G.F. Ranch

The beginning of His vision

One Tired Puppy!

Yes, I’m referring to myself. Been a long day, much of yesterday and today in the sun.  I am sunburned, was so glad I happened to make a coconut oil, lavender & peppermint concoction today for Bug who came in contact with a bush that made his skin burn.  We are trying hard to get the pig shelter done. Yesterday Bug & I ripped the 2×4’s we would need. Then I bought the screws and plywood we need, as well as the 4×4’s. 

Today I let Bug choose a color from our exterior paints and he chose a pretty, lighter shade of blue.   I had him start painting the plywood while I notched the ends of the 4×4’s. Now this was a task I had a general idea of how to do, but not a job I’ve ever done one my own.  There is a difference Between knowing how to do something and being able to do something.  It took longer to do than I had planned, setting me behind and frustrating me.  Once I finally finished that step, Bug and I built the framed sections for the front and back walls and put the base frame together. 

I know some of my pictures aren’t great, but give me some credit for trying to take pictures.

Tomorrow  we will put together the two sides and attach them all to the base.  Then we will work on making the rafters and putting the plywood on and roof.  But first, I need sleep.  Goodnight y’all!!! 

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Hit or Miss

Yesterday I hit the floor running when I woke up yesterday…straight out to the garage.  I wanted to make some type of tray for the homeschool bookcase to use for organizing school work that needs to be  graded.  I had a few ideas of ways to put them together and I went for a simple design.  Would you be surprised to hear that I don’t have pictures of the building process?  If you have been following for more than a week or two you won’t be.  I’m a do’er, just want to get it done.  So my head doesn’t process taking pictures at the start or in the middle.

I can’t tell you the number of the projects we have done on the ranch that I have kicked myself in the butt for not taking before pictures.  And about the only time there will be progress pictures is when it’s a big build or project. Honestly, that’s more for our motivation than anything.

I will start with a couple of pictures to give you a visual of the process.

I used 1×4’s, although your imagination is the limit of what you can use to make a simple tray.  I used 3 slats for the bottom of the tray.  I did use my Kreg Jig to connect them with pocket holes.  I wasn’t sure if this would end up being a piece that would be moved between the bookcase and table often or not.  I wanted to make sure it held up long term.  I don’t build for temporary.

I then cute two more boards the same length as the three for the bottom. I had originally planned on making them 18″ in length, but modified it to 17 5/8″ to be able to get 2 cuts per scrap piece I was using up.  I then measured what I needed for the 2 smaller pieces and cut them.  I put those four pieces together using wood glue and one of our air compressor tools.  Haha!  I don’t always know the name of the tools or what the actual purpose for that tool is, but I am having fun learning.  I don’t know for sure if it was the brad gun or finishing nail one.


Then I laid the bottom piece on the frame I made.  Let me insert here that Hubby wasn’t home, so I have no idea if this was the right or even easy way of doing this. I drilled pilot holes about 1 – 1 1/2″ of both sides of all four corners and used 1 1/4″ wood screws. I figured  it didn’t matter if the bottom was pretty, but I wanted to make sure it held up.  I then filled in the rest of the area with the air compressor tool we just spoke about.  I did forget to use wood glue but wasn’t too worried as I used screws since I didn’t think brad or finishing nails would give long term strength.

At this point I used some techniques I remembered Hubby telling me he had used to distress wood in the past.  The chain that fell off my bike was sitting on the drill press so I used that, along with a hammer or too, fencing tool and a screwdriver to bang up the wood a bit. Then gave it a light sanding and used my Weathered Gray stain.  After letting it sit a while, I wiped some away.  Once it was dry, I did just a very light sanding on it and applied some handles I picked up at a yard sale this summer.


I really like the way it came out, but I don’t think it’s going to stay on the bookcase we built for homeschooling.  I’ve already moved it down a shelf.  Just not sure it’s going to work for what I had in mind.  No surprise there because I really don’t know what I’m doing.  I can look at things and tell you if I like them or not, but as far as decorating…I need my GGBFF!!!  That stands for God-given Best Friend Forever.

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Putting It In Order

Finally finished the bookcase Hubby & I made to use for homeschooling.  We actually have a classroom.  As a matter of fact, that was the first room I painted when we moved in.  One wall was PINK! Solid pink.  I may be a girl, but loathe the color pink!  But after 2 years of homeschooling in this house, we hardly EVER used the classroom to actually do school work in and figured why force it? So in the past few months I have pretty much taken the room over and am converting it to Momma’s craft room!

Last week in the 1st ‘Official’ Day of School post I showed you the inspiration for the bookcase I wanted to build. The width ended up being a bit smaller than I had originally planned due to our issues of not getting the pieces for the shelves not lining up evenly.  It’s all good though, I still love how it turned out.  And with the new table saw I found last night, in the future, this won’t be a problem.


I first stained it a dark brown (Kona) and then made chalk paint with some gray paint I had and did a quick, sloppy paint job.  I knew I was going to distress it so it made for a stress-free paint job.  When I sanded it, it took it down to the wood and didn’t see much of the stain, so I put a little stain on bare wood and edges, then sanded agin.  When I reached the look I was pleased with I finished it off with a wax paste.


Now I am working on repurposing and decorating some cans to use for organization.  Will keep you updated!




Crunch Time

So happy Hubby comes home today!!!  Although his flight from Miami to Dallas has already been delayed and that could possibly delay him coming home, but at least he is coming home! So Bug & myself have spent much of yesterday and today cleaning.  I just got a text from Hubby he is finally boarding the plane, that was supposed to depart an hour ago. Better late than never!

Yesterday I had to take care of 3 loads of laundry that had been sitting in the clothes basket.  I would put a load back in the dryer to get the wrinkles out and fold and put away.  I tried to ignore the wasteful thoughts (as wasting electricity by running it in the dryer again) and just focus on getting it taken care of.

I like the house to be in good order when Hubby gets home. I know he needs a few days to decompress  and I want him to be able to relax.  It’s hard when your spouse is gone for long periods of time.  On them and on the family still at home.  It’s like everyone has to live 2 totally different lives and the first few days of being back together can be difficult.  For example, Hubby just finished working 5 straight weeks.  7 days a week, 12-14 hour days.  He needs to decompress and rest: physically and mentally.  Whereas we are excited to share with him happenings and be a family again.  Sometimes it’s hard to hold off a couple of days.  We’ve already waited 37 days.

There are some time periods when it’s worse than others.  And sometimes by trying to not focus on the negative, I instead to tend to.  And that can lead to bitterness, emptiness and hopelessness.  When I get to that place, I know I am not in a good place with God because Jesus IS hope, in all times!  Thankfully I’m not there at this time.  But I was there not to long ago.

When on the phone with Hubby when he called from Miami, I told him I want to show him dining room table plans.  It did my heart good to hear him reply in an agreeing tone.  I want a farmhouse style table made from real wood.  Made by us!  I LOVE building things with my Hubby!  (Just the thought of it invokes romantic feelings…real warm & fuzzy!)

So these are the tables I have it narrowed down to and will let Hubby pick which one.  And I love the ideas of benches! Although I’m sure Hubby will still want chairs at the ends.  I’m okay with that too.  What I haven’t told him is all the other furniture I want us to build.  Hehehe!  Although it will take time, so one piece at a time.  With the focus being in the living room/dining room area to start with.  And the walls need to be painted, as well as the fireplace.  I’ve said that a million times already and Hubby just nods.  But I think I finally found the style I want in the house.  Definitely farmhouse.  So S2C was the perfect site to find.  By the way, all of these table plans I found there!

Well, I need to clean up the garage still.  Bug & I have had a very productive day, but it’s not over.  I’m letting him take a break.  He has a new love for watching I Love Lucy!  He is finding the older shows, even if in B&W are, as he says, HILARIOUS!!!


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So In Love

There are so many other things I should be doing right now (like cleaning…but at least I have a pot of water on for dinner), but I couldn’t wait to share with you my latest 3 frames that I just LOVE the way they turned out!!!!

Have you ever found a website that you were immediately addicted to, obsessed with, really busy making all the projects?  (Or all the above?)  Well for me, the latest one is Shanty 2 Chic, or as I lovingly refer to them as S2C. Their ideas are so awesome, usually pretty cheap to make and pretty darn easy!

Y’all know the way I roll!  I will send you to the place I find the idea & instructions and just share my feedback and any tricks I learned.  Go here  for this photo & memo display.

Whoa!!!!!  It took me 5 minutes of fighting to insert that hyperlink…but I think I finally found a way around this issue I’ve been having.  I sure hope so!!!

My first suggestion (as S2C also recommends), get a Kreg Jig!  It can be a tad intimidating at first, but once you learn how to use it (I’m still learning but can do very basic stuff with it), you will LOVE it!  I promise!  Now S2C only said glue pieces together and clamp, but I didn’t want to wait long enough for the glue to set; so I used my KJ to connect with one screw in 2 of the boards.

The first time I went to apply the scrapbook paper to the project board, I applied the mod podge to the wood.  My paper buckled very bad!  It it better to apply it to the paper and then apply paper to the board.

I didn’t have ink pads to do the edging so I used some brown chalk wax (Yes!!!  No probs with the hyperlink!!!  Hallelujah!!!) to ‘ink my edges.

I did use the Heirloon White spray paint by Rustoleum. They use it A LOT on S2C, but I can see why.  I went to buy some more last night, but they don’t carry it at Lowe’s and I didn’t feel like going to Home Depot just to get that.  But I will tomorrow because I’m out.  So, so sad!

Here you have it!!!!  I LOVE them!  Did I mention that???

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Forced to Clean

I like having a clean house, but can’t particularly say I like to clean.  I guess I don’t mind cleaning except for 1) It takes time away from crafting! 2) Finding motivation is difficult when it comes to cleaning 3) I don’t like anyone here when I clean. When you home school & live out in the country…needless to say I don’t get much time without Bug home.  And when I do, I like to enjoy it by crafting without guilt or interruption.

But Hubby comes home in 5 days so it’s really time to get things in order for his arrival.  So I forced myself to clean today.  Although the main areas need some TLC, I started in the Bunk Room.  That is the old master bedroom with bathroom we will use for the boys when we start foster care again. It’s kind of become a storage room and when Mak (my great-niece) came to spend a week with Auntie, she and Bug played and slept in there since there is a bunk bed. And I have some craft projects in there too.  It was just getting out of hand!

I also took pictures of the boards I stained last night that I talked about in Exploring Stains (Ughhh, took a bit but got the link).  The boards are in reverse order as I had them listed in the post. Not the best picture of the white, it doesn’t look like white paint.  Do you see the Weathered Gray and Gunstock?  Think those are my favorites!



I took a picture of the hooks I straightened out.  The smaller ones come in a pack of 25 but the ornate ones came in a pack of 8.  I actually ruined one of those by unraveling the wrong end.  It was late last night & I was tired.

I’ve also been trying to make a DIY stain (inspired by S2C) , but I think it’s going to take some time.  User error probably; maybe added to much vinegar?  But you soak steel wool and vinegar.  She also adds instant coffee to hers.  I personally HATE coffee!  And hubby doesn’t do instant, so I’ll pick up a cheap jar of it.

This is after 3 days.  I did have the lid on until today.  It kept building up pressure (Chemistry lesson! Chemical reaction, LOL). So I took the lid off today to see if some O2 will help it progress faster.  I’ll keep you updated.

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I’m SAW Excited!

HAHAHA!  I crack myself up!  But I found a new saw that I told Hubby ‘we NEED!’  So glad he loves and wants it too!  He always brags to others that I LOVE power tools!  It’s one of the many things he loves about me. But thanks to the gals at S2C, I learned about this amazing 12 inch SLIDING miter saw by Ryobi.  They may have been out for a while, but the concept is new and exciting to me!


Isn’t she just beautiful!!!  See, I didn’t pay attention to how Hubby changed the saw blade on the table saw. And the blade on it is meant for thinner pieces of wood.  And our miter saw isn’t big enough to handle 2×10 or larger. And I have a few projects that I need to cut 2×10’s and 2×12’s.  Have I mentioned I am impatient and don’t like waiting.  Not to mention hubby is on a 4-week work schedule now AND working an extra week overtime.  So even though I have a lot of boards at home awaiting to be cut, I cheated a little and bought another board and just had them cut it Lowe’s.

Do you remember in one of my last post that I mentioned I was opinionated?  That just popped in my head because I started to recall some of the thoughts going through my head while the guy was cutting my wood.   Not bad things and the guy was super helpful and nice.  I appreciated his service.  My cuts didn’t need to be perfect, so I kept my mouth shut, but he marked all the cuts straight out.  I needed 14″ boards and there were 6 cuts.  When you need to be true to measurement, you need to measure out after each cut.  You lose wood from the kurf (what the blade cuts away).  And that measurement can vary between types of blades as well. even at 1/8th of an inch kurf, by the 6th cut, the board can be down to 13 1/4″ rather than 14″.

My other thought was ‘the cut won’t splinter as badly if you slow down the cut’.  Again I didn’t say anything because I have to get after myself about the same thing.  lol.  Between that and a sharp blade (which I’m sure he has no control over), you will get a much smoother cut.

Anyhow, I just wanted to share this awesome tool that is on my Christmas list and share a couple of tips with you!

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