Sunday, March 29, 2020

Still Smiling

Still Smiling. I hope you are, too.

With the walls installed, on the little chicken coop it was time to design the interior wall that would separate the coop from the potting shed. I had it all worked out in my mind, but I'm really not that good.

I had the basic idea, but also I had problems. So I kept fiddling with basic design. The peak of the wall had to fit with the removable roof in place. It had to have a door and it had to fit inside the removable wall and underneath the removable roof.

The problem was this brace; it was too long, keeping the removable wall that slides in those slots from siding into place.

I kept working on the wall. At first I thought that it would a chicken wire wall then I decided to enclose it. The one brace was not lined up. I decided that was okay because it wouldn't show anyway.

Finally I had a good fit. ,

I thought.

Sometimes it pays to just go to bed.

Because the wall that I designed didn't fit, I went back to basics and cut the interior wall out of cardboard using the dimensions for the front and back sides and guess what? It fit. Then I set about trying to decide how to wall off the side where the removable wall would go. Did I need a double wall? That partial side wall closed off interior of the coop.

Still I decided to cut the wood pieces for the wall and played around with another piece of wood, realizing for sure that I didn't want to enclose the coop that could be viewed from the top with roof removed.

I was finally beginning to make progress.

The interior wall was coming together.

 Julie's tutorial includes removable side two side walls, a wooden one or a clear acetate wall.

Did you know that you can use your paper trimmer to cut acetate. Holding the acetate firmly in place, run the blade across the plastic sheet a few times the just pop the acetate away from the cut for a nice smooth cut. (Remove the ruler first)

I like the acetate much better than a wood wall.

I painted the interior with white and gray acrylic craft paint then dirtied it up using small square stamp pad. I found an image online for the breeds of hens poster. 

The screen door is covered with a dark gray tulle on a spool instead of wire. The wire mesh that I have turned out to be too heavy.

The rusty star is cut off a star garland that I purchased from Hobby Lobby a few Christmases ago.

With the coop coming together, I needed a table for the potting area.

I used scraps to build a small work bench and stained it with walnut craft stain.


I needed it to looked aged and used. My sloppy glue job helped to attain that look, demonstrating that when glue is left to dry on bare wood, the wood won't take the stain.

I roughed up the stain with a rough sanding using 120 girt sandpaper then used my ink pad to create some paint stains.

I even made little birdhouse from the plans that Julie includes her book. It looks pretty rough, but it's kinda cute. 

The coffee creamer containers will be finished to store the chicken feed.

In our own coop, we keep the floor and the roosting deck covered with wood shavings, so I asked my husband if he had any that I could put in the blender to shred small enough for the coop. Instead he brought me sawdust from his own wood shop. One pile of coarser saw dust that works for the wood shavings and the finer sawdust works well for feed, Chicken Mash.

As a practice wall, I cut a clear plastic container to make the wall before I cut the acetate. It happened to fit the floor of the coop perfectly and since I didn't want to glue the sawdust to the floor of the coop, I glued it to the clear plastic, so the coop has a removable floor.

 My hen ordered from HBS arrived in yesterday's mail. I also have more chickens coming via Royal Mail that I ordered on Amazon. I hope they work. I love this little girl, so I am going to order another one and paint her like one of our own hens.

I made the nesting box before she arrived, hoping that she would fit. I glued more sawdust in the box to give her nice bed to lay her eggs in. Her name is Banana Cassidy. I know it's a bit odd. My little 7 year old granddaughter named one of her hens Banana Cassidy. We have no idea  how she came up with that name, but it grows on ya. 

The Mistress of the House has come to feed the hen and collect the eggs--there are eggs. Do you see them?

Eggs for breakfast.

I am really pleased with the results. I'm not finished yet. I am waiting for speed shingles to arrive from Green Leaf so that the roof matches the Bellingham. There will be some touchup work to do, but the end of this project is near.

Our original garden shed was supposed to have cupola with a weather vane on it, but our builder didn't get it built, so this hen house will have a cupola. I looked up cupolas online and came up with this design, roughly assembling one from cardboard. 

  Pretty rough, but I was able to build a better one out of wood. Next I cut a weather vane on my Cricut. I cut a black one out of card stock and two out of Cricut's copper vinyl that will fit back to back since the vinyl has a .

So this where I will leave you, as I ponder how to assemble the weather vane and try to decide on the black rooster or the copper one.

So, how is everyone holding up with the country under the Stay at Home orders in most states? I've been holed up for two weeks now and the President announced that the Stay at Home will continue until the end of April. At the moment I have plenty to keep me busy. We are retired with retirement income, so losing our jobs is not a concern, but I do worry about those who are out of work. My sister-in-law will likely lose her job tomorrow. 

Here, we are keeping busy. My husband has the garden ready to plant and has already planted peas, lettuce, and radishes, in addition to fencing the garden to keep the dog out of it. There is plenty of other yard work to do, as well, to keep us both busy--all the time.

I have been obsessed with building my chicken house, but I do have plenty of other things to do as well. I've told my housekeeper not come clean until it's safe to leave home. I can manage. I've got a good system: the dishwasher does the dishes, the washing machine and dryer do the laundry, and Rumba sweeps the floors. 😂

I haven't seen the grand kids in days. The girls are doing well since they have plenty to keep busy: rabbits and horses and chickens and plenty of leather craft projects that they want to work on. Their dad brought home some beetle kill pine wood from the mountains so that they can make wood projects, so they are thriving in isolation. Their online school will start soon--I think. They faithfully attend church in their basement media room as their pastor streams his services on the Internet each Sunday. 

The boys are bored. Seventeen year old Jacob will miss his first prom and can't go to work or see his girlfriend. I don't know who I feel the sympathy for: him or his parents. Both. He does have online school work to do. His brother Nathan is bored, but his online school begins tomorrow. Their father is working from home and mom's job as an arborist is considered public safety so she is going to work everyday, but not seeing customers, working in the office instead. Nathan will turn 11 April 7 with little celebration--I've not missed any of his birthday celebrations, while his mother had her 45th birthday Friday and it was just another work day.

We probably all share the same feelings: apprehension, concern for the future, worry. At the same time we are all in this together and we will keep each other company and pray for our country and the sick, and each other,  and we will be fine. 

Keep smiling.

Thank you for stopping by. Stay well.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Carry on with a Smile.

Building miniatures from scratch can either bring a great deal of satisfaction or a lot of frustration. I'm feeling both.

With the walls of the shed cut, it was time to cut the shiplap siding that is 15 mm wide and in varying lengths that is then glued to each outside wall. The trick, of course, is to get clean, even cut. RIGHT! I ended up re-cutting a lot of lap siding because the strips were either crooked or bigger at one end or the other. It was a tedious job.

Next step: glue on the lap siding. The piece on the left--the back wall is the best with the fees boo-boos. Yes, the sides are uneven, but after the glue has set the edges will be cut even.

I've taped these pieces down to keep the wood from bending with the moisture from the glue. It's smart to tape the pieces to a cutting board so that it can moved from the work area; otherwise, the work area is occupied--all night.

My grad school Romantic Literature anthology and old dictionary work well to weight down the walls. 

With these pieces curing, I spent the morning installing the door in the front wall. Lesson: don't count on your original measurements being accurate. In the rough fit, the door fit into place with some sanding, but once the molding was added, the door was much too large, fact it was about and 1/8 of inch too wide, so I cut it down. The the bottom was about 1/8 of an inch too long, so more cutting. 

The wood layers are thin--1/32+1/16--made of bass wood, so with a sharp Xacto blade, the cuts were easily measure. 

After fiddling with the door all morning trying to get it to fit, tt finally fits and works, held in with dressmaking pins as the hinges. 

It's a tight fit, but it works and looks decent. 

Next step: Install the side wall with the window. Won' that be fun.

I wasn't in the mood to work on lap-siding the other night so I made a chicken feeder and waterer for the chicken house. I began by making a prototype, using food container cardboard and the pull tab from my husband coffee creamer.  For this project that requires curving the pieces, the cardboard wasn't flexible enough fashion into a smooth cylinder.

To remind myself of the finer detail of the feeders, I visited our own henhouse--yes that is a real hen. My Facebook tutorial had folks wondering where I had gotten such a realistic hen. We actually have 12 laying hens--not all lay eggs, but we get between 0 and 7 eggs day. Anyway. Back the drawing board.


With better success on the my little bucket using card stock, I came up with a pattern. I used my Cricut trimmer to cut my pieces, except for the circles.

The bottom and top rims are 1/8 " while the rim for the bottom of the feeder is 1/4".

I cut the barrels 31/2" long and 1" tall, keeping it close to scale.

I punched out a circle to replicate the handle for the waterer and bent 18 gage jewelry wire into shape to form the handle and used jewelry glue to attach the handle

Now for the feeder. It does not require a lid rather a handle. 

And there you have it. I still need to paint the feeder, but I am very pleased with the results.

I've let this post sit for a few days and have moved on with work, so I'll post this and work on the next post to catch up. 

I hope everyone is well. Having a hobby does help--except if we run out of supplies. I do have plenty to keep me busy, distracted, and occupied, so I'll carry on with a smile. 

Still Smiling

Still Smiling. I hope you are, too. With the walls installed, on the little chicken coop it was time to design the interior wall that wou...