Tuesday, January 26, 2016

How I Disguised An Ugly Concrete Retaining Wall In My Backyard

When we built our home 8 years ago we had a concrete retaining wall poured when the basement walls went up.  I always had plans for that wall (anyone who knows me knows I can't just leave it a plain concrete retaining wall, that would be a crime).  It took me nearly 6 years, probably closer to 7 to get to it, but plans none the less.

Here's a look at my wall before I got started:

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Memoirs of Building Our Home- Part 7

We started building our home in the Spring of 2007 and moved in the end of January 2008.  My husband works in the construction industry so he managed the build and we did quite a bit of the work ourselves.  Lots of sweat, time and energy went into our home and for me, even after seven years (just passed eight years now), there's not much I'd change.
Here's a little reminder of where we started....

Have you ever built a home?  Any regrets or things you'd do differently?  Would you ever do it again?  I'd love to take you through our experience and give you a look at our finished product, definately a lot of work but so worth it!

Here are some links to get you caught up if you'd like:
Part 1the basement is poured and the beams are in, time for framing to begin.
Part 2- framing is nearly done
Part 3- Windows and doors and a few small concrete projects
Part 4- Lots and lots of wiring and plumbing.  The guts of the project, and the drywall is up and painted.
Part 5- Three main projects with lots of "behind the scenes" work getting completed; the fireplace, the staircase and I started tiling in the master bathroom.
Part 6- Tons of tile work, cabinetry is installed and a unique concrete vanity base in the hall bath. 

Today, countertops galore!  I don't have a lot of pictures of the process for the concrete countertops we built in the basement, what was I thinking?  In all honesty, I was too busy and too overwhelmed to care at this point.  Building a house is a lot of work and about this time I was quite ready for our little adventure to be over.  Physically, mentally, emotional, I was ready for a long vacation.

Here's the pics I do have:

This is the main countertop area with the sink for the island.  It was poured in place.  The rebar poking out of the wall behind the sink is for the bar top.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

10 Fun ways to Repurpose Grandma's Doilies

I remember a time when doilies were "da bomb", every house I entered had one gracing the top of most, if not all, pieces of furniture within the home.  I love doilies but come on now, we can do better than that!  Lets take a look at some fabulous, updated ways to use those doilies and give them a fresh, new look.  Here's ten of my favorites:

Who doesn't have a piece of china that's chipped, missing a lid, etc. but can't seem to part with it?  I know I do.  This is a fabulous way to showcase a doily and have a great pincushion to boot.
From Vintage with Laces
What about adding some pizzazz to a tablecloth.  Take it a step further and think about window treatments, a cute valance or trimwork for floor length panels.  How about a bed skirt or adding them as decor to an otherwise simple quilt or bedspread.  Oh, the possibilities.
Found at babble.com
I really love this table runner as well, more along the lines of traditional usage but in an updated way.  Beautiful.
 Found at WHITEStardust on Etsy

This is a great garland.  Such a cute idea.
 Found at DaisiesBlueShop on Etsy.
Love the idea of using them as a stencil.  Think of how easily you could transform a furniture piece.  Then use the doily for something else.  Double the fun!
found at Glimmer and Grit.  What a great idea.
Add them to a pillow.  What a cute idea.  So many opportunities here to design one-of-a-kind throw pillows for your home.  Gorgeous!
from yummymummyclub.ca.   
This is fabulous.  The designs reflected onto the wall are just beautiful.  Again the possibilities are endless.  So much fun.
from DIY for Teens
Wow, now that's an accent wall!
 from Yahoo.com and Pinterest, of course.  
Talk about stunning.  Do a search for doily crafts on Pinterest and you'll be amazed at all the fashion up-do's using doilies.  This dress is just beautiful!
This is from Pinterest and links to a dress shop, ustrendy.com.  
What a great display.  You could change the background paper to any color you wanted, as well as the framing to fit the style of your decor.  Perfect!
from Dishfunctional Designs
Makes me want to go out and buy a ton of doilies, how about you?  Do you have a favorite?

Does anyone out there crochet?  I just learned a couple months ago and am really interested in putting together a "club" that meets locally so we can learn from one another and spend some time working on our projects with like minded individuals.  Anyone interested?  Let me know.....

Friday, January 22, 2016

How I'm Making a Memory Journal From a Magazine - Part 1

A few years ago it became necessary to get my grandmother out of her home and into an environment where she had some company (full time), three meals a day and somebody helping to pay her bills and keep her from burning down the house, etc.  

That experience started me on my junkin' journey and a new business venture as well as, amazingly enough, helping to repair and heal some bad feelings I harbor towards grandma.  Not saying those are gone, because they're not, but helping her through this time of life has really helped me develop a fondness and a partial understanding of what makes (made, she's medicated now so wow! what a difference) her tick (not that I'll ever agree with some of her more abrasive personality traits, but it's always easier to move on when you have a better understanding of where someone's coming from).

Anyhoo....  let's move on shall we.  Grandma is still alive and kicking at 98.  Sweet (yes, I said sweet, meds where have you been all her life), happy and busy, busy busy!

When cleaning out her home, I really wish I'd known what I know now, I'd of kept a lot more of her paper, ephemera, that I just threw away.  I'm kicking myself now, what a waste!  One thing I did keep was this Horticulture magazine from 1974 with the mailing label on the back.  Love it!  

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Building Trusses with Pine Logs

We have got a few really exciting projects going on around here.   A couple weekends ago we received an order of Pine Logs and my hubby has been hard at work ever since.  He's always up for a challenge and this is definately that!

To start this adventure a semi pulled up, in the dark, out at the road for us to unload two stacks of lodge pole pine logs from his truck.  Talk about exciting, and scary, I had to run the bobcat while my husband maneuvered the logs, individually (they were tied together into large stacks that the bobcat couldn't handle) onto the forks and then off onto a waiting trailer sitting to the side of the driveway.  We were making such a racket that our neighbor came out to see what was going on.  Thankfully hubby got some help and me, well, I got another body to watch out for (scary).

The next day, we spent a couple hours unloading the trailer and placing the logs in the shed, where we'll be building the trusses (I say we but I'm just for moral support, I can't really help much with the logs, them things are heavy!)

Here they are, aren't they beautiful?

Monday, January 18, 2016

My First Envelope and Greeting Card Journal- Part 1

I found another inspiring video on you-tube showing how to make an envelope journal (here's the link:  Easy Envelope Journal).  What a cute idea.  I have a stash that's been in the shed for years, it's like it was meant to be!  

For this project you'll need six envelopes and their corresponding cards.  I used Rubber Cement for my glue (If I had it to do over I'd use Aileen's tacky glue or even double sided tape but I was too lazy to walk upstairs and get it).

Friday, January 15, 2016

My First Cereal Box Journal- Part 1- The Cover

This is my first attempt at making a junk journal using a cereal box for the cover.  I've watched a couple YouTube videos (thanks Mom) and was immediately inspired to give it a go.  I started by collecting all my leftover papers and emptying a cereal box.

To decide the size of my journal I simply folded my papers in half, then cut them in half again giving me what you see below:

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