Wednesday, March 11, 2015

DIY Fence and Gate

 Our fence was falling apart and we knew it was time to replace it.  Chris helped me pick out new redwood 2x4s and fence boards.  I started with the gate.  I had seen a really awesome one on Pinterest (of course)!!  I copied my design from the blog, How a Girl Built a Gate.  Check out the link here How a Girl Built a Gate.

So I started by measuring the width of the gate and laying out my fence boards.  I had to cut two a bit to make it fit.

My puppy just wanted so badly to help.  How nice to have such good help!!  I laid out all the 2x4's and cut them to match the design of the door.  It is not perfect (I have never done this kind of thing before).  But it was fun to figure it out.  I used screws to keep the boards in their place and then flipped the gate over.  I secured the boards from the front of the gate.

Then I cut the top of the door.  I used a sawsal to cut it.  I found out later that I should have done this with a  jigsaw.  No kidding!  I was shaking so hard from the sawsal bouncing all over.  The girls were watching and howling with laughter.  Please use the right tool.  It is ever so much better for you, though less fun for your kids.

I bought a really cool metal window to put in the door.  Since I didn't want to screw it up, I had my darling husband help me.  We stapled the template to the door, drilled four holes in the corner and then used the jig saw to cut the hole.  We ended up having to sand a bit to get the window to fit just right.  I LOVE having the window in the door.  It is what makes it beautiful!!

I had to wait to put the door in until the fence boards were done.   It is so pretty though!

I cut all the 2x4's and had them ready to go.  Then the real work began.

After beating the boards off and installing the 2x4's, I put up all the fence boards.  I used a 2x4 to try to get them all even.  Again, not perfect, but good enough.

This long fence took me two hours to do.  I'm sure it would take professionals a lot less time, but I'm learning.  Once the 2x4's were up, the rest went pretty quickly.

Here is the finished product.  I am in love with my new fence and gate.  Hope it inspires you to get out there and do your project.  I haven't done this kind of thing before, but it is really fun.  I have to admit, I was giggling and giddy when it was done.  It is awesome to learn something new and do it.

My metal window was purchased through Nuvo Iron.  It was $60 and shipped to my house in a week.  I also go the  latch, ornamental door handle and hinges.  The hinges that came with this didn't look strong enough.  I bought separate ones the could hold 48 pounds each.  

All done!!

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

DIY Platform Bed

My sweet sister, Megan, was the inspiration for this project.  She made a bunk bed for her kids and the bed frame for her queen bed.  She is amazing and I love that she just sees something that she wants to do and she does it.  So after our bed frame broke (four times) and we gave up fixing it, I thought about making my bed frame too. After many months of having our mattress on the floor, I decided to just do it.  Pinterest lead me to the shanty-2-chic blog.  They had step by step instructions to a cute DIY Platform bed.  I found similar ones on Amazon for $1300.00.  I made mine for $280 and love it.

My patient and kind husband helped me pick out the wood that I needed. We decided to use cedar wood.  Smells great and it has great pattern in the wood.  After measuring the wood and marking it, my husband helped me cut it.  Then I sealed it with a clear polyurethane.   The next day I drilled all the pocket holes.  That was fun!  I had never done this, so again, my dear husband showed me how.  While he was at work, I carried all the wood upstairs and assembled the bed.  I got it all done before he got home.  It was so awesome surprising Chris with a finished bed that didn't collapse on him.  

This is my super cute Sis-in-law's puppy. He was helping me with my work!!
Measuring all the boards and marking them.

I used this polyurethane clear coat on the wood.  It brought out a beautiful color in it!

Here are some of the pocket holes I cut!

The frame is together!

Got all the supports in and now adding the boards.

My bed is all done!!  I love the way it turned out and it 
even looks like it matches the furniture in my bedroom.

This is a special quilt that my mom gave to me.  She sewed a letter inside the quilt with the history of the quilt.  "This quilt was given to Laurie Reynolds in 1980.  It came from a lady, 90 years old, going into a nursing home.  She said it had been made by her mother, and was very old.  It was only the top and had never been quilted.  I, Laurie, quilted about 1/2 and then the ladies at Heritage Baptist Church in Pennsylvania quilted the remainder.  The quilt came from a house in Elmira, New York.  The quilt was finished in 2007 and given to Sarah Jeanette Kuhner, Laurie's Daughter.  Laurie Reynolds"

I love the detailed quilting on here.

The Shanty-2-Chic blog had great instructions on how to make this platform bed.  It was for a twin bed and I had to measure every thing for a queen.  Here are the measurements if you want to make a queen bed.  
Two 2x8's- Cut these 62 1/2 inches long.  These are the bottom pieces for the top and the bottom.
Two 2x8's- Cut these 79 1/2 inches long.  These are the bottom pieces for the sides.
Two 2x6's- Cut these 86 1/2 inches long.  These are the side top pieces.
One 2x6- Cut this 59 1/2 inches long.  This is the top end piece.
Two 2x2's- Cut this 79 1/4 inches long.  These are the side cleats to support the boards holding up the mattress.
One 2x4-Cut this 79 1/2 inch.  This is the middle support under the boards holding up the mattress.
Thirteen 1x6's-Cut them 59 1/2 inches long.  These boards hold up the mattress.

I measured this for a 60x80 queen bed.  I cut it just slightly smaller and it is perfect with the mattress on it.  The rest of the directions on Shanty-2-Chic blog are great and easy to follow.  

Thursday, February 12, 2015

GF Pumpkin Muffins

This is one of the best recipes I have ever made that is gluten free.  These muffins are light and have the texture of real (wheat) muffins.  I make a double batch of these at least once a month.  Eat a bunch, then freeze the rest.  They are just the same after defrosting.  These pumpkin muffins are amazing just baked as a muffin or as bars with cream cheese frosting on them.  Everyone of my friends who has tried them, loves them.

The Original Recipe

4      Eggs
1 2/3 Cups of Sugar
1 Cup Oil
15 oz Canned Pumpkin
2 Cups Maninis Gluten Free Flour or Pamela's Pancake and Baking Mix
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
 (I always add a small amount of nutmeg and cloves, plus a cup of chocolate chips)

Cream Cheese Frosting  from Dessert Now, Dinner Later

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Mix together: Eggs, sugar, oil and pumpkin
3. In a separate bowl, mix together: Flour, Baking powder, Cinnamon, Salt and Baking Soda.
4. Combine both mixtures together.  Then add the chocolate chips.
5. Spray 24 mini muffin tins OR 12 regular muffin tins OR a 9x11 cake pan.
6. Bake the mini muffins for 20 minutes or the big muffins/cake pan for 30 minutes.
7. Cool on a rack and then place in a sealed container or ice.

A Healthier Version of Pumpkin Muffins

4      Eggs
1 Cups of  Coconut Sugar
1 Tablespoon Stevia or Sugar Substitute
3/4 Cup Oil
1/4 Cup Apple Sauce
15 oz Canned Pumpkin
2 Cups Maninis Gluten Free Flour or Pamelas
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
 (I always add a small amount of nutmeg and cloves.  1 Cup Unsweetened Carob Chips)

Mix up and bake the same as the original version.

Thursday, February 05, 2015

Living Room Redo

I had wanted to repaint the accent walls in my living room.  After looking at lots of paint colors, I initially choose Labrador Blue by Benjamine Moore.  I painted two coats and then realized that it was really not the color I wanted.  It was much too 'baby blue' for a living room.  This first photo is showing the first paint color.

Just had to show my painting partners.  So cute!

I took a tile that I had recently installed in my kitchen and had them paint match a shade lighter.

The color on the left is the new color: Atlantic Shoreline (ppu13-4) by Behr.  I bought it at Home Depot.   The one of the right is: Labrador Blue by Benjamine Moore.  I had this mixed at Lowes.   The colors here don't really show what it looked like.

I really liked the Atlanic Shoreline color once it was finished.  It has brightened up my room and I love how it ties into the tile in my kitchen.

This picture is the closest I can get to the real color on the walls.  

Finishing our Kitchen Project

Today we finally got to work on putting in the tile on our back splash.  After taking two months off, it was time to get back to work.  Here is the damage to the wall caused by the previous back splash.

Do you like my first attempt at patching up the wall?  Chris didn't think the patch fit exactly.  It did work for two months!!!

This was the worst of the damage that had to get fixed before the back splash could get done.

I did bought the dry wall, cut it out and installed it by myself. 
 It was pretty fun doing something new and making it work!!

I am also working on adding a trim piece under the counter. 
 The gap between the counters and the cabinets doesn't look so great.  

I got this fun trim today.  I'll paint it white to make it match the cabinets.

In the midst of everything else we were doing, I had Chris put up the kids pencil sharpener under the counter.  I love having it right where we could use it all the time.

I added a shelf to keep our Bibles on.  
I was able to use the left over maple from the shelves to make this shelf.

I made this little recipe book nook.

I picked up the tile we got at Bedrosians.  It is such a pretty blue colored glass.  

Chris showed me how to mud the wall and place the tile.  It was fun figuring this out and putting the tile up.  I placed each piece and marked the ones for Chris to cut.  He used our tile saw to cut each one.  Working together we got it all done.

Here is our kitchen in September before we started.  It seems so closed in and small. 

Here is our transformed kitchen!!  It is so open, light and beautiful.
I just love how the paint in the living room ties in with the tile in the kitchen.  This is my happy place.  It has been amazing to see the change in my kitchen bit by bit.  I have learned to do many, many things that I have never tried before.  It is liberating and exciting to realize that I can just decide to try something and then figure out how to do it.