Thursday, 29 December 2016

update on the grooming room

Well the grooming room is still far from finished.

You can't rush these things. It takes time to think, measure, plan, get your materials together, find the energy, the time. Have you ever noticed how much STUFF needs to be done when you plan to spend a day working on a project?

... Then one day the planets align and things start happening.

Yesterday was that day. 

I'd already drawn a 'map' of the last wall, drew in the posts and noggins (that's the brace type of horizontal studs, yeah, I didn't know that either), numbered and measured the drawers I'm going to use, and, using Illustrator, did a jigsaw puzzle to figure out how to fit it all together. The map helped me figure out where I needed noggins to secure the drawers to the wall.

I went down to the casita, turned on the air compressor and began putting noggins between the posts where the map told me to.

I then pulled out all the sheets of masonite I had stacked against the wall in the workshop area. I knew I had used sheets but had no idea how many and what sizes.

Turns out I had 1 large sheet of 6mm, 3 smaller sheets of 6mm and 3 medium sized sheets of 3mm.

Naturally I began with the largest sheet, starting in one top corner. I measured, cut out a nick to make it fit properly, trimmed it down so I could join the sheets on a post, then measured it again and cut it again as I got it wrong first time. Thankfully I cut it too long, not too short. Phew.

The biggest sheet at the top far end is painted green with a bit of white over one section. That obviously came off a wall somewhere. The darker, smaller pieces came off the floor when we ripped up the vinyl in the kitchen. I was sure I had more of that stuff, but I don't. Must have thrown it out cause most sheets cracked when pulling them up.


I used the 6mm stuff for the top of the wall since that's where I'm going to put my drawers.

The bottom area won't have things hung on it so I used the 3mm masonite there. That's all painted yellow, also obviously second hand. I have no idea where these sheets came from as I didn't remove them from anywhere. Another of the bonuses we got when we bought the farm. Like lots of old bricks, old timber and loads of rubbish.

I had to overlap the thinner sheets a bit cause I didn't work that out well (ie the joins aren't on posts. ooops.) so I used liquid nails and nailed them as best as I could. This wall will hold crates and dog beds so it should be fine. Unless a rhino head butts the wall we'll be good.

It looks funny with all the patches of colour. When its all painted one colour it'll look much better. I'm sure.

Next step is the ceiling. I'm going to cheat there. I do not want to sand back all the flaking paint and I definitely don't want to try to fix the saggy or gappy bits. I'm going to get some thin MDF and just cover it.


Famous last works.

Anyway, we'll see.

Of course there's still one more wall. The interior wall. I can finish the room and leave that wall as it is and still groom, with the old timber showing. In fact, that's what I planned to do. But now I'm having second thoughts. I'm wondering whether I should do some kind of patchwork on it.... use old shutters... that'd be interesting!

Like this:

Or this (swoon):

But with all the hair flying around in a grooming room, I'm not sure that would be a good idea. Maybe I should use cupboard doors... less gaps.

Like this:

Or this (swoon):

I'll have to see what bits I have and how much wall I can cover before I go buy anything new.

Oh, I also fixed the interior door. It wouldn't close. Its got an exterior lockset and the latch wasn't catching. Well, I fixed the sucker. I got the hammer and wacked it a few times till it worked. Ha.

I also learned how to fit a handle on a door so I can do the exterior door. Thank you YouTube.

So, basically, what I'm saying is that the room is coming along, but there's still a lot to do:

1. line the ceiling
2. put in powerpoints and lights that work (electrician job)
3. paint all walls and exterior door
4. paint ceiling (once its done)
5. paint the floor
6. put a lock/handle on the exterior door
7. make a window for the top of the exterior door
8. make gates for both doors (to keep dogs from escaping)
9. put shelves in the drawers, paint the drawers, put poodle figurines in drawers, put glass or perspex on drawers, put drawers on the wall
10. make a canopy for over the door
11. make a gate for the little yard
12. sort out the 'landscaping' in the little yard
13. run screaming into the hills


Whose idea was it to start this?

Its going to be great! I'll keep telling myself that.


Wednesday, 28 December 2016

recycling christmas

This year I really didn't feel like doing much for Christmas. I wasn't going to decorate at all. 

But then, while cleaning the office, I found the Christmas tree I made last year from the sides of an old cot. I'd wrapped it in plastic and left it as it was - with the wire and stars, ready to go. So... well, it was ready to go... I figured I way as well use it.

With one small difference. This year I put fairy lights on it! ('cause I found them while cleaning the pantry!)

I also put it in a different spot this year. Last year it was on the wall over the air conditioning unit where I now have my industrial stencil artwork.

Since I needed it close to a power outlet for the lights, it made sense to put it on top of my pretty antique cabinet.

This spot means you can see it from the kitchen as well which is an added bonus. I love fairy lights and this just makes me smile. I think I might leave it up for a long time... at least till the end of January.


Sunday, 25 December 2016

christmas on the farm

Firstly, Merry Christmas to all! I hope everyone is having a great Christmas day and not spending it lying around the house doing nothing but being online, relaxing, reading, no TV, eating lots of good food and drinking (deadly) punch like us.

Wait a minute. That's actually a great Christmas Day!

This year we opted to go it alone. We told all our friends we were spending Christmas with other friends and are hiding out with our own (furry and feathered) family on the farm. So far its working out great.

The air-conditioning is on and we're relaxing in comfort. Even the dogs don't want to go out into the heat. 

Barney, "hole in the blanket? what hole in the blanket?"

Montana, "what? you woke me up to take a photo?"

Romeo looking guilty as his tassie devil Christmas present is already missing a nose.

The other critters aren't so lucky. They have to spend their time out in the blazing hot outdoors.

Here is little Chipmunk this morning, he always comes up to steal feed off the ducks.

Up close and personal with a miniature horse.

Dancer looking gorgeous as ever.

Wally as ornery as ever. Cass is somewhere behind the stable, all camera shy.

Our geese. The first batch that hatched this year, Jethro leads the way, the five babies (2 boys and three girls), then the siblings from our first ever goslings, Clarabelle and no-name boy (mainly cause we can't tell him and Jethro apart any more). This is Clarabelle's family.

Coming up behind is Annabelle (our original female goose) with her 4 babies and Hank. When Annabelle hatched out these babies she abandoned them for a while and Hank raised them on his own. What a guy!

Here they are, all together. Making a run to the feed Wayne is tossing out in the morning haze.

As far as presents go, this is my favourite. From my good friend Diane. I love it. Its so me!

So thats us for Christmas. I think I'll go drink more punch and read a book. How great is that!


Friday, 23 December 2016

our junky porch

Our porch is a receptacle for junk. I mean, its the natural place for it, right? You come home with  your hands full and think "I'll just leave that here till later" and you put it on the old box Wayne uses for his boots.

Or you step out onto the porch with an armload of stuff that doesn't belong in the house, or you no longer want in the house, and you think "I'll just leave this here till later..."  Or forever.

See the oil stain on the decking? Well, that's where someone sat a chainsaw when the porch was all new and shiny. I won't mention names, but it starts with "W" and ends with "ayne".

I'm sure that at the time he was thinking "I'll just rest it here for a while"... which turned into weeks and a permanent stain.

But its the nice junk on our porch I want to share with you today. Like this rusty birdcage I found at a tip shop a few years ago.

The coat rack I made using big nails and recycled skirting board, with a cute little bird accent.

The rusty propeller (ok, tractor fan) light I made.

The beautiful rusty old typewriter found on the side of the road. You may recognise it as part of one my blog headers.

The old chalkboard, made from something I found once - no idea what it was. Now it hangs beside the door to the mudroom with hopeful advice.

I recycled an old mantle shelf I found in one of our sheds by putting it under the kitchen window for plants or my collection of old white vases. And rusty hooks and other rusty things. Don't you just love this hook?

My collection of old shears and rusty scissors.

Even the unattractive electricity meter box is dressed up with two wire hearts. The white one was once a wire coathanger...

I have a collection of old galvanised buckets. This is one without holes so I've put a pot inside it with my tortured begonia. I've almost killed it at least three times.

The fish Wayne made hang on the wall. He made these out of wire and flattened corregated iron. Aren't they great!

An old, weatherbeaten table, a very comfy cane chair and a kid size chair grouped around an old galv mop bucket bursting with succulents.

A not so old galvanised watering can is now a planter, sitting on an old school desk the sun and rain are doing their best to ruin.

I love our porch, even if it doesn't actually have much of a comfy area to sit and relax. I just love looking over the garden and enjoying my collection of junk.


Tuesday, 13 December 2016

slow progress in the new grooming room

Its been slow going in the new grooming room.

Mainly cause I haven't been working on it. I've been either too busy or too lazy. After all the knocking out of old walls and emptying the place out I kind of lost steam for a while.

I had to buy pine lining for the walls and even though I bought the cheapest stuff around it was still a lot of money. That put a damper on things for a while. Then I didn't know how to use the air compressor. Then I realised I needed the right nails for the nail gun.

Then I chickened out a while cause I was like "What on earth was I thinking? I've never done anything this big in my life before!"

But its just a shed, right. Who cares if its not perfect. It's not like its the kitchen, right?

I already had the door, a lovely old door with a missing glass panel on top. I sanded it back, plugged all the holes and clamped it with some glue to make it stronger. But it needed a bit off on one side. I was too chicken to tackle that with a circular saw...

Well, a good friend came out and gave me a hand to get started. She's done this sort of thing before. She knew how to use the compressor and how to change bits on the nail gun and she's tackled way bigger jobs than this. As a result, the door was trimmed down with her saw (one that's made especially for cutting long straight lines) and hung. And the wall around the door (the smallest wall) was done.

Yes, I can see light too. The ceiling in there is really crap so there'll be a lot of fiddling to get the wall to join the ceiling properly. Maybe I can just put up a board and cover the holes?



Today, before it got too hot, I tackled the other wall. I stopped when I had to climb up and down for each board. Plus I had to stop birds from getting into the wall before I got to the top. I chose to staple bird wire into the gap between the flat roof part of the casita and the wall cause there were a LOT of bird skeletons in that wall. I don't want that happening any more. I mean its awful hearing them in the wall and it smells when they die.

I also gave the door its first coat of paint, an oil based 3 in 1 undercoat. It's an exterior door. It needs to be protected from the elements, hence the oil paint. I normally prefer water based paint cause it doesn't smell as much and dries quicker.

Last week I got a tin of aqua enamel deep base on sale and had it tinted a bright blue. I'm thinking that'll be the colour on the outside of the door. I was planning on white for the inside and I've left the inner bottom panel unpainted cause I love the chippy look (though I sanded it back so there's no loose paint any more). I could change my mind and do the whole door blue, but we'll see. I like the chippy paint and don't think that'd go with the blue.

Of course, the door still needs a window. I have to see what timber I've got and make that. I've made doors before successfully (see my new linen cupboard) so how hard can it be? I think the only time I'll run into problems is when I have to use the router to make a groove for the glass to sit in... never attempted that before. It'll be fun for sure!

Actually, I think you're supposed to do that BEFORE you make the door. Yeah. I'm sure of it...

YouTube to the rescue!

That will leave me with two more walls to do. I don't have enough pine lining for all the 3rd wall so I'm having to get creative. I have quite a few large masonite pieces which I kept from when I removed the lino in the kitchen. I'm thinking I should have enough to cover that wall. Once its painted who will know? Especially when I cover it with old drawers! (Wait and see!)

Its getting to the good bits now. And I checked. That room is way cooler than the current grooming room, even on a really hot day like today. With both doors open there'll be enough of a cool breeze to keep me sane.

Oh, see that play pen side? That will be fitted to one or other door to keep dogs in. There's a tiny yard outside the room which, once I fit a gate to the back part, will be totally secure. Its been cleared out and I'll be putting down newspaper, weed mat and pine bark to keep it dry and clean for visiting dogs.

Its all happening here.

If it wasn't so hot.

I think I'm only good for a few hours work when it's hot. Then I need to do quieter stuff. Not like I haven't got tons of that to do either.


Monday, 12 December 2016

new planter box

How do you like my new planter box? I think its really cool.

This is what it looked like when I got it. 

Yeah, your eyes are seeing well. I haven't done a thing to it other than bringing it home and plonking it on the porch. 

Well... I did put some plants in it. For now. Temporary plants. Two established succulents and 2 cuttings I got from a friend that I didn't have in my collection which I'm trying to grow. And one is a white geranium I am also encouraging to grow. 

I am not a huge geranium lover - I only have one pink one which forms balls of flowers which are gorgeous, and a variegated pink pellargonium a friend gave me a cutting of recently. That's been planted and is already doing well. Talk about low maintenance. But this new cutting is a white one with a double flower I fell in love with.

Looking for pics of the geranium I have and the geranium I think I got I came across some amazing photos!

I'm totally rethinking my stand on geraniums...

This is similar to the pink one I have. Its a pale pink ball of flowers:

According to the site I found this photo on, its a common geranium. But I thought it was uncommon and pretty enough to make me want a cutting. Growing up in Greece, I was used to seeing geraniums everywhere but I never thought they were very pretty.

Maybe its cause they always looked sun bleached and dry... Who knows? My mother loves them cause they take neglect in their stride. Maybe the greek ones are tougher. On the website I found the pink one above it said they didn't survive heat. Tell that to the ones living in pots on greek islands! Mine can cope with the heat but the frost nearly killed it a couple of years ago. Its still recovering. I now keep it on the porch in winter.

I think this is the one I got a cutting of. Its called a Double Trailing Sybil White Pearl. Click on the pic to go to the page.

Here is another photo of a Sybil White Pearl... Drool.

Or it could be this one. The Pelargonium Apple Blossom. How pretty is this one!

And here is another pic. OMG its amazing! I think I've just become a geranium person.

But I digress. My new planter box. I love the 60s look. The inside is lined with a bit of galvanised iron so I don't have to worry about water leaking out the bottom of pots and rotting the wood.

I've actually had this for over a month, but I only put plants in it last week. 

A girl gets busy.


Sunday, 11 December 2016

taps and coat rack

What's on tap for today you ask?

Well, I tapped into my creative mind and came up with this recycled tap coat rack. You could say I tapped this old pine board into a coat rack.

Luckily I had all these things on tap in the workshop.


Ok, I'll stop now. 

I love these old garden taps with their patina showing and all. Some are our own old garden taps and some I picked up from here or there, as I do.

I painted the board with chalkboard black paint so you can label the taps for each member of the family if you should so desire. 

Other than showing off my tap coat rack, I don't have much else to say. You could say I'm all tapped out.

Turns out I had one more left.


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