A Patriotic Scrap Wreath

I don’t normally like the bohemian look. But I was sitting there one day thinking about something that made my brain wonder to this idea for a patriotic wreath. My mind drifts a lot. Sometimes it keeps me awake. Since I don’t have a chance to sleep 8 hours a night anyway, this can be rough.

I had a pair of jeans I had thrown in the fabric pile, so I started cutting them up, concentrating on getting the pocket off in one piece big enough to cover the wreath form I had. I searched trough all my ribbons and grabbed all the white and red ones. I also had this off-white fabric that I ripped a few strips from. And went to work.

I stapled the fabric around the back of the wreath and then tied all the ribbons on to the bottom half. Then I found the USA at Hobby Lobby while checking out and decided to glue that on there and added the flowers to act as the stars.

I must have deleted this picture after I uploaded it to Instagram and it won’t let me crop it on here so I at least know people can’t take you pictures, on their computers at least.


Renovating 407: The Hall Bath

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Maybe I wouldn’t be so loathsome of wallpaper if it hadn’t been on every wall in 4 rooms. 7 different wallpapers. This is the hall bathroom. In great shape. Beautiful porcelain tub. But bathes do not stay warm in it. Great marble sink. But the vanity is plastic. The tiles are also in great shape. The toilet leaks somewhere around the base. No one noticed this in the inspections. That is carpet on the floor. (Luckily, the ceilings aren’t popcorn.)

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Removed the toilet. Removed the mirror. Removed the light fixture. Removed the wallpaper. Removed the tile baseboards. Removed the carpet and padding (I also had to remove a large amount of this tar like substance from the front of the tub that was left behind by the plastic strip that protected the edge of the carpet). Painted the walls and then put down this beautiful wood looking tile. Installed a new farmhouse style light. Installed a new toilet (this was done by a plumber). Put in a new vanity. (Still need to put up a back splash.) Hung a new/oval mirror.

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Put in a curved shower curtain rod and hung up an old curtain I had but left the window bare (you can’t see through it). Painted the door and hung it back up with silver hinges and a new solver doorknob. Put in new baseboards, wider than in the rest of the house to try to cover up all the way to where the old tiles were.

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I also made towel hooks with plumbing parts.

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Products used in this room:

  • Paint for ceiling, door trim, door and baseboards: Behr Premium Plus, semi-gloss, in Solid Opal
  • Wall paint: Behr Premium Plus Ultra, semi-gloss, in Serene Journey (it’s a lot like Sea Glass)
  • Tile, toilet, light and vanity are from Home Depot
  • Mirror is from Lowe’s

Resizing a Kitchen

There used to be a “closed in” kitchen. Only thing missing was a swinging door where I am standing. All that seventies. Even a boob light. 

My dad went into the sauna like attic and found the wall wasn’t weight bearing. I got me a hammer and saw.

Only problem was, those 2x4s were completely attached to the ceiling and not coming down.

What else to do than to cover it up and make it look like a beam was always there.

We continued a 2×4 along the entire length of the ceiling. Beat up some 1×6 and 1x4s, stained them and shellaced them. Someone didn’t measure and cut right so there was a bad gap between the set of boards. I ended up making a tie in that blended the gap rather well.


Sharing at the Talk of the Town link party


Renovating 407: 2 Years Later

I didn’t plan to do this much to the house. I didn’t plan on this much money going into it either. And I couldn’t even sell it tomorrow if I wanted to move again (which I don’t) because I have yet to get the shower in the master bath finished. LOL.

I thought I would go back and do some before and afters of the finished spaces. The befores were all taken with my iPhone so some aren’t very good, or in focus for that matter.

407 wm

This is 407. That light wouldn’t turn off. The bushes and yucca had never been trimmed. Even the swamp cooler was original to the house. Which means, 40 years old. My dad basically told me he wasn’t starting up that bucket of rust. Luckily, I complained about working with only floor fans for a few days and a friend from college sent a plumber my way. He started up the cooler that day and got to work on getting me a Master Cool.

Meanwhile, I removed the light that would never shut off and put a solar light in the freshly spray painted pole. My mom put an empty lantern over it to make it look more proportional. I removed the bushes by the front door and put brick pavers down in the dirt spot. We replaced the front door and screen door. I painted the front door (and later the mailbox to match). And lots and lots of time, two broken tow ropes, a truck in the yard, and a bobcat later, the big bush and that stinky yucca were completely removed. Man, did that yucca stink. Fun times on that was had. The really big tree you see to the left of the cooler, it was also removed. The roots were way too close to the house. My dad and his friend cut that sucker down, and it might have taken me a year to get it all hauled away.

Come, step inside with me. I promise it is cooler now. We walk into the front door and stop about 15 paces into the middle of the room. Turn back to the front door. (I laughed so hard opening this picture just now, I had never noticed the arm at the door before.) When I viewed the house, I saw all this 1970s going on, but it was the cleanest house I had looked at. (The new roof and the completed landscaping was the final selling point though.) livingroom wmThe house was still completely furnished, so the 1970s Harvest Gold carpet actually looked much better. Something I thought I might be able to live with for a little while. See the popcorn ceilings, arched cutouts, huge mirror and slightly blue tinted white walls? Next turn around towards the other direction of the room. The second set of heavy curtains covers the sliding glass door that opens onto the screened in porch. The little corner of wall on the right, is the wall that separated the kitchen. livingroom2 wm

EVERYTHING came down. The curtains, blinds, curtain rods, the chandelier, even that wall. The popcorn ceiling was even scraped. The carpet and padding came up. There was 40 years worth of sand in there. The baseboards even had to be replaced because some were rotted out. I had a termite inspection (you would think in a arid climate that wouldn’t be necessary and many people probably think that). I think the other (only) owners went too long since treatments because they were a bigger problem than the inspector had thought. He fixed the places he saw, but he couldn’t see behind the wallpaper in the master bath or behind the tiles in the master shower. I digress.

Let’s continue towards the table. Turn to your right and there is the kitchen. That stained glass plastic door divider doesn’t open. I guess they wanted a closed in as possible kitchen. Where we are standing is the only way into the kitchen. This shelving unit held all of her Faberge and acted as a wall I guess. The carpet in here is blue. I thought the florescent light was kind of cool. It looked a little like it was a wood box.

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From here we step down into the den. This is where the other garage once was. I think it was her lanai.

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There was a plywood closet covering the utility box, 3 different wallpapers, a different carpet than even the kitchen, many plant hooks, and the doors to the garage and outside weren’t outside doors. I think they wallpapered on top of the drywall too because it was really hard to come off (except the depiction of a patio) and left the walls in bad shape. More so on the bottom half where it had a textured wallpaper. Luckily the ceiling wasn’t popcorn. The florescent light came out (and a fan was put up instead). Both doors were replaced and the carpet came out. Drapes and rod and hooks also gone. And tearing down the closet was fun. In fact, it didn’t even leave marks so it wasn’t put up to last.

Now I have a cleaner landscape

There’s no more harvest gold carpetThe kitchen is wide open 

And there is a nice den instead of a linai with proper outdoor doors and no closet.

(I really need more and better pictures, coming soon)

Ain’t no Boring Mailbox

I’m sitting here at soccer practice, so I am going to steal from a Facebook post showing the mailbox I DIYed…

Adventures in renovating: somewhere past week 55⏩ I saw this blog post about their pool progress, week 16. And I thought, it’s June and they aren’t finished after 16 weeks. That’s crazy. It’s pool season.

Even though I had made lists for what needs to be done in each room to make them completed rooms, no work got done inside last week. Mr B may just get a puppy for Christmas because this fence is going to be finished soon. And this isn’t panels either. We set the posts. My dad added the 2x4s and I screwed in the cedar planks. I decided a gate was needed on that side too. I also cleaned up some of the yard where the evergreen is gone. No easy feat there either. Of course it’d help if the yucca was gone. We got 7 old tree trunks dug up (my dad did 2 of them just for the fence) and Brendan and I got the shed cleaned out. I can finally use it. Well, after I seal any gaps between the top and sides so it will stay cleaner and rodent free. I also got my mailbox “built”.

Sharing with Friday Favorites at Remodelaholic

Recycling Fence Planks

my old fence
The branches on my side got moved after this, but his yard still looks like that but weeds are even bigger

Once upon a time I had this half fence separating my nice yard from the jungle next door. There were sections that I think were only still standing because the weeds were entwined with that side of the fence. One day some young men, boys really, decided to try and steal the car at the house behind me. One boy decided to climb her fence into my backyard. And somehow got himself on my roof. Without so much as a knock on the door, 4 cops were in my backyard yelling for said boy to come out with his hands up. He was trying to be one with my hose reel. Right. Under. My. Window.

Next morning, I am leaving for work and notice that half my fence was falling down. Neighbor didn’t know what had happened. Didn’t hear anything. I went across the street to the school and they had not heard anything that had happened. So I called the police department and they sent out one of the officers from the night before. They thought they had gone through a gate (and that it was okay to just leave the fence laying on the ground apparently).

The owner of the jungle agreed with me that we needed a new fence. That he and his son wanted to get a dog. I told him if he would pay for half of the supplies, we would get it done. He bought like 20 pickets and hauled all the rest away. That was it. I need to give him a bill I guess.

I would have saved so many more of the old fence planks had I known what I could create with them. But sadly, I only saved enough to make this one box. fence boxIt sits rather nicely on my kitchen window sill. Covering up the crack that is in the front window. (They aren’t double paned, they are two sets of windows. Like the outside ones are storm windows are something). After cleaning the wood, I just used a nail gun and some wood glue to put the pieces together. I then just shellacked the whole thing to protect anything it sits on. I change it out to go with the seasons.

And I can no longer see into the jungle next door.


31 Days of DIYing

This is the 3rd year I am participating and I am not sure if I do it for the right reasons. To make myself do something out of my comfort zone, and post more on the blog for one. As the title of my blog says…I change my mind a lot. I Started off blogging about crafting. Then spent many years on photography. Lately, it has been more all around DIY. So for sure a DIY life. This month I am focusing on renewing things. Redoing. Recycling. Upcycling. Reclaiming. Whatever the word, the point is the same. Done with my own two hands.

For example, the before and after of this laundry closet. It is amazing what you can do with paint and free cabinets.laundry room

Sometimes when you are at the thrift store, you can’t just pass up the ugly stuff. For some reason I had had this really weird looking, Gothic candelabra. I am not sure what I thought I was going to do with it. But then I got a vision that I could take it apart and use its candle holders for a spooky fence. My mom had had this fencing up against her dryer vent outside that my son had sort of painted when he was 2. It was never finished, so I swiped it and spray painted it black. I now put this out the week of Halloween every year. I had to change the spider a few years ago because the DIY one didn’t hold up.

I have also recycled, reclaimed and upcycled items for my gallery wall. You just have to look outside the box. The arrow is on a piece of baseboard where I only used tape to stencil off the arrow before I painted the board. The love you more sign is leftover pieces of shiplap boards from the back of my island. Not shown is this picture are a few bicycle gears that I spray painted to round off the rectangle of objects.

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It's a DIY life with upcycling, recycling, reclaiming, redoing...

October 1 Recycling Fence Planks

October 2 Ain’t No Boring Mailbox

October 3 407: The Renovating 2 Years Later

October 4 Here is an old post of reclaiming

October 5 Resizing a Kitchen

October 6 Renovating 407: The Hall Bath

October 7 A Patriotic Scrap Wreath

October 8 Refreshing a Little Wood Stool

I am having a hard time this year. I am so exhausted after work every day that I haven’t been even getting on the computer. Following are a few older posts on my theme.

#9 Restoration of 407: The Dining Nook

#10 What to Do with Leftover Wood

#11 Restoration of 407: Master Bedroom

#12 The Restoration of 407: The Ugly

#13 The Restoration of 407: Part II

October 14 Renovation of 407: The Kitchen Island

October 15 Renovation of 407: A Pantry was Born

October 16 Renovating of 407: The Creative

#17 The Restoration of 407: Part I

October 18 Re-purposed laundry baskets

October 19

October 20 A refinished table

October 21 Re-imagining a Piece of Fence into a Spooky Gate

October 22 Renovating of 407: The Laundry Closet

October 23

October 24

October 25

October 26

October 27

October 28

October 29

October 30

October 31




My New Bed


Or at least new to me. My brother gave me this old bed over a year ago that they had decided they didn’t have the patience to refinish. But someone had started to use a stripping agent on the headboard. It had some build up on it from where they tried to strip it previously but didn’t get all the agent removed.

I ended up using CitraStrip to get most of the old stuff off. Lots of stripping and hours of sanding later I uncovered beauty.

But no matter that I used steel wool with the stripper, or that I even tried flexible sandpaper, I could not get the grooves clean. I even thought about just painting the posts black. I really wanted to keep it this natural.

I ended up getting General Finishes gel stain, knowing it would cover it all anyway. They didn’t have as light of color as I wanted, so I went with one that looked really good on both of their samples. Once I used it, I thought it was too orange. So days after staining, I then painted the whole piece with a light grey. Only one coat. Then I lightly sanded. Then I got out a grey and a brown stain. I sponge on my stain and then wipe off with a cloth. Working on big sections at a time, I did a patch of grey and then while it was still damp, I did the same with the brown. The resulting color is a greyish driftwood look. And I love it (just not as much as I loved the natural color). Then I sprayed the whole thing with Varanthe. I didn’t like the texture of that so I waxed both pieces after. (All in all, this took me like 9 months.) Eventually, both of those tables will be different colors as well and I will finish painting from the bluer color to the grey.


Because this is an old bed, it doesn’t fit both a pillowy mattress and a box spring, so we treated this as if it were a platform bed. Boards are under the mattress. It’s very sturdy but still a little small for this type of mattress. It is extremely hard to make the bed.

I want to get rid of the foot board to make it easier to make and it is not all so cramped, but it is also a frame so to speak. The footboard and headboard are attached together with metal sides. Not sure exactly what to do.

Upcycling Old Shutters

What do you do when you find sets of old shutters? You decorate them of course. I had found 2 sets of these right before Christmas a few years ago. I was looking for them to make something for my mom. I was lucky to have found them that day, at the first place I stopped. I have plans for all 6, but I also keep thinking I should paint the 2nd set (keep all 3 hinged together) a lighter color and hang them above the sofa. It is such a long wall. I can always find more for the other projects.

This is the one I made for my mom for Christmas. inspired

I took apart one of the sets and used the 3 separately. The “evergreen” is this felt like stuff and then a really soft wispy thing I found at Hobby Lobby at Christmas time. I wish I had bought more when it went on sale because it was only Christmas time stuff. I needed more and they don’t sale it right now. Bah humbug.

Then I made a Valentine’s shutter. I took another one of the 3 and lightly spray painted it with the same off white. I wasn’t really intent on it being perfect because if it chips a little that will add to the charm. (Sorry, I didn’t take any during pictures, terrible of me.)

Then I hot glued on the battery operated lights (that you find in the craft area of Hobby Lobby). I like these because you don’t have to worry about plugging them in anywhere. I also can attach the battery box with command strips (the type that is sort of like Velcro) for easy removal to replace the batteries.

I glued down the wispy greenery I had, I only had 3 and they are thin stalks so I also needed some filler. I found these white paper flowers at At Home and cut off a few stems of those and had another little plastic green stalk I cut down. I found the pink hearts before I started the project but can’t remember if they are from Michael’s or Hobby Lobby. All these got glued down strategically, to make it look more appealing.

I had another bag like the one used for my mom’s but decided the gold dots weren’t what I was looking for (bags are $1 at Hobby Lobby). These inexpensive bags are a way easier solution to wrapping burlap around the shutter. All you have to do is cut off the handle of the front side. But turning the bag around left me with a blank slate. I was going to find hearts to stamp on there or something but came across these yo-yos I had already put together and thought those would be perfect. I stitched those onto the bag and then glued sequins on top of those and all over the bag. I then pull the bag up onto the shutter and hot glue it onto the back and just a little on the sides of the front and top. Doing it in a way that makes it look slouched and so that you have an opening at the top for the battery box of the lights big enough to stick your hand in.

I found the “love” sign at Michael’s when I was there for something else and painted it pink then glittered it. Hot glued it to the top of the shutter. Finished off the whole thing with the pink ribbon I found in my stash.

I made a snowman out of the 3rd shutter. But I just don’t find it as cute as the inspiration. Again, I only lightly sprayed it with the white paint. It even sprayed blotchy but I thought that would okay since it would look like snowflakes. Then I sprayed the black area with an idea of where I wanted the hat. I think the hat rim is a paint stick. The nose is a piece of wood I found in my stash and cut and sanded before painting it orange. The buttons are pieces I had in my craft stash and painted black. Everything else I had laying around. Maybe I need to add a smile?

What to Read this Year

Career of Evil (Cormoran Strike, #3)At the Water's EdgeSummer at Little Beach Street Bakery (Little Beach Street Bakery, #2)The NightingaleLetters from SkyeA Hundred SummersThe Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie SocietyThe Cuckoo's Calling (Cormoran Strike, #1)Big Little Lies

I posted previously that I was following along with Popsugar’s 2017 Reading Challenge. And with this, I learned about Goodreads. Which is a great way to keep track of what I have read, what I want to read and what I want to read again. I have learned to only go to the used book store every other month, and go to the library more often. However, I love this used book store I found in Bernalillo, NM. Here are 10 books you should add to your reading list, if you haven’t read already (by far my favorites). (The descriptions are either from Amazon or Goodreads.)

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah: With courage, grace and powerful insight, bestselling author Kristin Hannah captures the epic panorama of WWII and illuminates an intimate part of history seldom seen: the women’s war. The Nightingale tells the stories of two sisters, separated by years and experience, by ideals, passion and circumstance, each embarking on her own dangerous path toward survival, love, and freedom in German-occupied, war-torn France–a heartbreakingly beautiful novel that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the durability of women. It is a novel for everyone, a novel for a lifetime.

Letters from Skye by Jessica Brockmole: A sweeping story told in letters, spanning two continents and two world wars, Jessica Brockmole’s atmospheric debut novel captures the indelible ways that people fall in love, and celebrates the power of the written word to stir the heart.

At The Water’s Edge by Sara Gruen: After embarrassing themselves at the social event of the year in high society Philadelphia on New Year’s Eve of 1942, Maddie and Ellis Hyde are cut off financially by Ellis’s father, a former army Colonel who is already embarrassed by his son’s inability to serve in WWII due to his being colorblind.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows: Juliet begins a remarkable correspondence with the society’s members, learning about their island, their taste in books, and the impact the recent German occupation has had on their lives. Captivated by their stories, she sets sail for Guernsey, and what she finds will change her forever.

The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith: After losing his leg to a land mine in Afghanistan, Cormoran Strike is barely scraping by as a private investigator. Strike is down to one client, and creditors are calling. He has also just broken up with his longtime girlfriend and is living in his office.

I also recommend continuing this series with Silkworm and Career of Evil.

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarity: Madeline is a force to be reckoned with. She’s funny and biting, passionate, she remembers everything and forgives no one. Her ex-husband and his yogi new wife have moved into her beloved beachside community, and their daughter is in the same kindergarten class as Madeline’s youngest.

A Hundred Summers by Beatriz Williams: Memorial Day, 1938: New York socialite Lily Dane has just returned with her family to the idyllic oceanfront community of Seaview, Rhode Island, expecting another placid summer season among the familiar traditions and friendships that sustained her after heartbreak.

Summer at Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan: Summer has arrived in the Cornish town of Mount Polbearne and Polly Waterford couldn’t be happier. Because Polly is in love: she’s in love with the beautiful seaside town she calls home, she’s in love with running the bakery on Beach Street, and she’s in love with her boyfriend, Huckle.




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