Thursday, March 31, 2011

I am still here…

I promise I have not fallen off the face of the earth.  I have just had my head buried in book keeping.  I am so weary of staring at numbers on a computer screen it feels like my eyeballs are going to fall out. 
It is my own doing…I have neglected to keep my Backwoods Cottage account up to date and now that it is tax time I have to catch up and get all the entries done for the IRS.   A few weeks ago it was for the Corporation accounts, that was a dilly too. 
I would much rather enjoy being outdoors, walking among the flowers planted in abundance at Ironstone Winery.
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Barrels and barrels filled with every imaginable spring bulb, flower and rhizome..
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I love Dutch Iris’, they make such a statement planted in mass. 
They have tulips in every color..
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some are multi-colored
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the hyacinths perfume the air

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more tulips
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Begonias                                          Azaleas
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Another of dutch iris and some pansies too
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This little show is just a smattering of what you can see walking among the grounds.
I am awaiting the lilacs to begin, there is a trail to walk between a row of numerous varieties, and it is heaven to walk thru and just breathe!
I will, of course, take my camera.  I am too tired to do this justice but I just wanted to pipe in here.  Tomorrow we go to the valley and enjoy the near 80 degree temps, it will feel like summer to me, though it was nice today in the mid-60’s here, melting the snow at a record pace. 
Until we meet again..

Copy_of_001Sweet Shot Day

Monday, March 28, 2011

Turning a Pallet Into a Garden

Post image for How to Turn a Pallet into a Garden
I cannot claim credit for this on the photo and it will take you to a blog called Life on the Balcony..a great garden resource for container gardening for apartment dwellers. 

As soon as all this snow has melted I am going to try this!  I want to start seeds directly in it instead of plants, just because I think it would be a neat experiment. 

I have been in a building mood.  I just need some space, our garage, aka: my building space is crammed full of stuff we had no where else to keep.  We are in the process of looking for a small piece of property (2 acres or so) to move to so we have a bit more room to spread out.  I will have a hard time giving up my little yellow house on the hill but what we are thinking of doing will be an adventure. 

Over the snowy weekend I worked on a small project.  I just have one piece left to add for it to be completed to my satisfaction but I will go ahead and share what I have completed.  Here is my humble salvage tool box planter…as you can see it still needs a handle but I was hoping to find an old pipe to use and I have yet to find one.

I started here…DSC_0001-1
I dragged some old lumber I had salvaged a few years back out of our basement. (pallet wood would work great for this). I love the old chippy aqua paint and authentic dirt smudged in it. 

I measured the entire length of the board, calculated the size to make the box to best utilize the one board and started cutting. I did use a different piece of scrap wood for the bottom since it would not be visible. 

You can’t get anymore rustic than this..
I am careful with sanding and working with old boards like this in case that paint is lead based. 

I was not precise in cutting since I am not worried about it being square or lining up perfectly, I just wanted it to be the right size to pop 4 inch garden center pots in.  I want to change out the flowers at will but I don’t want the plastic pots to be visible.   I used the side boards above to measure where to start the angle on the ends.  Used my triangle to mark the cut and took it to my compound miter saw.  I goofed one up and had to redo it, that happens to me a lot.  Especially when it is so cold out my fingers feel like they are going to fall off. DSC_0006-1
I did a dry run of setting it up to see how the bottom would fit.  It is a teeny tiny bit wider than the ends but not enough to matter, like I said this is a rustic planter so it being un-square is desirable. 
I took all the pieces to my studio, at least it is warm in there.  I did a dry run of setting up the box but it needed something.
I picked out a stencil and painted FLOWERS on the side boards, I wanted something light and faded.  It needed a little something more so I shadowed the lettering.   The other side I used an antique white and have yet to decide if I want to shadow the lettering.  (The first photo shows the side with the white lettering)DSC_0018
I did not worry about centering the lettering.  Remember rustic. 

I drew a line using the bottom as my guide to make sure I pre-drilled my nail holes in the correct place.
I will pre-drill within the lines as the nails are square and the wood is old and dry, it would split if I just nailed it.  Normally, to make it easier on myself I would tack it in place with my nail gun but it was just too cold in the garage to work in there any longer and I can do fine with a hammer. 
I used these square nails, they look more old fashioned.  I think they are some kind of concrete nail.  You can see the pre-drilled holes here. 
I run a bead of wood glue (exterior) along the nail line, line up the sides and nail them in place.  How rustic is that!
As I said before, I think an old metal pipe would look great as the handle, now to hunt one down or I may have to make do with a wooden dowel cut to size, I am not in a hurry so I am sure I can find an old pipe somewhere. 

The four inch pots fit inside perfectly. 
And there you have my rustic tool box planter…this was a fun and fast project.  I will make plenty more as soon as it is warm enough to work outside in comfort. 

I also worked on a sign but I am stuck…I will sand it down, age it with glaze and all that but I am wondering, does it need a few flowers along with the vines or maybe a few vines added to the lettering??  Leave it as is but just distress it?

I am off to get to work around here, paperwork to do and some house cleaning. 

Glad you could stop in for a visit!

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