Animals, Home and Garden

Squirrel

I bought this shepherd’s hook and suet cage at an estate sale awhile back, and the birds have been enjoying the suet blocks I put out for a few weeks now. Unfortunately the squirrels have finally found it, and this is the result:

Skwirl wants the suet.

Hummingbird silhouette conveniently located.

The squirrels have knocked the suet cage off the hook a few times so the birds can’t get to it very well, and I don’t like that much. I did get this cute photo of two squirrels sitting close together though. I hadn’t seen them do that before. I’m not sure if these are the ones getting into the suet block, there were two others around the fence as well. I think they are happy with the sunny weather we are having for a couple of days!

Antiquing, Cool Stuff, Decor, Holidays, Home and Garden, VIntage

Etsy

Just wanted to put in a little ad for my Etsy store, Little Miss Jackie’s Fascinating Vintage. We have lots of awesome items for sale, including Christmas items, with many lighted ceramic Dept. 56 Christmas village buildings offered! There are also some vintage Shiny Brite ornaments!

Ceramic village building — isn’t it cute?
I have three boxes like this for sale — they have that cool vintage look!

This is our Jackie, the namesake of my shop. She went to the Rainbow Bridge in September of 2014, just shy of her 15th birthday. She was a good girl and we loved her very much.

Animals, Home and Garden

Thanksgiving

Yesterday I was able to get this photo of one of our squirrels eating some corn he found leftover in our garden. They are determined and industrious little ones, he carried that whole cob up to the top of the fence in his mouth! He has obviously been feasting for the past few weeks in preparation for winter. Look at that tummy, haha!

Wishing my friends in the USA a wonderful Thanksgiving feast! I am thankful for all of you who read and subscribe to my blog!

Thankful little furry friend.
Animals, Home and Garden, Keizer, Observations

Garden Friends

I got photos of some of our garden friends this afternoon, although most are a bit blurry since I had to zoom well in to see the little critters because I was inside my office. The birds have been enjoying the suet block and the squirrels have been very busy running back and forth along the fence from the walnut tree to wherever they are putting the nuts they collect.

Maybe a woodpecker?

Robin

Blurry Blue Jay waiting for the woodpecker to be finished with the suet block.

Industrious squirrel friend.
Change, Home and Garden, Home Care, Success!

Doorknobs

You GUYS, guess what? After 18 years living in our house I finally get to have all matching doorknobs!! Isn’t that the neatest? The Hubs started in this morning and asked me if I wanted to learn how to put on a doorknob, and of course I said I did. This is the new doorknob design – I got them at Lowe’s.

The Hubs began by taking the old doorknob off the hall closet door. There are five doors in our “hall” (a square area in the middle of the house). We had already replaced the bathroom doorknob, and while the two offices and stairs doors matched each other, the hall closet had a totally different knob. When he got the knob off the closet door, he discovered this on one side:

And this on the other side.

I think they shot at it from far away…

Um…ordinarily you would just make a hole with a hole saw or something, like this one in my office door:

So right off, there were some annoyances. This was not unexpected, since our house was formerly owned by a man who thought he was good at building and remodeling. Note the word “thought”. He was not good at building or remodeling. In fact, we would describe most of his work as “horrible”, and often “nonsensical”.

The Hubs (while making sure I knew that this isn’t the best way to do a doorknob, the best way would be to get a new door and then put on the doorknob, but we don’t have new doors in our budget right now) had to get out his Leatherman tool with the little saw and saw out some of the material to make the hole bigger. Then he realized that there were two little tabs on each side of the new doorknob that needed to fit in, and he had to get a pointy tool to dig out some space for the little tabs. (I don’t think The Hubs has a hole saw, so he just had to make modifications.)

Digging out for the tabs

See the little tabs at top and bottom?

The strikeplate wouldn’t fit in its spot properly, and then The Hubs suggested I sand and paint the area before he put in the new plate since it wouldn’t cover the brown.

The Hubs decided I should put on my office doorknob, so I got the screwdriver and started taking off the knob. The screwdriver was a bit thin and kept falling out of the screw, so that took awhile.

It finally was done and then I took off the faceplate and the innards of the knob, and then we found that the hole wasn’t big enough for the doorknob works to fit through. The Hubs got out a round file and filed the hole out so the knob workings would fit.

See how it’s too wide?

The Hubs with his file.

Then The Hubs just went ahead and put my office doorknob on himself, and later I started removing the doorknob on his office door. That one had to be filed out as well, so he did that and then went ahead and put THAT knob on, so I didn’t get to put any of them on, but that’s OK. We still have to put on the one that goes on the stairs door and the one on The Girl’s door, and the one on our bedroom door, but now we have to wait to do those until The Hubs has more days off from work.

Isn’t it nice?

So much more up-to-date!

But I just can’t BELIEVE I finally have matching doorknobs!! How awesome!!

Decor, DIY, Furniture, Home and Garden, VIntage

Table and Tray Progress

And now for some results of the magazine table and TV tray makeovers. Don’t forget to read the first and second pieces of this saga.

I got out the Polyshades stain I bought and dipped an old t-shirt rag in it to wipe it on the magazine table. As I was applying it the first thing I noticed is that it didn’t go on as dark as I had hoped it would, and just made the dark spot on the top even darker. Also, it didn’t seem to go on very well. I got my glasses and looked at the can and on the back it said…”Apply with high-quality brush.” Oh, for heaven’s sake. I didn’t have my glasses at the store and thought I was buying a wipe-on stain. Arrrgh. That’ll teach me, I guess.

Stain not dark enough to cover spot.

So I went back to the shed and got out my old can of Special Walnut wipe-on Minwax stain and poly in one that they don’t make anymore. It is SO much easier to apply stain and poly by wiping them on than by using a brush, where you get all the brush strokes and have to keep a “wet edge” the whole time. I wiped the Special Walnut all over the table, including on the parts I had already put the Espresso color on. Here are photos of that result.

Blargh! It was not dark enough to cover any imperfections and didn’t stick very well to some places. At this point I considered this project a FAIL.

But wait! I decided to go see if I had anything else in the shed, and what do you think I found? A brand new can of this Varathane wipe-on wood stain in Ebony! That should be dark enough! There is also a can of Varathane wipe-on stain in Kona, which is a nice dark stain as well. Dries in one hour! Aha!

Dries in one hour! (It really didn’t, but…)

I left the magazine table to dry overnight and got back to it bright and early this morning. After scuffing the table up with some fine steel wool and wiping it off with a tack cloth, I got out the Varathane and started applying it with an old t-shirt scrap. (Keep in mind that at this point I’m sort of making things up as I go along to try to salvage the table.)

Scuffing up the top.

Hey, the ebony stain mostly covered the spot on top!

Will it cover the scratches?

It mostly did cover the scratches!

After I gave the table one coat of ebony stain, I decided to let it dry and come back for another coat. The front sides of the table that were sort of an orange color didn’t take the stain very well even though I scuffed them, and the inside walls and outside ends didn’t take the stain very well either. Here’s how it looked with one coat:

With one coat of stain. Better than before.

You can see how it didn’t take the stain very well on these pieces.

I let the table dry while I went on some errands. When I got back I put another coat of stain on. Here’s how it looked after the second coat of stain:

Eh, still about the same. Not great.

Meanwhile, during the second coat’s dry time, I started on the TV tray. I chose the Varathane wipe-on stain in Kona for the tray. It is a nice dark brown. I started on the underside of the tray:

Underneath first.

Once I stained the underside and legs of the tray, I let that dry and then flipped it over and stained the top side, and touched up in areas on the legs that needed it. It looks good and the next step for both projects is the wipe-on polyurethane to protect the wood.

Not bad.

I decided to try the wipe-on poly on the magazine table to see if it improves the look of it. There are a lot of weird spots where the stain is darker or lighter than other parts, and I’m hoping maybe the poly will at least even it out so it will be all one sheen. I had about half a can of the poly and needed more to apply multiple coats on both projects, so I ordered it and some more tack cloths since the items have to be sanded between coats. Since I am using oil-based stains, I will use this oil-based poly.

The stain on both projects needs to dry for awhile and tomorrow I have a hike planned, so I won’t get back to these for a couple of days.

Will the magazine table ultimately be a success or a fail? Will the TV tray turn out the way it’s supposed to?

TUNE IN NEXT TIME TO SEE REAL, ACTUAL END RESULTS (I hope)!!

Cool Stuff, DIY, Home and Garden, Projects, Success!, VIntage

Character

For the last year or so I’ve been trying to spiffy up our fenced side yard (or garden, if you live anywhere but in the U.S.). This year The Hubs had put up a tall fence made from large pallets he got for free, and last week he applied some used motor oil on the boards to help preserve them. Did you know that would work? Reuse and recycle! It doesn’t harm anything, but is obviously not something you would want to use on wood that was going to go in the house.

The Hubs changes the oil in our cars himself so he had plenty of used oil. You can also see our dandelion farm in this photo.

Now we have 4 different styles of fence in our side yard, but since I am going for the vintage “rustic” look I guess it sort of works.

One of the things on the “Honey-Do” list was to put up a bunch of things I wanted on the fence to give it more character. Today was the day for that, so after going to Home Depot to get supplies The Hubs got to work. Yesterday I had laid out each thing on the ground where I wanted it on the fence, so there was no decision-making today and it all went fairly quickly.

First he hung up some old windows he got last year. You can also see the metal “Dandelion Farm” sign, and an old trowel he came across when he was rototilling for the vegetable garden this spring. The 50-gallon drum is covering what’s left of a tree that we would like to get rid of. It was about 20 feet high and very bushy with branches all the way to the ground and The Hubs cut it down, but it is coming back so if it is covered it will be less likely to grow in again. It is a very determined tree.

Old windows.
Window and stars, and cherry tree
Lil’ Kitty
You know Bigfoot. I’m not sure why this stump is still here, but now it’s covered with ivy.

I got the little metal kitty from a company in Vancouver, WA called Rusty Birds. They have all sorts of cute animals and other metal art. The Bigfoot was made by The Sis-In-Law, he is about four feet high. They have a life-size one at their property!

Gazing ball, squirrel, container for squirrel corn, old gate, Dandelion Farm sign

The gazing ball above has been around for like 20 years, it used to be sort of forgotten under the myrtle tree and it survived for many years there. This is the first time it’s really had its own spot. There is space on the fence for many more fun things, and I will be on the lookout for anything that I think will fit in. In fact, I am planning to order this shortly. Isn’t it the cutest?

Kitty Biscuits!!

The fence has much more character now, and the patio is getting there with my new bear and container garden. None of this is perfect, of course, and there is still much to be done. I don’t do much yardwork because I’m allergic and The Hubs isn’t much bothered by the aesthetic of the yard, so we have a dandelion farm and 4 kinds of fences. But I am making the best of it, ha.

The Hubs made this fire pit for me. It is also rustic.
The neighbor won’t cut down his blackberry bushes so they come into our yard. We left these because some birds live in this section.
DIY, Home and Garden, Success!, VIntage

Dandelion Farm

As I noted in a prior post, I bought this sign the other day, intending to put it up on our front fence to give the neighbors a giggle (The Hubs doesn’t mow the lawn every week, and our “grass” consists mostly of dandelion greens.)

The Hubs doesn’t especially like this sign, so I showed him a stencil available on Etsy that says “Dandelion Farm” and said I could get the stencil and make a sign with a piece of wood and some yellow paint. He said there’s no fun in that, and that I should make my own stencil, and that it would look better if the letters weren’t so perfect. Now, I am not a person with much drawing talent. I can draw rectangles, and I need a ruler to do that. I said HE could make a stencil, because he is an artist. So, he went out to the shop and came back with a roll of white paper and an old fence board and promptly went to work.

The Hubs, diligently making a stencil

After he finished cutting out the stencil, The Hubs brushed most of the moss off the front of the old fence board and laid the stencil on top. I kept the letter “middles” off to the side so they wouldn’t get lost, and started painting the letters that don’t have middles. I just sort of dry-brushed the paint on (DecoArt Patio Paint in Fiesta Yellow). The Hubs made sure I knew that there shouldn’t be “globs” of paint if I wanted the sign to have a weathered look.

I painted the letters without “middles” first.

After going to pick up a motor and some car parts very graciously donated to The Hubs by Marnie’s Hubs, I got to work on the sign. Since we didn’t have any spray adhesive (and I don’t think it would have worked with the rough fence board), I just held the edges and letter middles of the stencil down and painted around my fingers. Well, and on my fingers.

Here is the finished product. I like all the letters except the M. I should have re-done it before I painted it.

The finished sign

Here is the sign hanging up on the side yard fence. The Hubs wouldn’t let me put this one on the front fence either. He says the neighbors are all trying to make their places look nice and this would look too primitive. (Unfortunately we aren’t trying to make our place look nice, because we can’t afford it yet.) He said we could put it up on the side fence at the top so people could still see it. I think it would look adorable on the front fence and would like to add some other vintage-y looking signs and things, but they would all have to be bolted to the fence somehow so nobody would run off with them! We live next to an elementary school and near the high school, and while we don’t get a lot of kids walking down our street we do get a few crazies and I have had an incident with my doormat, so we don’t typically put decor at the front of the house. I have a few things on the back porch (which is actually on the side of the house) but mostly decorate the fenced side yard.

It does look a little primitive, but still cute.

I have a bunch more things to hang on the side yard fence. I’m hoping The Hubs will help me put all those things out in the next couple of mornings before it gets too hot out. I’ll post photos when the fence is decorated!

Home and Garden, Want

Trying Again

Since my large succulent plant in the top of the strawberry pot died, I have replaced it with a new plant. I found this plant at Lowe’s, where they still had a number of succulent plants left. I have decided to name it, and am calling it Frank.

This is Frank.

You can see that the other succulents are doing very well, as are the thyme plants.

Baby plants are growing.
Thyme plants are quite fluffy.

At the vintage show the other day someone was selling succulent plants in decorative planters and each plant had a name. The names were printed on labels made with an Dymo labelmaker like this:

And the labels were stuck to nice metal garden labeling stakes like this:

I decided my plants should also have names, so I went looking at label stakes on Amazon and I think I’ve settled on these:

Now I just have to come up with names for the other plants! Comment with any ideas you might have!