Tuesday, May 28, 2013

A Pirate Paarrghty!

Around our place, Memorial Day weekend was spent getting the yard & house in gear, & crafting for Grady's birthday party this coming weekend.  This spring was short, & our list was LONG, so we're really scrambling to get everything done!

It's hard to believe our little pirate is turning 4 this week!

A little pirate-y preview: 

Last week, we headed out to my parents' house on the lake for a little photo shoot.  Yes, there was bribery involved!  A trip to Target for a toy in exchange for a few smiles & cooperation.  You gotta do what you gotta do!  :)

He's probably the cutest little swashbuckler I've ever seen...although I may be a little biased!

I'll be sure to post some party pictures next week...until then I'll be flying around the house like a crazy person trying to get everything done in time!

PS, my dad made the wooden sword for Grady's Peter Pan Halloween costume a couple of years ago - I love it!  Grady & I made the telescope out of some PVC pipe & metallic spray paint last weekend!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Painted Pattern Window Boxes

Last spring/summer when we remodeled (er, rebuilt) & screened in our back porch, my dad also rebuilt the old window boxes.  Last summer they remained unpainted or stained mainly because I just couldn't decide what I wanted to do with them.  Color, no color...just stain them...paint a pattern?  I could NOT commit to anything.

They were pretty sad...

Anywho...we're having a birthday party in a couple of weeks for Grady (4 years - how is that possible?!), & I really wanted the porch to be "completely" done by then.  That meant I had to figure out what the hay to do with those darn window boxes.

First, I decided that I wanted a fun pattern in white paint & walnut stain.  Happy, but not brightly colored which I felt would compete with any flowers I would plant in them.  I needed a super simple pattern since the wood on the planters is super rough.  On a whim I chose a scallop or fish scale pattern.

I started by removing the metal box from the wood planter, cleaned it up a little bit, & stained the four sides and top edges.  then I took a styrofoam cup, cut the round bottom in half, & used that as a template for the scallops/scales.  Pretty high-tech - haha!  A little bit of white paint & some spray spar finish & we were in business!

With a little assistance from my favorite helper between rain storms, we got the boxes planted & hung this weekend.  Gosh I love the spring after things start to grow again!

I finally got a couple of minutes where it was "dry" enough outside to take a couple of shots this morning.  I think they turned out pretty durn cute!  I can't wait until the flowers fill in a bit & the surrounding landscaping starts to green up some more.

Has anyone else been planting?  How about working on any fun outdoor projects?  We're scrambling like crazy to get our yard in order for the party - I feel like we're really far behind due to our LATE spring here in Minnesota!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Squint like Clint

We're slowly making progress on the attic...slowly.  :)

May is a busy month for us with Eli wrapping up his tennis season, lots of birthdays, & Mother's Day.  Not to mention the crazy amount of yard clean-up that we are stuck with every spring.  Two giant oaks + garden beds galore = time.

In the attic we've been putting up "nailers" (extra boards to screw sheetrock into), building a door frame for the future French doors, & hanging foam board insulation on the ceiling & sloped walls for an added layer of protection to keep the warm & cool air in the house.  It's not fun work, but it's laying the foundation.  Soon we'll be hanging drywall!

If you squint hard enough you can kindof envision what it'll look like!

PS, I've got a couple of fun outdoor projects that I'll share later this week or early next week.  (Think outdoor dining & window boxes!)  It's so nice outside that it's hard to work indoors!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Pinterest Challenge: Reversible Painted Doormat

Today's the day!!!

If y'all remember, my inspiration was a handful of wooden doormats from various sources.

I combined a bunch of them together to get a mat that jived a little better with my personal style.  Without further ado, my "Reversible 2x2 Wooden Slat Doormat".  How's that for a title?!

It took a bit of time...maybe 4-5 hours total?  Maybe not even that long.  But it was a super satisfying, fairly simple, & fun project to tackle!

First thing's first...prep:

After all of the paint was slapped on (I used something like 12 colors...all of which I already had on hand), I thought it was a little bright & new looking for my taste.

So, in came the old sander.  (I started with a sanding block, but for the sake of every muscle in my arm, I quickly turned to my electric palm sander - much easier!)

Then I wiped another layer of stain right over the paint.  (You can see the finished slats on the left, the un-stained slats on the right.)

Took it outside & sprayed a clear sealing coat on all sides of each slat.  It took a little while if you count dry time, but I kept randomly coming back to it over the course of an afternoon to rotate & spray each side.

Look how brown our grass still is...the snow literally JUST melted.

After the clear coat had cured, I brought the slats inside to tie together.  I measured out two lengths of rope that were each 2.5x (75ish inches) the overall width of the slats (30ish inches) to make sure to leave enough extra length for the knots between each slat as they use a lot more rope length that going straight from end to end would.  (Hopefully that makes sense?)

I also taped of the end of each piece of rope so it slid through the holes easier & didn't unravel at all as I went down each row.  I'm smart like that.  :)

Then I strung the rope through, & tied knots between each slat so they didn't butt up against each other.  Everyone needs their personal space.

Random strange thought: Let me just take a minute to ponder why, if we are supposedly evolved from apes, did we not keep their handy dandy grabby feet?  I'm serious...if we indeed evolved into superior beings like a lot of folks believe, would we not have kept our "ancestors'" best qualities?!  How often could you use another foot hand?  I've often thought about how nice it would be to have a tail too...better balance, could swing from branches, carry shopping bags, etc.  Yeah, I'm weird...but think about it!

Case in point...if I had a monkey foot it would have been a whole lot easier holding the slats while pulling knots tight...just saying!

Moving on...

After my hands were raw & tired from tying 40ish knots, I was left with this beaut!  Isn't she purty?!  I'm so glad I sanded her down.  I only wish I was aging as nicely...

Oh!  And now for the reversible part...in case you're in a "natural" mood...  I feel like it could be really cool in a bathroom.  You know, if you sealed it with some Spar finish or something?

Also, be sure to check out what EmilyKatie, & Sherry did!

It's time to share your projects!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

This is HUUUGE...

It's time for the Pinterest Challenge again!  You know, the brilliant creation that Sherry @Young House Love & Katie @Bower Power came up with to get all of us actually DOING all of those cool projects that we continually pin, but rarely act on!

Last challenge my dad & I built an ipod/iphone amp out of wood.  It rocks.  (Hehe...punny!)
Also, last fall I made a huge military style chalkboard map that my almost four year old loves.

Now for the other part of the announcement...drumroll, please...I get to co-host with these 3 lovely ladies this spring!!!  How insanely amazingly awesome is that?!?  Beyond excited.

Emily from Sparkle Meets Pop
Katie from Bower Power
Sherry from Young House Love

If you're not familiar with the Pinterest Challenge, it goes something like this:
  1. Take a look through your pins (or pin something new) that you want to try.  No project is too big or too small!
  2. Complete your project by Wednesday, May 8th.
  3. Post about it on your blog, or take some photos to share in the comment section.
  4. Come back here around 10am on May 8th (& also to Emily, Katie, & Sherry's corners of the interweb) to link up & share your finished project with all of us!
Some additional notes:
  • Feel free to grab the banners off the top of this post to use on your own blog.
  • Remember to link not only to the pin where you got your inspiration, but also to the original source - spread the love! 
  • Pinterest doesn't know about this challenge (or endorse, sponsor, etc.) - it's just plain fun!
And now...for what I'm pinning & planning!  One of the very first things I ever pinned was a wooden door mat from Martha Stewart (#4 below).  It's pretty paint had me from the second I saw it!  And the arrival of spring (finally) means I can't wait to get started with outdoor projects!  I've got a few ideas swirling around about how to combine a lot of these ideas in this crazy head of mine.  Haha.

one: Yellow Brick Home
two: French Bull (No longer available)
three: How Does She
four: Martha Stewart
five: Lowes Creative Ideas

I can't wait to see what you all come up with!
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