Milk-house curb appeal project.

Have you heard the news?  We added 6 hens to our little farm!  They arrived last Friday in the back of my van and have happily made themselves at home in the new coop that my husband designed in a little covered area between our milk house and barn.

Since getting our new hens, aka ‘the girls’, I have been inspired to add some much needed TLC to our milk house.

Rummaging around our scrap wood pile, looking for pieces of wood to making ‘something’ with, I got the idea to whip up some shutters for the front window of the milk house!   I have never made shutters before, and I honestly didn’t really know what I was doing, but using my handy DIY gene, I think I did a pretty great job!

I measured , of course, twice right? I cut four boards the same length, these would serve as the main shutter, then I measured four more boards, which would serve as the cross pieces that will hold the shutters together and add the final character. milkhouse9

After assembled, I went over the shutter twice with Minwax Polyurethane and stain in black, let dry and attached to the milk house using wood screws.

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Super easy!  I may just have to start building more scrap wood shutters to sell in my booth at The  Shed, what do you think?

Here is the milk house before:

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Also, kind of like the book, ‘If you give a mouse a cookie,’ my projects always spiral into other projects.  After building and installing the shutters, I realized the window still needed a little something more.  I then got the idea for a window box planter, and was planning to build one out of scrap wood or find something cool to re-purpose into a planter, when I came across an old white cornice that I had removed from above our living room window  upon moving into our house.

Perfect!  I flipped it upside down, and screwed it onto the milk-house, under the window!  Lined it with plastic lining, drilled in some holes, filled with dirt, robbed flowers from other planters I had, and it was complete!

See for yourself below what a difference something as simple as scrap wood and flowers can make!

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As a bonus, the chicken run goes underneath this window, so any dead flowers that drop off will be nice little treats for our girls!

I hope everyone has an amazing weekend!

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Mini truck-garden tutorial.

I remember it like it was yesterday.   Dad would park the van in their driveway in Minnesota, us 3 kids would jump out as fast as we could, and go down the sidewalk on the hill that was graced with beautiful flower and rock gardens all the way to Grandma and Grandpas door.

Grandma and Grandpa always kept a neat and tidy yard.  It always made me so happy as a child to run around their yard and to follow the garden paths, which at a young age I felt were secret paths winding around the back of their house.   Whenever we would go to visit their house on the lake, we spent lots of time fishing in the boat, jumping off the end of the dock, and always always helping Grandma with some sort of chore.    She made sure her gardens were always kept up, and on occasion she would have me and maybe a few others, take all of the small rocks that lined the border of one garden alongside of the deck, remove them from their place, and hand wash them, and put them back.   When I said she made sure her gardens were neat and tidy , I meant it, and I loved it.

Grandma and Grandpas gardens have inspired me in life in so many ways.   I have taken my own kids to pick out flat rocks from Lake Superior, so they can paint on them, to put in our flower gardens- just like Grandma used to let me pick out a rock from her garden to paint on.

After owning our little hobby farm for 2 years now, I am finally putting in the time, and effort to create that sort of a space that I know Grandma would love.   That space that you can walk through and feel peace, sit in and watch the birds, look at and feel inspired.
I however, will not be taking my rocks out and washing them on occasion.   😉

This time around, I decided to make several small gardens, inside of rusty trucks that I have had laying around for a long time.    This was a fun project that was perfect for my 2 kids to help me with!  Read below to see how I turned rusty old trucks into art in the garden!

View this tutorial and article about Endless Acres Farmtiques  in the June 2015 issue  Queen of The Castle Magazine, here.

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Mini truck-garden tutorial

What you need;
-Rusty toy trucks (if you can’t find trucks- that’s okay! Other items will work too, like rusty buckets, wheelbarrows, etc)
-Potting soil
-Small gravel or rocks
-Window screening -if desired
– Plants of choice (Succulents make perfect contenders for truck gardens)
-Fairy garden supplies -available at most local garden centers & stores

What to do;
1.) Gather all of your supplies.  If your truck has small holes, or rusted out areas in the part of the truck that you will be placing the plants, that is perfect!    If they have too big of holes, you can choose to cut window screening and lay it across the hole, but if the truck has no holes in it, you will have to get out the drill and drill a few small drainage holes in the area you will be planting.

2.)  Take the gravel you scooped from your driveway , like I did.  Or small rocks and place them in the bottom area of the truck in a thin layer.

3.)  Take a few handfuls of potting soil and place it in the truck and mix it together well with the gravel.

4.)  Carefully place your plants where you would like them.  You may have to shake off some of the dirt that came with the plant in order to get it to fit right.  Feel free to mix some of that in with the potting soil already in the truck too.  Succulents work great for mini truck gardens and are very low maintenance.

5.)  If you found some net fairy garden items, place one or two in each truck for added charm.

6.) Enjoy your new mini truck garden!

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Junk style bird bath. Endless Acres Farmtiques

 

Yesterday my 5 year old daughter , asked me if I could build her a bird wash.  My automatic response, being a mom who thinks she can do it all 😉 , was ‘Yes I can!”  I said that with no plan in my head.  I told her to go put on her boots, then grabbed her sweet precious hand and we marched on out to the chicken coop which is where I stash all of my random junk and supplies for creating and building.   We  found an old metal stool, a round white enamel bowl, and a rusty old Farmers Union grease can with the top cut off.

We carried them all out, and started placing them together, and sure enough in just a few minutes, we had what looked like a (junky style) bird bath!
She then told me that she thought it should have a sign that says ‘Bird Wash’ so the birds know what it is!  So I grabbed an old board I found in my wood stash, and some red paint, and asked her how much she wanted the bird bath to be, 10 cents, 15 cents, or 25 cents, and her response was “Whatever money is the biggest!”  So, 25 cents for a bird wash it was!  To attach the sign, I simply drilled two holes (one on each end) into the board, placed flexible black wire through the holes and tied it around a stool leg.

Once all assembled, we took a few photos, and placed her new bird wash under the apple tree, next to the rusty red tricycle which serves as the bird feeder with an enamel tray full of bird food that rests on the tricycle, both placed where we can watch the birds eat and enjoy the new bird wash out the kitchen window.

It was so fun to help my daughter bring her idea to life, and show her that with a little bit of creativity, her ideas can come alive, and that each idea can be beautiful in it’s own way, and even better, it doesn’t always have to cost a lot of money!    I think I succeeded in making her happy, except I wasn’t able to put in a scrubber or an engine for the bird bath like she asked for 😉 , but overall , she is happy, and that was my end goal!

She helped me paint on a top coat of poly on the wood sign, and was as proud as can be when she was finished, she stepped back and said “Look mommy, I did that!”

Here is her wonderful idea of a bird wash that we created together, costing us only a few dollars in supplies that we already had,( but $0.00 on the day of building) :

 

junk style bird bath. Endless Acres Farmtiques

 

junk style bird bath. Endless Acres Farmtiques

 

junk style bird bath. Endless Acres Farmtiques

 

junk style bird bath. Endless Acres Farmtiques

 

junk style bird bath. Endless Acres Farmtiques

So tell me everyone, what do you think?  Do you think she likes it?

junk style bird bath. Endless Acres Farmtiques

 

junk style bird bath. Endless Acres Farmtiques

I just love creating spontaneously!  It makes my soul happy and makes me even more satisfied with a spontaneous project when it is something that I created, with my children.
I hope everyone is having a wonderful Monday, make sure that you are following Endless Acres Farmtiques on Facebook to keep up with my latest projects and for a daily dose of inspiration!

Thanks for reading,

~Kelly

Oh the places you’ll go! | Hand painted barnwood sign

“Congratulations!
Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You’re on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.

-And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and 3 / 4 percent guaranteed.)

KID, YOU’LL MOVE MOUNTAINS!

So…
be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray
or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O’Shea,
you’re off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So…get on your way!”

– Oh the places you’ll go by Dr. Seuss

——

Today I was rummaging around the machine shed, looking for some barn wood which I will be using to create new shelves for a desk I am working on.  As usual, I got distracted when I found a smaller piece of barn wood that I thought would be perfect to hand letter on and turn into a sign!   Then I wandered over into the barn, for no reason specific and found an old piece of picket fence, and thought I could add it to the barn wood sign somehow.    I took the pieces inside and grabbed my paintbrush and some paint colors..still with no plan in mind, and attached the fence piece, and started painting…and this was my result! :

Oh the places you'll go sign by Endless Acres Farmtiques www.endlessacresfarmtiques.com
Oh the places you’ll go sign by Endless Acres Farmtiques http://www.endlessacresfarmtiques.com

 

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Oh the places you'll go sign by Endless Acres Farmtiques www.endlessacresfarmtiques.com
Oh the places you’ll go sign by Endless Acres Farmtiques http://www.endlessacresfarmtiques.com
Oh the places you'll go sign by Endless Acres Farmtiques www.endlessacresfarmtiques.com
Oh the places you’ll go sign by Endless Acres Farmtiques http://www.endlessacresfarmtiques.com

This sign is currently for sale and available for local pick up (I am near Eau Claire, Wisconsin ) or it can also be shipped.    You may purchase the sign over on Etsy, here.   If you like the sign but want it in different colors, or a different saying, feel fre to email me any requests, I am always up for custom orders and love getting them!  Email: endlessacres@live.com

Sign stats:   This is a hand painted sign on reclaimed 1880 barn wood from Wisconsin.
The back of the sign consists of the original barn paint color in ‘sweet corn yellow’ .
I hand painted on the under side of the barn board so the original side would not be destroyed.

The barn wood has been sanded down, brushed over lightly with acrylic blue-green paint, and hand lettered in mustard yellow paint.
An old piece of picket fence has been attached to the sign with a vintage hook to hang a hat, keys, sunglasses, or small jacket!
Entire sign has been coated for protection with a clear satin polyurethane.

Sign measures approx. 12″ wide x 29″ tall.

Sign includes hanging wire on the back & has been signed and dated by the artist.

Imagine how sweet this original sign would look in a childs room near the door or in your porch or entry way!

 

Thanks for reading everyone!
~Kelly

This is my Spring. | Reflections of an early Spring

“Spring is when you feel like whistling even with a shoe full of slush.” ~Doug Larson

Lucky for me, there was no slush to be found today, except I did get a muddy knee when kneeling down to pick up pine cones. But, if there was slush, my heart would still be singing a happy tune.

To me, the first day of Spring, isn’t when the calendar tells me that it is Spring. It is when I walk outside, I smell the fresh, warm air-I take a deep breath, I hear the birds, I see the robins hopping around, and I FEEL Spring in my heart.

For me, Spring started today. Spring has officially sprung, in my heart.

After some morning adventuring, I set out to tackle the lovely mess our pine tree made in our back yard over the winter months. To some, this may be a not-so-fun, dreadful task, but to me, it was heavenly.

This is the beginning of my Spring… To be able to be outside for the first time -this year- and really feel warmth from the sun, to be able to get my hands dirty and full of dirt, to be able to put my feet up with my flip flops on and take a rest and look at all I’ve accomplished…

oh wait, flip flops OFF feels even better..

To make the day even better.. my awesome son, jumped right in (without being asked) as soon as he got off the bus;


I have said time and time again, INCLUDE YOUR KIDS in everything you do! I’ve included him in SO much, that now-I don’t even need to ask, he just helps or joins in-happily.

Oh, I love days like today. I could just sit outside all night if I were able to , and just close my eyes, take a deep breath, look up at the stars (after I open my eyes again ;) ) and..breathe it all in. ahhhhhh.

{Exhaling}..Thanks for reading …When does ‘your Spring’ begin?
~Kelly

Creative chive container garden | DIY Food + Upcycle

“Gardening is how I relax. It’s another form of creating and playing with colors.” ~Oscar de la Renta

Have a spot in your yard that looks like this? :

….just a bare spot of dirt that won’t allow grass to grow, everyone walks on it, tracks mud and dirt in your home, and it’s become an eyesore when guests walk up to your door? Maybe it’s time you consider placing a container garden right in that spot!

I personally love chives. I have fond childhood memories of picking chives from my mothers’ garden.

They are fabulous chopped up and put on top of home-made pizza (my favorite), potatoes, and so many other things!

I’ve had a small bunch of chives planted on the back side of my house for about 4 years, they have always been in such a lonely spot, where I rarely see them-and sometimes I admit, I even forget about them way over there.

I’ve also had this primitive container I picked up from an abandoned farm years ago, waiting to be used for something other then, well, nothing.

Chives + primitive container = possibly a perfect match? I think so, let’s give it a try!

I filled the container about 3/4 full. 1/2 garden dirt & 1/2potting soil mixed with Miracle Grow.

I then dug up my chives, and realized as I was digging-the roots were very deep on these little green guys! I used my small gardening shovel and dug around the chives in a circle and lifted up, revealing the deep , beautiful & healthy roots.

Make sure when transplanting your herbs or plants, you do dig deep enough to include all of the roots. You can see below how deep I dug to include all of the chive roots.

Where the dirt laid before, I placed & puzzled together several flat rocks I picked up along a northern Wisconsin lake shore a few years back:

Parting the dirt inside of my primitive planter with one hand, I placed the chives in the dirt, making sure all of the roots were buried in the new soil. I gave them a drink of water, and placed the planter in its new home, right next to my house. (I don’t even need to put my shoes on to reach these delicious chives as I set them right next to my back steps).

As with everything I do, I like to add a little something extra-like these nestled birds to welcome visitors to my home;

Chives can also be brought indoors during the winter months-to get use out of them all year long, or if left outside -they will die off in the winter, and grow back in the Spring! Early Summer they also show off beautiful purple blossoms.

Don’t they ^ look absolutely delicious? I have a half created home-made pizza waiting to be topped with their presence! YUM!

You can purchase Chive seeds for just a couple of dollars. At Burpee.com you get a pack of 125 seeds for just $3.95!

Oh, remember that pizza I mentioned above? Here it is, topped with chives;

Make sure to always give your chives a quick wash under the faucet before chopping & eating!

Be creative when gardening, use containers you wouldn’t find at the garden center {look at antique stores & thrift sales}, and bring your herbs close to your door steps! Enjoy!

Thanks for reading,
~Kelly

Primitive planters | DIY Upcycle in the garden

Today I have the honor of having my blog post featured over at Pretty Handy Girl’s talent parade!

If you head on over to her site, you will find my post all about how with a little bit of creativity and some dirt on your hands-you can take antique and primitive pieces like these….;

…and turn them into beautiful, unique & one of a kind planters that are rich with history, like this one…;

Read my full blog post about primitive planters, HERE , complete with step by step instructions and great photos!

Now get out there and play in the dirt!

Thanks for reading,
~Kelly

How to turn an old ladder into a plant stand | DIY Upcycle in the garden

“Everything that slows us down and forces patience, everything that sets us back into the slow circles of nature, is a help. Gardening is an instrument of grace.” ~May Sarton

You have an old ladder.  It isn’t stable any more, it’s rickity and would most likely leave you flat on your face-ladder on top of you, if you dare take one step on it for any project.  You don’t want to get rid of the ladder, and know you need to do something with it, but don’t know WHAT TO DO!

Today with just a few simple steps, a bit of paint and some fresh flowers I will show you just one of many ways to upcycle & give new life to that old ladder that has been laying around for years!

PROJECT:  How to turn a rickity old ladder into a beautiful plant stand.

PROJECT LEVEL: Easy

PROJECT COST: Under $40.00

PROJECT TIME: 3 hours (this includes dry time between coats of paint)

PROJECT SUPPLIES: Ladder (don’t have one? Check local thrift & antique stores & flea markets, they are usually no more than $10) , paint, paint-brush, flowers & flower pots, whatever else your heart desires.  [I saved myself money by using leftover paint I had laying around from my dining room & bedroom]

Step 1: Place your ladder on a paint cloth, inside or out.  I prefer being in the outdoors as much as possible!

Step 2: Gather your supplies.  I LOVE Tomboy Tools Inc. pink paintbrush. (Details on how to purchase yours is at the bottom of this blog post) Whenever I paint, I also always keep a wet rag near by , there is no such thing as a perfect painter who doesn’t drip paint or splatter it across their face or dip their hair in the paint can once in a while, at least that’s what I tell myself.  ;)

Step 3: Wipe down your ladder with a went rag to rid it from any dust, dirt or debris that may have built up on it over time.

Step 4: Paint the first coat of paint on the entire ladder.  Top, bottom & sides.  During painting projects like this, when there are so many little places to paint , I set mini-goals for myself.  I started with the tops of all the steps, then did the legs, then did the back paint can shelf, then moved on to all of the inner parts.  If you don’t set little goals and have some sort of plan of attack and just paint all over the place, you will get overwhelmed quickly.

Wait for the first coat of paint to dry COMPLETELY before applying the second coat.  (this is a hard step for many people, I know,..but during ‘dry’ time, I usually take a little break and grab some lunch and kick up my feet… today I actually ate, then laid down in the grass and looked up at the sky, watching some storm clouds roll by)

Depending on the look you are going for, you may only want one coat, or you may want to do the second coat with light brush strokes, in another color to age your ladder more, do what you like and what works best for you!

Step 5: Place your flowers into the pots you have chosen to use along with some nice gardening soil…

….. add some cute decor ..and your new plant stand is ready to go!

Now  you can sit back, relax and enjoy your awesome new plant stand.  Imagine how beautiful this would look mid Summer with morning glories growing up the legs!

There you have it, a fun & easy way to re-use something instead of tossing it in the trash.  Not only is this new ladder plant stand beautiful but it adds character and vertical height to your garden!    This is different, and I’ve learned in my 28 years of life, that different is good.  Don’t follow the crowd, do the gardening and projects YOU desire to do, be different-be you.

View another way I upcycled an old ladder inside of my home here.

Thanks for reading,

~Kelly

To purchase your own Tomboy Tools paintbrush or see other great painting products they offer, visit their website here   & make sure when you are ready to purchase that you EMAIL Tracey first at tomboytracey@aol.com and let her know what you would like to order , this will allow for the best shipping rate for you.  Please make sure to mention Kelly from The Pink Hammer blog sent you!

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Primitive tipsy pot planter | DIY Upcyle / In The Garden

(Please note this was originally posted when I had ‘The Pink Hammer blog’ on June 1st of 2012, this is the new and only location of this DIY Tutorial by Kelly Whitman /Endless Acres Farmtiques – previously The Pink Hammer blog )

“In my garden there is a large place for sentiment.  My garden of flowers is also my garden of thoughts and dreams.  The thoughts grow as freely as the flowers, and the dreams are as beautiful. ” ~Abram L. Urban

Oh, sweet Summer time.  The sounds of bees buzzing around the yard and the laughter of children fill the air, the grass is warm on your toes and you are ready to plant some flowers, but aren’t sure what to plant to be different from every other garden on your block.

The tipsy pot planter is a great Do It Yourself project anyone can do, with just a few supplies and a bit of a green thumb.

Using these simple steps below, you can create your own primitive tipsy pot planter!

Primitive Tipsy Pot Planter

Project Cost: Under $60.00
Project Level: Medium
Project Supplies: Flowers, Potting soil, Primitive pots, 1/2″ steel conduit |Project Tools: Drill, 1″ hole saw.


1.) Pick the location where you want your tipsy pot planter.  I chose to place mine in a place where the grass has never really grown well, right near my main entrance, which makes a great way to greet guests as they come for a visit.

2.) Drill holes into the bottom of each pot.  If you are using the 1/2″ conduit, you will need to drill a 1″ hole in each pot.  This is what allows the pots to tip from side to side.

I used a drill with a 1″ hole saw attached.

3.) Place your first, larger pot in the location you desire.

4.) Push your conduit into the ground,  through the hole you drilled in the larger pot & fill your pot with potting soil.

5.) Continue stacking your pots, tipping them as you go, along the way.  Fill them with dirt and whatever flowers your little heart desires. I mainly use flowers that will grow and eventually drape over the edge of the buckets (ivy, vinca vine, petunias, Calibrachoa etc).

Finished Project:

Primitive Tipsy Pot planter by Endless Acres Farmtiques
Primitive Tipsy Pot planter by Endless Acres Farmtiques

Your guests (and you) will LOVE walking up to your door and being greeted by such beauty and character, and don’t forget to add a sweet little sign to personalize your new tipsy pot planter :

Tips:

Your steel conduit should be even or below the top tipsy pot, if needed, give it a few good pounds to push it down into the ground farther.

Pack your soil nice and tight into the first pot, as the rest of your pots will be resting right in the larger of all the pots.

The more rust your bucket has, the easier it will be to drill through.

A primitive tipsy pot planter  is a great way to upcycle ,(be creative and design your own with whatever you have laying around or find for a good deal at an antique store) and will add beauty and character to your garden and yard, and leave your guests asking ‘How did you do that!?’

You can follow Endless Acres Farmtiques on Facebook as well to see more great ideas like this one!

Thanks for reading,

~Kelly

*You can also read this blog post in the June issue of Queen of the Castle Magazine online , or pick up a copy at a local business.

*Garden gloves used for this project; Tomboy Tools pink rubber grip gloves. (Just $7.00, to order, email Tracey at tomboytracey@aol.com and please tell her Kelly from The Pink Hammer blog sent you!)

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Serenity in the garden | Reflections

“Gardening is about the smell of things growing in the soil, getting dirty without feeling guilty, and generally taking the time to soak up a little peace and serenity.” ~Lindley Karstens

This morning as I sit outside and enjoy my morning coffee……

I watch.  The dark clouds moving in, the birds flying over my head, and the breeze blowing the tops of the trees ever so softly.

I hear.   The thunder rumbling, the tractor working in the field, and the ‘jungle’ of birds singing their morning song.

I feel.  The breeze lightly brushing my hair off my shoulders and the touch of my daughters hand as it sweetly pats my leg.

I am.  Happy and peaceful.

It is.  Complete Serenity to me.

However your day finds you today,  I hope you take time for YOU,  even if just a few minutes, to breathe, relax, to look around , watch, listen , feel, and notice the serenity and beauty in your day.

Thanks for reading,

~Kelly

(Read how to create your own primitive planters  here)