The annual Junk Jaunt through central Nebraska lured me home to Kearney again this past September. My niece, Chelsie, and my mommy, Jolene and I hit the road early in search of vintage finds and freshly-baked kolaches. One of the items I couldn't pass by was a cute table in a shop in Ravenna. Even through the grime and chipped paint, I knew that it was the right scale for a side table in the great room. I couldn't resist the $2 price tag, either. Let's see if Scott was successful in helping me transform my little treasure.
This table had definitely seen better days. It's construction is a mystery; it seems like it was made of twigs but Scott deduced that the texture of the wood was manmade, perhaps by smacking a hammer in an even pattern around each piece. The blue roll of tape is filling in for a missing piece of leg.
The first order of business was to even out the three remaining legs. Scott used his laser level to mark where to cut each.
The M-12 multi-tool with the reciporcating blade made quick work of the task.
The replacement leg began as a 1"-square piece of leftover pine. Yet another example of why we don't thrown out perfectly good wood! You just never know when you will need to hewn a table leg. The process began by tracing the diameter of the finished leg.
The benchtop belt sander slowly-but-surely sanded away the excess pine.
Scott used a pocketknife to replicate the texture of the original leg. The length of the finished leg is indicated with a black ring of Sharpie ink.
Scott drilled a hole to receive a wood peg . . .
. . . and added plenty of wood glue to secure the peg in place.
A little painter's tape kept the new leg in place while the glue dried. Scott lopped off the excess pine the next day.
A good scrubbing with a soapy rag revealed that the most recent coat of paint was light pink. Scott quickly dispatched any evidence of pink with a good coat of bronze metallic paint (leftover from painting our register vents.)
The finished product is sturdy enough to hold my cup of coffee and looks perfect next to the chair in the corner of the great room. Not bad for $2 and a couple of hours of Scotty Time!
A recent story in our local media caught my attention. The Omaha Shirt Project was created by Oxide Design Co. to help local communities show their pride and support their neighborhood associations. The designs are very cool - but one neighborhood was missing . . . noTTafarm! So, while I'm not an award-winning graphic designer like those kids at Oxide, I did create a design that is now available for your very own t-shirt.
I set up a group order form on Custom Ink with a cut-off date of Friday, October 21. The design is medium gray and will be printed on your choice of a few colors in mens, womens, and kids sizes. You can pay online (the shirts will be about $15 each) and I'll deliver or mail your order to you (just be sure to send me a message with your address or special instructions.)
For the past few months, noTTafarm has been the go-to setting for a local photographer. I met Kami through noTTafarm Super Friend Amy B., and once hired her to take headshots for the office. When she sent out a plea on Facebook for a "new area in Omaha, especially with old barns and rustic look," I happily volunteered. She took a quick tour, decided that noTTafarm has what it takes, and has been bringing clients out on a pretty regular basis. It's been fun to watch the visitors and see how Kami captures their personalities along with the beauty of the surroundings. This past Saturday (the 15th) Kami hosted nine families for "mini sessions." She spent the afternoon on the driveway with an adorable set-up featuring a vintage truck and a bushel of apples.
To thank us, Kami spent a bit of time Saturday taking our photo. We didn't pose with the cute red truck; Scott suggested that the TT would be a better accompaniment (of course.) We're excited to see what her photography reveals about us! Until I can share a snap or two, you can enjoy this action shot.
Sure it's late in the planting season - but there's still plenty of time to enjoy my favorite: chrysanthemums. I neglected the Gleaner all summer; I kept thinking I would get out there and plant something but I was either distracted by tomatoes or too lazy (hmmmmm....which do you think is more likely?) Nonetheless - wanting things to look spiffy for Lumberjack Day was reason.
Saturday (the 15th) was gloomy but warm - I don't think we saw much of the sun - which made the poor ol' Gleaner and its mostly-dead box elder tree buddies look even more forlorn.
After we removed the plastic window boxes (that should have had annuals in them), Scott added more scrap wood to build up the base. I was able to find mums (rust and yellow) and ornamental grass at Home Depot.
To best show the plantings to folks on the driveway, I clustered the plants on the south side of the hopper.
Scott added some more wood to brace the plastic pots and hopefully prevent them from falling over. I am hopeful that these will bloom a bunch in the next few weeks and then I'll get them in the ground before the first snowfall.
I couldn't resist this big mum in this beautiful golden hue. It looks great near the courtyard door - and now we're officially ready for fall visitors!
The packet of seeds labeled "Ornamental Gourds" was a fun investment. For only a few bucks, we got a summer full of entertainment, watching the vines slowly grow and take over a good portion of the garden. With summer fading and the vines yellowing, it was time to harvest.
This big green gooseneck gourd grew from its spot high on the fence. The harvested gourd is over a foot tall with a beautiful, smooth green skin.
The total harvest was about 30 pieces, most of which were tiny pumpkins less than 3 inches wide. They are now the highlight of our entry's fall motif, piled in a sweet little farm wagon I found in Ravenna during Junk Jaunt last month.
Of course, I had to add a noTTafarm Produce tag!
The larger gourds are on display on the sofa table. I pulled one of the egg trays out of the incubator in the barn to use as a tray; it holds four gourds and two wicker balls.
Three of the gourds are small pumpkins - too small to carve but just right for interior decor. We are definitely planting more gourds and pumpkins and maybe even Indian corn next year. But we will plant them outside the garden enclosure to give our veggies a fighting chance.
After six years of noTTafarming, we finally bit the bullet and planned an actual vacation - one where we spent more than one night away from home, traveled out of state, and tried not to worry about the kitties or the yardwork awaiting our return. It was wonderful to escape to the shore of Lake Superior for four mid-September days.
We last took a trip north of the Twin Cities in 2009 so it was really fun to see the changes in Duluth, Minnesota. We stayed at brand new hotel (www.pierbresort.com/) right on the water. Though the trees hadn't quite started changing, there was a hint of fall in the cool air.
Duluth's waterfront has been developed into a wonderful event space. There were a lot of people enjoying the area, even during the work week when we visited.
We stayed in Duluth but traveled north along the scenic highway to Grand Marais the first day. We stopped at Gooseberry Falls State Park and enjoyed a hike.
Next stop: Split Rock Lighthouse State Park.
The activity Scott looked forward to the most was picking up rocks on the lakeshore. He made it home with a couple of handfuls which he now has displayed on his desk.
In Grand Marais, the skies turned darker as the afternoon wore on, casting an ominous shadow over the lake.
On the second day, we drove east to Bayfield, Wisconsin, home of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. It's a beautiful, quaint little town with lots of cute shops and incredible scenery. The following day, we stopped in Minneapolis on the way home for lunch downtown and a short shopping spree then hopped in the car for an uneventful trip home. The kitties were expertly cared for by Gramma and Grampa Camp so they were unfazed by our absence (but I sure was happy to see them.)
We enjoyed our time away but are happily back in the swing of things here at noTTafarm.
When someone asks, "Hey, Scott. Do you want all the river rock we're taking off this giant building's roof?" you know the answer is going to be, "Sure!" After all, why would anyone turn down three dump truck loads of FREE river rock? The rock was delivered to us on Monday, Sept. 19.
The rocks were placed in a very neat pile on the south side of the barn.
We're not exactly sure what we're going to do with all of the rock but we know we can use it. One possibility is the creation of a retaining wall for the cottonwood flower bed using Gabion Walls.
Scott is researching this option; we're not sure that the small size of the rocks in our stockpile will work with commercially-available gabion baskets. Raise your hand if you have learned a new word today: gabion!
According to Wikipedia:
A gabion (from Italian gabbione meaning "big cage"; from Italian gabbia and Latin cavea meaning "cage") is a cage, cylinder, or box filled with rocks, concrete, or sometimes sand and soil for use in civil engineering, road building, military applications and landscaping.
Whatever we decide to do, we'll probably need to rent a Bobcat - so at least I'll have something to blog about!