Wednesday, May 29, 2013

How Wonderful Life is…

I am suffering from a serious case of ADD lately.  I should be posting more about the Handbuilt Bedroom, but I keep waiting for some LIGHT outside to I can take some better pictures INside.

 Hasn’t happened yet.

Then while my little girl was sick last week, I started painting our downstairs bathroom.  I mixed some colors I had on hand for the walls, but decided I hated it after I had done all the cutting in.  Plus I ran out of paint before I could finish the ceiling, and haven’t gotten back to it yet!

Then there’s my little girls’ room…I bought new beds for them off of Craigslist a couple of weeks ago, and sold their bunk beds right out from under them…so they’ve been sleeping on mattresses on the floor while I try to get motivated to work on their space!

Well, in their case, I have done a couple of things.  I got inspired to work on some artwork for their as-yet-unpainted walls!

Here’s the first…

Red Hen Home 030

(the “o” is a little globe, in case you can’t tell!)

…and the second…

Red Hen Home 027

…and the third!

Red Hen Home 031

I have had a three-pack of 9x12 canvases sitting in my closet for oh, about a year now…  Glad to have finally done something with them!

Red Hen Home 033

I will eventually make these designs available in my Etsy shop.  E-mail me at if you’re interested before then!

Linking up here:
The Scoop! Elizabeth & Co.
My Repurposed Life Thrifty Décor Chick
Friday Remodelaholic Common Ground
Funky Junk’s Saturday Night Special The DIY Show Off
Beyond the Picket Fence Coastal Charm
Knick of Time
My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia
From My Front Porch to Yours All Star Block Party
A Little Knick Knack


Friday, May 24, 2013

I took that leap…

I signed up to be a vendor at the Ruffles & Rust vintage market!

(click on the picture for more details)

There are no refunds, so I guess I’m committed now…

…or maybe I should be!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Handbuilt Bedroom, pt. 3 ~ The Dresser!

Today is my son’s birthday—the one I am creating “The Handbuilt Bedroom” for (see part 1 here and part 2 here).  His birthday pie has been started, and all that’s left to do now is to clean the kitchen—but I thought I’d rather blog about his bedroom instead!

Red Hen Home Handbuilt Bedroom Dresser 5

If you’ve been following along, you’ll know that I sold everything out of his bedroom in one fell swoop!  The dresser, the desk, the chair, the bed, AND all the bedding…gone.

The boy was living out of boxes and sleeping on an air mattress.

So despite the fact that I’ve only built simple pieces like tables and benches, it became necessary for me to jump into something more complicated—like a chest of drawers (or dresser, whatever you’d like to call it)!

We had already planned out furniture placement in his room, and the chest had to fit on this little short wall next to the window.

Red Hen Home Handbuilt Bedroom dresser before

Naturally I turned to Ana White for plans, but didn’t find anything that exactly suited mine—and my son’s—requirements for style and size.  So I altered the Wide Cabin Dresser plans to make a narrow cabin dresser instead.  Almost like I knew what I was doing! 

This is the completed frame of the dresser…

Red Hen Home Handbuilt Bedroom Dresser 1

And this is the first drawer!  I was so excited.  I installed the slides and it all worked perfectly.

Call it “beginner’s luck.”

Red Hen Home Handbuilt Bedroom Dresser 2

And that’s because it took ages to get the next three drawers to work.  Ugh.  Turns out I hadn’t been careful enough in selecting straight boards for the drawer boxes.  A word to the wise—when purchasing your boards, lay several down on the floor next to each other and see how the straight those edges are.  It helps!  But I didn’t do that for this project.

Red Hen Home Handbuilt Bedroom Dresser 3

With the help of a few several well-placed washers, I was able to get everything shimmied around until the drawers opened and closed without falling off the tracks.  It was loads of fun. There is a reason Ana tells you not to attempt drawers as a beginner project.  But hey, you have to start somewhere.

Here’s my cruddy cell-phone picture of the dresser after I put on the drawer fronts (which is a two-person job) and painted and stained it.  The color was a little too bright for me, so I glazed over everything with black stain.

Red Hen Home Handbuilt Bedroom Dresser 4

I “reverse stenciled” the numbers on the drawer fronts—meaning I stained the front first, then applied vinyl words before I pained over it.  I chose to stain the top and the bottom shelf because they’ll get the most abuse, and I think stained pieces handle it better!

Red Hen Home Handbuilt Bedroom Dresser 9

I bought two of these baskets from Amazon for the bottom.  Someday I may “age” them a little, but that’s not today.  And the idea is to make tags for them that say “five” and “six” to continue with the number theme.

Red Hen Home Handbuilt Bedroom Dresser 8

This dresser is oh-so-far from perfect.  The top drawer has a tendency to stick, for one thing…but it is keeping my son’s clothes off the floor (mostly), and let’s be honest…isn’t that all we’re really asking a dresser to do??

Red Hen Home Handbuilt Bedroom Dresser 6

This is not the first time I’ve painted a red, numbered chest of drawers, I remembered!  You can see the other one here.
This project has been featured at The DIY Show Off, Elizabeth & Co., and My Repurposed Life.
Linking up here:
The Scoop! Elizabeth & Co.
My Repurposed Life Thrifty Décor Chick
Friday Remodelaholic Common Ground
Sawdust Throwdown Miss Mustard Seed’s Furniture Feature Friday
Funky Junk’s Saturday Night Special The DIY Show Off
Beyond the Picket Fence Coastal Charm
Knick of Time
My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia
From My Front Porch to Yours All Star Block Party
A Little Knick Knack


Friday, May 17, 2013

New Stools

I know I should be updating on The Handbuilt Bedroom, but it’s too grey to take pictures in my son’s room right now.  Instead I thought I show my new kitchen acquisitions…I have stools!

stools, guest chalet 002

Although our previous home did have a bar of sorts, we never had any bar stools because it would have been too crowded with the table right next to it.  In this home, though, the island is perfect for some extra seating.

I scoured Craigslist for some stools I could paint, but never did find anything with enough “pizzaz” for me—or that came in a set of three—or that was the right price!

I had about given up on the hunt, when I walked into Pier 1 and saw these beauties:  the Weldon stools

stools, guest chalet 003

They come in both bar- and counter-height--although I personally think “counter-height” ought to be 26” rather than 24”—and they come in a whole bunch of great colors!  I fell in love!

stools, guest chalet 007

I couldn’t choose a favorite…can’t you tell??

Thanks to a 20% off coupon, they came home with me.

stools, guest chalet 001

The kids love them, and even I will take advantage of the extra seating now and again…especially when there are warm cookies on the counter!

stools, guest chalet 004


Not a paid advertisement…I just like the stools!

Monday, May 13, 2013

The Handbuilt Bedroom, pt. 2: The Walls

So the goal is to build all the furniture for my son’s bedroom, as explained in Part 1

Here’s a reminder of where we started:

Red Hen Home Handbuilt Bedroom before2

I listed all his bedroom furniture on Craigslist:  headboard, frame, mattress, bedding (including the pirate quilt I made—that was hard to part with!), dresser, desk, and chair.  It sold all as a set, so he ended up with a bare room pretty much overnight!

That was OK by me, though; it’s much easier to paint an empty room!

My boy wanted stripes, and this was the quilt we were able to agree on for the basis for his room.

Jacob's room colors

The first thing to get painted, though, was the CEILING!  In this house the walls AND ceilings are all the same beige.  I am NOT a fan of beige ceilings, so someday they will ALL be painted!

Red Hen Home Handbuilt Bedroom ceiling

It’s amazing how much a just changing the ceiling color lightened up the room (I used Sherwin Williams Eminence Ceiling Paint in Creamy).

We decided to pull the green out of the quilt for the wall color.  Again, we were trying to lighten things up a little (color is Sherwin Williams Super Paint in Rice Paddy).  Sorry for the cell phone picture here!

Red Hen Home Handbuilt Bedroom walls1

Next step was the give the walls a little character.  I taped off a wide stripe and painted it the same white as the room trim…

Red Hen Home Handbuilt Bedroom walls2

Red Hen Home Handbuilt Bedroom walls3

…the I used MORE tape to divide that large white stripe into some smaller stripes.  I looked really good climbing around the room with three rolls of tape on my arm, like bracelets!

Red Hen Home Handbuilt Bedroom walls4

And this is how it turned out!  I have to tell you that the paint bled LIKE CRAZY on the red and blue stripes, and I have no one to blame but myself.  You can get good results if you really seal the edges of the tape well with a plastic scraper or credit card.  You get GREAT results if you do that AND paint over the edges of the tape with your base color.  You get lousy results if you skip step one, even if you do step two.  Ugh.  I had a lot of touching up to do…

Red Hen Home Handbuilt Bedroom wall collage 2

…but you can’t tell now!

Red Hen Home Handbuilt Bedroom walls7Red Hen Home Handbuilt Bedroom walls8

Next step….I promise I actually BUILD something!

Friday, May 10, 2013

The Handbuilt Bedroom, pt. 1: Inception

We’ve been in our new Washington home for almost five months now.  Our home has four bedrooms on the second floor, and one bedroom on the main level of the house.  Looking forward to the day when my parents will visit, I knew that I wanted the main-level bedroom to also function as a “guest room,” even though my teenage son occupies it most of the time.

This is what his room looked like for the first few months after we moved in.  Not too special, is it??

Red Hen Home Handbuilt Bedroom before2

Red Hen Home Handbuilt Bedroom before3

The furniture was transferred out of the never-quite-completed “pirate” bedroom in our Utah home (below), and it was put together for a different son!  You can see, though, that a thirteen-year-old boy might not be as excited about the same decor.!

Pirate Bedroom

So I had a brain-storm.  Obviously I have been on a bit of a furniture-building kick (that may be an understatement), and I said to myself, “How would it be to build all the furniture for my son’s bedroom??”

Oooh…challenge extended….

…challenge accepted…!

There has been some tricky navigation going on between me and my son…I want him to have a room that he can enjoy, but something that also will be suitable for guests…AND it has to be something that I can get excited about working on!

So one of the first steps was to decide on colors so I could tackle the painting.  Stripes were a must, as well as healthy dose of red.

I bought and returned three quilts/comforters before I came across this one at Home Goods, which we could both agree on!

Jacob's room colors

With that as a start, it was time to start painting! 

Stay tuned for part 2!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Woven-back Bench

A few weeks ago, a new plan appeared on Ana White’s page for a Woven-back bench, and I was smitten!

Red Hen Home woven bench 5

I promptly e-mailed my friend for whom I have built a table, buffet, coffee table, and the gray bench, knowing she was on the look-out for a bench to put outside at her new home…I’m nice like that.   She fell in love with it too, so I had an excuse to build!

The construction of the body of the bench is pretty straight-forward.  One tricky part is that the back pieces are cut out of a 2x4 to have an angle to them, which makes the back much more comfortable!  I traded homemade bread for another go at the band saw, like I did for this project

I’m thinking a Mother’s Day band saw sounds nice…

Sorry I forgot to take a picture of that piece, but I was pretty proud of myself for cutting them, so you at get to hear about it anyway!

The beautiful woven back was challenging, but fun!

Red Hen Home bench back 1

I’m learning that for these angled pieces, it’s easiest to cut one angle, hold the piece in place, and then make a pencil line where the other angle goes.

Red Hen Home bench back 2

Everything fits better, and I make fewer mistakes that way!

Red Hen Home bench back 3

I had NO desire to drill ninety-eleven pocket holes to hold all these short pieces together…

And that may be (in some measure) due to the fact that while drilling pocket holes, I caught a still-spinning drill bit in my jeans just behind my right knee.  I was left with a good-sized hole in my jeans, but thankfully a much smaller one in the skin behind them!

…so after dry-fitting everything, I used glue and 2” brad nails to hold it all together.  Then I could slip everything back in place.

Red Hen Home bench back 4

Ta-da!  I took a picture of it and sent it to my friends!  I’m geeky like that.

Red Hen Home bench unfinished

The most frustrating part??  Running out of boards to finish the seat!  But I still posted a sneak peak on Facebook!

My friend wanted a dark walnut stain.  I learned another lesson…staining all those short pieces BEFORE assembly would have been a good idea!  There were a lot of little corners to get in to.

Red Hen Home woven bench 2

One change I made to the plans was to add a 2x4 cross brace under the middle of the seat (it runs perpendicular to the seat slats, and attaches by pocket holes to the front and back frame pieces).  When my 100-lb son sat down and it made an ominous creaking sound…I decided a little extra support was in order!  Now we can both sit on it, and it’s quiet as can be!

Red Hen Home woven bench 3

It looked so inviting, I thought I’d “break it in” for my friend and have a little snack out on the bench on a beautiful day…

Red Hen Home woven bench 4

…but I took too long snapping pictures, and one of the local wildlife got to my snack first!!


Thanks to Elizabeth & Co. for featuring this project!


Linking up here:
Domestically Speaking Elizabeth & Co.
Primitive & Proper Thrifty Décor Chick
Friday Remodelaholic  
My Simple Home Life’s Simple Creations Friday Miss Mustard Seed’s Furniture Feature Friday
Funky Junk’s Saturday Night Special The DIY Show Off
Beyond the Picket Fence Coastal Charm
Knick of Time
Mod Vintage Life
My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia
Perfectly Imperfect Sawdust Throwdown
Common Ground My Repurposed Life
From My Front Porch to Yours All Star Block Party
A Little Knick Knack
The Scoop!