Tag Archive | building

Putting them to work – playhouse in 5 days or less

Another perfect weather day today and I had a goal; finish the outside playhouse project!

We had a bit of a kid turnstile – Lars and Niamh took off early to an all-day archery event.  Zoe had a birthday party 1-4 (but Fiona and I were invited to come early and hang out) so in the hours in between I needed to

  1. Varnish the benches – the girls really wanted to help and help they actually were.  I muttered to myself that this isn’t ‘world class’ wood working anyway so a drip or a streak is not a big deal.  While we were working Zoe said the sweetest thing, she said I was a great blend of my parents; quiet time and reading like grandma and a really good builder like grandad.  Sweetest kid!  I stained them yesterday… look much nicer in ‘royal oak’ then ‘inexpensive pine’IMG_8883
  2. Put on a roof – Apparently it has to have a roof…  I went with the inexpensive and easy canvas tarp method.  Menards has 8×16 canvas drop cloths for $14 and that was the perfect size for my 8×8 area.  The plan was to sew pockets on either end and insert 2x2x8 wood ‘bars’ and using screw bolts mounted to the side of the house in the convenient wood surround of the random extra garage door – make holes to tie the wood to the bolts and drape the fabric over the top and down the opposite side.  The bar on the other end is enough weight to keep it steady but I’ll probably tie it down to the bottom of the fence.  A lot of this construction is less planning and more working with what is there.


    Roof!  Ignore the debries… I’m reusing some old wood from a failed project

  3. Finally, I wanted to do the marble in the fence thing.  I think it was one of the first things I pinned about 6 years ago and finally, today I did it!  It is an easy project; find a drill bit that is the right size for your marbles – to find the right size use scrap wood – and then just push the marbles in.  Our marbles were $5 for 200 so there is some quality control issues and not all our marbles were the same size but we found enough for it to work.  Zoe even took a turn with the drill 🙂

And we actually did all these things!  I need another coat of varnish but we also ate lunch and cooked dinner and drove to and from the party etc.  We also went to the store for drill bits and we picked up an inexpensive carpet so I have one more project; painting cool designs.

Oh – Don’t think I’ve actually mentioned much about this except in passing – I got it in my head to make over an odd section of our yard into a play space.  It was full of leaves and stuff to throw out so day one we cleaned.  The space used to be for a hot tub and had a garage door into the garage (weird?!) and three sides of privacy fence.  We took down one side long ago so I have 2 solid sides to work with.  I added two benches and cut out a window.  Started this all on Tuesday and today I feel like I need to clean up the tools and the kids can move in!


Three Things Thursday


Weather – outside all the time weather

Naps – aka movie time at nap time and pass out at 5:30 watching a show with sisters while I cook dinner **no other tv between btw**


Corner clear and templates arranged 

 niamh thinks it should be bigger…. 

Too long since I made sawdust


Naps – yes to all

House – looks like we had 8 kids over 😉 

Beard – Lars is still hanging onto it… still

Ice – Friday I intended to mention it was dangerous, back to small dog only status but then it was -6 degrees for 2 days so back up to crazy people


Over the summer Niamh and Zoe spent a TON of time on monkey bars.  As a result both are very strong and I’ve been trying to think of a way to add back monkey bars into our winter life.


My first thought was ceiling mounting but that just is on the crazy side since I’m not a fan of holes in the ceiling and patching a popcorn ceiling in the future is worse.


Today I found this as inspiration.  Why didn’t I think of just building up?  That’s why it’s called inspiration.  I don’t really think what she did design and space use wise will exactly work for our house but I can change for our space.


The plan is to create a base on one side around 4 feet tall.  It will be game/toy storage inside with DOORS to hide whatever is in there.  On top of the base I’m gong to create a bit of a reading nook, using the necessary supports to host a book ledge and the girls requested curtains.  The other side will actually semi integrate the massive media cabinet we have already.  I plan to build supports around it and on top of it will be another nook.  In between will be a 7 foot span of monkey bars.


Lets see if I can get this done, in my head it seems like a good idea and I can tell you that I have three very excited fans.

If you leave sticks laying around…

They will build.


2 years ago I trimmed the bushes and saved some primo sticks for ‘building’ and they were interested for a few minutes but not really.  Last week I trimmed the same bushes again (BTW, Lilac bushes grow tall and fast if you are looking for privacy) and there were LOTS of leafy branches that I had not taken care of yet.  Apparently those 2 years, and a good dose of STEM at school, inspired Niamh and Zoe to build…


structure created


adding leaf walls


It is now a cozy den

I gave no help, no instruction, I didn’t even remind them about the primo sticks that have been dwelling in the back yard – they put it all together themselves.

I suppose I have faith that in the wilderness they might not instantly die…

Three things Thursday

Getting to my computer is a rare treat.  Today I went to the gym and I’m quick blogging before a well child check. Whoever said stay at home life was dull didn’t try very hard or didn’t know a stay at home mom!

This week has been a busy and fun one with Monday and Tuesday off and yesterday I joined Niamh’s class at the children’s museum.  Even though I knew 25% of the kids in the mob, I still don’t like going to a public place with a hoard!  I’m glad I went though because Niamh was happy to see me there and I also got to meet more class mom’s.IMG_5439

Since last week my big project is chugging along.  The garage is not yet ‘done’ and who knows if it ever will be but I’ve made progress and hopefully more progress will happen soon.  I also need to focus on cleaning for a brunch this Sunday, prepping for the first camping trip of the year next weekend and making the guest room guest ready for the following weekend.  All this will really impact my candy crush score…


and with all the help I get it sometimes takes all my time to do the basics!


But my #3 thing this week (and ever on my list) is the fact that all my kids want to be with me –  FYI – I woke up like this…


This actually took so long that I went to the Dr and got home again and got Niamh from the bus and everything.  Zoe is right on target – little bit taller then average and a little bit lighter  and that is all ok by me.  She also has perfect hearing and vision so no excuses for not ‘hearing’ me or finding things 😉