We’re Expanding!

Baby Baker Announcement

That’s right. You heard it here first, well, maybe you heard it here second. But either way its true. We’re expecting. I wouldn’t have expected that we’d be where we are today when we started this blog. We went from living in a 1 bedroom apartment, to buying our first house (2 bedrooms for those keeping score) to selling that house, to buying the house we’re in now. In case you were wondering, this one has 4 bedrooms. One of which will be housing a new member of our family sometime soon.

Here’s a few shots of that upstairs room that will become the kid’s bedroom.

Upstairs Bedroom

There it is after we moved in and ripped up the carpet. We’ve been using the room for storage since then.

Upstairs BR with Carpet

We haven’t even painted (our favorite thing) it yet, but we’ve got some plans in mind. Check back here soon to see what we’ve got in store!

Everybody’s YARDworking for the Weekend

The weather is warm and we’re full of energy! Here’s a quick rundown of what we got done around the yard yesterday.

We busted up some remnants of an old fence…

Old Fence Woodpile

We dug out this drain that was covered in grass and dirt, then replaced with river rocks…

River Rock Drain

We tore up a dead bush…

Empty Corner

…and replaced it with some rhododendron…

Rhododendron

…and lava rocks and a hook for a hanging plant…in the future.

New Corner Garden

We planted some flowers (pansies and snapdragons) in another of our garden spaces…

NewGarden

We mulched the crap out of everything…

corner tree

We’ve had a fence door that has been giving us trouble since we moved in. It turns out ants were destroying the support piece of wood holding all of the slats together. We quickly destroyed them (not pictured) and replaced the wood. (also not pictured)

fence door on ground

That one bottom slat was broken pretty good and was only being held on by the ants’ rotten wood. First though, we replaced all of the nails and capped them with a little wood glue.

New Nails

This didn’t look great, so once the glue was dried we headed out to find a paint that would match for touch ups. With a little help from our friend in the paint department at Lowes we were able to color match pretty close. In this photo it hasn’t dried yet, but you get the idea.

Repaired Fence with Touch Up

Repaired Fence with Wood Putty

Even with the new wood in place this hinge was pretty busted up.

Busted Fence Hinge

After a little reshaping of the hinge and the addition of some new locking washers, its as good as new.

Fixed Hinge

In our humble opinions, the door now works better than ever before. No more getting stuck trying to get into or out of the backyard…

Fixed Fence

And now we’ll leave you with these random flowers that have sprouted up in the yard…

Yard Flowers

Bush Flowers

Con-TRAY-ry to Popular Belief

Contrary to popular belief, we still have a blog.To prove that, here’s a little something we whipped up as part of our living room redesign.

After over 6 years, we got ourselves a new couch. Along with that new couch, we moved our coffee table, and replaced it with an ottoman. Still following? Well, I hate to admit it, but we like to eat meals in the living room fairly often, and an ottoman just isn’t a sturdy table to eat off of. So, we decided to get ourselves a serving tray for drinks and plates. We didn’t see anything we totally loved, so we made one. We started with a basic wooden tray that we picked up at a craft store and painted it with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. I’ve made things with milk paint before, and working with chalk paint is similar.

Tray with Plywood

While preparing this tray I quickly realized that it needed something extra to support the weight of drinks and plates so I reinforced it with two pieces of plywood on the top and bottom.

Scored Plywood

The tray is about 12″ x 12″, so I bought a piece of 24″ x 12″ plywood and scored and split it.

First coat of chalk paint

Chalk Paint is really easy to work with and doesn’t require priming. You could probably get away with 1 coat, but I did two. I painted the sides and handles but left the bottom and top unpainted because that’s where the plywood will be going.

Annie Sloan English YellowWe decided to go with Annie Sloan’s English Yellow, which we figured would provide a nice contrast to the marine color of the ottoman, and the gray palette of the couch.

Tray Partial Paint

I used wood glue to attach the plywood insert and let it sit overnight with some weight on it.

Tray with Weights

While the glue was drying, I painted the insert for the other side.

Clear Wax

 

That right there is clear wax. To seal the chalk paint a regular poly won’t really work, it needs two coats of clear wax.

Tray with Clear WaxThe wax can be applied with a cloth, but also needs to set and then be buffed. I did one coat, buffed it out, let it sit overnight, and then did it all again. This should provide a watertight seal.

DIY Chalk Paint Above

There’s the final product. I think it looks pretty good with our other decor and it fit pretty well on the ottoman.

Final DIY Painted Tray

I’ve seen a lot of info online about how chalk paint is difficult to work with, but I found it really easy to handle. We bought a relatively small amount of it and it went a long way. I’d like to try it on some other projects in the future, it seems like a good alternative to traditional paint and finishes.