My Wishing Well project

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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?

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 

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Playtime in the Car

Here’s a quickie I made for my Grandniece Dolly’s car trip to Disneyland. They’re driving down, and I remember those days of trying to keep an excited

5-year-old entertained in the backseat. I made her a travel box with stuff to hopefully make the ride smoother.

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First up was a travel tic tac toe tin. I found a small metal tin in the dollar bin at Target and it was already red! So I added some cute washi tape around the bottom and painted her a Minnie Mouse on the top.

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I used a small ruler and permanent marker to put the grid on the inside of the lid.

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Collected some bottle caps from Papa, he was happy to help. You need 10 total, 5 of each color. Some button magnets and outdoor glue, attached to the back.

I painted mine black and red, and put a mouse outline on top. You can do whatever shape, or theme suits your kiddo.

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I also made a backup set of caps, using a punch and putting the images inside the cap and the magnet on the back. (I’m sure some of these will end up under the seats! Sorry Mom and Dad…

Enjoy!

Debbie

 

 

Chalkboard Cornhole Game

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Well, as promised…. another chalkboard project is wrapping up. Cornhole (Bean Bag) game for the rehearsal dinner.

The lovely bride’s mother requested some yard games for the rehearsal dinner, and we were all too happy to oblige.

I’ve wanted one of these for camping and what better reason than a June Wedding, to kick us into gear.

I really can’t take credit for the boards except that I insisted hubby build them to specifications.

Lucky for me, he’s quite handy and lets me boss him around.

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He’s construction, I’m design, we work well together.

I looked online at the DIY network, and found the correct dimensions, and simple enough plans to construct the boards.

http://www.diynetwork.com/how-to/outdoors/structures/how-to-build-a-regulation-cornhole-set

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I couldn’t decide on a paint design, so since I’m all about the chalkboard lately, that seemed like a perfect finish.

We stained the sides and legs with a golden oak finish, and I painted the tops with two thin coats of chalkboard paint.

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They turned out wonderful! The legs fold under for storage and transport.

Next, you need some corn bags. I guess in the south the bags are filled with corn, elsewhere beans. Who knew?

Just be sure not to leave them out in the rain, the corn will expand and mold!

There is a specific size and weight for the bags. They are supposed to be 6″ x 6″ in size and weigh exactly 16 oz.

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So I cut the fabric into 7″ squares, and used my serger to close 3 of the 4 sides with a 1/2′” seam all around.

If you don’t have a serger, just sew them front sides together and turn them out.

Fill the bags with the proper amount of corn (I used a food scale with the bag set on it) and slipstitch the opening closed.

A good source for the corn was the new Tractor Supply store. I got 50# of feed corn for $12. bucks!

It made 6 full sets of bags, way more than I needed, but I think they’ll be great gifts.

A tip for filling and sewing the bags closed was pinning the open end horizontally to hold the corn inside, while I serged it closed.

This kept the kernels from spilling out and losing the proper weight, and also prevented them from getting under the needles of the machine.

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I did some in burlap too. And two different camping motifs!

I also made a storage bag for the corn bags with leftover fabric and cording. And added a pocket to hold the chalk!

Sadly, I didn’t get enough photos to make this post truly user-friendly, but I think you get the idea.

Psst, I had him make two sets of boards so I get to keep one for camping!

In case you’re not familiar with the rules of the Game, It’s really quite simple!

You play similar to horseshoes, tossing the bags from either side into the hole.

Generally tournament play is teams of two people, opposite each other at the top of the boards.

The boards are placed 27 feet apart facing each other.

(Be sure someone sober measures before you start!)

Bag in the hole scores 3 pts.

Bag on the board 1 pt.

First person/team to 21 pts. Wins!

Now, play responsibly and be sure to use good sportsmanship at all times.

Enjoy!

Debbie

My First Chalkboard Project

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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

Trailer Trash Bucket

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So I happened upon this funny idea for a trash bucket for my R.V. and couldn’t resist making it.

We always seem to have a collection of empty buckets with us,

for trash, recycling and pinecones…. so why not decorate them? Right?

Supplies Needed:

Bucket from the bakery at the store (Free)

sketch paper

permanent markers

stickers, letters, outdoor paint

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It started with a blank canvas.

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Sketched a few ideas. Some made it, some not…. figured out simpler lines were easier on a round surface.

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Used a little goo gone to remove the bakery sticker. Washed the bucket inside and out.

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I outlined the trailer with a marker, and if you put the original inside the bucket,

and hold it up to the light, you can trace it onto the front of the bucket with the marker.

I figured out that an ink pen just wouldn’t write on this surface.

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Kinda like a coloring book page, put the bold lines down first, then add the details later.

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I did cheat a little bit, used scrapbook letters for the “Trailer Trash” and some tiny pinecone stickers too.

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Traced a cutout of a moose kissing a moose….think I’ll add a heart between their noses.

You can decorate in any style that suits your decor. The next one will have some bears on it.

As Always, Enjoy!!

Debbie

Fabulous Fairy Gardens II

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Well. I almost hate to admit how much fun I’ve had making this miniature fairy garden. As a grown adult, playing with teeny tiny miniatures has been soooo relaxing. I started with one for the house, see previous post, and now I’ve moved outdoors. This is Giselle’s sister Genovese. She has just moved in her new place on my deck. I had an old unused half wine barrel, already lined and filled with dirt. Since gardening really isn’t my calling, crafting is….so in the spirit of magic, lets take a tour!

 

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I cannot totally recall the order of things, I’ve been making and remaking items for a couple of months now. The house was the biggest part. I purchased a wooden birdcage style house from the craft store. decided to paint it copper, bronze and antique gold. The roof seemed to need more “nature” so I glued sheet moss to it. And a super cute owl from a friend.

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Might be hard to see, but she hung a chandelier made from a fishhook from the center beam. Nearly made the kind clerk at the sporting goods store cry when I told him what I was buying it for.

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Added a few beads, kept the barbs exposed, and decided to lose the shiny lure in exchange for more beads.

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I made some super inexpensive furniture from a wooden puzzle, and stained them to match the house. A small bed, table, rocking chair and a cabinet with open shelves. (I bought the mugs, beer, chips and dip online). Made the mice from polymer clay (super easy) and cut a piece of tapestry fabric for a carpet.

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So Homey!! I’d move in, all the comforts of a cabin in the woods. I decided to raise the floor level above the dirt in the barrel because I have a mix of real plants and artificial and will need to water them and don’t want to flood her nice place. I used rounds of wood in back and sides. Took advantage of the area to place a mousey.

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I used a sample piece of flooring to make a porch for her and her bicycle to rest on. I also serves to lift the front of the cabin as well.  You can get sample pieces free, as well as carpet for your house.

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I did pre-plan the placement of the house first. Centered and slightly backed up in the space. I put a solar light behind her house to light it at night. Then planted the Gardenia tree, a Kale tree, and a couple low, slow growing herbs. peppermint and pineapple sage. *This was in honor of Grandma Marino, every year when we’d visit her garden she would take the kids out, crush the leaves and make them smell them.  I wanted to have some items in my garden that would be interactive also.

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Last years kale plant, (on clearance) became this years tree for fairies! The Shepard’s hook was wire from the craft room, made a bird’s nest in an acorn cap, added some beads and polymer clay eggs. The toadstools were crafted out of polymer clay, as were the snails. The tiny seashell came from a lake nearby and a crafty friend dyed them pretty blue and purple. I purchased the crates online, and make the fruits and vegis from polymer clay.

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Tiny buckets from the craft store, filled with polymer clay loaves of bread, more clay mice (She loves all of Gods creatures) and a miniature bear with gazing ball on top of a wood round. The sheet moss is a good ground cover, if kept wet, will stay in place easily, I did tack it down with a couple of garden staples.

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Teeny Tiny baked pies in bottle caps cool in the shade. Garden tools made of clay and wooden dowels. Terra cotta pots planed with berries, and flowers.

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Sand from the dollar store, makes a nice path, with the teeny rake its a teeny zen garden to rake into swirls and lines too. A seashell slug has hidden himself in a pot.

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Not quite finished, there will be a pond in an abalone shell, once I mange to make it over to pick it up from my BFF. The Frog seems depressed that I haven’t get his area done yet.

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So come on in, stay a while, relax……

And as always,  Enjoy,

Debbie

 

Lucky Ladybug Garden Ball

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OK, so the conversation started, “Do you have any ‘old’ balls lying around?” followed by an uncomfortable silence. Wait! that’s not how I meant that. Let me try again, do you have any old, bowling balls? Yes, after he stopped laughing, and told me I made his day…..Mr. bowling alley gave me two cracked, unusable old balls! FOR FREE!!! Score!!!  So, since we all know I spend too much time on Pinterest, I saw this idea, and these were so cute, I had to find a couple of ‘old balls’ to make my own super cute ladybugs for my garden.

Supplies needed:

Old unused bowling balls (got mine free for making him laugh so hard)

black spray paint

red and white outdoor craft paint

16 gage craft wire black

two wooden knobs approx 1″

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Started by spray painting the bowling ball black. Not as easy as you might think. First it rolled in the newspaper wet, and stuck to the paper. Had to scrub it off, and repaint. Do a couple of light coats, and you wont have to sand down the runs of paint I did. (ugh!)

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I ran electrical tape down the center of the ball to section it in half. Since I planned to use the finger holes for his antenna, it was easy to place the tape between the holes and around the ball. Then I taped around the bottom about 1/4 of the way up to mark the area for his shell (wings). I also taped 1/4 of the way around the “face” area to stay black. Then I painted the red “wings” with a brush. I used the roll of electrical tape to draw circles on either side, and the inside of the roll to mark the smaller dots. (Genius right?) It did take a couple of coats of red to cover the black, then couple coats of black for the dots, but since it’s going to be in the weather and under the sprinklers, the thicker the paint the better.

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I placed the eyeballs slightly touching each other using the electrical tape to draw the circles and a silver sharpie (tough to see lines on black background) and did several coats of white letting it dry between each one. I used a penny to outline the pupils. Intentionally off set them so he looked kinda cartoonish. (Yep, that’s my style, funky). I found holding it in my lap worked best, between the weight and the fact you’re attempting to work on a round surface, it was a little harder to paint than I expected.

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Next I made his antenna out of the black wire. I just unrolled the package and cut it in half. I wrapped it around whatever was handy, in this case a hi liter. The size fit into the finger holes and I wanted a “springy” looking antenna. I painted the knobs (balls) black and inserted the wire into the holes on the bottom of them. then put them into the finger holes of the ball.

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I did spray them with clear gloss sealer to help them last longer. Don’t know if this really works, but seemed like a good idea.

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Viola!! Ready for his new home!!

I have gotten 3 more ‘old balls, so I’m going to do a bumble bee, pink and purple bugs next. Stay tuned for more photos when they’re done drying!! And as always…

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Enjoy,

Debbie