Glass is Greener

    Cindy and Greg Seamons’ custom yard decorations

    PLANTING SEEDS Cindy and Greg Seamons began making holiday gifts for friends and family when their business blossomed. Photo: Robert Eliason

    What began as simple holiday gifts had gotten away from them. Cindy and Greg Seamons found themselves in business—making lawn ornaments. But this was no ordinary yard art. These were handcrafted flowers made from colorful stacks of collected glassware: arranged largest to smallest, like petals, with smaller vessels or vases sometimes used towards the center, reminiscent of flower pistils.

    Cindy, 58, was given a yard decoration in the summer of 2016. It was a different sort of gift and she wanted more.

    Inspired, Cindy began researching different methods of creating these impressive glass flowers.

    “We didn’t know they were so popular,” Cindy says upon finding them all posted over Etsy and Pinterest. “We even had someone who videoed their process and share it with us. So we took that and created our own way of doing them.”

    She says she and Greg had been looking for a way to spend more time together and find, perhaps, a “hobby with a future.” More than a year later, the Seamons are still at it.

    With her plate already loaded as a full-time homemaker and after-school caretaker for her grandsons, ages 9 and 6, Cindy estimates they developed and sold about 500-600 flowers last year.

    The Hollister-based couple work out of their home and share the tasks involved in making their yard art—from selecting the individual pieces to assembling the structure and making it durable.

    Including plates, Cindy and Greg repurpose glass materials like bowls, saucers, candle holders, vases, serving trays and serving bowls, as well as bird houses.

    Cindy comes up with the design, usually pairing up compatible elements, considering color either innate to the piece or that she wants to add by staining.

    “I use pretty much anything that can be mounted on another object to create a “flower” or another object,” she says. “I do the painting and staining on the glass when it needs added pizzazz.”

    “She really likes flowers,” says Greg. After each creation made, Cindy proclaims, “This one is my favorite.”

    “You say that about all of them,” Greg says.

    Greg, 55, assembles each piece to create the items. A longtime plumber and now a superintendent for JR Pierce Plumbing, Greg found using plumbing conduit has been the best material by far to create the stem.

    “I drill, glue and bolt the layered materials together,” Greg says. “I measure and cut electrical conduit, drill it and paint it to create a “stem” to secure the flower to.”

    “We went through the three or four vices last year trying to bend poles—they’ll break,” Cindy says.

    While the Seamonses continue to use Facebook Marketplace to sell their “Yard Art from the Heart,” they’ve also been seen at local shows and festivals, including the Hollister Farmers Market, where they started out.

    “Last year we had the opportunity to do the Hollister car show; the gal that runs the Gilroy car show saw us there and asked us to do the Gilroy show,” she says. “From there were asked to be part of the Olive Festival. We were invited to Aromas Day, which we did and from there were were seen by a lady the runs the Carmel Marketplace.”

    Each event led to another, Cindy says. Including the Watsonville Burrito Bash at the Santa Cruz Fairgrounds, the Monterey Wharf and even the San Benito county fair, where the Seamons were ask to put their flowers in the floriculture exhibit.

    “They moved [the floriculture exhibit] and asked us if we’ve be willing to help drive customers to that location,” Cindy says.

    Throughout the process Cindy and Greg have met a lot of people and have developed quite a following—with return customers—some who’ve even commissioned work.

    “I fell in love with “Yard Art from the Heart” last September when I first met Cindy,” says Connie Ludewig of the San Martin Chamber of Commerce.

    “Cindy had advertised on social media for a craft fair and I texted her to ask if she’d donate a raffle item for the San Martin Chamber of Commerce Family Picnic Fun Day.”

    When Ludewig arrived to pick it up, she was elated to find that Cindy was donating one of her more expensive solar items.

    Because Cindy was so generous, Ludewig says she felt obligated to buy something—and thus began her addiction.

    Ludewig started out only purchasing smaller items, one unpowered and another solar. The sun-powered flowers are illuminated at night.

    “They add color to our yard, and make me happy,” Ludewig says. “We have enjoyed them so much that we wanted to spread cheer.”

    Ludewig is continually impressed with the quality and customer service.

    “Not only are these handmade treasures nice quality, but also, Cindy is so friendly and kind,” Ludewig says. “Their business name is truly a reflection of this nice couple. It’s obvious that they put their hearts into making joyful and functional yard art.”

    Nancy Brody of Hollister thinks so too.

    “She puts her soul into it,” Brody says of Cindy. “She just comes up with the right dish to put inside. I just pick out a dish and tell her go to town—call me when it’s done.”

    Cindy says some of the most popular colors are teals and golds—”and anything that’s got glitter in it.”

    “Do you know how hard it is to find purple glass?” Cindy says.

    At $30-$60 apiece, local fairs, shipping them across the country, an ever-growing following, and weekend jaunts to find new merchandise, the Seamonses are making themselves quite a little business.

    Through it all, Cindy’s favorite part is having quality time with Greg.

    “Greg and I really are best friends and spend a lot of time doing things together,” Cindy says. Adding that they can’t do it without each other. “We have really cool creations that we come up with when the people walk up and they look at your yard art, their eyes just light up. And then you get to tell them what ‘Yard Art from the Heart’ is all about.”

    Find Cindy and Greg Seamons on Facebook at Yard Art from the Heart or reach them via phone or email at 831.801.8352 or [email protected]

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