Sunday, June 22, 2014

Fire Pit Planter

A few months ago I fell in love with this planter I found over at Fine Gardening. Like just about everything else that I see and want, I knew I wouldn't be able to stop thinking about the thing until I had something just like it. But also just like everything else that I see and want, it would be way out of my price range for at least another 4 or 5 years. Lucky for me, I have a fast moving brain and knew that I could have something really similar for free just by using something I already had laying old, rusted fire pit.

This plain jane run-of-the-mill fire pit served us well the first year we moved in, and was there for us every step of the way up until we built the real deal the following summer. And then it was quickly retired to the back of the house where it's pretty much sat as an eye-sore ever since. 

After a few rounds of scrubbing and suds followed by 3 coats of mega expensive metallic colored spray paint ($9 for a can that sputtered and dripped...) I was happy with my new planter bowl. So happy that I didn't even let it cure for the full 48 hours, but whatever- it's fine as long as you're looking at it from like 8 feet away, which works out since it's placed upon a shady slope...
Once I got the positioning right, it was time to figure out a way to keep it secure and level. Thankfully I had just been working with a roll of metal grid fencing the day before so I was quick to realize that I could just cut a length of that stuff and wind it into a sturdy circle, shoving the wire stems down into the ground for support. Unthankfully, this only worked until I was finished planting which was when the entire thing kind of fell over and made that cartoon-like droopy falling-over noise. It was around that time that I took a deep breath and a walk and probably opened a beverage of some sort. Eventually I circled back and with a mallet and some dowel rods and kind of just worked with what I had in order to get this thing strong enough to hold up to the elements. Of course, this wasn't before having to un-plant and then re-plant the whole thing, but that's beside the point.
When all was said and done, this is what shined in front of me, in all it's splendid glory. Overall I'm pretty happy with it. I had to use plants that I already had on hand, and the most easy-going, transplant-friendly ones I had were a variety of sedum, so that's what I went with. I'm excited to see what it looks like when it flowers and also once I have this area free of vines and other nuisances, but until then I'll just be happy to have a finished project (which is always a big deal for me).

Monday, June 16, 2014

Projects, Life, Etc.

It's funny to think back on the days when this blog would wrap itself around my life as much as it did, day in and day out, for years upon years. I'm not sure if I stopped blogging because I got busy or if I got busy because I stopped blogging, but I think it may have had something to do with a little bit of both.

At some point a couple years ago I remember feeling burnt out. Trying to do all these projects on the mega-cheap while other bloggers were creating beautiful homes and projects with ease. And while I'm not really the jealous type, it did get a little frustrating at times to know that I was trying 10 times as hard to create something that was 10 times less exciting. I eventually came to the realization that what I once loved about blogging had become this toxic, looming state of frustration. So I put it aside and moved along.

But recently I've been feeling this pool of emptiness and I think it may be that I miss writing. I've been working on all these little projects lately and while it has been nice to not have the constant, hovering thought of "I need to document this....and this....and this....and probably thisss...." I still do really miss this space. And so, I think I'll come back again and give it a try, remembering what my original intent was in the first place: to have somewhere I could post photos of what I was doing along with some words so I'd always have something to look back upon in 1, 2 or even 20 years from now.

So, here I am. This is one of the projects I've been working on. It's not finished yet- right now I'm building the roof, but eventually it's going to be a drop box for all those little weeds that like to poke their heads out of my garden. I came up with the idea when I was weeding a few weeks ago and realized that when there are only like 10 weeds to pull, I never walk those 10 weeds all the way to the weed pile in the back corner of the yard, because it's like 200' from my main garden. As a result, I would end up with all these little piles of weeds scattered about. So this is my attempt to fix that issue. We'll see how it works...I'm pretty sure it will be a good solution.

As far as life projects go, over the past couple years I've managed to stay busy with a few things here and there.

I completed my Entry Level, Firefighter I and Firefighter II certifications, and I'm officially considered an Interior Firefighter. More on that later....

I received my Nursing Assistant Certification last month and will be finding a job in the field relatively soon. I've learned that I really enjoy caring for people in need and I also learned that scrub pants make the most excellent garden and house project many pockets! More on all that later as well.

I'm in the process of completing all my immunizations to start my EMT class in August. My eventual goal is to become and ER nurse, hopefully by the time I'm in my mid 30s. It will be a long road but I think I'm up for it. I started school for the first time in almost 10 years last fall. It's been a fun challenge and for the most part I enjoy it. (Ha, I say that now....)

I started focusing on art again after a long hiatus, which has been really, really nice. I'm still in the process of moving my studio, but I'm finally making headway on it. More on that as well. It would help if I didn't have an a-hole alpha male cat in the house to deal with. Anyway. Here's one of my works in progress....hoping to finish it shortly:

Well, I suppose for now I should get outside and carry on with this weed box. I'll be back with photos soon. I've got so many things to post about...I'm really excited. I'm hoping to get a real camera again, cameras are convenient and all, but constantly being attached to my phone is a distraction I don't need, and usually I don't even know where it is on my days off (which is good and bad, of course.) Anyway....I hope you are all doing well. See you again soon.