I built a fence

We went to the hardware store yesterday to get some French gothic pickets.  We couldn’t buy the pre-made section of fence because it would not fit in my vehicle.  Also, it is less expensive to make your own… and SO fun!

On a long cable lead, so he won’t dart away, (which he has been known to do on more than one occasion), the big brown dog goes down the deck stairs to the backyard to do his biness.  While down there, he also routinely wraps his lead and himself around the deck posts.  Now, the interesting thing is he does it on purpose.  Seriously.  Also, he KNOWS how to untangle himself, but he prefers to wait until I tramp all the way down there, cursing under my breath, before he untangles himself.  When he sees me he runs around the post to untangle himself, before hopping and jumping around like a bunny, hoping I’ll run around the yard with him.  Uh-huh, I think not.  Especially, at 6:30am.  So, in anticipation of school starting soon, and knowing full well that continuing the annoying dog-and-post routine to my daily schedule will, undoubtedly, put me over the edge, I decided to eliminate the post problem… with fencing.

I had some white painted fencing that I used as headboards in a guest room a while ago, but no longer use.  I figured I could use the fencing to circumvent the dog’s shenanigans.  Then I realized I would need additional sections.  So we got what we needed and got to work.  I like it.  Can you see the old white “headboard” fencing on the right side?

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My sweet son and I worked on some of the fence together.  He loved pounding nails, especially.  It was a blast to do it together.  We made sure to use the level when mounting the 1x2s with galvanized “curly-q-y” decking nails.   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s a helpful trick:  when hammering in your posts, use a nail to separate them.  See the nail?  That-a-way each post is evenly spaced and there is also a little room for any future expansion of the wood.

          

                                 Note to self:  get a pedi.

 

So, here is the backside:

Dog:  your fun has been spoiled  (insert maniacal laugh here)!  That lousy hound has had his game cut short.  He is going to be very upset.

And the front: 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I guess I will have to paint the fence white to match the old fence headboards, but I really like the natural look.  But as one of our friendly neighbor boys said, “It will look good white.  It will bring out the color of your house.”  😉

Oh, my.  See that pitiful patchy grass?  The dog is responsible for that too.

On a happy note, may I just say that I LOVE my $15 circular saw?!  I do.  And I can’t wait for my next project.

A day in the summer life…

Finish reading a book before the boy wakes up. Make breakfast for the dear sleepyhead boy.

Email back and forth with principal and work on my school schedule.

Recaulk where the tile meets the counter in the kitchen.  That’s only a glare in the photo, not caulk smeared all over the place.  Honest.

Find the manual for the vacuum cleaner.

Fix the broken vacuum cleaner.

Vacuum.

Shampoo the family room carpet.

Dirty, stinkin’ animals.

***Have a bright idea! Have the boy give his dog a bath. 🙂

Make lunch for boy.

In your mind, add apple wedges and a bread and butter pickle spear.

Clean the kitchen.

Make a cute tissue holder for the boy’s bathroom that will remind him to floss, brush and wash.

Think it will work?

Start painting a picture for the boy’s bathroom.

So much fun.

Gather the laundry.

Think about making the tailored bed skirt for the boy’s bed.

The green fabric matches the valance.  I’ll use the orange as a stripe around the bottom.

Think about what to make for dinner.

I hate to cook.

Really.

I do.

Make a blog post (trying not to think about dinner) that keeps getting screwed up, with all the text and pictures running together, here and there, willy-nilly.  Sheesh!  This has taken waaaaaaay too long.

At this rate, I won’t have time to stain and seal the deck.   🙂

Orrrrr, maybe we have cereal for dinner.

I LOVE summer vacation!

homemade ping pong table

When your child wants a ping pong table… and you price them and think, Uh, not sure about that! what do you do?

You make one! 

First, get a big ol’ folding table that has been used and abused from your garage.  Ours had been used to do crafts, spray paint on, host birthday party treats (covered by a cloth, of course!) and to hold wood to saw.  Yeah, it was beat up.    Yikes is right!  I sanded and wood-filled a gazillion dips and dents and dings…              and sanded again.  And primed.                               and sanded…  and primed again…

After letting the primer seal for a couple days, it was time to paint.  The boy picked out the colors for his ping pong table.  Who’s to say one must have a traditional green with white stripes ping pong table?  Oh, no sir, not here!    Notice the winter jacket?  This was done over Spring Break and, I’ll tell you, here in the Great White North it was still mighty chilly and damp.  That might be why it took a few days for the tackiness of the paint to seal up, given it was below 50˚.  After the orange base was done (it took about three coats) and nice and dry, it was time to tape off the perimeter for the trim paint (forest green).  We used BIG paper lawn bags our dear neighbors left us when they moved last summer (sooo miss them!) to completely cover the inside area.       The perimeter took a few coats too.  The boy (and very scary-looking dog next to him with eyes shining bright) liked the progress being made!  Both were starting to see lots of ping pong fun in their future!  After it was dry, I decided we needed a stripe down the center too, so I added one.  After which, I sprayed the whole thing with a clear acrylic spray sealer.                                                                          

The net was ordered from Amazon, but we got the paddles (50¢ each) and a few balls from Goodwill.  True, the table is more narrow and a bit shorter than a regulation table but the boy and the neighborhood kids think it’s nifty… and it’s ORANGE!

Total cost?  Well, I had to buy the net, some paint, and the accessories, so I’d say, probably around $20-25?  Not bad.

But, moreover, it was a super fun project to do with my dear son.

tea caddy

So, you know I love my tea!  But fumbling around in several different boxes to make my take on Aveda Comforting Tea was a pain, so I made a handy-dandy tea caddy to hold all my various tea bags!  This is a green craft because I used boxes from various teas and a couple Quaker Oats Instant Oatmeal boxes I had on-hand.  (speaking of which: I love the lower sugar maple and brown sugar, don’t you?!  I add part of a packet with half a handful of steel cut oats.  Yum!)  Anyhoo, here’s what I did:

Gathered boxes. I thought, I betcha I can make some drawers out of these!  So I put the two oatmeal boxes together, glued, taped, and added some scrapbooking paper to the outside.  I sealed the outside with Mod Podge (remind me later to share my recipe for homemade Mod Podge!) and made drawers out of the original tea boxes.

    See the cloudy and streaky Mod Podge?  No worries, folks, the Mod Podge will dry clear.  And it does a dandy job of sealing and protecting the outside from stains and smudges.  I used a different, more textural, paper for the drawers, being careful to line up the fibers so they matched.

  I used letters I already had on-hand to spell out TEA.  (Seriously, I bought nothing to do this craft.  Score!)  Again, I slathered the outside with Mod Podge a couple more times, allowing each coat to dry completely between coats.  Next, I used small craft charms for the drawer pulls. The top charm says, “Life is measured in moments,” and the bottom charm is a grandfather clock. Tea time!          Love!

Aveda Comforting Tea knock-off

Do you like tea?  Okay, so I am rather obsessed with it, of late.  If I could afford to, I’d drink Aveda Comforting Tea  All. The. Time.  But at around $26-28 for 4.9 ounces… uhh, yeah, it is not happenin’.  So what did I do?   I came up with my own recipe for Aveda Comforting Tea– a LOT less expensive.

An aside, first- I had a pretty gla$$ pitcher that looked lovely holding my tea… but it cracked from the hot liquid, so I got in the car and headed to the thrift store where I bought an old 12-cup Mr. Coffee decanter for $1.50.  Brilliant.  It might not look near as pretty but I can always spruce it up (oh, yes I just might!) and I don’t have to worry about it cracking from the almost-boiling water.

Recipe for a 12-cup decanter.  Boil the water and pour over 6 packets of the celestial seasonings peppermint tea, one packet of the mint green tea, and one packet of the licorice tea.  Let it seep for 5-7 minutes and you’re good to go, but I prefer it chilled.

I would also prefer more licorice flavor, but did you know it can cause some serious side effects if too much is consumed over a period of time?  Yeah, I didn’t know that either, until I started getting headaches after drinking a couple of cups of licorice tea everyday.  I thought, Hm… could this be related?  SoI did some checking.  Bottom line: be careful with the licorice, just to be on the safe side.

(btw, now I order all my teas from Amazon… cheaper and delivered right to my door!)

After figuring out how to make a passable concoction for Comforting Tea, I decided all my little various tea bags needed a home…