Sunday, July 14, 2013


My dad was here visiting us for about a month.  He soon found out that I have lots of "projects" going on.  He was quite excited about it all, and jumped at the opportunity to help me out with my "projects".  I was quite excited to oblige him, and needless to say, we had a great time working on things around the yard and house together.  We even got my son involved in some of them, and it was lots of fun for all of us.  I forgot to take "before" pictures for some of my projects... but I do have some "after" pictures to share with you.  I am so excited about all the things we got accomplished while Dad was here. 

I got started on this first project the day Dad was flying in.  I had picked up three wooden chairs at a yard sale.  They had been left outside without any protective covering, and were covered in dirt and mold.  Yet, I could see the potential in these chairs with a little bit of cleaning, sanding, and some stain. 

So here is a picture of the before...

I went to the local Ace Hardware and they helped me pick out a stain, sealer, and paint all in one that would protect these chairs from the weather.  I went to work sanding down the chairs, and then cleaning the dust off.  Then I got busy painting.

The end result was three lovely chairs stained, painted and sealed all in one...

My next project was a picnic bench that looked like it needed to be thrown in the trash.  But, I saw potential in it, and even though others were inclined to haul it off to the dump... I persisted in seeing its usefulness after it received some tender loving care.  I convinced my dad of the same, and he commenced to getting busy taking it apart, and we even conscripted my son to help with the process.

First we took the bench apart, and bought some rust resilient spray paint for the base, and then we bought all new lumber to replace the rotten wood that was on it.

Busy at work staining the wood... 

Then it was time to let the wood dry.  This is where patience comes in handy!  I like to hurry up and get things done, but when you are working with wood, it is all a process, and time is part of the process.  

So, while we were waiting for the picnic benches to dry, I had another project all lined up and ready to go.  No sense in letting good labor go to waste, and so while I had these two laborers in my employ, I couldn't let them off the hook that quick. 

We had gone to a few yard sales earlier in the day, and I spotted this old wooden wagon right away, and made it mine.  Lucky I did, for another lady just pulled up to the yard sale and wanted it too. 

It had such potential! The story behind this wagon goes like this.  The lady who was selling it told me that a neighbor many, many years ago made these wooden wagons, and she had purchased it from him.  It was designed to be part of indoor decor, but she had painted it, and brought it outside to show off her plants.  However, in trying to downsize, and reduce clutter, she decided to part with the wagon.  By this time, the paint had all worn off, and the wagon looked pretty drab and sad. 

But not to worry, as this handmade wagon made its home with me, I didn't waste any time in making sure it was all spiffed up, and looking nice again.

Just in time for July 4th, this wagon was stained and filled with an old metal wash pot resplendent with some sun-loving flowers, and a flag.

After receiving some tender loving care... this handmade wooden wagon was back in business. Because my dad (from Texas) was part of the project, the final touch to set off the wagon was an old Texas license plate.

And while we worked on the wagon, the picnic table finished drying, and got put back together...


And since we were on a roll... we didn't stop with the picnic bench, or the wagon either.  

Next in line for a spruce up were my sad looking, weathered and rotten wooden benches.  I forgot to take a "before" picture of these babies, but... no doubt you've seen many of them yourselves.  You buy them brand new, and after about a year, they look like they've been through a hurricane, all bent, rotten, wore out, and shaky to sit on.  I've seen plenty of them around myself.  

But these two benches were about to get a transformation of their lives. We bought thicker wood to replace the slats that were originally on there, sanded, stained, and planed them...  

And this was the finished product:

Now I have two lovely wooden benches that will probably last a lifetime.  We used some heavy duty wood on these, and they turned out absolutely gorgeous.  No worries now when sitting on these beauties!  I am thrilled about all the projects Dad and I completed while he was here!

Dad left yesterday, and we all miss him terribly.  He was able to stay with us just under a month, but it was a wonderful month and we made some great memories.  He had to head back to Texas to the horrible heat wave they are having right now with temperatures up into the 100s.  but at least he got a reprieve for about a month while he was here.  We did have a few days where our temperatures got over 100, but thankfully it didn't last long! We made the most of every minute he was here, and now, we really miss him.  We will be able to enjoy for many years the projects we completed while he was here, and meanwhile... I'll be busy lining up more projects in time for his next visit with us!

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