Sunday, November 23, 2014

Feature Friday - Coming Soon!

I have some very talented friends and blog readers - you know you're one of them! I would love to start featuring projects by you wonderful, creative people each Friday on the blog!

So if you have a craft, paint, or building project you are proud of, please send me some pictures and a little blurb about what you did and you may find your creativity featured on a Friday!

You can leave a comment here, email me at the link above, or message me on Facebook - let's see those projects!
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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Save your corks!

I have a strict rule about decorating for Christmas - we absolutely must wait until after Thanksgiving. Granted, we break open the storage boxes first thing Friday morning, but still...

Of course, there need to be exceptions to the rules... and creating Christmas crafts is sometimes one of those exceptions. Crafting can take time and if we want to use the crafts as decorations or gifts, well, we have to start early! :)

One of my favorite crafts from last year was this wine cork wreath.

I made it as a last-minute hostess gift for a Christmas party I was heading to, and I loved it so much I had to make another for myself!

We tend to save our corks thinking that someday we'll do something fun with them - I certainly went through quite a few making these wreaths!

But, now it's another year later, we have amassed a lot more corks (ahem), and I started making wreaths tonight!

If you want to make your own, here's how I did it!

I picked up these simple wreath forms at Michaels. I hit up the artificial flowers section to find the berries and grabbed some ribbon on my way out.

I grabbed some corks, my hot glue gun, and I was off!

I try to use corks that are about the same length and try to vary wineries as I go around (which sounds easier than it is - we drink the same wine over and over! Time to branch out!)

I attached some ribbon, faked my way through some bow tying, and voilĂ !

So many color combination possibilities! (I'm planning to make one with white berries and red ribbon next!) And it would be especially nice to collect corks from special occasions over the year to use for the wreath!

Then again, sometimes it's also nice to just do something and be done and not worry too much about making it as special as possible - good enough is good enough!

Have fun! And if you want a wreath like this but don't want to make your own, let me know! I now have a couple of extras - maybe we can work out a deal! ;)

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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Finally some progress!

Whew, after weeks of stops and starts, I finally made some major headway on the garage today!

When I last posted about the garage, I was as far as painting the soon-to-be-storage area. After that, I started emptying the shelves in the back of the garage in the hopes of reusing as much wood as possible. The progress then grinded to a halt as I found the (very old) remnants of a mouse's dum dum lollypop feast. Oh, gross.

So, shop vac acquired, shelves removed, poop removed, and lollypop sticks disposed of.

Then finally a few shelves built in the old workspace.


I stocked the shelves with what was in my way, just for now.

And then finally, today was a big day of progress.

I removed the shelf supports from the back wall of the garage and was happy to find that the mouse party didn't involve eating into the wall. I painted the back wall - with a much more drab gray than I had intended, but the bright saw tables will help the drabness. :)

I finished the table saw stand. And painted it, of course.

Then I stared at everything a lot. I was trying to decide exactly what I wanted to be able to store where, as far as the workshop space goes. Eventually I figured out that an old Ikea shelf that has been being stored in the garage for 2 and a half years would work perfectly on the back wall! It was in our kitchen before we moved and I just never found the right place for it in this house. I'm so glad I didn't get rid of it!

Once that was up, I needed to do something about all of the paint cans on the floor. I have a (not so) slight "oops section" paint addiction. That's another story for another time, but have you ever played in the oops section at Home Depot?! It's so fun... Anyway, I found our old "C" cabinet that we've been holding onto through 2 houses now and it works great for all my sample size paints. ($.50 each for the "oops" at my Home Depot!) An old shoe shelf worked perfectly for the quarts ($2 for "oops" - I mean, seriously) and for now I just stacked the larger cans. Now I just need to figure something out for my spray paint...

Once all of this was up and out of the way, I was able to put away a lot of the stuff that was hanging out in the middle of the garage. So proud of this progress today! I can actually get to everything I need to be able to build stuff and we're so close to having space to get the cars back in!

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Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Happy birthday to me! (and table saw stand build)

Yesterday was my birthday - Happy birthday to me!

My birthday theme this year was apparently tools...

Check out my super cute cake from The Boutique Bakeshop! (And it was so yummy too. If you are local, you need to visit this bakery!)

And here is my swanky new Ryobi nailer from Brad and the girls! So excited to try this out! :)

My super supportive in-laws got me a Ryobi tool set (drill, circular saw, reciprocating saw, flashlight, batteries, and charger), which I don't have a picture of, but am so happy about. The circular saw I had been using was very old, crazy heavy, made of steel (including the handle) and shorting out. So.... yeah. It was time. Fortunately that was an early birthday present and so I've been able to use them all for a couple of weeks - the reciprocating saw came in handy when I got mad and chopped 3 inches off the legs of my miter saw table!

I spent a couple of hours of my birthday in the garage building a stand for my table saw. Another step in trying to get the garage reno done. It was so nice to get a chance to build! After my happy accident with the height of the miter saw table, I designed this table to by the same height as the workbench as well. I figure it's especially important for this one since most of the pieces I will cut with the table saw will be long and supporting them will be necessary.

I measured the saw about 100 times and got started cutting 2x4s. I screwed them together with 3" screws for the cross braces on the sides of the table and used my Kreg jig to make pocket holes in the base pieces to connect the frames. I got going and didn't take many pictures, but I did have to admire this contraption. It's practically a work of art... I call it "Working alone with two hands when you could really use four."

Three paint cans just happened to be the perfect height to support the frame while I attached the pocket hole screws!

I used scrap plywood and 1x2s to make a table for the saw to sit on. This is where I got pretty frustrated because even though I measured and re-measured, I still didn't get it quite right. But with some shims and stubbornness, I made it work.
I guess I can give myself a break for small mistakes since I was trying to build this in the tiny space I made among all of the clutter! Look at that mess!

I need to put the finishing touches on it the next time I can get into the garage and I'll post a picture of the finished product then!

Here's hoping that will be soon! I love my garage time!

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