Regular readers of my blog know I have two grandchildren, Aidan and Maggie. Both inspired characters in The Gemstone Chronicles, my fantasy adventure series. In the books, Maggie loves girlie things like makeup and jewelry, but she also wants to ride 4-wheelers and do everything her brother does. She is kind of fearless. In fact, in Book One: The Carnelian, Maggie hops on the back of the kelpie and almost drowns and in Book 3: The Emerald, Maggie has to face the cockatrice alone!
Given her personality, I wasn’t at all shocked when she asked me to turn the swing set in our backyard into Maggie’s fort. Not a playhouse, but a fort! I started thinking about how to make the conversion and I think the end product turned out exactly like I wanted. Maggie hasn’t seen it yet, but I think she’ll be thrilled.
What did I start with, you might be asking? When we moved into this house almost 8 years ago, the property came with a swing set. Both Aidan and Maggie have enjoyed it over the years, and I have done a couple of repairs on it due to falling tree limbs, but, it was just a playground swing set. I did pressure wash it before I got started on construction, and here is the before picture.
My project kicked off with the addition of the roof. First, I had to add the rafters.
Now for the roof. I decided to go with a clapboard style roof. I used a guide to put each board in place so I could go up and down the two ladders to attach the roof evenly. Lana did question how many drills a guy needs. Since the boards were about 6 feet long, I needed two ladders with a drill and a screwdriver stationed at the top of each so I could efficiently install the roof by myself without having to carry drills up and down the ladders. Besides, can you ever have too many drills??
Finally, the roof is complete and the construction phase is done!
Now on to the paint. Nana designed the paint scheme. The swing area is green (though it doesn’t show up particularly well in the pictures).
Nana decided that the exterior of the fort would be an off-white color. I think it turned out nicely!
We also decided to add some yellow into the paint scheme and stain the floor brown. Luckily, I dodged the rain got the painting done!
We added a window box with some Vinca for a bit of decoration, and a flag that Maggie can fly when she is in residence. Here is the final product! I think it turned out nicely and I believe Maggie will enjoy it when she visits!
I added fresh cypress mulch and I’m thinking about adding a couple of planters to give it additional color, but that may wait until next Spring.
What do y’all think? If you read any of The Gemstone Chronicles, do you think Maggie’s fort matches her personality? Leave me a comment and let me know!
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