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Posts Tagged ‘renovations’


Projects and Recipes

I have wanted a laundry room counter with storage and enough space to fold clothing with this many kids.  The hubby and I hit a place in Grand Rapids named, “Restore”. It is a store attached to Habitat for Humanity and they resell items removed or not used in building new homes.  They make a bit of money to be able to build new homes for people and they also have some awesome deals on things. I found a bunch of old kitchen cabinets and told Macgyver I had to have them.  Next I told him he needed to grab a piece of plywood for my counter top and he didn’t understand why I didn’t just let him get me a normal counter top.  Normal? Me? sometimes I just don’t know who this man is.  I had the image in my mind of what I wanted and refused to tell him other than how the build should go.  I wanted something functional but also a keepsake for me.  Everyone is working on wood with stains and making beautiful pieces of artwork.  They blend stain colors to create flowers and such.  However, that sort of art is way out of my reach. So, I got to thinking how much I love my kids and the age ranges they are right this moment are priceless. I wanted a way to preserve them, something useful, doesn’t need dusting and could live on long after I am gone in the house.  Here is what I came up with…

Here is what I started with.

Here is what I started with.

I recruited help from the 5 year  old, Minnie Mouse.

I recruited help from the 5 year old, Minnie Mouse.

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She insisted we use her left over bedroom paint a seafoam color, it is pretty though.

She insisted we use her left over bedroom paint a sea-foam color, it is pretty though.

All 3 cabinets together, painted and a plywood top srewed down. I gathered all the girls.

All 3 cabinets together, painted and a plywood top screwed down. I gathered all the girls.

Pulled out an old dogfoord bag and smeared paint on it. By this time they were looking at me very strange.

Pulled out an old dogfood bag and smeared paint on it. By this time they were looking at me very strange.

Have them one by one, step in the paint, lift them to the counter and walk down it.

Have them one by one, step in the paint, lift them to the counter and walk down it.

Once everyone but the manchild walked the counter top, I had him dip his hands and put his thumbs together, spread out his fingers like a butterfly would look and he stamped one set of his hands in the corner. It does look like a butterfly but you can see his hands nicely.

Once everyone but the manchild walked the counter top, I had him dip his hands and put his thumbs together, spread out his fingers like a butterfly would look and he stamped one set of his hands in the corner. It does look like a butterfly but you can see his hands nicely.

Next I took a darker stain and brushed over the whole thing. Let it set for about 20 minutes and wiped it down with a cloth. The prints look old antiqute-ish.

Next I took a darker stain and brushed over the whole thing. Let it set for about 20 minutes and wiped it down with a cloth. The prints look old antique-ish

After drying I put 2 coats of polyurethane over it.

After drying I put 2 coats of polyurethane over it.

Then I called it a day.  My new, recycled laundry counter with storage and keepsake footprint top.  Love it!!!

Then I called it a day. My new, recycled laundry counter with storage and keepsake footprint top. Love it!!!

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Projects & Recipes

I am sure most of you know how to make tissue paper flowers, but for those of you who don’t, today is your day.  One of my daughters had her best friend over and they wanted to be crafty…enter tissue paper flowers.  Our eight year old, our nature girl, wanted big flowers on her bedroom wall around her headboard of her bed…enter tissue paper flowers.

You start by pulling out 5 or 6 sheets and stacking them up. If you would like the center of your flower a different color, change out a sheet.

You start by pulling out 5 or 6 sheets and stacking them up. If you would like the center of your flower a different color, change out a sheet.

Next you want to fold the paper legnth wise. Remember making the paper fans? Fold forward, then under, forward and under. I had the girls fold an inch or so before creasing the paper.

Next you want to fold the paper length wise. Remember making the paper fans? Fold forward, then under, forward and under. I had the girls fold an inch or so before creasing the paper.

Ah the glory days, the paper fan. When you are don folding, fold your paper in half to find your middle.

Ah the glory days, the paper fan. When you are don folding, fold your paper in half to find your middle.

Use a twist tie, piece of floral wire and tie around the center.  Once I found my hole punch I used that, but you reall don't need one.

Use a twist tie, piece of floral wire and tie around the center. Once I found my hole punch I used that, but you really don’t need one.

Trim your ends in a curve or point. Whatever you think will look good, scalloped...

Trim your ends in a curve or point. Whatever you think will look good, scalloped…

Next, lay your paper on the counter and from one end, lift up 1 sheet to the middle. Remember the paper is thin so try not to rip it.  Lift it up and hold down the other sheets with your free hand.  Gently pull or tug it to the center.

Next, lay your paper on the counter and from one end, lift up 1 sheet to the middle. Remember the paper is thin so try not to rip it. Lift it up and hold down the other sheets with your free hand. Gently pull or tug it to the center.

Repeat lifting the layers for each one.  Once one side is done, turn and do the same to the other side.

Repeat lifting the layers for each one. Once one side is done, turn and do the same to the other side.

This is what you should have when you are done lifting all of the layers from both sides.  Don't be afraid to mash it a little to get a rounder shape to your flower. You will notice when you look at the bottom of your flower, it is mostly flat, perfect for mounting. Go forth and paper flower the world, well in my case an 8 year olds bedroom wall.

This is what you should have when you are done lifting all of the layers from both sides. Don’t be afraid to mash it a little to get a rounder shape to your flower. You will notice when you look at the bottom of your flower, it is mostly flat, perfect for mounting. Go forth and paper flower the world, well in my case an 8 year olds bedroom wall.

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Projects & Recipes

I have been wanting a wood breakfast bar in the kitchen window ever since we moved into this school.  The kitchen window is prefect for it, and didn’t take much convincing on my part to Macgyver.  We used standard 2 x 6’s to build it.  Macgyver used a 2 x 4 for the back brace and under bracing.  Once he screwed it together, routered the trim, we sanded and sanded.  I pulled out my trusty clear polyurethane and went to work.  Finally with it finished, this morning was mounting day.  A few weeks ago Macgyver had de-barked some logs and cut them to size.  I bleached, dried  and  polyurethane them for the side legs.  Next step is to order some bar stools and the kids can eat there before school.

Here is the window I want the breakfast bar at. The lone log to the right is already to go, and there is one for the left side as well.

Here is the window I want the breakfast bar at. The lone log to the right is already to go, and there is one for the left side as well.

Bar has been mounted and already in use without chairs.  My Mother-in-Law gave me some silk ivy, I put it up over the window to help give life to the massive concrete wall.

Bar has been mounted and already in use without chairs. My Mother-in-Law gave me some silk ivy, I put it up over the window to help give life to the massive concrete wall.

And, more kids trickle in to test out the breakfast bar.

And, more kids trickle in to test out the breakfast bar.

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I knew I would find a use for those super long velances I bought at the garage sale 2 months ago.  Lace velances are great table runners and also breakfast bar runners :)

I knew I would find a use for those super long valances I bought at the garage sale 2 months ago. Lace valances are great table runners and also breakfast bar runners 🙂

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Projects & Recipes

Macgyver had a slab of wood from a tree and I suggested he turn it into a temporary shelf for my birds.  I wanted them closer to the wood stove and on an inside wall.  Living in an old school made of brick and concrete, the outside walls tend to be much colder than the inside walls.  At least for now, until we cover them, but that will take time.

The wall next to the wood burner is the perfect spot and it is in the corner. Bonus for the birds, this spot also gets a ton of natural light.

The wall next to the wood burner is the perfect spot and it is in the corner. Bonus for the birds, this spot also gets a ton of natural light.

Macgyver cutting the shelf so it is flush to the wall. He better do a good job, Orthos is supervising the job.

Macgyver cutting the shelf so it is flush to the wall. He better do a good job, Orthos is supervising the job.

The shelf is roughly a three inch thick slab, so long heavy selfving brackets will have to be used. I'll have to paint them later once I have some spray paint.

The shelf is roughly a three-inch thick slab, so long heavy shelving brackets will have to be used. I’ll have to paint them later once I have some spray paint.

1 doggie supervisor, 1 macgyver, 1 heavy wood slab & 4 brackets later ... and the birds have a new home.

1 doggie supervisor, 1 Macgyver, 1 heavy wood slab & 4 brackets later … and the birds have a new home.

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Projects & Recipes

Yep, I said it, I have a skunk in my house.  Trust me, it’s not what you think.  Since Macgyver is moving my laundry room from the other end of the house to a small room the front of the house, I have been getting it ready.  The new laundry room is made up of a normal size bedroom and a small bathroom.  The large part of the room will now be my folding area, with couch included since i live in the laundry room.  The old bathroom was ripped out and he installed a base shelf to put the washer & dryer up on for me.

I have the larger room decorated and needed something small for the actual washer & dryer room.  It got me to thinking, and I thought to myself “how do you really feel about laundry”?

This handy little reminder of truth was done, completely in Sharpie markers.

This handy little reminder of truth was done, completely in Sharpie markers.

Now, see, don't you feel better about your life?  Just keep in mind that these two children will be taking care of me when I am older.

Now, see, don’t you feel better about your life? Just keep in mind that these two children will be taking care of me when I am older.

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Projects & Recipes

We are moving the laundry room this summer, which means I have plenty of time to decorate the new room with stuff, like a new easy wall hanging.  I tell the kids every Sunday before I start laundry, “bring me your dirty clothes, all of them or come next week you might be going to school naked”.  After finding an old mounted picture in a closet from when our house was a school, I decided to recycle the whole sha-bang.

What you will need:

picture frame with glass

poster board

paint to cover the poster board with

sharpie marker – I used black

Doing the deed:

First paint one side of your poster board in a solid color.  Next use masking tape to lay straight lines on your glass.  I am not a good freehand lettering person so I laid my stencils out on the straight line of tape.  Trace your letters, backward with a sharpie marker.  Remove the tape and finish filling in your lettering with your sharpie.  Wipe off all fingerprints from the glass and lay it in your frame, then your poster board and lastly the backing to your frame.  My huge frame was old and yucky so I spray painted it a gloss silver.  Get creative and add some other decorative items to the glass.  Some leaves, flowers and swirls look lovely.  Since it is my laundry room I didn’t get too creative, just keeping it simple.  Have fun with it!

Words my kids live by

Words my kids live by

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Everyday dose of Reality

The other day I received a call from the 1800’s and it wanted me to come visit.  I don’t know if anything is worse than having a bunch of kids, living out in the woods and your laundry machine refusing to do its job.  I was lucky enough to get to experience, again, washing clothing in the kitchen sink by hand.  I am pretty sure at some point everyone has done this or will get to.

Now years ago Macgyver and I had one of those old barrel washers with the ringer mounted to the top.  I thought it was such a pain with jeans and blankets but boy, I tell you I missed it the other day.

washerYou see, because of the way the plumbing was done in this old school and where they chose to bring the lines up from the tunnel system, there are sections that have frozen.  There is nothing that can be done to thaw them and this is the first time it has happened.  Then again last week we had temp with the windchill at 50 below zero.  Last Spring I had finally finished one room, as a guest room, in this old school and I was beyond thrilled.  Every other room is a long work in progress due to the concrete structure we are working with.  As it turns out, the front quest room I had completed, this Spring will be converted into a laundry room.  I am back to square one.

100_3551This would be how my kitchen sinks look the other day.  Filled with kids school clothing that needed to be washed.  Running to town and hitting the laundry mat is really not an option.  After a 30 minute drive it would not only cost me $3.39 a gallon in gas but for a single load to wash it would be an extra $3.75.  With a tribe of children it turns into a small fortune.  So, I washed, scrubbed, rinsed and rung by hand.  Macgyver and I will be moving the washing machine from the laundry room, at the far end of the school, today.  I have cleaned an area out in the freezer room off of the kitchen where it will live until spring.  Then once the temps warm up we can start to tear up the guest room and attached bathroom.

On the up side of things, with the extremely strange water leaks this year he has begun adding shut off valves.  This is a good thing, since there were no shut off valves anywhere.  At least for next winter we will be able to shut the other end of the house down and the water, since we have done nothing to that end yet but demoing the hallway.  A few weeks ago we started popping up the old tile floor to prep for radiant floor heating.  Other than demo and laundry, nothing goes on down at the other end yet.  Yet 🙂

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