I spent most of the day doing things in pieces.    As soon as I woke up, I got dressed and went out to the garage to add a second coat of paint to the counter top piece of MDF.  I knew we had to run errands and figured the paint could dry while we were out and about.  I knew that I needed to work on putting in the shelves and counter before the Super Bowl started.

Most of the afternoon was spent putting in the support boards for the shelves and counter.   It took a lot longer than I had planned, granted I had a lot to do and a few interruptions.  I brought the counter in about twenty minutes before the game started but soon found out that it wouldn’t slide in.  I had to remove the lower shelf first, which was the original shelf.  I was afraid that the builders had used 500 nails to attach it to the support boards.  Those guys get trigger happy with the nail gun.  I was in luck though there were only a few nails that I had to hammer out.

Sully ended up having to help me with the counter.  I had to do a special cutout to make room for the actual switches for the lights.  I still can’t believe that I missed that, it didn’t even occur to me that they would cause an issue with installing the counter piece.  Of course, I was hoping that I would be able to tip the counter piece in without messing with the middle shelf.  Live and learn, right?

Here’s a before pic…

washer and dryer










Here is what it looks like with the bins and baskets that I bought after Christmas.  Those are on the counter and the lowest shelf.  The plastic bins at the top of the picture will be covered at a later date.




The baskets and bins are completely empty at this point.  I was just excited to see how they looked in this new space.  There’s still a fair amount of work to do until I can call it done but I am really happy that I have gotten to this point.  The counter was such a pain to get in and it scratched up the walls a fair amount.  So, in addition to organizing everything I will have to do a bit of touch up painting and I really would like to add some curtains to cover the upper shelves.

Overall, the basic setup has been fun.  I really can’t wait to see what it looks like with curtains and some decorations.  Yay!

Phase 2: Day 8

I spent the day working in the laundry area, up and down the ladder and laying across the washer and dryer using the drill in all sorts of crazy positions.  I am worn out and there was no walk.

My morning and night routines are going well.  I suppose I should try to get to sleep earlier in the night.  I will have to work on that.



Ribbon ladder from Joann’s.

Last weekend, we ran some errands and during a quick run into Joann’s, I found this ribbon ladder.  At it’s normal price of $29.99, I would look at it and think that’s a nice ribbon organizer and move on.  It’s clearanced right now for more than 50% off.  So, I grabbed one of the last ones.

Currently, my ribbon is split up between one of the stacking ribbon boxes (2nd picture) and a larger plastic bin.  It will be nice to have all of the ribbon in one place and I will be able to see the colors that I have before I run up to Joann’s for more.



Stacking Ribbon Box

Stacking Ribbon Box from The Container Store.

I like these stacking ribbon boxes but I only have one.  I originally planned on getting more but changed my mind.  The lid ended up breaking soon after I got it and I didn’t really like the stacking part of it.  I mean it’s cool that it stacks but I am not a fan of having to move a bunch of things to get to something else.   This morning I pulled all of the ribbon out of it to load up my new ribbon ladder.  I kept looking at the box and wondering how I could use it, if there was another purpose for it.



Here is what I came up with…


It was the perfect size for my Behr color fan deck.

I had to do some modifications though first.  Both the bottom and the lid had a permanent divider in the middle.  I used utility scissors and a pair of wire cutters to trim off the pieces from the dividers.  



When I was done I sanded down the area that I had just trimmed.  I lined the bottom with white card stock using glue dots to secure the cardstock to the sides.  




I ran a piece of duct tape along the back to secure the lid to the container.  (I am not sure why I didn’t think of that before when I had ribbon in it but there you go…).

The lid now opens and closes very nicely.  No falling off and no wobbling.


The color fan deck fits in either way, top up or sideways.  I might put a lining inside the lid or cover the lid at some point, but right now I am pretty happy with it.  I wanted something to put the color fan deck in and this was the perfect size.  I am so glad that I took the risk of cutting out the middle dividers.

Phase 1: Day 3…

I took my walk alone today while Boo did her Dance Central workout.  I walked a small loop very close to the house.   I walked more than 11 minutes at a pretty good pace.

My upper body workout went well.  A couple of days off (Sunday and Monday) were really nice.  I am able to do two sets of 15 repetitions, only feeling fatigued during the last few reps of the second set.

Water – ~36 ounces  (I really need to be better about drinking water).

Overall, I am feeling a lot better and I really feel like this is the year that things will be different.


Pretty nifty…

I mentioned back on December 20th in my Counter this… post that I needed to make some changes to my laundry alcove.  There was too much to do over the holidays, so I put off making any real decisions until after New Year’s.  I originally put it off because I knew that I would avoid stuff that needed to be done to play around with my new area.  Now, I am glad that I put it off.  I got an Amazon gift card for Christmas which I used to order some baskets for the shelves I will be putting together for the alcove.  

As ridiculous as it sounds, I am really excited about painting in there.  Since the area is open now I would like to paint the walls a light color.  Our entire house is white, no color on the walls at all.  Except for Boo’s room.  Before Boo was born my sister came over and painted a mural on the walls, a castle on one wall, a magnificent tree on an angled wall in the corner and vines growing up next to the closet so we could track Boo’s height.  It’s very pretty Boo has always loved it and at eleven she’s having a hard time parting with it.  She wants a more grown up room but doesn’t really want to paint over the kingdom quite yet.

Ok, forgive my tangent there, back to an entirely white house.  The shade of white matches very closely with Behr’s Swiss coffee.  It’s a nice color and it works in our house as it’s a very open floorplan.   Saying that, I would love some color on the walls here and there.  I would have to be creative with the color placement as that open floorplan means that the rooms share walls and ceilings.  It would be difficult to paint my kitchen without painting the Great room.   I could paint sections of the kitchen though, like the section of wall between the counter and the upper cabinets.  I am using my laundry alcove as my experimental painting project.

I was talking to Faith about how I was going to stop by Home Depot to pick up some paint color chips to try to see if I could find a good color to go with the washer and dryer set.  Faith told me to let her know what colors I was looking at so she could look up the colors on her color fan.  Several years ago her father picked up the Behr color fan deck when he was at Home Depot.  She got it for free which is pretty awesome because they are $35 on the Home Depot website and $40 on the Behr website.  I had asked about them one time when I was at Home Depot, the person I talked to really didn’t seem to know what I was talking about and wasn’t all that helpful.  After that I gave up on the idea, I was even contemplating spending the $35.  I don’t think I really would have spent the $35 because I would rather spend that money on repairs or decorating.

Today while Boo and I were out with Gramma we stopped by the Home Depot near Gramma’s house.  I picked out some paint chips and then decided to ask about the color fan deck.  I talked to one gal who then referred me to another and this gal actually gave me my own Behr color fan deck.  I was so excited, she only had two left.  She said that the rep from Behr tells them to give them to people that ask.  I am sure people who get them are more inclined to buy paint and other supplies.

It seems silly but this is pretty nifty.  Faith and I chatted over Facebook looking up colors and using the Behr website to find other colors that coordinate.  I now know all of the groovy colors that she has in her house.    I need to go match colors to my washer and dryer now.


Banner day…

Here are some pictures of my Christmas craft from this year.

I got the idea at Thanksgiving with this Thankful banner I found at the Centsational Girl blog.  I made my own and a few for family, you can see mine here.

My sister loved hers so much that she asked for a Christmas banner.  She wanted one that was green, gold and red.  She said it reminded her of the Victorian type of arts and crafts that you see in the most recent ‘Little Women’ movie that came out in 1994.   I am not an expert on Victorian arts and crafts but I think the banner turned out well.  I let her pick the saying.  It’s hard to see in these pictures but it says ‘Peace on Earth’.

Banner 1.1 - Copy

My sister loves it and I can honestly say it looks much better in person than in these poorly lighted pics taken with my phone.

Banner 2.1

I used the Jasmine font Cricut cartridge for the letters. Boo and I added glitter to the edges of the base and clear coated them before adding the scrapbook paper.

Banner 3.1

I bought the holly berries and gold pinecone floral pieces at the dollar store.

Sully’s mom has a holiday party every year and I usually coordinate my holiday craft with her theme.  This year it’s snowmen and snowflakes, so I made banners with ‘Let it Snow’ on them.


I used the Joys of the Season Cricut cartridge for the snowflakes.

Sully’s mom requested a banner with ‘Believe’ on it.  Here’s that one…


Boo and I mixed white, silver and white flake glitter together for the large snowflakes. We used a spray clear coat to protect the glitter.

I also did a few of these banners, for some good friends.




**I did the last bit of work on these banners December 26th – December 30th.  The bulk of the banners being put together December 29th.  I am retro-posting this entry for December 27th because I was too busy putting these banners together to post.  


Cutting it close…

I love my Cricut.  I’ve done a lot of cool and nifty things with my Cricut, Christmas cards, scrapbooking, decorated picture frames to name a few.  Right now though I am so sick of cutting out snowflakes.  Over the weekend, I think I have cut out 120, 2 inch snowflakes and I am pretty sure I am not done with those.  Today I have cut out about 40, 4 inch snowflakes.  Don’t get me wrong they are very pretty and they will look great on my Christmas crafts but honestly I am over it at this point.  

snowflake 1

Two of the 4 inch snowflakes.

My basic plan for today is to get all of the Cricut stuff done so that I can put it and all of it’s accessories away.  I still have sewing to do and I don’t want it all to be at the last minute.  I also need to get everything pulled out of the laundry room so that the delivery of my new washer and dryer.  I will talk more about that tomorrow.

What I really wanted was a day where I got stuff done but that I didn’t feel rushed and stressed.  I would love for the week before Christmas to be happy hustle and bustle not Calgon take me away stressful.  Last Christmas I barely got three hours of sleep after several nights of only getting 4 to 5 hours of sleep.  Boo was very excited and kept getting out of bed.  I was trying to wrap presents and get ‘other’ stuff set up for Christmas morning.  I’d been in bed about twenty minutes when she came in asking if Santa had come yet.  I think I said something like, “Are you kidding me?  Go back to bed.”  Honestly, I don’t usually talk like that and I try to be really patient and understanding of the Christmas excitement but I was exhausted.   I had hope she would sleep late, the last few years she had gotten up around 8:00, give or take thirty minutes or so.   Boo woke up at 5:30, I was able to ignore her and Sully until 6:00 but I was not happy.  I was so tired that I hurt all over.  I don’t remember most of the day because I was so exhausted.  Of course, now that makes me sad because that was our last Christmas with Papa.  I’ll have to sit down on a quiet day to meditate and see if I can recall some memories.

snowflake 2

Different style with some flake glitter.


The point is this week I am not going to run around like a fool and I am going to be well rested for Christmas.  So there!


Here you go…

I used a drill and drill bit to drill pilot holes before I used drilled the screws into the 2×2’s.  Drilling a pilot hole will help prevent cracking when the screw is drilled in.

IMG_1384 - Copy

 I put together the uprights first sandwiching the 24 inch 2×2 in between, leaving enough space at the top for the rod to drop in.







IMG_1387In this picture you can see where I used 4 screws to attach the 6 foot upright to the 24 inch piece of 2×2.  I did that on both sides, altering my spacing slightly so the screws didn’t run into each other in the middle.


After this I added the feet using a spare piece of 2×2 for spacing while attaching the feet to the uprights.




IMG_1382 - Copy

After putting each side together I realized I needed a crossbar across the bottom to keep the uprights from doing their Bambi on ice impression.  I had a piece of 1×2 in the garage.  I used my jigaw to cut it down to the right width.

The width of the rod, 48 inches plus the width of the 2×2 outer foot on both sides which is 1.5 inches.  48 inches + 3 inches = 51 inches.




After I attached the bottom cross bar, I popped the rod into the space on top of the uprights.  I drill a pilot hole and then drilled in a screw to fasten the top 2×2.







Here is the final product.  It is really sturdy and the double feet are working it to keep it from rocking  My driveway was the only place I could take a picture.  I will try to take one with the costumes on it once I get the garage straightened up again.


Plan 3 from…

Ok, I know that the movie is ‘Plan 9 from Outer Space’ but I only needed three plans this time.  Maybe I only needed three because they are plans from the garage which is so much closer than outer space.

After Halloween, I talked in annoying detail about the garment bags and a garment rack to hold said bags.  I put together a make shift rack using two six foot ladders.  This rack idea worked great, until I realized that I needed my ladders to decorate the house.  With that in mind I searched the interwebs for an inexpensive garment rack that would be sturdy enough to hold a bunch of Halloween costumes.  Apparently, inexpensive and sturdy don’t go hand in hand.

Then I started looking at ideas to build a garment rack.  I saw a few made out of PVC pipe.  It seemed like a cheap and easy idea.  I drew up a design, made some measurements and then put together a supply list.  I checked some prices online and realized that my design was going to cost about twice as much as I had thought.  My design was kind of complicated already so back to the drawing board for the next plan.

I had originally thought about making the rack out of wood but I hesitated because most of my tools including my saw are inaccessible due to the current makeshift rack.  I thought maybe I could figure out something using 2×2’s, my jigsaw could make any cuts I might need.  Several years ago I built a desk and bookshelf made with 2×2’s so I know they are sturdy.  Since I’ve worked with them before I had some ideas on what I could do.  I got my graph paper out and sketched out a quick design.

So, here is my ultra crude drawing I put together on Paint.  On the left is the side view; two vertical 2×2’s with a 24 inch piece sandwiched in between leaving space at the top for the rod to drop into.   The 24 inch piece will be held in by 2 inch screws in several places which will make it more than strong enough to hold the weight of the costumes on the rod.

On the right is the front view, showing the rod and the feet.  I decided to use two 2×2’s for the feet to help keep the vertical pieces square.  Normally you would cut a few pieces at an angle to brace between the foot and the upright. I can’t get to my miter saw so this will have to do for now.

Garment rack 2x2


My plan is to buy five – 8 foot 2×2’s.  I will have 24 inches cut off of all of them.   I will also have another 24 inches cut off of one of them.  I will end up with …

4 – 6 foot pieces –> the vertical pieces

6 – 24 inch pieces –> 2 for the uprights, 4 for the feet

1 – 48 inch piece –> for the rod across the top

I went to Home Depot this morning, found five straight 2×2’s and had them cut.  Tomorrow I will assemble all of my pieces and I will post here how it turned out.