Tuesday, 27 March 2012

I'm on fire!

Yep! I'm SuperWoman! This weekend I managed to get to a ton of my current projects. And it feels good!

Since I plan to blog about each project in more detail when they're finished, I thought I'd share a sneak peak just cause I'm so pleased with myself.

Above is our new/old front door. This is stage 3 of the door. Its now had the hardware removed and have been sanded on both sides (the other side being mostly orange).

I also got started on the three dining chairs I got for $5 each. Above is one of them, with a 50s vinyl seat and a missing back slat. One other has the same seat and all its slats. And the third had a fabric badly replaced seat which I have removed and have started the process of restoring.

I also started on another chair. This one cost me $1 from the tip shop. I know! I couldn't believe it! You never see these old chairs (in sitting safe order!) for that much. I had to grab it. I had some trouble getting the 104 layers of paint off it, but I managed and now its ready for a fine sand and paint.

Then there's the new/old kitchen table. The one where I replaced the stuffed up top with an old shed door. That needs more work but the basics are done. I'm so excited.

But don't think I was slack and stopped there! I worked on a birdhouse, a vase, our firewood box, made muffins, entertained, worked on horses, did the requisite multiple loads of washing and groomed a dog. (Not my own fuzzy faced beasts unfortunately. I had to draw the line somewhere!).

So, I feel good as I go into another week of work.


Sunday, 25 March 2012

e.t. phone home

Today, finally, was a productive day. We've been so busy lately with work and visitors that it seems my life has become anything but productive.

After a run to the hardware store for some plywood for the mudroom floor and a good start to 5 loads of washing (where on earth do that many clothes come from?) I got to do some real work!

As opposed to work for someone else, or computer work.

Firstly we got to do some work with Dancer. She's been very wary of lifting her back feet - she leans onto Wayne and snatches them away in fear of losing her balance. Today we tied her up and, using a rope and some cuffs (technical horse training gear), worked on lifting her legs - Wayne in the danger zone and me on the other side of a post hanging onto the rope.

We were both thrilled with how she went. After a few minutes of panic at being cornered and having rope around her legs she started giving her legs and letting Wayne lift them forward and back. Excellent work! Not a single kick. When we first got her she'd let fly every spook she got. Tomorrow we hope the farrier is able to trim her back feet for the first time.

After giving her an apple and lots of pats, I got to work sanding an old feed box Wayne had which we've decided to use as our firewood box. Its going to live on the front porch which is exposed to the weather (no roof on that part yet!) so the box needed a new coat of paint to protect it from the elements. I gave it a quick sand and put on the first of 2 coats of paint. What colour you ask? Antique White USA of course. Mainly cause I have tons of the stuff in exterior (and interior) paint. I'll finish that off tomorrow and I'll get my trusty man to fill it with firewood. 

I got the new/old front door out onto the little porch of the casita and sanded the inner side. I'd already removed the hardware so I was able to sand it pretty well and remove all the old flaking white paint. I then chipped away at all the glue and broken glass on the panel bits so we can put in new glass.

Once I decide on a lockset and handle for the door I can bog up the unwanted holes and paint it! Oh... and then get the glazier to put in new glass of course.

Still, I was very excited by my work.

While I was out there sanding for what seemed like hours, using my left hand as the main sander hand to spare my right (which is a problem hand with its constant aches and pains) I wondered where Wayne had got to. I knew he was around somewhere but I couldn't see him and I couldnt hear him. When he's working in the shed I can usually hear him hammering away and swearing. Today there was a strange silence.

Ok. I'll go with the flow. I did my work on the door, brought in the washing, got onto the computer to check mail. And then I heard Wayne calling me.

You know how you can always tell by the sound of a dog's bark what they're barking at? For instance, you can always tell if its a stranger at the gate, someone on the road, the horses at the fence, or a chicken in the yard - and you respond accordingly.

This afternoon when I heard Wayne calling for me I knew he had something to show me.

When I went outside this is what I saw:

Wayne's obviously been playing with his welder. Isn't it gorgeous? So cute in its aggressive little way.

I love it when Wayne gets to be creative.

I better go have a shower and rest up my arm. Tomorrow is another big day. Hopefully I can move my other projects along a bit further, or, dare I even dream it... finish one of them!


I blame my brother

A long long time ago, I shared a bedroom with my younger brother Peter. Obviously, like most young siblings, there came a time when my younger brother became my worst enemy instead of my closest friend. At that time, sharing a bedroom with a BOY, much less a younger brother, was something I definitely did NOT enjoy.

During that time my brother also learned how to do things to annoy me.

For one thing he loved raw onions. I hated them. (Still do in fact, probably due to childhood trauma). He used raw onions to his advantage as much as he could, eating them then breathing in my general direction. Yeech.

He also learned to burp. Loud. And long. He could burp the alphabet and say 'Hello, how are you?' in a burp.

Charming huh?

He'd burp at the table after mom and dad left us to clean up, resulting in me calling him 'sewer breath' among other affectionate nicknames.

Unfortunately, he also learned to combine his two hobbies: eating raw onion and burping, thus making my life totally miserable.

He'd eat a plateful of raw onion with dinner, then he'd go into the bedroom before bedtime and burp over my bed, leaving a lingering aroma of onion burp to settle over my bed.

I was not pleased.

See... Peter, like most men, can burp on cue. I never learned how to do that. I'd drink a coke, swallow air for all I was worth, only to bring it back up in a pitiful little 'bfp' instead of his roaring 'BURRRRRRRRRRRP'.

Then, one day, I have no idea how it happened, but we were sitting there at the table when suddenly I felt an erruption coming. I let it gather momentum, growing like a snowball as it rose from my very depths...and let it fly.

My brother almost fell off his chair. His eyes about popped out of their sockets. Not only was it big and loud with admirable reverb, but it came out of his prissy sister!

Over the next few weeks, and years really, I've had the fortune to overhear my brother in conversations with friends - you know, the boys will be at a party or in a pub and one of them will burp and the others will make admiring comments... then Peter will inevitably say 'Man, that was nothing! You should hear my sister burp! She can rattle the plates in the cabinets!'

I'm so proud.

I'd finally earned my brother's admiration.

However... I do blame my brother. Cause since then, burping became a kind of secret pleasure of mine. In company I've always held back, playing at being ladylike. But in private I'm sure I've managed to break a few records. Only my dogs had been witness to my growing talent in that area till recently. They generally take it in their stride, but sometimes "The Burp" will cause one of them to start and fall off a chair.

I've always felt I could share who I truly am with Wayne. He, being a man, has never been shy about burping in my presence and admiring the decibels he can achieve. I felt that I had finally found someone who, loving me as I am, would appreciate my full range of talents, so...

I came out of the closet!

I no longer hide my satisfaction of a well formed burp. I share it with Wayne who I can rely on to appreciate it fully.

"Well brought up. Pity you weren't."

I'm proud to say that in a contest of who can burp loudest or longest, I'm the hands down winner. However, I still can't not burp on cue, so I lose points there.

Sometimes I think Wayne wishes I had kept some mystery about me, particularly about that part of me. The other day when I burped in the car he clutched his ear screaming "You busted my eardrum! I'm deaf!"

He wishes.

Still. I blame my brother. He's the one who planted the seed that burping can be a pleasurable hobby. And pushing it underground for so long only allowed it to gain strength and momentum.

Peter, you'd be proud. (And slightly ashamed).


Saturday, 17 March 2012

DIY - paint it white

Since this last week has been flat out work-wise and I don't have anything new to share, I thought I'd share my kitchen make-over in my house in Fentonbury.

It wasn't the first house I rennovated, that prize goes to my house in Melbourne. But unless I can find the photos for that rennovation it will forever remain a mystery.

The house in Fentonbury however, was recent enough that I have all the photos on cd so I get to bore you with how I managed to take my kitchen from this

to this

When I bought the house I fell in love with it despite the fact that I hate pine. I loved the space of the kitchen. And I loved the white old country style sink.

Ok... so it didn't have a drainboard, and, when you don't have a dishwasher, you kinda need a drainboard. But I solved that problem by buying a plastic drainboard from Howard Storage World. Problem solved.

To be honest, I'd much rather have that sink here, now, instead of the single tub double drainboard sink we have in our current kitchen. I hate that.

Anyway, first thing I did when I moved into Fentonbury was to change the tap in the kitchen. I hate those low taps which you can't get the kettle or a big pot under unless the sink is empty (who's sink is always empty? Not mine...)

I put in a nice, high gooseneck tap. I have no memory of how I actually did it so I can do it again here, but I did do it myself.

So... here are some photos of what it looked like when I first moved in. Full of packing boxes to start with...

Then tidier, but oh so dark with all the pine.... From the living room, which was all white back then, the kitchen looked like a gloomy cave even though it had a skylight.

The breakfast bar was really wierd. It was low so that you had to use normal chairs to sit at it, not stools... which meant you were really low compared to the bench.

(The 'rail' to the right of the photo isn't built-in... it was my cot side solution to keeping dogs out of the living room at the time.)

Among other things, there were 3 cupboards that didn't have doors. On the plus side, my microwave fit perfectly into one of them!

Luckily, the floor was perfect.Polished tassie oak floorboards. I didn't need to do anything to that.

Another plus - the bench top was gorgeous. Also tassie oak. Beautiful.

I did a few little things to make the room look better till I got the courage to take the plunge and really change things. I removed the little shelves from one side of the sink and moved them to the large blank wall on the breakfast bar side. I added a few more shelves to display my collectables and to hold the coffee and sugar.

I put an Ikea bathroom/towel metal shelf above the corner near the stove to hang pots from. And I put an old bathroom cabinet I'd re-done and repurposed on the wall to hold spices.

The cabinet is solid tassie oak with a king billy pine door that I found at a tip shop for about $5. That's before they started charging like bulls. I removed the old mirror from the door, sanded back all the old paint to expose the timber. I put a solid tongue and groove back onto it. Added clear glass to the front door and a hand made handle, and voila! Gorgeous spice cabinet!

I've always loved the look of painted timber on walls. The only thing which was holding me back from painting the kitchen walls and cabinets was the thought of all that sanding!

Then I thought about ESP (I had used this stuff in Melbourne to paint an old laminated kitchen dresser and I loved the finished product).

So, instead of sanding, I simply wiped on and wiped off the ESP, then painted.

I used Antique White USA for both walls and cabinets. I changed the ugly plastic white handles with some simple black knobs cause they were cheap enough and weren't brass. I don't like brass.

I removed the small shelves (relocated them, a couple of them went next to the pantry to hold cook books) and added one large shelf to hold display items. I put another of my bathroom cabinet makeovers (this one with a bird wire door and a metal back) on the large blank wall to hold coffee, tea, sugar etc.

I also raised the breakfast bar. Since the bench overhung on both sides, I couldn't put the breakfast bar at the same level as the benchtop. I considered leaving it off completely, but then had second thoughts. I just moved up the brackets holding it in place and so there was a small step down to it. I never got around to getting proper matching stools for there...

I made a large frame from old dado rail to hold an old poster I'd bought off ebay many years ago. Below I was testing out how it would look by putting it on a box on the breakfast bar... Very technical.

I added some tin signs over the stove (no rangehood, so many old Australian houses don't have rangehoods).

Still no doors on those cabinets. The problem was working out how to make doors cause of the position of these cabinets... considering I was making them without professional help. I just didn't think I could make doors to match the existing ones. No wonder the previous owners had left those cupboards door-less.

I tried curtains but I hated them. Yuck. I lived without doors for a long time till I found the solution.

What I did was make a simple flat door for the microwave cupboard and swing it so it opened toward the oven. I decided flat doors would work fine, flat doors being way better than no doors, right?

I then made sliding doors for the corner cupboard under the stove and the cupboard on the other corner where position made it impossible to hang outwards opening doors. I bought some MDF, cut it to size, got some metal 'tracks' and made myself some sliding doors.

Ok... I know I'm not exactly making sense here, but one day while browsing in a hardware store (I do that a lot) I saw these square U shaped metal things. They came in long lengths and looked just the right size to hold a 6mm MDF sheet. I tested them and sure enough, they did. I have no idea what they're meant for, but I bought a few pieces of the metal, cut them and glued them onto the shelves inside the cupboard.

On the corner cupboard above, where the doors could slide back into the corner I only needed one track top and bottom for each door. On the other side, where the doors had to overlap so you could only open one side at a time, I had to make the tracks double, one for each door so they could slide past eachother.

I painted the new doors the same colour, added the same knob to the flat door but I used sash window openers to the sliding doors.


I considered using the fabric I bought on Paros while over there on holiday a couple of years ago to make curtains for the kitchen. But I realised this fabric would be too thick for the amount of light coming in through that window. I'm glad I didn't use them there now as I have put them in the bedroom here and they'are perfect for there! They add a touch of Greek island to our room and make me smile.

I needed something thinner. A friend gave me some old tab topped organza curtains which I cut and hemmed and they worked perfectly. They let in all the light and blurred the view just enough.

I can't give you an idea of cost for the kitchen update but it was cheap. I didn't need to replace appliances or move anything. I just gave it a facelift the only way I could - with paint and imagination.

Lots of fresh white paint, some new doors, new knobs, a new tap, some personal touches and I had a kitchen I loved.


Monday, 12 March 2012

a little bit of washing

Its been a very productive weekend. Although I didn't manage to cross much off my ever growing To Do list, I feel like I actually accomplished a lot of things.

We started off today with breakfast on the deck - the weather was perfect today. Warm and sunny but not hot or muggy. A bit of a breeze, but not windy. Gorgeous. I made french toast with bacon, banana and maple syrup. Yum.

Its funny, but years ago I was reading a book by Michael Connelly where the main character, a detective named Harry Bosch, went into a truck stop for breakfast and ordered a short stack with bacon and maple syrup.

I'd never had bacon and maple syrup together before. I'd never had bacon with pancakes before for that matter. I thought 'OMG! Bacon and maple syrup, together! What a wonderful idea!'

I couldn't wait to try it. A couple of years ago I went to a cafe for breakfast (something I lurve doing but rarely get to do) and guess what they had on the menu? French toast with banana, bacon and maple syrup!

I became addicted. For a while I made it every weekend. In fact I made it so often I got sick of it. Today was the first time in months I'd made it and it was like meeting an old friend.

With such a great start to the day, its not surprising things went well. I put on some washing, removed the glass from the new old front door. Hung out the washing. Put on more washing. Cleaned up the broken glass. Knocked the top off the old table I'm doing up for the kitchen. Hung up washing. Put on more washing. Cleaned up broken bits of plywood. Pulled apart the table frame from the top frame. Hung out more washing. Put on more washing. Sanded the table legs. Straightened the crooked table leg. Glued and nailed the table frame back on. Hung out the washing. Put on another load of washing. Went to the supermarket to buy ingredients for borscht, picked up chaff for the horses. Brought in all the washing and tossed it onto an armchair in the living room. Chopped up the vegies and put them on to boil for the borscht.

You get the picture.

I had a productive day. Among all the washing I managed to make chocolate muffins and borscht (which I'd never made before and only tasted once before in my life) out of the excess beetroots we had.

I would have vacuumed the living room and tidied it up as I did the kitchen and office, but I couldn't open it to change bags. Its a sign. No more cleaning for today!

I think I deserve a break. An ice cream and some TV is in order.

However, before I go I'll share these photos of a couple of my old drawings. I found these while looking for something else yesterday.


Sunday, 11 March 2012

dances with spiders

Its been a long hard week. There were all kinds of exciting things happening at home:

We got our new gutters. With a bonus new leak over the front door, inside the mudroom-to-be. Now it seems we can pee without getting our feet wet, but we still need an umbrella to get to the toilet.

Hopefully that will be fixed on Tuesday when the roofing men come to finish the flashing.*

We have new 'austerity measures' at home now due the tenants moving out of my house in Fentonbury next month. With them gone we will be broke paying off two mortgages, but I can clean up the place and actually be able to present it to potential buyers as a home I'm proud of. I believe the tenants were a major reason we lost the sale the way we did. I will move back in and keep the house clean, neat, tidy and welcoming and I believe I will find someone who loves it as much as I do.

We have a new front door. Or should I say old new front door. I went looking at tip shops this week to find a new door for the mud room. Due to the austerity measures I couldn't buy a new door cause they're over $300. Anyway, I wanted a farm door. A door with character.

I found one I was sort of happy with for $25 at one tip shop, but it had a plywood veneer and we hate that stuff. Especially for an external door. I figured I could change that but still... Then I saw another, much bigger and totally solid timber door. This one was $60 and was an 1920s deco door. Yeah. That was nicer, and who doesn't love solid timber. But again, it wasn't quite right. Not for $60. I'm becoming a cheapscate.

Then at the last minute I found my door. It was at the South Hobart tip shop.The front is panelled (which I love) and when I put in 2 glass panes, the windows will give me the light I wanted in the mud room. Best of all, I got it for $20!

We've put the door on top of the kitchen table I'm meant to be doing up as the door is more important than the table. The plan is to get started on it tomorrow.

I wanted to get started today but we decided to make it a tip day. We went for a trip to the tip to get rid of the unsightly pile of rubbish I'd been collecting near the wood shed. Sad when our fun outing for the day was a trip to the tip. At least the tip in New Norfolk has the best views!

Then we made a trip up to the bush at the back of our property to get some firewood. This involved gettng into Blue, Wayne's decrepid old 4x4 which backfires more than it drives giving us whiplash, then, pulling my old trailer behind us, drive out onto the road then up the neighbour's driveway, up an overgrown old track and through a hole in our fence back onto our land and our own overgrown track. (We haven't been able to afford to fix our original fix on the ford so we can use our own road to the top of our property).

We have plenty of firewood up there. Wayne felled two dead trees yesterday and today I went up to help him chop and load the trailer. Love the great outdoors. Hate the spiders!

I had a huntsman on my shoulder at one stage. I smacked it off, then danced around in the ferns waving my T-shirt over my head screetching like a girl at the top of my lungs. Wayne's disappointed he missed that.

(In deference to aracnophobe readers, the image of the spider has been removed)

So, having displaced a few huntsmen today, we have a stack of firewood. At least one week's worth. Now we just have to get another 433 loads to get us through winter.

Sure, we left our run a bit late. But its not like we've been sitting on our butts, is it?

This having our own firewood and not needing to buy sure has its downside...  


*The porch was a great idea and one inspired by the decision to sell my house in Fentonbury. As things tend to do, this one thing lead to another. (Like my gardening in Melbourne: I trimmed the ivy in the back yard then had to replace the fence when it collapsed once the ivy was removed.) Building has a deck necessitated new gutters. In hindsight, spending money on the deck and enclosing the porch to create a mudroom could have waited till my house was sold... but then I thought I 'its rented, I'll sell it, we will manage fine'. Hightsight is a good thing.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

memory like a sieve

Used to be, years ago, I had a reputation as being the only one in our family who always remembered to send birthday cards and maintain contact with friends far away.

That was back when we wrote letters using actual pen and paper!

Now that I have Facebook, email, mobile phones and technology at my fingertips I can't seem to remember anyone's birthday. Not Wayne's, not even my own at times. Its like once technology stepped in, my brain stepped out.

So, when I saw this birthday calendar idea on Pinterest, I thought I must make one!

Birthday calendar

However, I couldn't just copy that one. I had to make my own. I gave it some thought, decided how I was going to do it, then did something completely different.

Only kidding. My first plan had been to find a nice old frame, buy some pinboard material, then paint it up and use pins to add birthdays.

What I did was based on that but adapted when I found an old framed corkboard at a tip shop a couple of weeks ago.

As usual, I didnt take any photos of the 'before'... Trust me. It was pretty ordinary. It was a lavender painted frame with corkboard in the middle. Nothing special and with a few flaws in the frame.

And I apologise for the bad photos. I was having a bad photo day.

Step 1: I undercoated the whole thing, cork and frame.

Step 2: I painted the cork a light beige colour I had in a sample pot. Twice.

Step 3: I painted the frame limed white from another sample pot. Twice.

Step 4: After the paint had dried I drew a grid, having divided the width of the corkboard into 12 parts, and then drew lines across as well to create boxes. Not so easy when you're mathematically challenged, the calculator is in the house and you're too lazy to go up and get it.

Step 5: I painted each of the squares in a darker colour, leaving a fine line of cream showing through between them. I had to paint them twice as well.

Step 6: I painted every second line a different shade, again, thank you sample pots! Two coats.

I then remembered that I didnt actually need boxes, just stripes. So I painted over the lines.

Step 7: I wasn't too happy with the shiny look of the paint so I sanded it back a bit. It took the shine off on the corkboard which was good. Then I sanded back the frame a bit too. It allowed some of the lavender to show through, as well as some of the timber. That's fine as I planned to use other colours on the calender.

Step 8: I used my brand new stencil to paint the letters for each month. I used a dry brush and burnt umber artist acrylic to achieve a sort of uneven finish.

Step 9: I sacrificed one of my many paint swatch catalogues, cutting up the colours I liked. Using a black marker and my diary for reference, I started putting a number (for the day) and a name of each swatch. I then used some cool pins I'd bought at Officeworks last week to pin each birthday into the corresponding month.

Step 10: I found a spot to hang it where I might see it and be reminded of upcoming birthdays before I have to apologise for forgetting!

 I'm pretty pleased with myself. Thats one of my 'Things I want to try when I have the time' items off my list! Only about 546 to go...

However, I did manage to do a few other things over the weekend despite the miserable weather. It poured. Not as bad as the floods in NSW, but it rained enough to flood our toilet again.

I'm kinda over wading in to go to the loo.

I think the guys managed to fix the problem on the weekend by putting in a new long sheet of corregated roofing iron. I'm glad. I did manage to refrain from asking why this wasn't done in the first place...

I was polite and thankful.

So, this is what I did: I organised my workshop! Its now neat and clean and organised and I can use it. I hung all my paint brushes and scrapers etc with jute string onto an old rake head.

I screwed two old drawers to the wall as shelves and screwed jars to the top to hold odds and ends. I put a trestle table between the windows as a work bench. This used to be the shearing shed, as you can see the fences are still partly there. We decided to keep them.

I have an old office desk as an extra work bench on the other side and some old kitchen cabinets to hold tools and 'stuff'.

When there aren't enough shelves an old coffee table on top of the cabinet creates that extra space! I have old crates under the table (framing tools in one, crafting odds and ends in the other) and a collection of tins and other stuff on top for other projects I might do one day.

You can see the birthday calendar drying too! :) That's Step 1.

Well... my workshopWAS neat and clean for a day, till I started my next project - concurrent with the birthday calendar only a lot more optimistic. My new kitchen table! But more on that later.


Thursday, 1 March 2012

the dog compromise

My dogs live in the house. They are part of the family. In Fentonbury they had their own bedroom but here they sleep in the living room, on the couch or armchairs. But then, they're poodles and they don't shed.

Wayne's dogs shed. Lots.

I hate dog hair. I hate cat hair even more, but since I don't have cats thats not an issue.

Ever since I've had dogs I've had containment areas for them in the house. In Fentonbury I had a combination of gates to keep dogs in or out of areas of the house. Nothing as banal as baby gates for this little chickie.

I made my own gates using materials I found or had on hand. Old shed doors, old doors, gates, crib sides. You name it, I've probably used it.

Here are some of my dog gates, both in Fentonbury and here at the farm.

First is the old door I brought over from Melbourne. This was the door on the bathroom in my house there. It had a large frosted glass panel in it originally. I replaced the door with a regular one and had this just sitting there. You can see it below on the room which was the dog's bedroom.

One day I was walking down the street when I saw this old gate tossed on the pile to be collected by the council. I grabbed it of course. What self respecting DIY-er would let something like a wrought iron gate go to the tip?

I got the carpenter who was at my house putting in new door frames and a new floor to board up half the door and insert the gate into the middle of it. I LOVED it. Ok, so I didn't do the hard work myself, but it was my idea! And I carried the gate, cleaned it and painted the door!

Its the perfect door for an area you want closed off - the dogs can't get over it, under it or through it. It allows the warmth of the heater or the cool air of the airconditioner (I had one of those in Melbourne!) to circulate between the rooms. The dogs can see out and aren't isolated if you close the door. Its the ideal door. Needless to say it comes with me from one house to the next.

Next are the old shed door gates. I have two of these which I made while living in Fentonbury. They're only low which means they're easy to step over. Yeah, that means that a dog can jump over them, but MY dogs would never do such a rude thing!

These gates were made by cutting down the shed door, sanding it back a bit and adding the big hinges and a gate latch. As you can see, they're not very high but they do the job. I don't have to worry about dirty dog pawprints on the sheets. Not that I mind so much... but these are the compromises you make when you live with a man who doesn't really like dogs in the house. And we all know that ain't gonna happen! So we compromise.

The next dog gate is one I custom made for my house in Fentonbury. It has an open plan kitchen/dining/living room. That meant that I wanted to be able to restrict the dogs to one or other of the spaces. Sometimes I wanted them out of the kitchen. Other times out of the dining room. Or out of the living room. So I came up with this idea to use some cot sides I'd gotten at an auction.

You know, one of those things I bought thinking 'One day they'll come in handy'.

First, I cut down the crib sides so there weren't any large gaps. I joined them up using small hinges so that they formed a folding 4-panel 'screen'. Finally I painted it antique white USA like the rest of the woodwork in the house and hinged it to the doorway between the kitchen and dining room.

I know you cant see it well in that photo but I can't find any other photos. In this photo its folded up against itself out of the way. Cause of the hinges and latches I'd put in it could be moved and latched to either the kitchen bench or the other side of the opening between the kitchen and dining room, thus keeping dogs in or out of the spaces as needed.

Last, here is the last of the crib sides. I put it to use here on the farm as a way to keep Wayne's dogs (the shedding ones!) from the couches. I did the same thing: cut it down to size, hinged it to the wall and added a gate latch to it. Here you can see Romeo and Montana modelling it for you. This is a higher gate and much harder to step over when you're getting older...

I added a gate latch so it would close automatically when you pushed it behind you. As you can see, I got lazy. This one hasn't been painted yet.

However there was a problem. This was the first gate I'd made which actually swung back to a wall. It would bang into the wall as you opened it and leave a mark there. Ugh. Not so good. Till today I piled a couple of cushions on the floor against the wall to stop the destruction of my paint job. Not the best solution.

This morning I got off my butt and did something about it. I took one of those foam holders I get when I buy a certain brand of soft pastel. I'd been eyeing them off for a while now thinking they were just the right size to make a 'bounce pad' for the gate latch.

Yep. Perfect fit. So I sliced one up, filled it with silicon glue and popped it onto the gate thingy. Now... if this stays on it'll be the perfect solution.

Fingers crossed!