Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Art of Doing Stuff: Chicken Gate

Chances are if you follow my blog you also follow one of my favorite bloggers Karen at The Art of Doing Stuff.  I've been a regular reader of her blog since it's early days and its one of the few I enjoy on a daily basis.   When I first stumbled upon her site I instantly recognized her from her hosting jobs on various HGTV shows over the years so I was already a fan of her witty humour and sense of style.  Karen's a skilled home improvement DIY'er and home cook who is devoted to discovering how to do stuff, useful stuff that saves you money and enhances your life.  She's one of the most dedicated bloggers I know, posting daily blogs full of original and unique content that will make make you laugh out loud while you learn something new.

This week on The Art of Doing Stuff you can read about a little project of Karen's that I was thrilled to to help her with (believe me, its a rare occasion this lady needs help with anything).  It involved her chicken coop (which I have to say is one of the most stylish chicken coops I've ever seen) that she built entirely by herself, of course.   Above is a little sneak peek of a chicken coop gate concept I recently sketched for her, it was one of 4 concept sketches - you can see the rest of them read all about it over on Karen's blog here .  Check back there on Thursday of this week to see some of her after pics.

Photo Illustration:  Carol Reed

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Log Days Of Summer

Its that time of year, perfect summer weather - day after day of HOT sunny temps........when I'm in the city working on deadlines and I get emails from friends and family who are up at their cottages.  You know the kind of emails - with photos of them lounging on their docks cold drinks in hand, or floating on a lake, with the subject line "wish you were here".  It happens every summer.  Summertime is always the busiest time of the year for all types of construction, including interior renovations and their project designers.  Like me.  Like last summer little bro's spur of the moment house purchase in need a complete interior reno as fast as possible - meant I spent much of my summer in the city emailing design plans to him .....on his dock.  I'm sure it was very stressful for him. ; )

This past week he and his fiance, I'll call her "M" are up at the cottage enjoying some vacation time and truly relaxing now that their city house reno is behind them.  Its everything summertime should be.  M is a also a designer and you know us creatives are always dreaming up design ideas even on vacation, sometimes, especially on vacation!   So this week having the need for a new drinks table for the dock and the sight of some beautiful maple logs spurred the urge for a little cottage DIY project.  There's generally a rule at the cottage that no DIY project can require more than an hours work, or require a special trip into town for supplies.  And if its the kind of project that requires a chain saw, lil bro is more than eager to accommodate designer requests.

M's vision for this inverted log table,,,began like this....

A tree log from a fallen maple tree on the property.  
Here are the seven  eight simple steps they took to complete this table.

Step 1.  Using a chainsaw, split the log off centre 
Step 2.  Cut one piece shorter than the other
Step 3.  Remove Bark
Step 4.  Set four 3" lag bolts in the top of the base piece of the log
Step 5.  Drill four holes in the underside of the top log piece to align with the bolts
Step 6.  Place the top over the 4 bolts and adjust lag bolts to level the top of the table
Step 7.  Sand the top to desired smoothness, or not
Step 8.  Fetch a couple of ice cold drinks from the fridge and test table

The cleverness of this simple design is that the bolts are adjustable for leveling the table and you can leave the bolts exposed if you like, as lil bro did for a more 'industrial rustic' look as he calls it.

First test round.  Appears to work perfectly, nothing fell off or tipped over.  No adjustments needed.  

Its long enough to hold drinks and other dock essentials.

Perfectly fits between a pair of teak loungers.  
Can be left outside, maintenance free.
Its all natural.
Looks beautiful.
Cost nothing.

DIY well done!   Thanks for sending the pics.

I wish I was there. : (

I hope everyone is lucky enough to be enjoying some relaxing summertime projects like this. They are the best kind.  But for me,,,back to the non-diy type projects and the frustration of working around summer 'shut downs'.  Imagine, summer shut-downs.  So civilized, If only we could all indulge.

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