Landscaping progress

I did not get the landscaping done yesterday.  Dry time was not my friend.  I did get the sidewalk installed, though I made it from cork I had in my stash instead of the linoleum scrap I found in my basement, as I had planned on, because the linoleum was too brittle.  The cork got a couple coats of polyurethane to keep it from crumbling.  I glued down soil/mulch (out-of-date cold-brew tea) and made a little pumice thing around the trio of rocks in front, which I hated.   April's birdbath isn't as tall as necessary to compete with the plantings, so I glued it to a wooden plinth, which I hated.   If I weren't under a deadline I'd order either a matching plinth or a taller birdbath, but at this point in the game I have to make due with what I have.  I also got the rest of the large foundation plants installed, which, though you can't see in the picture, line the foundation on the two sides as well.

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While I was waiting for glue to dry I colored the electric and gas meters while thinking through how best to install them.  I'm planning to cut wooden blocks to fit them over (they have an open back), glue the blocks to the building, then the meters over the blocks.

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This morning I covered the yucky white pumice area with soil, and put a coat of gray paint on the wooden plinth so that it will look like concrete instead.  I also sorted through my remaining supply of plants.  By the time I get home from work tonight glue and paint will have dried, I can give the landscape a good vacuuming, then glue down the rest of the plants.

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landscaping begun

I cut a board for my base then stained it ebony.  The board has a rough side and a smooth side, but I am using it rough side up because it's interesting.

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I always put rubber feet on the bottom of my projects, but this base board was too thin to screw them into, so I used machine screws, washers and nuts, which left hardware protruding upward. 

Air dry clay would have made excellent rocks to cover the exposed hardware, but I didn't have any on hand.  I did have some styrofoam balls, Durham's Rock Hard Water Putty, and alcohol inks.

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I used the leftover water putty to smooth out the rough area in front of the porch, where the sidewalk will go.

While that was drying I filled in the planter boxes.  The electrics are hiding in the long one, so it needs to be able to be lifted out.  I cut a thin piece of basswood to fit then topped it with a layer of foam core board.  I used two nuts and bolts as handles.  So that they aren't too obvious I covered the exposed metal with torn strips of brown colored masking tape, so they would look like trunks.

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You'll notice that I also added another layer to the roof.  It's foam core board covered with black tape.  The roof looks thick enough now.  I should probably go over the edges of the tape with a black marker so that the lines aren't obvious.

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I glued in the large foundation plants before I went to bed.  I left them to dry overnight, and this morning will fill the boxes in with the same succulents I used on the roof.

Hopefully I can get the landscaping finished today.  Once that's done I need to put together the smaller journal kits Nancy sent to finish the bookcase, then can start moving the furniture inside and placing accessories.  Oh, and I need to have my husband fix my power strip so that the lights work.

I'm getting very close to done!  I need to have it ready before the end of the week, so that I take it over to the botanical park next weekend for a photo shoot.


porch, roof, marker set prototype

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The porch floor is done, and I think I've solved my problem with the roof, which, as a bonus, negates my having to trim the skylight.  I ran out of black duct tape before I could finish.

Protype #1 of a marker set.  After I'm done with the build I'll design prototype #2 for the cricut so I can get something precise and repeatable.

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siding almost done

All the siding is on, I need to clean up the corners yet.  I installed the siding with an overlapping butt join on the corners, but some overlap a bit too much and need to be sanded down and have the ends stained.

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I had envisioned, originally, the edges of the roof trimmed in the same siding, but will leave as is unless I have time, before the deadline, once everything else necessary is done, to do that.  As it is now the roof is too thin and simple looking for my liking, but, on the other hand, it's not awful.

Next on my list is to finish the porch floor and trim out the skylight.

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The hole for the skylight is larger than necessary.  I installed it with the trim on the ceiling side, so I could line it up with the striped ceiling paper.  Once it was dry I flipped it over and filled in the gaps with wooden coffee stir sticks and wood glue.  I need to decide how to trim it out on the exterior.


birthday siding

When I was making the yucca I was wishing I had more shades of green markers.  It's my birthday today, so I treated myself.  I also got a trio of brown and a couple of grays.

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I got one side wall and the bottom front wall sided yesterday.  My thumb hurt from squeezing the glue bottle, so I took a break for lunch about 1:00 then fell asleep on the couch after eating and slept for the rest of the day.  The cocktail of antihistamines and steroids I've been on for the last couple of weeks has really  messed up my sleep schedule.  My doctor told me I had the worst case of sinusitis she's ever seen without any infection.  That is not some kind of award I wanted to win.

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Hopefully I'll get the rest of the building sided today.


painting the roof

I knew I wanted the underside of the eaves to be either copper or aluminum.  I bought some shiny, mirror finish, silvery, tape, but it didn't stick to the mdf, so I switched to copper paint.

My original plan was to shingle the top of the big roof, but now that it's so close to the contest deadline I decided to do something faster, so continued the copper paint up and over.

The first coat brushed on poorly.

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I switched from a brush to a sea sponge, which was messy but effective.  I sponged two coats on, then left it to dry overnight last night.

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This morning I pulled the tape off.  I was left with a white line between wall and eave and along the top edge of the smaller roof.  The primer bled under the tape a bit.

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I ran a black sharpie along the top edge of the roof, that was an easy fix.  I was going to paint over the line between wall and eave with a bit of burnt umber paint, but the tube dried up.  I put a little raw sienna on a pallet instead, along with some thalo blue to touch up the walls where I dropped copper on them.  The raw sienna was not the right color, but it mixed nicely with the thalo blue to make a accidental green patina-ish color.

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Today I hope to get the wooden siding on and the skylight glued in.  I was going to use the wood strips as is, but test colored one with some golden oak stain.  I like the stained one better.  I guess I'd better get off the computer and start staining if I'm going to get the walls done this weekend.


upholstery and tablescape

I reupholstered an old green "velvet" chair this morning.

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I finished the sides and back in black leather.

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Now I'm working on the layout for the center table.  It's hard to find a good balance between not enough and too much.  I need to make some colored pencils, but we don't have the right size pasta in the pantry, so I'll have to go to the store.

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