Category Archives: DIY

Will-Built DIY Shelving

Our mud room/laundry room has been getting  a lot of attention lately.  We all of a sudden came up with a bunch of ideas on how we want to improve it.  First of all, we got rid of the old baby blue color, that I thought made the mud room look dingy and it just didn’t flow or blend with the rest of the house.  So we painted the room a nice cheery, pale yellow Benjamin Moore paint called Soleil.  We painted our guest room that color last year, and absolutely love it.  Its pale, soft, cheery, and sunshiny.  And it’s not too dark and not too light.  Perfect.  So we thought this room needed a little cheering up too and the Soleil color did just that.

And, the bigger news is that my hubby just finished building, staining, and installing some awesome custom shelving units.  I LOVE these, they are a great use of the space, and they give me so much more storage and pantry space.

He built them with good quality pine, and we used wood conditioner and then a natural stain.  We got the idea from my Aunt Connie who has shelves just like this in her mud room, then found these Williams-Sonoma shelves.  I printed off the picture for Will, we took some measurements and he got to work!

He has turned our garage into a wood-working shop, and he’s pretty happy out there in his man room/work space.  In fact, he’s out there now working on another project we have for the laundry/mud room.  I’ll be showing some more upcoming DIY improvements later.  But for now, I’ll be enjoying the new shelves! 🙂

A Misplaced Elf, Perhaps

I’ve been thinking, maybe Santa has misplaced one of his elves from his wood working shop.  One of those handy guys must have made his way down here to live in our garage and help Will build some furniture.  I’m not saying that because I think that he needs the help and guidance from a wood-working expert, but because he built all this in just the last week…

I love finding furniture plans on Ana White‘s site, and we’ve been wanting to build this Coffee Table for a while now.  So Will got busy and built it, along with a couple End Tables and a Sofa Console to go with it.

A lot of Ana White’s furniture plans are made to mimic Pottery Barn furniture, which I why I love them.  This set looks just like their Hyde Coffee Table, the Hyde Side Tables, and their Sofa Console.  $1296 for these four pieces, PB??  Thanks anyway!  =)

I love that they’re solid wood (Pine) and so sturdy.  Also love that Will modified the plans a little to add on a shelf at the bottom of the end tables and the sofa table.

I’m pretty excited about our new furniture!  I’m going to help him with all the sanding and staining this week.  We should be able to put it all to use soon! =)

New Digs for Jack

I love the weekends where my hubby and I can just be home and eat, watch movies, and work on projects around the house.  We just had one of those lovely weekends.  I worked on super-cleaning the house, laundry, knitting a hat, made a big pot of Chicken Noodle Soup, and baked some more Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies.  And Will built a dog house for Jack.  He loves getting into a good wood-working project in the garage and he really got into this one, making it nice and cozy, complete with insulation, windows, and shingles on the roof.

Running away with daddy’s wood scraps.  (He probably did ingest about that much wood over the weekend)…

The finished house turned out pretty cute!  Now this guy has a comfy bed and a shelter when he gets all frosty-faced…

Of course he would rather be inside with us, but we think he likes his new pad for when he has to be outside.  =)

Homemade Pickles

I picked up seven pounds of pickling cucumbers at the Farmers Market and am going to make and can Dill Pickles.  I’m pretty excited, been wanting to do this for a while now and don’t know why I never did it last summer.  We planted some pickling cucs in our garden this year but I have yet to figure out how to grow them here.  One of our unsuccessful garden plantings, we need some more warm weather here and a longer summer, and/or a greenhouse!

Anyway, so nice and easy to be able to get them from a local produce farm at the Farmers Market.  Have any of you made and canned dill pickles?  I would love to hear your tips and secrets of success!  I am using my William-Sonoma Art of Preserving book, which I love and it has served me well so far.  Anyway, would love to hear some tips! =)

Rosemary and Sea Salt

Rosemary and Sea Salt.  A great combination.  You can eat it, or you can wear it. All summer long I struggle with dry, cracked, and dirt-stained feet.  Especially this summer, walking in and out of the house a thousand times a day barefoot to the back yard with the pup, for playing and potty training.  Now that we have grass it’s so easy to walk outside barefoot.

Last year after my wedding I got a few things at Remedies Day Spa in Whitefish.  One of the items was some lavender foot scrub, and since they so kindly list the ingredients on the bottom of the jar, I just threw some more of it together when I ran out.  Sea salt, olive oil, essential oil, Vit. E oil, and I mixed in Epsom salts, and some dried rosemary.  It only takes a few minutes to mix together, works so well on dry feet with the salt to scrub and the olive oil to moisturize.  Feels so nice, and it smells so good, I love rosemary.

Natural remedies like this are so fun to make at home.  I’d like to get into it make a lot more fun things like this someday when I have time.  But for now, this is so nice for happy summertime feet.  =)

Our Newest Additions

I’d like to introduce you to the new additions to our family, or our home I should say… We start slow, with plants, vegetables, and trees.  Maybe someday we’ll take the next step and get a cat or a dog.  Anyway, I’d like you to meet Mr. Acer rubrum, Mr. Prunus maackii, and Miss Malus dolgo.  They are all really darn good looking and stand tall and firm.  We adopted them at age three, and they weigh in at 800-900 lbs.

This weekend we went to work and got three nice trees on our property.  May is surely the month of planting and gardening, and we have really been getting a bit of landscaping done too.  After a while of coming up with a vision and somewhat of a plan for our property, we went to Four Seasons Nursery and picked out our trees.

They are looking pretty good and healthy now that we got them to their new homes and their roots planted firm in the ground.  I think they’re adapting nicely…

Amur Chokecherry

The Chokecherry tree is in the front yard, kind of along the side in a bed which we will fill with ornamental gravel and some shrubs.  She is starting to be covered in soft white frilly flowers that look like snow.

Red Maple

Red made his way to the backyard, nestled in where we have a fire pit, landscaping rock, and soon will be accompanied with some big shrubs and gravel.  Might look kind of small from the photo, but actually is about 13′ tall.

Dolgo Crabapple

And my favorite, the flowering Crabapple is looking right at home in the backyard near the garden.  She is covered in pretty pink buds that are now blossoming into white flowers and will soon give us lots of good-sized crabapples to eat.

I really can’t wait to have this fruit and make jelly and Apple Butter to can for the winters!  And I’m hoping the birds and deer know better than to try and beat me to the apples, or I will teach them!  The Dolgo is so beautiful, completely covered in white blossoms in the Spring.  She will someday reach about 30′ tall and look like this.  We are going to get a dwarf or semi-dwarf apple tree soon to put by the Crabapple.  The Dolgo happens to be a perfect pollinator for apple trees, and is sometimes added to apple orchards just for that reason.  Someday we’ll get to enjoy a nice bumper crop of apples!

I’m kind of making it sound like it was a walk in the park getting these trees put in, but involved a lot of labor.  Will used a tractor of a friend’s, and rented a Bobcat with a forklift for the day, and I helped with a lot of digging, watering, and raking.  It was a lot of work!

Digging big holes… the root balls were 3′ wide and 2.5′ deep!  …And digging big holes while talking on the phone.

The three trees on Will’s trailer weighed more than having two snowmobiles on it!  It seemed like quite the feat to get these things off the trailer and over in their holes until we got the Bobcat rented with the forklift…

Then it was easy getting them into their spot!  Now for the dirty work…

I hosed it down and got it all saturated as he filled it all in.

Yes I was working too, and covered in dirt… just quickly snapped a few pictures in between!

Soon enough she’s in there good, ready to withstand the annoying windstorms we get… (we hope), and free to grow.

We do live in a wind belt area at the bottom of a mountain, and get some pretty brutal wind storms and gusts sometimes, so we can’t be picking out any dinky trees to put out here, they’d get pretty beat up!

After doing that process three times and having a good 8 hour work day of landscaping, we were pretty happy it was done.

And dirty.  And tired!

We’re really enjoying the new additions.  Feels good to have another big project done that makes the house feel more homey and beautiful!


DIY Furniture #2

Don’t you just love making your house a home by do-it-yourself projects, finding crafty and thrifty ways to furnish and decorate?  I do!  My handy husband and I finished up making our second piece of furniture, a little shelf stand for our master bathroom.  Just like the last one, he did the building and I sanded, primed, and painted.  So fun!

And so nice to have a more finished touch to the bathroom… And additional storage!

I love this little shelf stand!  I found the plan for the Bath Storage Tower on Ana White’s website.

Isn’t it great?  I’m thinking one with a little less wide and deep would be a perfect plant stand for inside the house.  And another of the same size for the mud room, to keep a wire basket for potatoes and another basket for storing onions and garlic would be great!  So many great uses.

What would you love to use this storage tower for?  What color would you do?  🙂