Monday, June 20, 2016

A little of this and that

What have we been up to, you may ask?  We have been working on some small projects around the house, but sometimes find it hard to get motivated to move on to the bigger projects we still need to finish.  After working all day, the Hubs is tired and needs to relax.  We try to knock things out on the weekend but again, it's hard to get going when you just want to relax.

I've been messing around with my gardens, crafting and trying to get out and get some exercise during the day, along with keeping up the household chores.  Whoever said not working was easy, probably didn't have many hobbies!  Or keep up a household either.  So many things to do...yet so little time in the day!

So let's see...what to mention first??

Antenna!  We made our own long range digital outdoor antenna.  We are in a dead spot for cellular and digital TV reception.   We could only pick up a few channels on our TV.  We tried a few "long range" store bought antennas that just didn't work and cost a lot.  So the Hubs got busy looking for ideas.  Enter in INSTRUCTABLES!!!  The best DIY site ever!

He found plans to build your own outdoor antenna for little of nothing.  And we had a lot of the materials already.  So he built one and we ran a coax cable from the antenna to our TV and started to program our TV.  A few minutes later and what do you know.....we had 63 channels!!  We are getting channels from as far as Athens GA!!  We also pick up radio stations!  It's fantastic.

I wish I had been around to take pictures of how it was built but the Instructable is very easy to follow and I will add a link to it after the pictures of ours.

It's a bit hard to get a good clear picture of it due to it being black and the trees causing it to blend it but the Instructable has great pictures.

And now ....Gardens!  I love gardens and all the fresh produce we get.

I have a standard garden bed where we grow tomatoes, peppers, squash, zucchini and cucumbers.  Got a late start this year so it's not as big as I'd like.

We also built a worm tower container garden.

 Hubby came home with this awesome plastic 55 gallon drum from work that held a soap wash for parts.  Non-toxic and perfect with a good cleaning.

 We had to drill holes into the sides and cut the pocket space.  We were able to put 4 rows in with 8 pockets in each row.

We used a heat gun to heat the plastic up so that we could bend out the pockets.  This step did take a while as you had to heat each pocket area and then wait for the area to cool around your spacing object before doing the next one.

We used a piece of old metal pipe to bulge out the pocket.  Once it set for a bit while we were heating the next hole, we could remove it and use it for the next.

Tada....barrel completed.  On to the worm tower.

We used a 6 inch wide piece of pvc tube and drilled holes all around it.  The last line of holes is several inches below the top level of dirt.

We cut a hole the size of the pipe in the bottom of the barrel so that it would stick out just a bit and used a scrap piece for a band to hold it into place.  We then screwed the band to the pipe inside the barrel to keep it from sliding down anymore.  We bought an end cap for the bottom, so you can remove it to empty the composted black soil out now and then. 

We built a sturdy wooden stand for it and screwed it to the bottom of the barrel to keep it upright.  Once done, we filled it with our soil and added plants!   

We added a small bit of hay, soil and garden scraps into the tube and added about a 100 red wiggler composting worms to get started.  We bought a slide on cap for the top to keep bugs out and the smell down.  As you can's doing quite well.  We add more scrapes daily, along with our egg shells and coffee grounds. 

The idea is that the worms go into the tube via the holes and eat the scrapes.  They then burrow through the garden soil and leave their castings or worm poop for us first timers.  This helps provide loose soil for the roots to grow well and fertilizes the plants as well.  Also, the composting matter will leak out any liquids into the soil as well...also known as compost tea...very beneficial to plants.  

It's  wonderful cycle...all ending with wonderful herbs, veggies and even some strawberries, once they bloom.  Anything not eaten goes right back in as scrapes.  The use of fresh herbs in meals is wonderful!  

Lets see...what next??

I bought a coffee bean sack at the market and made a curtain for the cat litterbox area.  I just cut to fit, stitched it up along the edges using twine and used a tension rod to hold it in place.  It covers the box perfectly and the cat can now do his business in private!  :D  

Okay.. think that's enough for this post. I'll try to have some more for you soon.  I'm experimenting with canning and some other projects.  Hope you liked this post and it inspires you to build your own.  :)

Friday, April 15, 2016

Check In....About time, right???

I know it's been a while since I've done a post...been slacking off.  Laid back tiny living has been great.  It feels so good to not have a huge rent payment and all the utility bills that come with a conventional home.

I recently quit my job and the Hubby has gone back to work.  It's been really nice to be able to take some time off from the rat race and just enjoy the days.  It's been getting really nice here in Georgia.  We have been keeping our windows open almost all of the time, something we couldn't do in our rental.  Most of the windows didn't open.  As I write this, I'm sitting here listening to birds chirping and the cows eating hay.

We added a shelf over the couch.  Hubby used a piece of the flooring and bent some metal hangers for it.  It will hold a lot of weight.  I'm planning to make some colorful boxes to hold stuff in, so you don't see so much clutter.

Hubby has been experimenting with coraplast.  It's corragated plastic...the stuff they make election signs and such from.  It's pretty heavy duty and lightweight.   I had him make me some boxes for the shelf above the sink.  It has a funny pitch, the backside of the box has to be shorter that the front.  I wanted some boxes that used all the space available.

He made me these using election signs we "harvested" for free and some aluminum rivets.  They hold a lot of stuff and make the most of the space available.

I used some colorful duct canvas material and spray adhesive to cover them and make them pretty.  I plan to do the other two in a bright contrasting duct canvas to mix it up a bit. Hubby is going to make me some spoon handles for them.

We brought our old cat scratching post with a carpeted box on top, when we moved.  Squeeky loved sitting in the window in it...just couldn't take that away from him.  It was clunky and took up floor space.  We noticed he liked sitting in the window behind my chair a lot.  He would perch on the box with our range hood in it (still to be installed) and even sleep there.  Hubby decided to make him a cat tree.  He found a cedar about the size we needed and made this!

It is screwed to the floor and ceiling.  The shelves are wedged into the trunk and then screwed in place so they don't move.  We had some left over carpet from the loft attic so he covered the shelves in it.  We added some rope for him to scratch at and a dangling toy to play with.  He loves it.  He sleeps on the top shelf a lot.

Let's see...what else? Not sure if I've already mentioned our heater....but here it is.

It's a propane catalyst heater...smallest one we could find. ..and it is AWESOME! We used it all winter and never went above the second setting.  It  has a temperature regulator and kicks on only periodically.  The pilot puts out a lot of heat itself.  It's very propane efficient as well. We would use a bottle or two more a month than the summer...which still put our gas consumption under $70 a month.  We plan to build a wooden frame around it with a shelf underneath later on.

I'm working on another rug for the house.. made out of old donated jeans.  It's almost complete, just have a few more rows to do.

We bought a cool chair from Ikea. It's really comfy and I usually sit in it. Found a pretty cool foot stool that serves dual purposes. It's metal covered in vinyl and padded on top.

I store my current crafting project materials in it. And occasionally use it as a step I guess that's 3 purposes.   Squeeky likes it too. 

So, I think that's it for now. Will add more as we slowly get projects finished.
Thanks for checking in with us! ☺