the Chuppah challenge.

In a collaborative effort with my friend Sarah we created a Chuppah for our friends that were getting married. Sarah and I have complementary talents so as she let loose on the beautiful painting, I figured out the structure.  She did this free hand by the way, she is awesome.


I had the challenge of creating a structure to do this beautiful painting justice. I would like to add here that Heidi and Seth trusted us completely and only told us the colors they wanted us to use. As you know  I drive a small car, so I needed to make so I could collapse it and fit into my Honda Fit.  I started with some scrap wood I had that conveintly already had hinges on it, and cut it to the size of the painting so that two sides would be attached and two sides would kinda drape.


I then set out to make the support system.  Still keeping in mind that I had to transport this in my little car, and it had to stand up.  So I purchased  “gasp” some inexpensive 2 by 2 pieces of wood, four matching plastic pots and some quick-setting cement.  After rigging up a crazy leveling system from the beams of my garage I filled each pot with the cement, made sure the wood was level and quickly walked away before I messed with it too much.


Here they are all dried up.  I drilled a 5/8 hole in the top of each wood post and inserted a hanger bolt of the same size. I dug up sort of matching washers and wing nuts that fit the bolts.


I then stretched the painting out,  stapled two of the sides, and attached these braces.


I had to enlarge the corner hole with my drill so it would slip over the hanger bolt when I attached the top to the wood supports.  At this point my husband arrived to help me attach it so that I could figure what other supports I would need so it wouldn’t twist.  Throwing bungee cords over the ceiling structure of the garage to hold it so I could think it through. Using the scraps I made 45 degree miter cuts and attached them to the wood support. (coincidentally this is when I nicked my finger)


If you look closely you can see my cryptic little markings that hopefully would make it easier to match up the support to posts when I was setting it up for the ceremony.  It almost worked but my orange and red marks looked the same when dry.  Learn something new every day!  At this point I took it down and rolled up the painting and gathered the rest of my supplies and tools I would need.  Fingers crossed and a grumpy teenager in tow we headed out on this ridiculously hot day to make a quick stop at Joann‘s fabrics and get some ribbon and well fabric.  I chose the lightweight ivory muslin that was 118 wide so I got a lot of bang for my buck. With the generous help of the father of the bride, we got it up. No thanks to the grumpy teenager.  I tacked all the fabric up using good old-fashioned thumbtacks and tied it off with ribbons to make it complete. I think it turned out pretty darn nice.  I do think the beautiful setting helped a bit.

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MAZEL TOV!! Heidi and Seth.


dance with me?

On the 1000th day of porch renovation I found a new dance partner. She is very forceful, and definitely takes the lead.

I have a tendency to not stop when I get started and getting the proper gear on was no exception.  A combination of sweats, goggles and my daughters purple lace Air Jordan’s sufficed, but it wasn’t pretty.  She didn’t notice my get-up, she is an animal, a mechanical sanding, resurfacing machine, but an animal I wanted to tame.


At this point I have done my research, called up the manual online and studied the technique. Now is the hard part. With my daughters high tops covering my ankles and my glasses and gloves on I set about making this machine do my bidding. After wasting a few overpriced pieces of sandpaper we fell into an easy rhythm that was very much like a dance. One-two- three-four. One-two-three-four.  One-two-three-four.

I must give credit to the men working and renting from my local handy rents.  They call me Ms. Morris and never doubt that I can handle any machine I rent. thanks…

did I mention I only learn by messing up? and backwards?

I have moved on to more intense part of the porch renovation. I have already completed the new lamp, side tables and made the new throw pillows, like i said backwards. The porch is littered with my creations while I move them around again and again to gain access to some kind of rotting wood.  The second mistake was the first column. I didn’t realize or didn’t investigate the support structure for the porch roof fully.  After blowing 5 dead members of a mouse family that had some point taken up residence in the column into the garden, and then one by one extricating them from my puppy’s mouth (sometimes only tails)



I started chipping away at the wood. There was no support inside this column.  When I removed the wood  I got real close with my crow bar really quickly, and slid some new 2 by 4 ‘s in.  knowing it was supported I sat down to think.  AHA moment and I started in on the other column.


my husband steps out briefly.  Husband “whatcha doing?”

me “jacking this baby up!”

husband “okay, have fun”

me inside my head “good man”


worked like a charm, now onto to the trim.







the earring caresser.

metalscreenbroken and lonely with no hope

step2I already had this really nice frame that my dad constructed years ago, so this was pretty easy. i snipped the wire with my wire cutters, and then stapled it to the frame with my staple gun. put the back of the frame in place and tada!


(I apologize for the quality of this picture)

but you get the idea.

Hmmmmmm. update.

I wonder


After I primed the porch, I set my eyes back to this stack.  A tree that is being painstakingly removed due to electric wires will soon leave a perfect gap. We have always wanted to grow veggies. They must be close to the house or the abundant animal life will munch on it, and I will tend it better.  As our little slice of sun opens up we prepare the palettes. I have chosen these two to start because they have good spacing.  I only gather palettes that have an HT on them, and that are free game. Apparently HT  means they have been heat treated as opposed to chemically treated which I am sure is better. We scrub to clean accumulated yuck and mildew.

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my assitant likes this work, she is really into it. A whole story comes alive within her brain, that these are teeth and she is a giant dentist cleaning and flossing them.

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we finish up and set them to dry.  Tommorow is s big day.  I’ll be painting the porch and power-washing the furniture, so we must put these aside for a bit.  But then again our little slice will not be completely open for a least another couple days, so no worries.