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The Little Stepladder That Could!

We have been so fortunate to have some perfect summer weather - low to average humidity with temperatures in the low 80's...just perfect for a little DIY on something that was trash! Let me show you the little stepladder I found in a trash heap.  That's right, I have no shame...and I'm so glad, because I love how it came out!
Here's how I found it: Dirty and rickety are the best words to describe it.  Someone tried to stabilize it with nails.  Needless to say, it didn't work! It had cuts, dings, and paint drips all over it, and it was FREE!  
Time to make it pretty.  The first step was to wash it with good ol' soap and water. After it's bath, the only thing I did to prep it was to hammer those nails back in so they weren't a 'catching' hazard.  Since it will never be used as a ladder, I wasn't worried about stabilizing it, and I wanted to be able to fold it up again when it gets put away for the winter. I grabbed some leftover white chalk paint, wa…
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A Little Landscaping

Welcome back!  We've been very busy with lots of little projects around the cottage, but one big one - that is still in progress, is some landscaping.  It all started along the fence, where I could see evidence of a garden long ago.  There was some concrete edging, but no plants whatsoever, just weeds.  So I got to work:
Not bad when you consider this whole section looked like this when I started: There were lots of weeds, rocks, a few patio blocks, junk, and a few treasures from a child: I just love how old places leave things behind and tell you a story! While I was busy tearing out weeds and uncovering treasures, I noticed that the patio blocks at the bottom of the porch steps extended further than originally thought, so I got out my weed-killing spray to make uncovering them a bit easier.  Notice the brown grass: Yes, instead of about 6 feet of patio block, we had about 12! The section from the porch railing, all the way to the right, was now uncovered. But we were just beginning... …

Linen Closet Update

I was so happy to find a nice, large linen closet in the new house, but I wasn't happy to find that the shelves were made of rough plywood.  The simple solution? Peel & Stick floor tiles.  Off I went to the local builders supply store for a box of tiles that cost about $20.
Here's what the closet looked like before starting this project...keep in mind these are photos taken inside a closet! After wiping them down, I started laying the tile in front, mostly because I didn't want any 'piecing' to show and, seriously, who looks in the back of your closets/cabinets??
Then it was time to measure and cut a piece to fit in the back: In the interest of full-disclosure, I have to tell you that my husband did most of the measuring and cutting.  He's faster than I am and we were still moving in! As you can see, on the right, we only needed part of a tile, so we measured the width and cut the tiles with a utility knife. Notice there's cardboard under the tile?  Be sure t…

A 'Woodsy' Owl

We are starting off a week-long heat wave around here, so it will be a quiet week - too hot to tackle any major projects, but let me share this little owl I made for my daughter.
As usual, he started off with me drawing and cutting some patterns: The overall size is approximately 8" high x 7" wide.   After cutting and sanding the pieces of pallet wood, I dry-brushed some white paint on them.  When the paint was dry, I rubbed them with walnut stain to give them a weathered look.   The body was glued together with wood glue and strapped with two pieces of paint stirrers.  They were attached with Liquid Nails.   I also added hanging hardware.
I painted the feet and then I ran into a problem... I couldn't decide how to do the eyes.  First, I tried scrapbook paper and didn't like it.  I cut pallet wood in two circles, but that was too thick.  Finally, I found a piece of thin luan and cut the circles with my jigsaw.  I also cut the beak.  The eyes were now the right thickness, bu…

Frozen Lemonade Pie

Are you ready for a delicious summer treat that doesn't require the oven to be turned on?  Introducing, Frozen Lemonade Pie...
Here's what you need:
1 graham cracker crust 1 8 oz. block of cream cheese - room temperature 1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk 1 16 oz. container non-dairy whipped topping 1 6 oz. container of frozen lemonade.  I can never find a 6 oz. container, so I buy the 12 oz. and use half of it.  You can make lemonade with the rest or use it for another pie! The first step is to place the cream cheese, sweetened condensed milk, and lemonade in the blender.  I put it on high and let it whirl until the three ingredients are blended together. Once that is done, pour the mixture into a large bowl.  Be sure to scrape the sides of the blender...and you might want to take a little taste too..because it's already yummy! The next step is adding the non-dairy whipped topping.  I use about 2/3 to 3/4 of the container because I like the lemony taste to shine through. Fold th…