A Minion Pedestal

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Remember a while back we had our family minionized?  Well now that the desk is complete it was time they found a permanent home where they could be on display.  I also wanted them to have a little platform to sit on, so when I saw a small unfinished wood plaque in the dollar bin at Michaels that was just the right size, I snagged it.  I did the same finish on the pedestal as I did on the dog bowl stands, starting with a coat of stain, then some grey paint and a light sanding for a bit of distressing.  It’s the perfect mix of rustic and modern.

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They live on my side of the desk, between my “inbox” and my supply caddy.  From across the room you don’t notice them much, but up close they just make you smile. And now that they are out in the main living area rather than our bedroom, guests can see them and enjoy them as well, which makes me even happier. :)

Finished

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DIY Raised Dog Bowls

BowlLead

The second project we wrapped up last week were two raised dog bowl stands.  We’ve been wanting to do these for a while but kept putting it off.  Although we had heavy ceramic bowls for each dog, they would be pushed around on the floor each day and our youngest liked to play in the water bowl creating a wet mess, even with a mat under the bowl.  I’d seen raised bowl stands made from vintage crates and loved the look but A) didn’t have a vintage crate and B) if I did I wouldn’t have two that matched, or want to destroy an antique for a dog bowl stand.  So we DIY’d an alternative.

The hubs built simple hollow wood boxes and then cut the holes out for the bowls, using small holes inside the diameter of where each bowl would sit as a staring point.

Marked

Inside

PlainReady

Then it was up to me to finish the look.  Since I knew these pieces wouldn’t stay pristine being used by the dogs, I decided to intentionally create a distressed look.  I started with a coat of stain, followed by a coat of light grey paint, which I sanded randomly to make them look vintage.

Stained

Painted

PaintedClose

Here’s the finished look!  It’s so much nicer than the hodge podge mess we had before!  (Apparently I hated it so much I never took a single picture of it, because I can’t find any before pictures to share!)  We have one stand on either side of the buffet in our dining room, so we all eat together. One holds two water bowls and a single food bowl for Tequila since she’s the alpha and likes to be separated from the others when eating.  The other has two food bowls and a single water dish for Stoli and Bacardi who often share while eating.

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I wasn’t sure how well the kiddos would take to the new set up and planned to ‘introduce’ them to the bowls with treats, but it wasn’t necessary.  In fact they started using them as soon as they went down, which made me even happier with the project!  Eating at this level is easier for them and is supposed to help improve their digestion.

BEat

TEat

I think Luna is actually a little jealous of their new bowls!  But since her bowls are in the laundry room window ledge, where she has plenty of privacy I think she’ll be just fine.

LunaBowl

Wall-to-Wall Work Space!

Hi everyone!  The hubs and I were so busy working on projects last week that I didn’t get a chance to write about any of them, so this week I’ll be playing catch up and have a lot to share!  Up first is the biggest project, our wall-to-wall desk in the office!

Finished

It’s come a long way from the first DIY set-up we did with two filing cabinets and a freebie door when we were in the rental. I started to get a sense of how my dream workspace would function when we expanded the desktop after we moved in to the new house and the recent addition of the industrial style shelves took it up another notch.  Next we stained the raw desktop to match the shelves, which made the desk visually ‘heavy’. Unfortunately, I somehow neglected to take a picture of this stage, but even the hubs agreed that the darker desktop made the entire unit feel a bit big and bulky. Luckily, painting the cabinets was the next step.  To prep, we removed all the hardware and gave the surfaces a light sanding. The hubs taped off the areas around the cabinets and I painted them white. It took a couple of coats, but it definitely brightened the space.

DeskDuringPaint

DeskDuringPaint2

I wasn’t loving the white at first, but decided to live with it for a while before I made any final decisions. A few days later the hubs installed the new hardware we’d purchased to match the pulls on the cabinet nearest the door and that made all the difference. Suddenly I LOVED the white. Maybe I couldn’t see past the displaced clutter before then or maybe I just needed some contrast so they didn’t feel like big white blobs. Whatever it was, I did another happy dance when I saw them together with the white.

Three of the four cabinets went all the way to the floor, but the cabinet nearest the door had legs. Not only did this not match the other cabinets, it was the perfect place for dust bunnies to collect which meant they had to go. The easy option would have been to cut off the legs, but that would have made the cabinet too short, so instead we opted to install molding around the legs. We picked up a plain baseboard molding with a small curve at the top and cut it to size. Unfortunately, it wasn’t quite tall enough to cover the entire height of the legs, so we got creative.

Molding
A piece of scrap wood filled the space between the legs, but because the legs stick out from the body of the cabinet a bit, there was a gap between the filler board and the molding. The hubs solved this with a paint stick and some wood filler. Genius! Once everything was painted you’d never notice.

Molding2

FinishedLegs

The hubs also rigged up a shelf for the printer in the middle cabinet. He added a small platform on tracks so it can be pulled out when we need to replace ink cartridges or clear a jam.

FinishedShelf

FinishedShelfOut

Because the space where the shelf was had previously been another drawer there were some odd supports on either side of the interior of the cabinet. Once again the hubs flexed his thinking muscles and came up with a solution. A thin panel attached to the supports made everything flush and quarter round hid the supports from the front.  Luna made sure to inspect his handiwork and apparently approves.

LunaShelf

ShelfPanelCover

ShelfPanelMoldingFinished

I swapped out the blue bag the local shred company provides for a much prettier basket I picked up at Target. The grey material has a bit of white, which plays off the cabinets nicely. I keep the bag tucked behind the basket so I can fill it when I need to take it in, but since we typically use our shred file for fire starter and filler in the fire pit that’s not very often.   This change was also approved by Luna, who loves her new hiding spot. :)

LunaBasket

I also stained the cord box so it blends in more with the flooring and is less noticeable. Now that everything is finished, I cleaned up the wires and will soon hide them in a channel that can be painted to match the wall so you’ll never even notice them.  Now that the printer is tucked away, my Silhouette sits in the middle of the desktop and both of us have plenty of room to work.

CordBox

I’m still finessing the accessories on the desktop and shelves, but it’s pretty much done. The top shelf is strictly for photography props (including some room for new items!) and we each took a third of the bottom shelf. The center third is home to models of the planes the hub’s dad flew when he was in the Navy.  On my side, my photography guides and smaller extra gear fit in two decorative storage boxes, which also hide the driveway monitor speaker. Next to that are my books and a basket for a few magazine style guides I keep.

Finished

The hub’s side became home to his cookbooks that had previously lived in the pantry. I gave him a storage box and canister so he could also store all of the cords and miscellaneous gear he wanted to have handy. And that means the tub of “stuff” that has sat on the other side of the room since we moved in is now gone!

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I’m loving the industrial farmhouse look the whole project has and the storage it provides has created so much space in this room. Now it really functions as an office, craft room and studio with style. And that make me very, very happy!

Tea Time

TeaFinalThe hubs and I aren’t big coffee drinkers, but we do enjoy starting the day with a warm tea, especially since our early mornings are still pretty chilly.  Because it’s a daily routine, the tea supplies tended to be left out on the counter.  While that made the process more convenient, it also created clutter.  So I decided to create a tea station where all the ingredients are readily accessible and organized.  I found this little stand on the clearance shelf at Pier 1 recently and thought it would work perfectly. Except for those gigantic elephant handles.  Although interesting, they’re just not my style.

TeaBefore

But with a price tag of just under $12 and a gift card in hand that would cover that and then some, I was up for a little revamp.  A quick inspection revealed a single screw head for each handle underneath, so I knew they could be removed.  I was hopeful that the jars I planned to use on the board would cover the holes and I could just leave the wood as is.

TeaBeforeUnder

However once the screw was removed, the handles didn’t budge.  Apparently there was also glue underneath.  I was a little worried that prying the glue up would disturb the finish on the sides of the board since the handles had a small lip over the edge, but there was only one way to find out.  TeaBefore2

Luckily, the glue was only around the hole, but it did leave a bit of damage to the top of the board on each side.

TeaRemove2

TeaRemove

It was pretty minor damage, but I knew it would drive me batty, so a little filler and some sanding were in order.  Here it is prepped and ready for paint.

TeaDuring

A few quick coats of grey paint we had sitting around gave it a whole new look.  I lightly sanded the edges so a bit of the wood color shows through to coordinate with the other wood tones we have in this space.  The two types of tea we use are now stored in these cute patterned neutral canisters from Target and a sleek pump replaced the squeeze bottle honey we’d been using.  A small spoon rest completes the set-up.  It’s simple, functional and pretty, which makes me oh so happy. :)

TeaAfter

Eklutna in the Spring

The hubs and I took advantage of the beautiful weather over the weekend and headed out to Eklutna Lake for a ride in our side-by-side.  This was the first time either of us had been out on this trail so we weren’t sure what to expect, but the view from parking lot gave us a pretty good indication of what we were in store for.

RideTrailHead

As soon as we had the side-by-side off the trailer the kiddos loaded up to ride and somebody apparently thought she was supposed to ride shotgun.Ride2

That lasted all of about two seconds before I relegated her to the back with her siblings and took my seat next to the hubs so we could head down the trail.
Ride

The first part of the trail was a little narrow and riddled with puddles left over from the melting spring snow.RideTrail

As the trail opened up we came to this cute little bridge, which took us over a creek that feeds the lake.RideTrailBridge

I had fun playing with the mirrors the hubs recently installed when the trees blocked the view of the lake.RideSelfieIncluding giggling at these two goofballs watching the scenery go by with total excitement.

RideMirror

Eventually the trees gave way and we were blessed with this view. RideLakeside

We continued down the trail, occasionally encountering other riders as we traveled along the shore for several miles.  At the end of the lake we found this charred forest with beautiful views of the mountains.  We continued on for a bit before we decided to head back after a quick stop to eat a snack and give the dogs water.   RideTrailFire

As we loaded the dogs back up to get going Bacardi seemed pretty tired, so I held her on my lap, where she tried desperately to sleep despite the bumpy trail.  She stayed there all the way to the parking lot, where she was suddenly wide awake again.
RideFinalIt was a good first trip out for the season.  Hopefully there will be many more to share in the coming months!

Builder Décor

Hi everyone! Thanks for your patience while I took a little break to get back on schedule after the craziness of the last few weeks. The DB&DT household is doing well and we have several new projects to share. The first is some fun décor I thought up for an event my employer puts on each year for home builders.

Last year I started the tradition of using typical construction materials for décor with flowers planted in small paint cans on the tables. The event is a bit more casual than the corporate events I typically do for the bank, so this was a nice fit for this particular group. The guests loved them and many took one home, which made cleanup easier!

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I also used paint sticks and a clamp to create plant holders to decorate the bar. I had a few left over so I used them to create a quick sign on the door prize entry box, which used paint swatches as the entry tickets!

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The event is a fancied up crab feed, so I thought we’d have a little fun with some subtle crab themed items such as this crab apple idea I found online and the caterer did a great job re-creating.

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We also ordered a special construction themed cake from a local bakery, which was a big hit with both guests and staff.

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All of these little touches were great conversation starters, which is just what we want at this event, so I took it up a notch this year. I originally planned to create something like this with gutters, but the local hardware stores only sell white gutters and that wasn’t the look I was going for. Instead, I swapped the gutters for a mosaic stone 12”x12” tile, which we cut in half to create a long runner for the tables.

Tile

Luckily, the design of the tile had a straight line through the center of it, so cutting was pretty easy and the mesh on the back kept each half together, making set up quick.

TileBack

A few candles and some bulb shades meant for light fixtures completed the look.  This simple layout not only got lots of compliments from both our company’s staff and guests, but from the venue’s staff and owner as well!

TableFull

Table

I used another light fixture part on the cocktail tables near the bar. These shades for pendant lights had a pretty nautical feel and fit right over a small candle on a plate for instant ambiance!

Cocktail

We used the same paint swatches for the door prize tickets again this year, but instead of the paint stick sign we created a blueprint theme sign to tie in with the invitations we’d used.

Enter2Win

It’s a fun event to plan and attend, especially with the opportunity to use unique décor. I’ve already got a few ideas saved on Pinterest for next year and will be on the lookout for more between now and then!

Best Laid Plans…

Hi everyone. The hubs was unexpectedly admitted to the hospital last week for an infection in his leg, which kinda threw all of my plans out the window. It was a long week, but he’s doing better and now that he’s finally home we’re getting back to the normal routine.

I’ll be back to working on all the projects I was hoping to share with you last week very soon, including the finishing touches on our wall-to-wall desk in the studio/office, a tea station in our kitchen and a gallery wall around the family room TV. So check back next week for those projects. Until then I wish you all health and happiness!