Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Mud Buddy

Hmmm.....

It might be time for some grooming.

Specifically a bath. Then a little trim.

I'm so in love.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Whoops!

So my herb garden is really really thriving. (Almost) everything has sprouted in my sunny kitchen window.

The problem is, I just kind of threw the whole packet of seeds into some kind of small pots, thinking only a few would grow.

Well, I'm pretty sure they all grew.

This afternoon, I spent a couple of hours "thinning" them out and transplanting them into several pots.


Another problem is that I ran out of pots.

And the final problem is, that it kind of took over my kitchen. I had to bring in a small folding table to hold all the pots.


But wait! I can still see some table top! Maybe I can track down some more pots, because I still have this to plant:

There are 10 plants in there...

Does anyone have some pots I can borrow?

Monday, February 22, 2010

Cece

I promise I won't tack the word "project" onto everything I do, but this time I will use it in this instance.

Cece has definitely become a big project.

We knew she was skittish (that's for you, Shelli!) when we got her. We knew it would take a long time for her to get used to us. We DIDN'T know she would actually get worse.

Here she is, cowering behind a chair, trying to hide from me and my camera. I got her anyway!

It's really been a struggle to even get her out of her kennel. She will crouch back in the corner and hunker down when we open the door. I have to literally crawl into the kennel, hook on her leash, and do a combination of pulling her leash and lifting her up. 

This gets old.

Oh look! Another picture of her cowering!

Last week, after I dragged her out of her kennel, I walked her to the back door (it had been hours since she'd gone outside.) I was using our plastic handled retractable leash, and lost a hold of it. This noise scared her so much, that she took off all around the yard. The more she ran, the more the leash pounded on the ground, and the more scared she got. It was an endless cycle. I thought I'd try to stop her, so when she ran by, I grabbed the leash cord.

BAD IDEA! The cord wrapped around my thumb about 3 times, and she kept on running. I was positive that my thumb was going to be sliced off.

Well, eventually she stopped. Not sure why, but she did. But not before I lost the feeling in my thumb, and then watched as it immediately bruised and throbbed. Uggghhh.....

Ever since then, Cece has been freaked. She won't come near me, and runs in the opposite direction when she sees either me or Kennedy. 

When we finally corner her, she squats and pees in utter fear.

This gets old.

However, to look in those sad eyes, I know there is nothing I can do but try.

We know she's better off in our home. We know there's a personality somewhere buried behind that cowering, squatting dog.


And she's just cute. And we kind of love her. 

Does anyone have any tips for training this dog? I would love to hear from anyone who has dealt with a problem like this before!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Old is made new again!

Well, once again I redid my layout and renamed my blog. Will I ever be satisfied? Probably not...

Progress on the fireplace is coming along. Isn't it funny how perfectly planned projects often go awry? I say, account for 3 times the amount of time you think it will actually take you. And then, you still won't finish on time. Oh well, better to take our time than for it to look like we just nailed a bunch of wood scraps together!

Can't wait to share some pictures!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

"Shoot, let me get your help for just a sec..."

That is the anthem of a husband in the middle of a project that you didn't volunteer for. It's never for just a sec.

Kennedy and I did agree on a project for the weekend together, however. And that is to create a fireplace fa├žade to cover our brownish-pink brick fireplace.

Look, it's a nice fireplace, but it just isn't doin' it for us. Plus, we believe the mantle is ill-fitted and ill-placed. 

So let's just re-do the whole thing, right?!?! Progress pictures to follow. In the mean-time, let me share with you a completed project!

Here are Elvis & Cece, my little dog Valentines, sitting atop a brand new dog bed!

I made it! I found the fabric at Wal-mart, and the entire project totaled under $5.00 (including fabric & stuffing from old pillows.) It came out beautifully, and the dogs loved it.

Unfortunately, the other night, Cece ripped it up. I don't just mean she ripped the seams apart. I mean, she shredded it. So, I'll have to start anew. Hey, it was only $3.50, right?

This is getting boring. Let me show you how I made this:


This project is yet another thing that was under $5.00. It cost me about $4.75, if I were to guess.

Let's delve.

I started with this:

This is insulating foam-core from our recent work-out room renovation. You might have this lying around your house. But if you don't, you can find it at Home Depot or Lowe's. I don't know how much it costs per sheet, but it's cheap. REAL cheap.

Then I went and got these:
This is 12x12 scrapbook paper from Hobby Lobby (aka heaven).

I found 9 that I liked, because I like square arrangements. You can find as many or as few as you'd like. Each sheet ran about 60 cents, except for 4 of them, which were on clearance for 12 cents. Score!

Then I took a sharp knife and a metal ruler and got to cutting that foam-core down to 12x12 pieces. This was tough. I recommend having a practice piece so you can get a straight cut. It tends to shred on the edges, which doesn't work for me. Maybe you want that look, in which case you would not use a metal ruler as a straight cutting edge, and you would not make several shallow cuts in the foam with a very sharp knife until a clean cut is made.

See how I did that? I just told you how I made straight cuts but telling you what NOT to do. It's called reverse psychology. Get used to it.

Ok, so NEXT!

 I took this black acrylic craft paint from my college roommate. Actually, she left a whole bag of paints in her closet when we moved, so I picked them up. This came in very handy for my next step. Sully, if you're looking for this paint, I have it, and you don't need it because you're too busy with med school.

So, obviously, I painted the edges of the foam. It went on easily, dried quickly, and shazam! The edges are now black. I believe this finishes the pieces off nicely.

(By the way, I stole this project idea from Stacy in South Dakota, hi Stacy! Stacy actually glued ribbon around the edges of hers which made it look REALLY nicely finished. They were beautiful. But I didn't want to buy ribbon because I'm lazy. So I painted.)

Finally, I glued the scrapbook paper to one side of the board and smoothed out the bubbles. Then I hung them on the wall, and viola! Cheap-ass art for my laundry room.

Now go! Go find your scrapbook paper and foam and make something of yourselves! I want to see your end results in exactly 16 hours or less.


Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Great Laundry Room Reveal!

I've been waiting for this moment for weeks. My laundry room is finally done. Actually, it's not, but it's finally reached the phase where I can share photos. The rest is "behind closed doors" things that need to be done. (i.e., I really need to get my cabinets organized.)

Let's take a quick look at my previous phases in this project!

Move-in day. Eeeeewwwww.

Notice a few things: the door to the ironing board cupboard is literally hanging on by a screw. (Sidenote: that is actually the newest cabinet in the room...how does something like that happen, unless a child was swinging from it?) Also, the large green stain on the floor. It's actually a big glob of laundry detergent. THAT was fun to clean. NOT!

Phase I - Peel down the wall paper.





I do believe that the glue from the wall-paper that was peeled played a large part in how chapped my hands are right now.

Phase II - Texture the walls and paint.

(No photos for this phase...whoops!)

Phase III - Paint all cabinets, trim, doors (and cabinet handles.)

(before)
(after)

The lighting doesn't do this transformation justice. Before, this particular cabinet was actually a cream shade (I would say Banana.) Seriously yellow. Now, the cabinets are actually bright white! It cleaned up the whole room.

Ok, let's get to the reveal. There were a couple of projects that happened, even though the laundry room was completed. I had Kennedy make me a tall table to fold on, that would also conceal Cece's kennel. I sewed a skirt for that table to make her feel all cozy in there. 

I also did a little art project to bring some color into the room. The wall paint is actually a very faint blue, but it looks white. A lot lighter than I had anticipated, but I'm not painting it again!

Phase IV - Accessorize!

Ta-da!

Here's that old, chipped-up cabinet with fresh white paint. I also took the old brass handles and spray-painted them with a bronze color.

As you can see, I found a home for my ceramic dog. Kennedy said it couldn't stay on the mantle.

And heeeeeeere's Cece! (You can see her because she's hiding, as usual. But that's her cage.

The room is not done, as I mentioned before. All the cabinets need to be cleaned, papered, and organized. The legs on this table need to be painted (but that can wait until it doesn't have a skirt on it anymore.) Maybe one day I'll feel like re-tiling the floors with something that doesn't show so much dirt. But for now, it's perfect! I think I'll go do some laundry NOW!


Monday, February 15, 2010

Poodle Doodle!

Before

After

Taking projects and knockin' 'em out! This little puppy will go perfectly in my new laundry room (there are a few finishing touches and then I will reveal it!)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Ever the neglectful blogger...

Cece and I are here to update this blog. How do people live life AND still have time to blog about it? I'm still trying to find that alleged balance between the two.

NO, the laundry room isn't done. But it's pretty darn close! In order to tide myself over until I can make a big reveal right here on this very blog, I will talk about some other fun things from the week!

Cece and Elvis are Valentines.

So far, these two are spending most of their time competing with one another (or Cece is laying in her kennel with the door wide open, sighing and acting depressed.)

You can see her back there, pissed that Elvis is in her room. You can see Elvis sitting there, oblivious, because he has spent his whole life getting everything he could ever want.

They're so cute.

I'm trying to pace myself so my blog posts aren't miles long with weeks between them. So, with that said, I will only talk about ONE of my recent projects.

I will call this "How I started my own herb garden."

How I Started My Own Herb Garden, by Sara.

Here are the goods.

I'm starting slow. I only chose 5 packets of seeds a couple of weeks ago to get myself started. I found a sunny window in my kitchen and got to work. I thought, I'll see if anything happens with these, I'll go from there! 

Here are the rest of the supplies. 

I left out a picture of water and sunlight, because DUH! Do you really not know that you need water and sunlight to grow a seed (or 500?)

500 is my estimate of how many seeds I planted, with about 100 being in each packet.  I tend to over-estimate, though.

Here is an aerial view (I did not care to rotate this photo, if you're wondering,) of the pots in a sunny window!

Let's take a quick side note to say it snowed a record amount this weekend in Dallas. 12'5"!!! It was glorious.

Even if all the trees along our backyard fence were bogged down with ice and laying on the ground. (Do you like the red cuff of my bathrobe on the side there? I didn't bother to crop it out, because I didn't bother to take the bathrobe off allllllll day long that day.)

Back to my herbs. Friday, aka snow day, I walked by the window to check on the little guys. For the past couple of weeks, they've just looked like little bowls of dirt. Friday, my friends, was the day that the Dill and Cilantro sprouted!!

See those green things that look like worms??? That's dill!

I'm hoping this photo doesn't get cut off, because these sprouts are still pretty tiny. But they're there. They're curly and they're there. (Say it 5 times fast.)

Now, if you will please excuse me, my husband is waiting on me so we can watch Couples Retreat.

Maybe the laundry room will be done tomorrow?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Project City!

That's what I'm calling our house for now. I have about 15 (bajillion) projects going on. One of which is our new dog, Cece!

This is Cece, pre-grooming. 

Cece is a labradoodle who is EXTREMELY skiddish. She is afraid of new people, and especially men. We got her for free on Craigslist. We think basically the owner just didn't want her because she couldn't breed her (see above: skiddish.)

I spent about 2 hours with her on the back patio on Saturday, trimming her fur and brushing out all the matted stuff. There was a lot. She is pretty calm once she gets to know a person, so she just sat there and let me pamper her! Unfortunately, I had to cut off all the hair on her cute ears because they were so badly matted. But it will grow back, and I'll make sure it stays brushed! Saturday night, I gave Cece a shower. Too bad the water was freezing (see last post: heater broken = cold EVERYTHING.) 

I haven't had a chance to get any post-grooming photos, as she runs away everytime I point the camera at her. There are a lot of pictures of her butt (which is, coincidentally, in a diaper.) 

So that's our project dog. Elvis loves her, but is adjusting to not getting ALL of our attention right now (only about 90% of it.)

Next project!

My wonderful, wonderful laundry room.


I chose to include the mess. That way, when I do the big reveal at the end of my renovation, it will look even more shockingly amazing! 

I have spent the weekend up until today working long, hard hours on this baby. I painstakingly peeled every piece of that beautiful wall-paper down, using nothing by my hands and a small putty knife (and a wall-paper steamer.)

I took down those horrible wire shelves. And they'll stay down! But I'll hang them in a closet, because why waste such functional storage? (But why display it out in the open like that?) Luckily, this laundry room's got plenty of storage. Above the washer and dryer, across on the opposite wall, and there's even a pretty good-sized closet in there too. Oh, the possibilities of organization that await me!

During the peeling process. This took forever.

(Cue hallelujah music and drop 'Mission Accomplished' sign from ceiling)

Oh, wait. I'm not done. That was what I like to call "Stage 1" of the laundry room project. 

Stage 2: apply texture to the walls. I won't even go into that process. Let's just say I had quite a few hiccups along the way, and I'm just not ready to talk about them. For now, I'll just refer to that as "the worst day ever," or to put it in more layman's terms, "Superbowl Sunday."

Stage 3 happened today, and it was to paint said textured walls. And I'm choosing to not share anymore photos of this project until it's completed. Why? Because I'm a witch! Ahhhhhhahahahah!

But I will share some pictures of a different finished project. Remember our flooded work-out room?


Well, it's done! (Not by our own doing, this "project" had to be hired out.)


The floors are no longer flooded, although they are wet in the picture because Kennedy had just mopped.


And a view the other direction! So far, it's "worked out" great! Haha.

Stay tuned for my big laundry room reveal! It could happen any day now...

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Let there be light!

I made lamps. Seriously! I MADE 2 lamps. Kennedy and I are in the process of (finally) decorating our room. I was out at TJMaxx the other day, scrounging for some decor items, when I came across a couple of vases. I've been wanting to make a lamp (or lamps) for a while now, and these were a perfect way to start, because I didn't have to drill anywhere for the cord.

Here are the vases I found. They were $15.00 each, and actually came with a matching lid. However, one of them was missing a lid, so I was able to haggle a little and get one of them for about 10% off. Score!

Here are my lamp kits. If you look closely, you'll see that one of these was on sale. When I took it to the register, I was able to haggle and get the other one on sale too. At first, I thought they were exactly the same, but when I got home, I realized that one is a push-through switch, and one is a turn-knob. No big deal, because it saved me a couple of bucks! So far, I've saved $4.00!

Here are my other tools. A hot glue gun, and some cork tiles.

I used the cork to plug the top of the vase and hold the lamp kit in place, so I traced a circle and cut it out. This lamp-making thing is so simple, it's ridiculous.

Viola! Tried and true.

Next, I took the threaded tube (that will later hold the lamp wire) and poked a hole through the cork. No cutting necessary, just twist and push through for the perfect-sized hole.

Here's the fun part. I pushed that copper end of the wire through a hole at the bottom of the vase, then threaded it through the metal tube, and there it is! I won't go into detail on step-by-step instructions here, because any lamp-kit you buy will have it's own set of instructions. BUT, you need to follow those instructions to the letter. There are two wires there, and both have a certain place to be fastened. Otherwise, the kit won't work.

My underwriter's knot.

Once the kit was assembled, I pulled out the trusty hot glue gun and glued the wire inside the vase in place, and then I glued the cork in place around the inner-rim of the vase. I can rhyme all the time! I ended up using lampshades that we already had from some other ugly lamps hanging out in a closet somewhere. I also used my left-over cork to glue to the bottom of the lamps, so they wouldn't scratch our wood side tables.

And drumroll, please....

Ta-da!

You can do it, too! Kennedy also made a good suggestion to paint the cork white so it would blend in with the lamps. Also, it would make it look a little less 3's company (if you catch my drift.) He's so smart!

Next, I want to make some lamps out of glass vases. This will require a little more finesse, as I will have to find a diamond-tipped drill bit and drill a hole without busting the vase. I got a good tip from a handy-man about how to do this. I will also be consulting this website when the time comes. Good thing I've been saving all our glass jars from our kitchen, so I can practice!

Next blog post, I'll be addressing the fact that I set our heater to 88 (as high as it would go) about an hour ago, and our house is still only 60 degrees. I'm FREEZING!
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