Just Another DIY Project

I was out in the pasture checking on the horses when I passed by this gem hanging out in the wood pile.  Now, this tree trunk just didn’t appear one day on the farm.  I was very much present and even helped my husband cut down the tree and put this very stump on the burn pile, but didn’t think anything else about it until I was out checking the pasture one day and passed the burn pile when I noticed the stump.  A light bulb went off and I thought this tree trunk would be perfect for two tree stump tables/stools.

tree stump 5

I asked the hubby to cut in half and to trim the stubs down. Since this is a cedar log,  I then proceeded to strip off the bark with my hands.  The rough cuts are from the hubby’s chainsaw. Some of the cuts were really rough and deep.  A little more about that when we get to sanding.

tree stump

I used a random orbit sander and went through lots and lots of sanding pads…remember all those rough and deep chainsaw cuts from above.  It took a lot of sanding to smooth out some of those cuts. The sander uses hook & loop concept (think Velcro) to adhere the sandpaper to the sander.  You must line the holes up and when changing out the sandpaper, gently pry the sand paper away from the backer pad that has the ‘hooks’.  If you pry too fast, you can pull the hooks off the backer pad and let me just tell you from experience, it all goes downhill from that point and you have to replace the backer pad. I tried gluing the hooks pad back on the sander and that didn’t work out.  Don’t forget to dump the sawdust bag and I highly recommend using a face mask because very fine sawdust gets EVERYWHERE!

tree stump 2

Sand as much or as little as you like.  I went with really smooth edges so I sanded a lot.

tree stump 3

I was having a hard time choosing between outdoor wood sealer or poly.  I ended up going with the outdoor wood sealer mainly because I haven’t used it very much and wanted to see what is was like. I will probably try the poly next time only because I think I like the glossy look better.

tree stump 1

And viola! The finished product.

tree stump 7

You can even see the burn pile in the top left corner of the picture.

tree stump 6

Advertisements

My Mother Always Wanted a Circle Drive

Our driveway is not terribly long, but it is longer than your average driveway especially if you compare it a driveway in the suburbs.  And apparently long enough to cause issues with visitors which we have observed.  We have come to notice that no one likes backing up their vehicle. More times than not, we would have visitors drive through our grass rather than putting their car in reverse and backing back down the driveway.  It was perplexing really, especially for a grass enthusiast like me-the type that would put a sign in her yard that reads “keep off the grass” if a certain husband would let her.  So you can imagine my dismay when someone just didn’t walk on the grass (which I actually quite enjoy and encourage especially barefoot), but drove a 3000 pound vehicle through it.  That same grass that I had been diligently hand watering all summer long! Oy Vey! SMH!

After much analyzing and plotting and planning, we decided to rectify the issue by installing a circle driveway.  We needed new rock for the driveway anyway so why not just bite the bullet and do it all in one fell swoop.

And that’s just what we did!  We called up the guy and ordered two loads of rock.

Rock Truck

My mother called in the middle of this whole ordeal and when I told her we were putting in a circle drive she declared, “I always wanted a circle drive.”  Good to know, Mom.

The husband has skills!  He spread the rock evenly with the tractor with such finesse like a pro.

Circle Drive Tractor

Then he took our trusted farm truck, a ’72 Chevy, and packed the drive a few times.  We may or may not have gotten on the golf carts and raced a few laps on our new ‘track’. 🙂

Circle Drive 72 Truck

Voila!  We now have a circle drive and there is no reason anyone should be driving on my grass. period.

Circle Drive Finished Product

The new circle drive creates prime real estate for a spectacular flower bed, possibly a rose garden with a water feature.  Hmm, the possibilities are endless.  Now to the drawing board for a future project.

It’s a Jungle Out There

The house and the property had been neglected for years.  The overgrowth was unbelievable. Virginia creeper, poison ivy, briers, and other plants that have come to be the bane of my existence had taken over. We had poison ivy vines that were literally four inches in diameter.  Oh and as a side note, I’m highly allergic to poison ivy.  I’ll refrain from showing pictures of a puffy-face me with poison ivy from head to toe.  I think for about a year, I had poison ivy every day. I would get reinfected every weekend. My friends joked and said I should be the villain, Poison Ivy, for Halloween.  Ha Ha, guys, really funny.

Poison Ivy Vines

Sampling of Poison Ivy Vines on Some of the Trees

First order of business was to get a tractor, riding lawn mower, a chainsaw, and numerous other pruning tools.

Armed with the array of pruning tools, we headed out into our own personal jungle to begin the long arduous job of cleaning out the overgrowth.

Backyard Before

The Overgrown Back Yard on Day One

After we cleaned up the brush, we discovered a mature peach tree in the mix and this past spring had the fortunate opportunity to enjoy the plumpest, juiciest, and most delicious peach I have ever enjoyed in my life.  That was until the squirrels got wind of the ripe peaches and devoured the rest of the tree before we could pick any more.  Next Spring I’ll be ready for the rascals.

Backyard Progress

The Backyard After We Cleaned Out the Overgrowth

We still have a long way to go and we have lots of fun ideas floating around in our heads for how we  want the backyard to look (can anyone say fire pit!), but for now we are just enjoying the fact that we can see the horses all the way in the pasture which of course were no where to be found when I was taking pictures.

A Little DIY fun and CHEAP

Concrete block benches have been coming up in my Pinterest feed over the past few months and I thought it would be a good project to try.  I took a mental note of them and stored them away in the mental file cabinet labeled ‘Later’.  As an admitted procrastinator, that particular filing cabinet is full!  Anyway, I came across an unexpected opportunity that pulled that file out of the ‘later’ pile and into the ‘now’ pile.

Concrete Block Collage

All images from Pinterest

I was visiting my brother and he was showing me around his place and in a junk pile awaiting removal just happened to sit two 4X4 timbers and I immediately thought about my Pinterest feed.  I dug the timbers out and loaded them up in the back of the truck and headed home.

Luckily, the timbers were roughly the same length so I didn’t need to do any cutting.

My dad has stuff.  Lots of stuff.  He is not a hoarder, but if you need something more than likely he has it. And he came through for me this time as well.  He had a few concrete blocks laying around and let me steal off with six of them and even helped me carry them to and load them in my truck.

Next came the paint.  I often venture to the oops paint shelf at the hardware stores.  You know the shelf that usually has the crazy paint colors that customers thought they wanted until they actually painted a wall in that color.  I love that shelf! I’m always looking for cool paint colors on the cheap.  I don’t necessarily need the paint right now, but someday maybe.

That someday arrived.  I just happened to have a quart of this gorgeous, deep teal/turquoise paint that I had no idea what I was going to do with it. I have to be honest, since I only had one quart of paint, I was sweating bullets hoping upon all hopes that it would be enough to paint all six of the concrete blocks.  I really didn’t have a contingency plan if it didn’t work out in my favor.

I finished painting the blocks and then assembled the parts under a grove of trees in the back yard.  I also just happened to have an outdoor cushion that went perfectly with the teal paint.

DIY Bench

The finished project

Project Materials:

  • 2 – 4X4 timbers
  • 6 – concrete blocks
  • 1 – quart of paint in color of your choosing
  • 1 – outdoor cushion or not.  Your decision.

Total cost of project: $0.00.  DIY Win!!

I do like the look of the benches with the back as well and I do have another cushion in the same pattern I could use so I would like to either create another bench that includes a back or add a back to the current bench.

 

 

 

The How, What, and Why

We had been house hunting for what felt like forever as in the dramatic for-eh-ver from the Sandlot movie.

We were looking for a place in the country with land for our horses, a nice small-town community, and not too far from work.  Like many other couples house hunting, we could not agree on any of the houses we toured.

This one was too small, where are the trees, that one was too big, why are there no trees, not enough land, too expensive, why can’t we find a place with mature trees! Argh!  We were coming to our wits’ end and realizing a common trend was that there just weren’t a lot of places out there with beautiful mature trees in our price range.

That’s when I threw up my hands and hit my knees and began praying with earnest and detail.  Lots of details.

I laid out exactly what I wanted and included a few things that my husband wanted (I’m generous like that) and left the house hunt in God’s hands.

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” Matthew 7:7

Lo and behold, we found her, our diamond in the rough. A fixer upper with good bones and great windows.  A nice size house with land and big beautiful mature trees: thirty-seven pecan trees to be exact.  I fell in love with the windows and my husband fell in love with the view from the back.

We weren’t expecting a fixer upper, especially one that needed so much fixing, but decided to pull on our boots and roll up our sleeves and take the plunge. Challenge accepted.

The house when we found it:

IMG_0439

She needs a ton of work and there are days when I’m not sure we will survive it, but I still love her and those windows, though!  Gah! I adore them.

Progress reports to follow.