More Paint, A Stunning Bowl, And Three Bird Baths

Continuing with my Big-To-Small To Do List, I painted two-coats of the medium-gray on the living room glass door frames. We moved all of Cyn’s seed beads to the loft and washed the windows. The living room is all but finished — just a light switch or two to go. We think that the living room looks pretty smart:

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I painted the roof support column (it was primed black) gray, too, and it almost disappears:

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We have a new Mother-In-Law Tongue in a tall planter in the far corner. It will grow a lot taller in the next few months:

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After finishing the living room, I moved on to the master bedroom. It is nearly done, but I still have drop cloths and ladders by the bed so that I can put a piece of trim metal at the high-point of the ceiling. But some of the walls are photo-ready. The next photo is from the second bedroom, through the laundry room, and into the master bedroom. Gotta love the texture of the shipping container wall:

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We’ve bravely and unapologetically used the same charcoal gray (dining room/staircase) in the master bedroom. Like the side table in the dining room, the table in the bedroom provides a peaceful vignette:

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The table is painted dark teal but it doesn’t quite look like it on my monitor.

I’ve completed the paint in the master bedroom and have moved on to finishing some painting on the outside of the house — the rainy season is minutes away and we have had a few threatening thunder claps nearby and a few light rains. Currently I am working on the last area that I need scaffolding for — the west end of the loft:

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I’ve painted the bars and am working my way up the wall. After it is painted, all I have left to do here is to cut and install a piece of metal under the soffit. I can’t wait to return the borrowed staging to its owner!

In other news, Cynthia has a new glass bowl that I would like to show off for her. The “clear” glass is “red reactive” — it reacts to the copper that is in the deep-aqua (now turned red) glass rods that she used to make the pattern. The “champagne bubbles” in the corners happened due to trapped air and a very-long soak time in the kiln. She hadn’t seen this “plaid” pattern done before and was delighted when it came out of the kiln:

Plaid Red Reactive Bowl 03

Plaid Red Reactive Bowl 01

Plaid Red Reactive Bowl 02

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And finally, with my best photo prop:

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No, no, this is not Jabo’s new dog dish!

Yesterday Armando, Cynthia, and I made three birdbaths. We saw a how-to on the Internet and as we had some appropriately-large leaves, we decided to give it a go.

Step 1 — make mounds of sand and place the leaves upside down on the sand:

P1020471-001Step 2 — Trowel some mortar (we used a polymer additive to keep the birdbaths from cracking) onto the leaves.

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And here’s where I mention an “oops” the last time I cut Cyn’s hair with the wrong guide on the clippers. This is the first photo she’s allowed since it happened.

Step 3 (not shown) — cut a piece of 1/8″ wire screen for each leaf. Set the screen on top of the mortar and add another layer of mortar, working the mortar through the holes in the screening. Make a leaf-like texture on the back and walk away for a day:

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Today, I carefully turned the pieces over and removed the leaf that we used as a mold. I cleaned the edges with a wire brush. We still need to add a bit of mortar touch-up here and there:P1020513We’ll place the “leaves” on top of some round concrete blocks, add water, and watch the birds enjoy their new birdbaths.

As companion pieces for the birdbaths, we had some old, glass fish-net floats that we needed to do something with. The glass globes were covered with a small-diameter rope netting, which I cut off. The glass balls now make a nice feature in the garden. We have two of them:

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Armando completed the drainage ditch on the north side of the house. Now more ferns can grow here.

Lastly for this post, one evening we had a visitor at our front windows. No wonder some of our plants are missing leaves! I’ve seen critters this big pinned to boards in museums, but never live and in person:

P1020461Here is the underside of the critter as it tried to climb the window:

P1020465That’s all for now. Thanks for stopping by.

13 thoughts on “More Paint, A Stunning Bowl, And Three Bird Baths

  1. wondering about cost and available resources. I live in Volcan in a concrete house but thinking of developing one of these shipping container homes. Was looking into prefabs from china suppliers.
    Advice welcome…..Clint

    • I paid $4K each for my four containers, purchased in Colon at the port, delivered to my site and put on my columns with a crane. As to the rest of the costs, your mileage will vary widely from mine — I’ve been on the job six-days-a-week for almost five-years now. You need a metalworker who can cut and weld and you need to know what you want them to do because they won’t have a clue how to proceed without a lot of hand holding. Sorry Clint, I don’t know anything about the prefabs.

  2. wondering about cost and available resources.I live in Volcan in a concrete house but thinking of developing one of these shipping container homes. Was looking into prefabs from china suppliers.
    Advice welcome…..Clint

    • I paid $4K each for my four containers, purchased in Colon at the port, delivered to my site and put on my columns with a crane. As to the rest of the costs, your mileage will vary widely from mine — I’ve been on the job six-days-a-week for almost five-years now. You need a metalworker who can cut and weld and you need to know what you want them to do because they won’t have a clue how to proceed without a lot of hand holding. Sorry Clint, I don’t know anything about the prefabs.

  3. Hi Fred and Cynthia,
    Haven’t been keeping up with the projects, got buried in a few of my own. I just saw something on the web that instantly made me think of all y’all. It is a guy making end tables from cement using Legos.
    https://youtu.be/xa8ax-zHoGo

    I don’t know why but I thought that you had probably already done a few of these. If not, then it has to be the only thing you haven’t done with cement!? Haha

    Going to spend a few hours catching up on the projects, the place looks AMAZING.

    jim and nena
    fort worth, tx

    • Hi Alex,

      Thanks very much. There is one thing that I would dearly love to improve. On the way into town from here at our house, about three kilometers, the power company has just installed new concrete poles that carry new lines to power the town. Around each pole, they have sunk three or four I-beam posts into the ground. They then welded horizontal pieces of I-beam to the posts to create impact protection for the poles. I use the word horizontal loosely as there isn’t a stick of steel that is level or plumb. It is driving me absolutely nuts!

      As always Alex, thanks for your comment. Fred

      • I took my mother-in-law to Panamá this summer (we are back) and having lived most of her life in the US things like the one you mention would/might drive her nuts but I wasn’t looking and that is good; I didn’t see this Panamanian workmanship but I do see the lack of use of level in the porch of my two-year old house each time it rains -the water goes towards the house instead of going away from it.
        It was late and the way out -towards the capital- when we drove up to show Alexia, the two-year old, the ranas doradas but not much more.

  4. For anyone interested in the bird baths…
    Use a shallower mound of sand as support underneath the leaves. The littler birds won’t use them as it’s too deep for them. And place the baths in your yard in protected areas. The birds prefer to have some shelter from prospective predators. We’ve moved these to “quieter” areas of the yard with trees and shrubs nearby as cover.

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