Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Rockery, Decomposed Granite and a Gargoyle for the Castle Shed

It was early afternoon today before we had a chance to get back to the Castle Shed project. We realized we need more than a few bags of rock base from Home Depot.

Off we went to Rosenbalm Rockery about 15 minutes away. A helpful young man helped us and explained the different base choices and flagstones and rocks. I asked him if he would pose for a photo while he weighed the slate stones we picked.

We chose a gray decomposed granite for our base since it packs so well, two tons will be delivered tomorrow.

Here are a few slate pieces we picked out for the front stepping stone detailing.

And then! 

We walked around to see all the garden items. 
Here is a peek at the claws of.......

.....a gargoyle that stole my heart. 

Isn't he adorable? He's just the right size for our garden castle shed. In medieval times gargoyles were placed atop cathedrals and other important buildings to ward off evil. Our little guy will ward off anything that will put our garden fairies in danger.

Do you have an idea for his name?

Monday, September 29, 2014

Castle Shed Turret Base

Jan finished the second turret base on Sunday afternoon before we went to the kids' for an early family dinner. Doug sure knows how to make a good steak!

Jan is Dutch for John, pronounced yan. So confusing, just think of the old song, "A Boy Named Sue."

The octagon turret base is made with 4x4 and 2x4 treated wood, held together with metal hangars and plates.

 Here he is bending one of the metal plates to the correct angle.


While Jan was working I made a strawberry pizza to take to dinner for dessert. They are so gooooood! I hadn't made one in many years because the old recipe calls for Danish Dessert which has been impossible to find. In August I researched recipes for a strawberry glaze to substitute and tried several and tweaked till I was pleased.

Well, I meant to take photos of the steps and the finished dessert but forgot!
It takes flour, butter and sugar for the shortbread crust, Philadelphia cream cheese and Cool Whip for the creamy layer.

The topping is sliced fresh strawberries in a strawberry glaze.

Next time I'll take pictures and post the recipe. 

Have you ever had a good home made strawberry pizza?

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Castle Shed Model Got Wet! Stuffed French Toast for a Hungry Man

Saturday was a cool sunny day, unusual for Fresno in late September, it's usually still very warm. It was a perfect day to work on the yard building.

I keep thinking about a name, it needs a name. My vision is that it reminds one of a castle but it's not much more than a fancy shaped shed, it's to be more of a shabby mini castle shed where I can arrange, photograph, display and have fun with so many things that I've had stashed away and also for Jan's wonderful hand painted fairy doors and other things he has made. They can be seen at our Paris Cabinet Etsy shop.

So, here is my sweetie, working so hard to please me and make my dream shed, got to love a man like that! In the foreground is a tool box he made last year.

He set up saw horses to hold the second turret base he was working on and the miter saw. On went the safety goggles.

Soon it was dusk and I suggested moving the saw and tools to the patio in case there is a little dew in the morning. Well, it rarely rains in Fresno in September and no rain predicted but this is what it looked like in the morning.

Rain! I didn't bring in the model so it was wet, everything was wet except what had been brought in to the patio. We didn't have a downpour, you can still see a dry spot under the black saw horses.

Wet tools are not a good thing, we quickly dried them and I decided my man needed a yummy breakfast.

Stuffed French Toast

 On sour dough bread spread soft cream cheese on one piece and orange marmalade on the other, put them together like a sandwich.

Beat 2 eggs, a dash of salt and a little over 1/2 cup of milk, pour into a flat dish or pan big enough to hold both sandwiches. Lay them into the egg and milk mixture, let it soak a minute.

 Flip over so the other side will soak up mixture.

Warm up a grill to medium heat. Flip again if necessary, when the stuffed French toast has absorbed all the liquid it is time to toast.

Butter the grill, put the sandwiches on the grill, add dabs of butter on top so when it's flipped over there is a little butter on the other side.

Looking good, toasty toasty.

Ready to serve, the sour dough bread is large slices, takes up most of the dinner plate.

Side view so you can see bits of cream cheese.

The Dutchman likes his with a Dutch syrup called stroop.

 I prefer mine the American way, with maple syrup.

Enjoy!    ......and back to the shed project, the sun is out.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Paris Cabinet featured on Imy & Me Blog and a Review

Paris Cabinet, the Etsy shop we have for some of Jan's work, was featured in Imy & Me Blog. The feature was on Fantastic Finds Fridays for September 26.

Thanks, Cheryl.

Jan painting a series of fairy doors

Beautifully rendered door can be mounted in a frame

Today we had another great review on our Etsy Paris Cabinet shop. This is what was said about the door below that was purchased, "Beyond beautiful. Stunning detail and workmanship. Fast shipping. My 6 yr old son absolutely believes the door is a portal for the tooth fairy"

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Garden Shed Base

Jan made the first base! Here is the underside showing the construction, the ground still needs to be leveled and prepared. The model is on one of the pallets we picked up last week.

Jan is picking out 2x4s for the frame.

Jason in Clovis responded to our request on Craigslist for old wood fencing. You have to be so careful, the first person that responded sent a link to what he said were photos of wood we could have and then it said you must download an upgrade to see the photos. Don't do it!!! It's a scam, search internet for how that works and avoid it.

Not too exciting photo of old fencing in van and below are bags of pebbles and sand for the base.

The weather is so nice right now, great for working outdoors.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Free Pallets & Wood

Saturday evening I emailed a person on Craigslist who had free wood and pallets. Sunday morning he sent a text message with the location, a 45 minute drive from our home. Jan quickly took the seats out of the van and grabbed his gloves, hammer and crow bar and off we went.

Sad thing is the man told us the wood was on the property that had belonged to his mother. His mother and sister were killed by a drunk driver a couple of months ago while they were on their way to a wedding. The property needs to be cleared so they can sell to pay off debt.

Jan is scavenging next to the big stack of old stakes.

 Some of the pallets we brought back.....

....and some of the stakes and one turned piece.

This morning Jan spent some time taking apart the pallets, no easy job! The worst part was much of the wood has deteriorated too much. We wish we had more old fencing.

I'm looking forward to starting the garden shed.

Digging out Plants

Each day this week Jan has done something towards the shed. He's really taken to it. It's so wonderful to have a hubby who is eagerly into the project. Jan started digging out the plants to make room for the new shed.

Here I am in the location where it will go. The actual shed will be more than 6 times larger than the foam core model, and there will be doors. The shed will need a name, we have some ideas but not sure yet.

The old wood propped against the fence is 100 year old barn wood from a friend's old barn. We still have not decided what to do with the barn wood. The grain is so incredible, I want to do something special with it.

The new shed will use some new wood for base and framing but we want old wood for the siding. I'm watching CraigsList for free wood.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Garden Shed

It's been much too long since my last post. Christmas came and went, then the new year and before you know it I was very busy with my real estate business.

Finally, in early September things slowed down and my thoughts once again went to my long time desire to have a Dutch water gate inspired garden shed or little building.

On Sunday, September 15 after brunch we pulled out the tools to build a little foam core model of what might work.

Here is the model for a two turret shed. It is inspired by the photo Jan took of the Koppelpoort water gate in Amersfoort, see our About Us page.

The left side is the street level entrance to the medieval water gate, our inspiration for the garden shed.

That was a week ago, much has happened on the project already!
More to come, bye for now.