Saturday, 16 July 2016

Sanity Space - Heni's 21st "Surprise" Birthday Project (Part 1)

It's  going to be Heni's 21st birthday next week..... a very special milestone in hers, and our lives...... AND it's  also a day that I never pictured or envisaged we would ever reach.  To celebrate and mark the occasion, one of the things I wanted to do was to give her a gift in to which had gone a little thought... something that required some sweat equity, some time and a lot of love.
 ......and so for the last few months I have been dreaming up ideas, planning away and working on a project that I thought she would really like

Last year we transformed an old trampoline in to a swinging teepee tent, and this year I had ambitions to make over another section of the garden that has been unloved and neglected.... a deck at the back of the house that hardly gets used and has a boring brick wall at the end of it (a by product of our neighbour's extension). In my minds eye, I had a plan to hide the ugly wall and in doing so make it a fun bright area for Heni to go outside and use and enjoy on nice weather days.

Hubby helped me with the first part of the project (today's blog post) and a friend of mine helped me on part 2 (coming real soon!)

I enlisted Hubby for his wood working skills (and of course his state of the art power tools and truck to collect materials!)

He was very patient with me in teaching me how to use them and also showing me how to construct a massive picture fame!

We decided to use marine plywood for its ability to withstand moisture and cut up 2 boards to be used as my canvas.

We cut and constructed the outside frame section and laid the pieces on the deck to get a good idea of size.  (Its about 8 ft x 7ft)

The Plywood was then slid in to the groove that had been cut  to make sure it all fit together...before being removed glued and put back in again.

.... we couldn't get just ONE piece that was a big enough area.... the two boards were stacked on top of one another within the grooves.

On the back of the "frame" I then glued .....

...and screwed the triangular corner braces (via the pre-drilled holes) into place to give it extra strength and rigidity 

  We painted it with a "muted clay" colour to water proof it even more and also create a base coat for the next stage. We  also tried it in the position that it would end up in (eventually bolted down to our deck a few  inches away from the actual wall)....

and then covered it all up with a tarp to keep it dry until I was ready for the next stage of the project!

I really had fun making the frame with hubby... not only did we get to spend some time together and I was taught something about one of his passions  (wood projects and power tools!).... but I also found that I learned a lot and developed enough confidence using the tools, that I actually wanted to go on and learn how to use some different tools and do  other projects afterwards!  I was however, intimidated by the size of the "canvas" that now needed to be filled, but was looking forward to getting going and making a start.

If you are intrigued by what it ended up like please join me next time to find out what happened to the out door frame.... lets just say it is rather colourful and does just what I wanted it to do.....

I'll leave you with a sneak peak of what is to come below....

....until next time



  1. Looks like a lot of love and care has gone into making this. And it looks like you had fun doing it! I'm your neighbor at #FiveMinuteFriday.

    1. The next part was the fun bit... Hope you drop by to see the finished project x

  2. Wow, what a cool project! And I peeked around your site a little bit and saw that your dear Heni has Trisomy 18. It's truly amazing that she is turning 21 years old! My brother with Trisomy 18 was not with us long, but made his mark. I was young, but still remember what a sweet baby he was, and I am so thankful that my mom also did not listen when the doctors said he was incompatible with life. I was just stopping by from FMF and was blessed to find your page. I am looking forward to reading more of your story when I have time, and also seeing more of your creations! ~Katy

    1. Hi Katy
      You are a special sister! I often wonder about my other children and how Heni is effecting their lives ... For the positive and negative . One thing is for sure and that is our trisomy angels change everyone they come in to contact with. Are you or you mom aware of the SOFT support groups on Facebook etc?

  3. Wow! You sure are handy! Your love for Heni was clear is this post. All these photos documenting your efforts... Happy birthday to him.
    Thank you for bringing your post to the Blogger's Pit Stop last week.
    Janice, Pit Stop Crew

    1. I had great tuition from hubby and a fab friend who helped me in he next stage. Hope you can stop in to check out part two soon X

  4. What a fun project! My girlie just turned 21 in May! Stopping by from several link ups this week! Can't wait to see the finished project!

    1. It's a big milestone.....happy birthday to your girlie too X

  5. Eagerly waiting...when love pulls together to create - love it.

  6. How perfect to have a large new wall covering. The pink Flamingo is so cute and Heni will enjoy watching her bird. Thank you for sharing with us here at Tell me a Story.

  7. Be sure to drop in to see how the wall develops! Had a lot of fun ( and headaches) doing it but really pleased with the colourful finished article


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