Sunday, 14 February 2016

The (Too) Big Garden - 2015

This past summer we increased the size of the garden big time! Converting an old sheep yard into a vegetable garden took some serious labour and in the end the weeds really did win out, but we still managed to pull a hearty harvest from the plot. An automated water system helped but next year we are going into full blown weed prevention mode. Stay tuned!


Tuesday, 7 April 2015

The Start of a Garden Adventure

At times I can get rather fixed on things. I'll ramble on about the wonders of vermicomost or aquaponics to friends and family as their eyes slowly glass over. Usually these ramblings amount to nothing more than a passing phase soon to be forgotten by my captive audience, but something happened in the spring of 2014. Other people got excited too.

And with that the summer garden was born. A humble plot built on my girlfriend's farm, fenced with scrap chicken wire and boxed with recycled lumber. It even had a fancy gate once employed to hold the wandering sheep herd at bay. 

(June 2014)
Starting with radish and snow pea, as summer progressed the plot became a vigorous veggie patch.

( July 2014)
At this point things seemed like they would fit just fine. Little did we know.

(August 2014)
It would become a dense and mysterious jungle!

At the end of the season based on somewhat sporadic records and memory I estimated the following yield from our little patch,

Friday, 13 February 2015

Pallet Headboard

This next project was inspired by my girlfriend. She wanted to create a rustic pallet headboard and that was exactly what we set out to do. We collected four rather worn pallets and set about with disassembling them and removing the nails.

As you can tell these had been a set of rather hardworking pallets. 

 Initially we laid them out so that there would be a straight edge on either side. 

After some minor deliberation we want with very mild offsets, less than 1 inch.

We then decided to give the whole headboard a stain. Looking back at the early pictures I think I prefer the contrast of the various wood tones but this colour went well with the bed set where it would eventually go. 

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Etched Wine Glasses

So our friends got married and my girlfriend Kate came up with the idea to create a set of personalized wine glasses with their initials. With no experience we headed out to the craft store to purchase the stencils and the frosting glue material .

Stencil, frosting glue and a brush. 

It's actually fairly easy to do this project once you have the materials. We used water to make a level line that was equal on all four glasses. We then aligned the bottom of the stencil with the water line and applied the frosted glue. 

The second letter was placed by eye so that it intersected with the "R". 

And voila! A set of custom etched wine glasses.

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Bottle Lamp

If you check out youtube you can find a bunch of videos showing you various ways of cutting through a bottle. I found scoring it with a glass cutter and then pouring water of it (alternating between hot and freezing) worked best. This bottle however, was extremely thick and odd shaped which made it both beautiful and a devil to work with. After a ridiculous amount of heating and cooling the thing cracked but did not quite follow that exact scoring. The end product is below. Not perfect by any means but a start and definitely something I will come back to at a later date. 

Monday, 28 January 2013

Regrowing Celery

In grade ten I attempted to regrow grocery store peppers by planting their seeds. This was a complete and horrid failure. Some six years later I ventured into the realm of regrowing from the produce aisle once more and achieved some moderate success. Below are my two humble celery plants.

3 months old (left) 1 week old (right)

Saturday, 21 July 2012

The Coat Hook Board

For the past few weeks I have been involved with the Habitat for Humanity Restore here in London. The idea behind the project was to upcycle odds and ends around the store. I used an old laminated mdf board along with two old scraps of wood and some hooks.  This piece was inspired by the work of Ariele Alaska which you can find here.

Next time I'll try the same technique on a bigger scale. 

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Pallet Bar/Table

Walking home one day I opted to take a slightly altered route. A walk home can get rather mundane after a few years. When I rounded my new found corner I gazed upon four top notch pallets just waiting to be my next project. I lugged them home awkwardly as my mind raced on what exactly they would become. After spending a week or two gazing through every pallet related DIY project on google images and pinterest I set out to build a new table on the patio that would overlook the fire pit and the rest of the backyard.

The Waste.

The End Product.

Sunday, 8 July 2012

The Fire Escape

For years the fire escape at my house has been more of a potential threat than any sort of safety precaution.  This made it the main project for a summer work weekend with the guys. It was a simple task. Rip out the old stairs, put in some new supports and cut new steps. After a few hours of working away this is what we got.

So now there is actually a full set of steps... strange feeling. 

Thursday, 24 May 2012

The String Lamp

This project was headed up by my girlfriend Kate. She saw a similar idea on pinterest so we decided to give the string lamp a shot - after all lamps are fantastic creations. After a bit of running around at the Walmart, Home Depot and digging through our closets we gathered the materials needed. 

Using a yogurt or ice cream container (not exactly sure what it was) we traced a circle which would eventually be the bottom open portion of the lamp. If you are trying this I would suggest drawing an additional coin sized circle directly opposite the large section such that the lamp chord has a centered location to come through the top. 

One person dips the string in glue as the other pulls it around the ball without going in the circle traced out earlier. 

Let that dry overnight and then liberate your ball/balloon/whatever from its cage. We opted for a ball so we could get a perfect sphere rather than some odd bell like shape you would find in a balloon. 

Once that is done you are nearly there. Simply install  lamp parts through it. We purchased a standard kit from Home Depot but dismantling an old lamp is a great cost effective and simple solution. 

And viola! She is complete.