Saturday, December 29, 2012

2012 Wrap-Up - 10 Most Popular Posts!

I like having Christmas behind me.  Not that I don't love the day, but sometimes it seems like such a production that I hardly get to relax and enjoy it.  Maybe that means I've become an adult and maybe it means that I'm a procrastinator and I was finishing up someone's Christmas stocking on the afternoon of the 24th.  Either way I do enjoy that last week of the year when we have no plans or obligations.  No school or work.  It's a good time to think about what we've done over the whole year.
Here's a rundown of the most visited posts of the last 12 months!

1.  Lotion Bottle Cellphone Holder!

This one was a first for me - first Pinterest project, first ModPodge project...

2.  Improved Kitchen Storage!

A quick & dirty fix for a most annoying problem - storage of cookie sheets and trays!

3.  Finally!  A Lamp Refurb!!!

This was a most delayed project - and I was so glad to have it done.  

4.  Check out my Can!!

This was a super easy project that I'm sure I'll be repeating.  Seriously, there's something very satisfying about watching glue dry.

5.  It's Curtains for You (or me actually)!!

A post where I confess to having no pretty window treatments in my bedroom after living here for 5 years.

6.  Getting my Mod Podge on!

I still sorta miss this shirt...

7.  Things are looking UP!

I think this should probably be considered phase 1 of the big-girl-bedroom redo... 

8.  Snowflake Ornament

This was seriously fun.  I may do another ornament next year.  Or I may just post the second one I did already ;)

9.  Halloween Felt Board

The kids really enjoyed it, but it didn't last... Mr. Destruction had it ripped off the wall within 2 days.  Next time I will figure out a more secure way to attach it.

10.  Make It BLUE!

A recent post about repainting the dining room.

So that's it!  The top 10 most popular posts of 2012.  I'm already excited about 2013 :)


Monday, December 24, 2012

Beagle Shaming #2

This would be a much more interesting post had I thought to take a photo of the damage, but as it is, I'll just tell you all about it.
I will preface the whole story by saying that the dog is fine.  No damage, no yelping, nothing.
A few weeks back we put a few lights outside the house.  Just a string of white icicle lights across the front of the roof line and some white and colored lights in the shrubs next to the front porch.  We also have a sock monkey inflatable.  The whole thing runs on a timer - set to come on around 4:30 PM and turn off right around midnight.  
Jason noticed on Friday that the lights hadn't come on.  A quick investigation uncovered the problem - the dog had chewed through the heavy duty cable that ran from the timer on the screen porch around the house to the front where the lights were.  It was a miracle that she hadn't killed herself in the process.

So no lights on Friday.  On Saturday afternoon Jason went out in search of a new cable.  Thankfully there was ONE left at the store.  We also decided that we had better not take our chances that she'd leave it alone this time (because nothing would ruin Christmas faster than a dead beagle in the driveway, am I right?), so Jason picked up some clips and masonry anchors/screws to attach the wire to the house.  We figured that it needs to be about 3 feet off the ground to keep it out of her reach.  

It took about 45 minutes for Jason to rig it all up and we were pleased to have solved the problem.  Until about 4:45 PM when it got dark out and the lights didn't come on.  Further investigation uncovered another problem.  The outlet on the porch was defective.  Somehow chewing through the wire caused it to short out or something.  Of course we didn't have a spare GFI outlet in the house, so Jason had to head to the hardware store AGAIN for a new outlet.

Thankfully it only took another ten minutes to get that in place and BAM the lights came on and all was well.


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Make it BLUE!

I mentioned this a while ago (read about it here), but sometimes home improvements happen because a repair is needed rather than an upgrade.  It was sometime earlier this fall that Jason leaned over a baby gate and used the wall for support.  Sadly the wall just wasn't up to the challenge and we were left with a wall to repair.  There's a whole long story about termite damage, but I'll say that it's amazing the wall lasted as long as it did.
To repair the wall, the first thing we did was to excavate a bit.  Because the wall busted due to termites, we knew we should see how far the damage went.  Little by little, Jason chipped away at the crust of plaster until we had a hole that was about 3 feet tall and probably a foot and a half wide.  It was a HUGE mess.

Jason cut a piece of drywall and screwed it in place.  He used mesh tape to seal the seams with the existing plaster walls and then started in with a first layer of joint compound.  

Now one thing to notice is that the plaster & backer board walls are a lot thicker than the drywall, so a lot of joint compound was needed to make the patch flush with the wall. A.  Lot. The first few courses of compound took a few days to dry fully.  It was ok though.  He did one after work, then one a few days later.  It's not a good way to go if you're in a huge hurry, but by investing 20 minutes here and 20 minutes there, he could get it done.
The patch was officially complete midweek last week!  YES! 

The finishing touch for a patched wall is generally to prime & paint the patched section.  We were out of the green paint, and really I was over the color so I picked out a new one and sent Jason to Home Depot.  Here's a progress shot after I did some cutting in -- 

I don't know if I'm a very slow painter, but it took me about 4 hours to cut & roll out the whole room.   At the end of the day I was sore, tired, but very satisfied with the color and how it looked.   (the color is Basin Blue - Finneran & Haley).  When the color was being rolled on, Jason kept saying it was purple.  It isn't purple.  It's grayish-blue.

Yes, the curtain needs to be re-hemmed.

So there we have it - this marks the 3rd color we've used in this room since moving in way back in 2007.  
How often do you change paint colors?  
Do you agonize over the choice or do you just pick something and go with it?

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Snowflake Ornament - Christmas Craft

Woot woot!  I got to do something crafty again!  After quite a long time where I was busy with school stuff, I finally got to shift gears this week back to some holiday related stuff and, of course, crafts!
I signed up for an ornament exchange about a month ago, and I'm super excited to have finished this up and pack it up for mailing!  By the time the post is up, the ornament will be in the mail on it's way to it's recipient!  And I figured, if I'm making one to send, why don't I make another one for here?  
  • Wood snowflakes - various sizes 
  • White paint (already had this)
  • Wire 
  • Beads
  • Glitter
  • Sequins (optional - I had some snowflake ones)
  • Glue/ModPodge
  • Drill with a tiny drill bit
  • Paintbrush
  • Needle-nose pliers

So here's how I did it!  
  • Paint the snowflakes on all sides & the edges, letting it dry after each side
  • Mod Podge both sides and add glitter, letting it dry after each side

  • Drill holes in the center of each shape, and one at the tip of a point on the big guy

  • String one bead on to a length of wire and twist it so that it's secure - this is the stopper!

  • String up the whole ornament in this order:
small snowflake
medium snowflake
big snowflake
medium snowflake
small snowflake

  • At this point you're ready to finish it, so string on the last bead, and keeping the wire as tight as possible, wrap it around the bead like you did for the first one and secure it

  • Cut off excess wire
  • Use another length of wire (and beads if you want) to create a loop for hanging, and you're done!

Ready for the tree!


Linked Up


Beagle Shaming #1

I'll be honest and say that I certainly hope that this won't be a long series of beagle shaming posts.  I fear it will be. *sigh*


Monday, December 3, 2012

OMG A Craft?

That's right! A Craft!!!

Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon!

Ok, enough of the vague statements.  I'm not all about mystery.  I am participating in a handmade Christmas ornament exchange!  It was organized by the folks at Creative Headquarters (blogs like Chase the Star, Becoming Martha, Create Craft Love and Wait Til Your Father Gets Home).  The exchange uses an online service called Elfster to assign everyone a recipient and we have until WEDNESDAY this week to get the ornament into the mail.  

I'm not going to say who I'm ornamenting for, but I'll say I hope she likes snowflakes & sparkles. 

I'm currently about 1/4 finished with the craft, but should have it wrapped up tomorrow sometime.  I'm pretty excited about it.  I haven't done anything crafty in quite a while and I'm glad to be back at it!

Hopefully there will be a post by the weekend on this thing, so stay tuned!  



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