Barrels of Fun

Last summer I bought eight "Barrel of Monkeys" games for $2.00 for the lot. At .25¢ each, I figured I couldn't pass them up.

 Recently, I decided I was going to use them as part of a shooting gallery game I am making in my back yard. (using rubber band guns) After emptying the barrels of the monkeys, I used E6000 glue to attach the lids permanently to the rest of the barrel. Next, I spray painted them all brown. I needed a few coats of paint to cover the red, brown, blue and yellow colors of the original barrels.
Once the brown paint had dried, I then rubbed black paint over each one to make the wood grain in the barrels planks show up. I then applied some silver metallic paint to the barrels metal bands. Lastly, I coated each one with some glossy clear sealant. Oh. My. Gosh. I love them! I need more!

Here they are set up in front of a striped game backdrop, which hopefully will keep the rubber bands from going all over the place. I'll let my two grand kids set up the shooting gallery any way they like when they play with it. These eight barrels are going to be fabulous for placing things at different heights to be knocked down.

I have set up the shooting gallery in front of a gate under an arch of star jasmine... a perfect spot for any rubber band marksmen. *wink*
big hugs,



I found a lot of treasures this past weekend. I found a lot of silver plated silverware. These were .25¢ each!

A lot of jewelry...

A LOT!... The really good stuff is at the bottom of these containers. Good stuff settles *wink* I bought all of this jewelry for only $15.00!

And what is treasure without some pirate treasures? Wooden items for the tiki store...
 an oriental statue and some crates... 
and more lanterns...
skulls, cups, pirate loot...
A ships sign...
and a long carved mask too!

The block sales are plentiful these days... I better stock up on some more sun screen for the upcoming long walks through treasure filled streets!
big hugs,


First Place WINNER

This past weekend at the swap meet I came across some horse ribbons in a box. It was love at first sight!
I picked up one out of the box and swooned... saying how beautiful I thought they were. I asked how much the box of ribbons were.... and I was told, "Put it back in the box." 

Then he put the lid on the box of ribbons, and said, "How about a buck?" *gasp* I couldn't get the dollar out fast enough! So now I am the proud owner of a box full of vintage horse show ribbons from 1946 -1947! Sixty eight year old horse show ribbons! There are first place ribbons...
 Second place ribbons...

third place ribbons...
fourth place ribbons..
fifth place ribbons...

and a special red, white and blue ribbon and a director ribbon as well.
Had I not been so giddy with the offer to purchase all of these for only a dollar I would have counter offered him the sum of .50¢.... this is a guy we buy from regularly and he would have gotten a big kick out of me doing that. Most of the time he does this big production of flipping a coin to either go with the price he has set, or the price I want to pay. Either way, I always end up with the best deals. *wink*
big hugs,


Pirate Costume

This is the pirate costume I picked up for my 5 year old grand daughter. Online store image below...

When I first showed it to her, she laughed and told me that she wanted short sleeves on her pirate outfit--- so of course, I made them shorter.... and did some other minor alterations. *wink*
I added some pink sequin trim to the neckline and the sleeves. Along the waist I stitched on some belly dancer chains with coins on it.  Now she jingles when she walks... super cute!

In the center I added some pink rhinestones for a little pop of color down the front of the dress.

The hat was needing a little "somethin'-somethin' " too, so I added a red and black feather and a large gold tone flower to one side. Ah, much better!
 Little Chloe Rose approves~

big hugs,


Backyard Games

I wanted a pop of color in my backyard in my outdoor game area... I made some back boards for various games and painted them with red and white stripes. I aged the boards and added some black to the edges to really dirty them up.
I made a total of four-- and I'm thinking I could use a bunch more. *wink*

I have three benches where the games will be set up... I am hoping this will help keep the games orderly since there is going to be a lot of kids tossing balls, coins, rats, birds etc while playing these games.
 I also created a couple more games.... One is, toss a rat through the port hole. Also, the small rusty pie tins shown behind the rat toss game will be another game it will be laying flat when played where the kids will toss plastic food and silverware into the bowls.
Lastly, I created a ships mast where the kids will toss small stuffed birds into the crows nest. The dollar store had a lot of stuffed animals recently and amongst them was a lot of really cute birds-- score!

The large bamboo covered barrel is the fishing hole... which is always a popular game as kids love water. I had plans to build a skee ball game. I made a prototype out of cardboard and it turned out fabulously-- but I'm running out of time so it will have to be a big reveal for next  years pirate party! Twenty three more days....
big hug,


Making Faux Bricks

I have a lot of bricks in my backyard and since I don't know how and don't have the desire to learn to cut bricks, I decided to make some faux bricks to fill in some spots. I use mortar as my go to cement of choice. No rocks and it just seems to be all around a better choice. I cut strips of cardboard to keep the mortar off of the surrounding bricks and other things I don't want it adhering to.... then just simply pour in the mortar and let it set up.
Once the mortar has set up I pull out the cardboard and just slather on some paint. I use a brighter than what you would normally use because the sun bleaches it out to a perfect shade in a few weeks.

I mix the paint with a lot of water as I paint the faux brick. This helps it have a graduated paint effect for a better looking paint job.
Once I've painted the faux brick, I quickly toss on some dirt to the newly painted area and rub it in.
 I do this to several at a time...

Once you sweep away the dirt, the paint is dry and your bricks are all done.
Here are some more faux bricks I've made. The paint has already faded on these and they seem to match the surrounding real bricks pretty darn good... The triangle and pie shapes are the faux bricks

Here is a little one with the cardboard still needing to be pulled out...

I still have a few more faux bricks to paint, as you can see below.... It won't take long at all to do, I'm sure much faster than cutting a real brick!

Here are some random photos of my back yard... I recently bought a bunch of pond rocks and placed them in my yard.
I think it really sets off everything nicely.
An added bonus is it helps keep the black bark in place.
I also fired up the rock fountain that is in the lagoon area. I am needing to find some algae solution that is pet safe so I don't have to clean it out this summer.
 I'm having a lot of fun in my yard!
 Thirty days... thirty days... thirty days.... until the pirate party! *gasp*
big hugs,