A while back, I dove back into the world of retail, after a hiatus of a few years. I took a job, working hard, having fun, and creating sawdust, at the Home Depot store in Port Coquitlam.
It feels good to be ‘back in the aisles”, helping folks with their projects, and giving them a hand with finding the items they want, and need.
The other day, along with about a dozen Home Depot associate volunteers, we went to Coquitlam, to do outreach, with our store’s next #TeamDepotCA project.
TeamDepotCA, is the project where Home Depot Associates go out in their communities, and volunteer time, energy, supplies, and elbow grease… and work on something that a worthy local organization needs a hand with.
On this occasion, the group getting a hand, was the RainCity Housing Shelter, at 3030 Gordon, in Coquitlam.
Our team showed up with trimmers, shovels, rakes, plants, garden accessories, and a lawn mower… and over the next few hours, we cut the front boulevard. Added shrubs and winter pansies at the entranceway. Cut the back yard, and installed edging in the garden to make future maintenance easier. We pulled out a few plants that had died, and replaced them with bulbs that will be nice surprise for the residents, when next Spring comes around.
And in the process of giving back, we had a ton of fun… and are looking forward to our next Project!
Here are a few pictures, from the day’s activity.
A fun time was had by all…
(Click on any photo,
Recently, Lorie and I started crafting and selling small doors for magical creatures… and so, whether you need a home for your Gnomes, Hobbits, Pixies, Elves or Fairies… we have a door that is just right for your needs!
Some are fanciful… others quite rustic… some are colorful… and others understated. Something for every taste. Each is one-of-a-kind, and hand-crafted. (Honestly, I would post pictures, but they change ALL. THE. TIME.)
Lorie has also made some fun and funky whimsical accessories… banners, flags, wind chimes and more…
You can find the full assortment of what is currently available, in our Etsy Shop: https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/GardenFairyDoors/
For fun, we also created TreeMax – a “Fairy Tale Realty Company”: https://treemax.ca/
And, if you want the full story on how we got started making Fairy Doors, you can find the details here: https://gardenfairies.ca/
As some of you may know… on October 1st, Lorie and I bought an online card business… Haute Note!
A company that produces custom cards, personalized notes and stationery.
We have a variety of note styles, as well as designs for every reason and every season.
We feel that in this day and age, when pretty much everyone on the planet has embraced the technology for sending emails, texts, PINS and communicating through any number of Social Networks — there are still occasions when it is “special” to get a card. A keepsake, or reminder of a moment in time.
Whether a photo Holiday card, personalized Christmas cards, birthday invitations, wedding or baby announcements, save-the-date cards, or something else completely… we can customize and personalize any of the hundreds of designs of cards.
A set of 8 Signature cards makes a lovely hostess gift, a thank you gift, something nice for Aunt Sadie or the perfect something for the hard-to-buy-for person who has everything!
Below are a few examples, chosen at random from hundreds of styles and themes.
You can find more examples at HauteNote.com
(Click on any image below to open the images up in a Gallery Viewer)
(Click on any image above to see the cards in a Gallery Viewer)
Should you need a personal or corporate Christmas card… a card to announce a birth, or a birthday party… a wedding announcement or a BBQ invite… we have all these, and many more! Check us out at HauteNote.com
Recently, my wife and I found an old dining room table that was (pun intended) on its last legs.
The beautiful character of the wood and gorgeous patina were two things that drew us to it.
The warps, wanes and antique hardware were some of the challenges.
We cut the legs down, made the sides and drawer front out of the top, and added three typesetting trays for the top.
Then came the fun part, after the work… putting our treasures into the individual slots !!!
(Click on an image above to get a closer look)
In the last post, I took some photos of our back yard and garden.
A friend commented that I had given short shrift to one aspect of our “decor”… the assistance we have given Faeries and wild birds to decorate their homes.
With that in mind, please enjoy this addendum.
We have several repositories of wool snippets for birds to take wool snippets to dress up their nests… but this one is our fave !!!
A few folks have been asking about the latest project I’ve been working on.
(Well, in addition to working on websites, Social Media, helping friends with their campaigns, and such…)
It has been a fun project, that takes me to the toolbench, away from the keyboard for extended periods.
I’ve been making buttons.
Early last week, Lorie needed some buttons for a craft project fundraiser for Katie’s Place, and she asked me how hard it would be to make buttons from tree branches, as she had seen some on E-Bay, but they were quite expensive.
The next day, I went “shopping” at the local green waste centre, and found some perfect cherry and birch branches.
I guess this would qualify as the “before” shot.
Carefully, over the following days, I dried the moist branches in the oven, putting the branches and pieces into the oven, on low temperature, or when it was off and cooling down.
In the ensuing rush to stem the bleeding and get a bandaid, I forgot that I had turned on the oven, with a tray of buttons in.
Anyway, apart from that, the drying process was slow, but gratifying, and I think the end results are quite cool. So, I thought I would share.
However, as cool as I think they are, by far the best one has nothing to do with anything Lorie or I did… It is the hidden treasure, trapped in the wood… a tiny star pattern we found, buried in the wood, in the centre of one small section of a branch:
A while ago, my wife and I found an antique mailbox.
I wasn’t sure how I was going to design a case to hold it, so it took longer than I thought it would… but such is the way of life !
I knew that I wanted the cabinet to be “rough looking”, so I went on the hunt for some rough hewn wood.
A few years ago, I had found a place on Westwood Street in Coquitlam that sold wood salvaged from old buildings. When I went back, this time, the fellow only had a few bits left, as he just wasn’t able to find a constant supply, and so had shut down the business. He had about 15′ of 1″ thick barn boards made from old growth Douglas Fir, and 10′ of Douglas Fir Tongue and Groove. The Barn Boards were wonderful old wood, with knot holes, nail marks and although I wasn’t sure there was enough wood, I grabbed it for the $30 he was asking!
Over the next few weeks, I kept looking at the wood, and measuring the cabinet, and finally figured a way to make it work. The boards were 12″ wide, and so I made my own rough tongue and groove planks, 5.75″ wide, and joined them together to make the 16″ deep cabinet I needed.
What I DIDN’T think about, was that because the wood was so old, so dry, and slightly warped… not all the planks wanted to go into place, and so a few splits showed up while I was forming the sides… but I just added some biscuit joins, and clamped it back down again.
The real test came when I was trying to custom fit the slots and wires that were on the side of the mailbox assembly, and create notches and grooves for all the “sticky-outy bits.” Took a while, but we got there.
Assembly day, and turns out the cabinet is 25″ wide, and I only have 24″ clamps. Fortunately, my Father-In-Law has a workshop full of tools, and he was happy to loan me some clamps that were big enough.
Between the sides and the shelves, the “big” chunks of wood were all gone, and at this point, I wasn’t sure how I was going to make the doors, but I thought I would see if the cabinet frame worked first, and cross that bridge when I got there.
I supported the mailbox on a piece of 3/4″ plywood, with a 2″ strip of Fir on the front (to make pretty) dado cut into the sides.
The top was fastened with a biscuit joiner to the top of the sides, exposing the T&G top, and showing some of the nicer wood “character”.There were a ton more steps, and the doors were a challenge, because I had to make them out of three different small chunks of wood, because I didn’t have enough large pieces left… but in the end it is done (other than, from the back view, you will see that we have some re-wiring to do.)
It has been a bit of a challenge, and a large puzzle to wrap my brain around… but that is the sort of project that I find VERY engaging.
As I look at it, I am quite pleased with it, and once the cables are tidy, I’m sure I will like it even more.
In the meantime, I thank you for your patience, because I have not been posting to my Blog, as often as I normally do… because I’ve been working on this.
Because I’ve been working on this, and it is nearly done, I thought I would post it to my Blog!
A few years ago, we acquired a Rain Chain, which my sweetie wanted me to attach to a fountain.
We spent a LOT of hours on it, and it never really worked well.
There were a series of “opportunities“… (because there are no problems, only opportunities,) which caused “collective angst”:
- The first pump wasn’t powerful enough to pump water up 8 feet.
- The second pump was TOO powerful.
- The container was too small.
- The water splashed too much.
- And the killer… we didn’t have a deck, all last year. (It was being built out of Magic Wood by a solitary, but thorough Magic Elf.)
So, this year, as we recently unfurled our Garden Furniture, Table and accoutrements… my Sweetie asked when we could work on the Rain Chain Fountain.
I am not, and have never claimed to be a plumber… and am able to visualize most things pretty well… but the limited options and required flexibility kerfoozled me.
Four trips, and two hardware stores later, we had collected the appropriate collection of copper pipe, copper fittings and elbows, flow adjuster, plastic tubing, and required adapters, and could begin assembly version 3.0
I think the results are pretty darn cool… and more importantly, my Sweetie loves it!!!