Friday, December 30, 2016

DIY Barn Wood Ceiling Support Beam

2017 is almost upon us. Thank goodness. Although this year hasn't been a great for many people, we have much to be thankful for in our house. Sweet Cheeks came into our lives, and she's a constant reminder of what is good in the world. We were able to make great progress on Ugly House. Work was pretty great for both my husband and I. On the flip side, I lost an aunt, a dog, and two cats. Then there's that election. Ugh. No other words are needed.

Since December 1st, I've been reflecting on how I can make 2017 better, and it mostly comes down to action. Taking action on the house, in my children's lives, in my work, in the community and of course, on this blog. So, buckle up because 2017 will be a good year even if I have to bend it to my will.

One big project we're still finishing up at our house is the kitchen, living and dining room remodel. We tore down the Indiana Jones Lost Tomb wall at the beginning of the summer. (Click here for that amazing before and after) We've added in a island, fixed drywall, removed all our floors & replaced them (post forthcoming on that odyssey), framed in the vertical support beams, replaced light fixtures, built a new countertop, and added a plank ceiling. We are working on trim on the floor, on the support beams and ceiling right now. One big project was figuring out how to wrap the new large support beam in the middle of the room.

Support beams after wall remove and new light fixtures. 

Support beams immediately after wall removal.

Support beams after new lights and new ceiling

I would like to go on record that I liked barn wood before it was cool. Before Fixer Upper made everyone want to put barn wood or ship lap into their house (including myself because I want to force the Gaines to living in my house and do work for free...just kidding..kinda). I have always loved old stuff. I collect vintage Pyrex, collected antique books growing up, and of course, I have Myrtle. So, while my house is probably more on trend now than I ever thought it would be, I hope it also has some staying power. When we bought Ugly House, it was my vision to make it fit into the farmhouse idea since we live in the country. She might not be old, but I wanted to make sure she felt like she was.

Now that barn wood is all the rage, it's very difficult to find it! We were going to to try to salvage some barn wood from the barn we got our headboard from, but the wood was too brittle. We asked around (one plus of having a large animal veterinarian as a husband), but no one had a piece that would be long enough to go down the entire beam.

My husband was over at his parents one day to cut some boards and noticed their large shed had long pieces of wood along the bottom. He went in to talk to his dad and asked if it would be possible to remove some of the wood if we replaced it with new wood. He didn't have a problem with it, so suddenly we had wood. (That's what she said..he..he..he)

I was about 6/7 months pregnant, and the husband thought we could put this 20 foot piece of wood up ourselves. Nope. That was a whole lot of nope. First problem: he decided he would hold the entire piece of wood while I drilled it in. Second problem: at the time we didn't have an impact drill, so to get through the wood, we had to use quite a bit of force. I wasn't quite tall enough, so I was drilling above my head. (Why didn't we get the bigger ladder you ask? I don't know. Don't ask obvious questions.) So picture this...6/7 months pregnant, I was leaning in trying to drill above my head while the husband is channeling Hercules holding 20 feet of thick solid wood. What could go wrong with such a safe smart plan?

Of course I slipped and tried to drill a six inch screw through one of my fingers. He knew better to ask me to try again, as I was ugly pregnancy crying and cleaning my wound in the sink.  He called his dad over to help, had him bring over the impact drill and ta-da, a couple hours later, it looked pretty darn amazing.

Oh, there's another thing to be thankful for. Father-in-laws that give you free wood, bring over the proper tools and dedicate an afternoon to helping remodel your house. Just like my dad and uncle that helped install an entirely new kitchen and our neighbors that helped bring in our countertops at 8 o'clock at night. As my new secret best friend Jen Hatmaker would say, "Love People. Love God. The End." I have many people to love in my life.

Almost done with the trim around the support beams. Just need a coat of paint! :) 


Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Wildflower Nursery

I hope you all had a great Christmas holiday. I've officially entered the adult zone and got useful gifts like snow boots, and pots and pans. That's just fine by me. They are things that I probably wouldn't buy for myself, but I will use nearly every day. Well...I should speak my truth. My husband will use the pots and pans every day. I will use them begrudgingly when my husband is working late, and I've ran out of frozen meals made my mother-in-law. Cooking is not my thing y'all. It does not bring me joy.

Speaking of joy and Christmas, my husband bought me the Girlfriend's Gift Box by Jen Hatmaker. I have just discovered the amazeballs that is Jen Hatmaker. She doesn't know this, but I'm pretty sure we're meant to be bff's. To be fair, I'm pretty sure I'm joined by a million other women that feel the same way. I'm working through her new book, For the Love, right now. I think my biggest take away thus far is to make sure I am doing what I love rather than what I think I should be doing. Although I think that I probably should continue to feed my family even if cooking is pretty much the worst. So, in the next year there will be much crafting, mommying, blogging and laughing. I'm going to start to try to do a bit more blogging that is more on the humor/essay side. So, if that's not your thing, skip past it, but ranting and laughing is kinda my jam.

Anyways, back to the point of this post. We finally got the last few pieces of our nursery put together, so I figured it was time to share the finished nursery. Designing nurseries is pretty fun. I mean, you can do things you can't do in other rooms like go over the top with a theme or make everything pink or neon green, and no one is going to care because it's a baby. The baby doesn't even sleep there for six months or so, so you really are just decorating a huge closet. I love it. My other kids are starting to get big enough that they have opinions (and rather strong ones at that) and when I have a fun idea I feel like I'm having to run it past a tiny human HOA board.

My oldest came along when I didn't have any money for a fun nursery (or even a room to dedicate as a nursery). The theme was owls because that wasn't a thing back then. I had to search high and low to find owl related items (and now they are everywhere). Click here for that post. The middle little came when we had a bit more resource wise. His room was supposed to channel a vintage hunting lodge. Click here for that post and here for his current room.

With our last little, I decided to make her theme wildflowers. I found some fun fabric in my favorite colors, so that's pretty much what I went with. I hate painting, so the aqua from my office was going to stay no matter what.'s not a great nursery color. The light reflects off the walls and makes her look like she's turning blue. You know what you don't want with a newborn? A baby that you're constantly checking to see if they really are turning blue or if it's the walls. I pretty much had a constant anxiety attack the entire first week she was home.

With each of my children, I made a custom mobile. It's a fun project to work on because each one is so different. The oldest got a owl mobile, the middle got a pheasant and short hair mobile and the youngest got a fabric flower mobile. I've since shortened up the mobile so it's not wacking her in the face, but she is pretty obsessed with watching it while I change her diaper.

The other DIY projects in the room include two new changing pads. The changing pads were surprisingly easy to make. I used this tutorial from a Small Snippet.

I used my oldest's old crib skirt as a template for the new skirt. I just ripped out the old fabric and added new fabric. I hate measuring out large pieces of fabric, so using the old skirt made the project very quick and easy.

I also made some wooden stacking blocks. Amazon Prime Day had the blocks for just a few dollars, so it was a easy fun project. My oldest has had the most fun with them thus far especially with her increasing vocabulary.

Just like the growth charts in my other two kids rooms, I made one for the newest little.

As I posted about in another post, the two oldest children made this artwork for the baby.

I decided to use the closet for the desk turned changing table since the nursery is one of the smallest rooms in our house. There's a couple of DIY touches in this area too. I reused the curtain from my printer stand to cover up the piles of diapers stacked up under the desk, I repainted the mirror and took out the mirror portion, so now it's a frame for a photograph that my daughter colored. Target happen to have some fun aqua/mint contact paper in their dollar section that covered some old diaper boxes to use for outgrown clothes. I also updated the 1970's oak closet doors with trim, paint and new knobs.

The room has other unique touches like the custom painted artwork by June's Wildwood and wildflower animal prints I found online. I knited a navy, pink and grey blanket. The bookcase is from my daughter's namesake, my grandmother. (I updated it in this post) On the bookcase there's a mixture of new toys and my own stuffed animals from when I was a baby. The final item was a set of Mickey ears from our trip to DisneyWorld earlier this year (where we did our big pregnancy announcement).





Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Girl Scout Promise Tree


Last night I gathered some local Girl Scouts together to decorate a tree for our town's festival of trees. I was pretty excited to work with the girls to make ornaments and decorate the tree. I also created some of my own ornaments for the girls to hang.

The theme of our tree was the Girl Scout Law and Promise. I wrote out the Girl Scout Law on the burlap garland. The girls created these promise ornaments and wrote something they do to live by the Girl Scout Law. We mostly had second grade Brownies in attendance, but they all did really well with making their own ornaments and had great insight to how they can apply the Girl Scout Law to their lives.

The girls also made ribbon tree ornaments. They did a great job with the project. To keep the work at the meeting to a minimum, I pre-cut all the ribbons, organized by color and hot glued string on the top of branches before the meeting.

I made some additional decorations, but the girls were responsible for putting them on the tree. The first thing I made was sleds out of Popsicle sticks (mini and jumbo size). I painted them with our tree's colors, navy and green. I distressed them a bit, added some dark wax and added the Girl Scout logo using carbon tracing paper and a silver Sharpie marker.

In addition to the sleds, I created some simple wooden ornaments with words of the Girl Scout Law on them. I also had to add some information about joining this awesome organization!

A tree also has to have a tree skirt. I used some burlap cut in a circle and Sharpie markers to write out the Girl Scout Promise. To keep the skirt from fraying, I used some hot glue on the reverse side of the tree skirt.


 A tree also needs a tree topper, so I cut out the Girl Scout symbol on poster board, added some white glue and green glitter. I now have green glitter all over my entire office. It's very festive.

I also added some ribbon with hot glue to make the edges clean. It attaches to the tree with some green floral wire.

We would love you have you in Girl Scouts. Visit for more information on joining!

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