Sunday, September 6, 2015

Pallet Dog House- A Labor of Love

It is finally done!

Let me start from the beginning....

At the beginning of summer, the cedar dog house I had paid $150 for up in Washington state was falling apart. It was barely put together, and was done so with brad nails. The guy I bought it from had to come fix it 3 times right after I bought it and it was just plain garbage! When I saw the walls that my dogs lay against coming apart once again, my anger got the best of me and I tore it apart. I have pics somewhere of the mess that dog house was, but I am too tired to look for them.

Then I started building my own dog house from pallets. As we all know, pallets are usually free, and the place I get mine from are all heat treated. So the floor of the dog house is two pallets side by side. I was worried that the floor would not hold together because it was hard to attach them. But I got it done. The back and left hand side are also full pallets, stood next to each other and attached. I made adjustments as I went, as needed.

My surface was not level because it is in the kennel and every time I leveled the ground, one of my dogs would dig it up. I did not use a level for that reason, until the end to see how far off the whole thing was. I used scraps to fill in as spacers where needed mostly on the inside. Because the dog house was not built on a level surface it is also not square, as in nothing matches up anywhere. I had to build it in the kennel due to the size.

Getting going on the second half of the back wall and the right end was tough. I have been working full time throughout this project and the heat was incredibly difficult for me to accomplish much.

Determination paid off this weekend though. The weather cooled significantly, even raining the other night. So I got the walls done last weekend, and the front I finished yesterday. Today I put the roof on. The roof is a 4x8 piece of OSB. The metal roofing was left in my yard when I moved in.

Overall, the most cash I spent was $50-$60 or so. I bought the OSB, 3 2x4's and lots of screws. 2", 1 5/8", pocket hole screws and roofing screws for the metal roofing. I had all the tools already so nothing to purchase there. I used my drill a LOT, my Dremel Saw Max to cut pieces to fit, a hammer, my reciprocating saw to tear pallets apart, and my Kreg Jr. That made the 2nd half of the walls a breeze!

I sanded the floor so my dogs won't get slivers in the pads of the paws. Once all the walls were on, it was just a matter of applying myself. By this time, I was so tired and wanted it done already!

Once the roof was on, I used wood filler inside the dog house to close up any gaps between the pallet boards. They are rarely straight and even. This will hopefully keep any extra draft from getting in. I will let you know for sure how that part goes as time goes by.

I am NOT real great at building things. I also am not big on asking for help. My dad is taking care of my mom full time and they are both 80 so I hate to bother him, and my brother has MS so he struggles to do stuff like this too. So, I did this 100% on my own. I am glad it is finished! 

The back left corner looks like it is higher than the rest, but it was just the angle of the photo. In reality there is a slight lift in the front on top so the rain can roll right off the back, yet not so much into the dog house. 

The dimensions are roughly 83" long by roughly 36" tall by roughly 36" deep. 

My testers helped out now and then too. 

There is Plenty of room in this dog house for both of my German Shepherds to lay down, stretch out and really relax if they are in the kennel for hours on end while I am at work. In fact, I bet that two St Bernard's could live in this dog house! It is big, it is heavy and most importantly, it is Sturdy! 

I have not quite decided if I am going to paint this or not. I know paint and sealer will help make it last years and years to come. But for now, I am going to sit back and watch my dogs enjoy their Pallet dog house, made by their mom, with pure Love! 

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

I could have died today.

First let me say that I am okay. Then let me say that I do not have pictures...yet...but I need to write this out now for some reason.

I was on my way to work. It was a 43 mile drive to the job site, traveling through what is called "Hell's Canyon". 

The road winds this way and that, with mountains of rock on one side and a river on the other side. The road was wet, and being in construction especially, I am extremely careful in those conditions because I know all about the oil rising after rain follows a long dry spell. 

As I approached a curve, I was slowing down. I have seen motorists over the center line on any number of the curves so I am careful. Not to mention all the wildlife...deer especially that can be right around the corner. 

As I drove into the curve, I was slowing, watching, and suddenly my tires caught the edge of the pavement. That sent me spiraling out of control in a flash. My car was careening straight for the rock 'wall' so I gave the wheel a slight (or so I thought) correction. 

I was then aimed right at the river. As my car launched over the bank of the river, I gripped the steering wheel, let out a scream and closed my eyes. I do not remember landing. 

As soon as I could, I jumped out of the car, grabbing my cell phone. I also turned the car off. Left the keys in the ignition. I waded to the shore of the river. As I looked up, I realized something didn't look right. Upon turning around, I saw that the road was on the other side of the river from where I was standing. 

So I crossed the river again. I was looking for a way up the bank when I heard a car drive by. I was wearing a very bright orange t shirt, and the driver of that truck saw me! He stopped and assured me he was getting help. Once he sent someone to call 911, he came down to try to help me up the river bank. At was about 6 am when I wrecked...I mean totaled my car. I was roughly 10 miles from my job site. 

Working for a company that contracts my services out, I meet a lot of people and this year I have worked primarily with the Oregon Department of Transportation. I was supposed to work for one of their crews today in fact. So one of their vehicles came by, and it was some of the guys I know. The stranger in the truck and two ODOT guys helped me get up the river bank. A lady who works here in town came by and stopped as well, and once up the bank she put me in her car and wrapped me in a blanket. Yet another ODOT guy who is also an EMT was on his way to work and stopped, and stayed with me until the ambulance got there. 

From there, I was taken back to town and checked out in the ER. A wrecker was called, and that guy is my dad's cousin. It took him 4 hours to get my totaled minivan out of the river. The hospital released me at about 10am. Dad had been called (my uncle called him-I work with my uncle and he was at the office when my boss was called by ODOT) 

Dad came to the hospital to see if I was okay. Just as he was about to leave, the doctor said they were letting me go. Dad went to my house to get some dry clothes for me and got back an hour later. Took me to his house where I managed to get my wet cell phone to work to call my boss and uncle. Then dad took me to the store and bought me some cigarettes cause I smoke and was wanting one bad, and then he brought me home. 

I called my insurance company-I only had liability, so no big fat check, but I did have comprehensive so maybe they should pay me for the 5 broken windows in my car! LOL (kidding) My brother came and got me, we went to look at my car, and another one for sale there, then to dad's for Tylenol, and then to Taco Time for food. I was starving. Came home, checked the mail then he took me to the bank. Then I came home to rest. (I did manage to get a shower before that to wash off all the river gunk. I mean, on the other side of the river, where I first went, there is cattle over there and I have seen them walking in this river. Ewwwwww! Don't wanna think about what they do to the water! Gross! )

Meanwhile my brother went back to the tow yard and got all my stuff out of it for me. The tow guy had found my debit card, and my brother retrieved my driver's license and a few other important documents for me and brought all my stuff home to me. 

I have a few scratches from the brush on the river bank, a slight headache and my shoulder hurts from the seat belt a little, but THAT.IS.IT!!!!!

Had I NOT made the correction, I would have plowed into that rock wall and there is NO doubt in my mind that i would probably be dead or very severely hurt. 

The tow truck guy said he thinks after I careened off the road nose down, as my car began bouncing off the bank of rocks etc, that my car flipped end over end. I was driving east bound and landed (on the wheels) facing west bound in the river. It is a miracle that all I lost in the river was a few rechargeable batteries and miscellaneous stuff of no value. ALL of my work gear survived. My cooler lid broke off. oh well... small in comparison. 

I am going back to the tow yard tomorrow and will be asking Donn to please text or email the photos to me that he took of my car and all the damage. I WILL be editing this post tomorrow to include them...I want this to become my way of spreading awareness as to just how important seat belts are. 

It is almost bedtime, so in parting I want to stress the importance of wearing a seat belt. Seriously, it saved my life!! conclusion....I could have died today...but By The Grace of God, I didn't.

EDIT: As promised, here are pics of my minivan:

In the river, facing westbound. The far side of the river is where I first went after I got out. Wrong side.

At the wrecking yard:

Friday, July 17, 2015

Tool caddy

First of all let me just say that I am sorry for being MIA lately! Work has been busy, which in turn has given little or no time to try to even touch a project!

So on to my tool caddy. It is actually a tool caddy turned catch all. I have had this old tool caddy, the wooden kind, forever it seems like. It was old raw wood and not really pretty to say the least. I was never sure just where in my home it would serve a good purpose.

Meanwhile for more than a year now, I have needed a catch all inside the front door. Like for everything in my hands as I walk in. Being in traffic control, I often have my walkie talkie and spare batteries, my cell phone, paperwork, etc with me. And of course my car keys.

Sadly I don't think I have a picture of my before caddy, but here is what I did.

I painted it with General Finishes Persian Blue on the outside and a lighter off brand on the inside. Once the paint was dry, I took my palm sander to it to expose the wood in places and give it the chippy worn look. 

I used Miss Mustard Seed's Antiquing Wax to add contrast and give it a more used look, adding age and character to the caddy as well. Then to finish the tool caddy up, I gave it a coat of General Finishes High Performance Top Coat. 

The final step to this quick and easy project was to use my heat embossing tool to make sure everything was dry, because I am not patient and wanted to put it to use right away! 

Now it is in place, inside my front door. 

I love the rustic appearance of the handle, and the catch all is going to serve its purpose well. 

This project took all of one hour, including painting, sanding, waxing, top coat and drying! 

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Make your own refrigerator magnets!

That's right! You can make your own refrigerator magnets!

It is super easy. I made one today for my mom for Mother's Day!

I had recently bought a roll of adhesive magnetic material for another purpose that did not work out so well and decided to try to make something else. What came to mind was refrigerator magnets and magnetic Bumper Stickers.

First off, grab yourself some magnetic material at Amazon (affiliate link) Magnetic Sheet Roll for Crafts, Signs, Display - Flexible 24" X 30" Magnet
Because of the type I bought, one side being adhesive, I used a sheet of cardstock, cut to size, for moms refrigerator magnet. Also, I made it rather large due to her poor eyesight.

This particular magnet is not waterproof, however you can use the non adhesive magnetic roll and vinyl. I chose not to use vinyl because having two adhesive sides together...well, for good could come of that! LOL

I purchased the design from the Silhouette site and cut it out of adhesive cardstock to place on top of regular cardstock. The design was actually for a card and I just used this half of the card. Next I added washi tape around the edges to fancy it up some. Last but not least, I used three small embellishments in the center of the flowers; pink, yellow and white. 

That's it! 

This is such an easy project that only took about an hour once I had my supplies gathered! 

It is certain to be just as easy to make your own magnetic bumper stickers, and they will be personalized to your own taste and preferences! I would use Oracle 651 for a bumper sticker so it would be sure to last through weather changes. Needless to say, I am off to make a bumper sticker right this very minute! 


Monday, March 23, 2015

Sign making with pallet boards

I love making signs with pallet boards and my silhouette!

This one was incredibly fun! I used many different techniques and think it turned out very pretty.

I started out with a pallet and cut the boards off using a reciprocating saw. Be sure you do your homework and make sure the pallet is okay to use for things like this. Some pallets have been treated with chemicals that are not safe for your home. 

Next I cut the boards to the length I wanted with my Dremel Saw Max. Great tool for those of us who are intimidated by big power tools! 

I sanded the boards well with my Black and Decker mouse sander, making sure there were no spots to pick up a splinter. Then came the fun parts...

First was painting! I use Clark and Kensington from Ace Hardware. Once the paint was dry, I used General Finishes Van Dyke Brown Glaze. I applied the glaze and wiped it back with a dry paper towel. Once it was semi dry, I used a wet paper towel to remove and excess glaze.

Then it was time to break out my Silhouette Cameo and cut the wording out. I like to make stencils with my Silhouette for projects like this. I am learning new tricks all the time, although for this one I should have welded the lettering of each word (I think!) and spaced it out. 

Once my wording was transferred to the wood, I again spaced out a trick for crisp lettering...I did not use mod podge to prevent bleed through which later created an issue. I used a white paint pen to fix this issue. Simple, but avoidable! 

While paint dried through various parts of this project, I used my time to cut out flowers and butterflies from napkins. When everything was dry and ready, I used glossy mod podge to apply the flowers and butterflies. If they run over the edge I just glue them down over that edge....adds character! 

Once this stage was dry, I used my Black and Decker drill to make small holes for the wire, and wired the two boards together. I had some wire on hand that I use to stabilize my dogs fence so used it, but I probably could have used a lighter gauge wire and been fine. I also added wire to the top to hang the sign with and hung it in my livingroom right away! 

I love it! And....

Thursday, March 19, 2015

The Bee Bench

Yes, you read that right! The Bee Bench ...

First let me say that I did receive product in exchange for a blog post, and more importantly, this post is long overdue. Many many thanks to Sara for her patience and understanding! It took much longer than I ever anticipated to complete this bench to my satisfaction! I struggled with the bench, had a mishap or two and work seriously got in the way.

I also want to say that this is the first time I ever worked with such a vibrant color! I am more of a pastel, soft color,  kinda gal so this was a challenge for me! we goooo!

I picked this bench up last summer at a yard sale for $10. It needed a new seat, and I knew right away that I would use pallet boards for it. I painted it a deep pink color at first, that I mixed from an assortment of other paints I had on hand, but wasn't thrilled with it. Then I started out with a darker than burgundy color but Bleck!

When I received the products from General Finishes, I set out right away to give this bench a proper makeover...but again, I went using a spray can of primer. Evidently it was not a quality product, and I soon discovered how difficult it can be to paint a bright, light color over a cheap white primer. I proceeded to apply 3 coats of this beautiful Sunglow from General Finishes until it really showed it's color properly.

I decided the spindles are not my forte along the way after painting them pink, deep red and ....well you get the idea. Sunglow did not look very pretty on the spindles so I went with black, which is General Finishes Lamp Black. The seat is also Lamp Black. Once I got everything to look better, I finally managed to stencil on a few bees.

Now when discussing this bench prior to receiving any product, I expressed how my vision for the bench was in a garden setting. During my frustrating trials and tribulations with this project, I was talking to a friend who suggested making it the colors of a bee. So the Bee Bench was born. I am thrilled to introduce...The Bee Bench!

I used my Silhouette Cameo to cut out the stencils. They were the easiest part of the project, by far! Even getting my big yellow bee on the seat to show up well over black was simple, especially compared to over white primer...lesson learned...use a good primer! 

Now I am in the process of applying General Finishes Exterior Satin Top Coat and this bench will sit out among my garden as I get it planted and looking good! I can imagine it being the focal point of my garden, and a conversation piece too! 

In the process I decided that bar underneath the Bee Bench would likely get dirty from mowing and from mud when it rains, so black seemed like a good choice for this part too. 

I can't wait to get some flowers planted and sit on my Bee Bench this summer! 

I would love to hear your opinions and thoughts on how you might have done this bench and what you think of The Bee Bench! 

Again, many thanks to Sara and General Finishes for the opportunity to work with you and for your patience and understanding! 

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Easy DIY Bathroom shelf

I have a medicine cabinet and other cupboards in the bathroom, but to be honest I needed an open shelving unit to set things on in the open. I needed more room! This skinny built in is for shampoo, wash cloths, etc The built in on the right also is limiting in what it will hold.

A built in cabinet and medicine cabinet, but still not enough. 

When I moved into this rental there was a bathroom wall clock on the wall over the toilet, and even with fresh batteries it never kept time well. That to me indicated valuable space was being wasted!

So quite some ago, I was given some drawers out of a camper. They were typical of camper drawers, with a front screwed onto them. I removed the drawer front and that gave me a perfect box to turn into a bathroom shelf over the toilet.

I used a pallet board to create a shelf inside my 'box'. The drawers have a 'lip' on them so I had this board laying around here, cut it in half and glued to the back of the drawer, using wood glue. This created the stability and extra thickness for the screw to grab when I attached my shelf to the wall.

Now I should have painted and decorated this prior to hanging, however, many of my ideas go plop, so I thought I would try it on the wall first. Life happens and it is still there. I do need to take it down and do that, as I think the raw wood in the bathroom is not a great it's not pretty!

I am in the process of making another one to hang in my bedroom. For this one, since I Know it will work, I painted it my favorite light grey and an idea struck for the inside of my shelf. I have had this roll of lacey burlap in my craft room forever, so I measured it out into three strips and glued it in with my hot glue gun! Next will be adding the pallet shelf and the backing, and hanging it in my bedroom! I really like this one so far, and have several more to make!

When gluing the burlap onto the back of the shelf, I started with the corners and edges and worked my way down, then moved to the center. If you look real close you can see the burlap is overlapped from the left to the right. It would look cute to have the center piece either under or over the two outer pieces too! 

Such and easy project to add functionality to a space that was once so wasted!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Poppie's Famous Repurposing Paint Powder review

*This is a sponsored post.. I received product to sample in lieu of this post*

I recently saw a post on Facebook offering samples of Poppie's Repurposing Paint Powder, which you can find at Poppie's Paint Powder, and quickly signed up. In no time at all it was in my mailbox and I was thinking of a way to make my craft room work better for me.

I had this old shelving unit in my spare bedroom that needed work, and this seemed like a good time to put it to use. I got to work getting it stable enough to house my printer, Silhouette cutting machines, and other items.

By this time I knew it needed to be spiffed up, and what better way to do that then to paint it and use Poppies Repurposing Paint Powder to help me! It is easy to mix into your latex paint, and gives it the chalky finish we all adore.

I chose a powder blue color that I had recently picked up at Ace Hardware in their mis-tint section for a very good price. This project took two coats for good coverage and I did not sand in between coats. I still hand paint my pieces, because I enjoy the look of brush strokes for some crazy reason.

Once it was sturdy and painted, I lightly sanded with a fine grit sandpaper and lightly distressed in a few spots, mainly edges where the shelving would likely get the most wear from an outside door it sits by. I also used my Silhouette Cameo to cut decorations for one side of the shelf.

Once the paint was dry,  and sanding was complete, I applied General Finishes Satin Top Coat to protect my project from the wear and tear it will likely endure in my craft room. Once finished, I put it in the place it was most convenient for working on projects, next to my work table and began setting my things on it where they are easily accessible yet out of the way when needed.

Overall, I totally enjoyed working with Poppie's Repurposing Paint Powder and have enough left over to do another project in the future! It enabled me to get the finish I wanted, to distress as if it was true chalk paint, and looks great on the finished piece! I look forward to using it on another piece and am grateful for the opportunity to try this product, just as you will like it if you try it too! So hop on over to Poppie's Paint Powder  and get some of this terrific product to try on your next project! You won't regret it, rest assured!

Thanks for looking!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Old wooden box love

Happy Valentine's Day, my friends! I hope that you all have a splendid celebration filled with fun and lots of romantic adventures!

Personally, I am skipping right to spring, because I am sure we could all use a dose of warmer weather and brighter days!

This old wooden box was raw and rough when I acquired it a couple weeks ago. At that time I had no idea what I would use it for or how I would decorate it. But the wheels started turning when I was reading up on the February Silhouette Challenge! An idea was born and I went right to work. So, as is normal for me, I did not take a before photo of the box. I only have the pics that were provided to me of the inside.

First things first, I gave it a good sanding, but due to its obvious tough work before coming to me, it was pretty beat up, and that's okay! I like things that show their previous stories! I gave it a coat of base paint, in a very light grey that looks white in photos.

Next I mixed up some Miss Mustard Seed's Luckett's Green and brushed it on to look like a watercolor.

My next step was to pick a few designs from the Silhouette store and print them out , followed by cutting them out on my Portrait. I so love all the things this compact machine can do!

 Print and cut is a feature that I have Finally mastered...well maybe mastered is a strong word here, but let's say gotten the hang of, after making some adjustments to my Silhouette Portrait. I practiced a lot once I got my machine fine tuned!

I print and cut my designs for the Old Wooden Box then sprayed them lightly with a clear coat of acrylic sealer to prevent the ink from running, and using a spray adhesive, I glued them onto my box. The lid of the box is still the grey color, with a tractor and some seed packets that I also print and cut.

On the front of the box, I painted with stencils, and attached my heart in the same manner as above.

Once I was to this point, I decided this box needed some depth. I waxed it with Miss Mustard Seed's Antiquing Wax (removed all of my print and cut pretties first) and after the wax, I topped it off with General Finishes Exterior Satin Top Coat. Then I re-applied the pretties to my box. The final step to complete this project was to repair the handles- the wooden handles were attached with a rough rugged and worn rope, which I replaced with para cord. 

Can you tell that I am thinking of spring?! Our weather has been warmer than usual with the sun shining brightly, making me want to get ready to plant flowers all about my yard!

Quite some time ago, I picked up this cute little wagon or wheelbarrow from the same lady I got the box from, and because I am so ready for spring, I decided to pair it with my wooden box. The wheel doesn't come off, so I had to improvise to get the wheel decorated. For adding the vinyl to the wheel, I cut the design in half and applied it one half at a time. I used glossy Oracle 651 so it can be used outside to decorate my yard.

The sides of my wagon is too cute for words! 

For the handles and legs I used Washi Tape with flowers. 

I plan on using my Old Wooden Box for gardening tools and supplies so they are easily found when needed, and my little wheelbarrow will look totally cute with a flower pot in it on my porch. 

Want to Check Out More Silhouette Projects?

My Silhouette Challenge buddies and I are all sharing projects on our blogs today, so peruse the projects below for a wealth of Silhouette inspiration!

Print and Cut Rebus ValentineTigger Printable Heat Transfer T-ShirtLove You ValentineĆ¢€™s Jar {tutorial} + Print & Cut Blog HopValentine BINGO with {FREE} Printable and Cut FileDIY Conversation Hearts Temporary Tattoos{Heart} Dance!Custom Birthday Party Invitations using Silhouette's Print and CutMilk & Cookies Valentine's TreatPrint & Cut Valentine's Day BannerOld wooden box LovePrint and Cut Fabric LabelsBe Mine BannerLove is all you need - Print & CutValentine Journal CardsFree Printable: Snickers Valentine TagLabor & Delivery Nurse Thank You BagsValentine Robot Shirt with Print and Cut Heat Transfer VinylPrint and Cut Fish Valentines3D Print and Cut Magnets (And Tons More Silhouette Print and Cut Ideas)Baby Month Stickers with a FREE cut fileSuper Easy Print and Cut Journal Card ValentinesSimple Silhouette Valentine CardValentine Hugs and Kisses Canning Jar CraftFrozen Inspired TattoosBe My Valentine Mini AlbumPrint and Cut Valentine Pudding Cup Wrappers - February Silhouette ChallengePrint & Cut Birthday Invitations
1. Clever Someday // 2. TitiCrafty // 3. // 4. My Paper Craze // 5. Simply Kelly Designs // 6. Little Blue's Room // 7. Mama Sonshine // 8. Small Stuff Counts // 9. Dragonfly & Lily Pads // 10. GiveMeAPaintbrush // 11. Please Excuse My Craftermath... // 12. Barb's Life // 13. GetSilvered // 14. Lil' Mrs. Tori // 15. Minted Strawberry // 16. unOriginal Mom // 17. Where The Smiles Have Been // 18. Persia Lou // 19. Silhouette School // 20. From Whine to Whine // 21. DailyDwelling // 22. Creative Ramblings // 23. Paper Garden Projects // 24. It Happens in a Blink // 25. Perfectly Fabulous // 26. Adventures in All Things Food // 27. Create & Babble

Monday, January 26, 2015

Betty Crocker deals

I love anything Betty Crocker! From her utensils, to her food storage but especially her recipes It is so easy to sign up and you will never be lost for another good meal to serve to your family! Click here

 There is nothing better than getting coupons to help us save on the delicious ingredients to cook up a nutritious hot meal or tasty snack for our loved ones. I honestly think Betty Crocker has it all!

Go ahead and give it a try! You won't regret it, I promise! You will receive Free emails with exclusive coupons, (up to $250 per year in savings) and the hottest recipes, as well as access to free samples (quantities limited -one per member). Don't wait! Sign up now!

*this is a sponsored post. I may receive a commision for sign ups via this link*