Monthly Archive: June 2012

Jun 13

Garden Bench Restoration

This bench project has been in the family for a lot of years!!   I’m not sure where my dad and I got the legs for the garden bench, but knowing us and our thrifting ways, it was probably at a garage sale.  When I left the house without having assembled the bench, my brother, Skylar, had a go at it. When he too didn’t finish, there it sat.

Kelli and I swung through Winfield (my hometown) on one of our trips to Kansas and picked up the pieces; wrought iron legs and the rough cut planks of wood. Since owning our house, Kelli and  I have fell in love with building things, finding broken things (some call it “junk”) and re-purposing to make them our own.  A couple examples of our work are the Ladder Herb Garden, Shutter Card Holder, or Raised Garden.

Once I got the pieces in my hands, it was time to get to work!  Below is the final result.  I hope you enjoy learning about what I did!

I forgot to take pictures of the sides before I started so I borrowed some off of the ebay classifieds. This is what they looked liked before we did anything to them.  I also didn’t take any pictures of the planks of wood (woops!), but from the picture above you can use your imagination to picture them.  The main difference from above was that they were all either halfway painted or had some kind of random stain on them.

To prepare the sides, Kelli and I removed all the rust from them by spraying them down with a hose and then going to town with sandpaper and a wire brush. Finally, Kelli sprayed painted them with a flat black Rustoleum paint.They looked brand new when we were done!

To sum up my work on the wooden planks: I used my electric sander on all 4 sides of the 13 pieces of wood.  From watching DIY shows I learned that this helps open up the pores in the wood which allows it to soak up more stain.  It also makes the grain of the wood pop.

My next step was to stain the wood.   I actually really liked this part of the project because of two things.  The first thing was that I love the color of stain and what it does to the look of wood projects.  The second was that I was able to combine a couple left over cans of stain from our basement and create my own custom color.  This also allowed us to get rid of some of the cans that only have a little bit left.

I put two coats of the stain on the wood and then let it sit for a day or two just to make sure they were dry. And then I sealed the wood with Polycrylic for a nice finish.

Once that was dry, I moved on to putting the pieces together.  I went to the hardware store and bought roughly 40 stainless steel bolts to attach the wood to the garden bench sides.

And TA-DA!!  Here was the final product.

After everything was said and done, I only bought the nuts and bolts for $5!

We now have this beautiful bench for almost no cost to us other than some know-how and labor.

Do you have any cool projects that you’ve been working on?  Tell us about them!

Also, don’t forget to Like us on Facebook or subscribe to the us on the website. Those are the two easiest ways to see if we have posted anything new recently.  Have a good one!!

Jun 12

Over the Weekend

We were lucky enough to have two back-to-back wonderful weekends!

We love getting away, seeing friends, seeing sites….but it takes us away from all of the fun DIY projects we’re into right now. Get ready for lots of new posts about what we’ve been up to. But for now…the traveling:

This past weekend we went back to Kansas City for one of my BFFs baby shower! It just so happened that my hometown, Salina, was also having their annual River Festival the day we drove into Kansas. So, so perfect.

Eric was introduced to the festival for the first time over the weekend. He has heard me talk about it for 3 years now and I know he thought it was just some nostalgic thing I had for my hometown. But he admitted that it was all that I cracked it up to be! We saw lots of family friends, drank some brew and listened to live music. What could be better on a summer day/evening?!Jena’s shower was lovely, as I had expected. Get it? Expected, haha.
It was awesome to get to be there to see all the adorable baby presents, see her new house and really just hang out for a full day together. I wouldn’t have missed it for the world!
What a beautiful pregnant lady 🙂 Can’t say I’m surprised!Jena and Jordan on the Plaza. Holler for the first pregnancy picture (even if it is the last trimester)!We stopped back through Brookville on our way back home to see the progress on “the bar”. My parents and brother are in the process of renovating an old mercantile in a small town outside of Salina. They are turning it into a really cool, old-timey bar called the Sandstone Saloon. We’re all so excited to watch the progress and even more anxious to see the final product!

That’s all folks! Another great weekend in the books. This coming weekend, Eric will be partaking in a fishing tournament and I’ll be off to high school dance camp in Greeley, CO. I have fond memories of dance camp when I was in high school, but am a little nervous to see what it’ll be like as a coach. Wish me luck!

Jun 10

Mountain Games or Bust!

This trip is in the top 3 trips that Kelli and I have taken since moving to Sidney!  We were invited by some friends of ours to join them in Vail for the TEVA Mountain Games.  This trip was full of hitting 45 mph on mountain bikes, watching guys tightrope over streams, grabbing as much free gear as possible from vendors, and rooting world-class climbers on as they solve “bouldering problems”.

Here is our TEVA Crew:  From left to right it goes Jim, Sheila, Tess, myself, Kelli, and Jay.  The TEVA Mountain Games were pretty stellar but couldn’t have happened without this sweet group of people to show us the ropes.

This picture was taken in the mountains above Keystone where we stayed the night before above a bar called the Snake River Saloon.  It was a nice change of pace to get away from small town Sidney, have a beer in the crisp mountain air and then stay the night in the rooms literally above the bar.  We like to call it the bar-and-bed arrangement.

The next day, we got up and took a “guided” trip way (thanks Jim and Sheila!) up into the mountains.  Here are some pictures that were taken during that leg of the trip.

This is a closer view of the mine that we stumbled across. Kelli and I thought we might purchase it for our next home… We know its a fixer upper but we will blog about it the whole way through, J/K!! 🙂

On the way back down from the mountain Jay and I rode our bikes. Kelli drove the jeep, which had 0 miles left in the gas tank, down a really bumpy mountain road for her first time.  Luckily for me I married an awesome gal that handled it like a champ!

This is me getting my helmet on.  Safety first.Once we got off the dirt part of the ride down, Jay and I decided to stay on the bikes and do the road portion.   The vehicles clocked us at 45 mphs on the steepest inclines!! That’s some pretty intense speed when you only have a walmart helmet on for protection.

Go Jay!

The next part of the trip was the actual Mountain Games in Vail. The entire event was action packed and seriously one of the coolest events we have been to.  There was always something going on around the resort which meant early mornings and late nights!

We watched the Slopestyle event first.  This is when guys ride dirt jumping mountain bikes down a course and do tricks like back flips to get the highest score. So cool to see in person!

We ended up getting to sleep around 1:00 a.m. that night and then got up at 6:30 a.m. to support Jim and another friend of ours in their Fly Fishing competition.  Here is Jeff in the first qualifying event for fly fishing. It was so fun to see our friends compete in an event.

I’ll run through the other events pretty quick but the pictures are pretty nuts.

This is slack-lining.  You might recognize it from the Super Bowl halftime show.  Its cool to watch, especially over the kayakers practicing backflips in the water below him.

Then you have 8-ball kayak racing.  Summed up- it’s sending 4 kayakers at a time down the river and whoever makes it pass the 8-ball kayakers first wins.  No rules on how you make it happen.

We were also able to watch dockdogs.  This is when dogs run a long a platform and essentially long jump into a pool to see how far they can jump.  I used this cool app I downloaded on my phone called ActionShot to take multiple pictures really quick and then mold them together to form one “action shot.”

The last event I will talk about was the World Cup Bouldering Championship.  Bouldering is climbing without a rope.  I was also informed that instead of climbing, they are solving a “bouldering problem.”  Not completely sure why its called that other than to get from point A(on the ground) to point B (top of the course) that is a “problem” and the climbers have to solve it by getting to the top.

To get around during the Mountain Games, bikes are a must.  Each of the 6 of us had a bike, so we formed our own little bike gang.  Here are Tess and Kelli posing with their sweet rides!  They each had bells and Tess even had a basket on the front. They had a blast on those cruisers and were so sad to bring them back to the rental store on Sunday.

We ended our trip with our traditional Beau Jo’s in Idaho Springs as we head back down the mountains.If you ever get a chance, go up to Vail for the TEVA Mountain Games I would highly recommend it!  We have already marked the dates on our calendars for next year.  We hope to see you there!

Jun 05

Lilly Kitty: Our Newest Family Member

Meet Lilly!

She is tiny and adorable and cuddly, and no, she and Barkley don’t get along….yet.
Our friend’s girlfriend had to find a new home for cute little Lilly because her boyfriend, our friend, (confused yet?) is allergic to kitties. He told us two Wednesdays ago that they were looking and she was living with us that evening. I’ve always had a love for cats and have long wanted one to join our little family. I couldn’t be happier! She is quite a people-cat, which I love. Barkley wants to play and frolic around with her, but she’s just not so sure yet. Let’s be honest, if someone 10 times my size wanted to be friends and chase me down the stairs, I’d probably be frightened too.

My piano students like her too. She’s taken a liking to the top of the piano (probably because Barkley can’t get her there, but that’s besides the point), which means that she stares down at the kids while they’re learning piano. Everyone likes an audience, right!

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