Puttering Around in the Yard

I'm still puttering around on my front yard makeover. I have gotten all the bricks laid back down and level. I've expanded the area quite a bit making it a lot more functional. I even created a small privacy wall using some panels I turned on their sides and attached to some posts. It serves two purposes.... privacy obviously... and behind this fence is a lot of pirate stuff! I like how the fence turned out. The paint choice was a compromise with my husband-- I wanted super-duper dark gray... he caught me in a weak moment and I agreed to whatever color this is.... it looks... ok..... it is a nice backdrop for all my pirate stuff :-)
 I am trying my best not to go to heavy handed on displaying pirate things on the street side of this fence...
 On the backside is a whole other story. I've brought a lot of pirate things into the front yard, nothing is really set in stone just yet, things will be moved around until it is just right.
 I'm making over the lagoon area in my backyard. I've dug up all the plants in the lagoon and I've transplanted them in the front yard. I'm also pulling up a lot of pirate things I had stuck in the dirt around the plants. This area is now going to be filled with boxes, barrels and trunks. I'm trying to get my yard down to a low maintenance yard! I brought three fountains from the backyard to the front yard and used spray Styrofoam in each one so I could drape some pirate treasure from them-- without using to much treasure. You can see the styrofoam in the bottom part of this fountain.
 Here is another fountain...

I bought this barrel that had a door at the bottom of it. I unscrewed the door completely from the barrel and placed a cat bed inside it. Caute~
This is a planter that is by the step up to my front door. I've got a lot of plants jammed into this one pot, for now they all are happy.

 I've got a long thigh high planter leading up to the front door. I pulled out all the plants that were in there and replaced it with pirate stuff.

I added faux greenery and of course a lot of moss.

There is even some bare spots to add more treasure to this area!

I added some pirate face masks to the star jasmine trellis I created for my wall. The tombstones are there for Halloween...

It is still a work in progress... but it is progressing! I've got to pull up some brick and lay some water lines to add to my drip system to get all the plants on a drip... low to NO maintenance is what I'm going for!*wink*
big hugs,


Card Club

I joined a local card making group called, "Rock, paper, scissors." My friend Sandra hooked me up. Thanks Sandra!  I was happy to see I knew three people in the group already. This group comes together once a month to share techniques and ideas, which is awesome for me because I have no clue what I'm doing! One person brings in card making supplies for everyone to have a "make and take" to create while together as a group.  I am not even going to share my card that I made.... It.Was.Bad....
The prompt for this months card was "animals." I used the technique that they had shown us during the last meeting to create my card. (you didn't have to, but I wanted to try it!) It was easy, you use your embossing heat gun to heat up your card stock paper and draw on the heated paper with a crayon. The crayon obviously melts giving a nice appearance to the colored area... cute. I found a card idea on Pinterest and recreated it. I don't own the cat stamp I used.... I found it online and printed it directly onto card stock. I am so going to jail.

 The hardest part for me was adhering the thin patterned paper to the card stock base. First, I tried spray adhesive-- well, that didn't hold at all. Wha?? Next, I tried Elmer's glue.... that ended up feeling lumpy since the patterned paper was so thin. Blah... I ended up purchasing some double sided sticky tape on a roller which ended up working nicely. I used my scoring board and a needle to create the torn look to each card, the backside of the cat has puffy tape on it to pop it off the card a smidgen.
 To keep the card and envelope together I added a long strip of card stock around each set and used Washi tape to seal it.
I was told that I didn't have to use rubber stamps to create my cards. Whew, that makes me feel better... my stamping skills are awful *wink*
Next months theme is, "Wedding or anniversary." So far~ so fun!
big hugs,


Pirate ship Centerpiece

A friend of mine asked me to make him a ship for a table centerpiece for a rally he is attending.... a ship? could only mean one thing right? A PIRATE SHIP!
I set about looking for ship plans online to use to make a cardboard pirate ship.
Not as easy a task as you'd think... I ended up basically drawing freehand on cardboard from the online patterns I'd seen and tweaked it along the way.

 Here is what I started with.... a very rough ship-- but I could see the potential.
I didn't want to spend a ton of time making this pirate ship-- although it did end up taking me much-much longer than what I had anticipated... so, I opted to give the ships hull an all over texture rather than create long planks along each side. I crumpled up a few sheets of deli wax paper liners and used Modge Podge to adhere it to the ships hull. While still wet, I added a light coat of Modge Podge on top of the papers so that when I applied paint it wouldn't re-wet the paper and make it fall off.

Once the paper had dried, I painted and added trim to the ship. It was looking good but I thought it lacked something.... so, I added some moss. I love how it really ages the ship.

All old pirate ships should have a nautical figurehead right? I was lucky enough to find this little plastic mermaid perfect for the job!
I created a cardboard decorative piece for the front of the ship and attached the mermaid to the center with some hot glue and wire. I used some wire cutters and a razor to cut off some of the bulk of her hair so she would sit a little more flush with the cardboard. Next, I added some deli paper to this piece with Modge Podge and let that dry.
Once dried it was just a matter of trimming off the excess paper and painting it. It is said that a nude or semi-nude woman as a ships figurehead would calm turbulent seas... interesting. Probably slowed down to look at the nude/semi-nude figure!

Next, I addressed the interior of the ship. I dry brushed the deck with some black paint to age it and again added some moss...
I painted the masts and cut white fabric and hot glued and tied a sail to each mast.

For the rear sleeping berth I added some plastic to act as glass in the windows and then trimmed out each window frame.
 I hot glued fabric curtains for some added detail.

I found a little cardboard anchor at one of the hobby stores, I painted it and glued it to one side of the ship.

In order for this pirate ship to represent a group of people who are going to be attending this rally, I decided to cut a lot of gold holographic paper into circles to represent coins and have individuals write small sentiments on each coin and lay them on the map that the pirate ship is sitting upon.
Just enough room to write a few words...
 I think it turned out cute. It is amazing what you can make with one cardboard box isn't it? 
big hugs,


Patio Makeover

I have a large brick patio at the front of my house that had previously been an area filled in with plants and a ginormous stone pine tree planted in the center of it all. The plants had seen better days and the stone pine tree was a hazard just waiting to happen...so it was all removed. I laid the bricks myself many-many years ago, nothing fancy, just a quick way to cover the dirt area. Recently, I've noticed the area was needing to be spruced up a bit.... it was looking pretty ratty. I decided to pull up all of the brick and relay it. I had planned on purchasing plastic molds you lay on the ground and simply lay your brick in them and it spaces them perfectly... but upon ready the reviews of this product, quickly realized it wouldn't work for me because all of my brick are different sizes. Some are really old clay bricks, a lot are newer tumbled kinda-clay but not really brick... all different sizes. Bummer. I kept poking around the internet and read that you can use a small spacer between each brick to over come the different sizes of brick. Brilliant! I cut a few pieces of lattice and used that between the bricks, so far so good! I'm also running drip system tubing under the brick while I'm at it.
Here is the previous running pattern that was laid super close together. It looks ok in this particular area, but as you look further into the patio area the lines start getting crooked due to the different types and sizes of bricks.
This is the look I was going for, much better. Not only was the brick size a problem, but the area was in desperate need of sand to build it up. I used twenty three bags..... wha'?..... I started with four bags thinking--- eek, I bought to much!... Yep, twenty three bags to make it level.
While relaying the brick, I decided to pull out the rose bushes I had against the house and make the planter narrower... and make a diamond grid on the wall and grow Star Jasmine up the diamonds. I measured the wall space and drew my plans onto paper and then transferred the lines to the wall with chalk. Here you can see the lines below....
 I had tick marks on the wall--- and free handing the lines wasn't cutting it, so I used a long 1 x 4 board as a ruler to get straighter lines. I had to get my hubs to draw the tall bits!
We drilled holes into the stucco and put in screws and attached the new trellis with wire. Oh.My.Goodness. Starting to look so good already!! I went in one direction at first.... *swoon*
 Then I had to cut the other directional wire and fit it together in the center to create a nice looking center to each diamond.... easy-peasy... but a little time consuming.
 Of course, I couldn't wait to plant the Star of Jasmine plants along the new diamond trellis! I had bought four and only planted two so far as I didn't want to plant one in full sun. The other plant will have to wait for next weekend when I complete the last diamond shape. I am needing to add some wood trim around the window first-- always something to slow me down! But here is what I had envisioned:
What did I used to create this wire trellis you ask? Can you guess??? It is a 2-1/2" x 10' metal corner bead. This is normally placed on the corners of houses during construction and then they cover it with cement/stucco to create a nice strong corner to the house. I had spotted this years ago at the hardware store and thought it would make a cute trellis and it does! (I spray painted it black)
The front patio is far from being completed. I don't know about you, but working around my house is like standing dominoes in a row... you change one thing... then have to change something else.... then you might was well do something over there too. Eiy-eiy-eiy....I guess I should rename this post, "Starting my Patio Makeover."
big hugs,


Works in Progress

We are having an end of summer heat wave here in California. Blah. It has been 104 to 109 this past week... with another week of yucky temperatures to come. I guess I'm longing for colder weather-- because I've started a lot of new crocheting projects. I saw online someone had made little birds out of small crocheted circles. I thought they were super cute....yep... this is as far as I've gotten with those....yawn....
I then spotted a small stool online covered with a crocheted medallion of sorts. That was a fun project for a little while... yep, got bored with that... Had.To.Stop.
 My daughter had mentioned that it looked like a soft Frisbee- that is all the rage. So, I googled it... and of course I had to make at least one right? But first I had to make a pattern...
It was a lot of trial and error with creating my own pattern. But after ripping out stitches and reworking it I finally had something that looked like a soft Frisbee.....
Well, you know how it goes, I just can't make one of anything. So far, I've made six... 
Surprisingly I'm enjoying making these. I did fling one down the hallway in my house to see if it would fly... I think it flies better than a plastic Frisbee. I've got plans to make some in my grandkids school colors and whatever other colors they would like.

With the extremely hot temperatures outside I've been wetting down my outdoor kitties with wet face cloths to help them tolerate the heat. I was worried about my feral cat Barney because he pants when he is hot. None of my other cats do that. He and I have become fast friends and he let me soak him down good-style, I'm talking drenched. I did this every couple of hours and then noticed he was taking the matter in his own paws... and was rolling around in a wet/muddy spot caused by my drip system.

I am in the process of pulling up the brick patio by my front door and relaying it... that is, before the intense heat wave started. This is one outdoor project that is on hold until it gets considerably cooler!
 Barney is enjoying laying in the cool mud... By morning he will be spotless clean once again and then throughout the day he will get muddier and muddier as the day goes on. Pretty smart kitty~ Here he is giving the other cat a Raspberry....
Barney eats pretty good at my house. Of course he gets wet and dry cat food, but he also gets cooked chicken and tri-tip. I normally feed my cats on vintage china plates but they are all in the dishwasher.
I'm able to pick up Barney now and set him on my lap for about a minute at a time. He still gets nervous if I make eye contact with him when I am holding him. He acts like he is going to scratch me so I have to make sure to look away... funny ol' cat.... it is a slow process but worth it.
big hugs,



What a lazy summer I've been having... emphasis  on LAZY.  I feel like I've not gotten anything of tremendous importance done.... wait, I have been spending long-lazy-afternoons sitting on the grass petting my feral cat Barney. I've also been teaching him how to play with toys. He is picking that up ever-so-slowly. Barney is becoming quite friendly (to me anyway) and loves a belly rub, which is very surprising for a feral cat to roll over on his back with his tummy exposed. I guess I can say that I have been "working very hard" at taming a wild beast! Along with all that hard work I've been doing *wink* I have been acquiring more treasures. I hit the mother load of lanterns all at one yard sale. These three... caute~
 Plus these five....
 plus these four....
 All twelve for only $20. I also got another mannequin/dress form torso for only $5.00, I think it is from an Eddie Bauer store. I'm thinking about recover the form with burlap.... which will be adorable.
 Loads of junk jewelry.... half a box full...
 a bag full...

and a whole bunch of other containers of jewelry too! All of the jewelry combined was only $15. I've gone through it and I'd say about 40% was usable to me, the other 60% I'll bag up and resell at a yard sale.
I also bought a HUGE lot of brand new jewelry findings. I always think I need it ALL!!!.... but, when I finally go through it, I find myself thinking, "I'll never use this!" I guess I could fire up my Etsy site and resell it there... because you know... I. Had. To. Have. It. All.

There are some Mad Hatter charms, a lot of bezels, beautiful beads, rhinestones, skull beads...on and on...
There are a few things I'm not sure I'm going to use/keep.... like all of the different colored chains and clasps.... No harm in adding them to my every growing stash- for now anywho~
Some of the beads and charms are so darn cute! Other things, all usable, but I have no use for- but "had" to have. What did I pay for all of these fabulous new jewelry findings? Only $25 bucks.
Sounds pricey, but just one strand of beads had a price tag of $10.00 on it and there was three of those in the lot..... Out of all of these fun items I'd say that I am keeping about half of it. Still a great value :-)

Well, I had better get offline and get to work... and by work, I mean go pet my feral cat Barney. *wink*
big hugs,