Re-purposed Rocking Chair

I’ve been wanting to redo our front porch furniture for a while now. After all, what we had out there was a very, very old rocking swing that was looking pretty bad. The paint has been fading, splinters are coming out and it just is looking kind of decrepit, maybe it’s because we’ve had for over twenty years now. Alas though, we aren’t getting rid of it. My husband has taken it apart and is sanding each of wood plank then we are going to paint it a nice bright red an put it on the back deck for extra seating. It still swings really nicely and my husband just can’t part with it.

We’ve already got our first piece, the 10-gallon milk can that’s been re-purposed into a nice little table.

P1010429 It’s really cute and very inexpensive compared to true outdoor furniture.

My husband and I were walking the dog through our neighborhood and passed by a yard sale and saw this torn up rocking chair – she wanted $10 but we talked her down to $8 (hey, they expect some dickering right?)

P1010403 P1010411 It’s completely missing the bottom, which used to be some sort of wicker weaving. I took my X-acto knife and cleaned the seat up and then sanded it down so there isn’t any more sharp pieces poking out.

P1010413 After putting a coat of primer on it (we used the extra we had from our front door), I used some spackling paste on the back of the chair where there was an engraved design to cover it up. Then my husband sanded it down so it was nice and smooth. Then, I painted it bright blue (again, the same as the front door).

P1010430 My husband added some very strong wood to the bottom (he had some scrap from another project) and now it’s ready for the seat cushion.

P1010432 I picked up a 2″ foam square and a remnant of brown vinyl from Jo-Ann Fabrics. After cutting out the foam cushion I had no idea how I was going to cut out a perfect circle from the vinyl, then my husband said he had something I could use. He brought this in from the garage for me to try, some sort of woodworking compass which worked out perfectly.

P1010433 I really couldn’t think of anyway, other than Velcro, to attach the cushion to the chair without making a big mess, or making it semi-permanent, neither of which I was going for here. After all, this will be in all kinds of weather, and I’m sure it will need replaced at some point.

P1010436 After attaching the cushion down with the Velcro, I started systematically putting in thumb tacks around the vinyl. Once I finished with the tacks I trimmed the vinyl. If you look closely you’ll see the tacks aren’t perfectly aligned but I still like the way it turned out (hey, I never said I was a professional).

P1010439 Ta-DA….here’s the final product. I even took some craft paint with a stencil and painted a little flower on it so it would sort-of match the milk can. I love how it turned out. Not only does it brighten up my front porch, it’s functional, and it was very inexpensive to repurpose. Not only that, but we’ve kept something else from our over filled landfills (which makes me feel really good).

P1010435 P1010437 I used hammered decorative nails for the seat cushion and this stencil with a stippling brush and “Red Apple” Apple Barrel paint to make the stencil on the back of the chair.

P1010431  P1010438 On a side note -we also re-purposed this old cabinet, I found at another yard sale, while walking Brownie. It turned out great. We use it for Brownie’s food on the bottom shelf and we bought two baskets for 50% off at Michaels and I’m using those to store plastic ware for easy access to pack our lunches. We just love how it turned out.

Hope you can find something to re-purpose too!~Bam

Metal Milk Can Repurposed

I’ve been working on the front porch, and after painting our door a pretty bright blue I wanted to add a smaller table and then get a couple of chairs to hang out in. I love sitting on the front porch, and here in Indiana we have pretty nice weather three out of four seasons.

I’ve been checking out some posts on Pinterest (my new obsession) and I found some really cute ideas for these old 10-gallon metal milk cans. This got me to thinking about doing this myself for our front porch. Repurposing is a great way to keep things out of our landfills (just my own opinion). At first I started doing some searching on Ebay and then Craig’s List but I just couldn’t find anything that was in my price range.

IMG_0288 My very first baby-sitter made this for my Mom, about thirty-five years ago. I was so bummed that she wouldn’t let me have it, but then they wouldn’t have anywhere to keep their umbrellas. Oh well…

My husband and I decided to take a Saturday morning and go to a local antique shop, the Southport Antique Mall. This place has so many cool things, and the one thing I really like is that almost everything there is really truly an antique. Not the same think as an indoor flea market, where there’s just a lot of random junk.

P1010396 This is what we found. They had a few of these in the shop but only one at $20…I knew the first moment I laid eyes on it, it was mine. We brought it home, cleaned it really well and then my husband set it up for me to spray paint it.

P1010398 I chose a nice light yellow from Rustoleum. One can did three complete coats, which was plenty to cover up all of that gold.

P1010405 I picked out several designs from Cricut, cut them out on the burgundy sticker paper and put it on my milk can. I used the hummingbird cutout from “Pagaoda”, the butterfly from “Paper Lace” and the flowers from “Cindy Loo”. I was going to cut out a dragonfly also but then I decided I didn’t want that much on it. I will say that the sticky paper isn’t very sticky and I put three coats of clear shellac on it to help it stick. If I had to do it over again I might have put a thin layer of clue on it before applying it, but it still worked, I just had to work with it a bit more than I thought I would.

P1010402 My husband and I found this round table top wood from our local Home Depot and it was exactly what I was looking for. I finished with Minwax “Honey 272”.

P1010429 I absolutely love how this turned out and the whole project was less than $40.

Happy Crafting~bam

The Bright Front Door

The porch and front door area of our home needed an overhaul and that’s just what I’ve been working on.

We had our last paint job on the home about eight years ago when we first moved in. Let me tell you the “smurf” look doesn’t look well on a home and that’s exactly how our house was painted. Bright blue with bright white trim. All I can say is no, no, no…don’t ever do that to your home. We picked out a neutral shade of light gray and kept it the same color this year. Even though we had our home painted back then, we never did anything with the front door and it would starting to look mighty shabby.

P1010385 The stain is starting to wear off and it just looks bad. Really bad. I had a inclination to paint the front door some bright color that complements the rest of the house and so off to the hardware store my husband and I went.

There are so many different options for exterior paint. Just getting through them all can make your head hurt.  Not only is there special paint for doors and trim now, some come in premixed colors or you can choose your own color and have it mixed in to a base color.

We had a lot of ideas of colors but basically after watching some interesting videos on YouTube for front door painting we narrowed it down to – bright blue, bright red, or a satin maroon color. Our home has a lot of red brick in it and I really wanted to door to pop, so we ended up going with the blue and I absolutely love the way it has turned out.

I never really figured out what type of material the door is made from, but I think it might be some sort of processed wood. It’s definitely not metal, but the paint we bought works on pretty much anything.

P1010410 Rust-Oleum Painters’ Touch in blue.

Because we have a dog and cat that might think it’s okay to make a run for it while the door would be open, my husband thought it would just be better to take it off of it’s hinges and put up a make-shift door until I was done with it. He ended up stapling a large piece of tarp in the doorway and then put a large trash can next to it so Brownie wouldn’t be able to push through it, but it was fine. (Brownie didn’t even notice the door was missing.)

P1010387 Once the horses were on another tarp and the door was in place we painted a thin coat of primer on it, let it try and then started out on the blue paint. It was love at first sight. We ended up putting on two full coats of paint, then after it had been hung back up and rested for a bit I put on another light coat. 

P1010395 What a difference – wow!! We had our parents over for dinner later that night and they all loved it.

I’m so happy we choose blue~Bam

Fresh Tomato and Mozzarella Salad

We’ve had a good turn out of Sun Sugar tomatoes and basil in our raised garden this summer and I made this delicious, healthy salad with them and I thought I would share this recipe.

20150728_191730 Simple, healthy ingredients.

1/2 cup Sun Sugar tomatoes – sliced in half

1/2 cup Mozzarella Pearls (I used BelGioioso)

1 Tbsp Olive Oil

1/2 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar (I like a minimal amount of vinegar in my dressings – feel free to add more to taste)

1 Tbsp fresh Basil – sliced chiffonade style (rolled tightly and thinly sliced)

salt and pepper to taste

20150728_193223 A delicious, healthy, quick salad to take to work for lunch and as an added bonus it’s gluten free. I don’t have celiac disease so I’m not overly concerned with eating gluten, however, I do believe I feel less sluggish when I eat less gluten. Loved it!!!

For different variations – I’ve add fresh sliced cucumber, or a packet of Mediterranean tuna (it’s one of my favorites).

Enjoy the freshness of summer~Bam.

Summer Flowers

I love having flowers in my front yard, especially right by our front door. I thought I’d share some of my favorites. 

P1010376 I have a huge mum, yellow coreopsis and some random snap dragons right at the front door. I love coreopsis – I have had these for about six years now and they bloom all summer long. Mine has tiny little yellow flowers, but they come in several different colors. I think yellow flowers are just so cheerful. My mum is huge – I planted it last fall and it’s just taken over the front but it’s so pretty. I wish it hadn’t bloomed so early though. I like mums to bloom in the fall.

P1010390 Aren’t these so pretty? They’re so delicate.

P1010389 My yellow snap dragons are mixed in with the yellow coreopsis.

P1010379 P1010378 Here on the other side of my coreopsis I have these pretty bright purple snap dragons. These even have some white and a wee little bit of yellow mixed in the very middle.

P1010380 P1010384 Further out at the front of my drive way I have two shades of pink snap dragons. They’re just so pretty.

P1010392 These cute little daisies I planted on the other side of my coreopsis at the end of the walkway. My sister-in-law gave these to me this year for Mother’s Day, and I love the color of these. They are a delicate, light pink shade. So pretty.

P1010383  P1010381 And lastly, my Surprise Lily’s. I just love these flowers. They come in up huge leaves early spring, then they die off and I just cut them down to the ground and a few months later these beautiful, delicate pink and yellow flowers pop up. (hence the name) They are also called Resurrection Lily’s.

As I’ve gotten older I have purposefully chosen flowers and bulbs that grow easy, and are very low maintenance. I don’t want to have to do a lot of work to make my yard look nice. I love having lots of color by my front door. I just couldn’t imagine a yard with nothing but evergreens, and thankfully I don’t have to.

Enjoy some summer color~Bam.

Raised Garden Update #2

It’s the middle of summer and we’ve had a lot of rain. Rain, rain and more rain. I think if someone built an underground pipeline from the Midwest to California they would never have a drought problem again, that’s how much rain we’ve had here.

The garden is doing okay, but still not as great as I would have liked. The lettuce kind of shriveled out, and we’ve gotten very little peppers out of the garden this year. There just wasn’t enough hot weather and sunshine to match the amount of rain we had early on. As always, the weather plays an important part in how good things grow or don’t grow. The plants that do well with a lot of rain -tomatoes, okra, green beans have done really well. The root vegetables I have planted have done well too because the garden bed drains from the bottom and so far that’s been working out well.

We’ve had some dry weather the last couple of weeks but still not really a lot of full on sunshine.

20141013_180641 These are the only peppers I’ve gotten – two medium green peppers and one Jalapeño, so sad.

20150728_192539  On the other hand, our carrots have done better than last years. I just love pulling the carrots out of the dirt. They smell wonderful and are so sweet right out of the garden.

20150816_084123 This is our first year to grow okra…I had no idea okra was so easy to grow. I’m definitely going to be adding more okra to next years garden.

20150816_083725 The tomatoes are growing really well too.

20150816_083740 Unfortunately, some critter has decided to eat them. I haven’t been able to figure out what’s getting to them – squirrels or more than likely a racoon, but it’s driving me nuts. It’s gotten two of my Heirloom tomatoes already.

I would love to have comments from any other raised bed gardeners, to see what I can improve on for next year.

Still enjoying the garden~Bam

Raised Garden 2015 – update

Well, as I’ve said before this is a work in progress, but here’s what it looks like now.

P1010355 It looks nice and full but looks can be deceiving….right in the middle it seems like nothing is growing very good. I suspect it’s because in the very beginning my husband didn’t realize I’d already planted seeds and then laid some extra pots in the dirt and kind of rearranged what was underneath the dirt – but I could be completely wrong and it’s something else.

P1010357 The peas are looking good…I’ve already started pulling the fat ones off and putting them in the freezer for later this year.

P1010356 We’ve planted Kentucky Wonder pole beans two years in a row now and they’ve been exceptional. I fresh froze them last year and fixed some for Christmas Eve dinner, and they were delicious. In my opinion they are a good hardy bean with full flavor even after being frozen for half a year.

P1010364 I planted the carrots in the exact same square as last years carrots (right next to the peas) and they’ve done really well this year again. I’ll be fresh freezing these too, for Christmas Eve dinner again.

P1010366 P1010365 Kale and lettuce. I planted these next to each other. I planted both of them in two squares each, but, for some reason only one square has done well the other kale didn’t come up at all and the other lettuce is up but not as “happy” (kind of started late and not as full).

P1010359 This is the second year I’ve planted “Sun Sugar” tomatoes also, and I just love these little guys. They are the prettiest color of yellow-orange, very sweet and perfect for eating raw in a salad, with cottage cheese, in a Caprese salad, or just as a little snack on their own. So healthy and deliciously juicy.

P1010368 Yay for radishes…Love these little guys too.

P1010363 P1010362 The Rosemary and Lemon Verbena are doing fantastic. I love fresh Rosemary, it has such a hardy flavor. I especially like it with baked chicken. My Lemon Verbena has really filled out too, It was one little stem when I first planted it.

P1010361 And lastly, but worth a mention, my Chive head, ha ha ha. I love a little whimsy and this would be it. They’re really frail right now but, in a few more weeks they’ll be a great addition to add to a fresh salad.

Happy Gardening~Bam