Home Projects


Week 2 of the second bathroom installation!

A little more work has been done by putting up studs (I helped a little with the shorter side):

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There wasn’t much room to work, so putting together the shorter side was REALLY difficult for my husband. It kept on falling apart here and there, so we had to improvise and lean the frame on the open door to the basement:

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Basement door in the back was open slightly, so the frame was leaning on top of it while I was holding one side and my husband was balancing on a step stool with one foot on the wall to nail the studs from the top.

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Bathroom fan will go above toilet. It will have a humidity sensor, so will automatically turn on to keep the room from getting too foggy.

There is some water damage from the upstairs bath, but we’re hoping it’s not too extensive and only the top layer will have to be replaced…but that’s for another renovation, and another post. :)

Plumbing is the next step, stay tuned!

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I was looking for nursery ideas online and came across this one for a bird mobile. I like the idea of using embroidery hoops, and I used this pattern to make mine.

I was having a rough time at work so took a break from the computer and started working on the birds for the lower loop, then finished up the rest this morning:

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Bird mobile for baby’s room.

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Close up of stitching.

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Adjust the angle of the birds to make it more interesting.

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A lousy shot of the bottom up, but this is what the baby will be looking at. :)

I like how it turned out, and am ready for more stuffed animal projects!

Our house has one bathroom upstairs, and we thought it would be better to have  second one downstairs. My husband has been planning this for several months and now that the weather is getting warmer, it’s a nice time to start tearing things down. Our house is 233 years old, so we learned a lot about how people built their homes way back when.

First thing we noticed was all the odds and ends that held together the walls. You won’t see a lot of nice, even 2x4s, but rather an assortment of wood pieces, whatever pieces could be salvaged and used as support while the main beams of the house were nice and sturdy. See where that red leveler is? That wide plank isn’t a support beam, but was probably used as a surface to nail the inside wall to.

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Future site of new bathroom. There was no insulation in these two walls, so I stapled large table cloths over the doorways and pretty much avoided using this room all winter

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Drainpipe in corner will be covered with drywall. Doorway will be from the porch. One more layer of flooring to be removed.

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View from the porch. To the left of the opening is that framed-out drainpipe, door will go here. Coat closet on the right. Door to the kitchen hidden by hanging coats.

I think he’ll work on this over the weekend again, so I’ll post more pics soon…stay tuned!

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. image source: http://www.clarkgriswoldcollection.com

(NOTE: I just want to mention that I do NOT recommend anyone decorating their outdoor tree this way. It’s not the best way to do it so please keep your feet on the ground, or on a secure ladder, and be safe as you deck the halls…or trees.)

The weekend before Thanksgiving we took advantage of the beautiful, sunny weather and decorated our incredibly tall pine tree with Christmas lights.

We didn’t have a tall enough ladder and, since I was considerably smaller than my husband, I ended up climbing the rest of the way as high as I could to hang up the lights (if I had to guess, I’d say our tree is between 25-30 feet tall.) I could barely see, and not only because of the thickness of the branches, but because my hair got messed up and kept on covering my eyes. Swearing up a storm and sweating like it was 90 degrees rather than 50, I did the best I could to hang them up, and my husband did the best he could to try and wrap it around the tree from the ground, but apparently our best wasn’t good enough. When we lit it up, there were huge gaps and it was unevenly distributed. (another profanity inserted here.)

11-17-12: Look up..up…higher…there I am!

The next day we went back to Sam’s Club and bought more lights (a 21-foot strand of these LED color C3 lights is $14). I went back up the tree, being sure to tie my hair back this time, and redid the topmost strand of lights. My right bicep was sore from the death-lock I had on the tree yesterday, thinking all the while of the scene in First Blood where Rambo falls crashing through the pine trees. It was still difficult as I was trying to hold onto the tree with the crook of my right arm and string the lights with my leather-gloved left hand, plus my husband was struggling with a 20-foot homemade PVC pole to try and hook the lights around the tree. After a while we got it loosely spiraling around the tree, making four tiers of light strands.

Our lighted Christmas tree at 6:45 a.m.

Though I wore a heavy jacket and leather gloves, I still got poked, cut, and bruised from this unassuming tree. So as I mentioned before, stay safe when decorating your outdoor tree and use a sturdy pole, it’ll save time and keep you less wounded. :)

During Thanksgiving weekend the weather got much colder and we started getting snow flurries (SO glad we did our huge tree the weekend before!) We headed over to Molyneaux Tree Farm to get a 7-foot tree for indoors. With the icy winds and snow flurries, I think it was just as difficult to get that tree as it was me climbing ours:

Incredibly windy at the top of the hill. My husband used one of the incredibly dull saws provided at the farm.

We decorated our tree the next day, but I wanted to show you a photo of our cat condo:

The cat condo is all decked out with dollar store decor!

So who else is having fun decorating for their pets? :)

The leaves are falling, as well as a good amount of rain these past two weeks. I see a lot of pumpkins decorating porches, and our neighbors gave us some gourds from their prolific garden:

There’s not much for me to do outdoors so I’ve been getting  into little indoor projects, like sewing. I’ve made several pajama pants and this cute Hallowe’en-inspired canvas grocery bag:

Large burlap pockets and a big Hallowe’en bow to make it fun.

Fall colors have such a nice, cozy feel, and I wanted our living room to have the same! Last month I picked up some fabric that I’ve been eyeballing since December 2011. I was able to get it during one of the 60% off sales AND get free shipping! Waiting ten months to invest in fabric is a good sign that it’s something that I really REALLY like (and my husband likes it, too). I turned it into curtains:

Both panels measure about 9′ across and 7′ long.

When closed, the curtains turn into a fun wall mural and make the room nice and cozy!

I also reupholstered the dining chairs with coordinating fabric:

(I made sure to number the chair seats and fabric pieces to make it easier if I decide to put the old fabric back on.) Leftover pieces were also made into pillow covers:

KAS Oslo Spice and KAS Harris Spice, JoAnn Fabrics.

Our house still needs some renovating, but in the meantime some smaller-scale projects like making curtains and pillows will help make it feel more like a home.

Happy Fall!

Are you working on any fall projects? Indoor or outdoors? What’s your favorite fall (or Hallowe’en) decoration?