Changing Gears... Again


I bet none of you were expecting to stop by and see something like this, this week! Me either! In fact, the idea didn't even hit me until Monday. This whole staying at home thing has a way of making you forget about what day of the week it is. That's why I totally lost track of a very important upcoming event. I can't say much more than that, right now, but I promise you'll know everything in a couple weeks...

Suffice to say that I needed to make a small project - Pronto! And what better than a Spanish influenced private garden oasis? I began by gathering scrap pieces of foam core. I had a piece that was 7-5/8" x 4-11/16 - a good size for the floor.

VERY rough drawing!

And then I had two full pieces which I could use to make a back wall and sides, and two half walls in the front.

I wanted a couple windows with wrought iron inserts, so as usual, I let the Cricut do the cutting.

Here I am using 3 rulers to help me place my frame exactly into position. Then it was easy to trace the opening and cut it out with an Xacto.

To frame out the corner fireplace walls, I made a pattern from scrap cardboard and then used it to cut the shape into my foam core - half on the back wall and half on the left wall. Where you see the "X"'s are the waste part of the wall.

I also cut a front strip that would join the two side walls and provide a structure for the round wooden beams. By Monday night I had a rough structure!
Amazing what you can accomplish with a major fire placed squarely under your buttocks!  :O)

Tuesday morning I was up and painting a piece of Canson Illustration Art Board for the tile floor before breakfast. I picked a few desert type colors and splotched them randomly on the board. Once dry, I cut them into 15/16" squares and began laying tile.

Tuesday evening I had the tiles laid and began to prep an egg carton lid for bricks. For this project, I needed the bricks to be very Rustic! So, I chose some more desert colors, this time darker for contrast, and splotched and pounced until I could not see any gray.

Wednesday began the brick laying. I was determined that I would have it completed by bedtime so that I could get a good, thick coat of varnish applied that would have overnight to dry. I did it! Just barely. And there were additional bricks that had to wait until all of the walls were joined later.

In the background you can see the groutless bricks just waiting to be nestled in some spackle. In the foreground, you see three random objects that probably don't give away what their intended purpose will be. The cardboard piece is a 3/4 section from a masking tape roll. They are perfect for ponds or landscaping - anything than needs a sturdy circular shape. On top of that is a piece of cereal box - Lucky Charms, of course! It has been cut to fit into the corner as the base for the fireplace. The empty gesso bottle just happened to have the perfect shape for the fireplace I envisioned. All I had to do was cut it down, then cut it in half, then cut an opening from it. The stove pipe is the one that I did not end up using for the New Orleans kitchen. It was meant for this stove!

The tape on the gesso bottle helped to guide my cut with the Zona saw.

At this point I cut the back part of the gesso bottle off
and also cut an access hole for the fireplace.
While I contemplated how I was going to attach the fireplace and at what point, I made what I think are called gussets for the pergola top logs. This was to ensure that my spacing and holes would be perfect. Again, the Cricut saves the day!

At this point, I had to start the grout. It was already Thursday and to be honest I was freaking out a little bit. I was wondering why I am always cutting things so close and why in the world did I think I could get this done in time and still remembering all the while that my faith has been rewarded innumerable times in my life and all I had to do was to keep focused and keep moving forward.

Taking in progress photos, however, was not my priority, so the next photo might be shocking...

Grout - check!
Fireplace installed - check!
Walls attached - check!
Window frames painted and installed - check!
Stucco texture (Mod Podge mixed with paint) applied and walls painted - check!
Gussets added to skinny foam core upper walls - check!
Holes cut out for beams - check!
Fireplace logs and fire light added - check!

And it was only Friday morning! Note to self: Go look at the plaque on your front porch, dummy. The one with Proverbs 3:5-6.


Remember how I said "Rustic" earlier? Here's how you "Rustic" something up...
It's fun to flip to the before and after pics in the slide show - dramatic!

And with the roof assembled...

I am amazed at how much I accomplished this week and I have real hope that I will complete this gift in time! Now, I can turn my attention inside where I'll:

Make a chair
Make a table
Add more lighting
Make a multitude of flowers
Add a decorative base with minimal landscaping
Make a holder for the battery box

Aw darrnit! I better go read that plaque again!

Hope you are all safe and well, and with faith, are meeting all of the new challenges (opportunities) that are suddenly presented to you!

xo xo,

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