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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The “Rock” Bird Retreat

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So I saw these darling little rustic birdhouses on Pinterest, and thought to myself: Self, you can do that. So I did, several of them, and more to come. I do have a handy hubby, and he could totally “rock out” some custom birdhouses for me to jazz up, but I opted for getting them done this year.

IMG_0723So I went to my “not so local” craft store and loaded up a cart of inspiration, and here they are.

Supplies needed for the “Rockhouse”

Unfinished birdhouses (I opted for the plain ones, more space to apply decorative items)

Small polished river stones (you can purchase a mesh bag, or collect your own)

Mastic (pre-made tile glue from the home improvement store)

Copper paint

small paintbrush

plastic knife and fork (for applying the mastic)

Clear Gloss Sealer

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That’s all for this basic one, but the possibilities are unlimited. I also purchased tiny seashells, seashell chips, sand and granite landscape rocks. You can also use “found” items like pennies, wine corks, pinecone pieces, moss, twigs, bottle caps, (I was even thinking of coffee beans for my favorite Barista). but for now lets keep it simple.

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These little pre made houses are so cute, you could just paint and be done but where’s the fun in that? I started by painting the roof metallic copper. I just used my craft paint stash. These are purely decorate at this point so you might want to keep them out of the weather if possible. On this one, I opted to paint the perch too. *tip: I should have painted the bottom ledge before I applied the rocks.  Now on to the fun part.

The mastic is pre-made and super easy to work with. I used a plastic knife to spread out 1/2″ layer to the side of the house. I took the fork and made “trowel” lines through the mastic. I figured since this stuff is water-resistant, its made for floor tile, it should hold these tiny rocks and hold up to some garden water. Working around each side, I applied the tiny stones in a random pattern until all of the surface was covered. I did pick out some longish ones to place around the birdie hole, in a starburst shape, and tried to keep too many matching ones touching (Yes, OCD again) but you gotta go with the flow! I’m a sucker for a gloss finish, so I decided to spray the entire thing with clear gloss sealer, plus I intend to put these in the  flower planter hubby hasn’t built yet.

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Just like potato chips, you can’t have just one….

left to right: the Rock, Beach Bungalow, Mossy Oak, the Mint, Chateau Chablis, the White House and City Lights.

Now accepting applications for new tenants they’re ready to go!

 

Enjoy!

Debbie