Bayleigh and I were planting some flowers this morning and this is the song she kept singing over and over. Oh my!
I've been spending lots of time here, on the back porch and it's pretty darn wonderful. I wish it could be spring for 8 months of the year. Not 12, just 8. Yes in my ideal weather world, we would have mostly spring. I also love fall so I'd like about 3 months of fall. And just so things don't get too boring I'd take half a month of summer and half winter.
I know with the winter much of the country has endured, I have absolutely no right to complain about anything weather related, so I'll stop.
The first stretch of warm days sends me straight to the garden center, usually just like a kid in a candy store. It's taken me a long time, but I think I've finally accepted that I'm lazy when it comes to caring for flowers. This year I practiced great restraint and only bought a few blooms, opting instead for super easy, super hardy asparagus fern and sweet potato vine. No matter how hot it gets and how much I ignore them, these two plants never let me down.
I also wanted to do some sort of container herb garden. Home Depot had herbs and vegetable plants on sale, 5 pots (3"?) for $10. I came home with rosemary, parsley, cilantro, and a basil variety and got busy searching pinterest for herb garden ideas.
Man, I love pinterest! And galvanized pails.
I gathered up several that I had around the house and in the shed.
I took these photos with my phone and they look like they have a soft filter applied. Nope, it's just pollen on the lens. Nothing is safe. Achoo!
Then I just added potting soil and placed my herbs with plenty of space left for growth. I also scattered some seeds in the open spaces, to extend the life of my little herb garden. Along with the herbs, I used a couple of the sweet potato vines for some trailing interest.
I can't wait to start snipping my herbs for all the gourmet meals I cook. (Wink)
As long as we're in the backyard, let me show you one more thing.
My last post, I mentioned Lola, the chihuahua mix I rescued from beside the road. I'm pretty sure someone had abandoned her, but not before abusing her. She's very skiddish around most men, especially Mitch. She's terrified of him and since he's never given her reason to fear him, I think he must remind her of someone who did.
Anyway, Lola took about one day to make herself right at home. She loves it here, but she's also a bit of a roamer. Our backyard is fenced in, but the slats are spaced so that she could walk right through. She could and she did every chance she got, running like the wind through the hood. We tried lining the inside of the fence with some plastic chicken wire type material. She would root underneath or just push it down and go over the top, so I could only let her out on a leash.
Then I happened upon this picture on pinterest.
Wha...? Kind of crazy huh? No, I didn't get this for her, but I did search for similar, less dangerous looking options and came across the Puppy Bumper.
Genius I tell ya'!
Lola and I are in love with her Puppy Bumper.
She gave it her all, trying to get through, over under.... no luck. She wasn't going anywhere. Ha! Now that she's used to it, she will poke her head out to look around, but doesn't really try to squeeze through anymore. She goes nuts when she sees it and knows it means she gets to go out. It doesn't seem in the least bothersome to her and she hasn't tried to bite or scratch it off. It was 25 bucks and worth every dollar!
I have in no way been compensated to say that. The Puppy Bumper folks have no idea I exist, but Lola and I are so glad I found them!
I have have so many fascinating things I would love to talk about. Like...
See, just that quick I came up with ten potential blog posts. I have absolutely no excuse. Where shall I start, the starving cat or menopause? Job loss or stray dog? Foul mouthed four-year-old? You tell me, what are you just dying to hear about?
The untouched, unedited, unstyled (snort) before.
The horror just keeps growing. Speaking of growing, look what was growing under my dryer. Ewwwww! Apparently my house is filthy. And I'm a lazy painter.
Enough. I can't take anymore.
Not an official AFTER, an almost after. I still have a few things to do, but I'm no good at waiting. I want to replace the cheerful florescent fixture and I still have to put extenders on the outlets so I can replace the covers. I will add some color in the way of artwork, but even unfinished, it's miles better than before.
The white vinyl floor isn't my favorite, but it's practical and probably won't be getting changed anytime soon. I want to cover the stippled ceiling with more wood planks, eventually.
It's a tiny room, 9' x 5' at the widest point. The pantry closet in the kitchen juts out into this room so the entry point is only as wide at the doorway. Because of that, I took the door down years ago to gain a few extra inches. In a room this tiny, every little bit helps.
I'm super proud of this little project, one, because it was on a tiny budget, and two, I did 98% of the work myself. I did need Mitch for a little heavy lifting. Getting that shelf up with the dryer back in place would have been the death of me. He also helped with the planking once it got over my head, just because holding those 8 foot planks and the nailer and keeping the spacing even all over my head was pretty awkward.
I had the wood for the planks cut at Lowe's. The guy working in the lumber department that evening was less than excited about making the cuts. I say this not to reflect negatively on Lowe's, I've have cuts made several times before without problem, but this fellow, he didn't want to be bothered. I share this only to say, even though based on reading other blogs, getting as many cuts as you want for whatever project you have is no prob. Just get the guys at the big box store to do it for you. It isn't always that smooth going. At first this gentleman ignored us, then he said he thought he heard someone say the saw wasn't working. Another associate overheard and corrected him, assuring him it was working just fine. When I told him what I wanted cut, he shook his head and said that was project cuts and they don't do those. To make a long story short, he eventually made the cuts, but not before I consulted with my nephew who is a manager in the plumbing section. All that to say, they may not be happy about it, and you may have to pay a little for the cuts, but for me it was worth it.
I used 4' x 8' sheets of hardboard. It was on the isle with the molding and is cheap. Less than $8 a sheet. I had it cut into 6" x 8' planks.
If I were to do this again, I would not use the same product. It was easy to work with because it's super thin and light, making it easy to handle alone, but because it's a pressed material, not wood, the edges can get messy, for lack of a better work. It's a pressed product so the cut edges aren't perfectly smooth making the vertical seams more obvious. I think a plywood product would have sanded smoothly making the seams less noticeable. I attached them planks to the wall with a brad nailer from Harbor Freight.
I made the cuts around the outlets with a jig saw.
Another hindsight moment came with painting. If I do this again, I will at the very least prime the edges of the boards. It aint easy to get paint in those little grooves.
What worked for me was getting a lot of paint on my brush and kind of squishing it into the cracks then smoothing it out with a tiny brush. This one happened to be a brush that came with eyebrow powder. Hey, use what you got, right?
Squishing (very technical terminology)
With this wall nearly complete, next up was the wall behind the machines. I had a couple of laundry rooms pinned that I seemed similar in size to mine and provided great inspiration.
Dreamy, right? That light? Her husband built that.
With my room being just about 5 feet wide, if I placed the cabinet in the center of the room, the shelves on either side would be really narrow, so I opted to go to one side. I liked the idea of the hanging bar, but decided it would feel too crowded, since the ceilings are only 8' high.
The cabinet was stolen from the attic room. It's not being used now and I can get a replacement. I told you this is a budget makeover folks. Besides the paint and wood for the planks, everything else was scrounged from the garage.
In the photo above, I used a strip of thin decorative molding to hide the edge of the MDF shelf. It was a little puny looking to me, so I ripped it off and added a 1x3 pine board to give the look of thick chunky shelves.
Then came caulking. Caulk is just the cherry on top and makes everything look so much more finished. It hides all kinds of flaws.
Look at this cabinet before caulk.
The wall behind the machines was painted Tuxedo Tie by Valspar in flat. Once the shelves were up, I felt like it needed something. I decided to paint the area inside the shelves with chalkboard paint. I had a can in the garage, but when I opened it, the paint was nearly solid. Not to be deterred, I made my own.
I used the Tuxedo Tie and calcium carbonate, that yes, I happened to have on hand. I bought it months ago to make my own chalk paint, but knew it could also be used for chalkboard paint. Is there a difference?
Then had fun writing myself a happy little message. Nobody else is going to be working in here.
...use them to make a sliding door.
What? Never heard that one before?
So, what had happened wuz, I painstakingly stripped yellow, then blue, then black paint off my front door and storm door. I stripped, and sanded. Stripped and sanded, then stained and sealed. When the it was time to replace the storm door, I realized I got a little crazy with the palm sander and scratched the glass. A lot. ?? How did that happen? I cleaned and cleaned and hoping the swirly marks all over was residue from the polyurethane. No such luck. The glass was ruined. Lemons folks. Tart, bitter lemons.
Or was it?
I've had a bit of a fascination with sliding barn doors lately and I'm not alone. Search Pinterest for sliding doors and see how many you'll find.
I think this is the door that began my fascination. Lovely, right? I love everything about this picture, and the door is just the cherry on top.
Do you see some sliding door lemonade coming?
Yep, I just had to convince Mitch the perfect use for this otherwise ruined door would be to frost the glass and use it as a sliding door in the dining room. It wasn't an easy argument, but in the end I brought him over to my way of thinking. Next, I had to convince him how we would go about accomplishing this task.
I studied lots and lots of sliding doors. Most used barn door hardware, which can be pricey. When I am trying to convince Mitch that we need to do something, one of the first arguing points needs to be that we can do it on the cheap. Pricey barn door hardware would not get me lemonade, I mean a sliding door. I need cheap and relatively easy.
My door is very similar to this, without the dividers.
This is the only before picture I could find. This door is in the dining room and leads to the stairway to the attic room. It had not been painted yet in this pic. Just a plain, boring interior door.
I still need to frost the glass. I have some frosted window film ordered. It will be easier and less messy than doing the spray on stuff.
For the hardware, I bought 72" sliding closet door hardware from Lowe's. It was around $15.00. In the tutorial I linked to, she said the hardware they used was double and her husband split it and just used half. The track I purchased was also a double track, but made in one solid piece. I forgot to get a pic, but here's one from the Lowe's site.
Mitch cut off one of the tracks using an angle grinder.
We painted the track flat black and attached it to the underside of a stained 2x6 board.
He mounted L brackets along with the track at either end to keep the door from sliding right off the track.
The bolt you see in the 2x6 is just decorative. The board is mounted into wall studs with 3" wood screws. Mitch counter-sunk the screws and put the bolts in the hole covering the screw head. Purely decorative to add to the industrial look. To make it look a little more like the barn door sliders, we purchased a $2.00 fence hinge and Mitch split it and mounted it on the door just beneath the sliding mechanism. Again, completely decorative and non functioning. It was also spray painted flat black.
Mitch removed the trim from around the door frame, the door stop trim. No idea what it's called, but you know, the piece that keeps the door from being a swinging door. Anyway, he removed that and put 1x6 pine in the frame to give it a finished look, and once I prime and paint it will.
To keep the door from swinging out away from the wall, he drilled an L bracket into the floor.
I made a little sock out of felt to go over the L bracket so that the door would slide smoothly. All Mitch's idea. Once I showed him what I wanted, he was the project leader and made sliding door lemonade from my scratched up lemon of a storm door.
Christmas has come and gone without a visit to this little neglected place. I think about it often, blogging that is. There was a time when my camera was never far from reach, when blog posts were constantly being composed in my head. Time marches on and life brings changes. I don't want to give up this space, but I also tire of hearing myself apologize for my absence. I have to stop staying away for so long, jumping back in is so awkward.
Oh well, I've been doing awkward most of my life, it's nothing new. I'll just jump right in with my awkward self.
Since we last chatted, Casey came home from a nine month deployment.
A little explanation of the sign- Any time anyone enters my house, the dogs go bananas, barking like mad. Casey thinks it's funny to bust through the door loudly, so as to really get them wound up and then shout "shut the front door" in his deepest, loudest Marine voice. Bayleigh thinks its hysterical, so I knew I wanted to incorporate that in her welcome home sign. She loved it!
I didn't make any of my gifts this year, and it was nice not to have that extra added pressure. I did most of my shopping online. I did get a little creative with my gift wrapping thanks to pinterest.
I had pinned this image (above) from Callaoo Soup, then pretty much copied her lovely idea.
We had a lovely, laid back Christmas, everyone under one roof. We all spent Christmas Eve at Alyssa's apartment so that we could watch Bayleigh open her Santa gifts. I have to say, it was really nice to open gifts and spend quality time with family, then go home for a nap. All the paper and boxes were for someone else to worry about. There are perks to this empty nest thing. For Christmas, I got Lowe's gift cards, a new jig saw, and a table saw. Isn't that funny? I'm terrified of the table saw, but also thrilled to have it. As soon as it warms up a little I'm going to work up the courage to use it. Pray I keep all my fingers and toes. Yes toes, I told you I'm awkward.
So tell me, what was the highlight of your holiday season?
The star was made from some trim strips. I couldn't find any thin strips of wood in the garage, but I did have some plastic lattice trim. I sanded it down and wiped on some stain. I hot glued the strips into a star shape and wrapped some twine around the joints. Easy-peasy rustic star.
To balance things out I made a simple and rustic tree.
Since I like a little chic with my shabby, I brought in some sparkle with mercury glass and twinkle lights.
Linking this up over at The Lettered Cottage Mantel Decorating Party.
Mindy is winner of the Silhouette Studio Designer Edition! Congratulations to Mindy and I apologize for not announcing the winner sooner. Strep throat came to visit just after Thanksgiving and put a slight kink in my plans. I didn't have strep, Bayleigh did, but she is such a sick little girl when she has strep (which is somewhat frequently). I spent the past several days just being Nana and I wouldn't have it any other way.
I hope you were able to take advantage of some of the great deals at Silhouette America. If you've wanted a craft cutter, now is the time to get one. Do what I did, buy yourself one while they are at such a great deal and call it a Christmas present. If you already have one be sure to stock up on vinyl and supplies. The Black Friday deals last until this Friday, November 30, so there's still time!
Not sure what you would do with a craft cutter like the Silhouette Cameo or the new Portrait? Check out Silhouette's Pinterest page.
I personally want to try to make an Advent Calendar this year and there are some great examples.
My Christmas tree is up but I still need to decorate the mantel, I have a few ideas up my sleeve that involve my Silhouette.
Good morning and a happy Black Friday to you! Have you braved the insane crowds to get that deal? As much as I love a good bargain, I'm just not that brave.
If you are like me, and prefer to get your shop on while in the comfort of your own home, I have some great deals for your from Silhouette. To get your discount, shop here and use the promo code Autum. And that's Autum without an N!
1 Silhouette Portrait™ for $179.99!!
Have you seen the new Silhouette Portrait?
If you have no idea what the Silhouette Cameo or Portrait are, they are electronic cutting tools. They connect to your computer just like a printer, but instead of printing designs it cuts them with a small blade. You’ll get access to all of the fonts on your PC plus the thousands of designs found in the Online Store and with the new Silhouette Studio Designer Edition, you have the freedom of importing your own designs, making the crafting possibilities endless!
Wondering why you would need such a tool? Check out Silhouette America's pinterest boards.
Here are all the details. Shop here and enter Autum as the promo code to get:1 Silhouette CAMEO® plus 1 copy of Silhouette Studio® Designer Edition (MSRP $349.98) for $229.99
1 Silhouette Portrait™ for $179.99
or if you already own one of the cutters, be sure to take advantage of the 40% off sale on supplies!
40 percent off at silhouetteamerica.com That includes your vinyl and supplies!
When I purchased my Silhouette SD, I waited till Black Friday to get the discount, (after multiple failed attempts at winning one) and it has to be one of my most useful crafting tools. I LOVE my Silhouette and I always stock up on supplies when the deals are this good!
(Offer only valid at silhouetteamerica.com. Expires November 30, 2012. Rain checks not available.
% discount excludes Silhouette CAMEO®, Silhouette Portrait™, downloads, download cards, subscriptions, and gift cards).
disclosure: I have partnered up with Silhouette America to bring you the latest promotions. I am compensated with product, but all opinions shared about this product are my own.
Happy Thanksgiving! I've been missing this place.
I woke up this morning feeling a little down, beating myself up about all of my shortcomings. I lay there letting the list go on and on in my head of the unfinished projects, the pile of laundry that never goes away, the bills that need paying. Not a good way to start the day. Then I closed my eyes in prayer. It's Thanksgiving and I have much to be to be thankful for, so many reasons to be full of joy. Worry and negativity need not be part of my thinking today. Sometimes you just have to make a conscious decision to shoo away the nagging negativity and just be joyful for all that is bright and good. Today is Thanksgiving, and I am going to be joyful.
I am joyful for the family God chose to let me be a part of. I will be missing Casey. He is still floating around on a great big ship somewhere between the Mediterranean sea and here. They were on their way back home last week, before all hell broke loose on the other side of the world. He would have been home next week, but instead it was decided that the homecoming would be delayed. I am thankful he is safe and although I am sad we won't see him next week, I know he is doing the job he signed up for. He is of course, not happy about the delay, but he is more disappointed for some of his friends who have wives and children waiting. Especially so for a good friend who's first baby is due on the 29th. It is very doubtful he will make it home for the birth. I will keep those young men and women who are sacrificing so much for the freedoms we enjoy in my thoughts and prayers as I go through this day of Thanksgiving. I ask you to do the same.
Now, for a little gift I am happy to be able to share. One of those things racing through my mind this morning was this giveaway. I was contacted by a representative from Silhouette America about a giveaway on my blog. I was provided an upgrade from the Silhouette Studio basic to the Silhouette Studio Designer Edition and also a copy to share with one of my readers. I wish I would have had more time to play around with all the new features, but I can tell you, I have really big plans for using it in my Christmas decorating. If you can stand more than one post from me in a day, I will be back later with some of my ideas.
I didn't want to wait any longer though to offer you the chance to win your own copy, a $49.99 value. If you don't know what fun things you can do with the Silhouette Studio Designer Edition , check out the comparison here and a video demonstrating the differences here.
To enter all you have to do is follow Silhouette America on Pinterest and leave me a comment about what you are most thankful for today. This is going to be a quick giveaway, so go ahead and enter. I will be back tomorrow with some really good Black Friday deals from Silhouette America and announce the winner!
Happy Thanksgiving Friends!