SEARCH THE BLOG

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.










Jun 20, 2018

Recovering a Patio Lounge Cushion


We've had the new dogs home for about six weeks now, and everything is going along fairly well.

squad goals

There are some ups (the new dogs don't have to be on leash when we go outside in the backyard) and some downs (I threw out the living room rug this weekend because I am so tired of steam cleaning out the bathroom "accidents").

We've also come to realize that, like most-two year-olds, they still need a lot of supervision or they get into mischief.

We spent a lovely Sunday out on the back deck a couple of weeks ago. Everyone was having a good time, and Scarlett discovered the joys of basking in the sun on the lounger.


Sweet face, right? Don't be fooled, there's a devil lurking in there. A few hours later, while we were inside eating dinner, we heard the two little dogs galloping back and forth, jumping over things and chasing each other. But then there was a loud ripping noise and we ran out to see what had happened.

We found this:


They were so proud of themselves. Tom had to hide his laugh behind his hands. I wasn't so happy because I love that lounger. Our neighbour gave it to us and the cushion is thick. Like six inches thick.


How do you replace that? Well first, you spend your lunch hour the next day searching every online site that delivers to Canada. Then you visit several stores after work. But you end up with nothing that even comes close. Unless you want one custom-made for $$$$.

I was preparing myself mentally to just suck it up and settle on a thinner cushion, but decided to take a stab at repairing and recovering the ruined one instead. I went through my fabric stash to see if I had anything suitable for outdoor use and found some patterned material that was sturdy, yet still soft and velvety.


I restuffed the cushion with the foam and batting that had been torn out, then used thick thread to sew as much of the shredded fabric back together as possible, just to give a framework for the new material. (No pics, sorry.)

At first I only recovered the damaged section, and I was pretty happy with that.

recovered patio lounge cushion

But then I started thinking it would look even better if the entire side was the same. So out came the fabric and sewing machine again, and I covered the top section as well. Hey, I was right, it did look better.

recovered patio lounge cushion

I'm so happy with it now. It looks intentional. It almost looks like I know what I'm doing or something. :-) I hate to admit it, but I even like it better than the original. Should I thank the little hooligans for making it happen?

recovered patio lounge cushion

recovered patio lounge cushion

recovered patio lounge cushion

recovered patio lounge cushion



May 15, 2018

Welcome to the Family (Dadli Dogs)

Our trip to Antigua a few weeks ago wasn't just for a beach vacation. It was to adopt these two adorable ragamuffins. We're happy to introduce you to Scarlett (previously named Unity) and Zac, our newest family members. They are Native Antiguan dogs (or NADs). NADs are also called "Dadli Dogs" after the original name of the island (Wadadli). They are true mutts; every dog is a little bit different.


PAAWS Antigua dadli dogs

When we were on Antigua last February, we spent a day at the PAAWS animal shelter walking the dogs and playing with the puppies. PAAWS Antigua is a no-kill shelter that relies solely on donations (no government funding) to keep it going. The employees have little time to walk and socialize the dogs so they welcome tourists and visitors to come by and help out.

Our Chloe is getting older and isn't up for playing much anymore. Last summer we started thinking about getting a younger dog so that Sasha would have someone to run around with. We tried adopting through a few of the local shelters and rescues, but were turned down either because we don't have a fenced property (we have 15 acres of rural land) or because they wanted their dogs to go to a single-dog home.

Of the many dogs we walked last year on Antigua we had taken a special liking to Unity. She's a sweet little thing who was found wandering in Parham in 2016 at only 8 weeks old.

PAAWS Antigua dadli dogs

We contacted PAAWS to find out if she was still available and (sadly and happily) she still was. They told us she was very close to her kennel-mate Zac though, and asked if we would be willing to take both. How could we say no?

We were familiar with Zac as we had walked him last year when we walked Unity. He'd also been at the shelter since 2016, arriving a few months after her. He's outgoing and energetic and in love with everyone he meets.

PAAWS Antigua dadli dogs

So began the long process of getting the dogs to Canada. The biggest obstacle to adopting an island dog is the cost involved. There are:
- the medical expenses (making sure they have all of their shots and paperwork),
- the flight costs (more than twice as much if they are unaccompanied), and surprisingly,
- the cost to send a travel crate to the shelter (it costs the shelter over $300 to buy one on island).

The options were either 1) have them shipped as cargo, or 2) fly to Antigua to get them. Of course, we would then be paying for our own flights, but we would also get a vacation out of the deal. We spent quite a bit of time working it out with the shelter and watching flight prices until we finally decided to fly there in April. We managed to find two used travel crates on Kijiji (like Craigslist) for $50 each - a shout out to Free Korean Dogs for selling them - and packed one suitcase between us so that we wouldn't have to pay for extra baggage.

Once we were on the island, in between some hiking and beach R&R, we spent time taking the dogs to the vet for their rabies shots, helping out at the shelter, and visiting the government vet to get the final paperwork approved.

PAAWS Antigua dadli dogs

I'll admit that I didn't really enjoy the last couple of days of vacation as I was so stressed out about the return trip. But it ended up being so easy. We got the dogs checked in, paid our fees, and then tried to relax before the flight. The flight itself was a bit bumpy and there was a medical emergency on board that we thought might re-route our plane to Miami, but it ended up going smoothly. Once in Toronto we visited border security to have our paperwork inspected, paid our fee, and we were on our way home.

PAAWS Antigua dadli dogs

Since then it's been very busy at our place. The dogs eat in shifts and we go outside for pee breaks a lot. The new dogs have an entire room to themselves right now (with a DIY gate!) so that we can keep them separated from Chloe and Sasha when we aren't home (We don't need any arguments to break out without a referee present!)

PAAWS Antigua dadli dogs

It's been nearly three weeks and Scarlett and Zac are gradually getting used to their new home and becoming part of our "pack".

PAAWS Antigua dadli dogs

They're venturing out to explore the rest of the house more, getting into everything, and just yesterday Zac tried to get Sasha to play with him for the first time.

PAAWS Antigua dadli dogs
PAAWS Antigua dadli dogs

PAAWS Antigua dadli dogs

We're so happy to have them here. And so happy that we could do a small part to help the animals of Antigua. If you would like to adopt or donate, you can contact PAAWS Antigua directly.

And if you are vacationing on Antigua, or know someone who is, consider being a flight volunteer to get one or more dogs to their forever home. It costs you absolutely nothing and the shelter will handle all of the paperwork/arrangements at both ends of your flight.

PAAWS Antigua dadli dogs

PAAWS Antigua dadli dogs





Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...