Clever Hideaways HomeTalk Board

When I made this mosaic table I did it because I was bored.  Or maybe it was because my daughter worked at a stained glass shop and brought me home all the scraps?  Or maybe it was because the last glass table we had by the pool blew over in a storm and shattered into a million pieces?

No, I don't think it was any of those things, I think it was because I can't pass up something for a buck.....and because we didn't have one anymore due to that storm.

Kids need a place to sit to eat ice cream right?  My momma told me 'ya can't eat it in the pool.   She never bought me funny goggles though, so I hope that makes up for not letting them eat ice cream in the pool.

The table mosaic was made well before I knew what a blog was.  Just picture a typical glass top patio table with an umbrella.  The only difference is that mine cost a buck at a garage sale.

I thought I was pretty clever using scraps of stained glass shards and attaching them right to the table top with clear silicone.  They were grouted in and the table tripled in weight, never to be blown over again.  It is going on it's 6th year.

I can't say the same for the umbrella though.

Then I thought I had another clever idea - to make a two sided mosaic screen to hide our air conditioning unit, which was as ugly as every other air conditioning unit I have ever seen, problem was that ours was smack dab in the corner of our patio.

Remove the air conditioning from my house or disguise the unit?  Guess you know how that turned out.

One clever idea led to another and I posted the clever hideaway on HomeTalk where some of the commenters made sure I had it the proper distance from the walls.

Everyone's an expert 'ya know?

But mostly folks thought it was a pretty way to hide the ugly air conditioner.  I made the disguise the same summer I made the table.  I must of had a lot of spare time that year.

This summer I spend some of that extra time snooping around on HomeTalk for ideas.   

And I guess because that air conditioner screen is so clever, HomeTalk thought I would recognize other clever projects and asked me to curate a board of clever hideaways. 

Click the image to head on over to HomeTalk
Top left to right:
1. A clever outdoor shower.  2. Air Conditioner Screen.  3. VERY clever watering system with hidden hoses (this one is on my list to do).
4. A disguise for your TV cable box.  5. Hide modern gadgets in your vintage style.  6. Burlap bag hides a 5 gallon bucket.   7. Big dog = big dog food bags.   8. Fire pit table for when it's hot, not when it's not.   9.  Got craft paint?  Make a door.   10. TV Screen Screen.   11. Breadbox Charging Station hideaway.   12. Award Winning wall vent cover.

13.  There is no 13 here it didn't fit.  So click the image and see the clever way a drop down ceiling was replaced with bead board.  In fact, while you're there click on all 12 of the clips to see just how clever those hideaways really are.  You don't have to have a blog to visit HomeTalk.  HomeTalk is a social hub powered by user generated content.  It's a great place to find DIY projects of all kinds, inside the home and out.  If you need tips or have some questions you want answered, or just want to browse for ideas, HomeTalk is a spot you should check out.

And someone will always let you know just how far you should have your air conditioner screen from walls and mosaic hideaways!

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Replace Playground Canopy with a Wood Roof

When a family with six kids lives someplace long enough, stuff eventually wears out.

That would be true for the canopy on our Rainbow Play System.  The playground has seen a lot of action and the red, yellow and blue canopy was ripped and shredding.

Some of the corner flags had broken off due to the fact they were used for many a game of capture the flag.

Trying to find a replacement canopy for our model number was harder than I thought.  Do you think I could find one?  Of course not.  I did find the knock off's that say they will fit, but considering I never really liked the original colors all that much I didn't want to pay $75 dollars for one that looked like a tarp.

I inquired of the man with the saw if he thought it would be easy to update it with a wood roof.  Nothing fancy and I didn't want it to take till Fall to complete.  No problem he said.

Instead of a solid color I wanted to do the boards like the porch bench he recently made, each one different.

We started out with 3/4" boards of various widths - 3 widths to be exact.  Brawn cut them to size and made the bottoms sort of rounded like an awning.

Next we lined up all the paint cans from the garage and a bin of dollar store paint brushes and I picked whatever can was closest and started painting boards.

I ended up using a brown, a dark gray, green, cream and that awful purple/pink color that went on the dresser bar.  Once it's wiped with dark stain it looks a deep wine color and I can live with that.

Bright Purple/Pink color after it is washed with dark stain

After the boards were done they were all bright and newly painted looking.  And I didn't like that look.  See how that purple/pink color looks before the dark stain wash - YUCK!  I used my favorite dark Olympic Stain for the wash to age them and tone each color down.

Some rain came through and changed my plans to put several coats of marine varnish on before installation, so this week I'll be finishing that up. 

First the nail gun was used to tack the wood on, then the crossmembers were added on the underside and it was all screwed together.

I love how it turned out.  For half the price of a canopy top we have a roof that the wind won't be able to blow off.

The only thing left was some new flags.

Last summer I picked up a bunch of leather sample pieces at a garage sale for a dime each.  I painted some dowels I found hiding in the garage, cut the flags, stapled them on the dowel, and screwed one on each corner.  I love how those turned out too.

I wonder how many folks have leather playground flags made from furniture fabric samples?  They won't last forever and eventually I will have to make some bigger better ones, but for this summer I'm calling it complete.

After with new wood roof

The to-do list is slowly but surely being picked away at.  I think it only has 50 chores left on it.  I noticed we never put the third swing back up after the baby swing was taken off last summer.  So make that 51 chores.

Linking the Playground Roof Replacement up at:
Freaking Awesome Friday @MellywoodsMansion
It's Party Time @ThreeMangoSeeds
Homework Wednesday @TheEverydayHome
All Things Summer @TwoTwentyOne
Craft-o-Maniac Monday@CraftOManiac 
The Scoop @TheFarmhousePorch

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Mudroom Tiny Bathroom Tour

At Bliss Ranch it's about the rocks.  I love boulders, and stones and the earthy element of the color variations.  When we built this house I also needed to be creative to keep costs down.

What we had a lot of - was rocks.  Most of them were in my head.

All those years ago there was no internet to get ideas from or show anyone what my vision was, so Brawn had to interpret what was in my head.

Hence the rocks diagnosis and a mudroom vanity top made of field stones.

The rocks are sealed in a non-glossy goo, and are surprisingly easy to keep clean.  For those times when real mud made it into the mudroom bathroom, it was by far more attractive on rocks than it would have been on granite.

Really this bathroom has no place to bathe in it, so technically it is probably a powder room.  But the kids did more bathing in there without a bath then they ever did powdering.

Wall to wall the bathroom size is 7' x 4' with a 10 foot ceiling.  The toilet is behind the door, upon which I had to sit to take some photos.  No I was not multi tasking.  This bathroom is at your service if you are in the garage, on the patio, or in the front yard. 

It is also the closest to my computer so the reading material is important, because who doesn't like to keep their friends close?

Kelly from The View Along The Way, just one of my many superstar blog friends who grace the pages of magazines these days and keep us company in our bathroom.

And then there is Cassie from Primitive and Proper who reenacted Kelly's photo shoot when she went to visit last weekend.  I told her to give Kelly a hug for me, then take baby Mila and run.  I also see after the magazine folks left, she moved her washer and dryer back where they were.

Kelly is right up there in the top 10 Bliss Ranch bathroom reading material. This book was a gift from my BFF when our youngest was born.  Little did she know it would become a family favorite and one we quote from often.

When our guests take a little longer using the mudroom facilities, we know why - it's because they are reading the book, and often times they emerge quoting from it as well.

It was hard to take photos in this room without a lighting set up.  And while I love you all I did not feel like setting up lighting.  Lazy is my middle name.  There is a big window directly above the guests sign that keeps the room private and bright enough for necessary things.

 I picked up this shoe size thingy at an antique shop called Mustard Moon... many moons ago.

The ceiling of this room is trimmed with these details.  Brawn made all the components in here - the trim, the vanity, the counter.  The wood is not oak, although it looks like it in these photos, it is hickory, as is the vanity.

This seems like a good time to tell you, that when I say Brawn made it, I don't mean he went to the lumber yard bought some trim, cut it and installed it.  No.  I mean he maaadddde the trim.  He cut all those grooves and round parts in the garage with his saw and special cutters from regular hickory boards that he picked up at a lumber mill, not a lumber yard.

I learned the hard way after initially installing all white ceramic flooring tiles, that the place for white was not in a mudroom that was home to six kids and a Great Dane who slobbered in that area, unless I wanted to do nothing but clean it, so we changed that.

What I needed was a mud colored mud room.

This bathroom is also home to the famous toilet tong toilet paper holder.

I bought this heavy metal piece of junk at Second Hand Rose in Buffalo Minnesota, where you can get your junk fix in a whole town of the best occasional sales. 

I was tired of this bathroom never being stocked with "supplies".  That isn't a problem any longer thanks to this holder which also hides the scratch marks in the wallpaper where a bored 4 year old child once started peeling the paper off.

This week I added the little sign above the antler towel holder.  Due to that, some dining room chairs being redone are going to be missing four large head tacks.  And I did not kill this deer, I rescued the rack from a garage sale 20 years ago while on the hunt to save money and have a unique towel holder.

It is time to paint the frame on this Schnapps advertising mirror.  I gave it a coat of bronze spray paint about 12 years ago.  Maybe I'll just sand it down a bit.

The emergency first aid kit I put together last summer in an old tool box, found a home in this bathroom as well.  It is the perfect location off the garage for first aid stuff since fingers tend to get cut often in close proximity.

The little ladder is from the same vintage 50's bunk bed as the front porch bench Brawn recently made.  Recall my son painted the whole set black when he used it for his kids.

When he built them new beds, the bunk stuff came back to me, so I distressed it a bit and gave the ladder a home in the mudroom bathroom - because Kelly needed a place to hang out.

And when you have a seat to rest in here, directly in front of you is the vanity mirror where you can adjust your hairstyle while you wait.  That IS multi tasking.

Linking Kelly in the bathroom up at:

Upcycled Bathroom Ideas @FunkyJunkInteriors

Summer Linky Party @ThistlewoodFarms
Share Your Creativity @ItsOverflowing

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Christmas in July Link Party


 Christmas in July  

Link Party Announcement...

It's coming and so is the snow. HA!

Is Christmas the furthest thing from your mind right now?  
Has Bliss lost her every-loving-Winter's-finally-gone mind?  
I mean seriously, we still had snow in May for gosh sakes!
But you know me, when I'm invited to a party I go, and I've been invited to spend Christmas in July with Angie @ Knick of Time and Betsy @ My Salvaged Treasures.  So I'm growing out my snowy white beard and fix'n to get my ho, ho, ho going, just to put you in the Christmas mood.
The week of July 15th - 20th you can link up on one blog, be visible on all three.  *IMPORTANT*....... 
If you link up you will seem as crazy as me for thinking of Christmas in July and I won't feel alone, we'll be santas in a box together.

Old and new posts are welcome, but come on, get a jump on December and create ahead of time.  Your project could go viral and be the next big thing by the time the rest of blog land is thinking about Christmas.   Like melted snowman heads........
As I'm loving up your links I'll be pinning them on my Pinterest board and posting them on Facebook as well as bringing the awesome stuff back again in December.  I just won't let a good project, gift idea or food post be forgotten from Christmas in July.
And the best part?  All 3 hosts will share their favorite 3-5 links on July 22 , which just so happens to be my birthday.  Ummm hmmmm.  I'll be Plenty-Nine.  Again.  Or I'm having my 20th anniversary of my 35th birthday.  Then again I'm not so good at math that might be wrong.
Us hostesses would love it if you'd add the button to your sidebar and help spread the wordYou can even refer to me as Crazy Bliss if you want, but be kind to Angie and Betsy.
Here is the button again in case you wanted to take another gander at it.  
When it's hot outside come in to Christmas in July and get your holiday spirit moving.
Projects, gifts or yummies now.... link in a couple weeks.

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Supervising Rock and Mulch Moving

Lest you think I have been lying around for over a week doing nothing......

I'll have you know if need be I can supervise just about any project very well thank you, from one of the windows in the house.

I've. Done. Nothing.

But supervise that is.

I did plant some plants in the buckets I've been collecting.
Those are now hung from chain along a garage wall in the back yard.

And just like I said I supervised the hanging job from the window.

I think they'll look pretty when they get growing and fill in.   I always forget to water what hangs there, so maybe the extra deep buckets of soil will help these from drying out so fast.

This week the iris are blooming, along with everything else.
Spring came s l o w l y here in Minnesota.

The lilac bush below our bedroom window makes the room smell wonderful and this is my first year with blooming peonies bushes.

And this pile of rock in the driveway,
To replace mulch that the chickens scratch in and make a mess........

Turned this area.........

Into this...........

All while I supervised.

Everything but the old metal wheel was already planted there, just in mulch instead of rock.  HA... take THAT chickens, lets see you scratch and make a mess of these rocks!

So the rock pile while not gone yet, is much smaller now.

But then yesterday this arrived on the driveway.........

To re-mulch some areas that didn't get rock.

I will probably supervise the mulch moving too.

And the duckens are getting big.

You have probably heard that Google reader is going away July 1st, so if you have been following Bliss Ranch that way, now is the time to switch.  I would love to have you subscribe via email, or you can click the Bloglovin' box on my sidebar.  Bloglovin' is also a reader, it's the one I use to read blogs too.  I don't want to lose any of you, my followers are the best!

Linked up to:
Summer Inspiration Decor @TownandCountryLiving 
Share Your Creativity @It'sOverflowing

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