Monthly Archives: April 2016

Wiggle Worms

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Wiggle Worms

Last week, my little girls’ preschool teachers brought live worms to class, and they both held the worms, but some of the little boys in their class didn’t want to touch the worms.  We (the moms) had some laughs about that.  


This evening, the girls were helping me pull weeds in our garden when we found a good-sized worm.  Both of the girls wanted to hold it and fought over who got to put it back in the dirt.  


This worm was more wiggly than any we have found in our garden before, and they had to use both hands to keep it from getting away from them.  

These girls love nature and being outdoors.  They enjoy getting dirty too as you can see from Little Sister’s hands and the smile on her face.  

Just in case you are wondering, they DO have shoes and gardening gloves.  They would rather go barefooted and get their hands and feet dirty than mess with silly contraptions like shoes and gloves.  

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A Work in Progress

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A Work in Progress

We moved into our house almost three years ago.  Our twins were just four months old at the time, and I spent every nap time unpacking and finding places for all of our things.  We hung artwork and arranged furniture and other decor.  I have since purchased a few more things for the walls, so that I feel like the main living areas are almost complete.  However, the twins’ room was a nursery for more than a year and had a completely different look than it does now.  We slowly transitioned to big girl beds and away from the nursery decor.  I have been working on the furniture for the girls’ room, but now it’s time to focus on the decor.  
I made several pillows today for their room.  I bought a remnant of this gorgeous pink rosette fabric at a great price probably two years ago.  It is so soft and luxurious.  My girls love it.  I made two small rectangular pillows that have the pink rosette on one side and a floral print on the reverse.  The triangular pillows were sewn at Sissy’s request. 

 I have purchased most of the materials I need to make their new curtains, and I will work on those this week and post photos when they are hung.  The pillow with the printed fabric coordinates with the fabric we chose for their curtains.  Who would have thought three-year-olds would have a strong opinion about their curtains?!?   

 Next on my list, is rearranging the wall hangings.  I moved one of them over the chest of drawers I finished last weekend, so now the others need new homes.

 This little one has nothing on the huge wall above her bed, so I will move some of the wall decor over to this wall, but I will need more.  I have an idea for some very unique and personal artwork for their room.  We will see how it turns out.  

This little corner area is also on my to do list, and I can’t wait to reveal what I have planned for this little nook.  It will be fabulous!

A Beautiful Country Morning

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The little girls saw their grandmother go into the pasture Sunday afternoon and thought they would get to ride her pony, Freedom, but she was working in the yard, so we made plans for them to ride at 8:00 this morning.   

They enjoyed riding so much!  Grandmother led the horse with each of them in the round pen.  Then she gave each of them the option to hold the reins themselves.  

 They thought they were such big girls.  They had a hard time kicking Freedom on his sides to make him go, but Grandmother stayed right in front of him, and he kept walking for the most part.  

 They each rode twice for several minutes each time.   

 Freedom is a large pony, but he’s gentle with the kids.  

 Big Brother and Little Sister enjoyed hanging out on the fence while waiting for their turns.  

 Big Sister wanted a turn on Freedom as well, but she didn’t want to hold the reins herself.  She’s more cautious than her siblings. 

 Big Brother also rode this morning, but he thinks he’s too big to stay in the round pen, so he took Freedom out into the pasture.  He did a good job on Freedom walking around the pasture.  

  We love living just down the driveway from my husband’s parents.  It makes these early morning rides very convenient.  My in-laws also have a mini that was a rescue pony, but he is so skittish that I was surprised to see him staying so close to where we were.    

 After the girls were finished riding, they went in the barn to look for eggs.  They only found one this early in the day.  

 It’s a beautiful morning.  I hope you will find an opportunity to get out and enjoy the sunshine today!

Chest of Drawers Makeover

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Chest of Drawers Makeover

My grandpa was an appliance salesman by trade but spent many hours on projects around the house, for family members, and friends.  He and my grandma added on to their house, built a deck, built a large shop for all of his tools, built a gazebo, added on to their house again, and more!  My grandpa built this beautiful curio cabinet for my sister when we were in high school.  She had amassed quite a collection of porcelain dolls by that time and needed a place to store them.  

 When I was a child and my mom was a single parent, we had a water leak in our kitchen and needed to replace the floor and cabinets.  Insurance would cover most of it, but my grandparents drove six hours to come and do it themselves, so that we could have nicer cabinets and replace everything for less than what the insurance company had estimated for what had been damaged.  I also distinctly recall helping my grandparents reshingle their carport roof one hot summer when I was a preteen. My grandparents taught me how to use a hammer, how to do things well, and how to work hard. 

 About thirty years ago, my grandpa built this chest of drawers for me.  I have moved over a dozen times since then, and this piece of furniture has been in every house and apartment.  I used it as a child/teenager to store clothes, of course, but as an adult, I used it to store other random things (aka junk).  In my and my husband’s first house, we had a large enough closet to put this chest of drawers inside, and I stored my unmentionables in it.  Since we had the twins three years ago, this chest of drawers has been in their room.  It didn’t match their white cribs or dresser/changing table, and some of the hardware was loose or missing from the bottom of the drawers, but I didn’t have time to do anything with it when they were babies. 

The girls now have “big girl” beds, and the wood stain on the beds doesn’t match this chest of drawers either, but the bassinet for their dolls/stuffed animals is white and matches their decor, so I decided to makeover this chest of drawers in white too.  I had seen some projects on Pinterest where people had converted a chest of drawers to a bookcase or storage cabinet, and I wanted to create a piece of furniture that could still hold clothes but mesh with their room and be simpler for two little ones to access.  The two bottom drawers kept falling out, and they couldn’t put them back in by themselves. Once again, I consulted with my friend at Blue Happy Living and decided to use chalk paint.  I bought some supplies and started removing the shelves.  Oh, my.  This project ended up requiring much more time, energy, and money than I had anticipated.    

First, I removed the drawers and took the hardware off the bottom of each one.  (I’m saving the drawers for another project.)  I had to use a hammer and a slotted screwdriver to pry the trim off the front of each shelf.  Then I used a Phillips screwdriver to remove most of the screws.  Some screws had wood glue on them from the trim, and I couldn’t remove them.   I ended up taking out my frustrations on them with the hammer.  

 
Then I realized that the shelves weren’t just attached to the side walls of the chest; they were built into the walls.  I had to remove the trim from the front of each side wall in order to get to some of the screws.  At this point, I regreted starting on this project.   

   
Let me tell you, this thing would never have fallen apart!  My grandpa built it to last a lifetime.  I had to take off the back wall to access the screws on the back side of the drawer supports.  I had originally planned to leave the top two narrow drawers, but I decided to remove them as well at this point.  

 Then I removed all the pieces that had supported the drawers except the ones that were glued into the grooves in the side walls. I tried a few things and ended up hitting downward on them with a hammer to break the seal of the glue and then knocking them out from the front towards the back. A few boards splintered and had to be pried out, but most came out whole.  I spent a good deal of time using a hammer and a slotted screwdriver to chip away the pieces that were still glued in the grooves.    

I started on this project a few weeks ago while my husband was out of town for two weeks, and I had to stop after doing the prep work to wait on him to get home before proceeding because I don’t use electrical saws.  My father-in-law went to the store for me to purchase the boards to use for the shelves, and I measured and marked them for my husband to cut.  I went to the store myself to pick out some narrow trim to replace the trim I had ripped off the front of each side wall and the bottom. After my husband returned and cut the boards, I couldn’t resist putting the shelves in and showing the rest of the family my vision for this piece of furniture.

  I was so eager to start painting, but I had to glue the trim on before I could start. This was tricky.  My husband only has one clamp large enough to hold the trim on, so I improvised with bungee cords.  It wasn’t ideal, but it worked. 

 

I painted two coats of white chalk paint on each shelf and the empty cabinet before sliding the shelves into the grooves.  I also painted the inside of the back wall a deep red color to match the decor in the girls’ room.  I left the back off until the very end to avoid getting white paint on it or red paint on the cabinet.  It just so happened that my husband started tearing out our brick sidewalk about the time I started painting, so I put bricks under the cabinet and shelves to keep the paint from sticking to the drop cloth.  (More on our new sidewalk later.)

 After three coats on the top and two coats everywhere else, I put the shelves inside and painted another coat of white on everything.  It definitely needed at least three coats.  I think I used three 8 ounce jars of Americana Decor chalk paint in Everlasting (white).  I used two 2-ounce bottles of red with several drops of blue to paint the back wall of the cabinet.  

 At this point, I was so anxious to be finished with this project.  I had bricks and tiny slivers of wood all over the drop cloth.  The girls were living out of containers on their floor.  It was bothering me, but our usual chaos and multiple illnesses were preventing me from painting.  I finally finished by applying three coats of cream wax this past weekend, and then I reattached the back.  

 I let it dry for 24 hours after the last coat of wax and finally decorated today.  That top shelf is so narrow that I had no idea what we would use it for right now.  I figure when the girls are older, they will slide art supplies or books in there, but I realized this afternoon that their large puzzles would fit in that space perfectly.  Heaven knows they don’t fit well anywhere else.  

 I had originally planned to distress this piece, but after adding trim (unstained wood) and shelves (mdf), I realized the distressed places would not be the same color underneath.  If I had this to do all over, I would paint the whole thing red first and then paint white over the red, so that the red would show through when distressing it.   

 I am very pleased with how this turned out, and the girls love it. We can change out the fabric cubes if we change their decor, and they can choose to store other things in this later.  I love making things more versatile and more functional.  My mom pointed out that the grooves in the sides make the inside walls look like beadboard or something.  It does add another dimension to it.  You can barely see the red on the back wall when the fabric cubes are in the cabinet, so here is a closeup of the inside while empty.   

  

My next project will be repurposing the drawers into something special for the girls’ room.  It might be a few more weeks before I finish that project, but it will be awesome!