Backyard Projects: Outdoor Sink (Part 2)

Read part 1 here.

This morning I said to myself: “Natalia, you should blog.” And since the weather is rapidly descending into Autumn — and before we Montrealers know it, Winter — I figured I’d better get this summer-themed post happening. Anyhow, back to finishing my potting nook:

First I laid out the wood:

Then flipped it over to create the frame/rigidity:

Murray and I notched out the wood to fit the sink and accommodate the HydroQuebec tubing that leads to the meter. At this point, my daughter thought this construction was the window to some mythical clubhouse I’d built her:

The next big step was the plumbing. It was blazing hot outside and wearing shorts while soldering in a tight space, I later discovered, was a bad idea. I must have burned myself around six times with dripping molten solder. Still determined to “freecycle” all my materials, I limited myself to the valves and pieces around the house. At times during the plumbing step, I felt like I was a contestant on Canada’s Worst Handyman. It was laughable. The final product, however, boasts no leaky connections! TA-BLAOW!

Add legs and here she be! Drainage, at the moment, is into a “grey water” bucket that I use to water the garden. We wash vegetables out here when we’re cooking outside. In addition to planting and potting, and this area has been super useful to keep the kid’s hands clean when mucking about before dinner!

The end.

Backyard Projects: Outdoor Sink (Part 1)

This summer has been partially dedicated to “busying myself” around the house. There are a million little projects I wish I had time for, but one of my biggest ones was completed early in the season: The Outdoor Sink. The goal was to free-cycle, recycle and up-cycle all the parts. So aside from a box of deck screws, this whole thing was built for around $15.

Step 1: Draw up some plans.

There were a lot of plans. It is a small space and I was restricted to the materials I had on hand. Which brings me to:

Step 2: Materials.

I had a bunch of cedar planks and 2 cedar 4X4 posts Murray had left over from building our recycled barn wood backyard harvest table. These would be the main parts of my work table, and the big challenges were fitting into the small space, minimizing cuts, and attaching the legs. As you can see from all the designs, I tried to integrate the legs into the structure, when in the end I settled on using two metal post plates (another thing I had to buy) to attach the legs to the top. I would also need a sink. I had my craigslist/garbage picker’s eye out for a few weeks, finally finding this small stainless-steel bar sink for $7 at a garage sale.

Step 4: Asess, measure, plan.

Hunh. Here’s the nook. It was used basically as a place for the hose winder thing to hang out. Also, not the greatest place for the hose to be. Generally, water + electric mains = bad idea. But it was like that when we got the house so I wasn’t about to start drilling holes in the exterior wall. Ghetto-styles rule this Park-Ex project.

Up next: Commit to the lumber & my hilarious plumbing skillz.

Delinquent Blogger

Feels like weeks since I’ve been here. I keep meaning to write something, then I get distracted by something else that has to be done. We’re in the final stages of production of The Dears album, and I’m pretty much completely psyched about it. Also, I’ve been working on my science fiction novel which is coming along nicely but is a real drain on the wordsmith portions of my brain. Thus, explaining my absence here.

Saturday night, just before bedtime, my daughter pulled out three of her stuffed bears and asked me to make two of them some clothes so they could be more like the third, red-shirted Winnie the Pooh. I’ve made low-rent bag-shirts out of felt for her bears before, so I told her we could do it in the morning and sent her off to bed. First thing Sunday morning I was requested to make good on my word and produce aforementioned bear clothes. Really? I negotiate to have coffee and breakfast first and decide to go for it: I busted out the sewing machine. I did not go for it that far, since I didn’t bother trying to change the colour of the bobbin thread. Gauche, I know.

I was instructed to make two shirts: one blue and one yellow. I found scraps of fabric I’d used for other projects and started in, first making a blue shirt for the panda bear (accented with a bowtie made from gingham Mokuba ribbon). After making the yellow vest for the second “Snowy” bear, was feeling a little confident and added a skirt with ruched front. That’s right. From scratch, patternless, using mismatched threads and crappy scissors.

May I present to you, four hours later, Snowy and The General in their Sunday best:

Squidward Costume Anxiety

For Halloween this year, my 4-year-old has told me she wants to dress up as Squidward Tentacles from Spongebob. I’ve been to the big box stores, and there are no Spongebob character costumes, which leaves me one option: DIY.

This is a fine line: I don’t want the costume to be unidentifiable, or ghetto, or not fun to wear. Also it’s getting cold outside so it also has to be toasty. This is not going to be easy. Maybe I can woo her with a frilly princess dress…

This mask would be a quick fix, only it is overpriced and probably adult-sized:

This looks uncomfortable. And too literal:

Quaint. Not my style:

The fun-ness would be in active legs: the extra pair of legs attached to her real legs so each pair of legs (one real, one fake) moved in tandem. Also was thinking of adding the Krabby Patty hat. Need to get to Value Village to source a white trucker’s hat.

OK. So today I have some work to do. I need to find:
1) Kids plain brown polo shirt.
2) Grey long-sleeved shirt + 2 pair matching leggings/pants.
3) 6 pairs grey sport socks to go over her hands & shoes. And stuffed one to be extra feet.
4) White trucker hat (possibly with blue bill).
5) Try to make a Squidward mask. Maybe some sort of mask/hood stuffed into the shape of his bulbous head and nose? And paint on a frown with makeup? I need grey face paint.

Seriously, I am into this costume over the standard fairy or princess. But it has to be fun. I’ll update developments as they come. You must be at the edge of your seat in anticipation!!!

Update: Check how the Squiward costume came out!