Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Ajax went to the vet.

Remember this guy?

If not, he's Ajax. He's the most aggressively loving dog I have ever known. No really, sometimes his love hurts, but he really, really means it.

I took him to the vet to check out this thing growing on his shoulder. The vet wasn't quite sure and sent the slide she made to a pathologist at KSU.

Either way he's mostly fine, but one answer is way better than the other. Here's hoping we get good news.

UPDATE: They are pretty sure Ajax has a benign round cell tumor which hopefully will go away on it's own. I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Katie Daisy Nursery Wall Art

I'm super excited about this piece. It's the first piece of wall art for the nursery. My mom used to sing it to me hen I was little so it's sentimental and hot pink. Now I just need furniture so I'm sure about where I'm hanging it. We ran out of paint so touch ups aren't an option.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Tab Top Curtains made from Ana White's Free Plans

I started a project and finished it this weekend. That's one whole thing I can check off the To-Do List.

  • Put up actual curtains in the dining room.


No, the color is not off in the picture. The walls are actually that kind of sick green yellow, hence "Paint the dining room" is also on the To-Do List. I did, however, take this picture with my phone before I left for work this morning. Hopefully I'll get some glamor shots of them this weekend or maybe an evening now that the sun is staying up a little later in the evening.

I made them myself for $10 using Ana White's Tab Top Curtain instructions and fabric I found on clearance at Walmart for $2 a yard.

They are amazing and easy. I think I know how I'm making the curtains for the nursery and the office/guest room. Which has an actual bed frame now. I'll post with it when my parents bring me the headboard my mom saved off the curb. Actually, that might have to be a whole series of posts since I'm getting a LOT of awesome stuff when they come visit me. :)

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Adjustments to Ana White's free Farmhouse Table plans

I've gotten a couple of requests for the plans I used to build my dining room table on my Brag Post over on Ana White's website. For the record, These plans are based are Ana White's original plans which you can find here. She deserves the all the credit for the original plans and for giving me the confidence to build this table. I am only posting on the changes I made to her original plans here to help clarify what I did that isn't in the original plans.


I made my table larger than hers (slightly wider even than the 96" Farmhouse Salvaged Wood Rectangular Extension Table it was based on).  The overall dimensions are 96"L x 43 1/2"W x 31"H. With the 15" extensions installed it's a whopping 126" (that's 10 feet 6 inches) long. It seats 8 comfortably, 12 with the extensions.

Materials & Tools

Shopping List:

Follow Ana's list for everything but the lumber. For lumber you will need:

8 – 8' 2x4s
7 – 8' 2x2s (get 8 if you're building both sizes of extensions)
8 - 8' 2×8s

You need a 1/2" drill bit in addition to the tools listed in the original plan.

Cut List

The changes I made resulted in some changes to the cut list. This is the complete list of my cuts.

A) 4 - 2×4 @ 29 1/2″ (Outside Legs)
B) 4 – 2×4 @ 29 1/2″ (Inside Legs)
C) 2 -2×4 @ 36″ (Bottom End Supports for the Stretcher)
D) 1 – 2×4 @ 78″ (Stretcher)
E) 2 – 2×4 @ 73 1/2″ (Side Aprons)
F) 2 – 2×4 @ 29 1/2″ (End Aprons)
G) I didn't cut these pieces since I eliminated the overhang supports on the ends.
H) 2 – 2×2 @ 70 1/2″ (Overhang Supports, Sides)
I) 7 – 2×2 @ 29 1/2″ (Under Tabletop Supports)
J) 2×8 @ 43 1/2″ (Extension Boards) - I would recommend building the table and checking the width before cutting these. You'll need 2 to make 7 1/2" extensions and 4 to make a set of 15" extensions. 6 if you want both.
K) 6 – 2×8 @ 96″ (Tabletop Pieces)
L) 4 - 2×2 @ 20 1/2" (Extension Spacers)
M)  4 - 2×2 @ 28 1/2" for 7 1/2" extensions, @ 36" for 15" extensions. One end cut at 45 degrees (Extension Supports)

Steps 1-5

Follow the steps as shown in the original plan. The only differences are that the legs are an inch longer, I only cut the notches for the notches at the bottom 1 1/4" deep, and I put the notches on opposite sides of the legs so that the stretcher support would be on the outside. That makes the stretcher support stick out by 1/4". Both changes make it more similar to the RH version.

Your outside legs will look like this

and the inside legs will look like this.

Which means the legs will go in different positions than they would in her plan, but you put them together in the same way in Step 4.

I cut the notch in board C 1 1/4" deep in Step 5.

Step 6-7

I followed the NOTE in the original plan and switched the legs in Step 6 then followed the directions exactly as in the original plan just with boards cut to my dimensions.

Steps 8-9

Before I built the apron, I cut 1 1/2" wide notches in the end apron pieces 3" in from each side. Cut the notches a little wide so that a 2 x 2 can easily fit in the notch.

Step 10

Place the supports on the ends 10 1/2" from the sides. The rest I spaced at roughly 5 1/2" following Ana's directions.

Step 11

I only used side overhang supports (the long ones).

Steps 12-13

Skip them since this table has extensions instead of a permanent breadboard end.

Step 14

This is where I went freestyle. I didn't want to be able to see the screws in the top of the table so I screwed everything in from the bottom.  You can skip this step too.

Step 15

The table only has 6 boards on the top so the two center boards are lined up with the center of the table. Center them lengthwise as well and screw them up through the table supports ignore the fact that I failed to include the side supports in the diagram. They should be there.

Step 16

Fill in the table top with the other tabletop boards. The four center boards are attached to the table supports.

Step 17

The last two boards are only attached to the side apron and 2x2 side supports. Sounds dicey, huh? Not really, It's three whole inches out of the 7 1/4" width of the boards.

To attached them, drill 1/2" holes 1 1/2" up through the side aprons. This would be a lot easier if you flip the table over on its top. You'll need help though since its 8 feet long and probably weighs 150 pounds. TIP: If you put a piece of tape 1 1/2" from the tip of your drill bit you'll be able to see when you have the hole deep enough.

I did one about every 6". (They are basically really deep countersink holes that will allow you to get a drill bit in to attach the boards with 2 3/4" screws.) Also drill on about an inch in from either side of each of the board in the end apron (make sure you don't try to put one of them up through the notches). This is a lot of holes and I'm pretty sure its the step where I burnt out my cordless drill. I invested in a corded one.

Also predrill countersink holes in the overhang supports every 6" offset with the holes in the side apron.

Step 18

Attach the boards with 2 3/4" screws in all the holes you just predrilled. It's 48 screws in case you're curious. Those boards aren't going anywhere.

When you're done you'll have a table that looks like this and probably feel like taking a break from building for a day or two. You don't have to make them at all, but I like how they look and they increase the overhang on the ends so you can push a chair under the table which is nice.

Step 19

Predrill and attach the extension spacers to the underside of the end overhangs. Make sure they line up with the inside edges of the notches.

Step 20 

Predrill and attach an extension spacer to the center of each of the extension end boards along the edge of the board.

Step 21

Predrill and attach the extension supports to the extension boards. TIP: Make sure they are square with the board and line up with the holes you cut in the apron ends of the table. I actually put the support pieces through the notches and attached the extension board in place to make sure it would fit.

Step 21

To make the 15" extensions repeat Steps 19 and 20 using the 36" extension supports. Then add the other extension boards inside of the first.

Step 22

Slide the extension into place (they aren't actually attached to the table at all, but they won't move, I promise. Admire your ridiculously awesome and enormous table.

I hope that makes sense. Let me know if you still have questions. :)

Friday, February 24, 2012

Hutch for my 28th Birthday Writing Desk

My mom (and I think maybe my dad too) gave me this vanity for my 28th birthday.

They gave it to me because she knew my Illustrated Discovery Journal is the best place to find birthday present ideas for me. (Apparently, when you don't really get too excited over new items it makes you hard to shop for.)

This desk was one of the very first items I added to my IDJ.

I'm going to make a hutch for the vanity to convert it into my very own fabulous desk inspired by this own.

Now, depending on how well you know me or how much attention you are paying you may or may not have noticed just how long this project went undone. (I'm 29 and I got this desk before we moved into The Parsonage.)

I'm going to finish it though. And soon.

Why? Because I desperately want to add a Project Plan to Ana White's website and because I just really want my freaking desk. How could anyone not want that desk? It makes me smile every time I see it.

Since it was a vanity the center of the top was hinged to open up with a mirror. I've already cut out the front center and built the drawer box. (I still need to reattached the face. I made a tiny cutting error and I need to fix some collateral damage before it's ready to attach.) Other wise I just need to build the hutch, change out the knobs, and do the sanding/painting part.

Now that I have a reason, I think I can get in short order. I designed a couple different versions of the hutch in SketchUp over a year ago thanks to Ana's helpful tutorial. I made the center a little higher so my laptop can be pushed back into it while it's open. I need that. I should probably also add the decorative bit of detail to the top of the hutch before I post it, but you get the basic idea.

I'm not entirely sure which of the two I want to do, but since the only difference is a shelf I think I'll make it peg style adjustable and then I can just take it out altogether if I decide I don't like it.

So that's the plan. Buy wood, cut, and build the hutch and create the Project Plan so other people can do it without having to think quite so hard about how to make the whole thing go together. Should be easy, right?

Update: I swear I didn't remember posting about this exact same project last April. Check it out. Let's hope I actually do it.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

We've been together a LONG time

I think about weird things. At least I'm guessing other people think they're weird. I think they're totally normal. Or at least normal for a person with a Ph.D. in biocultural anthropology. That might still be weird to most people.

Like I was thinking about how long my sister and I have been around for each other. Most people would think about that in terms of the last 29 years. That is how long it's been since I was born.

Aren't we cute?

Twenty nine years is a really long time. Longer than I've known just about anyone else.

But that's not the way I was thinking about it.  I was thinking about it from a whole other perspective. A even longer term, biological one.
Being pregnant with a baby girl reminds you of very cool facts about human biology. Like the fact that she has already developed all the eggs she will ever have. They are all there right now. If she has biological children the eggs that will become my grandchildren are in her, in me, right now. That's really cool, huh?

Do you see where I'm going with this yet?

Crystal and I both came from eggs my mother developed before she was even born. As in the eggs that became us have been together since then. That's a really long time. Like a really REALLY long time. A whole generation before we were even born. No wonder we're so close.

I think we're still pretty darn cute too. Even in pictures I take with phone that are grainy and have questionable color quality. :)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Dream Dollhouse I made from free plans: more evidence that I'm AWESOME!

Remember the Dream Dollhouse(s) I blogged about building and that Make Two Challenge I took on? Well, I didn't quite complete the Make Two Challenge part before Christmas. Or before New Years. Or even before Valentine's. I think I've got a really good chance of finishing before St. Patrick's Day. The second one didn't take nearly as long to build. In fact, I already had the pieces cut and it only took an afternoon to put together. It's just been sitting on my porch waiting to be filled and sanded for months. I finally have it filled so just as soon as I get up the gumption to sand it I'll be ready to start finishing. Amazing how the lack of "Christmas is coming" PANIC makes things take a lot longer, huh?

I thought it might be motivational to post a couple of pictures my awesome sister-in-law sent me of the one I actually finished and gave to my nieces for Christmas.  Isn't it cute?

Recognize any of that scrapbook paper? Yep, I picked the same animal theme print for my pregnancy scrapbook.

I'm pretty sure she thinks it's awesome. I think she's pretty awesome too. :)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

I'm Me and I'm Awesome

You may have noticed that I read a certain number of blogs on an almost daily basis. (If you've missed out on this you can find them a little ways down the page on your right.) I say almost because I don't have a super, set in stone time dedicated to reading them and sometimes I don't get around to reading them for a couple of days. Sometimes I'm busy and other things are higher priority and other times I save them to read later. I like to wait until I can focus on posts if they seem especially interesting or pertinent. That's what happened with this post from Miss Mustard Seed. She wrote it three whole days before I read it.

It's about the secret to writing a great blog.

I've been working on improving my blog lately so I thought I should save it for a moment when I could really focus and glean some of her wisdom on the topic. She writes a great blog and I value her advice. You know, so I could take notes and incorporate her tips into my future posts so I can be great someday too.

Turns out I'm the secret. Me.The whole thing that makes this here blog interesting is that I write it (at least that's the theory). And I think she might be right. At least that's the part people tell me they find most entertaining about it. They like that I post about all kinds of random stuff that keeps it from being a niche blog. They like that I write exactly the way I talk. They like that if they read it with my voice in their head it makes them laugh out loud even when they shouldn't because they're reading it at work. One even told me I should write a book about pregnancy and becoming a parent because he and his wife own a ton and none of them are as entertaining as listening to me talk about it.

So why have I been stressing out about making my blog fit some sort of mold I assume is more attractive to random readers?

Good freaking question.

Don't get me wrong; I do want to increase my readership and I will be actively working to make that happen, but I'm going to focus a lot more on writing posts that make me smile because I'm awesome and things that make me smile are awesome too.

That's really all I've got for today. I think I'll head over to Miss Mustard Seed's Facebook Page and join the "I'm me and I'm awesome" club. Then maybe I'll make myself some wall art in case I need a reminder.

Source: via Amber on Pinterest

Monday, February 20, 2012

Vintage Owl Latch Hook

My sister sent me a picture. Is this not the cutest thing ever?

Vintage Owls: My new obsession

I blame my friend Jen for this. Or credit her or whatever. Or maybe it's HootSuite's fault. I'm not really sure what caused this new obsession, but I seem to have this thing for adorable vintage owls lately. They've been popping up everywhere.

Like everywhere I go.

So much that I think it might not be me being obsessed with owls. Maybe they are obsessed with me and that's why they show up wherever I am.

You remember this adorable little guy.

He's just the tip of the iceberg.

Even before him I found this one while searching for inspiration for items form my Etxy shop.

My friend Rachel claimed this little dresser for me.

Check out those little Owl decals.

A couple of weeks ago, I saw this crazy adorable owl showed up on Etsy's facebook feed.

Friday, I went for my weekly speed thrift to the ReStore over lunch. It was a bit of a bust and i ended up on Target and found this. So cute! (I promise I won't buy it this time, Sallie.)

And then yesterday I found a piece of latch hook my grandfather made. It reminded me of an awesome owl one my sister has. It looks kind of like this one from Etsy.

I'm super jealous. If only I had known I would develop this obsession when we picked them. I'm thinking about finding one for the nursery.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Nursery Armoire: I need color help

I've been trying to figure out what to do about storing clothing in the nursery. The one I put in the nursery floorplan was the Pottery Barn Catallina Dresser and Hutch.

It's not exactly my dream piece, but I needed something to represent an armoire in the room. (I really prefer to hang clothes over folding them. Drawers just turn into a complete mess.)

I seriously thought about making this nursery armoire from Ana White's website, but I'm pretty sure it would make my husband insane if I started a major building project at this point.

That, and I'm pretty sure that I would spend as much or more on wood and hardware as I'm going to pick up this armoire off of craiglist.

My in-laws even offered to buy it since we're getting most of the other major pieces of nursery furniture free. I'm not one to say no when people make generous offers so I took them up on it. My mom is going to come paint it for me, but I we need to decided what we want to do with it. 

My husband doesn't always care about these things, but I've learned that its better to ask and have him look at me like "why would I care what color the armoire in the nursery is?" than have him think I don't value his opinion.

I really like the bead board look of Ana's so I think some bead board paper on the door insets would be a good starting point and I'll probably go with hardware similar to what we used in the kitchen. The real question is what color to paint it. Yes. I'm painting it. I am without hesitation or remorse covering every inch of that cherry wood in milk paint.

Originally I assumed we should off with an old white, but then I saw a couple of pieces that really inspired me.

This one is for sale at a little shop called Joanie's Junk an hour or so away.

There is something I love about that mustard color. I also loved it on this piece that I can't find the origin of. I think it was from Ana White.

 But then there are other colors like the blue used on the dresser on the cover of Shaunna from Perfectly Imperfect's Book. I'm pretty sure it must be Duck Egg or Provence since she only uses Annie Sloan chalk paint.

Or a brighter blue like this one from Young America?

Or maybe a pea green like this Seymour Office Armoire from Pottery Barn?

Or maybe something else? What do you think?

Actually, now that I've seen that last one I really kind of think green. I know. It's basically the color the room was before we painted it, but that's because the room used to be my favorite color in the whole world. If only I had some of that paint leftover I would be set.

But seriously, if you have a great suggestion let me know. :)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

I'm opennig an Etsy shop!


Guess what...

I opened an Etsy shop. It's called Papperlapapp and it's full of witty, cockamamie, cheeky and pretty things for your home. Well, it will be full. Right now it only has a few items, but I'll be adding more in the very near future. Here's a peek at what I currently have listed.

Head on over and check it out.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day (Hey... I LOVE YOU!!!)

I heart Valentine's Day.

Heart: a term of general affection with an emphasis on playfulness and joy. Frequently used by one of my bestest friends and college roommate.

I do. Some people are all about poo pooing the consumerism associated with it, but I for one am all about celebrating love in all it's forms (including heart-ing) today. Everyone needs to be reminded that they are loved and today is the perfect day to work on doing that if you think you haven't been doing it enough or to keep doing it if you're loving the crap out of everyone you know. Love makes life better.

Last week I was shopping in Target near a woman with a small child in her cart. She was maybe three or four. I'm not really a good judge since my kid is still measured in weeks and only visible as the expansion of my abdomen to a previously unknown size. I assure you she is growing rapidly. Anyway, this kid was talking to her mom while she move amongst the clothing racks. The conversation went about like this.

Kid: Hey Mom...

Mom: What?

Kid: I love you.

Mom: I love you too.

Like 5 seconds of silences

Kid: Hey Mom.

Mom: What?

Kid: I Love You!

Mom: I love you too.

This went on for six or seven iterations at which point the mother was getting a little embarrassed, but clearly cognizant of how adorable this is to everyone else in the area.

Kid: Hey Mom.

Mom: What is it Honey?

Kid: I LOVE YOU!!!

Mom : I love you too. Even when you're being a little stinker.

I had been pretty stressed out when I walked into the store, but I was totally over it by the time I walked out of earshot of those two. I even called my mom convinced Bump had used her telepathic ability to communicate with other children to encourage the kid. I think I needed to hear it way more than that mom did at that exact moment.

I'm all for saying you love people absolutely every time you feel it even if that means you say it every five seconds. Ask my sister or anyone who has heard me on the phone with her. Sometimes I have to say it like three times before we hang up. Some people think that's a bit much or somehow makes it less meaningful. Not me. I mean it every freaking time I say it.

Especially to this guy.

We'll be having Chipotle to celebrate Valentine's Day later. How did I get so lucky? I don't know, but I'm going to enjoy every moment of it.


Friday, February 10, 2012


I'm sure you wondered why I didn't post something about the baby yesterday since Wednesday is Baby Day. (What? You're not obsessed with my schedule?) Hopefully awesome cupcakes were a satisfactory substitute. Just in case, here's some baby action for you.

Austin and I are freegan-ing as much of the baby stuff as we possibly can so I haven't done a ton of shopping or registering for big items, but it looks like we are in the crib market after all. (Feel free to let me know if you have one you'd like to sell cheap/donate to the cause.) When sent me a newsletter with a slideshow of 10 Cribs We Love I couldn't resist a peek or four. Fair warning though, they have excellent taste, but some are not budget friendly. I think I'll just look at them.

My favorite:

Graco Lauren Convertible Crib ($150 Target)

I am totally registered for this one in case you're curious. It's not super flashy, but it converts from a crib to a toddler bed to a full size bed. Yes, please.

There were also a couple I think are totally adorable, but absurdly expensive (sorry if you're into high end baby gear and are offended by that).

Muu Sam ($1775 MuuKids)

That aqua whale design makes me smile.

I also like the design on the PetitNest Alloette Crib ($1490)
Do you suppose there is a place where people sell them on craigslist after their kid grows out of a crib?


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