Monthly Archives: July 2014

Lottery Tickets

The Lottery Ticket Bouquet!

When a bouquet of flowers will not do the trick for cheering up that someone special, give a lottery ticket bouquet!  This gift was for my 84 year old father.  Yes, I could have delivered flowers, but if you had seen the way his eyes lit up when he saw his special lottery ticket gift,  you would understand how this was so much better.  Young or old, everyone enjoys the opportunity to take a chance at winning with a lottery ticket!

What you need to create a Lottery Ticket Bouquet:

Flower Pot – mine was filled with foam and covered with dried moss.  Both are available at any craft store.

Bamboo Skewers – just dig in your kitchen drawer and pull out your skewers!  I used two sizes because I just happened to have them, but whatever you find will work.

Lottery Tickets – You know where to get these!

Tape – for, you guessed it, attaching the tickets to the skewers!

Bow – this is optional.  I created a bow with some ribbon I had on hand.  To secure it to the pot I attached it to a bamboo fork.

Lottery Bouquet

Put it all together and voila – a gift anyone would love!
Provided they are 18 or over and legally able to play the lottery!

For this gift, I purchased $20 in lottery tickets and my father won $12.
Yes – I lost money, which is the norm for lottery tickets, but I have to say it was worth the money for the surprise and fun the gift provided!
Make one today for your special someone!

 

Fire Pit and Flagstone makes for a Favorite Spot in our Yard

fire3

This is absolutely my favorite spot in my yard.  Most hours of the day it is shady with only a small amount of dappled light and many times a delightful breeze.

It is a wonderful place to put your feet up and think about your day while sipping your morning coffee or in the evening, socialize with friends and bask in the warmth of an open fire.

Beautiful Shady View
Beautiful Shady View

My goal, in creating this space, was for my children to invite their friends and socialize – at my home – where I could keep an eye on them!  It’s what we all want as parents – right?

It turns out that we adults use the space as much as the kids.   I love to sit out there any time of the day.  I can work on my computer, read a book, or just relax!

The making of my favorite spot:

Privacy – To make it difficult for peering eyes, I planted a hedge around the corner of my yard.  I love my neighbors, but sometimes it’s nice to feel alone!

Fire Pit – Mine is constructed of  concrete blocks.  Go to your local home store and they will be able to set you up with something similar.

After locating the spot for the fire pit, I cleared it of grass, leveled it out and laid out my stone.

Flagstone Area – Because I wanted my fire pit to have it’s own space, an outdoor room if you will.  I laid flagstone, encircling the fire pit.  Since I already have a “formal patio area”  I wanted this to be a casual space so I left 3-4 inches of grass between the stones.

The flagstone I purchased locally and it currently sells for $0.15/pound.  Flagstone comes in many colors and I liked all of them so I purchased a little of everything!

Because I have a vehicle capable of hauling stone, my husband and I made a few trips to a natural stone retailer.  Our process was to load the stone in the truck, lay out the stone as we unloaded it , decide more stone was required and go get another load!  It took 3 trips to carry enough flagstone.  Yes – I could have had it delivered, but this way I was able to pick the colors of the stone and build muscle…lots of muscle!

For this project I used over a ton of stone and it’s not that difficult.  Only the really big flagstones  are hard to move and I only had a few of them!  Plus – it is kind of fun to say “I moved a ton of stone today!”

 

Flagstone
Flagstone

Starting at the fire pit, I placed stones that “fit” around the concrete blocks, leaving a couple of inches between the flagstones for grass.  After laying the stone in place, I used a knife to cut it’s outline in the grass, moved the flagstone and removed the grass with a flat shovel and garden trowel.  I also had sand on hand to help level the space the stone was to lay in and a rubber mallet to pound it into place.  Getting the stones to lay flat meant moving the stone in and out of place a few times, but it was well worth it.

From this spot I can gaze across to the rest of my beautiful yard.  There is nothing better than appreciating your hard work with your feet up and a refreshing beverage in your hand!

Before you begin a fire pit project, make sure you can legally have a fire pit in your area.  Some cities do not allow them.  Also, keep it away from any fire hazards.  I do have trees in my yard, but we removed any low hanging branches from the area and we never use it in dry weather.

Fire Pit surrounded with flagstone patio
Fire Pit surrounded with flagstone patio