home for the plants

With the fear of frost looming at the end of October, we had to come up with a suitable winter home for our plant collection which was taking up residence outside and our deck.

succulents reclaimed wood plant stand-4993

They’re now sitting pretty in our living room amongst my favorite pair of vintage chairs.

vintage mohair chair, kilim rug,  reclaimed wood plant stand bookcase

vintage mohair chair, kilim rug, reclaimed wood plant stand bookcase, locker

terra cotta & olive, mohair chair

We came up with a game plan to extend our sunny bay windowsill in order to accommodate the plants and my favorite vintage pots, bowls and vases.  We started with fantastic weathered old 1×6 lumber that has almost a barnwood-like quality.  We needed 6 – 5 foot boards in total.  The boards previously made up a section of simple post and beam fencing in our yard.  Each was stripped down to expose the worn grain.  Two boards were paired together to make a 12 inch deep shelf.  Three sets of boards were attached vertically to one another to create a 3-tier shelf system.

simple DIY: reclaimed wood + pipe plant stand/ bookcase

Plumbing pipe shelving is not a new concept but we came up with our own simple plant stand version using pipes and fittings to connect the unit.  There are 2 connecting points on each shelf therefore we used a total of 4 – 9 inch plumbing nipples and 8 flanges which screw into the wood.  These also double nicely as book ends.  The plumbing materials were the most expensive part of this DIY project.

olive tree,  reclaimed wood + pipe plant stand-4999

We decided on a set of simple 7 inch turned legs for the bottom which cost less than $5 each at Lowe’s.   The raw wood of the legs and shelves received an application of hemp oil for a durable water repellent topcoat which also left a subtle stain highlighting the wood grain.

succulent garden, reclaimed wood plant stand-4992

simple DIY: reclaimed wood + pipe plant stand-

The plants have happily been relocated to the new plant stand where they are enjoying the expansive window and, normally, bright light.

indoor terra cotta succulent garden, reclaimed wood plant stand-4993

These snaps are from this morning during a dreary, cold November rain.  I love the mix of terra cotta amongst the saturated colors in the kilim rug and mohair chairs – all vintage finds of course.  Such a cozy new space!

vintage mohair chair, kilim rug, reclaimed wood plant stand bookcase

from the garden to the dining room

I know the Home Show was like weeks ago and you are probably so sick of hearing me talk about it and addressing the event as a proper noun but guess what, so many projects went into that little upcycled room.  So many hours.  I am going to talk about them until, well until, I can’t talk about them anymore and they fade into the dark night of the blogosphere.

Actually, until spring really when there is something new and fresh and worthwhile to talk about.  Or until we get married.  Yeah, the wedding will trump the Home Show for sure.

Anyway, what do you do with a garden trellis that you aren’t using in the garden?

Home Show - Milk painted dresser and trellis mirror

Turn it into a mirror of course!

Home Show - Garden Trellis Mirror

My neighbor is always finding little treasures along the way, much like me.  He handed this garden trellis over to me months ago and it sat in my garage ever since.  Until the aha moment came.  The moment I know you all wait for.  The moment Ryan cringes because I enlist him for yet another project.  As always, I promise him it is simple and will only take a few minutes…

garde trellis mirror

So the trellis got turned on it’s side.  Then we just sawed the ends off of the whole piece so it would be symmetrical.  And by “we” of course you know by now that I mean Ryan.

The great debate of January 2013 was whether or not the garden trellis should have 2 mirrors or one large mirror behind the entire trellis.  Hmmm…

Obviously we decided on 2 mirrors which gave a floating effect.  Still though, I ponder how 1 would have looked.

I speed dialed my old friends at the glass store and had 2 mirrors cut in a matter of days.  We removed the 3 middle bars from the back  of the trellis.  The mirrors rested on the bars in front.  Then we attached mirror hanging hardware in the back to those front pieces.  Finally, Ryan and I strategically screwed the back bars into place while keeping the mirrors centered.  You definitely need 2 sets of hands with this project to keep the mirrors centered and level.

how to make a garden trellis mirror

Yes, this was a team effort constructed right on the dining room table because as I recall it was like 12 degrees in the garage that day.  And you can also see how all of the projects in the dining room were evolving at that very moment.  Note the dangling new drapes over the old ones.  Hot mess.

IMG_9082

But of course, the dining room looks like this now with the mirror starring on one wall and reflecting light from the large window across the room.

IMG_9307

Which reminds me, when I posted our new and improved dining room on Monday I don’t believe I shared this angle with you which shows both the new mirror and Ryan’s vintage ball jar sketch that he made as a child.  Quite the gardeny feel this space has now.

dining room

I love how the artwork looks in the new room.  It is a perfect fit.

ball jar artwork

What do you have planned for the weekend?  Stop by the ol’ brick & mortar shop on Saturday from 10-5!

all American

Hello!  Hello!  For all of my American readers, did you vote yet today?  Don’t forget, mmm kay?  It is your right!  Here at casa di Circa Dee we always vote Beagle.

How could we not?  Everyone knows Wilson is the boss around here.

I found that great beagle political poster at cafepress.  They have a few other breeds as well but you’ll probably just want to obey the beagle.

No, this isn’t a sponsored post by beagles around the nation.  Or cafepress.  I am getting to the project here…

The posters come in different sizes but none are your standard frame size.  Ours was 11×16.  As you probably know, having a custom frame made costs oodles of dollars.  So Ryan made one for us.

Out of…ready for it…chestnut wood!

Why am I so excited about a chestnut frame?  Oh because the horticultural nerd in me is about to come out.  Have you ever heard of the American chestnut blight?

Back in the day, a.k.a. like 100 years ago, nearly all chestnut trees in North America were wiped out.  They’re practically extinct now because of a fungus that was introduced to the trees.  If you’re so inclined, you can read more about the chestnut blight here.

So if you come across anything truly made of chestnut you can A.) pretty much guarantee that it is an antique and B.) buy it because it is a little piece of American history.  We had the opportunity to buy a few chestnut hardwood floor boards recently.  Honestly, they sat in the garage for a few months.  Until Ryan put together this custom frame for our beagle propaganda.  I ordered a piece of glass and we added some hardware and foam core board to the back.

Of course I love the wear and tear the hardwoods show from a previous life of being walked all over.

Our new to us frame coordinates nicely with an antique chestnut chest we just got to use as a media console.  I will share that in a future post as this room is not quite finished yet.

As for custom frames, I love them!  The look and feel of reclaimed hardwoods, painted floorboards and molding being given a new life as a frame is just so cool.

We have a few open frames on our mantel right now.

We just completed a set of 3 layered frames for our friend’s wedding photos.  They came out really cool too.  Also, another photo I will have to share at a future date.

And you may remember our original floorboard frame.  Still my fave.

However, we are moving away from creating our own reclaimed wood frames due to time constraints.  But we’ve found a great US-based company who does just that!  We’ve started stocking them in our shop.  Part of growing a business, I’ve quickly learned, is figuring out what to outsource and what to keep in-house.

They make unique gifts!  And we can still have custom colors and sizes made.  In fact, they have a stellar selection of colors!  I’m so happy to have found this artisan.  I’m pretty sure Ryan is too since frame making sort of fell under him.

In honor of election day, I kept this post all American for you – voting, American history and outsourcing in America. Now go vote!