Sunday, December 25, 2011

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Insulating Your Garage Doors

Recently I decided it was high time to make my work space more workable (see post here).  Since winter is here and it's way too cold to work out in the garage/work shop, I decided insulating the garage doors was the first step.

So here are the steps to getting it done.

There are a couple of options when it comes to the type of insulation you can use.  We decided on the foam panels.  It gives a nice finished look once installed.  We weren't able to find these at our local home improvement stores but we did find them at a garage door specialty store and were able to buy them there.  They can also be ordered online.

Before you go to buy your insulation panels, you will need to know the height of your garage door panels.  They generally come in about four different heights (18", 21", 24", and 27").  This will allow you to determine the size panels you need.

Next, you need to know how many insulation panels you will need.  Most garage door widths are pretty standard.  We told our guy we needed enough to do (1) two-car garage door and (1) single car garage door.

Here are what the panels look like.

Now it's time to measure how wide your panels need to be.

On our garage door, the two end sections were different widths than the two middle sections.

Using your tape measure, measure off this width onto the insulation panels...

and use your straight edge and box knife to cut them.

It doesn't cut all the way through, so you can gently "snap back" the panel for a pretty clean break.

Now it's time to install.  Slip the bottom in the "notch" on the garage door panel and gently bend the insulation to pop it into place.

For a finished look, you can install these end pieces.  They install in a similar manner (these were pre-cut to the height of the panels)

And that's really all there is to it!  My husband did both doors in about 2 hours time and the cost was a little over $225.

We have noticed a definite difference in the temperature of the garage - about 10 degrees F warmer than the exterior.  And it's much quieter now (the stereo sounds better, too!).

It's not the most glamourous upgrade but it makes working in the garage in the winter much more bearable!

I Need a New Craft Studio!

One of the blogs I follow (The Ivy Cottage Blog) recently revealed her craft studio remodel.

I love it!  So I decided it was high time to redo my space our space (my husband does wood working in here, too).

Now, to call my space a "studio" is a stretch, to say the least.

Nauseating, isn't it?  I'm twitching just looking at it!

My hubby loves turning wood on the lathe (check out his Etsy shop here) and this used to be his work area. When all you're making is pens, bottle stoppers and duck calls, this was plenty of space.

But I do furniture. It takes a lot of room!  So currently, every time I work on something, I have to back out our vehicles (this is a three car garage) drag my projects to the middle of the garage, dig around to find the stuff I need and then put/stack everything back at the end of the day so we can fit both cars back into the garage.  Exhausting, isn't it?  And not conducive to creativity.

Plus, our garage faces the north and in the winter it gets COLD in there!  We decided the first step of the remodel should be insulating the garage doors.  See the post on how to do that here.

Here are some ideas I would like to incorporate into my remodel.

Our garage has no windows so the lighting is horrible!  I would like to replace the current solid door leading out to the back yard with something like this door.  A little natural light would be nice!

Love these floors!

I'm wanting to do black cabinets on the bottom and white cabinets on the top with a "latte" color wall. similar to this.

I love this work island!  I would need to put mine on locking castors so I could move it around easily.

Alas, all that has been done is the not-so-cosmetic/not-so-fun part of this remodel and it's the insulating of the garage doors.  (s-i-g-h)

(I told you the lighting was terrible!)

Monday, December 12, 2011

It's One of Those Weeks

Do you ever have times where it seems everything starts to fall apart all at once?

This is one of those weeks.

1)  Vacuum cleaner exploded after vacuuming only one room.  On the hunt for the perfect vacuum now.

2)  Spent two days trying to figure out how to wire two GFCI switches.  Not how I wanted to spend two days and $30+.  In the meantime, no bathroom lights...they were connected to the GFCI switch.  The upside is I could wire one in my sleep now!

3)  Replace the "guts" to the door knob on the door going out into the garage.  By the way, Weiser (my door knob manufacturer) has been bought out and is no longer in business.  You can probably figure out how I found this out.

4)  An old mirror turned chalkboard (from my Etsy shop) shipped via UPS to Connecticut and arrived in a million pieces!  Still dealing with this one.  I have a strong opinion of UPS right now!

5)  And I got up this morning and a light was out in the kitchen.  Normally not a big deal but after the week we've had around here...!  Much easier to fix than the GFCI switch.

Yet even after these hiccups, I'm still feeling blessed.

Have a wonderful day!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Ravioli Lasagna

Do you ever has those days when dinner time sneaks up on you and you're just not ready?  I've had a lot of those days lately!

When that happens, a quick and easy meal is always in order.  Spinach & Pesto Ravioli Lasagna was our go-to recipe last night.

This is my adaptation of a recipe found on

Photo: Southern Living

Ingredient List

1 (16 oz) package frozen chopped or cut leaf spinach

3/4 cup basil pesto

2 (15oz) jars Alfredo sauce

1/2 cup chicken broth

2 (25 oz) packages frozen cheese ravioli

2 cups shredded Italian cheese blend

Preheat the oven to 375F.  Combine frozen spinach and pesto in a medium bowl.

Combine Alfredo sauce and chicken broth.  Spoon 1/3 of the Alfredo sauce mix (about 1 cup) into the bottom of a lightly greased casserole.  I use a large 4 Liter Corningware roaster.  Top with half of the spinach and pesto mixture.  Spread one bag of the frozen ravioli over the spinach mixture.  Repeat layers once.  Top with the remaining Alfredo sauce.

Bake, uncovered, at 375F for about 45 minutes.  Remove from the oven and sprinkle with shredded cheese.  Bake another 5 to 10 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

You don't have to thaw the spinach or the ravioli before baking but make sure the center of the lasagna is hot before serving.  Try sliding a knife down the middle of the dish and pull it back out.  If the knife is not hot, the dish is still cold in the middle.  If that's the case pop it back in the oven for a little longer.  Cover if it begins to get too brown.

Add a salad and some garlic bread and dinner is on!  You can easily cut this recipe in half and still have delicious results.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Must Haves At My House

Recently, I have been pondering what are my favorite things that I just couldn't be without?  So here is what I have come up with.

First off, I love Clorox wipes.  I keep a container of these in each bathroom for a quick wipe down a couple times a week.  And for sure a container under the kitchen sink!

Next up would be a tube of my favorite adhesive...E6000.  There is nothing that this stuff won't work on!  A must have for any self respecting crafter.

I love this spray paint!  It has an easy to use nozzle and goes on evenly with a nice spray pattern.  The coverage is good, too.  And it's priced cheaper than the other name brand spray paints.  The only down side is the limited color selection.  I love the gloss black.

I know this probably isn't very green but I love bleach!  I use it in my sinks, the shower, the laundry and I mop the floors with it.  Plus, the smell of bleach makes me feel like the house is clean.

A great cleaning product that cleans more than just your wood is the Swiffer Dust & Shine.  I use this to clean my furniture, leather sofa, stainless steel fridge and granite countertops.  Love it!

So, that's a few of the things that my house is never without!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

My Favorite Silver Polish

Christmas is approaching so we have been busy around our house getting ready for the big day.  My Hubby is in charge of the outside and I head up what goes on inside.  This not only includes decorating but also cleaning to get ready for family and friends.

One thing that needed done was some silver polishing.  Here is a before pic.

As you can see, it was long overdue for a polish.

Here is what I love to use.

It so easy to use and there is no smell.  Just dampen the sponge that is included, add some silver cream and start rubbing (no elbow grease required)!  Then rinse with water and dry.  That's it!

Here are the results.

In addition to cleaning and polishing your silver, it also works on stainless steel, flatware, chrome, porcelain, fiberglass and pewter.  The web site says it's great for shining motorcycle and automobile chrome and it even claims to remove surface scratches from CDs and DVDs!

Here in Oklahoma you can find it at Ace Hardware, True Value and Wal-Mart.

It's a must have for getting ready for company!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Antler Love!

Awhile back I saw some antlers on Miss Mustard Seed's blog.

I got so excited!  Let me explain why.  I'm a gal who grew up in the country with a dad who hunted.  I wasn't too into the mounted heads but I really did love the antlers!  It seemed a little "hick", though.  So I put that love behind me until I saw MMS's blog.  Who knew antlers could be so sophisticated?!

So I'm back in love!

Now, where to get some antlers?  Enter the men of my life!

(Sorry about the quality of this pic.  It was taken with a Blackberry.)

Saturday morning my boys (and man) headed to western Oklahoma to go hunting for White Tail Deer.  No luck that morning but they stuck around and gave another shot that evening and...

Well, I'll spare you the "could be construed as gory" picture of my manly hubby and my boys with a rifle and formerly breathing buck but suffice it to say, I've got my antlers!

Here are some great ideas on decorating with antlers.

Photo Source:  Savvy Southern Style

Photo Source:  Country Living

Photo Source:  Unknown

Photo Source:  Casasugar

Photo Source:  Pottery Barn

Wishing everyone a blessed Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

A Thrift-ful Week

Does anyone else out there crave a good thrift store shopping trip the way I do?  It's like an addiction for me.  I used to go multiple times a week but hubby said "no more."  Now I only go every couple of weeks or so.  I do pretty good for a few weeks then it turns into a compulsion!  And when I go and don't find anything good, I have to keep going to more stores until I do find something.  Then if it's a good find, I feel like I'm on a roll and need to find more stuff which leads to me searching out more stores!  Now if that doesn't sound like an addiction...

Well, this week in pursuit of getting my "fix" I found some new thrift stores.  I'm too embarrassed to say how many miles I traveled just to hit some new stores.  Probably far enough to spend in gas what I saved by shopping thrift stores!

Anyway, I found what I think is some good stuff so I thought I would share.

Here's what I found at my local Goodwill.
I'm thinking I'll frame it and layer it on my mantel for Christmas.  It was a whopping $.50.  I wish this was what my house and barn looked like.  Oh, well.  I also picked up a couple pair of flannel pajama pants for a a buck a piece.  I love a pair of comfy pjs!

After grocery shopping in OKC Friday, I had just enough time to swing by another Goodwill.  I picked up this piece for $4.99.   (Sorry, this isn't the greatest picture)
It's in pretty good shape but I plan on taking it apart and using the hooks and the numbers on some different projects.  The number plaques and the ends of the hooks are white porcelain.

Friday afternoon I headed over to the Habitat for Humanity Renovation Station for some old hardback books.
They have the cheapest prices on books I have found so far.  Each book was only $.50.  I'm going to take the covers off, tie them up with twine and use them for decor.  

At one of the new stores I found I picked up these pieces.
 I paid $7.48 for this little urn.  It's cast iron!  I couldn't believe how heavy it was when I picked it up!

And this tray from an old tool box was $3.49.
I have a lot of red in my house and thought this would be cute with some candles or plants or knicky-knacky type stuff on the mantle or coffee table.  I love old, rusty, beat up stuff!

Then at the Goodwill "mother ship" I found this wooden candle stick.  It was $1.99.  It was strange walking into this huge store and only coming out with this one, small item.  But I've been on the hunt for something like this specifically.
I plan on using it to make another cloche on a pedestal.

After leaving the GW I was headed home when I drove past another thrift store.  There was a bunch of stuff out front and I just couldn't help but turn around and go back.  Once I stepped inside it was almost like an episode of Hoarders!  It wasn't a dirty place but it was packed with stuff!   I kid you not, they could have had a store twice the size and still been stocked full.  It took a while to get through the store because of all the stuff but they had great prices and I found these things.
I was very excited to find this silver ice bucket.  A few months ago I spied one like it at another thrift store for $25.  I didn't buy it thinking I didn't want to spend that much but ever since I've been wishing I would have gone ahead and gotten it.  This one I snagged for $9.99!  Yea for waiting!  It should polish up nicely.
And this rusty old milk crate was only $5.  I'm thinking of using it in the living room.

Well, that's what my thrifting this week looked like.  I felt like a junkie sneaking around town hitting every thrift store I passed.  Fortunately, my habit isn't very expensive!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Cheese Cloche Redo

Okay, I really wanted to title this "Nacho Cheese Cloche".  Get it?  Not yo cheese cloche? Anyway, it was funny in my head.

I found this great blog, Maiden D'Shade.  She shared how she turned a cheese cloche and a candlestick into a wonderful pedestal cloche.  Well, it just so happened that I had a chunky candlestick I had picked up at Goodwill and a cheese cloche I snagged at a garage sale a few weeks before.
So I busted out my saw (note the line around the fat part of the candlestick) and cut down the candlestick to the fattest part.  The proportion seemed to make more sense when the cloche was setting on it.  Next, I sanded it down and glued the two together with my trusty E6000.  This stuff holds everything together!

Once that was done, I spray painted it gloss black, my go to color.  By the way, if you haven't tried Ace Hardware Premium Enamel spray paint, you haven't lived!  This stuff is my new favorite spray paint!  Not to mention I love shopping at my local store.  The are so helpful and friendly.  Ha!  I just had their commercial pop into my head..."Ace is the place with the helpful hardware man."  It's so true!

Anyway, a coat of black paint and this is what my cheese cloche and candlestick turned into!  A cheese cloche on a candlestick!
I still think Nacho Cheese Cloche is funny.

Thanks Kim from Maiden D'Shade!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Big 4-0 Bucket List

Dear sweet readers, I'm sorry I haven't posted in a while.  Work, school, kids, blah, blah, blah, right?  I'm still trying to figure out how those other bloggers do it all!

Anyway, let me explain today's header.  I have a birthday coming up in December.  This will be number 39 for me.  Now, I'm not the kind of gal that is afraid of getting older.  The way I see it, my life as a 30-something was soooo much better than my life as a 20-something.  And since I seem to be trending up, I say bring on the 40s!

Everyone gets older.  It's a fact of life.  Embrace it.  It's coming regardless (God willing!).

I have gray hair.  And I seem to be getting more everyday!  But you know what?  Everyone gets gray hair.  That's what happens when you get older.  I don't try and cover it up with hair color.  It is what it is and I'm not ashamed.  Why would I spend money trying to cover up what most women of my age have?  I'd rather spend my money going out to eat dinner (I do love a nice dinner)!  I'm rocking this gray, baby!

And guess what else?  I've got stretch marks, too.  But that's kinda like getting gray hair.  If you've had babies, chances are you've got stretch marks.  They're my battle scars and I love them.  I've earned those bad boys!

Okay, I'm stepping off my soap box now and getting back on the subject.

So this bucket list of things to do by the time I turn 40 isn't one of those "dreadful" things but more of a "marking a milestone" kind of things.  When I decided to do this, I had a hard time coming up with stuff.  I guess means I'm doing everything I want to do already!

I still have about a month before my birthday, but here's what I've come up with so far:
  1. Knit my husband a cable knit sweater. (He's been asking for one of these ever since I learned how to knit a couple years ago.  This is the year!)
  2. Sew myself one article of clothing I will actually wear out of the house! (I took one semester of sewing in Home Ec in high school and made a jumper that was awful.  I haven't really sewn much since so this may take the entire year!)
  3. Be completely self employed.  (I currently only work part time but would love to make my blog and my etsy shop my full time job, which means replacing my salary with etsy sales!
Not much yet.  I'm trying to keep it on the "cheap".  No big, fancy trips or skydiving here.  Just some things that I feel will enrich my life or give me a sense of accomplishment.  Anybody else done this before?  What did you do?

Sunday, October 16, 2011

My latest projects

I don't know about you, but I can't have just one project going at a time.  Kinda goes back to the ADOSD (Attention Defecit, Ooh, Shiny Disorder!).  I start something, then start something else...then start something else.  You get the picture.  The good news is, I can put out lots of finished products at once!

So here are some of the things I have finished.

I'll start with my favorite.
I found this beauty on Craig's List.  It used to be in a hotel.  Solid as a rock!  I knew I wanted to try out the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint on this.  Love that stuff!  I'm definitely a dedicated user now  It makes distressing a breeze!  The paint is expensive but well worth it, in my humble opinion.  Still trying to convince hubby to let me buy the high dollar wax brush!  The blue drawer was kind of an after thought but I love it!  This is for sale in my Etsy shop.

I also finally got a few things (that I already had made) staged to list in my shop.
I was taking pictures of my word signs to put in my shop when Ruby found her way into the picture (she may have had some help).  This isn't the best pic of the signs but it sure is a great pic of my boy and his chicken!

I collected these signs from the Hobby Lobby clearance rack and thrift stores and decided to cover them in scrapbook paper and antique the edges with ink and add a ribbon.  I just laid the letters down on top of the paper, traced it with a pencil and cut them out using scissors and Xacto knife.  Next I glued them on using Mod Podge.  Super simple!

Here's my recent obsession...pallet shelves!  I'd been kicking around this idea for some time in my head when a pallet was left at the dumpster of my church and I texted my hubby to have him bring the truck and we loaded it up.
I now have 3 of these shelves (one sold last week) and a good half dozen more pallets.  This one is being used as decor on the back fence by my patio.
Here is another side of the ever versatile pallet shelf!  This one is on the kitchen counter holding cook books and such.
This one is being used as a hanging book shelf.
And how about this cutie?!  I call her the "little sister" of the pallet shelf.  She's about half the size and perfect for a desk top or hanging in a small space.  This was the idea of a friend of mine who loved to pallet shelf but needed one about half the size...genius!

And I hate to admit, but I have about half a dozen more pallets waiting for me in my backyard!  I told you I was obsessed!

So that's what's finished.  And as always, there are more projects in different stages of completion in the garage!   I'll post as I complete!