April 29, 2011

I Have a New Love in My Life...DeWalt Power Tools

Last night I was at Lowes shopping for some items I needed for a new project I'm working on and hubby walked over to the tool department for a little "man time".  After collecting all the items I needed I headed over to meet up with him. When I got there he was talking to an employee about SANDERS! 

The sander is one tool my husband doesn't have and I have needed very much. He was being sweet thinking of me and trying to find me the best sander for the buck.  But when I say best, I actually mean the best DeWalt.  It's pretty much the only brand of power tools my husband will buy. 

SO..after about 20 minutes of discussion, I came home with my very own FIRST power tool! 

I can't wait to try this baby out.  It is 2.2 volts of sanding power.  Which means I don't have to use all that elbow grease (I was about to run out anyway). 

(Please pay not attention to my ratty hair and shiny face. I had just taken a shower and put on a facial peel.  But so excited about the sander I had to get him out and hold him.)

It also came with an awesome hard black carrying case.  If you don't own any DeWalt stuff, most of them come in these hard cases. While we were choosing sandpaper to fit the sander, I turned around and saw this:

The DeWalt 100 piece drill set!  AND the best part, it was 50% off.  So I only had to pay $29.95 for it.  I love it!  Next I'm getting my very own drill.  So, I can give my husband his back and get it out from under the bed. ; )

Now lets see what I can creat this weekend.  Hope you all enjoy yours!


April 26, 2011

Raised Strawberry Garden Made From What? You Guessed it-Pallets!

This was a glorious weekend!  I always LOVE Easter weekend.  I'm off work on Friday for Good Friday (I like to call it GREAT Friday) and because we get to celebrate Jesus on what is arguably the greatest day in history. 

It was a bright and sunny 80 degree weekend which meant I HAD to get outside and do SOMETHING. So, I decided to use a few of the dozen pallets my dad dropped off for me last week.  I purchased some strawberry plants and had planned on planting them in a pot, or flower bed that is currently grown over with weeds, then I decided exactly what to do with them.  A pallet bed!  Less weeds...they will come back each year...and be way easier to harvest them. 

So..step one, find a pallet. 
Saw the pallet in half, or whatever size you like.  I used a circular saw.  I thought I would use this pallet as the width sides of the bed and some other wood I had leftover for the length sides.

Pallet sawed in half and removed inside board (hence the leftover nuggets)

Measured the pallets and sawed them off again so they were the same size and leveled.

Next I began filling in the gaps with the leftover pieces I had taken from the inside.

After those were both completed I was ready to cut the lumber for the long sides.  I just measured the leftover piece of lumber I had on hand and cut it in half. The I used the DeWalt 18 Volt Battery Drill and some screws to attach the pieces together.

When it was all put together it looked like this!
I then lined the box with plastic covered paper that my dad gets from work. It is similar to Tyvek wrap that is used in home construction.  (What would I do without him???).  They use this type in the medical field to wrap syringes and other materials such as bandaids, etc.  It is waterproof and perfect for protecting my box.  Warning: never use salt treated materials for any type of bed you plan to grow food in.

Next, I raked all the grass off the spot where I was going to place it.  I put down a large piece of plastic to keep the grass and weeds from growing up in the box.  I also lined it with black fabric gardening paper.  Since I wanted it to be sort of a "lasagna garden" I layered the box with cardboard, compost, newspapers and leaves. 

Once I had all the layers in place, I finished up with two giant bags of Miracle Grow Potting Mix.

Finally my bed was completed.  You can still see a little of the paper sticking up, so I may add a little extra dirt to cover it. 
 I knew the strawberries had to have a lot of light so I placed the bed in the corner of our house .  It gets at least 7 hours of light each day and is right beside an outside faucet for watering.  Finally I was able to plant my stawberries!

It worked out so well because they are right beside my overgrown red raspberry bushes.  I bought two tiny stems of raspberries at Lowes and they turned into this in two years.  They desperately need to be tied back again; maybe next weekend.

On the other side are my blueberry bushes.  Pay no attention to the weedy bed.  I don't worry about the little things.  : )

I think I will call this the fruit corner.  While I was busy doing all this work in the hot sun, this is what everyone else was up to:

All in all I love the bed and it was super easy.  I just hope my plants produce a bountiful crop.  I'm looking forward to the yummy berries.   I probably need to add more plants.  I didn't realize how large my bed would turn out.

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April 20, 2011

Sign Making and Another Pallet Chair, I'm addicted

It seems these days all I do is try making a sign that looks decent, or make chairs out of pallets.  Especially since I have THIS pile now stacked in my basement:

I wanted to make my dad a sign for his workshop.  I didn't want to spend money buying vinyl lettering (I'm so cheap).  And, my hand painted sign didn't turn out too well.  SO I used letters found at the dollar store.  For $1, it seemed like a good idea at the time. 

Next, I spray painted the board with a silver metallic spray paint.  I'm not sure if it is just WAY old or, this brand of spray paint just has retro styled cans, but I thought it was cool.  It has sat in our basement forever so, I'm glad to finally use it on something.

ColorPlace Spray Paint-Silver Metallic

Next, after the spray paint dried, I laid the letters out on the board and arranged them the way I wanted.  No, my dad's name is not Choppy. But, some people might think so.  It's been his nickname my ENTIRE life and I've never really understood why.  My great-grandfather had the same nickname (but that was on my mom's side of the family; confusing).  Anyway..everybody knows dad as Choppy.  Hence..Choppy's Workshop.

The wind started blowing the letters all over the place.  I definitely recommend using a glue stick or some sort of adhesive for this step.

I took a can of black spray paint and went over the board entirely.  The letters were blowing around like mad and I didn't have on any gloves.  You should have seen my hands (too covered with paint to pick up my camera).  It took half a can of mineral spirits to get it off.  I had to paint my nails red for work today to cover the rest of it up.  I can't stand to have my nails painted.  I've waited all day to go home and take it off.  (Boy, do I get off on tangents or what!  Focus...)

SO...after I painted the board and became ADHD and removed the letters before it was dry, this was my result:

The letters are a little crooked and the black bled into the silver more than I would like.  I think I'll rough it up around the edges some more to let some silver shine through on the sides.  Then fill in a little of the silver right around the lettering.  Overall, it looks OK.  Its a cheap, easy way to make a sign.  But definitely use a glue stick or adhesive on the lettering and wait for the paint to dry. ; P

Next, I almost finished a pallet chair I am making for a friend.  I will finish it up tonight. I think I'm even going to put arms on this one.  These pallets have rounded edges so it gives a nice contrast on the square look.  I will have more on that later.

I can't wait for Good Friday!  Another Friday off work, that's two back to back.  I love it.  I should have lots of time to work on some stuff and the dreaded housework.  What are your plans for Easter?

April 19, 2011

The Dollar Store Rocks!

So, today is my second trip to the dollar store in two days.  I love it.  It is SO awesome. I can't believe the great deals you can get on some brand name products.  You have to be careful of course because some things may cost more there than at the regular grocery store/Walmart, etc.  But other things are WAY less. 

I went in search of some stones.  The glass kind.  Sort of like fishtank gravel only larger.  I think I'm gonna end up down in the creek.  I can't find them anywhere and really don't feel like driving to Michaels.  Next on my list was a pair of flip flops.  They had a big sign up $1/pair.  Other than that I just perused the eiles lookin' for bargain goodies. 

I came out with 5 cans of spray paint (3 of them were $1.75 each, the other 2 were $2.75 because they were the rustoleum type.  I also got a roll of painters tape, a razor blade scraper with a pack of 5 blades, some WD-40, a birthday card for my little brother, 2 packs of tissue paper, a pair of camo flip flops, 2 packs of rubber chair leg covers (so chairs won't scratch the floor; more on that later ; ) ), a pack of 3 different grains of sandpaper-25 sheets and last but definitely not least, a bag of Palmers edition of the mini reese cup.  ALL for just at $40.  I was amazed.  If I had bought the 5 cans of spraypaint at Lowes it would have been over $40. 

So get out there folks and visit your Dollar General.  I would give yourself about 10 minutes at least.  But don't stay too long, you will be like me and find too many deals. 

I immediately went home and used my white spraypaint.  I had to go back today for another can. I will have a new project up tomorrow.  Even though its minor.  I still like 'em.  Hope everyone is having a great day! 

April 18, 2011

Dogs Houses, Signs and Wild Turkey

This weekend we accomplished SO many things!

But first, I want to give a shout out to my dad!  HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!  Love you (not that you will ever read this.)

Friday night I made him his favorite birthday cake.  It's a coconut cake, made with sour cream, lots of sugar, coconut milk, frozen fresh coconut, whipped cream, etc.  Then you bake it up nice.  Slice two round pans into four slices and layer it up with the mixture.  Frost with whipped cream and left over sour cream mixture.  And leave it in the fridge for 3 days.  I toasted some regular coconut (not the frozen) and sprinkled it on top.  I am so glad he is getting this cake this afternoon.  It's all I could do all weekend to not eat it. mmmmm......

If anyone wants the official recipe, just email me. It is heavenly.

Next, I made a new sign for my kitchen! I used a piece of left over lumber and sanded it down a little.  Then went to town painting.  I tried using stencils and spray paint (made a big mess) then finished it by just hand painting.  I still need to 'rough it up' a little bit with some sandpaper but, this give you the general idea.

Not perfect, but I like it.  Then hubby goes..."Where's my name?"  I told him this was my kitchen.  I would put his name on another place in the house.

While I was home painting signs, hubby decided to go turkey hunting.  He was gone maybe an hour when he came home with this!  

Its huge!  It weighed over 25lbs! 

I was shocked he killed a turkey, and in that short amount of time.  Not to mention it was a huge, beautiful bird.  After we eat it he is going to have it mounted.  Not sure where he thinks he is going to put a big turkey in our house, but most likely upstairs in his "hunting room" where I am going to put his sign.  

On Sunday we moved a dog house that use to be in another area in the yard.  It was built up on 4x4 posts.  Hubby had to pull it out of the ground with the four wheeler.  After a terrible paint job, I was able to move my little bluetick Jill into a pen beside her hunting buddy Scout.  I wanted to free up the pen she was in so that Diesel could spend some time outside  this summer while we are at work rather than lay in the floor all day waiting for us to come home.

Jill in her new pen

Diesel taking over the big house

Diesel checking out his new lot.  He can enjoy the nice weather all day instead of the kitchen floor.

Hubby also plowed our garden twice to get it ready for planting.  I'm all excited about the things I am going to grow.  And my dad brought me these from work.  I have BIG plans!  Stay tuned : )


April 14, 2011

New, Old Desk

I work at a small liberal arts college that is over 105 years old. 

In our storage room was a small oak desk numbered 22.  My co-workers were making room in storage for our letterhead, envelopes, etc. and decided to throw out the desk.

I was not going to let that happen!  I asked if I could take it home, since they were just going to toss it out.  SO, I ended up with this:

It is solid oak, scratched, dented and covered with pencil marks, decreped tape and
some 60+ year old chewing gum. How long have they been making gum?

I coverd the desk in Citra-Strip.

After letting Citra-Strip soak in for over 24 hours I went back with a scraper and scrapped the old stain/polyeurethane off the desk.

I scrapped for about 30 minutes until I had the majority of the old stain, pencil marks (even the gum) and Citra-Strip scrapped off the desk.  Then, I used mineral spririts to get the rest of the Citra-Strip and stain off.

It began to show its true colors. Beautiful!

I let the mineral spirits do its job for another 24 hours until all the stain was removed.  After it was completely dry. Next, I put the first coat of stain back on.

I went with what we had left over from our kitchen remodel and used the Minwax Ployshades in Mission Oak.

After it dried, I used some steel wool to sand it down. 

I waited about two days, mainly because its been so damp in our basement it took it FOREVER for the desk to completely dry.  Then I went over it with some Minwax Spray Polyeurthane.

The next day I brought the desk upstairs and put it in our dining room.  I'm not sure what I am going to do with it, but it turned out beautiful.  I'm so happy to know that I saved the ancient desk from the dump.

Here are some pictures of the final product:

No more 22!

I LOVE the dark color and the shine from the polyeurethane. 
I just wish it would fit in our kitchen. It matches our new cabinets so perfectly.

UPDATE:  I was told that this desk was pine.  I do not know my types of wood that well so it very well could be.  I just guessed oak based on the other pieces of furniture we have in the house that are oak.  Or, maybe they are pine too. ; )