We finished pressure washing the rest of the barn ceiling early Saturday and also worked on the wiring some more. While the walls were drying off, we worked on the back fence row, cutting down low hanging tree branches and weed whipping. Also mowed around both ponds, between the grape vines and the blackberry rows and drug load of brush to the burning pile behind the garden.
Nothing like needing more space for a barn wedding to move projects along: we had always planned on building a “crush pad” (for crushing berries and pressing cider) right in front of the barn…at some future date, but with a May wedding in the barn, and the need for more space, the crush pad suddently became an urgency.
So earlier this week, on Tuesday, we got an entire dump truck load of gravel (around 20 tons). Jeff and Lars worked every afternoon on moving the gravel to the area in front of the barn where another large concrete slab needs to be poured. (Luckily we still have Zach’s tractor with the hydraulic front bucket to make this a manageable job).
Jens came over on Saturday and with his help we sank 6 pressure treated 6X6X8 posts around the perimeter of the future crush pad and cemented them in.
Probably one of our most favorite animated movies ever has been “How to Train Your Dragon”. One of the scenes, where “Hiccup” gets his first viking hat, has been the inspiration for our creation of this toddler sized version.
Before describing the assembly of this hat, it is important to recall the scene where “Stoic the Vast” (Hiccup’s father) hands his son the hat… pointing out that is has been fashioned out of half of his mother’s breast-shield (and thus matches his father’s).
We made this hat entirely from items “found” around our house and yard:
- a fairly large sized bra (recommended double “G” – or other size to fit child’s head), that has been accidentally left by a visiting relative (hence “found”), ideally the child’s mother**
- fiberglass resin
- fiberglass body filler
- 2 large fender washers and drywall screws
- 2 cow horns (boiled and scraped clean)
- scissors, needle and thread
- hot glue gun and glue
- scraps of fur (we used raccoon, could use artificial trim)
** may want to get permission from her husband before attacking the bra if intended as a surprise
Cut one of the cups off the bra and paint it with fiberglass resin. Let dry (following directions)… we let ours dry overnight.
Fill cow horns with body filler and let harden. Mark position of horns on “hat”, and from inside, hold a fender washer and screw drywall screw through washer into the center of the cow horn. Repeat on other side.
Cut off sections of the back of the bra with the hook and eyes and glue into position on the back part of the hat (for adjustable straps). After gluing, sew on permanently with needle and thread.
Cut left over fur into narrow strips and hot glue into place for decorations…and voila:
It started out as a walk around the pond, enjoying the warm weather on the first weekend of the New Year – when we reached the old “tree house” (it is no longer a tree house, since we moved it to a new location on the ground). We got the sudden urge to finally anchor the play house to its platform and fix the railing around it. Anja, Duff, Lars and Tina, with the help of a Come-Along, managed to reposition the structure to the edge of the platform, then anchor it down with screws. Missing siding boards were replaced and we connected the upper and lower deck platforms. We also salvaged the old railing from it’s actual tree house days and attached those around the playhouse. All the old leaves, pine needles and grass were removed – with some major raking effort and we build a small fire pit in the clearance in front of the house and restacked the firewood behind it. Now all we need is another warm day to attach the door and decorate. We had so much fun doing this – what a great way to start the New Year!
|New Year’s Day rainbow that evening was amazing|