Thursday, September 18, 2014


Recently I wrote to the editor of Renovate magazine and my letter was published and it seems I also went in the draw to win a mocka wooden stool, and I won !
So this morning the parcel arrived and I have just spent some time putting it together, easy as !.

All the pieces ready for assembly

It was a lovely surprise to win something and it is such a pretty thing.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Recycled wood Cabbage Trees and the Bronze Corgi's

On Saturday we went in to town for lunch at the Mediterranean Cafe, delicious food and coffee as always.
Further down Tuam Street towards C1 cafe on High St was the most amazing sight, giant Cabbage Trees made from recycled wood and they were big.
Absolutely stunning, no idea who made them, but very clever.
Look how small the people are!
The lovely facade of the McKenzie & Willis building in the background.
Fantastic details

McKenzie & Willis building facade, please fix it !

And then across the road outside C1 the very cute bronze Corgi's are back, missed these wee guys after the earthquakes, now back where they belong.

Out for a walk.

Taking himself for a walk.

Hey wait for me!

Ooh an icecream!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Planter Box and another obelisk

The first obelisk turned out to be a wee bit wide for the planter box, so I thought I would make another one and smaller. It didn't take too long and I managed one coat of paint as well. It is a bit wonky (sounds familiar).

Also I had a brainwave and used some wooden knobs for the four corners, they work just fine.

The inside isn't painted, as it will have a plastic pot.
The driveway is on a slope, not the obelisk.
Not too bad at all.

Just a couple of photo's of the build for the obelisk, nothing too fancy or difficult. Made with treated timber.

First two sides.

The capping and the first coat of paint.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Planter Box continued.

Okay a wee bit of snow on the ground and it was so cold out in the garage I couldn't feel my feet, they are still trying to warm up.

Yesterday I finally had to actually buy some timber, as I needed treated timber for the capping, non treated would rot out far too quickly. So off to Mitre 10 in Ferrymead (my favourite shop) and because the new car is a wee bit smaller I had to get him to cut the lengths in to three. It all fitted in and I now seem to have too much, so another planter box might be on the way, maybe a bit smaller though.

Clamped in place before I nail them on.
Around the top and bottom edges I used thin (40 x 5mm) strips to finish, helps to hide all the unsightly bits.
The corners are dreadful, but I really don't care.
The top capping in place, still haven't worked out the capping for the top of the legs, working on that.

The paint will hide all sorts of muck ups.

Before I got frost bite I did an undercoat, I use four blocks of wood, plus little pieces to raise the legs up, so I can paint the legs easily, no sticking to the newspaper.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Versailles Planter box (Sort of)

After much research for plans to make a Versailles planter box I ended up just making my own. Lots of the plans used a Kreg Jig and I don't have one of those, so I chose the traditional method of dowel and glue for the frame.
And in the spirit of not spending any money and using what I had (scrap timber), I am pretty happy with the results, although I might get a rude letter from France !

The basic frame and it's not 100% square, oh well.

I used 50x100 ground treated timber, that I ripped down to make the legs, they are about 45x45. The rails are all odds and sods, so not all exactly the same dimensions.

The boards for the bottom, with lots of room in-between for drainage and airflow.
All of the boards for the bottom and sides were from old sarking that I have, it was in the school bus shed for the roof. It was rough sawn and since I still haven't got around to getting a new belt for the thicknesser I used the electric hand planer to smooth them out a bit. They don't have to be perfect as they will all be painted or on the inside.

Fitting the bottom boards and using an a spare to get the gaps even, they were nailed  in place.
Bottom finished.

Small hand plane
Next it was the sides and these needed to be slightly smarter looking, well kind of. A quick sand and then using the small plane I took off the arris on the long edges.
Because I didn't want to be forever cutting the side boards I decided to have three full width and one narrower one, randomly placed on each side, this won't stand out so much once it is all painted.

On the floor and nailing the bottom of each side board into place, not so easy with the top edges.
Once again, this timber is so, so hard I had a lot of trouble with the top edges, so gave up, I could of hammered all day and made no progress! So screws it was.
Screws are all counter sunk and will eventually be hidden.

Inside with the wide gaps on the bottom.

So now it is just capping for the top edges and also across the bottom edge needs some more work, maybe small caps or knobs for the top of the legs, ready made are all too big, so was thinking about using wooden cupboard knobs, not too sure about that yet, enough for today.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Obelisk, flowers and apple shortcake

Having fancied an obelisk for the garden it was time to make one and I found the perfect one on Pinterest and downloaded the plans.
Except it was 1.8m high and well, just enormous, so I cut the bottom off it, rather than start from scratch and now it is all good.
Simple to make, fiddly to paint, that probably took longer than making it and it still needs a second coat.

Finished and with undercoat.

One coat of black.

And then there are the flowers in the garden, lots of Daffodils and Narcissus, too good to leave outside, much better in a vase in the kitchen. The table is just about overflowing with plants, too cold yet to put the two Gardenias out and they seem to like the company!

Now that is a view, to the Port Hills.
And then there was this amazing rainbow the other week, especially against the grey, moody sky.

And just to finish off a blog mixture, the apple shortcake I made this afternoon, haven't tried it yet, but it won't last long.

Apple shortcake for tonight, yum !!!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Stool #1 Slipcover

It seems once I get started it is all go, so next project has been a slipcover for my stool I made. And because I love leopard print it just had to be.

As furnishing or curtain fabric is so much more durable I had bought 1m of this lovely from Martha's Fabrics online, it won't wear out any time soon.

And there was just enough cording from the original cushion top to go around the top edge.
Sewing the cording on using a zipper foot and trying to stay as close in as possible for a neat edge.
Next it was adding the sides and making it a good tight fit over the cushion, if it's too baggy it just looks awful and will move around.
Making the pleats took some time and lots of pinning and pressing to get them to sit neatly and then I forgot about the bottom hem, damn! So all the bottom pins came out and then the edge was zigzagged and turned under, more pressing.
Attaching the pleated skirt was quite straight forward, but best done slowly going through a few layers of fabric.
Then the whole thing got another press.
And it's finished and oh so pretty !