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Aug 13, 2018

Stenciled Mailbox (Silhouette)


We've been in our current house for about 2.5 years. This past weekend I finally - finally - got around to putting our name on the mailbox.

Stenciled Mailbox (Silhouette cutter)

I've been thinking about it for months, but week by week the time slipped away, until I eventually just got up off my butt, took down the vinyl cutter, and did it.


Stenciled Mailbox (Silhouette cutter)

I cut out the letters with my Silhouette cutting machine. I love the Silhouette. I'm not a "stencil all the things" kind of person, but when I do need one, this machine makes it so easy.
Stenciled Mailbox (Silhouette cutter)

You design your image on the computer screen with the Silhouette software, feed in your stencil material (it works with more than just vinyl), and let the machine cut the pattern for you. Bing, bang, boom, done. **This is not sponsored, I just think it's a great machine.**

Stenciled Mailbox (Silhouette cutter)

It took two tries to get the letters on as the paint I chose the first time didn't stick. The second time I changed to spray paint and also used a spray primer for extra security.

Stenciled Mailbox (Silhouette cutter)

Besides our name, I also added dog paws because, well, it's no surprise how much we love our dogs. They are family and deserve to be represented.

Stenciled Mailbox (Silhouette cutter)

I'm sure that at some point it will need to be repainted as our road is heavily traveled, so dust, dirt, and gravel are constantly being thrown around. But the great thing about having the cutter is that I can whip up another copy at any time.

Stenciled Mailbox (Silhouette cutter)
Stenciled Mailbox (Silhouette cutter)
Stenciled Mailbox (Silhouette cutter)



Jul 17, 2018

DIY Angled Plant Stand

We've been through a bit of a heat wave these last couple of weeks (I'm not complaining - honest!) that put a halt to any outdoor projects. We've spent most of our off time lounging on the couch just trying to stay cool. We've also been ridiculously busy getting the new pups settled and into a routine we can all live with. Check out my Instagram feed for more - it's supposed to be DIY/travel/crafts, but it ends up being mostly dog pics.

Now that it's easier to breathe outside, we've turned our focus to the back deck. We have a huge deck that runs the entire width of the house - just a gorgeous amount of space to work with. But we spend so much of our free time working on other projects, that we don't get to enjoy it often enough. And it shows. I've vowed that this year we'd make it a place we'd wanted to hang out. The first step was to add more greenery.

Angled Plant Stand

This plant stand idea comes from Overalls and Power Saws, and Brittany has very detailed instructions if mine aren't clear enough. Our planter is taller than hers so the measurements will be different, but the idea is the same. We also changed the top support to a 4x4 and added a board on top to cap it off.

Materials:

4 - 2x4x47" (uprights)
2 - 2x4x22" (base)
2 - 2x4x12" (base)
1 - 4x4x10" (top support)
1 - 1x4x9" (top)

Start by building the base. The four base pieces are attached to each other in a rectangle using pocket screws on the underside. The 22" pieces go along the front and back with the 12" pieces on the sides.

Angled Plant Stand

To make the uprights, you'll cut the ends of your long 2x4s with a miter saw. The upright boards slope inwards side to side and front to back, so you'll need to cut the board at two angles at the same time. Set the bed angle at 7 degrees and the blade angle at 12 degrees. This is a complicated cut that you might want to practice on a scrap board first to make sure it's right. 

The four upright boards are anchored to the base with screws attached from underneath. Once the boards have been screwed in place, stand the frame upright and lean the boards against each other while the top support is put in place.


Angled Plant Stand

For the top support piece, take the 4x4 and run it through the table saw with the blade set at a 7 degree angle. Flip the wood around and do the same to the other side to get a trapezoid shape.


Angled Plant Stand

Next you'll attach the 4x4 support to the tops of the upright boards. Line up the bottom of the support with the outer edges of the boards. The ends at the top of the support will stick out on either side as the uprights slope inwards. Make sure the tops of the boards slightly overhang the top edge of the support. Keep in mind that all of the overhanging edges will be cut off later. If you have an air nailer, you might want to put a couple of finishing nails in each board to hold it in place while you screw them in. Attach two screws straight through each board into the support piece, maintaining your angles.

Angled Plant Stand

Now that your frame is built, you'll need to cut off the extra "bits". Take a reciprocating saw or a handsaw and cut off the upper corners of the support piece so that the angle matches the upright boards. Cut off the tips of the upright boards so that they're level with the top of the support piece. Finish with a palm sander to smooth out any rough or uneven spots.

Angled Plant Stand

Angled Plant Stand
Angled Plant Stand

The final piece to attach is the "crown" on top. This piece isn't on the original plan, but we added it just to give the planter a more finished look, and to provide a level spot if we ever wanted to set something on it. Attach it with finishing nails for a cleaner look or screws if you don't mind filling them.

Angled Plant Stand

You can now finish your planter in whatever way you desire - paint, stain, lacquer - or leave it bare if that's the look you like. I puttied and sanded the screw/nail holes that were visible, and then I did a multi-step process - first a coat of stain in Minwax's Jacobean, then a coat of stain in Minwax's Classic Grey, and then finally some light brush strokes of white paint to give a weathered look. After applying the white paint I went over some areas with more grey stain if they needed to be blended.

Angled Plant Stand

Once dry, you'll add your chain and plant hook. We used the combination of an eye hook, carabiner, chain, and then one more carabiner at the bottom, as the chain loops weren't wide enough for the plant hook.

Angled Plant Stand

And there you have it. A plant stand that's also a bit of an art piece. There's a mix of texture with the rough wood, smooth chain, and nearby glass and metal, yet the neutral colours let the green in the plants's leaves just pop.

Angled Plant Stand

Angled Plant Stand

Angled Plant Stand

Angled Plant Stand




Jul 1, 2018

Canada Day 2018



Happy Canada Day, y'all!



From my family to yours, I hope you have a terrific day.


And here's an interesting little bit of trivia: Did you know that if July 1st falls on a Sunday, like it is this year, Canada Day is moved to July 2nd? I'm not talking about getting the day off work and businesses being closed, I mean that the actual statutory holiday is moved. I couldn't believe I'd never heard about it before.

Celebrations are still usually held on July 1st of course, even though it's technically not the holiday.


But no matter the date, these ruffians are always ready to celebrate.










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