The Pallet House

For a few years now, Terry and I have been kicking around the idea of building a playhouse out of pallets.  There are some crazy designs out there, but I knew I wanted to make something simple (primarily because I would be the one making it!)  Terry’s job was to get the material and to shell out the bucks 🙂  What follows is insane, but I swear it is the actual timeline.

Monday:  Driving back home from a weekend spent with family celebrating the parents’ 46th anniversary, we talk about possible styles of construction.  Terry wants something like this.  Pallet houseHe seriously overestimates my abilities and time (and our wallet size, too).  I am thinking more of a simple plan – 8’X12′ frame, roof slants from a 8′ height over the door down to a 6′ height.  Done.  We go with my design.

Tuesday:  I draw up the plans.  Terry reviews and fixes all my flaws.  I spend hours on Lowes.com picking out all the products we will need and printing out a shopping list.  Elizabeth gets busy with her wish list – a table, chairs, a cork board and some secret spy stuff I will not be sharing.

Wednesday: Off to Lowes.  Did you know they give a 10% discount to military veterans?  Neither did we until Wednesday.  We could have saved so much over the years on washers, dryers, etc..  Ah well – still a good deal.  We got pre-houseeverything we needed and it all fit on one cart.  We rented a truck to haul it so we could also pick up the 33 pallets Terry had purchased from our firewood guy.  He also rented me a nail gun (and borrowed a compressor from a neighbor) with 1000 nails that I had 24 hours to put to use.  Oh, and 2 bottles of 5 hour energy.  I was all set.  That first night I got in the four corner posts and framed out the floor.

Thursday:  After swallowing some pain meds, I got to work.  I began framing out the walls on the ground and nailing them in place.  Now THAT was fun!  I needed help moving the walls onceme and nail gun they were constructed and was able to call on my big men for some help.  I even let Tommy utilize the nail gun – think I got a little dehydrated at one point!  The whole thing went up fairly fast.  I didn’t even hurt myself too badly (splinters and sore muscles is all I have to complain about).  By 4pm. when the nail gun was due back at the rental place, I had all four walls up and framing done for both the window and the door.  I was exhausted, but pretty much done for the day. taking a break tom rocks me and chuck relax terry and the boys

Friday:  Yeah, I didn’t do anything that day.  Terry and I drove down to Virginia to visit with his Marine buddies.  We had an epic time.

Saturday:   Same as Friday – we got back home around 10pm – exhausted, but happy.

Sunday:  Terry (with the help of his sister) threw a surprise 20th anniversary party for me.  It was atop a mountain ridge here in our adopted state.  Our family and friends all made the trip down for the afternoon and it was me and terry and quiltspectacular.   The whole party was themed around that 40th birthday quilt I made for him.  It was so thoughtful and so much work!  I was truly blown away 🙂

The folks and the grand-kids.all the grandkids Whew!  What a week.  Exhausting, right?  But I did finish the little house.  I added support to the roof structure, finished the trim on the door, hung the door, built a small meeting table and created a spy mail drop.  I love this crooked little house (and it is crooked – the floor and door are plumb, but that’s about it!)  And more importantly the kids love it.  They’ve spent several nights in it already and I am loving their excitement.  When it burns off, and secret spy hideouts or gaming centers are no longer the thing – I have a great little garden shed 🙂 And Karlos the German Shepherd to share it with. done!

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I have always loved the process of transforming pieces of fabric into quilts. For years I collected scraps, just to be sure I'd have the right piece for the project at hand. Eventually, as my skills progressed, my hobby grew into art. I moved from simple quits, to 'landscape quilting' and then eventually onto portrait work. I am new to the art field and am self-taught, learning from my mistakes as well as from my successes. I create my images using only fabric and thread. I remain true to this limitation for two reasons; first, I love the challenge of finding new ways to depict ever more challenging subjects. Second, fabric work remains my true love. I enjoy the hunt for fabrics; where other artists might blend oil paints, I love finding that perfect shade or pattern for a specific need. I refer to my style as "gestalt impressionism" for one needs to take a step back from my pieces to get the whole picture. My view point changes by what is influencing me at the time. Recently I've begun to focus on the journey of the individual. I enjoy working on portraits of people whom I feel have lead interesting lives.

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