Thursday, July 22, 2010

What a steal!

I usually make my own panels and parts for furniture but I could not pass up this deal.  I was looking at a local place that sells used clothing, books, furniture, etc.  They often have old doors there, but usually they are just the flat slab type. The doors range from $2 to $50 and half of them have no price on them at all.  I found this pair of unpriced hinged doors  and expected they would be at least $20 - $40 each.

Here is the front, painted white:

The backs are wood, unfinished:

Here's a closeup on the raised panel:

I wondered if I should get them and make something out of them?  I had in mind one of my old woodworking magazines where there is a kitchen island made out of an old five-panel door. These doors I found would make a larger island, since each panel is larger than in the plan here:

 Or, I could leave them as doors and use them in my shop which needs interior doors.  These sections are 18" wide, so each door is 36" and so the two together are about 72" wide. Should I ask the price or just leave them and finish one of the many, many other things I had still to do without taking on something else? 

I looked at the doors, then walked away, then walked back and a young man who worked in the shop was nearby so I asked him the price.  He didn't know so he had to go and ask someone else.  He came back and said they were $2 each.  That is really $1 per side, which each has four wood panels in it.  I just about fainted, since I know the time it takes to make raised panels like that, and thought they must be mistaken to charge so little.  I quickly said I wanted them and moved to the cash register to pay for my find.  I kept thinking someone was going to change their mind and tell me they made a mistake.

What a steal for $4!!

Monday, July 19, 2010

In Memory of Sam

Sadly, another one of our cats has passed away.  "Yosemite Sam" came to us when he was almost 6 years old.  He was a birthday gift for my son, Bryan, who was turning 10 and wanted his own cat.  We always called him Sam or Sammy, and we first found out about him through an email from a local woman who rescues animals.  We got our first cat, Taz from her and she was looking for someone to give Sam a home.

Sam spent a lot of time with Bryan, even climbing up the ladder to his bunk bed and sleeping in the window that was just a step up from the mattress.  Unfortunately, just over 3 years ago, Sam developed diabetes, and that disease gradually wore him out.  Sam was 15 when he was laid to rest today beside his buddy, Taz, on our property.

Rest in Peace 

~ Sam ~
May 12, 1995 - July 19, 2010

with Bryan in his healthier days:
with Bryan today:

Forever remembered and loved by

and family

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Enjoying Life in the Country

I really enjoying living in the country and all the animals, birds and plants that we see here.

We have an Eastern Phoebe who has nested inside our wood shed. Phoebes are known to have two broods per season and ours just finished with her first brood and within a few weeks was using the same nest for her second.

Phoebes are flycatchers and I often see her with an insect of some type hanging from her beak.  Here she is sitting on the electrical wire waiting for me to get farther away from her babies so that she can feed them:

And here they are waiting for mom:

We have a long driveway to the road that is lined with wild raspberry bushes.  They were here when I moved in, but have spread considerably over the last few years:

Just this minute, a large hare hopped down my drive and a white-throated sparrow sat on my deck rail and let out his beautiful song!

I love the country.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

My Flower Garden

I apologize for being unable to blog for some time due to family issues and hope that I have not lost any followers.  Donna at Funky Junk Interiors is asking for other bloggers to post their garden features, so I am writing this blog about my garden to get me into the groove again.

I love gardening and it has really taken over a large part of my property.  Fortunately I have 8 acres, so lots of room for a large flower garden or two, or three... 

I made the bridge, that crosses the stream bed between the house and the workshop. I used old pallet wood for the decking and a couple of found 2 x 10's (or 2 x 12's?) for the sides and logs for the railing.  Some of the vertical logs have been worked at over the years, by woodpeckers.  I wanted it to look rustic and it certainly does now.
The area of my largest garden sits under trees between the house and the new workshop, just over this little bridge.  When I moved here almost 10 years ago there was an old shed and small garden around a small pond in this area.  I dug the whole garden out by hand and all the rocks I found I saved in piles to use in the garden.  The huge ones mostly stayed in the area I found them, but I did manage to move them upwards by throwing dirt underneath them, digging them up some more and prying them upward while throwing more dirt underneath.  Believe it or not you can move mammoth rocks this way with patience and a bit of "elbow grease."  The smaller rocks, about 4 - 8" in diameter were used in the bottom of the stream that is created in the spring with runoff water.  Most of the time it's a dry bed of rocks.

Here is some Rock Cress over the edge of the stream bed:

There is a heart shaped garden right in the middle, with paths around it. In the middle of the heart is a bird bath.  To the left is a bench I made out of pressure treated wood.

At the top of the previous photo, to the right of the bench, is a small pond with resident frogs:

Some lupines in the springtime in front of the bird bath:
Here's another view which includes hostas, lupines and bellflowers:

Columbines are beautiful, but boy do they seed everywhere!

I also have a lot of bellflowers (campanula):

This pretty Pyrethrum (Chrysanthemum) was a new addition last year:

These are just some of the many perennials I have in my gardens. I am always dividing flowers and moving them to new beds that I make.  I have lots of duplicates, but that's okay, you can even trade with neighbours and save the cost of buying new plants.

I believe the secret to a good garden is good soil and compost.  I bought some beautiful black topsoil from a local man who delivered it in a dump truck.  You can tell the good stuff by the colour.  This was almost black and slightly moist... fabulous stuff. I use compost that I make myself from left over peels, rinds, tea bags, etc. that I throw in a large plastic compost bin. It is so exciting to see it all ready to use the next year.  I sprinkle it on my beds between flowers and dig it in a little. 

Hope you've enjoyed my garden!