making something new.
The upside down glass bowl mushroom that you see in this video below would look cool in a trio of various sizes among garden plantings, other spike designs, fairies, and maybe a garden gnome, or two.

Garden flowers made from recycled plates might look good in the fairy garden too if they matched whatever color family you chose for your totem and mushroom designs. 

Go wild! You could even make huge reclaimed glass art sculptures as seen in the video below. It really gets the mind to thinking! Time to look at old stuff in a new way!

Upcycling makes great re-use of all kinds of decorative objects. Perhaps old junk can even save the world! Well at least it's a great way to hang onto those semi-precious glass and china items other members in your house might think are useless trash! I will let you know If I get a collection of found objects together to make my enchanted mythical Unicorn a friend! It could happen! Sweet dreams, and believe in your power of visualizing and manifesting. Magic happens, and so does art!

Photo credits: Crystal and Brande.


  1. OMG!! I'm just now reading this!! How cool are you!!!! I'm SO glad you found our GARDEN SPIRES!!!! They are SO much fun to make. I hope you have a good experience! Gail

    1. Wow! I am glad you did get to see the post about your whimsical creations! Hopefully I will get to put something together too!