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

EZhair Bun Maker (top secret!!)

So I did it again, I’m a  bad, bad, bad crafter. I bought something at a craft fair to “steal” the secret. Shhhh, I’ll share it with you, only if you keep it a secret!

IMG_1367

It’s the amazing “wonder bun, EZ bun, Bun easy… what ever it’s called, it’s genus!! Since it is mid-august, and its way too hot for long hair, you need any easy solution for your hair besides cutting it all off!  Years ago I had a couple of these thingys, but the holes stretched out, and I forgot how much I loved them. Until this past summer on our road trip, and I found them again in the Marketplace. I was so thrilled, I paid $20 bucks for two of them. Yes, twenty of my hard-earned bucks!! Well you know me by now, as soon as I got home I began “deconstructing” them to figure out what gauge wire, type fabric, size and began customizing them for me. (and you) hint: if you use it on wet hair, you get really nice curls when it’s dry!! Try it at the beach, and you’ll be party ready by night!

Materials Needed:

Cute fabric, stretchy worked best, but I also did a few with cotton (go 49ers!)

Think I might do some seasonal ones too!

12 gauge craft wire, it needs to be stiff but flexible

wire cutters

thread to match or compliment

sewing machine

IMG_1341

I experimented until I figured out the best measurements.

For adults cut fabric 16″ X 4″, children and those of us with really fine hair 10″ X 4″ rectangles. (cut 2). I used the rotary cutter and mat to cut multiples, because I can’t make one of anything!

Don’t worry about cutting the ends round, you can do this after you sew them, before you turn them.

I worked production line style once I figured out the dimensions. Sssshhh, there’s the original on top, just place the right sides together, and sew down the edges and “round” out the corners.

IMG_1321IMG_1322

I sewed about a dozen of each color, then trimmed the corners off. Fold them in half and cut a slit down the middle 4″ hole for adult, 3″ hole kids/fine hair.

IMG_1325

Use this opening to turn right side out.

Now to make the “magic” part. It took some shopping around, but finally found the correct gauge of wire. I found it sold as floral wire, 12 gauge coated. (it’s pliable but stiff enough to hold its shape.)

Cut the wire at 32″ for adults, and 24″ kids/fine hair and twist together to form a large oval shape. Make sure its tied/twisted securely, you are sewing it inside and don’t want it to come untied.

IMG_1326IMG_1327

Insert the wire into opening, and stitch it shut. If you have a “fancy” machine you could do a long button hole, but I just topstitched it shut. You won’t see it anyway, your hair goes through it, but neatness counts!!

IMG_1328IMG_1329

And Voila! easy, wonder, EZ bun maker.

IMG_1365

So to use it, you just gather up your hair into a pony tail, low if you’re adding a hat, or high if you’re going for naughty librarian. Give it a twist a couple of times to tighten the hole. pull down about 2/3 to 3/4 of the hair length, and begin rolling up.

IMG_1354IMG_1355

Wow. trying to take a selfie is harder than it looks!

Continue rolling the hair until up against the scalp, but not too tight.

Bring the ends together, and twist to secure. You can tuck them on top, or hide underneath the bun.

IMG_1356

I think I need one more hand…..

IMG_1357

Ta Daaa!! it’s a bun!!

IMG_1363

Here’s my 49er one too! You can do a double bun, just use two makers and roll half your hair at a time. You can do a half bun by only rolling the top and sides of your hair and leaving the lower portion out. Or try a pony bun by rolling the bottom half of your hair, and placing the top portion through the bun before you twist it closed. Since I don’t have a photographer on hand, and two hands aren’t enough to shoot properly, and for more professional styling instructions, please go online to youtube!

Enjoy

Debbie

Summer cooling bandanas

Cooling bandanas are super easy to make. If you can sew a straight or almost straight line you can do it! It might be snowing outside today, but summer will be here soon enough and you want to be ready.

IMG_0007_2

Here’s all you’ll need:
Inexpensive bandanas
Thread to match or contrast  (I used white for contrast)
Water storing crystals  (in the garden center)
A sewing machine
Scissors
Measuring spoon

IMG_0624

I found my bandanas for a dollar each, and since you only need 1-1 1/2 tsp. crystals per bandana, these are super budget friendly. I’ve seen these sold at summer fairs for up to ten bucks each. But, on a hot day in August at the rib cook off, I almost paid it to cool off!

IMG_0001_2

Start by folding your bandana in half crosswise. Right sides facing each other. Mark a spot 6 inches back from each point. This is where you will make the casing for the crystals. I used a pin on each end to mark.

IMG_0005_2

You want to sew from the folded side down 1 1/2 inches from the edge, stop with your needle down in the fabric. Lift the pressure foot and turn the fabric to sew along the long side. Sew down to your second mark but don’t turn. You need to leave this open to put in the crystals. Remove from your machine, and clip your threads. You’ve just made a pocket (tube) to hold the “magic” crystals.

IMG_0002_2

Use a measuring spoon to scoop 1/4- 1/2 tsp. of crystals and pour into the opening you just created. Be sure to keep the crystals away from children and pets, they’re highly toxic! Shake them down to the end of the tube. I suggest you split up this tube into four sections so all the crystals don’t bunch into one clump. Sew a line across the pocket about 3-4 inches from the end to keep those crystals there. Repeat this 3 more times for a total of four pockets. They only need to be measured if your OCD is acting up, otherwise just eyeball it. When you close the final pocket, double stitch it, and continue down the long side and finish a double line at the other end.

IMG_0004_2

Now flip the bandana open, right sides out, crystal pockets inside, and stitch along the edge of the pockets over again. This puts a double layer of fabric over the crystals, and hides any boo boos.

IMG_0006_2

You can get fancy with your sewing machine and use a decorative top stitch.  I was working on quantity, so plain straight stitch for these.

IMG_0008_2

To use them, just soak in cold water 2-3 hours (try it overnight in the fridge). They can be stored wet in a ziplock bag, or let them dry out completely when not in use. Good to keep a couple in your vehicle or RV. Great for hiking, biking or anytime the heat is on!

Enjoy!
Debbie