A Quick Retaining Wall

One of my dear friends who is getting on in years asked for my help creating a small retaining wall by her deck.

The wall blocks are such a wonderful product to use. So easy to put in place. The only thing you have to make sure of is that the ground you are putting them on is flat.

So as you see I have dug out the dirt to create a space for the wall and leveled the bottom so it was perfectly flat. This was so easy to do in her yard because the dirt was soft. This is not always the case.

Then just stack those bricks up and make sure your line follows the direction you want it to go.

You will note that she wanted the wall perfectly straight so I put a line up with stakes to make sure it ended up straight.

Now her mowing will be easier and she can put her pots of tomatoes on the wall in the full southern sun.

Thanks for the job my friend!

Patio Gardening

Greenery makes me very calm and happy. I guess that’s why I love where I live. Having trees and shrubs is good but growing your own culinary herbs and spices is even better.

One herb that I use extensively is mint.  I use it in mixed drinks, soft drinks, salads, cooking and baking. The freshness of mint is always welcome.

There are so many different kinds of mint that can be used for savory and sweet concoctions.

I have planted chocolate mint, pineapple mint, apple mint, spearmint, peppermint and 3 different kinds of basil in my patio garden. I also have lemon balm which is wonderful to rub on the skin to keep away mosquitoes.

All mint plants will tend to take over any space that they are planted in which is why I have chosen the patio for this project. I get a hearty harvest to dry and use fresh without having the plants spread like weeds.

It’s a pretty smart way to go. You can plant cucumbers this way as well as other vine plants. They love the warmth of the cement in the summer. Just remember to keep them well watered.

Enjoy your summer!

look for future posts on leather work. I have several projects that will be coming up at once so I need the time to do the prep work.

God Bless you!

Tropical Glass Mosaic

Stained Glass work has been a passion of mine since I took my first class in college. I love all of the techniques used with this medium but one of my favorite is the mosaic. I’ve given tutorials for this method in previous posts so you may refer back to them to get the idea of how to accomplish this art form or craft form if you will.

Here are two panels that I have created for a lighted bar top. Very cool. I never got to see the end product as there was another craftsman building the bar but as soon as I see it I’ll pass on the pics.

God Bless!

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Hot Breakfast Porridge

As a child I loved Hot, Chocolate Malto meal™. I loved the richness and the chocolate intensity of it because my father always used baking chocolate in the preparation. I still love hot breakfast porridge. The downside to the things that I most love to eat is the weight gain that goes with them and the achy joints.
I have been playing around with “clean” ingredients to achieve some of the same tastes that I experienced as a child.

I have finally created a recipe that follows the clean eating guidelines that I have determined that I need to adhere to if I ever can shed these pounds that must go.

Paleo Breakfast prooage

1 cup Teff

1 cup Quinoa

3 squares baking chocolate

1/4 cup Coconut oil

4 cups Almond Milk

2 cups water

4 Tablespoons Real Maple Syrup
1/2 cup slivered almonds

1/2 cup unsweetened coconut

1/2 teaspoon salt (pink)

1 teaspoon real vanilla extract

Put everything in a sauce pan and boil until thick stirringionally in the beginning and constantly toward the end of the cooking process.

Coconut Citrus Crispy Treats

Here is another example of what you can do with a crispy treat that the adults will love!

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You will need:

1 Large box crispy rice cereal

1 bag Marshmallows

10 Drops Key Lime Essential Oil

10 Drops Lemon Essential oil

4 oz coconut oil

Melt the marshmallows in the oils add the cereal and stir until all is distributed evenly. Pour into 2 sprayed 9×13 pans.

 

Then you will need to melt 12oz white chocolate with 8 drops of key lime essential oil and 4 tablespoons coconut oil.

Spread this over cooled crispy treats and immediately cover with shredded coconut.

Let cool, cut and serve.

Enjoy!!!

Tip: If you like your sweets a little spicy, add some black pepper oi; to the white chocolate while melting. It’s yummy!

 

 

Leather Fashion 5

I love the way this piece turned out. I have to say that there was no drawn design for this one. I just had some fun and did whatever came to mind.

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I’m a fan of sterling silver and turquoise mixed with leather. This is the piece that I kept for myself. It looks fantastic on black and white, my two favorite colors after Christmas red. This piece is dripping with sterling silver and Austrian crystal. The contrast between the rugged leather and the refined silver is stunning.

Try your own project. It’s a lot of fun!

Converting a Closet to a Bathroom part 1

Converting a closet to a bathroom is no easy task but it is possible. One of my clients did just that then called me in to finish the room.

In the following photos you will see the process from the time I took over. The construction crew did the heavy lifting getting the toilet and shower plumbing in and the sheet rock and hardi-backer installed. This is where I came in.

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As you can see we have bare bone walls. The first day was spent installing the bottom row of tiles in the shower. Each of these tiles weighs approximately 9 to 12 pounds. Because they are so heavy, the bottom must be made straight and level before anything is placed above them or the whole things will sag into a mess and it will have to be re-installed. I let the bottom layer of tiles dry completely before I start installing the rest of the tiles. While this was drying I textured the walls in a old world plaster style.

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I didn’t bother to take the texture to the floor because there will be tile covering the lower part of the wall.

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Now that the bottom layer is set I can place the tiles on the next layer without having to worry about the tiles below moving down the wall.

Before I got started with the shower I painted the border tile and fired it in preparation of setting it.

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You can see that the border tiles have been set with a dark gray trim to make the border pop a little more.

Next comes the floor and the finish tile pieces.

Stay tuned.

 

Grapevine Wreath Chandelier

I just have to say that I love creating fun things!

This year the grape arbor was in dire need of being pared down. Grapes get very heavy and can completely collapse the arbor if they are not tended to every other year. I juiced about 3/4 of the grapes on the vines. 22 gallons of juice came from the grapes that I picked, the rest of the grapes were gleaned by the raccoons and the birds. My husband is making wine from the juice with the exception of what I held back. The rest of the juice will be used for jelly, mulled juice and gifts.

I still had to figure out what to do with the vines. I have several grape vine wreathes from previous years and wanted to do something different with the vines that I would be cutting down. they were beautiful long vines and too good to burn.

Here is the result of my frugality this year.

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I used some IKEA™ lanterns, and black chain to illuminate and hang  it.

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It’s very fairy like and fun.  I will be decorating it for Christmas and will share the pics with you.

Have fun creating!