Saturday, March 2, 2019

I've since Retired (from my job)

Hey y'all.  I know, I know.  I've been absent a long time.  I ran out of projects although I have kept myself busy in the shop making signs and fish and, and, and.  I didn't feel it warranted a full blog on how to make a sign.  

I finally retired last summer.  OMG what will I do?  My plan was to get an RV and travel but the RV needs gas to run so that didn't happen.  No, I didn't buy an RV either although I have found some perfect ones.  Oh well, maybe next year!  I did however spend the summer at camp in Vermont (actually NY) 

Many nights sitting by the fire.  So peaceful.  Didn't do a whole lot.  I did bring some of my tools
 and made a few things. 
 I read 11 books in the first 11 weeks as the WiFi was out at the campground....grrrrr.  I cleaned up the garden in the background of the above picture.  I planted some perennials so it should look better this year.  It was a time to relax after working 40 yrs in the trucking industry and many of those were 15+ hour days.  I got good at doing nothing.  I think I have learned how to relax. 

 I'd sit on the deck and watch Sugarbaer stalk a chipmunk. (no, he never caught one).  He had fun in the woods that is for sure.  
  He played in the lake and relaxed with toys.

  Played with the other dogs.  He was in heaven.  After a few weeks he became a real camp dog...where as he would lay in the dirt and grass where before he would NOT.

I kept busy and here are some of the things I made while at camp...


Check out my Face Book page where you can see all the items I have and have been making.
 I was able to keep myself fairly busy and even made some $$ on some of these!! 

Other than the regular animals that wondered around the woods - deer, chipmunks, rabbits and even saw a snake - there were many other interesting things to see.

Although not in the woods by camp, the "cookie monster" in the woods was a cute find.  

Have you ever seen a BLUE mushroom? 

 There were lots of them, plus other kinds in the woods towards fall.

I even went kayaking for the first time. I loved it.
  I thought it would be hard on my back, sitting there without much support but it wasn't bad.  So relaxing.  I went with my daughter-in-law and we talked about everything.

Then Hurricane Florence came to visit my house in NC. 
What a mess.  I was so, so, lucky.  No damage to the house.  No flooding as I'm at the top of the hill. Many people lost sad.
 My daughter was so brave and stayed at the house.
Lost my big shade tree out front along with a large limb
on the maple plus 5 arborvitae trees out back. But NO damage to the house.  She was without electricity for 5 days and it was 90 degrees in the house.  Yuck.  Luckily she has a good brother who came to the rescue.
  He drove from VT to NC
to cut up the trees so him and her could get to the side of the road for Fema to pick up.  All roads into Wilmington, NC were flooded and closed and some covered with fish.... but luckily by the time he was close, they opened up and he was able to get through.  THEY did an awesome job.  Kris stayed 2 days then drove back to VT.

 By the time I got back to NC at the end of Oct., the tree debris had not been picked up. When Fema did come by to get the bulk of the tree, I asked about the stump.  Could they pick up if I had it beside the road.  The guy said yes.  And, because my daughter is clever (!!!) She must get that from her mother!!!  I had a tow truck drag it to the curb/street for Fema to pick up.  And they did.  Yay.

On a lighter note, Fall took hold in the north
while I was still there.   Only a couple of the pictures I took.

Then, it snowed a little bit and it was time to leave!!!   I had to deal with a little clean up from Hurricane Florence but Tonia had done a great job which left me very little to do.

Again, I have kept myself busy with signs (mainly) but I did have the living room painted. I am so past doing that.  Michael had it done in 6 hrs.  After that I put up ship lap on a wall as you enter the house.  Before and After...


I did this while a landscaper/clean up guy cleaned up the front yard (sort of) and filled the hole in where my big tree was.  I think I will replace the tree with a River Birch and some perennials.  That will be the next project. 

That brings us current.  Be sure to check out my Face Book page under Knot So Perfect Designs.  Check out the "photos" section so you can see everything.  Let me know if you need to order something. 

Again, shake out your wet laundry before putting into the dryer.  They will dry quicker and be less wrinkled.  I don't know about you but I hate to iron.

Don't forget to LIKE and SHARE.  I appreciate it.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

LET'S MAKE SOMETHING PRETTY -A Wheelbarrow for the Garden

This is my inspiration - I have wanted to have something like this in my yard for the last few years.  This year it will become a reality! 

Picture is from

If you do not have an old wheelbarrow then you might have to buy one which can be pricey and if you have been following my blogs then you know I have not won the lottery or have any rich aunts, uncles or other family members that I know of.  If I do, they aren't saying!! That's okay because WE CAN BUILD ONE - right?  Of course we can.  Keep in mind it is going to be covered with gorgeous flowers so who will be looking at the wheelbarrow?  

FIRST AND FOREMOST when starting any project, be SURE all the batteries are CHARGED for the DRILL, screw gun.  You will see why later.

Of course we are using pallets.  I looked around the web and mainly on Pinterist which had a number

#1 pic from
#2 pic from
  of wheelbarrows made from pallets...some big, some small.  I think mine is somewhere in between.  I have based mine on picture #1.  

We are starting with the main piece that will have the wheel at one end and the handles at the other. 
From what I see in the picture I had to cut away a portion of the pallet stringer to make the handle. (see the end on the left side of pic?) Yeah, yeah, yeah, BIG power tools.  Yes, I used the table saw. 

 Thank you TONIA (that's my daughter) for my table saw at Christmas.  I am certainly getting lots of use from it. Much easier to get things cut than having to use the circular saw which is heavy (for me).

Then I laid the stringers in a slight V-shape.  I took boards and cut to size, making the base.  Yes I do think this is a bit bigger than what is in the picture I am using for my visual pattern.  Measure?  We have to measure things? KNOT SO PERFECT right?   That's what makes it look so cool!  Oh, that's right, it's called RUSTIC, VINTAGE.  Make up some other words if you'd like.  It will look good no matter what you call it!

Because this is going into the garden or somewhere in the yard and will not be something used regularly, I am NOT going to waste my sandpaper by sanding this down.  Sure it would look a little nicer but from the street - 50 ft +/- away who is going to notice?

Next we need to make a wheel or, if you have found one in the junk yard - which I should have looked for but didn't, so this is what I did.  Because I oversized the wheelbarrow I figured a 15" wheel was needed. (I did look and found a couple I could certainly use but didn't want to pay $35.00 for one!!! It can always be added later). 

I took 3 boards about 16" long.  I have to make a circle.  I looked around the shop - nope, nothing the "right" size so I took a nail and put in the center.  Attached my pencil to a string about 7 1/2" long and drew the circle.  Didn't come out too bad.  Connect these together with 2 boards on BOTH sides.

Next we make the sides.  You want them a little longer than the base. Again, nail them together with 2-3 boards on one side (boards on outside).

Remember I said to be sure your batteries were charged before starting any project?  Well, I haven't put anything together yet because if you refer back to the sample pic you will see that the stringers and the wheel require a hole - circle to put a dowel or a pipe through to hold the front together. It is certainly easier to drill the hole when you can get leverage. WELL,  because the stringers are NOT pine and I was trying to be clever by using a hole saw, I soon drained the battery.  Checked the other 2 - dead.  DAMN. So now I'm stuck until tomorrow and I was on such a roll here.

I'm back and the drill batteries are fully charged.
 Ok, so let's get the holes drilled and start putting this together.  I found a hole saw kit at the local hardware store for $5.00.  That's cheap enough.  I bought it a while back just in case.  I think it beats trying to use your jigsaw to make a perfectly round hole...ya' know that ain't gonna' happen!!

First, I attached the base. Then the sides, the front & back, the wheel and the legs.  Ta da - done.  Keep in mind there are much smaller versions of this, just look around. Now that I see this done I might have to re-think the front part of the stringer where the wheel is.  I think it is too long or if I leave it like that then I'm thinking I should have some support under the front of the base - just in case.
 This will replace a yellow peacock chair I had in the same area and the seat had a large flower pot and Gerber daisies in it - that DO come back every year!!! I guess they aren't suppose to but it likes my yard!  :-) 

I have a few ideas as to how to do the inside of the wagon for dirt.  1. line with plastic, add a couple pieces of tubing for drainage and fill with dirt or, 2. simply put a clear plastic tote that best fits the base, drill a couple holes, add tubing for drainage, then fill with dirt.  #1 has the advantage of dirt everywhere while #2 will have a gap between the tote and the

sides of the wheelbarrow (which you could fill with dirt??) and #3.  use pots so it can easily be changed for seasonal flowers. (I did line with plastic and used pots and filled in with dirt around them to plant other flowers). As you can see I stained it "cayenne" and not even completely to give it that vintage look.  This is the color my grandfather's wheelbarrow was but it had an iron wheel. 

Next, we fill with plants.  This WILL COST YOU if you want the "look" in the original picture. (I'll let you know if I have to refinance the farm for this!!) I'm not a gardener and can't remember only the simple plants (if I like the color and the look, then I buy it) so I will
take the picture of the flowers to the nursery people and let THEM tell me what I need to achieve the look.  Hopefully they are perennials!!

I am thinking I should have made it smaller for a couple reasons. $$$ for one.  Dirt, potting soil and the flowers.  Going to need a lot of each...oh well, that's what I wanted.  

I have to laugh when I look at it as it is definitely KNOT PERFECT by any means but doesn't look bad from a distance!!  Maybe if I had a pattern?  I hate patterns and working with pallet wood is tough with patterns cuz ya' never have the right size piece of wood to cut the pattern out on.

Like I keep saying, it's KNOT PERFECT but certainly will be functional.  RUSTIC, VINTAGE, homemade!!  ha ha ha.

Phew - this gardening stuff is tough work but I still have the "farm"!  I did show the original picture to a couple nursery workers and they suggested a couple things but it boiled down to what I liked the looks of.  Most of the plants are perennials so they "should" come back next year.  (Keep your receipt - if they don't come back - take 'em back and get something new.)

I will take more pics a couple months from now so you can see how they are progressing.  This sits so it gets shade up to about 2pm or so - then sun for a few hours and after that a large tree shades it again.

Ok - so I  didn't buy the right flowering plants, I still think it looks good (until the deer ate the potato vine).  Because I used mostly containers, I can switch them out and plant them somewhere.  I think I have TOO MANY plants for this wheelbarrow!  Yup, I'm an over-doer!  I will search next year for something a little more colorful...until then, it looks pretty good I think.