Google+ Nine Red: June 2014

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Quick DIY Secret Mossy Hiding Pail

Well I guess not so secret anymore now that I've blasted this all over the internet.  Oh well, I guess if you come to my house you'll know this secret spot & head straight to it. 
Good thing for me that I don't keep anything in it! Yea, I've always had some weird obsession with hiding places. I used to hollow out books, just because it was cool. And then I'd put them on the shelf. Empty. I don't have anything to hide really, no gold coins & cash burns a hole right through my pocket.  But, during this fail-fix I couldn't resist the opportunity.  

It all started during that long winded downstairs bathroom redo, one of my accessories was to be ferns. I chose ferns, because that room is "light challenged" and I figured they'd fit right in. Look how they did:
Mind you, this is not a case of not having a green thumb, I have a bunch of healthy plants that will tell you otherwise - I gave this puppy everything I had, and he quit. Fast forward to problem #2 - I used a wood bucket.  Even though I had the fern in a separate plastic pot for drainage (I thought I thought of everything!), and sealed the heck out of the bucket, the water seeped on through.  But whatever, we all have fails & new things sprout from those, right?

I wanted to rush out and buy (see what I mean about the cash problem) something else to go here, but in an effort to try and use-what-I-have-around-here, this is what I came up with. And it's what I should have done in the first place. (sorry lil fern...)

Step 1: Paint the bottom half of the bucket. This was dual purpose, it hides the horrible water damage to the bucket, and looks all color-blocky.  Unsuspecting people will think this was the plan all along - good!
Step 2: Raise up the floor so I don't have to literally fill this bucket with moss.  This is where the secret hiding spot came in at the last minute! I hoard keep all those jars from finished Bath & Body works candles & freeze the wax out (freezing the candle is the easiest way to get the wax out - just take a butter knife to it to crack out the wax). They are super handy, and this one fit perfect:
A little newspaper padding to keep it steady......pop the lid on....
Step 3: Fill her up with moss! This is my favorite moss, it's about $26 on Amazon (find the link here) for a HUGE box of it, but you can find smaller packs too.  I use it all the time, I cover the soil in my other houseplants with it, just to make them even cuter. Because, why not? Back to the bucket:
Done! Much cleaner. I love that fluffy lime stuff. I still get my touch of green in here without having to buy a fake plant, and a hiding spot too. Again - because, why not?
From failed to fixed in like, 15 minutes. And it didn't cost me a thing since I had it all here.

Back to work on the backyard brick patio for me...  enjoy your summer!


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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Backyard Bar Progress

Backyard Brick Patio Bar Progress... say that ten times fast, huh?  We do actually call this area the brick patio, because in our house - there are so many doors (6!) that it's really hard to say where the "back" yard is, this area is more of a side yard. Anyways, a ways back I started a project (you can read about it here) to fancy up this area of our life:

We've learned a lot since buying the house. What looks like a random curve shaped deck surrounding redwoods is actually someone's giant cover up of an old unused jacuzzi. Yep, there is a really old jacuzzi shell under there. They would have gotten away with it if we hadn't seen the pipes coming out the other side, but I think a deck is better anyway. Have you ever owned a jacuzzi? Cha-ching....$$$...hello maintenance!

So I'm back with a post to prove that we aren't total slackers and that we've made progress. The bar is up, and here's a fancy play by play of just how it was done:
Lucky for us there was a fence there already, and it was surprisingly sturdy. That was a fantastic shortcut!  We had a lot of extra redwood on hand from our retaining wall project, and decided to just give it a go.  Luckily all was level, and this was pretty much just a cut & attach project.
A little 45 degree angle edge work will protect us from dangerous corners, this is a bar after all & I'm 100% sure there will be drinks around it. Safety first!  If you notice that weird corner, yea.... oops! Saw got a little wild on me, but we'll be beveling the heck out of it.  At least we had, this:
A flat surface!
Using clamps (oh and now you get a REAL nice shot of that error area) I secured our new bar to the top of the existing sturdy railing, and drove some standard exterior wood screws up from the bottom:
Yep, those ones.
And up from the bottom, see? Isn't that nice & clean....  no screw holes upstairs. Horrible picture, but it gets the point across.
From here on out it was pretty much a bracing, sanding, staining & sealing issue. Things went surprisingly well, which is lucky for us because we jumped into the project with little to no planning. Sometimes, I gotta say, things work nicely on the fly.  You break out all your tools & supplies, and you just roll with it until you figure out how in the heck you are going to get your end result. 

Bracing: The thing felt pretty sturdy, but I'm paranoid & like I said, it's a bar.  People get careless. We used some leftover 2x2's from our Impromptu Pergola project along with my handsome miter-saw to cut out some brackets.  These are easy, just 45 degrees in opposite directions, attach and feel the brawn...
I love you Miter Saw.
For a while now we've been looking to incorporate one of my favorite hexagon patterns back into our lives, since we gave a friend our favorite Hexagon Coffee table.  (Loved that thing, but we had no spot for it!). This was the perfect canvas, and brought a little contrast to the surrounding green.

We sanded the bar starting with a coarse 80 grit paper, and gradually used finer paper with each layer. 120, then 220. Once it was smooth, we taped our pattern (using this handy hexagon ruler) & painted our design.
So shiny... I sealed it with 3 coats of High Gloss Spar Urethane. (Here's a link if it's new to you) I pretty much just asked the clerk for the strongest stuff ever, and he delivered. This stuff is SHINY!

Close up of Hexy:
After painting the hexagons (and before sealing) we decided to rough them up a bit.  I love the wood grain showing through..
Do you see those lovely beveled edges? Delightful...
Let's stand back....
Here's a sneak peak to the bench we are building on that stump:
A lovely before & after:
So clearly we aren't done, but we're kinda close.  Really I just need to figure out a rug, a gigantic pad for that seat, armrests & backrests (not really sure how that's gonna happen....ha!) and accessories. 

While we are out here, look who bloomed - our ultimate deer proof plant, Clerodendrum:

Thanks for stopping in & seeing our progress, stay tuned - I'm so excited to get this area up & running.  Happy Wednesday!


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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

I'm Back! With a Giveaway No Less...

Hey guys! Sorry, I totally took a breather there. I didn't mean to, it's just that May turned out to be crazy busy! Between work, string art orders, helping with a wedding (pics soon, I was so all over the place day-of that I didn't take a single ONE!) & life... May was wild. And fun. Seriously every free moment was scooped up.  I'll sprinkle some of the interesting parts over the blog once I collect enough photos. Muah!

As a result of all that crazy, I don't have a wild & fantastic new project to share here yet (hoppin' back on that to-do list), but I DO have a giveaway!  Ok... so have you heard of Scentsy? I'm sure you have, it's been growing like crazy.  I've seen it around & never gave it much thought because I'm openly a candle addict (Bath & Body Baby!). Until an old friend of mine offered me a chance to just try one out.... so I said why not?

Well, honestly I wasn't expecting much. I figured, "Ok, try it... then send it back". I was thinking it was just another thing to maintain, basically I was clueless.  So I picked a warmer out, (Mission Oak, love that wood grain!) and a few bars of scents.  Once it arrived, we set it up..

Wow. Within about 15 minutes the house smelled amazing! I love that it's a plug-in, I just turn it on when I get home. Boom.  And maintenance? I was wrong... for us, 2 cubes out of the bar (each bar has about 8 cubes) last around 4 days.  Which is perfect because on weekends I usually swap back to my candles, I can't resist that flame....  Plus swapping out scents is easy with Scentsy. Let the wax start to melt, dump it out (bowl is removable) - wipe it off and start a new.

Alright, here's your chance for a freebie - my friend Valerie is giving away one Scentsy warmer + a bar (8 cubes!) to one lucky winner! Any warmer & scent you choose, and there are a lot to choose from. Plus, second place gets 50% off any item in her shop!  There's a few ways to enter, and none are mandatory. So you can do any one you like, or all, or a few, or whatever. Hop over to her page & browse around in the meantime to pick out your fave. (Click here to hop over)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The winner will be chosen Monday morning, June 16th at 8:00 AM. Good luck!

In the meantime, I'm breaking out my tools, getting my hands dirty, and really getting to work on our back brick patio. It needs some major cute-ifying (new word) & we have a ton of ideas. If you missed the start of this back patio saga, you can read about it here.  Here's the photo I posted on facebook a while back that sort of shows the direction I'd like to take this area... who knows though, it could change any minute knowing me. :)

Have a great one, it feels good to be back!

So, Disclaimer style, this isn't a commercial.. I wasn't paid or compensated to write this, and I'm not becoming a Scentsy seller either! Hehe.  All these opinions are my own, just love to offer a giveaway to you guys when I have the chance and Valerie was nice enough to offer.  Yay!

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