I have been drooling over Ana White's blog, Knock Off Wood for several months now. The woman is a genius. She looks at these catalogs that come in the mail with overpriced, yet drool-worthy furniture in them and she says, "Hmmm, I can do that." Then she drafts the plans and posts them on her blog for the discounted price of...FREE! As a bonus, she offers lots of encouragement and brightly colored pictures to inspire the newby wordworker. When I first found the blog I could feel the seeds of a serious obsession being sown. I said, "You can build something when you get the storage shed cleaned out." But I kept going back to the blog and I changed my goal, "You can build something when you are caught up on the laundry." And I went back to my browsing and drooling. Finally, last weekend my goal suddenly and urgently became, "You can build something if you can find someone to loan you a vehicle large enough to haul wood." Thanks to David, his generosity, and his ginormous station wagon, my itch to build was going to be scratched.
Though I find this Farmhouse Bed to be the most drool-iscious, I decided to start a little smaller with the adult-sized picnic table. Look at what I did!
Measuring and cutting, with Ana onsite via laptop and wireless internet (Also, notice the uncut backyard grass. It's all about priorities, I say.):
I picked a lovely shade between blue and green. I'm rather whimish about paint colors. I like this one a lot. I read the comments attached to Ana's plans and saw that multiple builders highly recommended painting the boards before assembly. Normally I'm an instant gratification kind of DIYer and tend to skip steps that are associated with lengthy preparation. However, in this case I went with pre-painting and have not regretted it.
I found out that building is hot work, so Isaac and I made a run to Cookout, the local fastfood place fully staffed with certified Milkshake Magicians. They have so many flavors of milkshake that listing them all on the drive-thru menu makes the font so small that you can't really read it. It's best to just order your fantasy milkshake without referring to the menu at all. I guarantee they have it. I got a strawberry cheesecake shake.
When working alone, I highly recommend investing in a bunch of extra hands, aka wood clamps:
And here she is! (Also notice now that the yard is mostly-mowed. Thank goodness for that unproductive waiting-for-paint-to-dry period. Otherwise I wouldn't have gotten any chores done this weekend!):