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The good news . . . yesterday a large patch of the “Lucifer” day lilies growing a couple of vacant lots from the house was discovered. The deer have been eating the flowers so they almost went unnoticed. They obviously needed to be saved, so a plan was made to relocate a portion of them to the “Lucifer” bed in my yard. If you look closely at the picture, you will see four groupings of these lilies. The shortest one in the front are my originals from the lily farm. The rest are the transplants. They fill the space up nicely, I think. If all goes according to the plan, there will be even more next year.

The bad news . . . yesterday, my “Lucifer” lilies were covered with bright red flowers. If you look at the picture, you will NOT see any flowers. You can probably guess . . . the local deer made a feast of MY lilies either late last night or very early this morning. Dang those deer. First the jasmine and now the “Lucifer.” I suppose I should be grateful it was only the flowers and the plants seem fine, just a premature deadheading of the flowers. (Did you notice I used the proper gardening term . . . deadheading?)

Some wire fencing and driftwood will, with any luck, act as a deterrent until a taller, more sturdy solution can be erected. I picked this spot for the “Lucifer” as I’m hoping it will grow up tall enough to disguise the bend in the fence rail . . . another gift from the deer. (No deer were harmed in the bashing of the fence, only the fence was damaged.)  You might have also noticed my ocean art (read: driftwood stump) has moved to a new spot further into the yard with the lawn chairs. Baby steps . . . the big plans for next year will be a fire ring and pond.

Another mystery has been solved as well. The new plants came from the same lot that had the daffodils that “walked” over to my place once their blooms died out. Now it turns out these were some strange daffodils. Rather than dying off like normal daffodils, they started putting up green shoots. Upon closer inspection . . . the mostly dead plants that made their way to my yard aren’t daffodils at all, they are “Lucifer” day lilies. I have no idea how to protect these plants from the deer as they are located next to the former jasmine. I’m working on it.

Two steps forward and one step back.  Still, I have high hopes for next year’s flowers and yard projects.


Yes, it’s a lame title but I’m doing a how-to so when I get dementia I’ll have a guide. Or you can make your own sign!

First, find a board. In this case, I’m using the sanded rough-sawn fencing left over from my headboard project.  I cut the board in approximately one foot long pieces.

.bonkers sand board

Next, I use three different stains . . . a cherry red, walnut and warm gold, otherwise known as Golden Pecan. I add some very dark brown accents (random dots and dashes) with a high gloss enamel and small art brush which shows through the paint steps better than the walnut stain.

bonkers stain.jpg

Now, it’s time for the color. I apply it like a wash with a sponge brush first dipped in paint then water. Once it’s coated, I wipe it gently with a soft rag (old tee-shirt). Then using the tip of the sponge, streaks of more solid color are added.

bonkers green wash.jpg

Now it’s time for a pretty standard whitewash followed by some dry brushing with the white paint. I just tip the bucket to expose the less diluted paint at the bottom and tap the top of the brush for the dry brush step.

bonkers whitewash.jpg

Okay, that was so fun that I dry brush some more of the primary color . . . in this case, sea green.

bonkers green dry brush.jpg

And then dry brush some of the dark brown,

bonkers brown dry brush.jpg

The board is almost ready for lettering. Just wipe on a final coat of the Pecan stain over the entire board to blend all the colors and “age” the wood.

bonkers final stain.jpg

Hurray . . . the board is ready once it dries. Time to jump on the computer to make a template. I use Word since I’m most familiar with its formatting capabilities. I find a font I like and then start working on the size and spacing until I have a working model of the saying to print.

No Picture for This Step

This is the first step that is hard in anyway. Very slowly, cut out the lettering with an Exacto knife.  I use painters tape to secure the more fragile cutouts while working on the rest.

bonkers template1.jpg

The next step in less intense. I use a medium Sharpie to trace the lettering onto the board.

bonkers template.jpg

Take a break. Just joking, but the lettering takes alot of patience.  Almost any mistakes up to this point can be easily fixed. The lettering is unforgiving and tedious, but it is the thing that really makes the sign “pop.” I used my smallest art brush for this sign due to the much smaller lettering on the second line.

bonkers lettering.jpg

Last but not least . . . A couple of accents add the finishing touch.  This sign is getting small beach rocks. The accent can be anything. I use shells, sand dollars, starfish, etc. Anything can work . . . I happen to like the touch of nature.

bonkers done.jpg

Tada! There it is. This was the hardest one yet. I will stick to few words in larger point sizes from now on.  This sign was a special, special project though and worth the extra effort. This will be packed up and mailed on Monday.

Happy Birthday P!




As usual . . . sorry for the bad photos . . . I really need a camera or a new phone with a better camera. Still, you get the idea. I’m always wishing I had pictures of projects once they are long gone. I figure this is as good place as any to stash pics.

I put the first one over my bedroom door and have no idea what I’ll do with the other one or any of the rest for that matter. I have four more in the works . . . templates ready . . . boards cut, stained and ready to paint. I’ll be posting more pictures when I have a couple more done.

I’m so happy with these and the street numbers, I can’t wait to get to work on the driftwood fairy gardens. If they come out half a good as these projects, I’ll be thrilled. I guess I better find some money for the things I need, but can’t scavenge off the beach.

It’s so great to have an excuse to beach walk instead of paint doors. Yeah, yeah . . . I still have doors to paint black but the nice thing about being a beach bum is that I feel at liberty to do what I want when I want. The doors will get done . . . Hakuna Matata.

So sad. I’ve had my first fatality in the garden. It seems, although, calla lilies don’t experience a whole lot of problems, there is a deadly bacteria which causes a kind of rot at the base of the plant. It happens to be highly infections for all the lilies, iris and daffodils . . . basically, my whole garden. There is little you can do. You have to remove the infected plant AND surrounding soil. You can try washing the roots and replant in isolation, but mine was too far gone.  Everything was doing so well.

I almost cried! Now, there is a big hole where one of the yellow calla lilies was. Very, very sad. I’m hopeful the other yellow and the pink calla lilies are not infected. I’ll be checking them daily and will attempt the ‘wash and replant’ if any of the other plants show signs of the bacteria. I almost did it anyway, but wiser heads prevailed. Seems the infection gets a start in damaged parts of the plant. I’m pretty sure I could easily cause unintended damage if I tried it.

I’m also watching my tree very carefully. It is supposed to have its leaves turn red in the fall. Mine are turning red and it is only just July. None of the leaves have dropped, so I’m holding my breath. It’s possible that its point of origin was much warmer than here and the tree is just confused. It may simply think it is autumn. I’m not sure what that means long term, but I have my fingers crossed all will be well in the end.

There is one bright spot in my plant world. The orchid I got last year has bloomed again! This is a first for me. In the past, I’d water any orchid I was gifted long after the flowers died and nothing ever happened. I will take this as a good sign for my “green” endeavors.




TaDa! The new statement piece for the bedroom is done and hung. I don’t often (read ever) write about my wonderful life partner . . . privacy and all that. It doesn’t mean I don’t total love and completely adore my better half; ergo, this is the plaque I just finished and hung over our bed.

Making it was totally fun, so I can’t wait to get to work on the additional 15 feet of decorator signs I can make now. All I have to do is decide what I want them to say. Obviously, the fewer letters, the better. It’s not hard, but labor-intensive, delicate work.

I also have the driftwood “fairy gardens” to get working on. I will have to put out a little cash for those. I need air plants and buying them is the only way I have of getting them. I’ve gathered half a dozen pieces of driftwood that should work out perfectly for those.

I had thought to sell some of the driftwood and plague projects, but I’m thinking maybe I’ll giving them as gifts instead. I’d never get the cost of my labor out of them. Then again, I do it because I enjoy it, so maybe a couple will go to one of the local tourist traps to buy more supplies.

Well, my baby is off to a “Dead” retrospective with an old friend from ‘Frisco. I’m more of a punk and metal fan myself, so I’m sitting this one out. It gives me the whole weekend to play at my work bench and perhaps paint my toes pink.



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July 2018
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