Saturday, August 27, 2011

Small Improvements-

An ode to our neighbors, this sign is half homemade.
"Sometimes, the smallest improvement to our lives can make the biggest difference."

Chuck and Sandra Price have a grownups play yard. Outfitted to live in year round staycation, they live next door.  

I am a certifiable readaholic. I read everything, and have a special love of signage  Spotting the tin insert with the words "Resort and Spa Next Door" on a shopping expedition, of course it had to come home with me. 

It wasn't perfect until last week when my husband shared his toys- oops, tools- with me.
A piece of scrap redwood, a $2.00 bottle of  Alizarin Crimson America acrylic paint- and a lesson in how to use a band saw, scroll saw and oscillating spindle saw- and the humorous ode to my next door neighbors is complete .

"My" shed, built one lesson at a time.

Mounted high on my shed, it is a small improvement that lifted my spirits yesterday when it was  102° F with humidity in the upper 40 percentile.  What my husband describes as "a nice spring day in Florida" tips  into misery-ometer territory for us weather-wimpy types. 

For newer readers- here are a couple images of the shed that is my pride and joy.  

It all began when our children were young enough to think it was cool to be paid in Chuck E Cheese Pizza. 

My husband's tools were limited to a circular saw, a hammer and an engineer's attitude that everything is possible.  

When Diamond Bar-ians get to remodeling, there is some some really cool dumpster diving around town.  All you need is a few moments without any pride):-

A cast off needing to be rescued, reused and recycled- this little corner window was lifted from where it lay next to a trash can.

It became the impetus for my shed. 

I was thinking of the playhouse I never had. Dreaming of a trip to Lowes or Home Depot to retrofit a shed-kit. 

My husband was thinking -  " I can do it myself."  He thought it would be fine wood storage for his burgeoning he-man hobby. If he thought it was a way to get tools free of added cost- oh, well. I have my shed and he got more tools from this project.

Ethel’s Garden, a collaboration en memoriam - By glplunk (46”L x 20”W - Hard Maple with Dark Walnut stain and flat latex paint)
When we considered moving mother in with us, we teased her this would be her room.

The finial added to birdhouse made a pediment that set the architectural character.

If the stained glass transom window had been installed at the time, we might have found her with her bags and walker parked at the doorstep.

After her death, the window was Christened "Ethel's Window" in honor of my mother
The solar-lit panel makes an elegant statement after dark- art cum nightlight on steroids.  

2x4 by 2x4, brick by brick, lace covering windows, one small improvement at a time, this little structure changed me as it was changed.  Building it, my husband learned the economic advantages of kits over custom construction. Sheds of our own are a luxury beyond description. 

Such are the lessons and synergy in life.

P.S.- Thank you Chuck E. Cheese for the use of the little picture. 


  1. I love how this story unfolded, Lydia. From a little by-the-wayside sign to a history of your darling shed. Little details and signs of love

  2. Lydia,

    How adorable! That sign made me laugh and wondered if you have invited the Price's over to see how you have complimented their yard! Cute cute cute!

    Of course I laughed out loud and hubby asked me WHY! I was laughing about the teasing of your mother about your shed being her room! LOL I am sure if it had been deeper and wider it would have been a great guest room! It's so cute! (My mother came to mind:):)

    When you talked about rescuing someone elses trash, my memory kicked in. In our neighborhood often when the neighbors put something out for the trash, it's really a treasure to someone else! When the twins were pretty young I will never forget one afternoon while I was entertaining a lovely black lady friend over an iced tea. Well to my embarrassment, here come the twins dragging in old thrown away luggage from across the street! lol I told them to go put them pieces back. They didn't. I have used those bags for years now for storage for my off season clothes. (By the way, that lady never returned for another visit!)

    Hugs, Trisha

  3. Good blog. Love the sign. Alizarin Crimson is my favorite color!!!I love saying it because people always say, "WHAT?"


  4. How wonderful that you and your husband made 'the shed' happen---And So BEAUTIFULLY, too! I LOVE that Stained Glass Window...It is truly truly GORGEOUS!!! Between the two of you, you have made a very special place....BRAVA, my dear!

  5. Thank you Nikki, Trisha, Sue and Naomi.

    Sandra saw the sign years ago, before it became inset in the arrow. She got a big laugh out it.

    They've been settling kids into college. They know I have "something" to show them, they'll see it soon.

  6. Hi Lydia,

    Loved the shed, and the sign! Who else, but you, would have thought to hang lace curtains?


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