Friday, May 27, 2011

I love birds!!

Do you ever sit in your garden, and wonder where the birds get their water from?? I do often, living by the ocean there is lots of water around, but is it "good" water?? Not for the little guys! I always seem to have an abundance of pots laying around too, if you are a gardener then most likely you do too. So, I decided to use them up somehow and make something useful at the same time! This project is not only awesome, it's easy and fun to make! I made the birds their own bath, and was afraid they wouldn't use it, but by looking in the bowl, I notice, it most definitely has been used!

What you will need for this, is two pots the same size, I used clay 5 inch pots, and a clay pot bottom, mine is the bigger size. You can play around with them but the top (bottom) should big large enough for the birds to have enough water to play in! You will need glue, and paint of your choice, and some sort of spray to seal the bath up so your paint doesn't come off. If you don't have those things you can always leave it plain! Here is what you do!

Pick two pots of your choice, and a tray that will go on top.

This is probably the hardest part, deciding what size of bird bath you would like ;) Next you will take the two pots and glue them together. Open side down and open side up. I used regular while "craft/wood" glue.

I used the 5 inch because thought that was a good size for my garden. Living in military housing there isn't much space for stuff, but this was the perfect size to fit in between the flowers and herbs that I have. Next you will choose a lid. The lid I have in the next photo isn't the one that I actually used. I decided to go bigger so ended up going out to purchase a new tray. But you get the idea!

You glue the lid on, and let all the glues dry, best over night if you are using the white glue. If you are in a rush you could always use another type, like bond, or crazy glue. It would be fine, since the birds aren't drinking near that part.

Once your glue is all dried you can paint your new bird feeder. I've done a couple of these, and noticed they don't like red around where I am! They seem to like the darker or pastel colours more. I used acrylic paint, and then used a spray that was animal friendly once dried. Best thing to do it ask at your local home store. They will be able to help you!

Once your bird bath is dry, you can place in your garden, fill with water, and wait for the birds! I've now had to start changing the water in mine twice a day. I am glad they are enjoying it!! Since it is Spring, they will need a lot more water, with all their babies around and such. (I noticed we had babies living in the pole that is used for our laundry line outside!!) What a wonderful thing to watch in the morning with your tea, but some singing little birdies, having a party by the sea!

Cost of pots (new): 8$
Glue: 2$
Spray: 6$
Total cost: $16 (I already had the spray, so that didn't cost me this time. You can use it on other projects also!! :)
If you have pots laying around you can use those to lessen the cost also.

Difficulty: Easy
Time: 20 minutes (more or less depending on you painting times) I took about an hour, the small flowers took a little white to do!

Hope you enjoy your new garden bird bath! It really is worth the time to make!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Garden planter box

Have you ever just seen a pile of wood, and thought "Hey, what can I get out of that?" I do it often! This time I put those thoughts into action! This is what I came up with: 

Total cost: about $10
Total time: 8 hours (because I started out not know what I was going to build exactly;)
Difficulty: Medium
Tools required: drill, jig saw, tape measure, pencil 2 inch screws, 1 1/4 inch screws, poly for liner, paint and brush, wood of choice, hammer, stapler and staples for wood

So, first of all, the pile of wood is an old burn pile in the back yard that has come from house building scraps. A family friend brings them over to the house and it is usually used for the fire pit, but thought I would do something else with it this time. There were a lot of boards that were about the 2 feet length that had been cut from different projects for the house building. The first thing I did was build a basic frame. I had originally built a salad box and that is what I was starting to build when the idea came to me that I could expand this project! 

Luckily for me the pieces were all generally the same size, so it was pretty easy to put this together. I used 1 1/4 inch screws to pop this together. 
Next I built the salad box. I have one of these in my garden specifically for lettuce mixes. It is 3 inches tall, so perfect for baby salad greens! 

Once I had the box together, I had to figure out how to do the sides. It all started to come together by this point, and decided that I really loved the look of vertical sides and horizontal bottom and top. 

I didn't plan it very well,, so it was a little bit tough getting it together at first, simply because I jumped ahead of myself. Should have put the walls together first and then connected them. What ever you are comfortable with will work though! I used a chair for the top pieces to lean on as I was screwing those pieces in. For this section I also used 1 1/4 inch screws. 

As I looked at the box, this is what I thought would be the bottom and then figure out something with the top. It didn't actually end up like that. This is when I decided to use the salad box as the bottom, and ended up flipping the box. Because the pieces are all the same length it slid in quite easily. I did have to find some pieces for support on the inside of the box, and they had to be screwed to the sides so it would sturdy up. 

It has been fit, and snug on the bottom. Now for the top. This is where I had to use the jig saw. I had to measure 45 degree angles on the boards on top so the pieces would fit together and it would have a sharp looking top. I stapled the edges together, and used that metal stuff for securing furniture to the wall (in case of earth quake) I stapled the wire on and hammered it in so it was secure. The top side I just used staples for some extra strength. I wasn't very concerned with using screws on top as it was going to be painted so screwed the top on, two on each corner where the pieces connected for some more extra support. This is where I used the 2 inch screws so they were long enough to get some good grip into the frame boards. 

Now that it was pretty much put together, I cut poly to fit inside so the wood won't rot away too quickly. You could put a pot inside as well if that is easier for you. This wood was used for concrete so I had to scrape a little bit off before painting, but all in all it didn't take very long, and was a pretty easy, fun project! I bought paint for this project, but am also using it on another one, so total cost for the paint was 14.00, but this box used about 1/4 of it. The screws were about 3.00, and the other miscellaneous parts were already kicking around the house like staples and poly.   

Have fun, stay safe and please use safety gear when ever it is needed! 

Monday, May 16, 2011

Need Lattice?!

Being a poor chick, I often think and think of ways I can save money. What can I use, re-use, recycle!? We were in need of lattice for our peas! After going for a lovely walk on the beach, dear husband and I realized HEY! Driftwood!!! We walked along the beach, and found the perfect pieces for us, for the size we needed. We have a pea garden which is approximately 1.5'x3' long. I dug out a patch close to the house to block from the wind, as we are close to the ocean so it can get severely windy at our place, even when it isn't windy anywhere else in the city!! After thinking about how and what to do, we came up with this

I had thought of putting up the black netting against the stairs, but after sitting outside for tea in the mornings, as spring began to "sprung" I noticed the amount of birds that flew under the stairs constantly! That would be the worst thing to wake up to, if one of them had gotten stuck! 

This was an easy project, and took about one hour to complete, aside from our walk on the beach. 
Materials: Driftwood, and screws. 
Tools: a marker for marking dots, a drill, and a screwdriver. 

Fun project for the kids to help with! 

Please check your local area as there may be specific rules for taking/not taking items off the beach. 

And then it was empty!

Spring time is an insane time! Seeds, and seedlings, soil! From clay, to plastic, burlap, to brick! No matter how many questions there are, isn't spring time great? The last snow is falling and you think to yourself " DANG IT! My tomatoes will never have a chance unless I plant them NOW!!" And out come the seedlings trays, and a quick trip the the nursery. Soil and seeds in hand, it's time to get planting! We started early this year, March actually! I had taken over pretty much the whole kitchen, and as May long weekend is closer and closer, (next weekend to be exact) The amount of space in the kitchen has started to grow again as my precious little babies I have been nursing for the last 2 months are slowly put out to enjoy their start in life!

I swear, my dear husband thinks I have gone mad. And he will for years to come I'm sure, but each year, when he bites into the first tomato off the vine, he won't think I'm so crazy after all ;)

There is something more gratifying then most things, when you get to pick "the fruits of your labour". And just something soothing about the greenery you can surround yourself when you have plants. It's comforting in a way! Also knowing the health benefits of growing your own food just isn't something you can compare, to buying at the grocery store.

I hope everyone at some point in their lives has a chance to grow something of their own! We grow radishes in ice cream containers, beet tops in silverware containers, bunching onion in juice jugs, and strawberries in pop bottles to name a few. Conventional pots, re-used containers, anything you can grow in, is a good idea! Happy gardening to all. I will soon post some more info, and photos of the happy little garden!

New to me!

I am working on getting this all fixed up. I have been learning all about extensions, pages, and posts etc etc etc! Trying to learn something way too late at night is proving to be difficult! I will eventually have sections for gardening, clothing/fashions, foodies, books, sewing and painting, and photography to name a few! If one person can take something from what I show you, then that makes me happy! The only rule is make it your own! Play on ideas, and recipes to make them your very own, it is most enjoyable :) From crafts, to critters, and treats, that is what makes life enjoyable! Learning, growing and loving your surroundings. There is beauty in everything, you just need to know where to look. Most of the time it can be in the smallest places, you never would have thought it to be!