Category Archives: Projects

To Pin or Not to Pin

Yes oh yes I’m talking about the wonderful and yet so evil Pinterest. I’ve seen it sweeping the blog world, sweeping facebook as it now posts to there as well. Talk at lunch tables at work and in the halls and it is EVERYWHERE. I’ve been asked a few times if I have joined this world. And well the truth is no, I haven’t. I feel compelled to tell the reason why.

I’m going to start by saying that originally I thought it was Pine terest not Pin terest. I possibly think that my original definition of pining was correct, it is creating a deep longing for. About a year ago I was obsessed with blogging and reading other blogs. Reading blog from homemakers, moms, working wifes, design blogs, cooking blogs and about everything in between. I found recipes, crafts, projects, ideas and so much more! I constantly was planning the next remodel, the next project I could save up for. I was following over 100 blogs and seemed to find new links every day. And then one day it hit me like a 2×4, think Tommy Boy.

I had become completely discontent with my life. I had no reason to be discontent I had everything I needed and blessed with so much more. Yet because of the new found pining of projects and abilities, crafts and the time to do them I had become miserable. I wanted to have the funds to go buy old furniture refinish everything and make a totally awesome room. Sad thing is, that as beautiful as I think that makes the room it honestly isn’t me but I WANTED IT! I wanted to do projects that weren’t even me, but felt compelled to do them?!?!?!?! Why, because they were awesome and homemakery???

So as Pinterest comes out and the wave starts and is taking over people everywhere at least for now I will bow out. I will still choose to do projects, but I will do this on my time in my terms and only for something I actually have interest in. If I want a recipe I will search for options on that one concept, not become obsessed with the next 100 recipes I feel the need that I have to try to be the best housewife. I don’t want to feel like a failing housewife seeing 1000’s of ideas that are awesome and great, but not for me and then feel guilty about it. I know that a majority of it is my own issues, but seriously why do it to yourself?

Anyways there is my rant for the day. What do you think about Pinterest?

Canning and More Canning

So yesterday I caught a bug. Not your normal type of bug, but the bug for canning. So much so that by the time my canning buddies left (teacher aka mom and other newbie friend) hubs and I were talking about where we could install shelving specifically for me to can!

It all started when we bought this house last year. We have a full-grown gorgeous apple tree in the backyard. I still don’t know what type of apples they are other than yummy! And while they seem a little later this year they are nice and big and oh so juicy! I didn’t want all of them to go waste like they did last year, so I knew that there was only one thing for me to do…CANNING!

My mom volunteered to help me and another friend who was interested in learning this awesome housewife trait how to can. We bought our jars and a few extra ingredients and off we went. In the first day we peeled, sliced (I let them do that part :)) simmered, and waterbathed close to 30 jars of deliciousness! In the end we have a fall pumpkin apple butter, apple pie filling and a cinnamon syrup. OH BOY! Toast this morning with the apple butter….WOW!

Oh the Fabulousness!!

So I am officially hooked. I still don’t know all the ins and outs yet but at Wal-Mart they have a thick cookbook for 5 bucks in their canning section which is a great information tool. It is something pretty easy to start doing but make sure you plan a whole day for it, it is very time consuming. Preferrably have someone around who has done this a few times before, it is a great help! And if you have fruit trees or are a skilled shopper for produce then canning is just the next step!

I am so excited about it that I already have about 5 more dates for canning planned by the end of the year. Starting with caramel apple butter next week. Pumpkin cubes next month for fresh pumpkin pies…and if you have ever had one of my famous 🙂 pumpkin pies you know that they will be that much more awesome with fresh pumpkin. And since the fall season, possibly canning corn and cream corn while in season too!! YAY for being a fabulous 50’s housewife!

Has anyone else ever ventured into canning? Would it be something that you would want to get into and explore all the possibilities??

In the meantime stay fabulous!

Moment of Inspiration

With renewed motivation I returned home from our weekend in Oregon. I had bought 3 clothing patterns for 5 dollars having saved over 50 dollars from a HUGE sale at Joann’s. They were relatively simple patterns all for an older style of clothing which I prefer. One was even a vintage pattern from 1954 🙂

I quickly purchased the fabric I wanted for the first dress. When I went to organize the extra pieces I needed with my sewing equipment I found 3 other projects started and not completed from other moments of inspiration. 😦

I have already cut out all the pieces for the current pattern and planning on starting piecing them together tonight. I would love to finish it and be able to wear for my Honey’s Birthday dinner this weekend. We shall see what happens. If this project ends up in the aaaahhhh…going to pull my hair out and scream at the fabric stage I promised Hubs I would stop buying patterns and fabric.

I’ll keep you posted on the dress.

Year Worth of Communication for ONE SHOWER HEAD!

Yes you read the title correctly. When we moved into our house we had a Master Bath. Really just a box in the wall stand up shower. The shower head while functional spit in several directions. You know, where one of the little things sprays the wrong direction and hits you right in the eyeball as soap dribbles down your forehead and causes the shower dance of ow ow ow where is my towel?

I kept asking hubby…”Hubby, you want to get one of those rain shower heads, fancy nice shower head, shower head. What about that one?” Almost every time we went to the Depot…what do you think about a new shower head? Always the answer was eh…I don’t know, or not right now, or anything but yes honey we can get us a new shower head.

A few weeks ago we stayed with friends and they a fancy rain shower head. So of course the question came up again and this time at the Depot we had a gift card and I wanted to spend it on something I wanted! I bugged him to take another look at the shower heads. We walked to the big wall of 100s of shower heads (maybe a slight exaggeration) and started the what do you think of that one discussion.

After a couple of minutes, I finally turned around and asked him well what the heck do you want in a shower head because I keep getting vetoed! Turns out after a year of asking the wrong question, I finally asked the right one. He wanted a simple not to fancy shower head and didn’t want the superlight rain type deal or something with 50 options.

Oh is that all?? Oh my goodness….if only I asked a year ago. We quickly spotted a simple 30 dollar shower head that both of us quickly agreed on. It was an eco-friendly shower head that helped conserve water flow. It was advertised as energy efficient and helps cut the water bill with 4 standard options including massage, mist, regular and then a water pause. The pause still has water going but drastically cuts water consumption while you “lather up”. I am all for saving money and if saving the environment is a side bonus…Well then BONUS!

He quickly installed in one night and now has a thrilled wife with a brand new shower head. Soon to get a new one for the quirky guest shower. Sometimes as wives…it is not the bugging that gets something done…it is asking the right question..Oiy.

Hope to be writing more frequently in case anyone was wondering! Stay Fabulous!

Summer Fun Ideas

A few weeks ago I started working on a project. I thought it would be a simple project where I could try out my spray paint skills, use a little chalkboard paint for the first time, and perhaps help out just a little. After hearing some conversations about how difficult summertime can be for parents, I thought maybe I could do a little something…

I didn’t realize how long the project was going to take…

First find tins at garage sales.

 

Cover in a fun color of spray paint and let set up.

 

Tape off little areas, and apply 2 coats of chalkboard paint.

Levi sunbathing while I worked on my tins…

Next write a list of fun ideas for summertime activities. Or just google search some lists, you’ll have more ideas than you can count!

Print off the pages with space to cut out each idea individually and then tape/glue those to scrapbook papers.

First tin complete…now I need to finish stickers for the other two!

Ta Da! A fun tin of summertime activities! Where you can have kids take turn picking out ideas or make a game of getting to choose an activity for the afternoon!

If you are interested in the list I compiled please contact me and I’d be happy to send it to you!!

1 weekend turned 6 weekend project

A few months ago I got excited to paint the cabinets and walls in our hallway. This is a small hallway that connects the master bedroom, guest bath, and music room. There wasn’t too much wall space and then 5 cabinets. I thought it would be super easy to accomplish in a weekend!

WRONG!

I grabbed my Honey Sand from my stock of paints that I purchased for 5 dollars at the Home Depot when they were discontinuing the Fresh Aire paint line. Used 1/4 of the can and had done 2 coats to bring the hallway to a beautiful sand color. It tied in the creams and tans in the other rooms surrounding it. Then the problems began…

The cabinets with their shiny silver knobs..SOO WHITE!!!

Not sure what little cabinet was previous used for, but it stood out like a sore thumb!

More white walls!! AAAHHH!

That morning my Hubby had waited till the last-minute to remove the cabinet doors. Problem #1 several of the screws were stripped and all the hardware was painted over making it very difficult and much more time consuming to remove than originally anticipated.

He was leaving me in charge to sand/paint the cabinets in the afternoon. I had my newly acquired skill from my 5 minute lesson of the power sander and thought I would be good to go! I started carefully going along my first cabinet and then CHIP! A whole huge block of paint flew off the cabinet. I start sanding down that edge and CHIP! There goes another one. I anxiously called Hubs and told him that the paint was just flying off and not sanding down at all 😦 He gave me the “oh honey” tone and said that it probably just needed a little more work and different grit paper. I went to the depot and bought different grit paper and the same thing still was happening! He told me “I’ll take care of it when I get home!” Apparently a man would make much easier work of this than I was doing. So I cleaned up my supplies from painting the hallway and figured well with his “skills” he could finish tomorrow and we will still be done on time.

Move to the next day. Hubby went and sanded all of the cabinet doors down. So happy he came to show me how “smooth” they were. Then out came the air compressor to get the dust off so I could paint them. CHIP CHIP CHIP CHIP. Paint FLEW all around our little garage area creating quite the mess. Tried a bit more sanding, a bit more air compressor and still paint chips were flying everywhere. He learned that I was being serious about the peeling paint and not just being a girl that couldn’t manuever the sander 🙂 Come to problem #2…high gloss paint 4 or 5 coats down.

Mind you by the time we go to an actual paint stripper we are 2 or 3 weekends into working on this. So me trying to be green convinces hubby to purchase a “green” paint stripper. It didn’t do a gosh darn thing other than sit there. So I returned the bottle and got the hard-core chemical paint stripper. Pulled out the big guns..Hubby’s diligent efforts and 3 rounds later it was finally FINALLY ready to be painted!

The boards were sanded, stripped and ready to paint.

Had to stack them arround our garage so they could all dry.

Then we encounter problem #3…the hardware. Due to them being older built-in cabinets we weren’t able to find hinges that would fit the cabinets. So we had to soak them in paint thinner and use a wire brush to get them cleaned off.

Scrubbed as good as they were going to get!

The spray painted hinges and new cabinet knobs.

Now we were finally ready to paint the cabinets. We used a nice milk chocolate brown for the cabinets, then a black gloss spray paint for the hinges. Seeing as we couldn’t get the paint off the original screws we had to go and buy some. Screw them all lined up into a board and then spray paint those too so they matched the hardware.

Hubby's genius idea for spray painting all the screws!The spray painted hinges and new cabinet knobs.

What I had to stare at for 6 weeks while we had no cabinets. No fun and doggies kept pulling out the towels which is why the bottom rag section stayed wadded up. 😦

So after all the above is said and done it has been about 6 weeks and I want the first bigger project we are doing on the house to be done yesterday. (This wasn’t even supposed to be a big project and it took 6 weeks!) That final weekend, I helped hold everything in place while hubby started getting everything assembled back together. I LOVE the finished look and am so happy it is done. Now I just hope that we can soon do the guest bath and get rid of the icky tileboard that lines the walls.

My new hallway. The color gives the area so much more character!

We left the door off the little cabinet and intend to fill with little picture frames and make it more decorative!

Even the simple heat control wall looks better!!

All in all I’m excited we accomplished our first bigger project as a team, I can’t wait to start another one! Next time I will just have to remember that with an older house you can’t always guarantee a “quick” weekend project!

All the colors and textures pulled together and turned out awesome!

What projects have you been working on lately?

Linking to Parties At:
http://nominimalisthere.blogspot.com
http://www.houseofhepworths.com/
http://www.fingerprintsonthefridge.com/
http://delightfulorder.blogspot.com/
http://justagirlblog.com/
http://chiconashoestringdecorating.blogspot.com/
http://www.thefrugalgirls.com/
http://www.somewhatsimple.com/

My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia

Truly Fabulous and 50’s

When we bought our 1949 house we always wanted to keep as true to style as possible in re-decorating our house. We didn’t want anything to modern installed. Loving our old-fashioned Timberline fireplace insert and all the built-ins…we wanted to stay true to our house.

Sometimes as a younger couple it is a take what you can get and sometimes just what you can afford type of situation. We were moving out of a smaller apartment and didn’t own a dining room table. We found a cheap Craigslist table for 60.00 that could seat 6 comfortable and 6 mismatched chairs. While not super comfortable, it was highly functionable and exciting to just have a dining room set.

This last weekend we got a phone call from one of our friends that were re-doing their dining room and wanted to know if we’d be interested in their table. I was very interested for what in my opinion was a more “grown-up” looking dining room table. While I had gone out for my movie on Sunday our friends delivered our new table and matching chairs.

Hubby's Chair

It has six chairs but three leaves that can make the table 102 inches and seat quite a few more. I can’t wait to host big dinner parties with it.

Our New Grown Up Table from the 50's

The even more exciting part is that it needs to be re-finished. Dark cherry wood has gotten worn with time and it needs a little TLC to bring back its former glory. One thing the previous owner informed me of is that this table was built in February of 1951. I couldn’t be more excited to have a dining table built in the 1950’s. If you’ve been around a while you know that I tend to try when I get extra happy. This was one of those times. So it might be a while before you see updated pictures the set as it is number 101 on our project to-do list, but this table is amazing and worth the wait of getting to re-finish.

To All Friends who DIY...any suggestions on the spindle?

In case you were wondering project # 1 is re-doing a section of our old worn fence where puppies 1 & 2 decided to try to escape last night. Oiy…the fun.

What is your latest DIY project that you have going on?