Sunday, June 28, 2015

In which I get all artsy-fartsy

I saw a post on Cowgirl Shepard a few weeks ago of a wine bottle holder made of old stirrups.  I *loved* the idea, but not for wine.  We keep sunscreen and bug spray right outside our front door, just thrown on a chair.  I loved the wine holder idea so much, I thought I'd try it with the sunscreen and bug spray.

I called Mom and Bill to see if they had any old, unused stirrups.  Mom has a whole shed of "someday" tack.  You know, the tack you don't want to get rid of because you might need it someday.  Turns out she didn't have a spare set of stirrups, but Bill did.  Weird, I didn't expect him to be the one with the spare stuff, but I wasn't going to question it.

I took the old stirrups and screwed them to the wall outside of our front door and voila! sunscreen and bug spray holders.  I love them and they make me smile every time I pull up to the house.

Aren't they the cutest?
Close up just in case you couldn't see them properly :)
Now we have what we need within easy reach.  We can step outside, grab what we need, spray up and be on our way.

With all of the work we're doing under the tree with the picnic table and stuff, I thought I'd find another set of stirrups to put on a post there so we could have easy access there, too.  I stuck it in the back of my mind to find a consignment store to pick up another pair of used stirrups cheap.

As with so many of my brilliant ideas, my second set of bug spray holders got changed when I bought new boots.  I'd been dreading buying new boots for a couple of reasons: 1) boots are expensive and 2) I loved my blue Justin Gypsies.  But those boots had finally worn out.  I threatened to get them re-soled, but the insides were falling apart, too.  It was just plain time to suck it up and buy new boots.

Don't get me wrong, I love my new boots.  I do.  Now that I bit the bullet and bought them, they're lovely.  Less obnoxious than my blue ones, but lovely.  When it was time to throw my old boots out, I just couldn't do it.  I physically could not put those boots I've had since before Jay and I met into the trash can.  Instead, I decided to make the bug spray and sunscreen holders out of them.

Well-loved boots

I was surprised at how easy it was to cut these apart.

Jay punched holes for me and I stitched the bottoms shut with leather lacing.

A couple of screws to hold them to the post.
I would be lying if I denied being pretty proud of my artsy-fartsy crafts.  I love this place and told our neighbor L.E. that we were "nesting" and that she wasn't going to get rid of us any time soon.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Pallet Projects

Last year, when we moved in, we refinished what used to be the kitchen table and turned it into our picnic table.  It was quite the project and we planned to eventually make benches to go with the table. Eventually did not happen last yer, but thanks to Deejo it happened this year.

Deejo has been amazing about dropping off the world's greatest pallets for any projects I can think of.  He brought us the pallet collars for the garden and then dropped off some pallets of various sizes.  The large ones were supposed to be used as a backstop for a knife-throwing target I wanted to make, but when we leaned them up against the picnic table, we realized they were perfect for our benches.

Bad picture, due to the rain, but you can see how they're just the right length.
Jay put the benches together while I worked on the horse garden.

Admittedly, they're a bit on the clunky side, but they're sturdy and they each seat four.  Now, instead of everyone bringing their own butt spaces, eight people can now sit at the table, but anyone more than eight will have to bring a chair.

They still needed stained.

Stained and in use!  They're beautimous.
After we had a gathering to try them out, we decided that the plates and plasticware took up far too much real estate at the end of the table.  It's no use being able to finally seat eight (ten when we make benches for the ends of the table) if we can't use the whole table.

The very next day, Jay used a small pallet and whipped up a side table specifically for the plates and plasticware.

It's functional, but not quite as finished as Jay wants it to be.
Jay's going to add some 1"x3" slats across the bottom supports to make a shelf.  We can put the plasticware containers on the shelf like drawers and put food up on top.  We have a dumpster less than twenty feet from the picnic table, but we'll probably add a trash receptacle to make it a bit easier for everyone.

Our goal is to have a yard where we can have impromptu gatherings with our family and friends.  I think we're well on our way.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Our Own Garden!

I swear, I blinked and it's June.  How does that happen?  It's frustrating the heck out of me, that's for sure.

Jay and I haven't been idle, though.  As soon as the depressing rain let up (seriously, something like 6" of rain in May), we got started on our outdoor projects.

I was chomping at the bit to get our very own garden in.  The last two years, we've shared a garden with his parents, but having to drive 40 minutes to harvest anything out of it wasn't ideal.  Deejo has been amazing with supplying all of the wood I need for my "projects".  We were going to build boxes for the garden and were talking to him about it, and he said, "just use some pallet collars".  I had no idea what a pallet collar was, but agreed that if he could get me some, I'd use them.  Let me tell you, they are the bestest things in the world!  We didn't have to do any construction, really.  We just unfolded them and stuck them down into the ground (after Jay leveled a bit and laid out some weed barrier).

The folded up things are the pallet collars

We planted mosquito-repellant plants

A couple of weeks after it went in; there's some baby lettuce peeking up on the right.

To make it a little prettier, we laid some sand and gravel down between the boxes.  We also moved the round planters off of the table and put them "temporarily" between the boxes, but liked them so much they're going to live there.

I got so excited about the lettuce and the possibility of not having to buy my salad mix from the store, that I cut some to use on a five-layer dip.  The next day, I went back out to the garden and the rabbits (I didn't even know we had rabbits!) had eaten it down.  I stomped around for a bit and then headed to Home Depot to remedy the situation.

No more critters eating my lettuce!

The garden is doing okay, with the exception of my carrots.  I bought fancy carrots because they made me giggle, and planted two rows of them, but only three have come up.  I'm really sad about that, not because I love to eat carrots, but because I wanted to see if they really grew the colors the package said they would.  But now I'll probably never know because only three damn seeds sprouted, and I think it's too late to plant more, but I might just because.

Wouldn't these be cool?