Saturday, June 23, 2012

Making a Magnet Board

The kids were away at camp all week, and so we took some time today to make a surprise for them. They've mentioned wanting a magnet board for their bedroom several times, and this was the perfect opportunity.

The plan was to get a single large sheet of sheet metal, about 2ft x 3ft. But I couldn't find anything like that at Home Depot. What we found were 1ft x 2ft sheets, so we got three of them and some plywood to serve as a backing (more on why that did not work out quite as well as we hoped, later).

The first step was to router the back of the trim in order to make a groove (slot? channel? lip?) the sheet metal would sit in. Here I've clamped it to the table in the back yard (backwards).
An Action Shot of the router as my wife had the honor of using the first power tool of the day.

The routing finished.

Next I cut some 45 degree angles on the trim pieces and began dry fitting the metal and the trim on the plywood. We got a 4x4 sheet of plywood so we had to figure out the final size.

Of course, you get what you pay for when you shop at a giant store like that, and our plywood was slightly bowed. Here we've glued the metal down with Liquid Nails and we're using some water bottles to act as weights to make sure the bond was tight.
And here it is with the trim installed, almost ready for hanging. Er... Almost. We still needed to add the horizontal vertical trim to cover the gaps between the metal sheets.
Then we decided to attach some extra molding along the bottom to act as a pen tray. Once the paint was dry, we attached it to the wall in their room. Hope they're surprised when they get home tomorrow!

Thursday, June 21, 2012


Does dill bolt? Our dill exploded in flowers seemingly over night. Must have been that brief heat wave we had.

Pretty yellow lacy flowers. Not sure if that's just dill being dill, or if that's bolting, but it's joined its pals in the bolting club: arugula, basil, thyme, lettuce, etc.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


Ok, finally! We finally finished the trim project. Of course, there was no real reason for it take three years. Laziness is the ultimate conclusion. But after we gave up on finding the perfect matching stain, what we ended up with was really, really close. Plus, we got to use the nifty brad nailer we bought when we did the baseboards in the office and kids' room. Or, rather, I should say _she_ got to use it. I don't think I've fired off more than a single nail with that gun. She always gets the honors... :)

Some pictures...

Yeah, we wanted the trim to cover up this gap in the original mantle.

And here it is installed. Not bad.

And now, here's a sneak peek at what I'll be working on this weekend:

Sunday, June 17, 2012


We've had this trim project on the list for about 3 years. It's incredibly simple: stain a 14 foot long piece of oak trim. Sheesh!

Well, FINALLY, today we bought some stain (the problem we had was trying to match the stain of the rest of the wood the trim will be near, but we finally gave up on aiming for perfection there) and applied the first coat:

Oh, and the corn is doing much better today. Lots more water and some fertilizer (thanks, Leigh!).

Friday, June 15, 2012


We couldn't wait any longer.

Nope. We broke down yesterday and picked this onion (and one snowpea):

We have three more onions in the ground, we'll try to let them continue to grow. The corn got really dried out/burned by a sudden pair of 95 degree days. We've kept them watered, but they look pretty ragged at this point. We'll have to see how/if they bounce back over the next couple of days. Tomorrow (Saturday) should also see some 90+ degree weather.

And, the pumpkin patch. I keep saying watermelon when I mean pumpkin... Anyway, according to the math I did, we planted them plenty early, but I'm worried they'll never make it. Turns out this spot doesn't quite get as much sun as I expected.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Blooming and Bolting

Wow, that was fast. The arugula started bolting. Seems like it happened over night. I had no idea they had such beautiful flowers!

And here's an onion starting to bloom. It's large enough to dig up now, but I think we're supposed to wait for the stalks to start dying off, right?

And the corn...

Growing well and we've started watering them with compost tea. But I'm concerned. The older/larger plants are starting to get some yellow and I think it's the dirt. We're not over watering. But the first year we tried this, we had some really nice soil. This time, we just used whatever we had around the yard (old bags of potting soil, used soil from other pots, even some garden soil... all mixed with some of the compost we made). The roots are already coming out the bottom of the containers. Anyway, I'll keep up the compost tea and hope that helps.

Oh, and in the background there behind the corn you can see the pumpkin bed with a row of young sunflowers.