I built a Pagoda on the Cheap

Or as I call it, an Insta-goda.

God who doesn’t love Pinterest? Heathens that’s who! I get so many great ideas off of there that I have neither time nor money to do. But every now and then I see a pin and it sparks an idea that I could whip up and get a little spark of self-accomplishment from. This happens to be one of them. Originally it was an instructables.com link (another fantastic site for no time or money ideas) called “Easy Garden Pagoda.”  I am in amidst the slow process of transforming my former overgrown cesspool of a backyard into an Asian inspired zen garden.

Stacked the parts till I got a semblance of a pagoda, stole some large rocks from my mother-in-law’s house to give it that added panache, and voila. Insta-goda.

I have a lot of appreciation for Asian landscape architecture, specifically the Japanese gardening style. It is calm amidst chaos for me. One of the features used in Japanese gardens is pagoda-like statues. They all vary in cost, size, materials used etc. But generally, they are out of my budget. What is important is the shape. The stacked tiers are a mainstay in Japanese landscape architecture. I wanted one and could not afford it. That is when I came across this brilliant how-to.

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This is a rather fancy one, for around 400 bucks.

I am not going to rehash the step by step process of me making it. I did essentially what the above link did. Found the parts at Walmart and used what I had laying around the backyard. Stacked the parts till I got a semblance of a pagoda, stole some large rocks from my mother-in-law’s house to give it that added panache, and voila. Insta-goda.

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Here is the one from the instructable. I don’t trust wood legs in my climate, so I opted out of them.

The most important part of her instructable is the level surface you build something like this on. I used an actual bubble level on the first paving brick to make sure that it was perfect, otherwise, you will have the leaning tower of a pagoda. That is not a good look and could crush a small child or raccoon or something if it falls. Screw raccoons.

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Just FYI

Stupid old-timey trash bandits.

It might even be a good idea to use a construction adhesive when you have the design you like. Also, this Mother-f@#$% is heavy. Like brute strength on PCP heavy to move it. Figure out where you want to put it, and think of it like you built a house. A small house made of lead that is not going anywhere unless you smash it with the wrecking ball.

Here is the finished product. Please ignore the gorgeous fluorescent tag I left on it.  At the time I was thinking: “color, color, color!” (I forgot to remove the tag.)  Now I just think, “god so last season.” (Tag is still there and probably will be forever.)

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Damn, I am pretty.  Oh, and “hello pollen you mother-#$%^&.”

Eventually, my pretty pagoda will be surrounded by the lovely shape of river rock and sedum Angelina adding color to the base. But we are not freaking made of money, so that will happen when I decide that eating is less important than doing my garden. I am almost there, it is a sickness really. Anyone want to start a gofundme for my plant buying sickness? I think I need about twenty bucks in plants to go around the base. (I kid, I kid. Don’t get your panties in a twist.) Next garden ornament is a Foo dog as an homage to Mouse from Dresden Files. My geekiness seems to leak out into every part of my life.

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Here is a picture of sedum Angelina for the lazy.

I am Going to Fail Spectacularly

 

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Hi, yall. I am so pretty. Image care of http://animals.sandiegozoo.org/plants/african-protea

My life’s obsession with books and reading is only eclipsed by one thing and one thing only, and that thing is gardening. Maybe books about gardening? (As I stare at the six gardening books I have on my bedside table) My obsession with gardening is only from January until September every year so it is not so bad. Really really, promise. I am one of those people that get giddy when I get new seed catalogs in the mail and instead of buying new shoes or something, I buy a plant. I went practically apoplectic today when I discovered a local nursery had tiny and cheap Japanese Painted Ferns. A plant that I had been looking for for the last 5 months for six freaking dollars.

 

 

Today in the mail I received a teeny tiny packet of protea seeds that I ordered from a dealer in Quebec.   Protea is a type of flower that looks like a Hibiscus and a pincushion had a baby, then spray painted it neon. It is all spikes, and color while being delightfully and garish and tacky. I freaking love everything about proteas. If I had a spirit flower it would probably be them. Here is the kicker. They are ridiculously and stupendously difficult to grow. Sunset magazine says that if you don’t have perfect soil and perfect climate, and perfect gardening practices; give up and enjoy cut flowers. I am never one to shy away from a challenge. CHALLENGE! I throw down my shears and hoe in the face of such a farce of a seed. It will not beat me!

 

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Ohhhh king Protea, you are one sexy bitch.

 

(it totally isn’t going to grow)

But, I will try and it will be a unique and fun experience. Proteas along with the Black Magic Rose are the two Unicorns that I have always wanted to try and grow, succeeding doesn’t really matter. I’ll add updates as this experiment goes along. I think it will be a damn success story if I can get one seed to germinate, like at all. Here goes nothing.

 

I built a Thing. It’s Spicy.

 

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I actually have that quote painted on a board and hanging above my new spice rack, I think that It combines my favorite things, science fiction, and cooking. Only about 1 in 40 people who have seen it know where it comes from so all my smug coolness of it is really only in my head. Garbgeek.com

We decided not long ago that we needed a spice storage solution to the million spice jars that I have in the kitchen. No joke, but I think I have close to seventy. I like to cook, and that requires a lot of different spices. Garam Masala to Chinese five spice, I have quite the collection and before you ask I have used them on a least one dish at some point in the past.  I make killer tea eggs with the Chinese five spice.

A previous solution we had been using utilized the spice holder Bekvam from IKEA just hanging by its lonesome on the wall. It got ridiculous with all the spice. It was almost like a shrine to IKEA. Plus,  they are hard as hell to hang. IKEA totes itself as being easy to build and hang, but I call BS on it. Most of the stuff I have gotten from IKEA has been difficult and required a youtube video to get together.

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Not my hack, but you get the idea. This times 10. 

I had gone through a teal phase with them, then a coral phase. The spice holders were a bevy of different colors by now. Much to the chagrin of my husband, it looked like the seventies threw up in my kitchen.

This is what I did. I took all the myriad of spice racks I had and some scrap wood. screwed them all together. Tried to get it true, then painted it. Voila! Insta-spice rack. The wood I screwed it together with was kinda warped, and the spice shelves are not perfectly level. But it is off my counter and hanging beautifully up. Obviously, this isn’t as a tutorial. I kinda winged it. You get the idea.

 

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Here it is in all its glory. Be awed. Be Amazed. Be jealous. Make one yourself. 

 

One of the things I am going to do in the future is to do a background on the spice rack. The periodic table of spices appeals to my inner geekiness. Also, having it organized and a spot where I can find them easily is a must. Baby steps. They are off my counter.