Category Archives: Projects

I Painted My Bedroom

The master bedroom is often one of the last priorities when redecorating rooms. Mine is no exception.

When we were painting this house the week before we moved in, we were going to put the master bedroom downstairs in what is now the den. Upstairs had this big, open room with tons of natural light, so we were going to use it for a library, watching movies, homeschooling, toys, and just general hanging out. So I chose a pale yellow for the entire upstairs. I pictured a warm, sunny room to spend cold winter days in.

Then we moved our mattresses into the downstairs room and slept in there once or twice. And hated it.

The room was on the small side for a king sized bed, there wasn’t really room for a dresser so I was going to use the built in cupboards and shelves on one wall, and it would have been really crowded with the baby’s playpen in there. There was no closet. The kids and laundry and shower were all upstairs. Not to mention, the chicken coop was on the other side of the wall, and there was even a window to look in there, so when the girls were laying eggs in the morning, we would be able to hear ever squawk.

So after listing all the reasons it wasn’t going to work, Darryl helped me move the bed, and we took over ⅔ of the big sunny room upstairs. It’s about 12×24 feet. And it has one of the two closets in the house. Did I mention it has it’s own private deck with an amazing view of the lake? No brainer.

There was no wall to separate it from the rest (still no wall), but we put three bookcases side by side and that blocked off all but a doorway. Then we hung curtains behind the bookcases using the cable for the dog run we found outside. And there we stopped.


The furniture is all mismatched, free stuff. The bedding is from Costco. The rug was bought used for $40. The headboard (which I love) was an old door we bought at a flea market before we got married for $15. It’s a teal/turquoise colour on the other side. I started stripping this side and that’s how far I got, and I like it that way. The lamps were part of a cheap walmart set (and I want to replace them). My bedside table is two old wooden crates stacked up, and Darryl’s is an old filing cabinet with the bottom drawer missing. Needless to say, the room needs help.


I’ve had the dresser since I was little, and I painted it red because I was going to paint black over that and sand the edges down to the red, but that never happened (probably a good thing). The radio cabinet I love, and want to have refinished one day. The plant is fake. The cradle was made by my Grandpa for me when I was born. It’s not actually crooked. Not sure why it looks that way. The bear rug was a gift from my brother (live or dead animals are always a welcome present. Haha). I did the painting on the canvas, and the chair was given to us. So, as you can see, hardly any money went into this room, and it kinda shows.

So, I’ve got this idea in my head of what I want it to look and feel like, and then Darryl tells me I need to do something to cover the windows so he can sleep part of the day (he does shift work). So I researched blinds and drapes of all types and came to the conclusion that anything that looks nice is going to cost way more than I want to spend, so I came up with this great idea of painting the walls dark and making curtains out of drop cloth, and if we still need to, we can buy the ugly blinds, cause then they’ll be hidden by the curtains.

So I painted the room.


And that’s as far as I’ve gotten for now. I wanted the colour of the darkest storm cloud, and settled on Rona’s Tungsten. It’s hard to tell exactly what colour it is, cause sometimes it looks dark grey, sometimes blue, and sometimes almost black. I like it. It feels way more cozy.

I haven’t made the curtains yet, cause I need two drop cloths and they only had one when I went to buy them, and haven’t gotten another one yet cause they’re $50 (gasp, even though that’s cheap for covering two windows!), and the ones they got in are a different texture (ugh). Hopefully I can find the same one somewhere, or I’ll have to switch textures. But the room is darker. Hehe.


And it’s far from finished.

I should just put up some art, cause if I do move it, the nail holes won’t show. I was kinda waiting till The Wall is built, but I just now decided I’m not waiting any longer.

I like the way gold looks with the dark grey, and I found a pair of brass lamps at the share shed, so I replaced the lamps. Now I need new shades. And bedside tables. And a rug. And bedding. And a tufted bench at the foot of the bed. And a huge mirror.

And I suppose some curtains would be good too.



Kid’s Bedroom Update

This is what the kid’s room looked like before we moved in.  It was a guest room.


We decided to lighten it up a bit.  When I painted the first wall across from the window, I thought I’d made a dreadful mistake because the yellow was VERY bright.  Like almost fluorescent.  Then I painted the same yellow on the other side of the wall, in the big upstairs room, which used to be blue, and it was a much nicer yellow.  So I stopped panicking.  The sunlight streaming in the kid’s window just makes it look fluorescent.  No biggie.


The kids switched places, so Sadie is on the bottom bunk and Chad is on top.  We put princess curtains across the front of Sadie’s bed (the curtains were made using one $7 panel from walmart, cut in half and hemmed to slide on a tension wire).


This chase for the chimney is not in a good spot, but it’s pretty hard to move, so we have to work around it.  I have big plans for the dresser alcove, but this is the set up for now.  The kitchen is from IKEA.  I was pretty surprised at the quality and thought put into the design of it.  I have more plans for that alcove too.


I wanted to do something graphic on the wall opposite the window, but I wasn’t about to buy and install wallpaper or take hours painting with a stencil.  I’m all for quick and easy.  So I drew on the wall with an orange Sharpie.

This was my Pinspiration.

And this is what it looks like!


The yellow in the kitchen alcove isn’t actually that bright…that’s what this fun setting on my camera makes it look like.  It’s a much softer, paler yellow.


As you can see, we still have no baseboards in here yet.

It’s not a complicated pattern.  Everything is 6″ apart, and it doesn’t have to be perfect.  I worked my way across the wall, starting at the door, and by the end, I was out about ½ inch from ceiling to floor.


I have no idea how easy hard it will be to paint over.  Hopefully a good primer will do the job.

But it looks cool, the kids like it, and it cost me 4 hours and 1 Sharpie.  I call that a success.

Would you ever try this?

The Stairwell After

I know it’s been a while since you’ve seen the before photos, so here they are again.  This is the stairwell when we moved in, but after we filled the cat scratches all over the spindles.





And after!












We installed the battens and painted pretty much every surface in the stairwell except the ceiling.  Because the walls aren’t exactly square, it took 7 or 8 caulking gun tubes of DAP to fill all the cracks.

We LOVE it!  It suits the house so well and looks so great.  Our landlady finally came for a visit and couldn’t believe the difference.  She loved it too.

We still have a refinished chandelier to hang in the stairwell, and then it will be complete.  Mostly.   I’ll hopefully be able to show you the chandelier up soon.  We also have to continue the baseboards for the whole upstairs except the bathroom, at some point when the landlady wants to buy us the materials.

Next up: the kid’s room.

Sewing Stuff

Been doing some sewing lately.

I made another Bapron for a friend’s baby (Bapron tutorial here).  The front is vinyl.

The back is this great fabric I found in the clearance section of Fabricland.

At first glance, it’s just a cool pattern, but when you look closely, it’s diaper pins!

On another recent trip to Fabricland (a store I detest, by the way, but it’s the only option in town), I found the same pin pattern in the clearance section in pink!  I bought a meter.

I also found a pre-printed panel that I recognized instantly because my mom made the exact same thing when I was younger.  It’s a nativity set.  It was $3 a panel.  I bought one.

Then Hannah went to buy one and had to pay $18 cause she looked in the wrong section.

Basically, you cut out the pieces, sew them together and put a piece of cardboard in the bottom, then stuff them and sew up the hole.

The kids love it.

I made a drawstring bag with flannel that glows in the dark.

I have another project or 2 in the works but I’m not finished yet.

Are you making anything right now?

DIY Books

This project happened out of necessity.  Sadie would often come out of her room after her nap with marker all over her fingernails, legs, arms, and of course, a moustache.  All because she had no paper.

At least, that’s what I told myself the problem was.

It kind of makes sense.

So I made her some books to draw in.  Easiest thing ever.  One sheet of bright cardstock, 4 sheets of plain white paper (though you could use any paper you want), one straight stitch with the sewing machine.  Done.

I made 5 of them in about 10 minutes.  She loves them.

She drew this before I even got the last one finished.

Don’t you love the red fingernails??

And I think the books work.  She comes out with a moustache only half as often as before!


Just Peachy

Someone gave me a whole bunch of peaches! Like 35lbs?? I didn’t weigh them.

I was very happy to receive them since I had no fruit to make jam with this year (darn bears). Instead of canning them like I usually do, I made jam. And instead of doing the hot water/cold water/peel thing, I thought I’d try using the Victorio Strainer. It’s a maaavelous piece of equipment I “inherited” from my parents.  I figured that if it worked so well for making applesauce, that it would probably work for peaches too.

It does!  All the prep required was halving the peaches and taking out the pit.  They went through the strainer as easily as cooked apples.

The peach innards get smushed out the little holes along with the juice, and the skins get spit out the end. Perfect.

I ran the skins through at the end to get every last bit of peach flesh out.

Then I poured all the juice and peach puree into a stock pot, added an awful lot of sugar and a few boxes of pectin. When I poured it all into hot jars, they all sealed, but of course, it didn’t set.  I had a feeling that would happen when I figured out I needed to add more boxes of pectin (which I didn’t have) and I ran out of room in the pot for the sugar.  So, the next day I popped the seals and poured half the batch back into the pot along with more sugar and more pectin. They all sealed again, but still no setting. So, the next day I poured the OTHER half in the pot with more sugar and pectin, but I knew it wasn’t going to work, so I left it overnight.  Darryl bought more pectin, so yesterday I poured all of it into the pot and added another 4 boxes of pectin.  This time they all sealed and they set too!  Finally I’m done the darn jam!  Only took 4 days.

I got 16 1/2 pints.

I’m not going to all that work for 6 pints.

This weekend, I’m getting a whole bunch of free plums.  I was thinking of making jam out of some of them, to round out my collection.  I need at least 18 pints to last me the next year, and variety is nice.  I should also have enough to give some away too.

This time, I will buy more pectin.

Side note: I realize there’s a ton of sugar in jam and one day I’ll make it with next to no sugar (or none if possible), but I’d rather eat jam I made myself from fresh fruit than buy jam with other additives in it, plus sugar.  I did just find a brand of pectin online that doesn’t need sugar to set, so I’ll be looking into that for sure.

Did you make any jam this year?

White Trash to Middle Class-we’re back!

Alright, some progress to show you! The 2 weeks before Sadie’s birthday saw a few things get done. One of which was the new front steps! First the landing was covered with 2×4’s (no shortage of those here).


The stringers were installed on a new patio block footing.


The steps were finally screwed down after dark. It took all day.


Much easier to see in daylight.


Then the skirting was finished beside the stairs.



Now for the railings.
And this is the insulation all finished on the inside.


And the room all cleaned up. I couldn’t wait to get all the styrofoam dust cleaned up!


I hope to be able to show you more soon. Some rafters have to get beefed up and the woodstove area roughed in and the ceiling dropped a couple inches and a closet framed, and then the floor and ceiling insulated, and then we can start poly and drywall! I’m super excited for that stage! I will be in there painting before the dust settles!