Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Update on the Gutter Garden

You can find the first post about our inaugural gutter garden here.

So, we are three months in. And now we have an update . . . . . .


We still have strawberries, and they did very well, the ones that made it, that is. I had transplanted the strawberries from someone else's garden, so I blame their death on my inexperience. But we did have three harvests with our lettuce.


 I've replaced many of the flowers, since they did not bloom all summer.


Herbs love the gutter garden.


What I've learned about our gutter garden:

1. Birds love strawberries. Make sure you cover them up with netting.
2. Not all flowers will bloom well in shallow soil. Will have to do research on better garden flowers for longer blooms next year.
3. Lettuce and herbs are the way to go.
4. If you are going away for a week in the summer, expect on coming home to a thirsty garden.
5. If you plan this with your 5 year old, yup, you'll be doing it all by yourself.

Thanks for reading,
Debbie

Friday, August 15, 2014

A Shark Room for Shark Week

I have a dear friend, Kristy, who asked if I would help make her son's room into a shark lovers delight.  Yup, I was more than onboard. I grew up on Cape Cod when they filmed Jaws off of Martha's Vineyard Island, so I've always had a fondness for sharks (yes, I do realize it was mechanical). Oh, and it just happens to be Shark Week on the Discovery Channel. Sweet!

Kristy had to have a big shark. I mean, any shark lover would pee his 6 year old pants to have a big shark in his room. I hope a four foot one will do it.




Most of my ideas were born from photos I found on Google Images. I loved this image, printed it, and put it through my projector onto 1/2" plywood before tracing the shape. After cutting with a jigsaw, the painting fun began.

Can't have a shark room without the shark fin, right?!?


I had fun creating the waves that my husband, Tom, didn't think I needed. But I felt it would just be hanging on the wall without it being grounded in the water. Grounded in the water. Isn't that a oxymoron?!?

I love this sign. Saw something similar on the WWW and had to make my own version.


Tom's idea to change "swim" to "sleep" and I think it's just perfect. I'm going to make this for sale in my shop very soon.

And finally, had to add a good ole' shark head


Here's the collection. I had so much fun making them, I'm kind of sad it's over.


Kristy got them on her son's wall in hurry, so I ran over with my camera before it looked like a 6 year old lived there. Sorry for the terrible photos - it was pouring outside which led to very little light and I forgot my tripod, so we're stuck with these sub-par photos.

This bad guy looks like he's swimming towards you to eat your face off, as you sleep in bed. Yikes!


Over the bed is the perfect place for this sign. Wish I got a photo of the shark bedding from Pottery Barn, because it's just awesome.


Love the placement of the fin at the back of the dresser.


And this happy guy is at the door to greet you. (Had to funky the photo up because the lighting was extra terrible here.)


Love them and I hope you love your room Ryan!

Have a swimmingly great day,
Debbie


Saturday, July 19, 2014

Meet Amelia, the dresser

Meet Amelia.


Looking kind of drab until she received the makeover that uncovered her true passion. (Ugh - just caught the blur that must have been on my lens.)


Decided to name this piece after Lady Lindy, Amelia Earhart.  I can only imagine she would be proud to display this piece in her home.  ;)


I added a bit of trim to the top and bottom to give it a bit more definition.


I usually hand paint the silhouette over the base coat, but because the red is highly pigmented, the white plane was painted in the negative space.  Took lots of coats but it was worth it.


Gotta love friends who pick up furniture from the side of the road knowing you will welcome it into your garage.  :)  Thanks Tina!


I hope this dresser makes it's way into a child's room and reminds them to soar.


Have a fabulous day,
Debbie

Thursday, June 26, 2014

DIY Soccer Goal

Summer's here.  Want another way to keep your kids active and out of your hair?


It took very little funds and under 2 hours to make this goal.  And my kids LOVE it!  Follow the easy instructions below and then pour yourself an adult beverage while your kids keep themselves busy - a novel idea.  ;)

I made my goal to be 51" across, 27" high and 27" deep.  I used 1" PVC pipe for this size goal; if you want a bigger goal, you may want to increase the diameter of the PVC so it's not flimsy.  You want to buy enough PVC to create all cut lengths below in the photo.  If you have a hacksaw, you can see how easy it is to cut in the second photo.

Super easy to cut with a hacksaw
After all your pieces are cut, use the photos below to start to put them together. (Note:  90 degree connectors are the same as "elbows".)



Next combine the parts to make the photo below.


Then attach the last pieces to finish the frame.


Now, stand your goal upright and TA DA - your frame is finished.


To make your goal more sturdy, you can use PVC glue like I did below.  Take it apart and work quickly and get the angles correct, because the glue dries fast.  If you don't want to deal with the glue, you can use duct tape around all the joined pieces.


I just grabbed some bird netting at the hardware store to use as the netting.  I used cable ties to attach in place.


I just draped the netting over the frame and cut to fit.  To make it more sturdy, I double wrapped the edges before attaching with the ties.


NOTE:  After many goals, this netting is starting to tear.  I have purchased a few yards of fabric netting (see below) and still need to find the time to attach it to the frame.  ;)


All finished.


So, there you have it.  Another activity to keep your kids busy this summer.


And keep Daddies busy too.


Enjoy your summer,
Debbie

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Meet Jacob, the dresser

Meet Jacob.


Jacob was in very nice condition (minus the drawer that I couldn't find at the time and me being too lazy to attach the mirror), but fairly boring, and I was not in a boring mood.


Now Jacob holds his head up high and is loving his new duds.  He now gets second looks when he walks into the library trustees meeting.


I loved the finish on the drawers, so all I did was clean them up and add some wood conditioner.


The base received my own custom color of chalk paint, topped with a heavy coat of glaze.  I sealed the top with layers of polyacrylic and base with wax.


The hardware was very nice, and only needed a coat of paint using this method.


Jacob will have no problem charming the ladies at the weekly tea party.


Have a sunny day,
Debbie


Monday, May 12, 2014

DIY Gutter Garden

"Mommy, when can we start a garden?"
"Now?"
"Is it time yet?"
"Now?"
"Are we ready yet?"

My five-year old has been asking for a garden since last year, so I thought it was time to dig in.  But there really wasn't anywhere to dig in our yard.  No worries.  If you are looking to start a garden with limited space, just start one on a wall or fence.


If you search "gutter garden" on the web, you will find endless examples.  Just know you will be limited with the kinds of plants you grow, as you need ones with a shallow root system.  Strawberries, lettuce, and herbs are great choices.

I decided on two 10' sections of vinyl gutters.  I also purchased the end caps and gutter hangers which I thought would help keep the shape of the gutter after it was filled with soil.


Our fence is kind of ancient, and I felt we needed to reinforce where the gutters would hang, so we screwed in a few pressure treated 2 X4's.  Tom's getting it done with the screw gun.  :)


Then it was pretty simple to hang by putting screws into the hanger.


And I almost forgot to drill in drainage holes.


We mixed some nice top soil with compost and filled our gutters and flower pots.  The little lady was thrilled to finally be getting her hands dirty.


We settled on some flowers . . . 


 . . . strawberries . . .


 . . . herbs and lettuce.


I think our little lady is happy.



Now if I can just get her to stop asking when we can pick the strawberries.


I'll keep you posted on how well the gutter produces our bountiful harvest.  :)

NOTE:  (8/20/14): You can find the gutter garden update here.

I hope you have a fruitful day,
Debbie

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