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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Bark Trio

For a small amount of money (about $13) we were able to up the curb appeal of our house. Casey got a quarter yard of bark to fill the two boxes and small edged area in the front yard.You remember the before from our first post:
Here's what it looked like today before he got started.
Pretty sad and the box Casey made in the below picture looses dirt every winter from all of the rain we get here in Oregon.

Casey got right to work making our house look pretty.

And he likes to do things the fun way. Instead of using a rake like a normal boring regular person, he chose the hang-off-the-railing method. It's controversial, but effective.
 One more wheel barrow full for the rose box

After trimming some of the new growth of the rose to help it grow attractively in a "chalice" shape (he said), he filled the box.  The rose is a beautiful pink and yellow; I can't wait for it to bloom!

With the boxes filled, it is time to mow the lawn while there is a break in the rain (boo hoo). My sweetie is so productive!
Casey wanted to make mowing our tiny front yard a little easier so he suggested that a small trim around the boxes would be helpful. And, we can fill the small edge with the left over bark from our quarter yard!
 Grass and weeds are cut away and ready for a bark fill.

 So much better!

 A little front yard I can be proud of :).

Two Little Words

One big meaning. 
I saw this sign over on Pinterest (my favorite place) and I really wanted to make it to go over our front door. The sign says "Be Kind" and it is the last thing our family will see when we leave the house. This is a great reminder to be kind to each person we encounter out in the world; be it another driver, coworker or fellow student. 

Casey: We started with a piece of oak that I recycled from an old pallet. It was quite ugly before I planed it down to reveal the interesting figuring in the grain.

 Next I cut from the center to get all the cool knots and grain that Gabi wanted for the sign.
 The board was still pretty rough on the edges where it was cut so I gave it a quick sanding job with a rasp. I had to be careful not to knock off the cool knots on the wood so I went slow with light pressure.

 To finish it off I used some 100 grit sandpaper just until there were no more splinters.

 We wanted keyhole slots to hang it by so I routed them with a keyhole cutter. I realize there is a slight chance that you don't have a router with a keyhole cutter so any picture hanging hardware will work.
 Here is the keyhole after it was cut. There is another equally spaced on the other end as well.
Gabi: We found a free font here called "Sail" : I printed it out to use as a reference. I decided to do it free-hand because it is faster and I wanted a more rustic look, but you could use a transfer method if that makes you more comfortable.
 I started by sketching out the letters with a pencil.
 Then I painted with some black acrylic and smallish paintbrush. I finished with a tiny brush to do the details
We let it dry over night.
Casey: Once the paint was dry I finished the sign by treating it with linseed oil. I used oil rather than a lacquer or stain because I wanted to bring out the character of the wood while keeping a very natural, unfinished  look.
I used an old sock to apply the oil and I rubbed the oil into the wood for a couple of minutes. Hand rubbing the oil into the wood pushes the oil deep into the wood fibers. The more time you spend on this process the richer the wood will appear.

Now the fun part! We centered the sign above our front door on the inside so we would see it on the way out when we leave. It seems like a very simple phrase but few things are as important as this.