Washing Machine Planter

Donna over at Funky Junk Interiors is asking us for junk this week! She is the Queen of junk, for sure, if you've never visited her blog, you are missing out BIG time.  Her transformations are awemazing.  It took me a looooooong time to de-junk this this little beauty...

Oh my.  This project has been a seven year "should I or shouldn't I dilemma" for me.  Believe it or not, we found this antique washing machine in one of the sheds when we purchased our acreage.  I didn't know what to do with it other than to clean her up and bring her in the house, which I did, but holy smokes, she was a rusty eyesore. Everybody kept telling me, "don't refinish it, you'll ruin the value".

So, I didn't do anything with her, except wonder what it must have been like in the early 1900's to actually have to wash clothes with this thing.  Wouldn't you know it?  In Suzi Barnes' book, Silk Stocking Row, which you can learn all about at her blog of the same name, I found a picture so I wouldn't have to wonder any more.  (I hadn't imagined, however, that it would be quite as pleasant as portrayed!)

When I got tired of looking at her in the house, I moved her outside on the deck, but that wasn't doing anything for me out there either.  I thought she'd look pretty with flowers, but it was impossible to set a planter on her because of all that heavy metal everywhere.

(Note to self - take a closeup picture next time instead of enlarging and distorting)

So, I made a decision.  I knew I would never part with her, so keeping the original form really wasn't that important.  I was more interested in making her last another ninety-five years... check out the patent date!

And... I wanted to adorn her with flowers.  So, I set about taking off the heavy metal.  I was able to relieve her of about three rusty bolts and I couldn't budge the rest.  I asked for help from the husband.  He got the metal off all right, but here's what he left me with!

Oh my gosh.  I will spare you the tale of splinters and bruises and how many times I hit my finger with the hammer to get her all put back together.  But I did it.  All by myself!

Then I went to the local hardware store and purchased a gallon of Marine Varnish.  As soon as I opened the can, I knew my project was not going to turn out the way I envisioned.  The varnish itself is very dark in color and I knew it was going to really darken the wood, and it sure did.


It made quite a drastic difference in the color, but once I had given it two coats, I can't say I was disappointed with the transformation.

The next step was to figure out how to put flowers in the tub.  Since the bottom of the tub was too damaged by warp to set anything inside of it, I used my trusty old chicken wire to fashion a basket.

After that, I simply lined the chicken wire with burlap, wrapped it around the edges and planted my flowers.


And so it was that little Miss Washing Machine was transformed, from this....

to this!

It was a great deal of work, but I am glad that I decided to extend her life.  I think we're both happier now.

I'm also linking this project up with Prior Lives Party AND Bobbypins Boardwalk Bragfest !  I hope you'll visit both of these blogs and check out the wonderful things they have to offer plus the other projects they are so kind to share.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great week!

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The Graduate

Last night we were honored to attend a very important graduation ceremony!

The Graduate was a bit overwhelmed with all the excitement and anticipation,
but he looked so grown up all dressed up in his shirt and tie.

Each student was given the opportunity to tell everyone what they liked best about preschool.  Some said coloring, others leggos.  Ethan?  He said his favorite was "when the girls chased us at recess"! 

Anticipation mounted as the students waited to learn what class award they would win.

Our little guy won the "most contagious laugh" award.

The diplomas were handed out and I got this great shot of the back of Ethan.  Sheesh!

The adorable graduating Class of 2010 from Imagination Station Preschool:

The cake and punch reception at the end of the ceremony just might have been his favorite part of the evening. We're all so very proud of our little graduate, aren't you?

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Braggin' Up Our Little Town

Hey!  There's a new link on my sidebar that is very exciting for folks in our area:  Silk Stocking Row  Isn't that a great name for a blog?  Well, never mind that, it's an even better name for a book!  The Silk Stocking Row blog is all about the book written by Suzi Barnes, a Denison, Iowa native who owns one of the most beautiful homes in our little town - complete with a bed and breakfast and jewelry store all under one roof!

(Yep.  She lives in that house!)

When you visit her blog, you will get a great sneak preview of the book that is due to hit the stores this weekend.  The book is a wealthy 450 pages of pictures, articles, recipes, home remedies - you name it - all about life in the early 1900's in Denison, Iowa, a must have for locals and all history lovers in general.  I can't wait to get my hands on one!

It sure will be fun to learn about the stories behind the pictures.  

Thank you, Suzi Barnes -
and Congratulations on your great accomplishment!

What are you waiting for?  Head on over to:

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Camp Firin'

Yesterday was May 15th.  Big deal, no birthdays or anniversaries or holiday, BUT I had high hopes of being able to reveal the makeover of my old washing machine because it was May 15th.  Why, you are wondering?

Well, get a load of this:

Do you see the patent date on the wringer portion of my washer?  May 15, 1915!  I didn't notice the date until May 14, 2010 - so I wanted really bad to be able to have it all finished yesterday so it would be ninety-five years to the day.  Alas, things didn't go so well.

I was able to work on it and a couple of other projects too ( all incomplete, of course ) but I did manage to learn a few things that are far more important and definitely more interesting than an old worn out washing machine.

First I learned that the worms out here are very smart!  Ethan was helping me plant flowers.  He picked up a little earth worm, looked at it wiggling in the palm of his hand for a bit and exclaimed, "Grandma, look!  The worm made an 'O'!  I didn't know worms knew how to spell!"  (Talk about missing a great photo op!)

Then I found out we have monkeys living in the trees.  Chandler swears he sees them.  He is so serious about it, I almost believe him!

About the same time, I realized how much Chandler is like is father.

When Drew was about 4, he had a pair of green boots he wore everywhere - his were usually on the wrong feet too.

The most interesting thing I learned was something I'd never heard of before.  "Camp Firin'"  The little boys found a package of marshmallows in the cupboard and wanted to go "Camp Firin'".  Cole thought it was a pretty good idea too.  Sheesh, a Grandma just can't say "no" to faces like these...

So, "Camp Firin'"in the back yard we went. 

Caine actually had a good time, despite the fact he looks a bit like Lucifer in this picture.  He's the "camp firin'" guy out here.  He gets the wood and puts it in the fire ring and tends to the flames.  He's not too bad at roasting marshmallows either.

All in all it was a pretty educational day for this Grandma.  God Bless their little hearts.  They wear me out at times, but they definitely bring a joy to my life that cannot be found anywhere else in the world. 

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Pot Party

Can you believe it? 2000, TWO THOUSAND followers! 

Donna over at Funky Junk Interiors is having a fabulous, fun-filled party in celebration of 2000 followers.  Heck, I'm not surprised.  Her stuff and her site is soooooooo cool.  If you haven't been there, you are really missing out! 

Not only is she talented, she's fun!  There's always something going on over there: giveaways, showcases of talent from blogshpere and tutorials on everything from improving your blog to clipping your toenails.  Well, maybe not clipping your toenails, but if you're into being creative, making something from nothing or just like to blog browse, her site is fully loaded!

Today she's having a pot party along with another fabulous giveaway! Yep, a pot party.  She wants to know what you would do with a clay pot.  Well, here's what I'd do:

I'd paint 'em up pretty and have a TACO pot party!

Finally, a fun project we all really enjoyed.  It included their, "what's for supper?" query!

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Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day!  

There was all sorts of excitement getting ready to go to Grandma Rena's today.

The little boys decided Great-Grandma would love pancakes!  So we got busy and made her present around that premise inspired by CLEAN MAMMA where you can find a yummy, very healthy pancake recipe!  We made it simple and simply used Bisquick : )

Ethan carefully hand printed the directions.

Chandler used a steady hand to put the mix into a nice jar.

I made a card and hunted for the perfect things to pull it all together and make it special, just for Grandma.

This is what we ended up with and the boys were very pleased.

We hope Grandma Rena will like her present as much I love the gifts I received...

Isn't it great?  Mardi brought me a Hosta along with that lovely old barrel, peach crate and old mirror.  (They make me giddy!)  Chandler made a lovely planter for me at preschool and Glen and Caine found the sprinkler planter.  Glen said "I made sure we didn't get you one of the new pretty ones, I picked the ugly old looking one."  Too funny! 

And Cole really surprised me.  He spent the night with a little friend of his and spotted springs from an old trampoline laying around.  He asked if he could have them for me.  I don't know if I should be flattered or embarassed, but bless his little heart!

Hope you all are duly blessed this Mother's Day!

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Late last night there was a pickup tearing around out here on our usually quiet gravel road.  It was annoying, because we were all in bed trying to get to sleep.  I got a glimpse of it, but didn't recognize the vehicle.  I'm going to assume it was some kids or young adults exploring the back roads of our county, trying to see how fast they could drive on gravel.  Who knows what they were up to.

All I know is that when we left the house this morning, Cole spotted momma cat lying lifeless on the side of the road.  Doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out how she got hit or which vehicle hit her. It upsets me when the boys have to witness such things.  Granted, death is a frequent visitor to small farm animals and the older boys are understanding of that fact of life, but it is always sad for us when we lose a momma.

Consequently, we now have three little orphans.

Fortunately they are big enough to eat and drink on their own, but it is cold outside and they have no momma to keep them warm.  For now they are in the garage with a fuzzy towel and each other to snuggle with.

The garage is filling up with fuzzy baby friends.  The sole peachick (baby peacock) that hatched last week is doing well under the heat lamp.  We had to remove the chick from the rest of the birds because it was getting stepped on by the bigger birds and the peahen was a frantic, nervous wreck trying to keep her baby under her wing.  They cried for each other the first night, but now momma and baby have settled into their own routines and both appear to be happy.  (Although I've never seen them smile).

It's definitely toasty warm under the heat lamp.  Hmmmm...  I wonder how the kittens would get along with the peachick?  Naw.  I better not try it. 

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