All Decked Out

I love before and after makeovers especially when they are interior design based. When we moved into our house almost three years ago there was a rotting plywood deck hanging off the front of the house. The picture doesn’t do the rotting part justice. The deck was constructed of sub par materials; added to and fixed up on multiple occasions with a little TLC, rusty nails and duct tape. We lived with the deck as it was for the first year, but come spring the demo started.  The demo took about 30 minutes.

The before pictures:

There is an apple tree that dictated the size of the deck.  We love the apple tree and wanted to save it.  Here is a picture during construction; the apple tree is the little tree espalied along the front of the deck.

During Construction:

The footprint of the deck didn’t change because of the apple tree, but it was constructed with materials designed to be on the exterior of a house.  We lived with the deck as it was for the next year and the following year we built the garden beds.  Finally this year we got around to “decorating” it into an outdoor living space.  This project was three years in the making, and it’s finally done, at least for this season.

Here is the current state:

We are using the steps as a herb garden, and the best part is that we don’t need to put on shoes to grab a handful of herbs.  Sasha is very into gardening, and is helping to take care of the plants.  Logan on the other hand walks over to the garden every afternoon looking for bites.  I am using the garden as an opportunity to teach him colours, fruits and veggies.  If only I can stop him from eating green strawberries we might get some fruit.

This is where I will be planted this summer, but I might just have a little competition.

Keep crafting, creating and gardening.

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Mobile Magic

For 18 months or maybe longer I have wanted to make a mobile to hang over the crib of my baby. My baby is now a toddler and close to out-growing his crib, but I finally got it together to make the mobile. I have been struggling to come up with a design and have not been inspired. One of the things that has stopped me from making any of the mobiles that I pinned on Pinterest was the baby’s vantage point. Most mobiles I found were made to look at from a standing position, which is fine unless you are planning on being in the horizontal position most of the time. I love the thought of an origami crane mobile but I knew the baby would be staring at the butt of a paper bird, and what fun is that? So after many, many months I was motivated, I saw a mobile that was inspired by Charles & Ray Eames who were fantastic furniture designers.   The design is based on a series of balls, so no worry about the vantage point dictating the enjoyment of the mobile. I can enjoy the mobile standing in his room, he can enjoy it while he is lying down, and it was inspired by two of my design idols. Win, Win, Win.

This was quite an easy project, but a little time consuming because of the time required for the paint to dry between coats. I started with 24-1″ round beads, 3 wire coat hangers, wire snips, a glue gun, fishing line, craft paint and a clear gloss spray paint. I cut the coat hangers into 3 or 4 pieces. I varied the lengths of the pieces to make the design a little more interesting, ending up with 11 wires. Then I glued the balls onto the ends of the wires with hot glue. I filled the holes in the beads with glue, and held for a couple of seconds while the glue hardened. On one of the longest wires I glued 4 balls, one on each end and 2 in varying lengths from the end, this is the top wire which I hung 3 wire sections from. After all of the wires had beads on the ends I painted the balls with craft paint. Spray paint would be easier but craft paint is much more economical, and my four year old helper could participate. After a coat or 2 of paint on the balls, I sprayed them all with clear gloss paint for a little sheen. I used empty upside down egg cartons as props when painting, and they worked really well. After all of the balls were glossy, I started assembling the mobile by typing the wires to each other with fishing line. I made sure to space them so that they didn’t bang into each other. After everything was joined together I balanced the wires, and hung it from the ceiling.

Keep crafting, creating and mobile making.