Tuesday, September 08, 2015

DIY Bench/Game Shelf

I had a blank wall and no ideas for how to make it cute and useful.  My mom had an idea to build a shelf for all of our games in this space.  I loved that idea, but knew that our house could use more seating and a cozy spot to read.  We transformed the shelf idea into both a shelf and a sturdy bench.  It turned out amazingly well.  

I am new at woodworking but do find such joy in making projects out of plain wood.  I had made a Platform Bed out of cedar planks.  Since I had a few boards left over, I figured that they would make a great bench top.  I had only enough wood to make 8 feet and I needed 10 more inches to fill up the wall.  I ended up creating a cute little shelf to fill the corner and keep the pillows from falling off the end.  I bought cheep planks to make the rest of it.  This took me 3 days to complete.  The cutting and initial staining took the longest.  Then we had to stain the other side and let it dry.  It took about an hour to assemble.

Here is the material that I started with.

2  2x8's that were 10 feet long.  
(ok, it was actually 4 pieces doweled/glued together to form a plank.
  I'm cheep and I just use what is on hand)

4  1x8 by 8 feet of pine

1 2x12 by 10 feet of doug fir

Gorilla wood glue

2 inch, 2 1/2 inch and 3 inch screws

8 L brackets for support

A miter saw, table saw, pocket hole jig, dowel jib and screw driver were the tools I used.

Plus Danish oil (I used Dark Walnut on all the pieces)

First, I cut all the pieces that I would need.  My dad helped me set up a brace to allow me to cut all the vertical shelving at 14 inches.  We screwed a piece of scrap wood to my workbench at 14 inches from the miter saw.  Saved a lot of time when we were cutting.

Here are the cuts:

1 1/2 inch by 1 1/2 inch by 14 inches long = 4 total

6 1/2 inch by 1 1/2 inch by 14 inches long = 4 total

11 1/2 inch by 1 1/2 inches by 14 inches long = 4 total

2  2x8 inch by 8 foot planks for the bench.  I used cedar.

4  1x8 inch by 8 foot planks for the shelves.  I used pine.

I sanded and stained each of these pieces. 

Since we wanted the bench and shelves to be strong and able to withstand weight, my dad helped me to put dowels in the boards to make them a 16 inch wide plank.    I had never done this, so my dad ended up doing it.  He marked each of the boards every 6 inches.  Drilled the holes with the dowel jig.  We dry fit them and then glued and clamped them together.

Once all the boards were doweled, stained and dry we assembled them. 
Start with the bench turned upside down.  Pocket hole each of the 6 1/2 inch boards.  I used 2 inch and 2 1/2 inch screws since I didn't have enough of one of them.  Again, just making do with what I have.   Make sure that you place the board correctly so that the good side is in the front and then put the pocket holes where they will be less conspicuous.  We accidentally put one set of the holes on the outside of the bench.  Whoops!!

Then place the L brackets on each shelf.  I messed up here and placed them on the front of the shelf instead of the back.  You can see the unstained wood is the back and the bracket at the other end.  Don't make this mistake!!  Fortunately you can't see them on my shelves and it is a quick fix to move them.

Each board should be 29.5 inches apart and centered in the middle of the bench.  We had 1 1/2 inches on either side (I think).  Really, you can make this any dimension.  Just center each divider.  

Sorry for no more photos, I was so into the project I forgot.  Once all the 6 1/2 inch boards are secure,  place the 1 by 8 board on top and screw it down with 2 inch screws.  Add the 11 1/2 inch boards next, keeping them directly above and at a 90 degree angle.  Then add the last 1 by 8 board and screw it on with 2 inch screws.  Then add the 1 1/2 by 1 1/2 inch boards for the bottom.  I used 3 inch screws here.  I counter sunk them so that they would not split the board and the screw would not touch the floor.  Easy peasy!!!

Here is my bench in my living room.  All ready for the shelf and games.

I used an extra Cedar board that I had to make the shelf.  It was 2 by 6 inch.  I cut three pieces 16 inches long (so the shelf could be away from the wall a bit and allow room for the baseboards.  There are two brackets holding up the shelf.  My husband used dowels to secure the two top pieces together.  I used pocket holes and screws to add the bottom board.  This is only secured to the wall. The bottom board rests on the shelf but is not secured to it. This way, I can pull out the bench to clean and such if I need to.  

My puppy was just begging to be in a photo!!!

This is my happy place now.  I love my little butterfly lamp I have in the corner on the shelf.  It makes it feel all cozy and perfect.  My mom is still working on some cute artwork for the wall, but it is looking good so far. 


Now, off to play some good old fashioned games!!!

Thursday, September 03, 2015

Thankful to be a NICU Nurse today!!!

This morning I am amped up.  No caffeine!  No sleep for 26 hours!  Just awake and energized and full of ideas and thoughts.  So instead of going to sleep like a good night shift nurse, I am sitting in my comfy bird chair with my hot vanilla milk and blogging.  When the ideas start coming, sometimes you have to slow down and just get them on paper (well, sort of).  So today I'm having a thankful day.

I try so hard to be grateful for each and every moment.  I count each gift that God has graciously given me.  My joy journals will attest to that fact.  I have named and received almost 4000 gifts from God.  The last couple of hours are no exception.

  Last night I was working in my NICU with two sweet babies.  I started thinking how truly blessed I really am as one of the little ones held my thumb in his hand.  A hand so tiny his thumb and fingers still had a cm to go before they would touch each other.   These babies are fighting for their lives.  Again and again they stop breathing and I rub their back and see their dusky lips and ask them to please just keep breathing.  One more good deep breathe to bring the color back to their tiny faces.  And I'm grateful for my life.  And for my healthy children.  I'm grateful for my job that allows me to snuggle these precious children and love on them day after day, until they are big enough to go home to their own mommy.  I walk through doors that are closed to all but the few that take care of these sweet ones and the families holding onto hope and fighting back tears until they can take their baby home.  And I'm grateful!

No one knows the hours or days that they have left here on earth.  We are only here for a moment, and then are gone like the flowers that grow outside my window.  Take time today to search for the gifts that have been given to you.  They aren't a gift until you name them.  Write them down.  Say them out loud.  Realize what you have.  I am thankful for life and smiles, friendships and encouragement, a clean floor and folded laundry, kids that are learning to do the chores and give me sweet kisses and love.  There is so much to thank God for!!!!

I'm exhausted and headed up to my comfy bed with my huge fan that drowns out noise (for which I am SUPER thankful).  Love you all!  I am grateful for each of you in my life.  You enrich my life and encourage me more than you will ever know.  Have a great day!

Saturday, June 06, 2015

Kids Say the Darndest Things

Bekah’s Questions When She was 8 Years Old 
 Hannah’s Questions When She was 6 Years Old

Questions about Daddy

1. What is something dad always says to you?
Hannah: I love you
Bekah: I’m a tom boy.
2. What makes dad happy? Hannah: When I say I love you.  Bekah:  Sticking out his tongue and burping at the table.
3. What makes daddy sad? Hannah: When I disobey.  Bekah:  When someone dies.
4. How does your daddy make you laugh? Hannah:  When I do something silly.  Bekah:He tickles me, makes faces at me and burps at the table.
5. What was your dad like as a child? Hannah:  Joyful.  Bekah:  Kind
6. How old is your daddy? Hannah:  I don’t know. . . 42.  Bekah:  44
7. How tall is your daddy? Hannah: Over the 6  Bekah: Two yard sticks.
8. What is his favorite thing to do? Hannah: Keeps a secret to go out to places.  Bekah:  Singing
9. What does your dad do when you're not around? Hannah:  Watches TV.  Bekah:  He works, plays on his iPad.
10. If your dad becomes famous, what will it be for? Hannah:  Being a doctor (giggles)  Bekah:  Singing and playing the drums.
11. What is your daddy really good at? Hannah:  I can’t think of anything that daddy is not good at, except going on walks.  You never go on walks.  Bekah:  Working for Papa Karl.
12. What is your dad not very good at? Hannah:  Going on walks.  Bekah:Walks
13. What does your dad do for a job? Hannah:  Goes to the office.  Bekah:  Works for Papa Karl and gets phone calls.
14.What is your dad’s favorite food? Hannah:  I have to say Ice cream.  Bekah:  Meat- tri-tip , pork chops
15.What makes you proud of your daddy?  Hannah: I’m out of ideas.  Bekah:  He gets money to pay for our school and he is very kind.
16. If your dad were a character, who would he be?  Hannah:   Mr. Banks in Mary Poppins   Bekah:  He would make a good Pooh Bear.
17. What do you and your dad do together?   Hannah:  Watch Movies.  Bekah:  Wrestle, spend time together.
18. How are you and your dad the same?  Hannah:  No idea.  Bekah:  We like to wrestle and burp at the table out loud.
19. How are you and your dad different? Hannah:  He has a mustache and I don’t.  Bekah:  He is stronger than I am.
20. How do you know your dad loves you? Hannah: You say you love me.  Bekah:  If I hit my sister, he makes me deal with it-doesn’t just let it go.
21. What does your dad like most about your mom? Hannah:  I can’t answer that.  Too creepy.   (In disgust) You kiss each other.  Bekah:  Mom is solemn and stern.
22. Where is your dad’s favorite place to go? Hannah:  Bodin. Bekah:  Coldstone.
23. How old was your Dad when you were born? Hannah: 24 years old.  Bekah:  30.

Questions about Mommy

1. What is something mom always says to you?
Hannah: I love you  Bekah: I love you
2. What makes mom happy? Hannah: When I obey and when I say I love you.   Bekah:  When I obey and when I help you clean the house.
3. What makes mom sad? Hannah: When I disobey.  Bekah:  When I disobey and we can’t go to a fun place because of that.
4. How does your mom make you laugh? Hannah:  When she does something silly like make faces.   Bekah:   When she plays fun games with me and tickles me.
5. What was your mom like as a child? Hannah:  I don’t know.  Bekah:  Playful, fun and kind.
6. How old is your mom? Hannah:  I don’t know. . . 40’s.  Bekah:   32
7. How tall is your mom? Hannah:  (Looks at height chart) 6 foot  Bekah:  A yard stick and a foot.
8. What is her favorite thing to do? Hannah: Take pictures  Bekah: Spend time with me.
9. What does your mom do when you're not around? Hannah:  Clean the house   Bekah: Sleeping, but when you aren’t sleeping, you clean and go shopping.
10. If your mom becomes famous, what will it be for? Hannah:  To help people and take care of them.  You would be a good nurse to be a super hero.  Bekah:  For making GF cookies.
11. What is your mom really good at? Hannah:  Being silly.  Bekah:  Baking
12. What is your mom not very good at? Hannah:  Being mad.  You don’t get mad a lot.  Bekah:  Singing and sneezing, cause you sneeze really loud.  Hatchooie!
13. What does your mom do for a job? Hannah:  Take care of people.  Babies.   Bekah:  Works nights shift taking care of babies.
14.What is your mom's favorite food? Hannah:  Mashed Potatoes and the long green things (asparagus)   Bekah:  Cheese puffs, tritip, artichokes, carrots, asparagus.
15.What makes you proud of your mom? Hannah:  When you take care of me.  You are such a good mom.   Bekah:  She takes good care of us.  When we do something wrong she doesn’t ignore it, she take care of it.  
16. If your mom were a character, who would she be? Hannah:  Mary Poppins  Bekah:  You would make a good rabbit.  Like the one in Winnie the Pooh.  Because his house is clean and that is like mom’s house.  And Mary Poppins too, since she can snap her fingers and clean a room. That is just like you.
17. What do you and your mom do together? Hannah:  Go to the park.   Bekah:  Go out to ice cream, go out to the park and just play together.
18. How are you and your mom the same? Hannah:  We like to take walks together.   Bekah:  We like to sort things and have things in its spot.
19. How are you and your mom different? Hannah:  You are taller than me. Bekah:  I don’t keep my room clean and you do.
20. How do you know your mom loves you? Hannah: You say you love me.  Bekah:  When I get hurt you are there to help me.  You help feed me, have a bed to sleep in and give me clothes.
21. What does your mom like most about your dad? IHannah: That he sleeps with you.   Bekah: That he is inappropriate.   He burps at the table.
22. Where is your mom's favorite place to go? Hannah: On a walk to the park.  Bekah:  To work because you have lots of friends there, the beach and the park to be with us.
23. How old was your Mom when you were born?  Hannah: 24 years old.  Bekah: 32

Saturday, May 16, 2015

DIY Farmhouse Table for $150

One of my dear friends has a bunch of kids and a table that was falling apart.  So we started talking about making a new table.  After lots of time on pinterest finding the perfect table, we chose this Farmhouse Table.  You can click on  Ana White's website for the plans to make your own.

I am an amateur power tool princess, but absolutely love power tools and learning how to make awesome things.  I have never made a table before and was excited to try it.  My friend trusted me and so we started this project.  

I got 4 2x10 by 8 foot Redwood Planks for the top of the table.  That cost $100 but this table needed a good, strong and beautiful top.  The cracks and imperfections were wood puttied, sanded and sanded some more.

Then I got the 2x4s out of pine, plus the 1x4.  Note to those of you that want to make this.  Make your long cuts first and then all the shorter ones.  We had to buy an extra board since I didn't do that and I didn't have a long enough board to make the last few cuts.  We used the miter saw to make these beautiful cuts.  Be very careful to make each one exact or you get some gaps when it is assembled.

I used Danish oil stain, Dark Walnut color for the stain on the entire table.  It turned out beautifully.

Then we assembled four of the "K" pieces.  This was much more difficult than I thought it would be.  We used a drill bit to make pilot holes and then countersunk the screws.  Use the 2 inch screws to assemble these.  

I changed Anna Whites plans for putting the ends together.  Instead of using finish nails and trying to patch the holes, we just glued and clamped them together.  Once assembled, this was very sturdy.   It was simple to do and there are no nail/screw holes to be seen.

Then we added the 1x4's to the top and bottom of each end piece.  Use the 2 inch screws and go into the meat of the wood. We countersunk each of the screws so it didn't split the wood.

The rest of it went together easily.  We added the next two pieces, making sure they were centered.  To make the table a bit simpler, we made a 45 degree cut on both of the 2x4s.  This was a slightly different version that Anna White had suggested.  

Use the 3 inch screw to put the 2 2x4's together.

All set and ready to assemble.

We put the table together in the dinning room.  We added the feet to the ends and assembled the cross beams when it was upside down.  Anna White's table has the cross pieces vertical.  I chose to put them horizontal.  (Mostly because I cut the braces that way without thinking about it.)  We made the pocket holes and then did pilot holes into the 2x4's.  Once the table was flipped over, you only see one set of screws.  Everything else was hidden.

Then we flipped the table right side up and did the last of the screws in the brace.  These are the only ones that you can see on the whole table.

Anna White's design was to use finish nails and drive them through the top the table into the 2x4's.  We really didn't want any hole in the top, so we added 1x6's to the top of the ends.  My friends little boy got to help with this!  We stained the edges just so no one would see them. It blended very well with the table.

Then we added to 4 2x10's to the top.  It took awhile to make it look just right, but it was worth it.  We counter sunk the screw from below through the 1x6 scrap wood.  This table seems really sturdy and is so beautiful.  

I really loved how it turned out.  It was a fun project and I learned so much.  It took more time than I was expecting but it was my first table.  Hope you enjoy it!!