Monday, December 31, 2018

White PVC Fascia Board Installed

The other day we finish the fascia board installation on the east side and then turned the corner to finish up.  But first we had to remove cedar shingles, nails, and the small piece of wood fascia that remained.
 The first board was installed but we realised that we needed to buy another 1X6 PVC board which only comes in 12 feet lengths.  There were 2 short cut offs left over from other boards and between a new 12 footer and a 3 foot cut off piece we could finish the fascia installation today even though it was raining.  
 That's right it was raining but we were determined to finish up.  Not only was it raining but the rain was also running off the roof.  Not ideal but we want to get the eavestroughs installed before the weather turns really cold.  These 30 and 40 degree days are not going to last, so we want to take advantage of them while they are here. 
Cannot wait to rip off those old shingles.  You know that your cedar shingles look bad when black tar paper looks better.  That non original window on the second floor is going away this summer along with that ugly awning.  This is the northside so that bedroom needs all the light it can get.

The area of shingles without any paint is the area where we removed a large non original window that was so rotted and ugly 
that it nearly fell apart as we were removing it.  

If you look at the top right of that area you can see some metal flashing.  That was where there was a single double hung window that was removed so they could put in the large casement and picture window that we removed.  We will not put a window back in because not only is this the northside but it is the wall where we will hang a large TV. 

I recently ordered new exterior french doors and they should be here around January 22nd.  So I am busy looking at door entry handles. Because they are french doors and I have a weird thing about symmetry, whichever handle I buy will also need to have a dummy handle available for the other door or it will bug the heck out of me.  Can't have that!!!!

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Friday, December 28, 2018

Update on PVC Fascia Board Installation

Just a quick update because I need to get to bed because tomorrow we are going to start early.  Today was above normal temperature of 49 degrees!  Perfect outdoor working weather.  We did have some high winds last night and I spent about an hour today picking up branches and twigs.
The white PVC fascia board is installed on the east side and we are moving around to the back of the house.  This is the largest area of shingles and I hope that we can get it all re shingled this summer.  It will be our only project.  
We want to get the white PVC fascia board installed on the north side (where R is working in the photo above).   We will then go back and add the gutter in one continuous run from the short area of the new roof, then an inside corner, across the back of the game room, then an outside corner, and then finish up with a straight run across the north side.  This area will also have 3 downspouts.

Sometime this winter we need to make the wood vent to go in the peak of the area shown below.  It will be like the same vents that are on the garden shed and the south side of the house.  By adding this vent, it should help tie the new peak area in with the rest of the house.
Do not look at that mess under the deck.  

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Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Update on the Gameroom Roof

The roof is finished and we could not be happier.  We need a warm day with full sunshine for some of the shingles to relax and lay flat.  This doesn't happen in the summer because the heat makes the shingles more pliable but in the winter they are stiff and can crack if forced.  This is the southside so they will be flat as a pancake and also faded to match old shingles by springtime.
The ball is back in our court so to speak.  First off we need to install the pine corner pieces.  They are made of 1X4 clear pine.  We used clear pine so that there would be minimal bleeding of sap and no knots falling out as the wood ages.
One side of the corner was the width of the 1X4 and the other side was ripped down so that the thickness of the other side + the new width=the width of a standard 1X4.  We glued and clamped the pieces and then used the pneumatic brad nailer to fasten them together.
We removed the clamps once we had them nailed together.  They were installed and fastened into place with a 3 inch long finish nail and then countersunk with a nail set.

After the corner boards were all installed we then could install the 1X8 white PVC fascia board.  Why are we using PVC instead of wood?  The fascia board is covered by the wide white vinyl gutters that we are installing. Fascia boards see a lot of water, snow, and ice in Michigan and are prone to rot and paint maintenance.   We decided to go with a no maintenance material because to repaint the fascia board we would have to remove the gutters and the second story gutters are over 32 feet high. 
I like installing the PVC boards during the winter when the PVC is contracted and not expanded.  We had hired someone to do fascia replacement on the front of the house before we retired.  I specially told him TWICE not to leave the PVC boards in the sun because they expand and if he cuts them when they are warm there will be a gap between the boards in the winter when they contract.  Sure enough come winter there was a 1/4th inch gap between every board.  We ended up taking them down and reinstalling. Then we bought another board to replace the last one which was now over an inch short because we closed all the gaps when we re installed the boards.  Yes, we could have caulked but it was the front of the house, on the first story and vary apparent. Caulk gets discolored and has to be maintained and we were looking for maintenance free or as close as you can get to maintenance free. 

It was after that incident that we agreed if we had to redo the work, why pay someone in the first place?  Most people don't want to work on old houses.  So rather than chance it again we just do the work ourselves.  We figure if we do it ourselves and do not have to pay someone, then we can redo it twice or even 3 times for the same money.  We did pay a roofer friend to do our roof but he was conscious of our restoration and did a fantastic job.  

After watching him crawl around on the roof we knew that there was no way that we could done the work.  We will also hire out the chimney rebuilding or repointing.  Some things you just have to leave to the professionals.  
Most of the fascia is installed and the first run of gutter is hung minus the downspout because we need to finish the cedar shingle install first before we install the downspout.

We were making great progress until R had to have scheduled dental work done.  They did 3 implants and that was 7 days ago and he still can't eat and the inside of his mouth is still bruised in the area of the implants.  He was very bummed that he couldn't eat on Christmas day at my sister's house.  She's a great cook and this year's theme was Southern cooking.  It was delicious. 

I will do an entire post on how we hang our vinyl gutters and downspouts.  We do it slightly different than is suggested (at least since the last time I looked at their instructions) and they work perfectly.  They now offer a 5 inch gutter and downspout and we are installing that size.  We might replace a short piece of the old standard size where we do get some overflow during big storms.  But bottom line is we love our vinyl gutter system.

Let's keep our fingers crossed that R's mouth is better tomorrow and we can get back to work.

I have also ordered a new patio door and it will be here sometime in January.  AND it can't get here soon enough.  The old door is just about ready to fall out of the opening because of decay.

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Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas Everyone!  I hope that everyone is enjoying their time with family and eating a few tasty treats.
This is a wreath that I made at one of Yvonne's Christmas wreath making classes.  I don't know what it is about vintage ornaments but they are all so pretty and they make such beautiful wreaths. 

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Shingles are on the New Roof

Just a quick post to catch everyone up on the progress of the new roof.  The shingles will match better once they fade.  We used these same shingles elsewhere on the roof to make a repair and after a couple of weeks you can't tell new from old.  Of course the sun will need to shine for the shingles to fade.  Lately we have been lacking in the sunshine department.
The shingle install started on Wednesday.  The temperature was a high of 28 degrees.  This makes the shingles stiff and will tear easily when you try to bend them to get under old shingles or to lay down ridge cap shingles.  

The roofer first had to finish prepping the roof with the rubber membrane (we were able to get about 50% of it installed ourselves) and then he laid down the tar paper and installed the drip edge.
He spent a lot of the first day removing partial and damaged shingles so he could weave in the new shingles.  All the while it stayed at 28 degrees and heavy fog.  
The photo below is an old ridge cap shingle that was removed.  You can see how much the old shingle had faded compared to the bright green that was protected from the sun.
Thursday and Friday was as cold but no fog and he laid shingles both days.  On Saturday it was slightly warmer but just barely above 32 degrees.  He primarily worked on installing ridge caps.  

He will be back probably on Wednesday when it is forecasted to be over 38 degrees.  He needs to add roofing adhesive under a few caps, some exposed nail heads, and under the shingles around the boot for the electrical mast.
Today R and I ripped some corner boards to the correct width and glued and clamped one corner piece.  We have to have the corner pieces in place before we can install the fascia board and the gutters and downspouts.

We have all the lumber, gutters, downspouts, and all the extra pieces needed to finish the eave troughs on the first story on the back of the house.  The second story will wait until the summer.

Both of us are pleased with how it is looking but we can't wait to be done working outside all day in below freezing temps.

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Saturday, December 1, 2018

Our Favorite Bird Feeder and Why it's Our Favorite

We love our birds and over the last 35 years we have figured out what feeders and feed to buy to bring in the birds.  Our favorite feeder is made by Perky-Pet and holds sunflower seeds.
Over our many years of bird feeder buying we now only buy feeders that are metal (like the feeder above) or feeders that have replacement parts like the long Lexan cylinder finch feeders.  Any feeders with plastic parts do not hold up against the squirrels , raccoons, or the weather.  

This feeder is not only sturdy but also has a great design.  If you watch the birds a lot like we do, you will notice that the little birds are sometimes chased off the feeder by bigger birds or they can fall prey to a predator like a hawk or a house cat while they are eating.  This design allows the little birds to perch inside the feeder where they are protected, while they pull the sunflower seed through the wire mesh.  

The design also allows for any feed, that is wet from the rain or snow, to dry out.  This eliminates wasted feed and also protects the birds from eating spoiled feed.  If you wash out your feeders several times a year, then you know how nasty spoiled feed smells.  This feeder doesn't have the problem of spoiled feed because even the bottom of the feeder is wire mesh.  Fresh air surrounds the feed at all times which dries out any feed that might get wet from rain or snow.
The hanging wire on our 8 year old feeder broke.  We are pretty sure it was thanks to a huge raccoon that has been seen swinging from the feeder.  It was an easy and inexpensive fix.  Picture hanging wire can be purchased at the hardware/craft store/home improvement store and who doesn't need or maybe already have the wire.
Another feature of this feeder is that the lid requires you to push a button on the side of the decorative knob on the top before you can lift the lid up to fill.  This helps to keep the lid on so that squirrels and raccoon can't dump out your feed onto the ground. When depressed, the knob can be moved up the wire so the lid can slide to the side to fill the feeder.  When disassembling make sure you don't lose the cylinder shaped button.
We cut off a 24 inch piece of wire and put a cable crimp on one of the ends.  The crimp has 2 holes and you feed the wire through one side and then back up through the other hole.  Now comes the crimping part.  Using your electrical pliers you place the crimp into the jaws of the pliers making sure you place the crimp all the way to the back of the electrical pliers jaws and then squeeze real hard.  The pliers have little bumps on the jaws that compress the crimp and holds the wire in place.
  Now thread the lid onto the wire, then the decorative knob.  You will need to depress the button so that the hole is visible so the wire can go through the decorative knob.  Now you have the feeder back together except for the hanging loop.
We threaded the wire through one side of the crimp and back through the other side just like before except we left a six inch loop or hanging.  This time we crimped the wire crimp using the bench vise.  We could have used the pliers but we wanted to know if the vise would squeeze the crimp closed if someone didn't have electrical pliers but did have a bench vise.  
When using a vise open the jaws just enough for the crimp to sit between the jaws.  Slowly close the jaws and watch your fingers.  It won't take long to squeeze the crimp onto the wire.  Open the jaws and test to make sure the wire doesn't move.
Now fill the feeder with sunflower seeds and rehang.  

Sunflower seeds offer a lot of needed energy for the birds during the winter when there is not a lot of natural food sources for them to eat.  Birds during the winter spends all their time just trying to stay warm so let's give them a hand during the winter and come spring you can reap the reward of hearing their bird song.


Buy feeders that are metal like the Perky-Pet Fly Thru feeder.  Also, buy feeders that allow air flow to dry out any feed that may get wet.  Metal feeders are sturdy and can be fixed with a little elbow grease.  A broken feeder is of no use to the birds or you.  Buy feeders that are used specifically for the birds or feed that you are using.  Use thistle feeders for thistle seed or sunflower seed feeders for sunflower seeds.  Be consistent with filling your feeders.  Don't go long periods without filling your feeder because the birds will go where the food is and if it isn't in your feeder, in your yard, neither will they.  Don't quit feeding in the winter.  Many of your wild song birds stay year round so they need a little help during the winter.  Winter feeding is the most important time to feed the birds.

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Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Gameroom Roof Update

We are determined to get this roof completed even if it means working in the dark...
...with snow on the deck and roof, ice on the extension ladder, and the cord to the electric circular saw laying in the snow.  It was even sleeting for a minute or two.
Today we worked on the roof until we finished the south side of the roof.  The north side needs 3 more pieces cut but they are tedious odd shaped pieces and there is ice all over everything.  We need a day of sunshine to melt the ice so we can finish.  But I don't expect sunshine anytime soon.  We are in one of those grey periods where you never actually see the sun.  Today's high was 28 degrees and I heard on the radio that the average temperature for today is 48 degrees.  What I would give for just 2 or 3 more days of 48 degrees.

It was so cold outside that the cats came out onto the deck and then immediately wanted back in.  They stared at us working while they sat at the kitchen window wagering on which one of us would slide off the ladder first.

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Friday, November 23, 2018

Black Friday and Weekend Sales Codes

HAPPY SHOPPING!!!! Sorry this is so long.
Here are some sale codes that are not readily available for some sites that usually don't advertise here in the US. 
Want to save even more?? Sign up for Ebates to get 1% to 20% More in savings. Use this link and you get a $10 gift card (after you spend 20 bucks using Ebates) and I get credit for the referral. Ebates has been around for years and even advertises on TV. In the 6 years that I have been using Ebates I have saved over $800. They send quarterly checks.
You won't forget to use Ebates if you add the little E to your Favorite Bar because it will prompt you if you visit a site that offers Ebates such as eBay, Etsy, or the other 1800+ sites.
The % changes daily or weekly and sometimes I put items in my cart and then wait until the % goes up. Last week I save 10% on an Etsy purchase. Today eBay is 2% and Etsy is 3% (Etsy is almost always 1%)
I just saved at Misguided and Asos. I'm heading to Cult Beauty to see if anything I use is on sale. If you haven't tried The Ordinary products found on Cult Beauty, you are missing out. They sell just the active ingredients in small bottles so you use just a few drops daily. I use the Moroccan Argan oil on my neck and the Hyaluronic Acid on my face. Lanolips is a great product, too.
Some of the sites listed below are in UK pounds. Some can be changed to USD and others are converted when you pay with credit card or PayPal. If you need more info on The Ordinary products just ask me, I have used about 50% of their products.
Extra 20% off sale
Code: RS1120
Valid Nov 20-27
(Offers exclude starred items.)
+ Luxury Fashion & Accessories
20% Off selected lines with code BF2018
T&C: 20th - 25th November
Discount will be up to 20% off sitewide, using the code SELFCCE
T&C: 21st - 26th November
Extra 30% off Sale category
T&C: 23rd - 26th November
+ Fashion & Accessories
Spend £125 or more and receive a limited edition sterling silver bangle
T&C: 19th - 26th November
20% sitewide with code: TEQUILA
T&C: 20th November. New promotions each day
20% off sitewide
T&C: 22nd - 26th November
River Island:
Up to 30% off Women/Men Winter Treats
T&C: 19th November onwards
T&C: 20th November
+ Beauty
Charlotte Tilbury:
Up to 50% off selected lines with new promotions every day
T&C: daily promotions starting 19th November
T&C: 20th November only
Cult Beauty:
Up to 40% off selected items
T&C: started 20th November
+ US Only
Up to 40% off in designer clearance
T&C: started 20th November

Monday, November 19, 2018

Quick Roof Update

Finally a day without rain or snow. 
 We have one last very short rafter to install because we ran out of daylight.
Tomorrow we install the plywood.
Then the roof felt and drip edge.

Can't wait to be done with this project so we can get onto installing the vintage exterior french doors.

I told you it would be quick.

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Saturday, November 10, 2018

Roof Update, Snow, and Winter Car Maintenance

All we need is two days of weather that is not dropping rain, sleet, or snow out of the sky.  The temperature has dropped from the 50's to the low 30's and I am really not happy about that.  What happened to the days of 40 degrees temperatures?  I've already hauled out my winter boots, gloves, and coat.  Now comes the 6 months of winter and days that have little sunlight.  I swear it gets dark at 430PM.

The photo below shows the progress on the roof at the end of last week.  We have made a little additional progress but basically this is where we are at the moment.  Four more short rafters and then the plywood sheathing.
We feels like we are spinning our wheels.  Today for example I ran up town to get something and then we were going to work on the roof.  I was at a traffic light and put on my left turn indicator and it started blinking real fast.  That is an indication of that either the front or the back turn signal bulb is burned out.  Just great.  There are several chain automotive supply stores in the area so I stopped at one to get a bulb but first I needed to know if it was the front or back bulb.  So before I went into the store I checked and it was the rear bulb but I noticed my driver side headlight bulb has burned out.  Who knows when that happened because I haven't driven at night in eons.

Long story short.  It took us all day to change out the rear turn signal bulb because you need to remove the entire tail light assembly to change the bulb.  Who designs tail lights that need to be removed to change out a bulb?  Obviously the same person who designed the front headlight assembly.  

We still need to replace that bulb but like I said it gets dark at 430PM.   The method for removing that bulb is to access the headlight assembly from the back through an access opening in the wheel well.  We removed the access cover and turned the tire as far right as we could but still couldn't reach the bulb.  So tomorrow we remove the wheel/tire and replace the bulb.

I  was talking to someone later in the day and she said they had to take their vehicle in to the dealership to have a headlight bulb changed.  R and I just can't won't do that.  It is bad enough that those two bulbs cost 28 bucks but then to add on a dealership fee of at least $100.......ouch.
But while I was at the auto parts store I noticed everyone coming out with new wiper blades in their hands.  Some people were changing them in the parking lot.  So here is a friendly reminder to check out your windshield wiper blades now before the first big winter storm hits.  If your blades are OK but probably won't make it through the winter, just throw the used blades under your seat in case you ruin your new blades during an ice storm.  Been there, done that.  Never force them when they are frozen to the windshield.

Also, top off that windshield washer solvent bottle and squirt a few drops of oil into your door locks.  When the battery dies in your key fob and you try to use your key to unlock the door, but the lock is froze up from salt and road dirt, you will wish that you had squirted a few drops of oil into the lock mechanism.  Fun is mostly the driver side that locks up because the driver side gets more road salt/snow because of oncoming traffic spraying the driver's side as they drive by.

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Sunday, November 4, 2018

Update on the Game Room Roof

Progress has been slow due to the weather, appointments, and the fact that we are rookie roof framers.  The weather is cooler colder but not too bad, but it is the rain that is the problem.  We worked on the roof one afternoon while the precipitation waffled back and forth between a mist and small rain drops.  We finally quit when the deck started getting slippery because all of the leaves that fell in just 2 days.
The photo below was taken several days ago (so we are further along) and we are ready to put plywood sheathing on the gable end.  We had to wait until we knew what our roof pitch would be before we could settle on a gable vent style.  The house has two styles of gable vents and one of the vent styles is in the photo below and at the top of the photo.  
Our roof pitch is one that doesn't have a ready made gable vent in this style so we are going with the style of gable vent in the photo below.
We can make the vent after we finish with the roof as long as we make the cut out for the vent before we sheath the roof.
So that is where we are with the roof but we are getting there.  We are getting burned out on this project so the day we put down the felt paper and nail the drip edge on can't happen soon enough.  The roof shingle part will be hired out.  

We removed all the plants from the window boxes and the bareness is killing me so my plan is to fill one window box a day with evergreen cuttings.  One year I waited too long and the soil was frozen solid so I had to use hot water to thaw it out.  That was both a hot and cold mess.

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Sunday, October 14, 2018

Building a Peaked Roof on a Flat Roof

We have been VERY occupied with framing this roof.  The back and one side of our house has a hip roof design but the front of the other side have a gable roof design.  Since the flat roof area is inset into the hip roof on the back we had no choice but to finish building out the hip roof.  But this left a 40 inch bump out and we decided to frame that roof area with a gable roof design.
The photo above was taken during the tear off phase and before we installed new framing underneath to make the area flat.
We used new wood for the joists but the attic decking is old wood we are reusing.  We used joist hangers and R said he jumped up and down and it felt very sturdy.

I have no idea how many times we framed the hip roof portion only to take some of it back apart.  Thank heaven for screws.  The hip roof design is complicated enough but when you have to incorporate it into a nearly 100 year old hip roof and you are rookie hip roof framers.....well, let's just say I am glad that our neighbors live more than an earshot away because we had some really intense discussions.
But today we rounded a corner and installed two sheets of plywood and it was wonderful.  They went right into place and we breathed a collective sigh of relief.
My photos aren't great because we were running out of daylight.

Tomorrow's plywood installation will be tricky shapes but the pieces will be a lot smaller.  Today when we installed the 2 full sheets we kind of cheated.  The plywood is thicker than most roof sheathing and because of that it would be impossible for the two of us to get that plywood sheet on the roof without either one of us or both.....breaking our backs, falling off the roof, destroying our already old injured shoulders, or and we laughed about this....that we would be found dead under a sheet of plywood with only our feet sticking out like in the Wizard of Oz.

How did we cheat?  We cut the sheet of plywood right down the center lengthwise.  This cut the weight in half and made the handling a lot easier.  We made sure to butt up the cut edges so there weren't any gaps, not even the slightest.

But on a prettier note.  The photo above are of the last of the roses blooming in our yard.  Clockwise from top left is a Red Knockout rose bud, Pink Fairy, Red Knockout rose, and the white roses are Gourmet Popcorn.

The leaves are falling and the temperature is dropping fast.  This week's forecast is for high temps in the 50's all week.  I can handle that as long as it doesn't rain.  Sunny and 55 degrees is actually perfect working weather.

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Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Harvesting Milkweed Seeds

Finally a day of no rain.  I have been working at cutting down all of my cone flowers and today I started cutting down the milkweed.  I thought that I would talk about Milkweed and how to harvest the seeds from the seed pods.
I love the close up photo of the individual flowers that make up the larger milkweed flower.

Milkweed plants get a bad rap and I think it is because of the word 'weed' that is part of the name.  The flowers have a wonderful scent and last for quite some time.  Also the plant stalk is strong so the can withstand a strong wind or rain storm.
The Monarchs love them but they are also favorites of the bees.  The top photo is a honeybee, the middle photo is a bumble bee, and the bottom photo is a Monarch.

There are a few things that you need to know before you start cutting down the milkweed stalks. 
The milkweed plant contains cardiac glycosides which are like digitalins that are used to treat some heart diseases.  These glycosides are absorbed by the monarch butterfly larvae whose sole source of food is the milkweed foliage.  This is what makes the larvae and adult Monarchs toxic to birds and other predators. 

The sap can be very irritating if you get it on your skin. But it can be very dangerous if you get it in your eyes.  To be safe always wear gloves and safety glasses when cutting down the stalks which is when you will be exposed to the milky sap.
Collect the seed pods before they split open.  Inside the seed pod are round flat seeds.  Each seed has a little tuft of silk attached to it.  This allows the seed to float away in a breeze to grow elsewhere which expands their territory.

Planting seeds that have the silk attached can be a real pain.  But thanks to YouTube there is a person or two who have perfected the method for removing the silk and leaving just the seeds.

 Mona Miller

Shane Simpson

The seeds need to winter over before they will sprout so plant in the fall.  Sometimes it will take a year or so before it sprouts.  But you will have plenty of seeds to sow so that isn't a problem.  Milkweed is a perennial plant and will die back in the fall and sprout again in the spring.  Each year the plant will grow a bigger taller stalk. First year plants may or may not have flowers.  Plant the seeds where you ultimately want the plant.  Milkweed plants do not transplant well especially full grown milkweed plants.

Sow the seeds into loosened soil and then kick back and wait until the next year.  Also, pat yourself on the back for helping the Monarch butterfly.

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Saturday, September 22, 2018

Part 2 The Reveal of the Concrete Pumpkin Pots

If you haven't read Part 1 on how to make Concrete Pumpkin Flower Pots, click on the link below to read instructions on how to make yourself a concrete pumpkin flower pot.

If you are coming here from the website Hometalk, welcome.  You can follow Gear Acres through a reader or Google+.  My posts are generally on how to fix something or how to make something.  We are currently restoring a 1926 home so feel free to follow along.

The pots are almost dry and were ready to plant with the small mums  plants.  Autumn and Halloween both in one item.  The photo below shows the pots in the Halloween position.
I am currently using the pots in their autumn position which is a plain pumpkin.
The pot looks perfect next to the concrete solar lamp that I made in the spring for the Quikrete One Bag Wonder contest.
Here is one of the two pots in the Halloween position with the jack o'lantern showing.  Both pots have a plain side and a carved pumpkin side.  

I like my Halloween decor to be less obvious and that is why I chose to add the cement palm reading hand in the photo below.
If you are wondering where I purchased this cement hand,  I purchased this one off of eBay about a year and a half ago.  I checked  today and I couldn't find a concrete/cement hand but there are porcelain and resin hands currently listed on eBay.
I love the details on the hand which are quite intricate for cement.  My guess is that this was made out of a mortar mix. 

But back to the pots.  Picking up where I left off yesterday.  After you remove the pumpkin basket from the outside of your concrete pumpkin you will still need to remove the plastic flower pot that formed the inside of the  concrete pumpkin and also the wooden dowel that was used to formed the drainage hole.
I tried lifting the pot straight up and out but ended up folding it in on itself and then lifting up.  This left the dowel in the concrete pot and I used a pair of needle nose pliers to grab it and twist and pull up at the same time and it slowly came out.  Go slow because the pot is not cured or totally hard at this point.
The only thing that I would do differently is to check the inside of the plastic basket to make sure it was perfect.  The plastic pumpkin basket is formed using an injection mold method and this one had excess plastic inside the plastic pumpkin.  This is not a big deal if you are using it as it was intended which is to use it as a basket to hold candy.  
But because of this excess plastic that was molded inside the mold it showed on the outside of the cast concrete pumpkin.  It is hard to see in the photo above but notice the area towards the top and middle.  Because of this it left a void in the concrete pumpkin that you can see in the photo below.
It actually isn't a big deal because it doesn't show when the pot is in use but if I had it to do it over I would check the inside for excess plastic.  My plastic pumpkins can still be used to make more concrete pumpkins.  All that I would need to do is tape up the sides with duct tape and repeat the steps found in Part 1 Concrete Pumpkin Flower Pots

I had fun with this project.  It didn't cost a whole lot nor did it take a lot of time.  With the help of an adult this project could also be completed by a child.  

You can also paint the eyes, nose, and mouth  with black craft paint if you want the jack o'lantern part to be more visible.  I might do that next week after the pumpkin dries out a little bit more.
I found the nursery receipt to show you that I had indeed only spent 22 cents on my two mum plants.  Sometimes I read other blogs and I find their project cost to be kind of unbelievable so I felt the need to show proof that I did indeed only pay 22 cents.  But even at the sale price of $3.99 the mums were a good deal. 

 My Cost

2 plastic pumpkin baskets $2.12
2 mum plants $.22
dowel already own or you could use a pencil
concrete mix left over mix from another project
My total cost $2.34

Your cost if you pay the sale price for mum plants w/o rewards bucks $8.46
Pumpkins baskets $2.12
1 40lb of Quikrete $4.05 
Pencil in place of the dowel
$8.46 (mums) + $2.12 (2 pumpkin baskets) + $4.05 Quikrete $14.63 Total

Tools needed
Drill motor
Drill bit that is the same size as the dowel/pencil
Utility knife
Needle nose pliers
Hand shovel or scoop
Container to mix concrete 

Reuse Repurpose Recycle