Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Lemons

When trying to come up with a title for this blog post, all that came to mind was 'Lemons'. Because that's what I got. 

11 days ago, I was cleaning out Baby Goats' closet and found that the back corner was covered in mold. After the initial freak out (everyone does that when they find mold, right?), then carefully assessing the situation... it wasn't looking good. Worst case scenario: Bathroom Remodel.

Turns out there were no leaks and we didn't have to tear the bathroom apart! Exciting stuff, right? Except that I still had to deal with the mess left in the closet after the mold was removed. Cell phone pic of what I was left with. 



Concrete subfloor, patched drywall, no baseboards, and a whole lotta "What-the-heck-do-I-do-now?"

I finished drywalling and texturing the walls, added some cheap flooring and baseboards, and ended up with a closet that was pretty much exactly how it looked before I found the mold. 



That was find and good, and all, but i was already working in there! Might as well Make it functional (lemons to lemonade!)... 

And pink..!


I started out with these grand ol' plans to do a built-in closet tower, a desk, and some toy storage in there. That was before I measured it and realized that there was not enough room to do much of anything. This is a reach-in closet that measures 70" x 24', so a 2' closet tower would pretty much eat away all of the functional space (the rest is tucked into the corners and wouldn't be fun to sit in to do homework). 

Ahhh well! Found these plans for the closet tower from Ana White (of course!) and built it from the most amazing plywood on the market, Purebond



But I modified the plans (is there ever a time that I don't?). Instead of building the tower and then building a base, I just notched out space for my baseboards with my jig saw before assembling the tower. 



And added 3 drawers.





I chose to keep the side shelves the depth of the original shelf, at just under 12". It makes the closet not feel so cramped, which is how I imagined it would feel if I did the shelves the depth of the closet tower. Also decided to do two shelves at the top of the tower, and only one short shelf so that we would have room, later on, to hang full-length dresses/coats. 


For now, it gets to house a giant recycle box full of stuffed animals.





There are still some finishing touches (obviously handles or pulls on the drawers, and I have to attach the threshold), but for now, we have a livable, much more functional closet that is mold-free... and probably the prettiest "room" in the house..!

Monday, January 26, 2015

DIY Bookseller Shelf

Happy Monday, everyone!

Since finishing the dresser for my master bedroom, it kinda pumped me up to getting the bedroom more functional. Something that I've been wanting to do for a few years is to create a nightstand based on the Pier 1 Bookseller's Shelf (which retails for $250)



Luckily, I had just the piece to use to create my own version.



While not an exact match (mine is more like the Ballard Designs version... or, maybe a happy mix of the two?), I was able to get the look by modifying an existing x book caddy. Remember this?


Well, after building Baby Goats' storage bed, we no longer needed a bookshelf in her bedroom. So this has been waiting patiently in my garage, awaiting it's new life as a nightstand.

And it was suuuuuper easy to do! If you want to build this piece, go build the x book caddy from Ana-White.com (plans here) and then come back with an extra 1x2, a 1 x 12 x 4 and a couple hours.

All you're building is this


And it'll screw nicely around the x book caddy!

Cut List

2 - 1x2 @ 27" (back legs)
2 - 1x2 @ 19" (front legs)
2 - 1x2 @ 6 1/2" (top of sides)
2 - 1x2 @ 25 1/4* (stretchers) - cut this to match the width of your finished x book caddy
2 - 1x12 @ 8 1/2" (arcs)
1 - 1x12 @ 28" (top)

I always start with the arcs first, so that I can modify any other cuts to it (like, if I accidentally cut the arc too short, I can lengthen the adjoining board, or vice versa)

The best part of this is that this is the hardest part. Cut two of these (making sure to keep it 1 1/2" wide, consistently) with your jig saw.


And then build two of these, making sure they mirror each other (I put my kreg jig holes on the insides so they were easier to hide) using glue and 1 1/4" pocket hole screws.


Attach your aprons to the front and back of the legs using glue and 1 1/4" pocket hole screws.



And attach the top, leaving a 1/2" overhang on the back and even overhang on the sides. It's easiest to attach it from the bottom through the aprons using glue and 1 1/4" finish nails or screws.

When this is finished, it attaches through the x book caddy through the corners of the x.

Simple as that!


I had a tougher time finding somewhere in my house that didn't have wonky lighting so that I could photograph the darned thing. It will not live in my kitchen, this is my nightstand.

Maybe sharing all these Master Bedroom posts will be motivation enough to actually paint in there!

How's your bedroom looking? I hear all the time that the master is always neglected, please tell me that's true and that I'm not the only one!!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Free (or Very Cheap) DIY Indoor Clothesline

I don't know about you, but I will never have a magazine-worthy laundry room. It's essentially a hallway (from the garage to another hallway) with a washer and dryer in it, and I have done NOTHING to this room since moving in.

Until my dryer went out on New Years Eve.

You see, you don't really notice a dryer isn't working until you need it.

My dryer was loaded with wet clothes, but it just wouldn't turn on! And it just happened to be one of the few rainy days here in the Valley of the Sun, so I couldn't just hang 'em up outside (let me put your worries to rest, the dryer door latch had worn out, so it was a cheap and easy fix... we just had to wait on the part to come in).

UGH!

So I needed a way to line dry a load of laundry IN the laundry room, and I didn't want it to be a permanent fixture in there. I could buy a retractable clothesline on amazon, but none of the multiple line ones (to dry an entire load of laundry) were a) affordable and b) reliable (the cheap ones had bad reviews, and I hate doing laundry enough already. The last thing I need is a clothesline to wrestle with and make me hate it more). Didn't help that it had to be mailed.

So I made my own!


And the whole thing rolls up into a not-very-noticeable (in person, anyway) position when not in use.


I'll give you step-by-step instructions. Note, this is a lot of words, but it's really easy. Three boards with hooks and holes. That's it!

To "build" this, you'll need

3 - Scrap pieces of wood approx 15" long (can be a 1x3, 1x4 or 1x6, or scrap plywood!)
4 - lengths of rope the length of your laundry room (plus a few inches)
4 - cup hooks
2 - eye hooks
4 - screws to mount to the wall (mount to studs, and use drywall anchors if necessary)

Start by drilling four holes into two of the boards. Use a drill bit that's slightly larger than the rope (but not too much, so that you can tie a knot in the back and the rope won't pull through).

I did mine approximately like this



So that the holes mirrored each other when hung on the wall, I stacked my two boards and drilled through both at the same time. This will help to keep the lines level when everything's hung.

Then, so that the rope wouldn't interfere with mounting the board to the wall, I used my Kreg Jig bit to countersink holes about halfway through the back of the board. It's not pretty, but this is what it looked like (remember, I used scrap boards!).



Now attach the cup hooks to the bottom of one of boards with the holes.





And attach eye hooks to the top of the other. This is what they should look like (notice the holes are mirrored, so when they're attached to the wall, they'll line up. This is the view from the front, and the back should have the countersunk holes).


The only thing left to do with these two is attach the rope. Measure the length of your laundry room and add two inches. That'll be the length of the rope you'll need (cut a little longer and you can shorten if you need to!). Pull the rope through the holes, tie in the back (burn the edges if you have a rope that frays). Pull taut and the rope should be nestled inside the board so the board can sit flush on the wall.

The third board should have cup hooks attached to the front of it. When you're finished with that, this is what you should have.


As shown above, you'll attach the top and bottom pictured boards to the wall. Keep in mind that this should be a reachable height, but high enough to keep the clothes from resting on the washer and dryer. Attach the boards level from the ground and through the studs, using drywall anchors where necessary.

When this is all finished, you'll make any necessary adjustments to the length of rope. If it's too long, untie the knot on the "traveling" board and retie where necessary.

If you paint the boards the same color as your walls (or to match any existing cabinetry) they blend in and no one notices them!

Can I admit that this has come in really handy? I used to hang clothes that couldn't be put in the dryer on hangers (or on door knobs, or the top of the laundry room door), and now there's no more looking for free space. I just pull out the clothesline and pin 'em up.

Still don't love doing laundry, but this is helping to make the experience [a little] better!

How's your laundry situation? Do you have an indoor clothesline? Outdoor? Or do you just not buy clothes that can't be thrown in the dryer (wouldn't that make life SO much easier??!!!). Do tell!

Monday, January 19, 2015

The Longest Build, Ever

Hey everyone!

Happy New Year!! Yes, we're 1/24th into 2015 and I'm only just getting to my first blog post of the year.

What can I say? I'm a procrastinator!

Which will explain why building this dresser took a year.




Yes, you read that right. See, I started this dresser early 2014 based on Ana White's Fillman Dresser plans because Mr. Goats and I were using one drawer in a tiny night stand as a shared sock/underwear drawer, and the darned thing was never closed because it was alway too full.

I'm sparing you the pics because it wasn't pretty (and I didn't get any ;-) ).

We also had that nightstand under the TV in our bedroom and it always had electronics on it, so I knew that I'd do a shelf instead of the top drawer.

The carcass and the drawers were built in a day, and then I stopped. After looking more closely at the drawers in the plan, I realized that I just didn't want that style, so I took a break!

And didn't get back to it until we decided to play musical chairs with all of our DVD players and the one that wound up in our bedroom was almost as big as the tiny nightstand that it was sitting on.



This was done the next day (using reclaimed boards for the drawer face - I'll show close-ups later in the post!).

All that was left to do was to stain/seal it. This was stained with General Finishes gel stain in Java. The GF gel stains have urethane in them, so the need for polyurethane is lessened (it's still recommended for added protection), and I wanted to try a hand rubbed finish. Ended up trying Minwax's Paste Finishing Wax.


This was something that I'd wanted to try for a while, but most of my recent builds have been for other people or have needed to have polyurethane for my peace of mind (play room table = extra abused), so this seemed like the perfect piece to try it on. Local stores didn't have the "Special Dark" wax, so I used the natural finish with NO problems on my darkly stained dresser.

The wax added a slight sheen, but is definitely not semi-gloss (or even satin), so it's noticeably different than any polyurethanes that I've ever used. It's also not oily, like I expected. ALSO! It's one of the easiest (actually, I can say for sure that it is THE easiest) finish I have ever applied and it didn't stink up my garage..! I can't vouch for it's durability as I've only just applied it, but so far, I love it.!

Something to note, I had read that waxes should be applied over a sealer, so if your stain doesn't have any urethanes, you'll have to seal it (your choice as to how).


I heart how it looks. I heart having room to search for my own socks. I heart having proportional furniture. I heart having this!!

I also heart having a post written this year! I miss you guys!!!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Welcome to November!

Hey everyone!

A week after Halloween, and I still have a giant spider on my roof and a toe pincher welcoming guests to my front door.

Halloween started early, and is slow to die in the Lady Goats household.


When I'd posted about working on Halloween back in August, I was still devastated by the loss of a tree in a courtyard area by my front door (still am, actually). The plan (that I was formulating in my head as I was helping chop down the fallen tree in the middle of heavy rain - yes, the tree was on my neighbor's house and I was thinking about my Halloween decorations) was to move the cemetery to the front of the house and to build a fence to hopefully deter any acts of vandalism (and, let's be honest, it looks really cool).


Like the Lady Goats tombstone? I participated in a Secret Reaper (like a Secret Santa, but Halloween themed) on HalloweenForum.com and my Reaper was outstanding! She made that for me, and it's my favorite stone!!



The area by my front door was still completely neglected. I built the tripod that I showed you in August (oh! It's still on display, too!) and stood some skeletons there with witch hats and left it at that.


I was so unhappy with it that I apparently forgot to take pictures of it. This was taken a few days before Halloween (I liked the sky, so I went out before everything was finished to take pictures), so the second skeleton and witch hats weren't out yet, but that's about the extent of the Halloween-ness back there.

Another thing that I worked on for Halloween was an 8' PVC spider that got to live on my roof.



I won't bore you with tutorials on any of that until the end of Summer next year, and am sorry that I couldn't get anything out before Halloween, but a complete overhaul of my decorations took place and I was completely overwhelmed. Happy that it's over (and excited for next year!).

Now that things have calmed down, we get to enjoy fall.


Even if this is what Fall looks like in the desert.

How was your Halloween?! If you're over talking about that, how 'bout the weather? Are you stuck in the 80's, or is there snow? I wanna know!!!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Last Minute Costume Idea: DIY Groot Mask for 33 Cents


Hi! Halloween's in 2 days and costumes aren't finished over here.

Am I the only one? We almost had a last-minute costume change, which would have been devastating, but luckily avoided that! But I did get a chance to throw together a super cheap Groot mask (from Guardians of the Galaxy) and wanted to share the how-to  in case anyone else needs a super cheap, fast and easy costume idea!

Most of this costume was assembled by my friend London. Her daughter wanted to be Groot for Halloween, so London went and bought a brown shirt and brown pants and drew wood grain on them. A great thing about this is that those can be worn any time, not just on Halloween, so score!

I went to walmart and picked up a $0.33 sheet of black craft foam (in the craft aisle) and drew up this template in Photoshop.


It's not super precise and doesn't have eye holes because those vary from kid-to-kid. After you get the template cut out, you can hold it up to the kid's face and poke their eyes to find the placement. They won't like you very much, but it's for them, so they'll get over it ;-)

Here's a list of supplies you'll need


  • Black Craft Foam
  • Brown craft paint (different shades for a better effect)
  • Green craft paint (optional)
  • Elastic (or string, to tie onto the head)
  • Scissors
  • Template (above)


(warning, cell phone pics from now on because I wasn't expecting this to turn out well - HA!)


After getting the template printed (scale to fit media so it takes up the whole page) and cutting it out in the foam (I cut it bigger than the template, and cold have even gotten a bigger mask if I'd have angled the template), I stole the Big Kid's head to mark eye placement.

This wasn't for her, so she didn't forgive me easily for poking her eyes...


The next step was to mark the wood grain/face structure of Groot. I googled an image of him and drew on the mask with a pen, pressing firmly to leave a deep indentation. His mouth's crooked. I never said I had amazing art skills..

After this, I cut out the eyes and did a light base layer of brown paint, followed by some lighter brown and a little green to be the moss/lichen at the top of his head.


This was done on an as-needed basis (I would do the light brown over a spot where I'd accidentally put too much dark brown, and the lightest color was dry brushed on). When the painting was finished, I took a black sharpie and drew in some of the indentations that had gotten too much paint in them and poked a hole in each side for a string to tie it on to the head.

Actually, for my test run I tied cheap elastic hair ties to each side and wrapped them around the big kid's ears. She didn't recommend that...


And with that, the cheapest/easiest mask I'd ever attempted was done. How are you all, costume-wise? Decoration-wise? HALLOWEEN-WISE?!!

(side note, I'VE MISSED YOU!!!)

Monday, August 18, 2014

It's a Blogland Tour!

Hey, everyone! Exciting stuff is goin' on here today..!

See, there's this awesome Tour de Blogland, and last week, the Queen of Free (and so totally awesome), Mindi, of My Love 2 Create featured my blog. In sharing with the good Karma, I asked many-a-blogger to participate with me, but unfortunately, this seems to be a busy time for Blog Mavens.

However! My good friend Meg, blogger over at A Crunchy Situation, and au naturale extraordinaire gave me the honor of featuring her! See, Meg is awesome on so many levels, from sharing her delish recipes to dabbling in essential oils, to telling us all about her efforts to raise chickens. I love her, but go check her out and fall in love yourself!

Here's from Meg.

"I'm Meg - I love local farmers, Crock flip-flops, cooking at home, and Shea butter experiments. I'm a silly and moderately inappropriate crunchy kinda gal, a mom, and wifey extraordinaire to a VERY patient dude!"


Um, yum!

She just shared her Meg-Version of chiles rellenos, and I'm drooling. I love me some good chiles rellenos!

So now I get to answer a few questions about myself. Excuse me while I fumble around a lot, this is a lot harder than it seems!

1. What am I working on?

Halloween!! I haven't been blogging about it, because e.v.e.r.y.o.n.e. is asking, "Already?" - YES! ALREADY! But I won't put you all in a place you don't want to be yet. 

A big storm knocked down our tree where I usually set up our cemetery, so I have a lot of reconfiguring/rethinking to do.. I built this tripod to hold a cauldron from our fallen tree's branches, in addition to building 47 feet of fencing and starting a giant spider. 




2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?


This is tough! There are so many bloggers out there that build/craft/design (and they don't procrastinate nearly as much as I do!). I really can't say..!

3. Why do I write/create what I do?

Another tough question! I started this blog because I was sharing photos of my "creations" with my sister, and she said, "You should start a blog!". So I did! But the amazing people and opportunities this blog has introduced me to is what keeps me going. I'll never be one of those bloggers who posts every day (my "crafts" have to finish and be cleaned up so my house can be lived in before I start dinner), and will never reach big time fame (even though I've been recognized in Lowe's and Home Depot! HI GUYS!!!), but it's fun and I wouldn't trade it for anything. 

4. How does your writing/ creating process work? 

So... I'll think of something, and then procrastinate starting it. Then I start it, get to a part that requires some brain activity, and then procrastinate... Eventually I'll pick up where I left off, probably get overheated and then procrastinate. I really am that lazy. When it's finished, I'll procrastinate writing about it because it requires me to edit pictures and actually think about what I'm going to say. Oh gosh, this is so bad to admit!


If you haven't had the chance to go on tour with all the amazing bloggers, I'd say to start with Mindi and work your way back. It's such a fun read, and you'll find so many amazing bloggers along the way!