Friday, January 11, 2013

We Moved.

To Carol Drive.  Come on in.  Watch your steps.  It's a work in progress.  =P

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Weekly Progress - Wrapping up 2012

There were 30 weeks of renovations in 2012 for us.  Here's a pictorial recap of what we did this past year.  I didn't do a really good job with the before and after pictures so use your imagination!

living room :: still have some work to do here but we made a lot of progress this year.

I don't know what I did with the before pictures of the living room from the other angles... one of my goals for 2013 is better picture organization.

kitchen :: my favorite reno.  

bedroom :: Again, I forgot to take a before picture before we started painting the walls... (it was brown and pink room)

I don't have before/after pictures for the other rooms because we didn't really do anything in these rooms yet...  

office :: we're going to hit this room hard this year because as much as I love the couch and the bed, I really need my desk to work

spare room :: this is mainly the "dump" room.  good luck cleaning this out... haha

bathroom :: that hole in the wall where the medicine cabinet used to be has stumped me.

Starting 2013, I won't be posting weekly progresses anymore.  I discovered that there are some weeks I just do not want to work on the house.    Instead, I've been getting the itch to start scrapbooking again.  =)  I am really excited about this year.  I am also moving this blog to Carol Drive.  I've been working on my html & css skills.  See you over there.  

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Weekend 30 - How to Build a Patio Table

On my to-do list is to build a patio table for the backyard.  I posted about that here.  I had to put this project on the backburner because we ended up having to use the bed slates for our new bed.  Long story. 

On Christmas day, we decided that we're going to celebrate New Years Eve with dinner at home.  All of a sudden, we had to build a patio table in less than a week.  I search the web and found this patio table by Domesticated Engineer.  I wanted to build a bigger version of her table so I had to change the design a little and update the measurements.  Our table ended up being 7' 1" x 3' 4". 

Wood Measurement Cut:
(2) 2x6 - 7' 1" (A)
(6) 2x8 - 2' 4" (B)
(16) 2x4 - 1' 11-3/4" (C)
(2) 1x4 - 6' (D)
(2) 1x4 - 3' (E)
(4) 2x4 - 2' 5-1/4" (F)
(4) 1x4 - 2' 10-1/2" (cross beams)
(4) 1x4 - 2' 1-1/4" (box supports)
(4) 1x6 - 1' 11-3/4" (long box side)
(4) 1x6 - 8-3/4" (short box side)
(10) 1x2 - 7-1/4" (box bottom)

This is the first time we're using our miter saw.  We made all the cuts at home.  I sanded everything down.

This is also the first time we're using the Kreg Jig.  Yea, we're ambitious.  I used a test piece of wood for my first try.  Works perfectly.  Using the Kreg Jig, I drilled two holes into both ends of the of the 10 (C) boards and 2 (B) boards. 

Then I assembled the table top with the (B) and (C) boards according to my sketch of the table top in the picture above.  KT helped me screw the (C) boards to the (B) boards (without the Kreg Jig holes) with 2-1/2" wood screws. (We had to get rid of the 2nd (B) board in the center because I couldn't figure out how to support that extra piece without making the table significantly more complicated and heavier).  Taking the other two (B) boards with Kreg Jig holes, screw them to each end of the table top to the other (B) boards.   

Next, I built the boxes to hold the plastic planters.  I used wood glue and 2" nails to attach the long box sides to the short box sides. 

Once I had the box frames, I spaced out five pieces of the box bottom in each box. 

I glued the box bottom pieces in place and nailed them in with 2" nails. 

At this point, I've been working Friday and Saturday on this table.  On Sunday, we had an expected downpour of rain so I had to move everything in doors.  Monster is my little helper. 

Once the support box is built, place the plastic planter box into it.  Turn it upside down on a flat surface.  The plastic planter box will protrude out of the support box by about 1/4".  Take two of the box support boards, sit it flush on the flat surface, and glue it against each long side of the support box. 

I used clamps to hold it in place and 1-1/4" screws to attach the box support securely to the support box. 

This is how the support box with the plastic planter box inside looks upright.   Using the Kreg Jig, I drilled some holes into the (A) boards.  With KT's help, we attached (A) boards to the (B) and (C) boards with 2-1/2" screws.

On Monday, I place down (D) and (E) boards and cross beams on the table top.  I eyeballed where the (D) and (E) boards need to attach on the table top.  I used the cross beams to center everything.  I marked out where I need to screw the (D) and (E) boards to the table top.  Using the Kreg Jig again, I drilled the screw holes into the boards and attached the (D) and (E) boards to the table top with wood glue and 1-1/4" screws.   I attached the cross beams to the support box with 1-1/4" screws.  Then attached the cross beams and support boxes to the table top with wood glue.

We decided to use the 2-1/2" screws to attach the cross beams to the (D) boards.  The final step is to attach the legs to the table top.  We used 2" screws to attach the legs (F) to the (D) boards.  We're going to attach 4 more legs to the (E) boards (see picture below) but we didn't have time before our New Years Eve dinner. 

Here it is.  We finished the year with a bang.  =)  We're going to add more support to our super heavy table. I'll finish it with either paint or stain.  Then weather proof it.  If anyone is keeping count, I still have four pieces of the (C) boards that will cover the planter boxes.  I haven't decided how to finish that yet but check out the Domestic Engineer to see how she finished it. 

It turned out really well even with the time crunch.  KT really kept me sane during this process.  It wasn't as easy as it looked (at least it looked easy to me at first).   

Here's what we learned:
(1) The wood itself may not be perfectly straight so everything won't fit perfectly together
(2) Bigger tables will need more support (this seems obvious now, but I didn't consider it then)
(3) A 2x4 is really 1.5x3.5.  A 2x8 is really 1.5x7.5.  Etc. 
(4) Don't learn how to use a bunch of new tools before a project deadline (unless you're ambitious and a little delusional like me) 
(5) The miter saw takes off maybe a millimeter or two from the wood during the cut. 

Happy New Year!  Looking forward to 2013.  =)

Thursday, December 27, 2012

I WON!! Third Day Natural Soap

Three weeks ago, I got a really awesome email (Yea, I know I'm really behind in posting about this). 

Like any typical morning, I glanced at all my new email in my inbox and in one swift swoop, selected all the ones I knew were trash and hit delete.  Then I went through and read the rest of my emails. 

I was reading my email subscription from the Frugal Girl, "It’s been a busy couple of giveaway days around here ... The winners are Sam and Sharon. Congrats!  You’ve both been emailed." 

This was my reaction, all in thirty seconds: Sharon? Me? I did enter the sweepstake for Third Day Natural Soaps.  No... I went through my emails, I didn't see anything from Frugal Girl.  OMG, did I delete it thinking it was spam?  No, I wouldn't have.  SPAM FOLDER.  Lemme check.  There it is!!!  OMG, I WON!!  YAY!!!! 

Good thing, as my morning email routine, I would check my inbox and read my emails, before hitting 'Delete All' for my spam folder.   

So here it is, a few days later...

I got to choose two scented soaps from Third Day Natural for winning the sweepstake.  How perfect is that right?  KT and I love collecting handmade natural bar soaps. 

I selected Pink Grapefruit and Peppermint Tea Tree.  These soaps are so fragrant that I was able to smell it through the paper wrapper and distinguish which soap was which.  They smell so good.   

Since it's the holiday season, I decided to try the Peppermint Tea Tree soap first.  The scent is so pleasant and not at all overwhelming.  The soap contains tea tree extract, so it leaves my skin tingling as I'm lathering.  mMmm...  I can't wait to try the pink grapefruit. =) 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Secret Santa 2012 - How to Make a Cutting Board

Last year, KT drew me for Secret Santa.  The rule was to make your Secret Santa present, and if you really can't make it, then the budget is $20 value. KT made me a snow globe of us on our wedding day.  It's awesome.  Right right??

This year for Secret Santa, I drew KT.  (Seriously, I think the drawing was rigged.)  KT worked so hard in making my gift last year that I knew I had to make him a gift in return.

We have been shopping for a cutting/serving board for KT for a while now and haven't been able to find something just right.  He wanted one that was unusually shaped. Something small to serve cheese or as a butcher's plate of pate, prosciutto, salami, etc.   So I'm making it with these simple directions.


Use untreated hardwood.  Since we're eating food on this, I want to make sure the wood is au naturel. I picked a red oak plank since it was already cut down the size I wanted.  =P


Sketch the shape of the cutting board.  I considered doing a random odd shape but I decided to give this board a more sentimental value.  I used the shape of Venice, Italy.  It is our favorite city from our honeymoon.  I decided to add the waterways which I will carve out later with a dremel.  We'll be using the blank side (sans canals) for any food cutting so it doesn't mess up the waterways.


Cut out the shape of board with a jigsaw.  I used a jigsaw before to cut out a doggie door a few years ago but we got rid of it because it didn't work so well (we used a Black and decker).

For this project, I (we) invested in a much nicer Bosch jigsaw.  I finally had to send KT to run some errands so I can finish this project.  This jigsaw works like a charm.  I was so happy with how well it cuts that I was grinning cheek to cheek.

I finished cutting out the shape in less than ten minutes.


Sand all sides and round the edges.  Some of the corners that I cut with the jigsaw were really rough so I sanded them down with a 150 grit sand paper.

I rounded the edges with the sand paper to give it a more finished look.


Use a dremel to carve out any special details or grooves.  I used our dremel to carve out the canals/waterways of Venice.  


Sand everything down with a 220 grit sand paper.


Rub mineral oil with a rag all over the wood to bring out the color and grains.  I got the mineral oil from Target for only a buck fifty!  Since this mineral oil is for consumption, it is safe to use on the cutting board.

Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!