How to see all posts

A number of people have found it difficult to see the whole blog. At the bottom of each page, there is a "newer post" and an "older post" link. just click on these to see more posts. There is also a list of pages by month in the left sidebar.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

More work on the pond and gardens

This morning I spent a long time looking at Japanese Tea Houses on the internet. I really think I'm going to have to do something on the left hand side of the ryokan so I will have room to add one.

Most of the day was spent off the island, getting groceries and things we need for the real house. We didn't get back until late. In fact, it was already dark when we got to the grocery store an hour away from here.

I think that one of the most depressing things about fall and winter, is that it is dark so early now, and we aren't even on standard time yet. Living in Eastern Maine, we see the sun first in the morning, but it is dark by 4:00 pm in December and January, and that is too early!!!

Anyway, when I got home, after dinner, I added more landscaping to the middle level on the right hand side. I sort of wish I had waited. It was late, and I just used some premade stuff I bought at Hobby Lobby. I think I will change those flat grass like plants and make it more interesting back there. This level is almost done, but I still need to add more stones and moss to the retaining wall.

Then I made more waterlilies, and added some more moss to the rocks around the pond.

I'm getting very excited about working on the left hand side, and it won't be long now before I can start it!

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Making waterlilies

I didn't get much time to work on the ryokan today, but I did try some waterlilies.

I was trying to figure out a way to be able to make them fairly quickly, and decided to use these two punches to make the leaves and flowers. I used the apple punch for the leaves, then just trimmed them a bit until they looked more like lilypads and less like apples. Then I used the flower punch and cut two sets of flowers for each waterlily. The top part of the flower was curved up and glued onto the bottom flower offsetting the petals. Then I curved the bottom petals up a bit, and put a dot of yellow paint in the center.

I only got a chance to make a few. I glued down the lily pads I had so far using the liquid nails clear sealant I used for the waterfall. I haven't glued the flowers down yet, they are just sitting there waiting until I make more leaves and/or flowers. I'm not sure how many I will want to add.

I also put a few pieces of mossy/grassy stuff over some of the water on the side. I'm not sure yet, how much of that I will add.

Friday, October 28, 2016

More trees and flowers

I started this post earlier today, then didn't get a chance to finish it. Later on in the evening, I did more on the landscaping, so I added those photos as well.

These photos show a new ornamental tree I added to this side of the ryokan. The bottom photo has a better view of the tree, but I forgot to take out some old bushes that are just sitting around in the yard. Those may or may not be used in the landscaping, they were some I made years ago for a different scene. You also can see where I am adding to those formal hedges in the background. They will need more camouflaging before they are done. I already had to flatten out the foliage I'm adding to them, because the extension was rubbing up against the top of them.

These two show the righthand side of the ryokan. I actually made the lavender bush from above for this side, but it was larger than the pink one, and was really too big, so I swapped the two, and put the pink one here. The bottom photo shows more flowers that I added this evening. This side of the ryokan is almost all landscaped, at least for this terrace. Once this is through, I'll concentrate on the middle level on the other side. I still haven't given up on trying a teahouse over there.

These two photos are an overview of the righthand side from a different angle. The top one is from before dinner, and the bottom one is from this evening.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

The waterfall is looking better

I worked on the waterfall a bit today, and it looks much better than it did. I know that some people add touches of white acrylic paint to waterfalls. I'll have to wait until it hardens to decide whether or not I am going to do more to it. It won't be quite as clear once it sets up. Since it is a very small and shallow waterfall, it may not need more done to it.

Now I am working on more of the flowers and leaves I started last night.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Bamboo and a waterfall

I bought a couple of packages of "bamboo" a couple of weeks ago at Hobby Lobby. I really couldn't figure out where I wanted to use it. It had to be somewhere where it wouldn't be knocked off, so it couldn't be near the edge of the landscaping. Tonight, I decided it could be placed to act as a screen for the kitchen door.

It was sort of bothering me that I was making such a nice garden, with a seating area just outside the kitchen door. Now the bamboo will help separate the kitchen from the garden. Sometimes there have to be compromises with such a small area to landscape, and such a large house. It would have been easier to just have the bare minimum of landscaping, but I really wanted to make it into a pretty garden, so the garden is really a smaller scale than the house, and sometimes things aren't located in the best area, such as the bench near the kitchen door. Several of the visitors to our shop call it artistic license and say it looks fine the way it is, which makes me feel better about it.

This photo isn't great, but I wanted to take the picture before I added another layer of water. I trimmed the waterfall, and took the picture before I poured the water. Now there is another layer of water, and the bottom of the waterfall is just below the surface. The sealant I used to make the waterfall apparently isn't as dimensional as Water Effects would have been, but hopefully tomorrow, when I add "rough water" at the bottom of the waterfall, I can also add more to the "running water" so it looks better. It looks like the extra layer of water I added tonight after I took the photo will be enough so I don't have to add more. We'll see how it looks tomorrow when it has set up.

You can just see the bamboo in the top of the photo.

I also made some more flowers. They are representative of the lupine that grow all over the island where I live. I'll try to get them all finished and installed tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Made some running "water"

Before I did anything today, I added more stones to the retaining walls on the sides of the ryokan, and added more moss. Adding those is tedious, but if I keep doing a little every day, pretty soon it will be finished.

I added a couple of the "streams of water" I made last night with the Liquid Nails Clear Sealant to the water basin, and it looks quite good in person. I don't know whether or not I will need to do anything more to it or not. It will all depend on how it looks when the sealant I used to glue it to the "pipes" and the "water" dries.

What I did here was dumb, but most of you probably know how it is when a family member comes in from out of the blue, and decides to cause a lot of trouble. Anyway, that is what has been happening in my life for a few months now, and things are getting worse, so tonight I wasn't thinking right when I worked on the pond.

I adhered the waterfall to the little stream above, then started to pour the Realistic Water into the pond. Right after I started pouring, I remembered that I should have trimmed the waterfall to look natural. Anyway, the waterfall is propped up in the air on a tacky wax container which is sitting on the deck. I'll have to let that layer of water dry before I can measure and trim the waterfall. The Liquid Nails Sealant that I made the waterfall out of must be really sticky, because I couldn't get the waterfall off of the wax paper. It looks okay, and if it needs it, I'll just add a little more sealant to cover up any wax paper that might show when it's finished.

The pond is milky because I just poured the "water". It has still been drying crystal clear. (Fingers crossed)!

I've also been adding more to the path behind the pond. It looks much fuller in person than it does in the photo for some reason.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Did more work on the landscaping

I worked on the landscaping a lot today, but what I did doesn't look like much, so I took some photos from different angles.

I added more Realistic Water to the pond. Most of the fish are covered now, but it doesn't look much different in photos than it did yesterday, so I'll wait to upload more pictures of that when it really shows.

I also made quite a few more flowers, most of which are sitting in the styrofoam drying.

This photo shows the top of the pergola. I still have more to do on it, but it's coming along. It will eventually be on the path on the left hand side of the ryokan.

I also started adding foliage to those formal hedges up near the "slate" walkway close to the ryokan. I may add some "flowers" to some of the bushes once I get more done, and blend them in better with the hedge part. I think they will be acceptable when I get them done.

This is an overview of part of the path behind the pond. It's what I have been making flowers for. It still needs a lot of filling in, but it's coming along. A lot of things I am doing now feel kind of tedious. Making an endless amount of flowers, and I really need to finish up some of the stone retaining walls on the sides of the building, plus fill in those and the stones around the pond with moss. I've done so much of that, that it isn't very inspiring to do, but it looks nice when it's done.

I also tried making some waterfalls for the pond, and "water" to come out of the spouts in the water basin using some Liquid Nails Clear Sealant. I got it at Walmart on Sunday, and it's supposed to be clearer than silicone, but it sure is hard to get it to squirt out of the tube, and it's really lumpy. Sometimes I think Walmart gets old products, because when they used to sell the silicone glue, sometimes it was almost impossible to get out of the tube, and was quite firm and didn't stick well, while at other times, it was really nice to use. Since Liquid Nails is supposed to be a good product, I'm thinking it might have been an old tube. I doubt that either product would vary so much from tube to tube. Anyway, it will be interesting to see how the waterfalls come out when they are dry.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Adding foliage to the pergola, water to the pond, and more flowers

Last night and tonight, I alternated working on two things, the flowers and the pergola. Alternating gave them a little bit more drying time than if I had only stuck to one thing.

The pergola is coming along, although it still needs more fussing with. I used some purple and green foliage stuff from Woodland Scenics, that I've had for years. It's the kind of stuff that you pull apart to make it really thin and wispy. I put that over the top, and added some light green coarse turf, and medium green fine turf. It doesn't look too bad so far, and when I finish it, maybe it will be acceptable.

The last thing I did tonight was to give the pond another coat of Realistic Water. You can see in this photo, how it's coming up around the bases of the cat tails and the irises. The fish are beginning to be covered too, although it will need at least two more coats, and probably more. I'm not doing the full 1/8th" layers, because I think it would take longer than 24 hours to dry. It's a tiny bit milky when it's wet, but so far, it has been drying perfectly clear.

These are some of the flowers I was working on. Most of them were made using a little flower punch that looks like a regular silver hole punch, and the snowflake punch was used for the leaves. I added a bunch of the flowers I made to the path behind the pond, but I'm not finished with the little patch where they are yet, so I didn't upload the photo. I'll take another photo of it when it really starts to look like something.

I did try to get some DAP caulking stuff that I read about in some waterfall tutorials. They all said it was readily available everywhere, but apparently all those people who write the tutorials don't live in eastern Maine. I sure wish they hadn't enlarged our Walmart to be three times as big as it used to be, because when they enlarged it, they stopped carrying so many things they used to carry, like all that hardware store stuff. They used to sell DAP at Walmart when it was a small store, as well as silicone glue, lots of crafts, cloth for quilting, paint and varnish, a good selection of office supplies, and a lot of other stuff they say they don't have room for now. Whoever is the CEO at Walmart, needs to be fired in my opinion!

Anyway, I found some other stuff that is supposed to be flexible, and dry clearer than silicone, so I'll try that on wax paper tomorrow and see how it looks. This is the first time I have really done a lot of landscaping, and I'm enjoying it!

Saturday, October 22, 2016

I finished making more irises for the pond, and am getting ready to add "water"

We were gone for most of the day today, but last night, and tonight when we got home, I worked on quite a few more purple irises, and also made a bunch of yellow ones. I think the pool looks much better now.

I'm going to let the glue dry for a couple of hours, then I may pour a shallow layer of Realistic Water before I go to bed tonight. I was very happy with the way it worked in the stream under the bridge, and I can't wait to see it in the pond!

You are supposed to pour it no more than 1/8th inch deep, then let it dry for 24 hours, before pouring another 1/8th inch, so it will be a few days before it is finished, but I don't mind, it will be fun to watch it go from a blue and green hole, to a pond!

I'm not sure about calling this an onsen. I don't think a hot mineral spring would have koi and plants in it, but they add so much more to the pond than if it was just empty, so I added them. I may also do some water lilies after the water is finished.

Friday, October 21, 2016

More wisteria and finished the rocks around the onsen

Last night I got a lot more wisteria on the pergola, (and also on the ground!!!). I hope I get the wisteria part finished tonight. I made a lot of vines hanging down, because in most of the photos of pergolas with wisteria I have seen, there is a lot of it, but it sure is a pain to put it on, and I have to keep waiting for some to dry before I add more. I'm excited to add greenery to it.

Last night and today, I finally finished the rocks around the onsen. I'm going to make more irises for it tonight, because that clump isn't really big enough. By tomorrow night, I should be able to pour the first layer of water. I don't want to pour it until the silicone I used to glue the rocks on has set for 24 hours.

I added another thin layer of Realistic Water to the little stream. It's kind of milky right now, but it was last night too. Once last night's layer dried, it was clear and shiny though, so I expect this layer will be clear as well, once it has dried. This layer may be all that is needed, because the bridge will pretty much cover it up. I was really happy when I looked at how clear the water was this morning!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Wisteria on the pergola, and rocks around the onsen

Last night, I got flowersoft "wisteria blossoms" on more than half of the hanging vines. Hopefully I will get the rest of them done tonight, then I will be able to add some greenery to them!

I also added a lot of little stones to the outdoor onsen. All those fish look like they are dead from this angle though!!! :-0 I'm not going to add "water" until I finish adding rocks, because it would look funny if I end up putting the rocks on top of the water, rather than starting underneath. I also might make some yellow irises as well as the purple ones. I'm liking the rocks around it better than just Celluclay. You can see the difference on the right hand side, where I don't have all the rocks yet.

The bridge is missing from this photo because I did put realistic water in the stream above, but it's so shallow that you can't see it in a photograph. I'm going to wait for the "water" to dry before I put the bridge back.

I brought the rest of the ryokan home. A few things got broken, but nothing that can't be fixed.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Worked on the pergola today

Today I added two more supports to the pergola and added a lot of vines. There will be purple "wisteria" on all those vines that are hanging down. Once the wisteria is on, I'll add leaves wherever they are needed, and more vines if it looks like I need them.

All of those vines that are hanging down were a lot of work! I used paper covered floral wire for the large vines, then added the hanging vines by twisting short pieces of plain green wire around a lot of places on the pergola and the main vines.

Once I got all the hanging vines done, I had to start bringing things home for the winter. Today I brought home the roof, top floor, and the base, as well as a lot of other things. I'll bring home more tomorrow. Now I have to go out and unload the truck. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that everything is in one piece! (I haven't looked in the back of the truck yet). I do have a cap, so everything wasn't getting windblown on the way home.

Tonight, I will probably try adding some wisteria flowers to the pergola.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Too cold to work on the ryokan today

I was hoping I would be able to work on the pergola some more, but it was cold damp today. Tomorrow is supposed to be better, so I may get a chance then. After that, from looking at the extended forecast, I think I will be bringing it home for the winter.

I dread that, because I don't want to break anything!

Monday, October 17, 2016

Building a pergola and more

The first thing I did today was to add some store bought cat-o-nine tails to the pond. I wanted to make the ones I made look fuller. These were smaller, and I'm not sure they really added much to the pond, but they are okay I guess.

Next, I painted the edges of the "slate" level next to the ryokan grey, and added some hedges I bought on Saturday to edge that level. I'm not crazy about them. They look too small and formal, so I am going to add foliage materials to them to make them taller and look more natural. You can just see the edge of them in this photo. I really was having a hard time figuring out what to do with that level.

This is the start of a pergola. It will have two more posts in the middle, and will have wisteria growing over it.

This is an overview of what the ryokan looks like now. Sorry the photo is so bad, but I am back to my old phone again, and I didn't realize just how bad that camera was compared to the newer ones! (I had a Note 7, but had to send that back. T-Mobile sent a Galaxy S7 Edge as a loaner, but I really didn't like the phone, so when I found out the Note 7 was discontinued, I sent the S7 Edge back and decided to choose a different phone, rather than keep one I wasn't happy with).

Anyway, this photo shows where the pergola will be, as well as that ugly hedge I added to the front. I guess the hedge will make a good base for whatever I decide to add to it.

I also stuck two bushes I had laying around on either side of the steps. The left one has yellow "blossoms" and the right one has red, although they don't really show up in this photo. Those aren't stuck down, they are basically only there to get an idea of what to put between the hedge and the steps. I think a couple of rhododendrons would look good there! I added stones under the hand washing basin as well, because the Japanese usually put stones under them so the water won't splash mud all over.

I also did more on the stone retaining walls and pond. I wish I had made the pond a little bit further from the edges of the base, because there isn't quite room enough to add the stones in certain places.

At any rate, I am quite happy with the landscaping so far, and it will be easy to change things like the hedge, that I don't like, into something that looks better. It's not perfectly to scale with the house, but that wouldn't have been possible without making a huge base for it.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Bought more landscaping materials for the ryokan

Yesterday we had to go back to Bangor, Maine. Since it was a Saturday, we stopped at Hobby Lobby, even though it was late when we finished what we went for. I was hoping to get some of the Woodland Scenics Water Effects so I could make some waterfalls and things, but unfortunately, our Hobby Lobby doesn't carry it, and doesn't plan on getting it, so I guess I will have to look for it on line. While I was there, I picked up some more landscaping material I was interested in, and more of some of the things I was running out of.

Tomorrow is supposed to be a little warmer than it was on Friday, so hopefully I will be able to go down to the shop for a few hours. I dread bringing everything home, because it's a lot of work, and our house is very small!

Anyway, by the time I got out of Hobby Lobby, it was getting dark, and we were tired, so we thought we'd spend the night up there. Unfortunately, there were no rooms anywhere, so we went as far as Ellsworth. No rooms there either, in any of the better motels. We ended up taking the last room available, and it was in a dump, but at least we didn't have to drive all the way home late at night. The bed linens were old but clean, but the shower was disgusting, so we didn't get to shower after the long day on Saturday.

Anyway, after I got home tonight, I found some more Japanese landscaping books in .pdf form on the Library of Congress site, and read those for a while. Now I think I'm going to have to build an extension for the yard so I can have a tea house in the garden!!!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Stone bench and more

This photo is of the ryokan before I started working on it this morning. It's starting to look so much better the more I do on the landscaping!

This morning I worked on the retaining walls some more, and started adding little stones to the onsen. I think they will look nice around it.

I also built a little stone bench by cutting a small piece of basswood into a curved shape, using an X-Acto knife and some little files. I covered this with granite (either Fimo or Sculpey, I can't remember which), clay. The legs are little elongated balls I made with the same clay. The legs were attached using silicone glue. I'll attach some "moss" tomorrow, when the glue has dried.

I was going to use the stone lantern near the bench, but as you can see from the photo, the lantern looks huge compared to those trees, so I'll use it somewhere else.

There is an eBay seller who makes beautiful resin "stone" lanterns, but the smallest size he has listed right now are the 4" ones. I contacted him to see if he was going to make any more 2" ones. Those would be more in scale with this house. He has some lanterns which aren't the tall ones, and I think one of those would look better because the trees are so small.

It's really difficult landscaping this house, because it is very tall, and there isn't much room around it for the landscaping, so most of what is outside, isn't really 1/20th scale. So far, everyone who see it thinks it looks fine, even though it isn't really true to scale.

This photo shows the bench better, and under the trees, you can sort of see some ferns I made using a McGill fern punch. I'm not sure how they look under there yet, there isn't enough room to really see the side of the house, and it's difficult to arrange anything on either side at the back. I love the size of this house, but it really is huge!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

More flowers and landscaping

Today I did more on the stone retaining walls, then worked on more flowers for the path going down the right hand side of the ryokan.

This is the view from near the little bridge, looking down the path. I added some bushes at the end of a few flower clumps to sort of hide what is behind. (I want to make it so the guests will want to wander down the path to see what is back there). The path widens out behind the bushes, and I will try to figure out what I want to do behind the bushes. I'm thinking the stone lantern will be back there, and I really want to put a little bench and more flowers there as well. There will be those larger trees and some bushes at the end.

This is the view of the path from the level below. I still haven't filled in the bare places in the walls.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Making more flowers for the ryokan

Today I worked on the retaining walls, added more moss, and made more flowers. The purple ones are the new ones I made today, but I also made a few more tiny daisies to go with them. The daisies are from a kit.

I still have a lot more to do on the retaining walls, but you have to let the glue dry some before doing too much, or everything shifts around. I use GE Silicone Glue. It used to be really easy to get this glue in places like Walmart, but they stopped selling it around here. It comes in a tube like the silicone calking, and is great for gluing dimensional things, because it sort of cups around whatever you are gluing. I also use it to attach dimensional flowers to my cards. I've tried to get Walmart to reorder it, but no dice. The same thing with Home Depot. They won't order it either, so I stock up on it whenever I happen to see it.

I started a bunch of new flowers as well, but those aren't finished yet.

These are the purple flowers shown in the picture above. I decided to make them using the flower punch I used yesterday to make the irises.

We have so many purple asters blooming all over the island now, and those are what inspired me to make these flowers. Even though the punch is really tiny, it still made flowers that are way to big to be asters in 1/20th scale, so they are just purple flowers for this scene. I used bright yellow craft paint applied with a piece of floral wire for the centers of the flowers.

To make the leaves, I decided to use this snowflake punch, which probably came from Hobby Lobby. It works really well for leaves, just cut each point of the snowflake, and adhere them to the stem!

Monday, October 10, 2016

Made some irises for the onsen

I figured out a pretty easy way to make miniature irises today. I had been wanting to make some for a while, but didn't really know what to use to make them. Today, as I was going through my punches, I came across the one in the photo below. It has eight petals, and I really only needed six, but I thought I would try it anyway.

To make the iris:

1: Punch out a flower in your desired color of scrapbook paper.

2: Thread a piece of florists wire through the center.

3: If your flower has six petals, fold three petals up, and three down, alternating each petal. If your flower has eight petals, as mine does, fold the petals with the red "u's" up, the ones with the yellow "d's" down, and cut off the two petals with the green "c's" close to the center using a pair of manicure scissors. If your irises are as tiny as mine are, you won't even notice where you cut the petals out.

4: Dip a piece of the florists wire into some yellow craft paint, and put some on the center of the flower, and use the wire to make a tiny yellow line partway down each of the "down" petals. (I used the florists wire rather than a toothpick, because it was so tiny.)

5: Add some slivers of green scrapbook paper to the irises, leaving some bare wire at the bottom for inserting it into your base.

I added some more leaves after I put the irises in the pond. That way I would be able to see where more leaves were needed.

This is the punch I used.

Here are the irises in the pond.

Yesterday I got to JoAnn's, and bought more little stones, so today I worked some more on the retaining walls for a while, and also played around with making more flowers. I'll show those tomorrow. I found a neat way to make leaves!

Saturday, October 8, 2016

More cat-o-nine tails and more flowers

I finished the cat-o-nine tails today, and they look pretty good in the onsen.

To make them, cut some 32 gauge wrapped florists wire to the length you want it.

2. Put a bit of Aleene's Clear Gel Tacky Glue on one end of the wire, and dip it into some model railroad sand.

3. Use your fingers to mold it to a cat tail shape.

4. Cut slivers of green scrapbbook paper to the length and width you want them and glue them to the bottoms of the stems, leaving a bit of stem below the leaves for inserting into your base.

I may add a few more leaves to mine to make them fuller.

Here they are in the onsen. I will position them a little better when they are completely dry. I may add a few more leaves if they look like they need it.

This is an overview of what the ryokan looked like after I made the cat tails and added some flat stones to the steps up to the ryokan. I forgot to take a closeup of the rock steps. They were stones I found on the beach behind the shop. I still haven't decided how I am going to finish the wall behind the steps yet.

Just before we closed up, I was playing around with foliage branches, just to get ideas for filling things in behind the onsen, and on the side of the flagstone path. I need to buy more stones before I can finish the rock retaining walls. I tried some rocks from the beach, but we have mostly granite on the island, and the stones on the beach don't really work well for the walls.

I also made some daisies, and added them to the left of the bridge.

This is another view of playing around with foliage branches. Even thought the rock wall isn't finished, at least I can get an idea of whether or not I want to use them here.

Friday, October 7, 2016

A deck for the onsen and flowers

Today I added some flowers to some of the moss in the rock wall. I think I went a little overboard on the flowers though! The flowers are Flowersoft, and got rather messy, spilling over onto the ground below.

This is the little deck I made to make it easier for guests to get into the onsen. The deck is actually four separate planks, but you can't really see it in the photo, then there is one step below. Everyone kept telling me to put those stone fish back in, so I did. The Celluclay in the onsen is still wet, so I can't seal it or add water yet.

I added two clumps of pink flowers, one on either side of where the waterfall will be, and made some daffodils for the other side of the bridge. The leaves that came with the daffodil kit didn't look right, so I glued the flowers into a clump of grass. It looks more convincing this way. I'll arrange the daffodils better tomorrow when the glue is dry.

Just before we closed, I was experimenting with making cat-o-nine tails.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Working on outdoor steps and paths

I was trying to figure out how to make steps to go up to the entrance to the ryokan. I decided to make some "granite" to contain crushed stone. The wooden framework doesn't look much like granite, and the steps are still too high, so I am going to try making some air dry clay stones to go against the foam, and see how that looks. I'll camouglage the foam when I've decided what more the steps need.

This shows the steps from a distance. I forgot I was going to use stepping stones for paths, and made a crushed stone path up as far as the little bridge.

I added a few of my Celluclay stepping stones on the other side of the bridge. I think they'll work okay. They look quite nice in person. I'll work on garden features as I add the stepping stones. The pool still isn't dry, so I couldn't do anything more to that yet. Eventually, it will have moss, irises, and things like that around it. I'm also thinking about making a little wooden platform with two levels on the right hand side of the pool. The higher level will be even with the top of the pool walls and the level above it, and the lower level will be just above the surface of the pool. That will make it easier for the guests to get into the onsen.