Saturday, August 2, 2014

Planked wall art...

Hi Everyone!  I thought I'd share with you one of the custom orders I received and completed a few weeks ago.  My client sent me some pictures of what she wanted.  One of her inspiration pictures was the Pottery Barn planked art piece of the United States only she wanted the art to be of the State of Iowa (her home state).  And this is what I came up with....
Sorry, no in progress shots...I forgot to pick up the camera, but will on the next one, I've already received an order for another one.
I used lath as planks because they were the right size and full of character even after hours of sanding each piece.
I built a wooden frame and attached the lath boards after cutting them to size.
Then I stained it on this side and painted the back side of the boards.
Once it was dry I got out my trusty atlas and used it as my visual guide and hand painted the state of Iowa onto the four squares.  Then painted it with a base of white.  Once the paint was dry I took the sander to the entire piece to give it instant age.
I added a bit of antique medium to the white paint to age it a bit more.  Then when it was dry I added a coat of sealer.  I used the side of one of the out buildings for photos because I have no other place to hang such a large piece.  And in case you are wondering, only this side of it looks like this...the rest is painted white.  I keep letting this side chip away because it looks good in photos, but someday I will need to paint it.  Thanks for stopping.

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Friday, August 1, 2014

Around the farm, part two...

Hi Everyone!  Yesterday I showed you that the hay ground had been cut and baled into large rectangular bales....well, today I thought I'd show you what we've been waiting all spring and summer to start work fact Dad has been waiting for this to happen for several years...
....the pond and dam are being worked on.  They brought the big equipment on Monday afternoon and began working on it on Tuesday.  My grandpa original dug out this pond and created the dam and it lasted a good many years. 
But my first year here (10 years ago) we had winter kill of the fish because the pond was getting filled in with silt (from run off from the fields and pasture).  Then a few years later we had a couple of years worth of flooding that broke the dam, right where he's working (above photo).
 Not only are they rebuilding the dam, but they are also digging it out and making it deeper.
 There use to be three large cottonwood trees in this group but a couple of years ago we lost one in a big storm.  They used the smaller excavator to move it and pile it up and then started burning it.  It will take a few days to burn it (it was a huge tree!) and then they will bury what remains of it.
 I've taken pictures on my lunch break each day and down by the pond each night because it's so interesting to see the progress they make each day.
 Below is a picture of what the pond looked like when I first moved here.  This is of the pond from the southwest side looking toward the house.  All the other pictures are looking from the house side.

They are also going to be putting in a driveway from the road to the east pasture (south of the barn) but I'll show you that on another day.  So far the weather has been great for this work and looks to stay that way for a while!  So that's what's going on at the farm these days.  What's happening in your neck of the woods?  Thanks for stopping by.