DIY

Laundry Room: From Trash to Treasure!

Laundry is a necessary part of our lives, but it sure isn’t a fun part! At least… I don’t get a particular joy out of doing laundry. When I explored the slightly creepy basement upon moving in to the Burrow, I found a shelving unit that probably should have been thrown in the trash and a super old table with gorgeous turned legs, amongst other strange odds and ends. I decided to take these two forgotten pieces and turn them into something wonderful for my laundry room. I started by completely taking the shelving unit apart. It was shot. The backing and original shelves were unsalvageable. I decided to attach the shell of the shelving unit to the back of the table to create a storage/folding unit to go in between my washer and dryer! All I used were basic wood screws! It was very simple! There is plastic covering the top of the table because it was in SUCH rough shape. As I did laundry during the completion of this project, I just couldn’t bear to have any of it actually sit on that table top… ick! My next step was to cut lengths of scrap wood I had lying around to fit the length and width of the shell of this unit to work as new shelves! You can see where the original shelves were and I aimed to have them sit in the same location! But, the original locations didn’t fit my detergents and things… so I improvised and created my own shelving height. It worked out well. My next task was to figure out something to fix that terrible old table top. I toyed around with tiling it or just painting it, doing a…

A New Arrival: Crocheting for My Best Friend’s Baby Girl

I was a freshman in college moving into the dorms. Across the hall, this girl moved in… after she loaded in all her stuff, she comes hurrying through my door and exclaims that her name is Ali she doesn’t know what to do because her roommate has hung garlic in the window and has giant silverware on the wall and has paintings of psychedelic mushrooms. That was it. I knew this woman and I would be friends for life. Fast forward multiple years, Ali honored me beyond belief by asking me to be the maid of honor in her wedding to the love of her life, and now she is mother to the sweetest little girl I’ve ever met. As soon as I heard I was going to be a pseudo-auntie to this new arrival, my heart nearly exploded. I got to work right away on some gifts for this little girl who, at the size of a peanut, had already stolen everyone’s hearts. Of course I had to make her a blanket. I decided to try something new and make a tricolored chevron blanket! However, I also wanted to attempt to make her a stuffed animal. Ali settled on an elephant. So, I got to work!!! I chose pink, yellow, and gray, picked out the softest yarn I could find, and tried really hard to decipher the chevron blanket pattern (a feat very difficult for someone who really stinks at math). The following photos were taken at both the Hobbit Hole and at my parents’ beautiful home in WI. As you can see, the ends started out a bit wonky, but as I continued, I began to figure it out more and more. While the edges are still…&#8230…

A Daunting Project: Fixing Evidence of Basement Water Damage

The Burrow was built in 1929, so it has a semi-creepy, slightly damp 1929 basement. Over the years, I can tell that various homeowners have done different things to prevent water from getting inside and they have done a pretty good job! They just didn’t get rid of the evidence of previous water… One major thing a homeowner did was pour slanted concrete slabs on the driveway-side of the house to keep water away from the foundation. EXCELLENT. There is also foam and caulk around windows, and other stuff like that. A major thing I had to do when I bought the house was repair the front corner foundation of the screened in porch. Water had been pooling there for…who knows how long, and it had been slowly seeping in through the concrete block. Now, it wasn’t flooding my basement, but there was always a wet spot in that corner after it rained. And heaven forbid I did laundry or shower on a rainy day. So, I bit the bullet and got a company out here to fix it. And after some back and forth, I’m pleased to say, after a few good rainstorms, the floor in that corner has been dry! So… YAY dryness! But the walls just looked… scary. And creepy. And terrible. I wanted to fix that. I was extremely nervous to get this project started because I was A. Doing it by myself, and B. I didn’t know entirely what would happen once I began. So, where does a nervous homeowner start? Research! I poured over various DIY sites and forums, le Pinterest articles and countless other blogs… SO MANY that I can’t even remember their names and…

The Great Brick Chimney Adventure

In every homeowner’s journey, there have been…questionable decisions. Mine involved brick and came about a year ago during a three-day long hiatus from school during a terrible snow storm. It just kept snowing and kept being so far below zero outside that school was not able to be in session… so I did something risky. Very risky. In the corner of my dining room, there was a bump out that I knew was a brick chimney. It ran from the attic to the basement. It was gorgeous light brick whenever I saw it exposed on the upper and lower levels of my house. I had pinned COUNTLESS ways of how to expose brick on le Pinterest but was just too scared to mess up my amazing house. Well…. During these snow days, I took a hammer and chisel to my plaster wall and just…. went for it! Literally… I picked up a hammer and just started beating the wall. It was scary and I didn’t tell anyone what I was doing because, what if it was a catastrophic failure?! I used a heavy-duty chisel, a normal hammer, and a sturdy wire brush. I cleared all the furniture out of the dining room and closed off door ways as best I could… But chipping away plaster is a dusty business. Here is the first photo I took once I remembered I should probably be documenting this! I placed tons of cardboard all around the floor to capture the falling debris and it worked really well! Some of the plaster came off super quickly and easily and some took a LOT of elbow grease and more than one smashed thumb. The coolest thing about this old plaster from 1929…

Hookin’ Up a New One: Second Big Blanket!

Another amazing friend from high school was tying the knot with her high school sweetheart!! Melody and Alex have been married for a few years now and have two stunning little girls. Melody told me their colors were going to be teal, purple, and brown – kind of a peacock theme! I was so excited to expand my horizon and try something new. I ventured into the realm of….. the GRANNY SQUARE! Now, I decided to just choose two of the three colors because, woah, baby steps here… I was still a crochet noob. A Granny Square is a type of crochet pattern where you make small, or large depending on your project, squares starting from the center and working outwards. Once you get the hang of it, it is one of the easiest patterns to mess with. Here is a photo of the start of the different Granny Squares and the pattern I decided upon! Obviously it is quicker and easier to make a Granny Square in all one color because you don’t have to stop and switch colors! But…. it is also a lot more boring. Once you figure everything it out, you just calculate how many of each type of square you need… and crochet, and crochet….. and keep crocheting. When it is time to start to attach the squares together, there are a number of ways I researched to do it. Some of the ways left visible ridges, some of them added an extra length in-between the squares… but – I FINALLY found something called the “invisible seam.” You use a color yarn that it is already in your blanket and a darning needle and you sew them together loosely. Then, you pull the yarn…