Sunday, April 13, 2014

Worst Gift Giver EVER!

For the record, I am a terrible gift giver.

As in, like, the worst!

I don't know what it is! I like to think that I'm considerate and empathetic, and that I know what people like... but if there's a gift-giving gene, it skipped me.

This is where I do a happy dance and sing "THANK GOD FOR PINTEREST!"

Seriously, add that to the ginormous list of the reasons to love Pinterest (as if we needed another one!).

Here's the thing. My friend's birthday party was this past weekend, so a couple of weeks ago I realized that I was going to have to think of a gift (*dread face*). Then I thought, "I'll check her Pinterest board! See if there's something that I can buy or build!"


Um, I can do that!

So I built three 12" frames (they're 12" on the outsides, the opening's are 9 3/4" - you can find similar building plans here.)

The ones pinned looked like they had an oxidized finished, which could be achieved using steel wool and vinegar (like I did on my hotel key rack), but I used a stud made from a different specie than I'm used to working with, and I wasn't sure how it would take the steel wool/vinegar mixture - and didn't have a lot of time to test it - so I stuck with my General Finishes gel stain in Brown Mahogany.

Those were looking a little to "clean" though. The feel of the pinned frames seemed more rustic, so I took some 120 grit sand paper and went over the frames lightly to emphasize the woodgrain, and pressed a little more firmly on the corners to emulate regular wear and tear.

Next came the burlap. Michael's had 50% off of all of their Recollections scrapbooking supplies and a 20% off your entire purchase coupon, so I got three of these burlap sheets for under $2.50 and hot glued them onto some 1/4" ply.

And attached some picture hanging supplies that come with the IKEA Ribba frames (we use command strips to attach ours to the walls, so we have quite a few picture hanging kits) and tacked the backs into the frames.

Somewhere along the lines I stained some clothes pins with the same stain that I used on the frames (super simple, just take the clothes pins apart and apply the stain).

Then hot glued those and a big "A" to the frames.

Of course I had to throw some prints on it for pictures...

Here's a close-up of the "A". I printed a big 7" "A" and transferred it onto some 1/4" ply then cut it out with my jig saw. The color of the burlap wouldn't allow for a cream-colored letter (like in the inspiration picture), and I thought that it would look flat and uninteresting to stain it the same color as the frames and clothes pins, so I spray painted it a matte brown and lightly sanded the edges.

And with that, I can actually feel like this is a decent gift (even if it is only 3 picture frames).

I have to know, are you a good gift giver? If so, HOW DO YOU DO IT!!??!!??

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Faux Show

Projects around the Lady Goats household are in a lull as of late, so my friends are finally taking me up on my offers to build them "stuff" (as long as they pay for the supplies).

One of the things I've done recently is build a 4 foot box as a photo prop for my friend London.

(it's a 4x8 sheet of 1/2" ply cut into two 24" x 48" rectangles and two 23" x 48" rectangles and a 4' x 4' square of 1/4" ply at the back)

 Here's how she used it

My friends have mad skills.

And my friend Dianna wanted a faux fireplace (but this you'd know about, if you follow me on Facebook)

I followed the plans for Mimi's Faux Fireplace, only adding two things to it.

The first addition was some base moulding that I created by using my router and a Roman ogee bit.

I debated using this along the inside of the recess at the top, but Dianna said that she likes clean lines, so I refrained.

The second addition that I made was the use of a French cleat (a Roman ogee and a French cleat? This seems to be a well-traveled faux fireplace!).

There are a ton of online tutorials for French cleats, and I felt that it was the best way to anchor the fireplace to the wall.

The fireplace was built from a single sheet of Purebond Plywood (I didn't even give her the option since it's formaldehyde-free, and I care about her family :-) ). Building it from plywood was the best option because finding straight boards in wider widths is next to impossible in my local big box stores, and ripping down a sheet of plywood to the necessary widths is so super simple!

I still do have such a hard time painting it. It's so beautimus!

Sorry Purebond!

I did try to have fun staging the mantle (in Baby Goats' room, since the walls are a fun color).

But I didn't want to put too many holes in her walls, so this is all we got...

Luckily, I never claimed to be a designer...

 And now I have a short "Gina-do" list to tackle, which I can't deny loving!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Bigger Kid Play Room Table or Desk

You remember my new DIY'd playroom table (and it's cute little DIY stool), right?

Well, I have to tell you all that the requests for plans for the chair were expected, but the requests for the modifications to the play room table were mind blowing. Thank you all for this overwhelming interest!

This table is a modification of Ana White's Triple Pedestal Farmhouse table (which is a substantial dining room table). View that, here!

After doing some research, I learned that the ideal height for a desk is around 25"-27", give or take a little for personal preference. This table's main use is for homework, so I knew I wanted to stay around desk-height. With that in mind, the finished dimensions of the table are as follows:

29 1/2"W x 21 1/2"D x 26 1/4"H

Lumber Shopping List:

  • 4 - 1 x 3 x 8
  • 2 - 1 x 2 x 8
  • 1/4 Sheet of 3/4" Plywood

Cut List:

  • 4 - 1 x 3 @ 22 1/2" (legs)
  • 4 - 1 x 3 @ 10" (legs)
  • 2 - 1 x 3 @16" ends cut 30*, not parallel (top of the footer)
  • 4 - 1 x 3 @17" ends cut at 30* not parallel (tops and footers)
  • 4 - 1 x 3 @ 4" ends cut at 30* not parallel (feet)
  • 1 - 1 x 3 @ 25 1/2" (stretcher)
  • 2 - 1 x 2 @ 21 1/2" (table top trim)
  • 2 - 1 x 2 @ 28" (table top trim)
  • 1 - 3/4" ply @ 20" x 28" (table top)
  • 4 - 3/4" ply @ 7 1/4" x 4" (decorative pieces)


I strongly recommend that you sand your boards well before making any cuts. This makes finishing your table much easier. 

1).  Begin by building the legs as shown. Make sure your stretcher will fit in the hole before gluing. Use glue and 1 1/4" finish nails. You'll make two of these.

2). Attach the tops of the legs and the top footer using glue and 1 1/4" screws (the top is 17" and the bottom is 16")

3).  Cut the decorative pieces as shown. I suggest cutting one and using it as a template for the rest. Sand well before proceeding. 

4).  Attach decorative pieces by either gluing and clamping, or gluing and using 1 1/4" finish nails on the smallest parts of the arc. 

5). Attach the bottom of the footer (17") with glue and 1 1/4" finish nails. 

6).  Attach the feet, using 1 1/4" finish nails and glue. 

7). Space the legs 19" apart and insert the stretcher. There should be 3/4" sticking out of both sides. 

8).  Build the table top as shown. You can either attach the trim pieces using pocket holes on the underside of the table top or by using 1 1/4" finish nails and glue. 

9).  Attach the table top by screwing from underneath through the top of the legs.

Sand and finish as desired. I finished mine with General Finishes Gel Stain in Brown Mahogany.

Use common sense when building and finishing, making sure to exercise caution when using power tools and seeking help when necessary. I, Gina at, am not responsible for any liabilities that occur when building this table or with the finished product (yes, I had to put that!). If you have any questions, shoot me an email! I'll be glad to help! 

Just because the plans for the table are up does not mean that I'll be able to figure out how to draw up plans for the chair. Please be patient with me... Drawing up plans takes me longer than actually building a piece! 

Oh! And if you do end up building this, post a brag post on (as this table is a modification of her Triple Pedestal Farmhouse Table) and comment here with a photo! I'd love to see!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

You're So Vain

I bet you think this post is about you.

The title of this post isn't directed to you, it's directed here.

Y'see, I finished the chair for the new play room table, and all the frustration I felt when trying to figure out the perfect chair in my last post was totally worth it, don'tcha think?

My friend London and I had picked out this fabric from Hobby Lobby, because I was planning on reupholstering my window seat cushion (before walking in on my daughter sitting extremely uncomfortably at the original play room table), and this was my first choice in fabric.

Let me tell you, it looked terrible in this room, on my window seat.


So we picked out a coordinating fabric, because I knew that I still wanted to use this one in this room, and I reupholstered the window seat cushion.

Which, I guess isn't completely off-topic, since I am talking about seating in the play room, but I want to go back to the chair.

I wanted a swoop chair because.. Well, I just love them.

sources 1 / 2 / 3 / 4

And I wanted it to be low-backed because it's a teeeeeeeny space and doesn't need something so visually heavy.

I had a very good idea of what I wanted, but couldn't find anything that was "it".

Do you want to know what that means?

It either means that it's genius, but no one else has caught on!


That it's a terrible idea. And you should run for the hills before attempting it. Because.... it's a terrible idea...

I was so scared that it was the latter, but I pulled up my big girl tool belt and started it anyway.

You've already seen this

If you follow me on Facebook. It was the closest thing I could find to the image I had in my head, but I wasn't sure if I loved it or hated it....

But trekked forward and made this vanity-type chair.

Let me tell you, I think it's perfect for this spot.

And the big kid loves it, too..!

This was quite the build, let me tell you. And this post is so long now that I doubt you can sit through me giving instructions, but I'll see if I can work with someone who'll be able to draw up plans for this.

And then instructions on upholstering it.

Ohhhh, upholstering... Not my best skill....

Of course I'll keep you updated! Do you love swoop chairs as much as I do? How are you on upholstering? Do instructions for this interest you at all?

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Wanna Trestle?

You guys!

The big kid is... big.


This is how she does her homework because she just doesn't fit the Ikea table/chair set that I had in the play room.

The poor thing hasn't said a thing about how uncomfortable the homework situation was, but after walking in on her sitting like this, I realized that something needed to be done.

Remember when I tried a round table for the play room?

And it was just all wrong?

That kinda scared me away from trying other tables in there. But I took some time to "research" the best types of tables for a window seat, and it seems the consensus is a pedestal table. I think it's because they allow you to get to your seat more comfortably than traditional, four-legged tables (totally pictured a dog head on a table there). So I googled pedestal tables and desks and couldn't find anything that I loved. Guess that's just not really my style. So I asked the big kid what she wanted, and she said that she loved Ana White's triple pedestal table (built by Shanty2Chic).

But I knew that I couldn't follow the plans for that.

The plans are for quite a substantial dining room table, and I needed a substantially more petite table to work in my teeny play room, so I glanced through the plans and then went to find some stress relief in building a table.

I got the table built in about 3 hours (and only took so long because I was wingin' it), but wasn't sure if I wanted the top, curved pieces. It took trimming out the table top to make those not look silly, but they're there.

Spent about 5 days finishing it (12+ hours between stain, urethane coats with steel wool buffing in between definitely made this table nearly a weeklong project). You already saw this if you follow me on Facebook.

And here's the finished table!

The big kid is thrilled that she can sit at the window seat and do her homework comfortably while I figure out what kind of seat we want for the other side of the table.

I gotta admit, I'm thrilled that she can sit comfortably, too!

The seating options are frustrating me a little right now.

The computer chair and dining chair are both too tall for the space, and obviously the little Ikea chair is too small. But that's gotta be figured out, and quickly, so I'll keep you posted.

Did you finish any completely necessary projects over the weekend?

Or any projects at all? Do share!

**UPDATE!** Chair has been built, upholstered and blogged about here. Check it out!

Monday, January 6, 2014

I Solemnly Swear that I am Up to No Good!

If this were the Marauder's Map of the Lady Goats blog, we'd be shown the blueprints of... everything. Since it's not (and since not everyone's read Harry Potter), I guess I'll clarify that I'm not necessarily up to no good. Just not up to any good worth writing a full blog post about!

However, I'll share some of the things I've been up to (mostly instagram-style, since I didn't plan on writing posts on all of these)!

First, I changed the feet on my bed.

The hardware that I put on the bed per the plans was flimsy. Pair that with tall, narrow feet, and there wasn't much hope for keeping it sturdy with how rough we are with furniture. It was getting quite wobbly, and every time anyone would roll over, the whole bed would sway.


So I grabbed a 4x4 post from Lowe's and cut 6" feet. To get them to sit flush with the outsides of the bed, I notched 2" x 3/4" along the top and screwed them in to the bed frame from the inside.

(that interesting set-up is what happens when I work by myself. I'm not known for my muscles...)

I need to stain them, still, but it's a huge improvement in stability (I prefer the short, chunkier feet, too!). We can now launch into the bed and jump to our heart's content (which we do, believe me... kids love jumping on beds!) and there's no wobbling!

Next, we changed the faucet in our kitchen. It started out simply enough! I was just going to change the o-ring in the original faucet, which was leaking. I wouldn't have even started this project if I knew of the chaos that would ensue, but it ended up being a big deal, where Mr. Goats changed the valves to the water lines (just the fact that he thought to do that freaked me out, but he rocked this!), the water lines and the entire faucet (we got this one).

Ain't she purdy?

That would have been worth writing a full post about if I had photographed it all. But trying to describe parts (Crappy Plastic Faucet Nuts, anyone?) without a photo just... you'd hate me.

And I built two floating shelves for my neighbors.

They needed a corner shelf and a 11" square shelf for some cable boxes in their rooms, and I had all the supplies, so I whipped these up. Definitely put more effort into them than I would have if they were for my own home (I inset the plywood so we wouldn't see the plywood edges and mitered the corners on the square shelf, but building for others just makes one do better, I guess!). I'm not sure if I'll get any photos of them hung, but you can get the general idea of how to build floating shelves here.

Finally, I'm in the planning stages of built-ins for Baby Goats' room.

I want to copy everything about this room from Seagrass Interiors

But brick floors and planked walls aren't gonna fly here, so the built-ins are gonna have to do! I took the dimensions of Baby Goats' room and drew this up in Google SketchUp.

Just get to draw up a cut list and git 'er done!

Have you started any new projects goin' into the New Year?

Oh! *Mischief Managed*

Sunday, November 17, 2013

A Cornucopia of Thanks

This is a craft that I did last year, and I had this post typed up and ready to publish, but then something happened. I felt sick to my stomach and figured that no one would want to read about my silly cornucopia given the circumstances....

But I honestly don't remember what happened! The only thing coming to mind was Hurricane Sandy's destruction, but I feel like I would have posted this later... Either way, I'm stumped and this craft was never published!

It gets to come out of the vault because I'm holding Thanksgiving dinner at my home again this year (I'm actually pretty excited - last year I was too stressed to enjoy it), and you have to have something festive, right?

So here goes!

I made a cornucopia. Out of thumbtacks. And I think it's pretty rockin'.

This was a super quick, cheap, and easy craft (and that's how we like 'em!) to get something Thanksgiving-y (technical term!) up before having a bunch of people eat my cooking on one of the most intimidating beloved cooking days of the year.

I remember my mom asking everyone at the table, in turn, to say what we were thankful for. I remember not wanting anyone to think what I said was silly, and hated being in the "spotlight". So, instead of having everyone say what they're thankful for, I made cards for it to be written on (I imagine this being very cute to look back on when the kids are much older - there is no doubt "Minecraft" will be on one of those cards!).

To make the cornucopia, I found a 2' x 2' piece of white styrofoam, two packs of gold thumb tacks and a roll of golden duct tape from Target.

The thumb tacks were the packs of 300 from Dollar Tree.

Next, I painted the styrofoam with acrylic paint (you could also use a cork board, fabric covered styrofoam, or even fabric covered cardboard. Anything the thumb tacks will stick into!) and started making a cornucopia.

I realized at this point that... well, I'm not very artistic... and this could easily turn into a sea shell, or heck.. the Cheshire Cat! Who knows! So I found some cornucopia clipart and used it for reference while I lightly drew it onto the styrofoam.

Not that I'm not thankful for sea shells, or anything... that just wasn't the look I was goin' for!

I just tacked the thumb tacks over the pencil lines, keeping them close (even overlapping them in a few spots) to avoid gaps until there was a finished cornucopia.

Then I "freehanded" (can that be used when talking about thumb tacks?) the word "Thankful" with thumb tacks.

And then stopped taking pictures!

Because that's how the awesome people roll.

To finish, I wrote "I am" on top of the "Thankful" with a metallic sharpie (can be painted, or even left out!) and "for" underneath "Thankful" and wrapped the corners with gold duct tape. That was best done one side at a time, instead of trying to wrap the whole thing at once. Just trust me on that.

Since I had the thumb tacks, I just twisted a string around two of them and tacked them onto the back, creating a "hook" to hang it with. It's so light weight that I've had no problems with it hanging with the thumb tacks, but if you make one with a different material, use your best judgement on how best to hang it.

The finished piece has definitely gotten a lot of compliments, and I've made sure to keep a stack of card stock nearby so that anyone can write what they're thankful for (make sure to have them write their name and the year!) and tack it up there.

Can I be cheesy and mention that I'm thankful for all of my supportive readers? Because I am. You all rock my world!

Do you have any last minute Thanksgiving decorations / crafts / preparations to make before the big day?