Three Weeks with My Parents

Back in February my parents came to visit and we had a great time, but we stayed busy!  My mom painted my entire back yard fence over the course of the three weeks.

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We built a raised bed.  We had my front shutters and front door painted, assembled a basketball goal and put together a sand box!  Also my Dad made a bird feeder – out of a water bottle and popsicle sticks.  I wish I could find the picture.  It was something!  But all kidding aside it was a productive and exhausting time!

Today though I want to share with you the raised bed that we made.  I found plans on the Pioneer Woman website for building a raised bed.  So my parents and I went off to Lowe’s for the material that we would need.

 

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First my Dad and I cut the wood.  I helped measure and let him make the cuts.  I still find the circular saw a little scary!  Once all the boards were measured and cut the rest was pretty simple.

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Aren’t my protective goggles awesome?  I’m pretty sure they were left over from a college chemistry lab! We also decided to make our own stakes as it was much cheaper.  In this case I wielded the jig-saw and it went pretty quick!  I ended up cutting them a little shorter than I was suppose to but they ended up working out just fine.

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Next, we just followed the directions and made a rectangle using the two long and two short boards that we cut.  Once we made sure the corners were square we used a drill to screw them together.  Then we stapled landscaping fabric to the bottom so that weeds wouldn’t grow up into our garden from the ground below.

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Finally, we flipped it over and picked the spot where we wanted it to go.  Then we placed the stakes into the ground along the inner sides of the rectangle.  Next we screwed those into the rectangle.  Then we made a second rectangle right on top of the first one in the same way.  We screwed the stakes to that second layer of the rectangle as well.  And done!  Well, except then we had to go get all the dirt we needed to fill it in.  But once that was all done we were ready to plant!

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We decided to wait until Good Friday to plant as that is what the Farmer’s Almanac says you are suppose to do and I’m glad we did!  Last week we had another cold snap and I ran into several people at the garden center who were buying their second round of plants as the cold had killed their first plants!

So this weekend my daughter and I got all our tomatoes, bell peppers, herbs and even cantalope into the ground and here it is all ready to go!

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Thanks Mom and Dad for helping me make this happen and all your hard work while you were here!!  You guys made me tired, but it was worth it!!

 

 

 

 

 

Spring Has Sprung

Hello friends! Today’s post is just a quickie to say hi and remind everyone we’re still here. I guess writing that living room post wore me out. I’ve also been pretty busy getting ready for my son’s birthday and Spring break.

Tulips

My tulips were looking fabulous about two weeks ago when I took this picture, but now it seems Spring is nearly over in South Carolina. Our neighborhood pool opened two weeks ago, so Summer is just around the corner!

I’ll be back next week with a post about three new things I recently tried, all in the same week. Until then, Remember Wren wishes you and your families a Happy Easter and pleasant Spring.

 

Finally, A Lovely Living Room!

Hello, everyone! I can’t believe it has been a month since I’ve written a post. I finally got over my February funk and made some progress around here, then the blog literally went to the dogs. Well, I’m back with some big improvements to the living room. Wanna see?

Here is what the living room looked like in March.

west wall before

Now it looks like this.

west wall after

I hope you can tell the difference. Popcorn ceiling – gone! Ugly ceiling fan – gone! Yellow walls – gone! White sheer curtains – gone! Wohoo! Sometimes I feel like the pictures I take don’t accurately show what a big change actually occurred in the room we worked on. I don’t know if you’ll see it this way, but I think this is a big difference. It just goes to show what paint and new curtains can do. It FEELS so much better.

Here is a before picture from another angle. I painted the new paint colors next to the clock when I was deciding if I wanted to paint the ceiling darker than the walls.

East wall

You can really see how the yellow living room clashed with the light gray in the rest of the house. We lived with that for well over a year!

East wall after

Ahhhhh, the yellow is gone! You can’t really tell from the picture above, but I did decide to go ahead and paint the ceiling a darker color, Sherwin Williams Sedate Gray. The walls are Moderne White, just like the kitchen and hallway.

South wall

In this photo you can really notice the darker color on the ceiling. I love it! It was a really good choice, I think. I was so worried it might seem too dark, but during some parts of the day, the ceiling and walls almost look like the same color. It just depends on sunlight versus shadows. I’m not going to go into detail about removing the popcorn ceiling since I already wrote a How-To in this post, but I will say it was super exhausting working on a sloped ceiling. We are really happy with how it turned out, but due to the added difficulty, it isn’t as perfect as other rooms we worked on. I wanted to be honest about that, but I’m not going to point out the flaws because, darn it, it’s good enough and I’m okay with that.

After the ceiling was done we also worked on a lot of little repairs to the walls and trim.

Bad corner

I replaced a lot of caulking and patched up a lot of trim before painting the walls. It was well worth the additional work to make the entire room feel cleaned up. The backdoor needed a lot of work too. It looks so nice now, especially dressed with new curtains.

backdoor and fireplace

You can notice the darker ceiling in this picture too. And, hey, about those snazzy new curtains I scored at West Elm, I was one day away from trekking to my favorite local fabric shop to search for fabric for new curtains when I received an e-mail advertising a sale on curtains. They just happened to have something very close to what I was hoping for. I knew I wanted pattern on the wall to help balance all of the dark furniture in the room and I was thinking a neutral color would be best so I could really go wild with colorful artwork and pillows. Here’s a close up of the fabric and the tie-back I rigged.

curtain detail

Now  you can see how the pattern is an Ikat. I couldn’t really see that detail online when I ordered, but what the heck. The tie-back is burlap ribbon I already had and a white enamel hook I purchased at Target. This tie-back might be temporary if I find something nicer.

Not much changed on the fireplace or TV wall.

North wall

Most of that TV set-up will migrate to the guest room when we get a new TV. Hopefully it won’t be too long before that happens. I think a fiddle leaf fig tree or maybe a banana plant would be perfect for that corner. There certainly is plenty of height for a tree. Getting up on a ladder to work on the ceiling confirmed that.

South wall

I also have a 3ft. x 3ft. canvas that I’ll use to create artwork for between the curio cabinet and backdoor. The chair and sofa are in desperate need of new pillows and I can’t wait to shop for a variety of colorful fabrics for that project. I’m also thinking of refinishing the end tables, but I’m just flirting with that idea right now.

I’m so glad the ceiling and walls are done. It is messed up to make excuses for your house when guests come over. A person just shouldn’t apologize or explain their house, but I found myself explaining we didn’t mean for our living room to look that way. Well, now it doesn’t anymore and I don’t have any excuses! Hooray!

I linked up for Thrifty Décor Chick’s link-up party.

Buster’s Blog

I saw that dog, Indy, take over the blog last week and I decided I had to get in on this blog thing. My name is Buster. I’m Jennifer’s dog.

Buster in bowtie

I just wanted to let y’all know about what hard work it is training a new family to make a dog friendly house. I mean, when I first came to this house Jennifer thought I was going to sleep in a crate and that I’d stay there when no one was home. No way.

Busters chewed up bed

That is what I did the first time she left me home alone! Ha, I showed her! I will not sleep in a crate. You cannot contain me. She figured that out after I escaped from doggy jail two or three times. Now the crate just collects dust in her bedroom and I get to sleep on her bed. I win!

I’m still trying to teach the family that I should in fact sit at the dinner table with the whole family at meal time. I mean, I already eat when they do. When are they gonna get a clue?

Buster at dining table

I tried one day and it lasted about long enough for Jennifer to take this picture. I still get on the table at least once a day when I’m trying to see out the front window. Hello, doggy window, please!

Then they keep leaving all this stuff around the house I like to chew on. Do they want me to always be in trouble? I mean, come on!

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Baskets are super fun to chew. I chewed the handle right off of that one. Jennifer is obsessed with baskets, but now most of them are out of my reach. I also love paper and tissues. They keep putting tissues in wastebaskets and then they get mad at me for eating them. I mean, come on! Stop putting tissues in the trash if you don’t want me to eat them. Duh!

Also, they didn’t have a doggy door around here, so I had to improvise one. Check this out. One day, while I was outside, Jennifer called to me from inside the house. So, of course I ran in the house right through the screen door. Poof! Instant doggy door. They finally quit trying to fix it and just let me come and go as I please when the weather is nice.

Improvised doggie door

Off to catch a squirrel. Pretty cool, huh?

Okay, that’s it. I’m done. You better get back to work or something else productive, human.

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Go on, before I lick you!

-Buster

A Dogoversary

Hello, my name is Indy and I am a dog.   I sort of took over today for my pal MC.  She doesn’t know… kind of like a lot of things I do.  She likes to make stuff, as you know. It bores me.  I will admit I can be high maintenance and that calls for her undivided attention.  I really don’t like sharing my time with a pair of scissors or knitting needles or things like that so sometimes I may just start chewing on them just so I can focus her attention back to where it should be – on me.   Sometimes I watch her staring at something and then I see that look in her eye and I know, oh brother, she’s off on another one of her tangents - hanging a metal basket from the ceiling.  Does she need another lamp? No, but she doesn’t mind spending a few good petting hours of MY time tending to the lamp she doesn’t need or another sweater or knitted sock that the kids don’t need. I mean come on we live in Texas!

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Sometimes I kind of pretend like I’m a cat.  They get their masters attentions – don’t they?  And you know how, right?  By totally ignoring them.  Now, this is really hard for me to do but some how I manage.  Also, and this is important, while I ignore her I’ll lay right on top of whatever she happens to be working on …. also like a cat.  I’ve found that this works out pretty darn well for me!

I”m pretty sophisticated.  I’m not your run of the puppy mill dog…oh no.  I’m too refined for some of the tactics my fellow dog friends may use.  I prefer to do some elegant napping  by resting my chin just so on the side arm of the couch.  I would never lay all over the floor slobbering.  Ugh!

My coat is a very complimentary color to my people’s bedroom.  I don’t think this was planned – atleast I hope not! How ridiculous… however when I am lounging about, very tastefully I might add, I think I add a certain something to the air of the room.  No, not that certain something….geez… you people , I mean REally!  I smell divine!

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I’ve been in some of these blog posts.  You might have seen me?  Yes, I try to be included whenever I can just to class things up a bit for Mary Claire.  Just look at that handsome devil!  She needs the help whenever she can get it.  Poor thing…Yes I’ll just pretend I’m bored and can’t be bothered to get up and ususally she just lets me stay in the photo.  Little does she know what a favor I am doing her.

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Oh and speaking of favors this month marks the second blogoversary of her and her friend Jennifer’s blog.  Can you believe that?  Those poor girls have managed to keep this thing going for two years! Ha, two years of time that should have all been, mine, mine, all MINE!  Oh, ahem, sorry I mean isn’t it wonderful they’ve found enough stuff to write about for 2 years?!

Personally, I don’t know how but they did.  (Probably, they wouldn’t have been able to do it without me, but what do I know? I’m just a dog.)

Anyway,

I’m sure Mary Claire will spend many more hours sharing things with you that you don’t really want to know about and making stuff she really doesn’t need.  Well, I will continue my stealthy appearances on this blog to keep interest up.  Personally, I think there should be more dogs on here and more dog topics. But until then I will be patiently napping on the latest quilt in progress.

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Oh and Happy 2 Year Blogoversary Remember Wren, (what kind of name is that – named after a bird of all things?)  Maybe in year three we can call it Remember Retriever or Remember Rover. That has a much nicer ring to it don’t you think? Until then happy reading (if you can mangage it when my handsome self is not around!)

Many Paws,

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Target Lamp to Beaded Wall Sconce

title shotI recently saw this lamp at Target on clearance and quickly decided it needed to be made into my new bedside wall sconce!   I have been wanting to have a wall sconce by my bed for reading for a while but all the ones I saw online were very expensive.

Here is the lamp from Target on clearance.

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I bought two as I needed one for each side of the bed.

I definitely knew that I wanted to turn it upside down and then move the light fixture inside the glass  to make a sconce.   Also I figured I could use the existing holes for the cord to go through as well as for attaching it to the walI.  I thought I could reuse the existing light fixture and cord but upon further investigation I soon realized that this would not be possible so I had to buy two lamp kits.

Next, I had more thinking to do.

I spent some time pondering the unfinished wood aisle of Hobby Lobby.  Eventually I settled on several types of wooden beads and a small 4 inch round wooden plaque.

Then I had to think some more.

When I had the time to actually look at the various combinations of items that I had purchased I finally decided on what I would like best.

Here are the materials that I settled upon:

sconce materials

First, I started by removing all the exisiting hardware from the lamp.  Then I took out all the supplies from the lamp kit.  I didn’t use all the items from the kit only the light fixture assembly itself and the cord, the hollow threaded bolt also called a lamp nipple (which is why I renamed it!), and a small threaded ring.

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I drilled a hole in the middle of the wooden plaque large enough for the bolt from the light kit to go through.

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step2

Then, I threaded the light cord through the pre-existing holes in 5 of the larger wooden beads.  Next I placed the small ring from the light kit onto the cord. Then I placed the cord through the hole in the wooden plaque.  Then I threaded the cord up through the hole in the bottom of the lamp.  I used a twist tie temporarily to keep the beads at the top of the cord towards the light so they wouldn’t slide down the cord.

I then put the hollow threaded bolt onto the cord and through the hole in the bottom of the lamp.  Then I continued to thread on the three parts of the light socket assembly.  First the bottom, then the middle that contains the socket and then the top that fits down over the socket and clicks into the bottom.  (You have to loosen the screw in the base of the assembly to be able to screw it into the bolt.  Also, I followed the directions on the kit to attach the wires to the socket before putting on the top of the assembly.)

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Then once the assembly was all together I screwed it into the bolt while at the same time tightening the ring on the other side of the wood plaque at the base of the lamp.  This made everything secure.

Then I took two of the smaller wooden beads and used a drill to make the hole in them a little larger.

Then I marked the spots on the wall where I wanted the sconce to attach. The hole through the top bead actually attaches the sconce to the wall.  I used those self drilling drywall ancors like these. The bottom bead just gets screwed directly into the wall as it is mostly decorative but it also serves to keep the sconce evenly spaced away from the wall.

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There was a piece of plastic surrounding the hole leftover from its life as a lamp and I took it off and moved it back in place on the other side of the glass.  Doing this helped the head of the screw not rest directly on the glass which could damage the glass.

Note: The photo above on the middle right is incorrect.  I forgot to first screw the wooden bead into the wall.  So I had to go back and redo that. 

Then I decided where I wanted the beads that were attached to the cord to attach to the wall and place a nail there and slid the final bead right onto that nail.

Then I used little wooden plugs to cover the screws you would see through the back of the glass.  I glued these on the inside of the glass.  The top one got glued to the screw on the inside of the glass and the bottom one just got glued onto the glass itself.

Now, because of the type of lamp kit I used the on/off switch is INSIDE the globe! That would be really bad if I hadn’t learned on my previous light making venture how to apply a light cord switch to the cord.  So, luckily I will be able to do this to complete my project!  Also the second time around I made an additional purchase of a keyless light socket assembly that I switched out for the one that came with the light kit.  This meant that it did not have on/off switch on the light socket assembly.  So, the second sconce looks more streamlined.

Finally, I added a small clear bulb and here it is all ready for some late night reading!  After using the light a few times I have decided that the light may be a little too bright for my intended purpose and I may have to add some sort of glaze to the glass so it won’t be quite as bright.  But, I have to decide on the right design as I don’t want to cover the glass completely as the clear glass is one of my favorite parts.  Maybe the top half glazed and the bottom half not?  I’m not yet sure but aside from that I am really happy with the final product!

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I’m really enjoying the look of these.  I’ve often admired those beautiful beaded chandeliers, but I don’t really have a place for one in my home so this gives me a little hint of that look on a smaller scale.

final final collageThe options for changing this up are endless.  I could paint the beads and wooden plaque at the bottom, or stain them or use a different shaped globe entirely!   I also thought this would even look equally good upside down!  How would you design your sconce?  I’d love to see your ideas for changing this up!

I’m linking up today with East Coast Creative’s Creating with the Stars contest.

February Funk

Have you heard of the dreaded disease homeowners catch nearly every winter? I had it bad last month and I’m still not out of the grips of the February Funk.

In my last post I promised to be back in a couple of weeks with an update on our newly improved living room. Well, here it is.

Living Room

What has changed? Not a darn thing! Jeromy had a last minute change in his work schedule, so we had to delay starting this project. Boooo! Then, when I went to Sherwin Williams on the last day my 25% off coupon was valid, I heard the clerk tell another customer that a new sale would be starting soon with a larger discount. So, I haven’t even bought the paint yet. I usually get an e-mail when they start a new sale and I haven’t seen anything. I think I’ll have to do a drive by and see what is going on at my local store. So, no progress in the living room. Maybe next week?

I haven’t even accomplished much more in our most recent room re-do, Josh’s room. When I last wrote about it, it looked like this.

Josh's Room After

All I’ve gotten done in there is hanging new curtains. I ordered them from IKEA when I was actually working on the room, so I have had them for a while. The big hold up was my indecision on the curtain rod. I thought a brushed nickel finish might work best in the room, but every other room in the house has matte black curtain rods from World Market. I finally decided to go with the matte black and my local World Market was out of stock. Frugal one that I am, I went ahead and took a rain-check so the shipping charge would be on the store instead of me. I’m not sure that was the brightest move because I had to wait more than two weeks for the curtain rod to show up at the store. Groan.

Anyway, I finally have the curtains up.

Josh's curtains

See, how much I’m still in the February Funk? I didn’t even bother making Josh’s bed before I took the picture. Anyway . . .

I picked white curtains over a pattern because we plan to paint stripes on the blue wall and I didn’t want it to get too busy in there. The stripes aren’t done yet because Josh and I couldn’t agree on a pattern and then I thought we were going to start on the living room and I lost interest in struggling with stripes. I’ve also considered adding a border to the plain curtains, but I’m not sure on that either.

Ugh! I normally don’t like to write rambling posts like this, but I wanted to show how sometimes I just don’t get anything done around here. Sometimes I’m not in the mood for a project or Jeromy isn’t around much to help me on a big project. Here’s hoping the February Funk ends soon, we are after all well into March.