Monday, March 28th, 2011

Ana White DIY Furniture

Lately I’ve been finding myself wishing we had some woodworking equipment. My dad was a self employed carpenter full time while I was growing up and still does extra work when he’s not teaching. I’d helped him on a few jobs, and the whole family worked on remodeling our 1836 house. So, I’ve fairly comfortable with DIY projects.

I tell you all this because recently I’ve read about this site: The site gives you the plans for homemade furniture, and I’ve found many projects I’d like to try out. Like this outdoor dining table:

Photo from

And the stackable chairs and bench that match.

The plans include step-by-step instructions, a material list, costs (I’m not sure if all do) and photos of the process. They have plans for outdoor and indoor furniture, everything from playhouses, to entertainment centers to beds. You can browse the projects by category, room, collection, skill level, cost and style. I think that no matter your skill level, you can find something for you and with the in-depth instruction anyone could build many of these projects.

I gotta say, if we already had our house built, I’d be asking to borrow some power tools.

Monday, March 7th, 2011


A collection of DIY posts from this blog:

Laundry Detergent
Gathered Clutch/Wallet
Mini Tree from Large Pre-lit Tree
Tepee Trellis
Cold Frame – Coming Soon
Compost Bin – Coming Soon

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

Homemade Laundry Detergent

Now, this is a recipe that I’ve been wanting to try, but never really got around to finding. Then, a couple weeks ago, a friend posted it on Facebook. So, Saturday, after a trip to a local grocery store, I got to work.

I picked up a 5 gallon bucket from Walmart along with a box of Borax, but it seems they don’t carry the washing soda or Fels Naptha soap, at least not at the store here, so you might have to call around to find it.

We found it at another local grocery store where at the checkout the cashier assured me that Fels Naptha is the best for getting out stains. (The Fels Naptha is for laundry, but we ended up finding it in the isle with the body soap bars.)

I dug out an old non-stick pot that I’d long ago stopped using for food since the black coated started to chip. Since then I’ve only used it to dye fabric, so it’s perfect for making soap.

1 bar Fels Naptha soap, grated
1 1/2 cups 20 Mule Team Borax
1 1/2 cups Washing Soda (not baking soda)
5 gallon bucket

1. Bring 8 cups on water to a boil. You don’t need to be exact, you’ll just add more later.

2. Add the grated soap and stir until dissolved. I recommend keeping an eye on it and not leaving it even to put a lid away, or like me, you may end up with a mess on the top of your stove.

3. Add Borax and washing soda and stir until dissolved.

4. Pour mixture into the bucket and slowly add warm water until it’s almost full and stir until it’s mixed.

5. Cover and let sit 24 hours, and then stir to break it up. It turned out very gelatinous and kinda gross-looking, which I’m hoping is right.

Use 1/2 cup per load.

It was pretty easy to make, will last quite a while, and it’s definitely cheaper than what I usually use. We’ll see how it works.

Tuesday, December 7th, 2010

mmmm warmth

I just have to say, that sitting at the computer, drinking warm chai, while the snow is blowing around outside the window, is a wonderful life. Even if I do have to get some work done for a design job I just got. I thought before I started that, I’d post some more of my Christmas decorating, including the tree.

I’m a little behind, but the Saturday before last, we woke to snow flurries trying to cover the ground. I went to the church where the ladies were getting together to decorate and Matt headed for some whitewater opportunities.
When we both got home, we went out together to get our Christmas tree. I haven’t had a real tree since moving out of my parents’ home. I couldn’t wait. Couple that with it being a new house and our first Christmas together as husband and wife, and I was pretty excited.
I wasn’t even thinking about how high it should be and when we got it in the house, we cut off a few inches of the top so the star would sit right, and it just fit.

So far Ajay hasn’t bothered it much, but it’s probably just a matter of time.

The pictures are dark, but it has a kind of red, white and blue theme going because last year we had silver and blue and this year, since the tree in bigger, I added the red heart ornaments I’ve had since I was little.

The house smells wonderful!

Unfortunately, Ajay did get to my artificial tree shortly after we brought him home. It was our fault, it hadn’t been put away yet from our move, and he’s a puppy. Puppies chew. It was pre-lit and he chewed right through the light wires.

I got to thinking, he only ruined the bottom half of the tree, the top part has it’s own set of lights and plug so you can take it apart to put it away. I took the piece off the bottom that help the stand and put in onto the top half of the tree and made a smaller tree. It’s sitting in the living room in front of one of our big front windows. I bought some little plastic bulbs from the dollar store to decorate it. And I used some little ornaments I had in a box from the tree I had in my room back home. Matt likes it because you can see it from the outside.

He said it’s a Charlie Brown Christmas tree.

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

Handmade for the Holidays

The lovely Melissa at Yummy Goods along with her good friend Beth have again teamed up with a couple charities in the Cape Cod area to provide warmth for women and families in need.

I totally wish I was in the area to head over to their Wednesday night craft circles to help them make scarves and such to donate. As it is, I may try to whip up a few things to send their way and Melissa was kind enough to provide an address to send donations to.

They are looking for (new) handmade mittens, scarves, hats, quilts, blankets, as far as I can tell, anything warm. They also accept supplies like yarn, needles, and other knitting or crafting supplies that local volunteer crafters can use to make items.

If you are in the Cape Cod, MA area or would like to make and donate items, visit Melissa’s blog post for information.