Thursday, July 12, 2012

An Arbor and Birdhouse in the Secret Garden

I was going to write about these separately this week, but time got away from me so you’re getting them all at once. 

How’s that for a bargain?

2 projects in one sitting!

You probably already saw the birdhouse, I bought it at TJ Max this spring.  It came on a metal post.

I showed it in some of my earlier reveals of the landscaping.

It was just holding a spot until I could use it where I really wanted to.

I removed the house from the attached metal post and instead attached it to this one.


The wooden post is from my salvaged porch parts.  This one was odd, looks like it was made to be a corner support, with 3 sides.   

It’s the blue piece leaning against the fence with red trim in the “before” photo below.


It was really tall and I immediately saw it in the center of the garden with a birdhouse on top.

A metal post stake pounded into the ground and a short 4x4 support the piece.


So there it is. This one was easy peasy.  I stained everything white. (I wasn’t very careful on the birdhouse, as you will notice)


And it has occupants in the top apartment already!



Oh, by the way, that sign Deb made for me is in Italian; I forgot to mention that when I showed it to you.

It says, “My Secret Garden”.

Thanks Mom, for reminding me to tell everyone. 

Now for project #2, the arbor.

Remember this spring I found these at the curb?

I knew they would be perfect in my Secret Garden.

Last week when Deb was still here we spent our last day together working on this.

It was pretty simple.  First we had to stabilize the old pieces, the nails had rusted out and it was pretty rickety.

Some glue and deck screws fixed that problem.

A piece of old wooden ladder was used for joining the sides together at the top.

Lord knows I had plenty of old ladders to choose from!

We used the taller one you can see on the left in the picture below.

It was just right.


I had some decorative wood corner brackets in my stash ($1 each from Real Deals) they dressed it up nicely.

After staining all the parts we walked it over to it’s new home. 

See the support bar in the picture below? 

That was to keep it from breaking apart as we carried it.


Once we got it there we discovered 2 problems.

First, it was too tall!  At 9 ft high the proportions were all wrong.

Second, It looked pretty plain.

Something was missing.

I left it there a few days and tackled it again on the weekend.

Only this time I didn’t have my helper.

I took some 1x6’s and just cut them down to size.

After tracing a curve in one end I cut it out with the jigsaw.  Then I traced the pattern on the other ends and cut them out.



After cutting a foot off the bottom to make it shorter I moved it back over to the garden entrance.

This time though, I left it on the outer side of the gate.



It just felt right.


Then I cut out a circle in the gate. 

I was thinking it would make the gate look more inviting, maybe tie it in with the arbor.

I’m actually not too sure if it works for me yet. 

Poor Mike is beside himself over that hole.



I used a rusty barrel ring to measure out the circle.  Then I inserted it into the hole to stabilize the boards.


I’m not done with that part yet, that will be another project.


Arbor #1, is done!


I can check that one off the list.

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Monday, July 9, 2012

Deb was here!

Last week I posted that Deb from Proper Prim was on her way to visit for a few days. 

I had taken some vacation days from work so had 5 days off in a row. 

They pulled in on Friday afternoon and the fun began.


I was waiting in the driveway with camera in hand.


She even came bearing gifts.  She made me this sign for my Secret Garden.



Isn’t she the best?


We had some pretty late nights, sitting out at the bar until the wee hours of the morning.   

Time goes by so fast when you’re having fun!

On two nights we had more friends and family over.  I was so glad my kids got to meet Deb.

What a great time we had! I was so sorry to see her go.


Now that she’s gone, everywhere I look I can see Deb’s handiwork.  She is such a wiz at putting vignettes together!

The girl just doesn’t stop, picking up something from one area of the yard and arranging it somewhere else, making it look like it was always there.

She always has her magic tool bag nearby, with the drill and level right on top.







Mike and I had to play in a golf tournament on Wednesday morning, so we said our goodbyes before we left.

When we got back the driveway seemed so empty with the motor home gone.

We went out back and lo and behold, that little stinker had left us a new clock and thermometer set on the back wall of the garage.


Now when we’re up talking ‘til the wee hours of the morning we’ll know exactly how late it is!

Thank you Deb and Dennis, we love having you here.

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Friday, June 29, 2012

Deb’s on the way!

I’m so excited!  My pal Deb, of Proper Prim, is on her way to visit for a few days.  She hasn’t been here in 2 years and I can’t wait to see her and Dennis pull into the driveway in their home on wheels.

I’ve promised her I wouldn’t make her bail me out of any messes this time, and no more ugly lamp challenges either.

You know that lamp she reworked for me is still going stong out by the gazebo.  It makes me smile every time I look at it.

On the home front I have some news.

My job has changed.  I’m no longer a road warrior. 

Yep, I’m turning in the company van and trading it for a desk.

Not sure how I’ll adjust to it, but the plus side is the hours are much more regular (and fewer) than what I was doing.

Next I’ll need to get a new car. 

Oh the possibilities!

Shall I get a large vehicle like my van with a big interior for hauling my curbfinds home

or a teeny tiny one, like a mini cooper

to keep me from over-indulging in my curbshopping obsession?

I  can’t decide.

We’ve got 2 weeks to figure it out.

But I won’t be car shopping this weekend.

Nope, I’ll be hanging out with my pal Deb.

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