Copper Topped Posts

When we installed the fence last year we debated cutting the extra length on the posts down, but ultimately decided to leave them so I had a spot to hang bird feeders and other cutesy garden stuff.  It worked out pretty well, but I was never really keen on how the posts looked even with the decorative hooks.  It just felt unfinished.

LunaWait

Although I wasn’t 100% happy with the look it wasn’t a high priority, so I ignored it – until recently when I spotted these copper fence post caps.  I’d considered them last season, but when I researched them online they were much too pricey.  For some reason our local store had them for $4.95/each, so I snagged a few to test out.  I was pretty pleased with the result.

PostCap

And installation was so simple.  You just set the cap on top of the post.  They recommend you use adhesive to permanently attach it, but I’m holding off on that until I decide if I want to leave them up all year or take them down for the winter so they don’t oxidize and patina as quickly.  (Notice the peanut feeder is half empty?  I moved it over a few posts to help the squirrels find it and now that they have, they are emptying it almost daily!)

The local store also had coordinating solar post cap lights, which I thought would look nice on either side of the back gate.  Although they were quite a bit more expensive than the basic caps, I think they were worth it and the hubs agreed.

PostLightsGate

PostLight

They are definitely more decorative than functional as far as light output, but here in the land of midnight sun, that’s not really an issue during the seasons we’d be out using the gate anyway.  The hubs picked up enough caps and lights to finish the rest of the posts during a second trip to a different store, where the caps were on sale for $3.95/each!  Pretty and on sale.  Can’t beat that!

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Our New Garden!

I spent most of the recent long weekend gardening, starting with planting a patch of raspberry bushes given to me by a co-worker who is rearranging her yard.  They look a little scraggly after being transplanted, but I’m hoping they bounce back quickly and possibly even bear fruit this season. The one in the front there has several branches so I left them secured with the paper bag we used for transport to give it a chance to establish new roots before supporting the weight of hanging branches.  I’ll keep you posted on their progress throughout the summer.

1Raspberries

While I was planting raspberries, the hubs was building my long anticipated garden box!  I decided on a design with removable tubs so when we have a greenhouse I can start planting earlier inside and then move the tubs out when spring arrives.  It will also let me extend the growing season into the fall by moving tubs indoors as the weather cools.  The hubs designed this fancy subframe to support the weight of the tubs and then added the base on the bottom so that it would be waist high as I requested.  There was a bit of miscommunication on the final design plan because we had discussed several options and the inspiration I showed him was only a foot tall, but he was still able to make my vision a reality. 🙂

Planter1Frame

Once the frame was done we moved it into the back yard and finished it off with metal side panels and cedar trim.  It went together pretty quickly, thanks to the hubs’ detailed plan.  I helped by holding pieces in place until he got each section secured and showing my approval with a very wide grin as I watched it all come together.

Planter2Panel

Here’s how it looked once the sides and trim were installed.  I would have done a happy dance if I hadn’t been so tired, but the hubs knew I was super happy with the results.

PlanterBuilt

Next came the removable tubs, which rest on the cedar lip and are supported by the subframe below.  I love the look of the metal next to the wood.  It totally works for my modern farmhouse style.  Clean and simple, yet rustic at the same time.

PlanterBuiltTubs

PlanterBuiltTubsSide

Now it was time for planting!  I wanted to use a water reservoir system to encourage the plants to root deep and seek out water, so I added smaller tubs with holes on the sides to the bottom of each tub, and then had the hubs drill a hole for a PVC watering pipe.  Now when I water it will leech out into the surrounding soil and water the plants from within.  The idea is that this will require less frequent watering, which is perfect for my busy schedule.  And if it doesn’t work, it’s not permanent so I can just take it out next year.

PlanterBuiltTubsTop

PlanterBuiltTubsTopPipe

We filled around the tubs with soil and I got to planting.  This year we’re having herbs, lettuce, possibly spinach, cucumbers, peppers and tomatoes.  I already had the tomato and herbs on hand, but was waiting to purchase the others until the garden was ready for them.  I’ll pick those up over the weekend.  The pepper will go next to the tomato plant and the center tub will hold the lettuce and cucumbers.

PlanterPlanted

I selected a variety of herbs including cilantro, chives, parsley, oregano, dill and mint.  The cilantro will come in handy for summer salsa recipes and I’m excited to start using dill in ranch and other mixes.  We use dried parsley and oregano fairly often so it should be fun to experiment using it fresh. We don’t often use mint or chive, but this will give us the opportunity to experiment with them and I believe both deter pests, so that’s an added benefit.

PlanterPlantedHerbs

To finish things off, I dug out the fancy metal garden signs I’d bought over the winter to mark what’s what.  They tie in the metal siding of the box and look totally cool!  I wish I had one for herbs, but it’s ok.  I do have signs for peas, carrots, onions, potatoes and pumpkin, so those are the other likely possibilities I’d try first.

PlanterPlantedMarkerTomatoes

PlanterPlantedMarkerPeppers

PlanterPlantedMarkerLettuce

PlanterPlantedMarkerCukesAnd since the garden is located just off the deck and right outside the back door it’s more convenient to snip a few things for cooking, which was the plan all along!  This spot gets full sun from morning until early afternoon, so it should also be pretty productive.

PlanterPlantedFrontI’ll try to do an update later in the season when things have grown in and are producing!  Until then, feel free to share any gardening tips you think might help that day come sooner! 🙂

The Beginnings of a Gallery Wall

Hi everyone!  I hope you enjoyed the weekend and did something special to honor those who have paid the ultimate price for the freedoms we enjoy.  We tackled several projects over the long weekend and have plenty of complaining muscles to prove it!  We were so busy that I didn’t even have time to edit the photos yet, but I plan to get to that tonight so I can start sharing them tomorrow.  In the meantime, here’s a little project I did last week.  Remember back in January when we hung our massive new TV on the wall and I mentioned I planned to do a gallery wall around it?  Well I finally did.

GalleryWall

Although I originally had a layout all figured out it didn’t fit quite the way I anticipated, so I rolled with it and just hung things in a similar pattern.  I could have done the Pinterest trick of cutting out templates for each piece to test it all before I committed, but I wasn’t feeling patient enough for all that.  And it seems to have turned out ok without the extra effort.  I’m enjoying the Pottery Barn look it gives the Family Room and the fact that most of the pieces hold a special memory for the hubs and I is even better.

GalleryWall3

On the right is a pencil sketch of me with my horse done by a friend and a wooden arrow pointing to a photo of the hub’s mom and dad in Italy on their last trip together.  I love that that the arrow points to their photo as if it’s pointing it out.  Can you believe I found it on a daily deal website, stained and ready to hang, for just $12?  Talk about a great bargain!  And the wood tones fit perfectly with the rest of the pieces in the gallery.

GalleryWallArrow

Here’s a full shot of the pencil sketch.  It’s nice to have it out on display again after it’s been packed away for so long.

GalleryWallSketch

Next to the sketch is a metal star I picked up a while back, but can’t remember where and Sangria’s paw print plaque.  I added a small saw-tooth hanger on the back with heavy duty industrial glue and let it cure overnight to make sure it had a good seal.

GalleryWallStar

The left side includes a framed postcard from our trip to Tucson for a friend’s wedding, where we saw the world’s largest rose bush alongside a photo of my kitty before Luna, Kitty Meow.  Below that is a watercolor portrait of the hub’s previous dog, Kenai as a puppy.  I had it commissioned as a gift shortly after we were married by the same artist friend who did the sketch of me and my horse .  Next to that is a Bruce Nelson print, which was the first artwork the hubs and I bought together after getting married.  And a lovely rusty metal D rounds out this section.

GalleryWall4

Here’s a close-up of the watercolor portrait, which was done from a photo the hubs loved.

GalleryWallKenai

And here’s a good look at that metal D.  I was totally giddy when I found this gem at a local antique trunk show for just $20!  The rusty patina adds so much character and ties into the other browns in the other pieces.

GalleryWallD

It’s still a work in progress, as I plan to continue adding to the collection by making a wood slice chalkboard sign with some of my favorite song lyrics and an industrial looking 907.  Eventually, it will probably take up the whole wall, but for now, having room to grow is just fine.   🙂

GalleryWall2

 

A Minion Pedestal

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Remember a while back we had our family minionized?  Well now that the desk is complete it was time they found a permanent home where they could be on display.  I also wanted them to have a little platform to sit on, so when I saw a small unfinished wood plaque in the dollar bin at Michaels that was just the right size, I snagged it.  I did the same finish on the pedestal as I did on the dog bowl stands, starting with a coat of stain, then some grey paint and a light sanding for a bit of distressing.  It’s the perfect mix of rustic and modern.

2

They live on my side of the desk, between my “inbox” and my supply caddy.  From across the room you don’t notice them much, but up close they just make you smile. And now that they are out in the main living area rather than our bedroom, guests can see them and enjoy them as well, which makes me even happier. 🙂

Finished

3

DIY Raised Dog Bowls

BowlLead

The second project we wrapped up last week were two raised dog bowl stands.  We’ve been wanting to do these for a while but kept putting it off.  Although we had heavy ceramic bowls for each dog, they would be pushed around on the floor each day and our youngest liked to play in the water bowl creating a wet mess, even with a mat under the bowl.  I’d seen raised bowl stands made from vintage crates and loved the look but A) didn’t have a vintage crate and B) if I did I wouldn’t have two that matched, or want to destroy an antique for a dog bowl stand.  So we DIY’d an alternative.

The hubs built simple hollow wood boxes and then cut the holes out for the bowls, using small holes inside the diameter of where each bowl would sit as a staring point.

Marked

Inside

PlainReady

Then it was up to me to finish the look.  Since I knew these pieces wouldn’t stay pristine being used by the dogs, I decided to intentionally create a distressed look.  I started with a coat of stain, followed by a coat of light grey paint, which I sanded randomly to make them look vintage.

Stained

Painted

PaintedClose

Here’s the finished look!  It’s so much nicer than the hodge podge mess we had before!  (Apparently I hated it so much I never took a single picture of it, because I can’t find any before pictures to share!)  We have one stand on either side of the buffet in our dining room, so we all eat together. One holds two water bowls and a single food bowl for Tequila since she’s the alpha and likes to be separated from the others when eating.  The other has two food bowls and a single water dish for Stoli and Bacardi who often share while eating.

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1

I wasn’t sure how well the kiddos would take to the new set up and planned to ‘introduce’ them to the bowls with treats, but it wasn’t necessary.  In fact they started using them as soon as they went down, which made me even happier with the project!  Eating at this level is easier for them and is supposed to help improve their digestion.

BEat

TEat

I think Luna is actually a little jealous of their new bowls!  But since her bowls are in the laundry room window ledge, where she has plenty of privacy I think she’ll be just fine.

LunaBowl

This post linked to Tatertots and Jello’s Link Party Palooza!

and
TDC Before and After

 

Wall-to-Wall Work Space!

Hi everyone!  The hubs and I were so busy working on projects last week that I didn’t get a chance to write about any of them, so this week I’ll be playing catch up and have a lot to share!  Up first is the biggest project, our wall-to-wall desk in the office!

Finished

It’s come a long way from the first DIY set-up we did with two filing cabinets and a freebie door when we were in the rental. I started to get a sense of how my dream workspace would function when we expanded the desktop after we moved in to the new house and the recent addition of the industrial style shelves took it up another notch.  Next we stained the raw desktop to match the shelves, which made the desk visually ‘heavy’. Unfortunately, I somehow neglected to take a picture of this stage, but even the hubs agreed that the darker desktop made the entire unit feel a bit big and bulky. Luckily, painting the cabinets was the next step.  To prep, we removed all the hardware and gave the surfaces a light sanding. The hubs taped off the areas around the cabinets and I painted them white. It took a couple of coats, but it definitely brightened the space.

DeskDuringPaint

DeskDuringPaint2

I wasn’t loving the white at first, but decided to live with it for a while before I made any final decisions. A few days later the hubs installed the new hardware we’d purchased to match the pulls on the cabinet nearest the door and that made all the difference. Suddenly I LOVED the white. Maybe I couldn’t see past the displaced clutter before then or maybe I just needed some contrast so they didn’t feel like big white blobs. Whatever it was, I did another happy dance when I saw them together with the white.

Three of the four cabinets went all the way to the floor, but the cabinet nearest the door had legs. Not only did this not match the other cabinets, it was the perfect place for dust bunnies to collect which meant they had to go. The easy option would have been to cut off the legs, but that would have made the cabinet too short, so instead we opted to install molding around the legs. We picked up a plain baseboard molding with a small curve at the top and cut it to size. Unfortunately, it wasn’t quite tall enough to cover the entire height of the legs, so we got creative.

Molding
A piece of scrap wood filled the space between the legs, but because the legs stick out from the body of the cabinet a bit, there was a gap between the filler board and the molding. The hubs solved this with a paint stick and some wood filler. Genius! Once everything was painted you’d never notice.

Molding2

FinishedLegs

The hubs also rigged up a shelf for the printer in the middle cabinet. He added a small platform on tracks so it can be pulled out when we need to replace ink cartridges or clear a jam.

FinishedShelf

FinishedShelfOut

Because the space where the shelf was had previously been another drawer there were some odd supports on either side of the interior of the cabinet. Once again the hubs flexed his thinking muscles and came up with a solution. A thin panel attached to the supports made everything flush and quarter round hid the supports from the front.  Luna made sure to inspect his handiwork and apparently approves.

LunaShelf

ShelfPanelCover

ShelfPanelMoldingFinished

I swapped out the blue bag the local shred company provides for a much prettier basket I picked up at Target. The grey material has a bit of white, which plays off the cabinets nicely. I keep the bag tucked behind the basket so I can fill it when I need to take it in, but since we typically use our shred file for fire starter and filler in the fire pit that’s not very often.   This change was also approved by Luna, who loves her new hiding spot. 🙂

LunaBasket

I also stained the cord box so it blends in more with the flooring and is less noticeable. Now that everything is finished, I cleaned up the wires and will soon hide them in a channel that can be painted to match the wall so you’ll never even notice them.  Now that the printer is tucked away, my Silhouette sits in the middle of the desktop and both of us have plenty of room to work.

CordBox

I’m still finessing the accessories on the desktop and shelves, but it’s pretty much done. The top shelf is strictly for photography props (including some room for new items!) and we each took a third of the bottom shelf. The center third is home to models of the planes the hub’s dad flew when he was in the Navy.  On my side, my photography guides and smaller extra gear fit in two decorative storage boxes, which also hide the driveway monitor speaker. Next to that are my books and a basket for a few magazine style guides I keep.

Finished

The hub’s side became home to his cookbooks that had previously lived in the pantry. I gave him a storage box and canister so he could also store all of the cords and miscellaneous gear he wanted to have handy. And that means the tub of “stuff” that has sat on the other side of the room since we moved in is now gone!

Finished2

I’m loving the industrial farmhouse look the whole project has and the storage it provides has created so much space in this room. Now it really functions as an office, craft room and studio with style. And that make me very, very happy!

This post linked to Tatertots and Jello’s Link Party Palooza, Knick of Time’s Vintage Inspiration Party and

TDC Before and After

Tea Time

TeaFinalThe hubs and I aren’t big coffee drinkers, but we do enjoy starting the day with a warm tea, especially since our early mornings are still pretty chilly.  Because it’s a daily routine, the tea supplies tended to be left out on the counter.  While that made the process more convenient, it also created clutter.  So I decided to create a tea station where all the ingredients are readily accessible and organized.  I found this little stand on the clearance shelf at Pier 1 recently and thought it would work perfectly. Except for those gigantic elephant handles.  Although interesting, they’re just not my style.

TeaBefore

But with a price tag of just under $12 and a gift card in hand that would cover that and then some, I was up for a little revamp.  A quick inspection revealed a single screw head for each handle underneath, so I knew they could be removed.  I was hopeful that the jars I planned to use on the board would cover the holes and I could just leave the wood as is.

TeaBeforeUnder

However once the screw was removed, the handles didn’t budge.  Apparently there was also glue underneath.  I was a little worried that prying the glue up would disturb the finish on the sides of the board since the handles had a small lip over the edge, but there was only one way to find out.  TeaBefore2

Luckily, the glue was only around the hole, but it did leave a bit of damage to the top of the board on each side.

TeaRemove2

TeaRemove

It was pretty minor damage, but I knew it would drive me batty, so a little filler and some sanding were in order.  Here it is prepped and ready for paint.

TeaDuring

A few quick coats of grey paint we had sitting around gave it a whole new look.  I lightly sanded the edges so a bit of the wood color shows through to coordinate with the other wood tones we have in this space.  The two types of tea we use are now stored in these cute patterned neutral canisters from Target and a sleek pump replaced the squeeze bottle honey we’d been using.  A small spoon rest completes the set-up.  It’s simple, functional and pretty, which makes me oh so happy. 🙂

TeaAfter

This post linked to Tatertots and Jello’s Link Party Palooza!

and

TDC Before and After