Stevie Henderson and Mark Baldwin Provide Great 2 X 4 Accessories for Your Home

In the “olden days”, as my children so lovingly refer to the time when I was younger than they are, I had the privilege and good fortune to be in one of my high school’s first woodworking classes that allowed girls. The one other female and I were accepted by our male counterparts with more ease than the teacher. However, it was soon realized that our attention to detail, ability to read patterns and compile material lists overshadowed other areas. My final project, an oak coffee table of my own design received an A+ and is still very much in use.

I look back at that class as a stepping stone that encouraged me to pursue other areas of creativity. Occasionally, I will still doodle the design for a project, spend a day or so at the local hardware store with my list, dust off the saw horses and create!

Finding patterns for quick and easy projects to the hard and time-consuming ones can be a challenge in itself. It was with some excitement and trepidation that I opened the pages of not one, but two books that have been written by Stevie Henderson and Mark Baldwin.

For starters, one does not conjure up images of sleek furniture and accessories when one sees a heading that contains 2 X 4’s. Intrigued and fascinated with the thought that a wall stud could actually become something that was useful and ecstatically pleasing, I did a preliminary peruse. By the time I had glanced through both books, I was convinced that they needed to come home with me!

2 x 4 Projects for the Outdoors and Great 2 x 4 Accessories for Your Home both offer straight forward, easy instructions combined with diagrams, material and tool lists and patterns to complete the projects offered. You will be impressed with the ease of which you can make a wall ledge to show off your collectibles or an ottoman to rest your feet on. You can add hurricane lamps, a barbecue table or a porch swing to your outdoor living space.

There are enough accessory projects here to allow the gung-ho woodworkers to put finished projects throughout the entire house. Henderson begins her books with a chapter on basic tools, techniques, materials, and safety. The projects shown are in color and have the step-by-step instructions, clear illustrations, and excellent line drawings that even the newest woodworker could want.

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Garden Decoration From Junk by Leeann MacKenzie

In recent years, flea markets, junk yards, garage and yard sales, basements and attics have all been recognized as treasure chests. These places are home to antiques, memorabilia and junk. For the people who have a vision of resurrecting cast-offs found in these places, The book Garden Decoration From Junk is one to read before setting out on your quest. The book will certainly brings new meaning to container gardening and garden accessories!

A little imagination, along with the unique suggestions from the pages of this book and your yard will have a character like no other. The operative word here is imagination and after reading this book, you will chastise yourself for throwing out some perfectly good garden accessories. Everything from tin cans to car springs and cutlery can be incorporated into your outdoor setting. Your deck, patio and yard can have unique pieces that will not be found at the local garden and yard decorating centers.

Visualize old garden tools as a support for clematis, scarlet runner beans or sweet peas. Metal containers such as pots, buckets and tin cans housing your herbs. Books and foot wear that have been damaged beyond repair or restoration once again come alive and will become the center of conversation when used as planters.

This book provides an abundance of pictures that will give you every opportunity to invent an end product that would add personality to your decor both inside and out.

The old adage that one man’s junk is another man’s treasure is confirmed in page after page in this intriguing book by Leeann MacKenzie.

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Create Your Own Garden Journal

The garden journal is an important component of the garden planning process. It allows the gardener to revisit last year’s successes and failures. This evaluation reduces the chances of repeating the same mistakes, helps create a healthier garden environment and helps reduce expensive gardening mistakes, especially for beginning gardeners.

A journal does not have to be anything fancy and can range from a simple school notebook all the way to an elaborate leather bound journal. Some gardeners even use technology to design a one of a kind garden journal that does everything for you accept plant the seed. The key to the journaling process is to pick one that works for you and one that you will really use.

Whether you are a beginning gardener or starting a new garden, the first step in this process is to draw out the garden space. Some individuals find it helpful to do the drawing to scale but that really is not necessary. The important component is that the dimensions of the garden are noted.

Do not limit yourself to the traditional idea of what a garden is. All gardens need to be planned and this includes container, mulch, and straw bale gardens along with hanging baskets, and flower pouches. Keep in mind though; that the information described below is geared for land-based gardens and in doing so will need to be adapted for other types of gardens.

Once the garden space has been drawn out, the next step is to add environmental information. The north, south, east, and west directions need to be placed on the garden drawing. General wind direction and how the sun hits the garden space during the growing season also needs to be noted.

Weather conditions are another component that needs to be added during the growing season. This includes temperature, moisture level or rain amount and any natural disaster that may have affected the garden space. Including this information will help the gardener deal with microclimate issues and help them make a more precise determination of the success of the garden.

Another environmental feature that needs to be added to the garden journal is the health of the soil. This includes pH level, soil type and any nutrient problems. This information is easily obtained through a kit that can be picked up at any local extension office.

External features surrounding the garden space also need to be added to the drawing. This information is very important since shadows from buildings, vegetation, and fences can affect the garden space. Also, noting plant material that is around the garden can help reduce the chance of plant incompatibility. A prime example of plant incompatibility is that of the tomato and the black walnut tree.

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