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March 12, 2013

Face time

Even at a garden party I expect the guests to be stylish, colorful characters with something interesting to say. So, why not create my own? These guys don’t take up much space, look good sitting around, and don’t require much attention beyond a little water now and again. And best, they get along famously no matter who they’re paired with!




I received 11 of these metal storage containers from our friend Susan, who found them in her attic. Apparently her home’s previous owners had used them for food storage … in the event of doomsday. Catastrophe, however, never struck and a half-century later the cans were rusted (see first photo for example), their masking tape labels (‘RED BEANS’) brittle and peeling, their contents mere dusty rattlings. When she offered the cans to me I jumped; I love metal vessels in multiples, and these had promise as planters … One of the cans was painted a nice shade of lime green, and I loved how it looked (see above, far left); it inspired me to paint the others in similar shades that would complement the cool hues of succulents. Using silk screening ink (it’s waterproof and semi-opaque) I applied their new colors with a small sponge roller; this method added a nice texture and still allowed their attractive rusty surfaces to show through. Next, I drew simple, funky-folk-y profiles onto stenciling plastic, cutting their insides out with a craft knife; I taped the outside shapes onto a can side and using the same roller filled in with a contrasting shade. Once all the profiles were in place I cut out a couple of word bubble shapes and repeated the stenciling process. Now the fun began …



Mix and mingle

I planted a groovy succulent in each can and started to play with placement, enjoying how I could change the relationships between the cans and their colors. What I really loved, though, was how I could change the conversations between the heads — Now this felt like a party!




These four are the early arrivals, and the conversation’s already pretty lively … I’ll work on the remaining seven cans soon. But can’t you just imagine the raucous, riotous, Rancho garden party that will ensue? … Don’t worry, you’re invited!

x x x x x x

20 Comments leave one →
  1. March 12, 2013 5:34 am

    Pretty fabulous!

  2. March 12, 2013 6:20 am

    Oh how fun! Finally someone with something to say!

    • reubix1 permalink*
      March 12, 2013 6:27 am

      Hi, Kim, thanks! I thought about adding words at first but now I’m glad I didn’t …

  3. March 12, 2013 10:33 am

    Oh, these are the best things I have ever seen. Wish I’d thought of this!

    • reubix1 permalink*
      March 12, 2013 2:07 pm

      Pretty fun, right?! Can’t wait to finish the remaining chatterboxes …

  4. March 12, 2013 12:52 pm

    Thanks for the huge smile this morning. I can only imagine the whisperings that are going on.

    • reubix1 permalink*
      March 12, 2013 2:07 pm

      Thanks, WF! They made me smile, too …

  5. March 12, 2013 4:18 pm

    CHATTERBOXES…..what a cool name!

    • reubix1 permalink*
      March 12, 2013 7:25 pm

      Thanks, Guida, I’m glad I went with this title instead of one of the rejects: COLOR COMMENTATORS, BLOCK HEADS, HUE DON’T SAY and TALKING HEADS!

      • March 12, 2013 10:33 pm

        I like HUE DON’T SAY. It’s funny!

      • reubix1 permalink*
        March 12, 2013 10:56 pm

        It almost lived … almost.

  6. Judy permalink
    March 13, 2013 9:52 pm

    I love these, Reuben! They’re beautiful!

    • reubix1 permalink*
      March 13, 2013 9:56 pm

      Thanks, Miss Judy! Miss being neighbors …

  7. Adrianna permalink
    March 18, 2013 3:38 am

    Wow. Your creativity is boundless and inspiring. Thanks for sharing.

    • reubix1 permalink*
      March 18, 2013 4:08 am

      Adrianna, thanks so much!

  8. March 18, 2013 10:46 pm

    Way cool, Reuben! I also thought that your hog boiler before, during and after was some kind of wonderful!

    • reubix1 permalink*
      March 18, 2013 11:06 pm

      Thanks, Peter, both projects were really fun!

  9. reubix1 permalink*
    June 3, 2013 4:51 pm

    Thanks very much!


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