Monday, July 23, 2012

Home Depot Art: Big Red Balls

The weather in Seattle has been so wet and cool this summer that I woke up this morning to find a new species of giant red mushrooms had sprouted in my yard.

Just kidding! This is not flamboyant fungi, this is art!

This funny little corner of my yard, out of sight from the house but in full view of everyone who drives into my neighborhood, needed something special to spunk it up. So I drove to the closest bowling alley, stuffed every red ball I could find into my oversize tote, and brought them home with me. 

Just kidding! These aren't bowling balls, they are globe lights!

I wandered the aisles of Home Depot, seeking spherical inspiration. Eventually, I strolled through the lighting section and found these globes, built to suit a fixture like this one

So I bought a bunch of them, big and small. Armed with four shades of red-ish spray paint - watermelon, pink, coral and apple red - I sprayed them haphazardly to create a marbled surface with subtle variations of color.

To seat the balls securely, I roamed over to the plumbing aisle and found these PVC hose connectors. By pounding them gently into the ground, and seating the necks of the globes into the top opening, the installation has outlasted many a winter windstorm.

{I actually made these orbs several years ago; this weekend, I gave them a fresh coat of paint, and re-positioned the connectors. Since the ground cover keeps growing thicker, I occasionally reset the balls so they are visible about the new growth.}

Just to be sure the balls stay put, I took snack size Ziploc bags, filled them with sand, and tucked one up inside each globe. The weight of the sand provides a little extra heft for keeping the globe firmly at rest on the black connectors.

After I planted all eight of these beauties out in the front yard, my neighbors drove by and did not know what to make of my creation. One of the boys across the street asked my daughter if they were part of a practical joke. 

Ha. This is no joke, son. This is ART. Get used to it. 

And in the spring, they live among the flowers. I love my big red balls very much.

Not kidding about that at all.

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Some other stories about my big red balls:


  1. They look amazing! hi from me your new follower. x

  2. Love your art! I am always making art for my garden out of re-purposed material. Sometimes my neighbors really like my stuff and sometimes they wonder about me. Hey it's my yard and much more interesting than all the other non-art yards. Keep to your great ideas. I'll be making some of your balls. Thanks for the inspiration!

    1. My neighbors definitely wonder about me, but I don't mind at all. Have fun making these!


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