My Wishing Well project

img_0287

There is so much room out here on the Ranch, I am obligated to fill up all the spaces with something interesting.

I decided I wanted a wishing well, but not just any wishing well, it needed to be big, and pretty.

So the search was on for inspiration.

I saw a pin for a fire pit of stacked retaining wall bricks, with the tops done in a mosaic.

We had leftover bricks from the old house (project that was never finished, imagine that?)

Dirty, grey, but they were so blah…. hmmm? how to fix that?

img_0351

I know, lets tile them with mosaics, that way the well will be pretty and magical!

Started by cleaning them with a brush and locating “pretty” stuff for them.

img_0328img_0376

Discount glass tiles, and sparkly silver glitter grout from the clearance section at Lowes!

img_0348img_0352img_0354

Use a towel when you break the glass tile, and lots of waterproof mastic. Gloves might have avoided cuts, but are hard to work in.

I put each color into bowls and lined up the top layer of bricks so I could spread out the colors evenly.

I wanted an edge on the outside of each brick, and the hexagon tiles fit perfectly 12″ across without having to cut any of them.

It’s always better to lay out your pattern before you begin gluing them down.

img_0355img_0358

The grout plus the glass tiles make them really sparkly in the sunlight. Just simply stack the rounds of blocks and made this the last course.

img_0428img_0426

You could end it here, and make it into a fire pit, but I really wanted a wishing well. so it needs a roof.

Had hubby cut two support poles about 8 ft tall, put some angled support braces to hold the roof,

and attached each of them onto pier blocks hidden inside the circle.

img_0460img_0479

Next, we cut plywood into two 2′ x 3′ sides for the roof.

Since I wanted shake shingles and live in CA where they been banned, I had to make my own.

I purchased redwood bender board (super cheap) at Home Depot and cut them into 7″ shakes.

got to use the air nailer (that was fun) and covered it in staggered pattern.

img_0482img_0188

It was much easier to attach the roof out in its final location, as the shingles made it quite heavy

We put a piece of rebar trough the support poles and used an antique drill for the handle.

img_0287img_0213

Found a really cute turnbuckle to hold a bucket salvaged from one of the barns (nice paint included)

and filled it with squirrel food.

Love watching them swing and eat the corn and peanuts!

For the holidays, I hid a light inside that projected a white moving pattern that looked like magic water inside. (Think I’m going to leave it in there)

Enjoy,

Debbie 

Advertisements

The Fixer Upper


So, my followers,  its been a while since we last spoke. The back is doing extremely well following surgery, and I went back to work. Then suddenly, in December, BAMMM, work injury to my knee. Fell like a wounded water buffalo, and injured the PCL. So needless to say Gma found herself sentenced to 8 weeks house arrest, and a huge amount of bored. So while visiting our somewhat local Habitat for Humanity Restore, I found this darling little 1 bedroom 1 bath fixer upper. It came fully furnished, but was in bad shape.

(no amount of peptol bismol pink from the previous owners could save it)

But the price was right $25.00 bucks!

img_0310img_0354

So, the first step in any fixer upper, (after closing escrow) is demolition! Stripped the wall paper off, peeled up the vinyl flooring, removed the windows, and unsafe railing on the upper deck.

Made a couple structural improvements, to the base and back wall.

img_0321img_0327

We removed the hinged roof and decided to give it a shake roof. unfortunately, the cost of dollhouse shingles is over $20 bucks a square foot, Luckily, I found craft sticks at the dollar store and bought 2 packages for $2 bucks! Taped them together in bundles of 20, cut them to 2″ shakes. Used the yardstick to make straight lines,  and glued them on with wood glue.

img_0329img_0330img_0332

While the glue dried, we painted the entire place with Kilz paint. Cures all evils, stains, smells, bad paint choices, and seals the bare wood. Making it a nice blank canvas to create!

img_0328img_0360

The back roof panel is glued and screwed secure, and the front is hinged so they can open and play inside the attic.

Next, I decided on my color palette, the pink I was stuck with, Hubby convinced me not to paint the vintage Barbie furniture it was mostly pink. But I had some leftover Minnie Mouse print and added a few fat quarters in a pretty blue to balance out the pink overload! Yep, there was sewing and construction involved! I painted the outside walls “Tiffany” blue, and added white trim molding. It helped stabilize the house.

img_0323img_0386

Flooring is next, since there was a kitchen and bath, of course I tiled it! After doing projects on our real homestead, I consider myself a self-taught expert! I had leftover tiny hexagon tiles and added 2 sheets matching tile with black tiles (looked like flowers to me) I still had adhesive and silver sparkly grout leftover from the wishing well project, so it really only cost $6 bucks for tile. ‘

img_0377img_0375img_0374

The bedroom, living room and attic needed wood floors. I was in the local flooring store, and found 3 planks of snap together dark stained real wood flooring. The guy just gave it to me since they were samples. All I had to do was measure, cut and snap together. Since is was so thick, no need to glue or nail it down. (hope she doesn’t trip between rooms, lol)

img_0378

Windows needed replacing, looks like they used page dividers and a sharpie to make them. I splurged on Ikea 5×7 frames ($1.99 ea) and just glued them in place.

img_0317img_0392

It’s not complete unless the patio is covered. Lowes kindly donated a scrap of Astroturf so she can relax with her shoes off. (all I had to do was ask!) Decided to do a more substantial railing. Since I was using black as an accent, decided to try it on the top rail. Used the same molding I had put on the corners of the house, but painted it gloss black

img_0382img_0426

So this whole renovation took about two weeks, with drying times, so I had plenty of time to sew accessories and cover the 70’s Barbie fabric.

The sofa and chair pads got recovered and the pillows. Made all new bedding (yes, I did fitted and flat sheets, duvet cover, bed skirt and pillows) all new curtains and drapes with fancy beaded finials on the curtain rods.  I hung them with command hooks, the rods are 1/2″ dowels, cut to fit the windows.  I was considering cup hooks but the walls are paper-thin and they would have come through the outside. I sacrificed a white bar towel, cut it up, hemmed it and added appliqué hearts for the bath.

img_0427img_0428img_0396img_0418img_0419img_0420

I decided to put “puck” lights in the rooms, easy for them to operate, but they kept falling off. I used my go to E300 super glue to attach the bases and problem solved.

The attic isn’t complete yet, think I want to put a closet pole (small metal towel bar?) across the side and hang her clothes up and maybe some cuter storage bins for her shoes and accessories. You know ladies, make it a “dream” closet, right?

img_0421

And lastly, don’t miss the family picture above the sofa, it’s the best part!!

So I encourage you to do your own fixer upper, it was a blast! Maybe I can tackle a real size one?

Enjoy!!

Debbie

.

Faux Milkglass Trays

So we all know how cheap I am. Why buy it, when you can craft it right?

That is why you’re looking at this post in the first place, we’re alike.

This is the initial mock-up for the dessert table.

Chalkboard, vintage black, white and silver. It will be redone about a hundred times, and until I place the last cake pop, is subject to change.

IMG_2070 The wedding colors will be accents (Sea glass blue and blush) flowers in delicate pastel, pretty beachy shades.

Cupcakes, cake pops, and baked goodies will be the final touch!

So lets focus on the base of this arrangement.

To make the faux milk glass serving platters:

Supplies needed:

Assorted plates, platters, candlesticks, dessert bowls, vases and glasses.

White gloss spray paint

Waterproof, outdoor glue

IMG_2011

After a hasty trip to the dollar store, I purchased several platters, candle sticks, dessert bowls and glasses.

Spent about $20. but should come out with 10 serving pieces, and three vases for fresh flowers.

IMG_2015

First step is to wash and remove all stickers, oily film and prep your glass items.

I use the Goo-gone to remove stickers and ink, then rubbing alcohol to remove the goo gone. (Its oily and the glue won’t stick well).

IMG_2016IMG_2017

Attach the candle sticks to the candle plates, the dessert bowls to the oval platters…you get the idea, using the glue.

Center them so they will balance when turned over. Allow to dry overnight, since you’re going to paint it, it could dissolve the glue if it’s not set well.

IMG_2021

Be sure to cover your work area well, and spray away!!! I did two coats on most, some needed touch-up after I turned them over.

Allow to completely dry or you will risk fingerprints in the paint. (No, I didn’t learn that the hard way)

IMG_2059

These were my favorite, candlesticks and a candle base. The glass was heavy and they turned out nice.

I’ll be putting cake pops, cupcakes, and assorted baked goodies on all of them!

Rehearsal Dinner is my chance to impress my son’s future family, and introduce them to ours.

 I come from a long line of crafty ladies, who would rather spend $75.00 in supplies and make something with LOVE, than allow anyone else to cater or design for me.

Enjoy!

Debbie

Margarita Bar Towel

Ok, so I’m going to blame Frank for this. Was it his fault? No, I never said that, I just said I was going to blame him.

IMG_2125

So, you ask how was this his fault? I bought him a shirt for the rehearsal dinner. (In case you didn’t know, youngest son is getting hitched in June) and I asked him to try it on. Several times I asked him to try it on…. I got an XL because I loved the shirt, and they didn’t have a large. I’m pretty handy with the sewing machine, and I figured I could just take it in some. Problem was, he wouldn’t try it on while I was available to mark it. Long Story short, he tried it on alone, told me it was really big, and I took it upon myself to take it in, sans measurements. Needless to say I took it in too much! Ugh! A perfectly good, Jimmy Buffett Margaritaville Shirt, too small!!

After blaming him relentlessly, and a good nights sleep. INSPIRATION!! Bar towels for the Margarita bar at the rehearsal dinner. GENUIS….

Supplies needed:

One super cool Magaritaville Shirt (made too small) or any other print you’re fond of

Colored bar towels to match fabric (mine were 16″x19″)

Simplicity pattern #1483 (make sure you get these on sale)

Sewing machine and some time to kill

IMG_2131

So early this morning, scissors in hand, I chopped up what was left of the shirt, removed the super cool buttons (they say Margaritaville on them) and began redeeming my sewing confidence. I did use a pattern, Simplicity #1483, since I really didn’t want to screw this up. This pattern retails for $17.95, but if you watch for your local fabric/craft store sales, they will go on sale for 5/$5.00.

I picked this one up months ago during one of those sales, and finally used it on this project.

IMG_2128

I may have spent a little too much time attempting to get the coolest parts of the fabric strategically  placed. Could of probably gotten another set of tops, but I tend to fuss over details.

Worked out OK, I got five tops, and the package of bar towels came with five!

The tissue pattern made it easy to see placement over the prints.

You could totally do this without a pattern, in fact next time I will improvise the front flap into a curved or squared shape instead of the point.

Just make a newspaper square about 8 1/2″ X 4 1/2″ for the base, a 5″ wide middle piece, and 6 1/2 x 4″ flap.

The overall size approx 9″ x 9″.

IMG_2127

When cutting them out, I did utilize the sleeves (the already hemmed edge) for the bottoms of a couple of the towel tops.

IMG_2129

If you are using an obvious one way print, be sure to cut one side upside down. Because after you sew them together, the “flap” needs to be upside down so its right side up when finished.

Sew according to directions, right sides together. leaving the bottom open. Turn and press a hem along the bottom edge (some were already done) and stitch that down.

IMG_2130

The pattern calls for velcro on the flap to attach, but I opted for a button/buttonhole option. The buttons from the shirt were cool, and since my “Opal” does them automatically, why not?

Next step, I removed the hem from one of the short sides of the bar towel. (to reduce bulk) and gathered along that edge.

IMG_2134IMG_2132

Another of Opal’s super cool attachments, is this automatic ruffler. Made gathering the towels super easy and fast.

Next, I just put the gathered edge of the towel inside the top, the pattern calls for it to be sewn along the bottom edge, but my towels seemed long (I didn’t trim to 13″) so I put them all the way into the square portion. Pinned the corners and across the top, then topstitched across and down each side to secure the towel inside.

IMG_2136

Final step, I sewed the buttons on, going through the front and the towel, but not the back of the topper. (that made it pucker, and I didn’t like how that looked)

IMG_2137

There they are… Margaritaville Bar towels, ready for the Margarita Bar at the Rehearsal Dinner!

So when you screw up, pretend like you meant to, and look for inspiration to cover it up!

Enjoy,

Debbie

My First Chalkboard Project

IMG_1818

Hello my crafty friends, I know it’s been a while since we last spoke. But we all know how quickly time runs away from us.

So, let’s see if I remember how to get this posted.

My new obsession is chalkboard stuff. I had to create an entire pinterest board to all the great ideas I’ve been seen.

Well, I decided I wanted one for the front of my fireplace, but it needed to be big.

Like 36″ x 33″ big.

Supplies needed: a board (did I mention mine is big?)

Chalkboard paint and a roller (I cheated, no roller pan, just poured some paint on and rolled it out)

Chalk, Chalk markers, stencils, and/or good penmanship

 So I put hubby to work cutting a big piece of board, and had him round the corners.

Also had him put a heavy-duty hanger on the back, since I will remove it from its perch to change the message often.

If you are going to put it where youngen’s will be using it, try hanging it with mirror clips

It will be flush on the wall and not “wiggle” when they write on it.

IMG_1823

I also got some chalk, chalk markers, and stencils (options are good, considering this is a new adventure)

I’m not thrilled with my writing skills, but hopefully they will improve with some practice.

That’s the beauty of a chalkboard, right? I can erase it and start over.

So, a couple of tips I found online: be sure to do two thin coats of the chalkboard paint

on your board and let it dry at least 24 hours between each coat.

Be sure to wait another 36 hours before you write on it.

The paint is kinda “soft” and if you write on it too soon, those overeager messages will be imbedded forever.

IMG_1824

It’s recommended that you “season” your board before you start using it. So, I took some super cheap plain white chalk and rubbed it all over the board.

Easy enough, but I recommend doing this outside, since it left a lot of dust!

Cover your entire board, and then wipe it off, repeat. I used about 5 sticks of chalk, and did it three complete times.

IMG_1828

it really does give it a nice “used” look, and smooths out the surface before you begin creating your masterpiece.

For lettering, I used a yardstick to keep myself somewhat straight. It’s a little harder than I anticipated.

Kudos to those school teachers who have perfect vertical penmanship!

IMG_2042

We’re planning a June Wedding, and since I’m the Mother of the Groom, guess what the rehearsal dinner theme is….??

Stay tuned for more projects!

Enjoy!

Debbie