home improvement

with a little help from my chickens

I picked up the little assistants today and we decided to take on a few more projects.  On the way home we stopped at Ikea to exchange Camille’s lamp with a clip type so I don’t have to mount it to the wall up top.  As always a trip to Ikea spirals out of control and we ended up with a few extra things.  Besides the Ikea Jansjo Clamp Spotlight for Camille Ayana decided she wanted pink rather than the orange she had picked up a few weeks ago.  I secretly wanted a Clamp spotlight for my own room so I let her pick the new color she wanted and will have hers.  (my kids aren’t spoiled though, no way).

Also ended up picking them up each a Pluggis Container Set for storage on their walls.  Ayana specifically wanted one to store her book in after reading at bedtime.  Who can fight that right? During the drive home I told Ayana about the cork board I’d picked up for her room at the thrift store.  It wasn’t in shabby shape but a typical boring cork board.  She’s growing up quickly and is getting into charms and chains and jewelry.  With some push pins I knew it would make a perfect way for her to hang her little bits and photos and other random keepsakes.  I had her search pinterest for Chevron Corkboard DIY and she was sold. Ayana is a very go go go non stop kinda person.  She is very neat and organized and focused.  That focus meant once we were home she was on me to hang the storage containers, wash the new duvet cover (oh i didn’t mention that?) and get that cork board ready to go.  So i set her loose.  I showed her how to sand it and then vacuum it and she went at the cork board.  I helped her tape off the edges then let her prime.  At this point I have no clue where Camille was or she was doing. DSC00599 DSC00602 While it was drying we hung the storage containers in her room and she talked her sister out of the two square mirrors that were intended for Camille’s room for the 4 pack.  She wanted the border white and the inside chevron gray.  Figured we could make it work by mixing some of the 3 year old red paint (Seattle Red that’s on the door) with some of the white primer.  After I got it to the pink of her approval they painted the frame.   Once i realized i’d mixed up waaayyy too much paint I had them grab the blond wood side table that was previously been in Camille’s room.  I gave it a quick good sanding and vacuuming and taped it off.  I let them paint on the pink stripes and border (yep, blame them for the bleeding).

After i started drawing lines for the Chevron on the cork board I realized things were not coming out balanced and it would be lots and lots of taping.  So I decided that we were over Chevron.  We went with diagonal stripes instead.  Easy enough for me to lay down a strip of painter’s tape and then use a mini piece to measure the space for the next. We pulled again from our paint stash.  This time using the dark gray from our family room.  Kelly Moore Martini Shaker Gray that came out nearly the same dark metallic like gray of their loft beds.   DSC00604 DSC00606 DSC00610 DSC00613 Camille very much enjoyed the peeling process.  We were very happy with how it came out.  Next time I would tape up the inside ledge so it would remain solid pink.  For some reason I thought it would look good with the gray running up the side. DSC00614 DSC00615 Here’s the improved space (with a table that was brought back out to the garage after the photo since i’d just applied another coat of Poly to it)  I told her to wait a bit for the paint to really cure on the cork board before she went pinning crazy.  We went ahead and hung a few pieces of her jewelry. DSC00619 DSC00620   DSC00625

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and then the gate fell down.

Down went the gate.  The gate that had been a wobbly rotting out mess for at least the 3 years we’ve been here.  The gate that was the only thing keeping Hassy the crazy dog away from the rest of the free world of squirrels and cats and dogs and passerbys and the street.  The following weekend gate building became the priority.  With the old downed gate as the model and some advice my tiny assistants and I were off to home depot for some pressure treated 2×4’s and hinges and latch.

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The next morning I took to the old gate.  I thought I could unscrew and reuse the old wood parallel pieces but learned that most of the screw heads were rotted off or just impossible to remove.  Back to home depot for some furring strips and of course paint.  I got to work that day successfully building the frame out but when it came time to cut the pieces at an angle my circular saw went to sh*t.  I went ahead and tested the frame and attached the hinges and latch to be sure it all fit and then I texted Ricky all kinds of blame for buying me a cheap crappy saw for Christmas and got really frustrated.  Dwayne to the rescue came over and told me my blade was loose and tightened it for me (oops).  I went on to cut the support cross 2x4s and most of the furring.. until I ran out of course.  Oh yes, back to Home Depot for more wood and some screws.

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I started out trying to just attached the up and down slats while the gate was hanging but I couldn’t get enough force to push the screws through the furring and then the pressure treated 2×4’s.  So i had to take down the gate… alone.  I decided to use some of the unused wood and stack it under the gate to hold it up and managed to unscrew it from the hinges and get it back into the garage.

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and there she hangs.  Pre paint.  Ok, basically what it still looks like a week later.  I’m going to say that I’m allowing the pressure treated wood to dry out before I take on painting it.  That’s my story, i’m sticking to it.  That and painting it means locking Hassy away in the house so he won’t jump or rub up against the wet paint.  I have a cut slat in the garage that I just could not get through the old wood, and then, gave up.  The right slats are intentionally shorter to clear the gutter drain pipe (I wasn’t just being economical).

 

 

It started with a loft bed

I’ve now owned this home for 3 years and started out with lots of gusto in home cleaning and improvement.  It wasn’t all shiny and move in ready when i bought it so a lot of initial work went into it… and then I guess I just got tired… stayed tired.  Got distracted and fizzled out.

For some reason this spring has caused me to want to clean things out, make things nice, get rid of things we don’t need and just live in a more organized and simpler and prettier space.

It didn’t REALLY start with the loft bed.  It started with a trip to Ikea to get a Kallax Shelving Unit to turn into a “bar” for the dining room (the never ever used dining room).  But during this trip we happened upon the kids loft beds.  I’ve been wanting a loft bed for the girls since their bedrooms are so small and their toys and games were spilling into the rest of the house.  The Ikea metal ones were previously way too high and I don’t have the funds to splurge on anything (especially since things have to be bought in twos around here).

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Over an Ikea dinner I told the girls that if they could keep their rooms clean I would get them the loft beds.  This was a Thursday.  We took the Kallax shelf home and I assembled it that night.  Ayana helped me find things around the house and we shifted them into different places.  The kid has a good eye.

Come Saturday morning I get a call from my mom “what time do you want to leave to pick up the beds?, I have the truck”.  Apparently they’d discussed the loft beds with Lola and we were getting them.  Today.  Ok.  Saturday early morning we’re in Ikea picking up loft beds which ended up with me assembling two loft beds into the early evening.  Wasn’t really difficult just, “awkward”.  Especially when both of my helpers were small and weak tiny people.

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And then I realized Ayana’s mattress was too thick for the bed.  The following afternoon we headed back to Ikea (this is Sunday now and let me tell you Ikea busy craze was in full effect) to pick her up a thinner mattress.

Does this sound exhausting?  It was.  But also motivating.  It’s nice to see your kids gleam with pride.  Our home isn’t shabby but it’s not always the cleanest place.  We live here and we LIVE here.  And i work full time and parent the rest of the time and camp and explore when we can and sit on my butt and watch TV way too often.  and… enough with all that, you get it.