Archive for the ‘garden’ Category

I can’t wait for warm air,
looooonger sunlit days,
& sinking my teeth into a great

Summer Project!

Are you feelin’ me?

THIS could do it—right?

I'm dreaming of a SUMMER PROJECT!

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REcreating an Adirondack chair from this carcass!This truly was
a FUN project

but challenging.
It tested my carpentry skills throughout.  I cut MORE compound cuts 
(explained way below)

over the last 2 days
than all of last year!

THIS carcass used to look much like the chair below.  Just not nearly so nice as it came to me.
(a be-gloved, take a long hot shower at the end kind-of-knock-down chair!)

a 1930's - 1940's club chair

I actually only wanted it for PARTS, and the man giving it to me volunteered to knock it down (because it was gross).

Oh, I didn’t get off scott-free—I still had about 2K tacks to pry out.  Back in April.

Adirondack chairs don’t LOOK that complicated–but looks can be VERY deceiving!  Lesson learned.

Back in April,

sitting in the warmth of a beautiful, blindingly sunny Spring day, listening to the birds chirping

and prying out all those tacks—I was struck by how interesting the frame was and the idea of an Adirondack chair hit me.  For the Nellie’s Barn Sale.

I had a loooong and ambitious project list for the sale, so the chair only got a little of my time here & there.  The frame needed a LOT of reinforcement and repair and I needed to stew on the HOW-to of doing this.

Friday, with only 6 days left to packing-driving-off loading & setting up–I stopped everything else to give this my full attention.  I’d already been thinking about and formatting the seat slant, I just needed to commit and cut the wood.  The first of MANY challenges I would face.  

committing to a slanted seat~

some exacting cut & angles to create the seat structure~

I used a lot of OLD deck boards.
1- because they were well dried for stability.
2- because it’s going to be an OUTDOOR chair.

I ended up creating the seat structure in pieces because of the numerous angles and cut outs–and because I didn’t have any BIG enough material at hand!.  Then I used my pocket screw jig to join them all FIRMLY.

I quickly realized that it’d be advantageous to sand & paint at each step!

sanding & painting before moving on~


This was one L-O-N-G day of construction.  A day of compound cuts.
8am-9pm  with nary a break, and I was exhausted.


working on the slatted back~The slatted back
CURVED at the top and STRAIGHT at the bottom.
he outdoor-use deck boards were only ¾” but not long enough to “force” the “twist.”  So I cut a lot of angles and doweled the boards in place at the bottom before nailing at the top.
I also ran ALL edges through the router table to restore the factory-rounded over edges.  Hence the 13 hour day.

The “worst” was fitting in the boards at and below the wings.  WoWza!
I patted myself on the back for my level of perseverance & tenacity, quietly thanking a lot of carpenters who generously shared their knowledge with me along my travels.
That hands-on learning helped me problem-solve these issues with confidence.

AGAIN- I sanded and painted before moving on.

Consumed by the challenges, I guess I forgot to take progress pictures for you to follow along- sorry.

Incidentally- I worked on the back before the seat because of all the angles and doweling.  I needed that open space to work.

working on the slatted back~The seat

I secured the 3 seat supports in place with 3″ countersunk screws.
I glued in plugs to conceal the screws then cut them flush.

The seat is wider at the front than back, so, MORE angles.  I started with the front-most board because of all the notches.

cutting all the angles into the 1st boards

Both of those notches are ALSO compound cuts—the frame they abut is curved.

the Okay– so without the progress pictures to share, you now see a “finished” chair.

A  D E E P  27″

Too deep- actually.
Normal would be 17″.
I fetched our 5’10” neighbor-lady to gauge the situation from a taller standpoint.
Yep~ still way too deep.

I grabbed a back cushion from one of the deck chairs–it made a huge difference.
It also changed my FINISH direction.  I planned on a navy & white cabana stripe theme, and an accent pillow!

So NOW I’ll stick with a clean white chair & stained seat.  Today I’ll go in search of a stylish back cushion!

before skirting the sides-

Above is the “before I skirted the sides.”  See why?

I ripped leftovers to skirt the sides and a face plate,
plus a transition piece for the curved bottom-front.

Here are the detail shots-
hope you like LOVE IT -as much as I do!

sorry about the length of this post—

from a 1930-40's club chair to an Adirondack Porch Chair!

from a 1930-40's club chair to an Adirondack Porch Chair!

-here are some details-

from a 1930-40's club chair to an Adirondack Porch Chair!

-and here’s an early FAIL.  The fully stained seat did NOT look good!

an early FAIL!

And you can take a seat in it this Friday & Saturday at
Nellie’s Barn Sale!

Nellie's JUNE Barn Sale!

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circa 1870's porch posts~

A friend’s long-time family farm house is being sold–

circa 1870’s.

They invited me to come see some of what needs to be cleaned out, and–

do I want anything?


did you REALLY need to ask?


Like these old porch posts.
On the whole—No Interest.
HowEVer, in parts—yes, yes & Yes!

I liked varying SECTIONS of the turnings–and cut them up to capture 3 of them.
I thought they could be aMAZing as

garden candlesticks!

Below shows my vision

cutting the posts into sections~ cutting the posts into sections~ cutting the posts into sections~

Do you see it?

I cut them up, cleaned them up, sanded them, and clear-coated one set.

I also had a big shock/surprise working on them.  They are ONE piece of wood—NOT boards glued together then turned.  But to stabilize the solid wood from twisting-wracking-cracking out, the posts are totally augered out!  Hollow!

HOW did they do that?  The posts are 8ft in length!  I’m still trying to figure out how to just drill a hole from top to bottom through a lg newel post for a project!

And here’s MY INTERPRETATION of the cut posts made into

Garden Candlesticks!

Plus—they’re just COOL!   ; D

Nellie's JUNE Barn Sale!I’ll be selling them at Nellie’s—in sets of 3!

The sets range in height from  21½”–17″  &  30½”–26″
and will accommodate a  2″–3½” column candle.


my Garden Candlesticks!

my Garden Candlesticks!

my Garden Candlesticks!

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Someone owed me money for design work–

and [gave me] this chandelier as payment when they couldn’t pay up.  SwellDo you think I can pay the electric bill with it too?

It’s been hanging in the rafters for a long time now and HAS TO GO.  I can’t move on as long as it exists.

So I took it downtook it apart–and started with -blowing off all the dust & cleaning it up- and altering the faded black metal.  

a chandelier as payment--oh joy.

a chandelier as payment--oh joy.

a chandelier as payment--oh joy.

a whole new look for this chandelier!

Taking the fixture apart as far as was reasonable, I protected the rest of it in Press n’ Seal.  Absolutely a staple in my “tool box!”

I used a spray primer, and then two different whites.  I painted in sections with the crisp white, then immediately misted over it with an ivory so the color had more dimension.

It took several light coats to cover so I gave it a few days to thoroughly dry before trying to put it all back together.  I took pics as I took it apart to help me remember how!

Although it looked much lighter and fresher, it still needed something and-I had an idea! And more springs!

Hanging crystals would be totally–Wrong.
Glass globes–No.
Pseudo Globes–perhaps ?!?

I thought it could be playful–but STILL needed something.

playful--but still needing "something"

That’s when I thought about a garden style.  So I did what some would call UNthinkable—I sprayed glue in specific areas and applied sphagnum moss.
To one side.  Like you see on a tree in nature.

And I sprayed the spring coils and rolled them through the moss on a table!

my Garden-styled chandelier!

a stylized garden chandelier!

I’m still trying to figure out how to stabilize the coils better, they’re a bit tippy.


I think it would be fun in a bathroom, or a sun room.

Even a very stylized guest room!



Maybe I’ll get SOME of my money back this way, right?

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I’ve had this  2ft × 4ft  unusual piece of ceiling tin

for quite a while.  I’ve ALMOST used it in a number of projects, but just couldn’t cut it up–or surrender the whole piece.  I guess it just wasn’t the right project–or I was (cough-cough) hoarding.

*Now cut—I still have this left-over!

ceiling tin!

I was thinking about a “POCKET” to hang on a door with greenery or flowers.  Something  –in lieu of-different from–  the STANDARD DOOR WREATH.

a ceiling tin door pocket

  I played with several round objects of varying sizes—to make a half circle bottom for the pocket.  Then I played with height—by way of the tin AND what felt natural.  I totally over-thought this part and went back and forth on both fronts for way too long.

  I cut the half circle with the jig saw, and the back on the table saw–free hand, because of the diagonal shape.  *I honestly wouldn’t suggest this without a LOT of table saw experience~it’s easy to get a “kick-back.”

Yeah- forgot process pics.  But this should explain the 2 parts!


my cone-shaped TIN DOOR POCKETIt’s hard to see, but, there’s a slight flair making the shape get wider at the top.  Think CONE shape.  Hopefully you can see better in the following pictures!

FastSIMPLE (haha)

and I’m pretty sure to cut a handle in the top.


I think I'll cut in a handle~

a ceiling tin door pocket

a ceiling tin door pocket

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BIRDHOUSE makings from the ReStoreSeriously

not trying to beat the subject of Birdhouses to death-


Back in November of 2011, roaming around one of our local ReStores, I saw this gargantuan light fixture.  Presumably for a 2 story foyer.  $34

I saw interesting parts.

Even back then- my thoughts gravitated towards the ROOF of a birdhouse.  Two of them!

Do you see it?






Maybe this helps?

BIRDHOUSE makings from the ReStoreBIRDHOUSE makings from the ReStore


BIRDHOUSE makings from the ReStore

Obviously, I bought it–  and promptly deconstructed it!

But sadly, any kind of project got back-burner’d into my stashes.

BIRDHOUSE makings from the ReStore
my Bespoke Birdhouses!

So now I’m thinking about this potential project–again

I just think the two BIG “roofs” will make super fun  -and even biGGer-  Birdhouses!
Btw~ yesterday I ran back to the antique mall with a few props for my latest two favs!  I really love them—and if for some reason they don’t sell- I really won’t be so terribly upset about it.
So you see- my mind is stuck on spring. . .  if only Mother Nature would get on board!



my Bespoke Birdhouses!

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. . . something I’ve never built before–a birdhouse.  You?

The construction of both was actually a lot of fun, and a project I see taking on again—I have some other ideas!

Monday– I started working on the 2nd design idea I had in mind.  I got a late start, but got the key parts laid out and cut out.

I discovered my choice of dimensions and angles made for some tough construction.  Well, actually–CHALLENGING CUTS.  THAT slowed me down and challenged me to problem solve just HOW I would make some of these cuts.  I messed up one of those cuts not just once but- twice.

So maddening—I really hate wasting materials.

By end of Monday night the birdhouse was constructed.  Tuesday was really busy and I was lucky just to get it painted.

details of a birdhouse~

Thursday—something was bothering me—it was the roof line.  It had an awkward overhang.  But easily remedied by a saw!

I took my painted birdhouse over to the strippers asking if they would “wreck” my paint job!  They already think I’m nuts so this was not a very strange request.

"wrecking" the paint job


"wrecking" the paint job

"wrecking" the paint job

I gave it a light sanding and REcut the depth of the corbels I’d already made for it.  I had to do a bit of paint REtouch, but it was more a matter of rubbing it down with some Natural Oak stain to “age” the white paint and darken the exposed wood.  I seal coated everything—

But something was still. . . felt. . . missing.

my Bespoke Birdhouse

I added a very little FINIAL!

Like any good pediment would have!
Both of these birdhouses can be hung on the wall, but can become a table top piece by detaching the corbels!  Both are large-
yellow  27w × 26h  —  white  30w × 13h


my Bespoke Birdhouses

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Happy Easter!Hope everyone had a fabulous Easter!  Yes, I was “torturing” my brother’s dog again ~he totally lets me & loves me!


I am SO eager for summer. . .

Besides building bird feeders and bird houses–I’ve filled rooms with the heady scents of spring hyacinths, I’ve been dragging through spring and summer clothes and shoes to see my workout progress and freshen everything up kind-of-EAGER!

PLUS–I’ve got lots of ideas for things to build for the Nellie’s Barn Sale June show!


Nellie's JUNE Barn Sale!Several projects are sketched out and planned ~can’t wait to get started!
I’ve been hoarding some aMAZing OLD barnboards for some of these projects!

But in the meantime~

here’s another view of my big “Sensible Chic” birdhouse, almost finished, now sporting a pair of corbels for that EXTRA touch hanging on the wall—but that also DEtach to become a table-top piece.

(I just need to paint them)

my BIG "Sensible Chic" birdhouse!


making corbels for the birdhouse

That little pair  –I used as a pattern to make a bunch of–  came back out to be used as a guide for more.  Of varying sizes!  I added a “tenon” to lock these in to place–but, again, they can be removed for table-top display! 

Yesterday I started working on that 2nd design I spoke of.  Here’s how it’s going. . .

I drew out the “what goes where” on the pine boards before cutting so I could make a few last minute REadjustments to sizing.  I used a hole-saw bit to cut the “arches” and cut the “legs” at the chop saw.  Sanded the holes very thoroughly before running them through the router table with a chamfer bit to create an architectural “door.”

creating & cutting out the 2nd BIRDHOUSE desgn

I was still putting pieces together at 7pm last night, and another hour puttying and caulking joints with a little construction adhesive.  Before I quit I cut down and added parts of old chair spindles to look like COLUMNS.

A N D- I have a few other embellishments in mind. . .

What do you think?


the 2nd design of my "Sensible Chic" BIRDHOUSES!

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You know what I mean?It feels like I’ve put in 2 weeks since Monday—you know what I mean, right?

Or, does this 

better explain the frenzy?

About 4pm yesterday I’d had enough and needed

some FUN!

love-love-love  this FUN birdhouse found on The Antq Farm House site, but, YOWZA on that price tag!

I get that pricing is about more than actual costs and labor, there’s compensation for a good design too.  But then there’s  PRICE GOUGING. ~IMO

Antq Farm House

Sensible Chic--across the board!Remember the old HGTV show Sensible Chic?

Well, this is MY Sensible take on the birdhouse!

So far I’m $12 in!

You see what I mean?

MY birdhouse!

I altered the size of mine a bit— about 2ft square.  Their’s is about 3ft square.  2ft seemed more adaptable to decorative uses.  I’m also thinking about a second that would be shorter and wider but—I’m still sketching.

After working out the math for the size and spacing of the holes, and the height of each row and roof angle–I ripped some wood!


I used a 1″ hole saw bit to make the initial hole and a jig saw to cut the “legs.”

I decided to cut the 4 upper row sides on a 35° angle to create my roof pitch and overall height.  And you can see the bottom row -the base- is built separately.  I treated them as a triangle and rectangle for simplicity.

MY birdhouse!

I wasn’t all that interested in their scallopy fret work, but actually had something in my stashes found at the ReStore some time ago—so what the heck!

I won’t attach that until I’ve sanded everything fully, and probably even painted.  That will just make life easier!

Anyway, this is the current progress

of my playtime project!

OR~ the SENSIBLE CHIC version of. . .


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Besides MY OWN crazy array of the usual projects,

I have been ~ I am

juggling projects for 2 other families!

TOO MANY projects at once!

For Judy~ REstyling some ladder-back chairs AND a trestle table,

plus a REdesign for a change of TV.

And THEN there is a “pseudo estate sale” for a senior couple leaving their home of MANY years–overwhelming and exhausting in the best of circumstances.  I’ll be helping them sell their treasures at the antique mall beginning April 1st!

The preliminary work is almost daunting–almost.  One bite at a time, it’ll get done!  Dressers are getting stripped–one completely REstyled!  Things are getting painted, even REcreated—

and EVERYthing is getting cleaned and polished!

Bear with me—COOL PICTURES ARE COMING!  I promise!  ; D


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