One Company, Three Great Shops

Poverty Barn is the parent company of two other businesses: Roo's Remnants and 4 Left Turns. Between the three, we've got you covered when it comes to home decor, baby and kid items and anything related to racing. Visit the links on the left to find out more about what we have to offer.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Message in a Bottle

Back in the old and dreadful full-time work days, Saturdays usually meant laundry, cleaning, and general housework. Because I work at home now, that stuff usually gets done during the week and I get to use these awesome weekend days to create!

Aw, who am I kidding?  I'm a major slacker and my house is usually a disaster every day of the week. We have to invite people over once or twice a year so it actually gets cleaned up. Seriously. is a delightful spring day that could be spent outside working in the yard, but I just wasn't feeling it. Plus, I was inspired upon awakening to work on a project that has been simmering on the back burner for a while now. I had everything I needed to make it, but the execution had not yet jelled. That is, until today.

I had been wanting to make these bottle opener things for ages and had acquired the jars, hose clamps and the actual openers ages ago.  Just a few things eluded me: How to actually "decorate" them, and how to attach the clamps to the wood.

This morning, the whole decorating thing came together.  Recently, I had been playing around with cutting apart aluminum cans and embossing them.  I hadn't figured out what to do with the embossed pieces, but I knew this new-found skill would come in handy eventually. Destiny, thy name is Saturday!

As for the dilemma of attaching the hose clamps to the wood, my hubby figured that out for me.  In the process of making it work, I learned how to use yet another power tool:  The drill press. I can now add this to my repertoire, which also includes the nail gun, oscillating sander and chop saw. I want patches for my apron, like the workers at Home Depot have.

With all of the dots in the process finally connected, it was time to get to work.  I dug around in the scrap wood pile in the garage, found a few decent specimens and painted them with some interior paint from the "Oops" bin at Home Depot. While that dried, I created the arrows by cutting apart a couple of cans, tracing the design with a pencil, then cutting it out with tin snips, before running it through my embosser.

We used the drill press to make the holes in the hose clamps, and I attached those and the openers with screws.  After rummaging around in my husband's very organized nail container, I found the really cool looking tacks/nails and used them to attach the arrows.  After adding saw tooth hangers to the back, I proclaimed them finished and then showed them to the QA department, aka, my hubby.

For the photos, we raided the beer stash and staged everything on our front porch. I think these would make a wonderful gift for Father's Day, and once I figure out a good shipping method, they will be available in our Etsy shop.

Happy Saturday!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Dressing up for Spring

When I was young and I dreamed about the type of house I wanted to live in some day, it was always an older home with a big, wrap-around porch. It had a swing and a scattering of wicker chairs and tables.  There were flowers in canning jars, a pie cooling in the window (made by whom, I have no idea) and old, faded patchwork quilts draped over the rails.

I'm still waiting for that steeped-in-Mayberry dream home. For the last 20 years we've lived in a great room ranch in a subdivision. I actually love our home, despite the fact that it doesn't match the one in my fantasies. At least it has a porch, even if it's small and compact and there's no pie in sight.

After the long, nasty winter we had, here's what that porch looked like Saturday morning:

 Yes, the snow shovel was still out, because believe it or not, we had flurries last weekend. It's the Midwest, we expect this kind of thing.

After a trip to Home Depot for some color, I got to work removing all the stuff from the porch, dragging the wicker up from winter storage in the back yard, and cleaning everything off. Then I set about arranging the furniture, hanging the lights and then I finally got around to the planting.

The lights are new for this year, and I'm still trying to decide if I like them or not.  One thing's for sure, when I turn them on at night, it's very bright.  Kind of Clark-Griswold-lights-up-the-house-for-Christmas bright. I'm still hoping to hang these in the backyard one of these days. My hubby has a vision for a corn hole court, and I think these would be perfect overhead. If we get around to that project, you'll see it here.

There are a lot of fun pieces packed into a very small space, but I love the coziness of it.  From the laundry tub full of plants, to the table my hubby made out of pallet wood and the scattering of enamelware, there is always something to look at.  This year I also added the little wooden piece with the glass insulators. It was just laying among the pile of pallet wood that we use for signs and it seemed perfect for something. I'm still thinking I might want to letter it but I haven't decided what it needs to say.

So this is my little piece of country in the suburbs. Feel free to pull up a chair, shell some peas and catch up on all the latest gossip.

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