Sort It Out

So I have been sick and tired of sorting the laundry when I take it down and then sorting again right before I wash a load. Then when the hubby decides to help and take the laundry down I either have to go down with him and sort it or go down later and sort it. State of affairs were that there was not enough room to actually sort out ALL the laundry so that each “basket” was a load type.

We finally solved that problem, yay!!! This is what I was working with…

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This is most of the laundry, excluding Hubby’s nasty, grubby clothes. We used 2×4’s, screws, and scrap lumber to construct the laundry sorter that holds 10 laundry baskets and is roughly 62.5 inches tall, 40.5 inches wide and 24 inches deep.

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image{those little scraps are what the baskets slide in and out of on}

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Since it is for the basement and not many people are brave enough, stupid or whatever but me and 2 other people it is not very pretty. It does however make laundry a lot easier. All that is left is making some cute signs for each basket…thinking some sort of chalkboard signs.

Here are two super sweet laundry sorters from Ana White!

Ana White Laundry Brook Laundry Basket Dresser & Ana White Laundry Basket Dresser – 3

Compost It

So since we are looking at no toilet for the unforeseeable future, we had to come up with a solution better than this…

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So we came up with a composting toilet.
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The finished product!
So we don’t have a smell, we bought peat moss (to accelerate decomp) and ag lime for smell (haven’t needed it yet). First we built the box out of 2×4’s, a set 1 inch hinges, and 1/2″ plywood. My hubby us going to remove our toilet that is not usable right and put the composting toilet there for now. We also plan on keeping this and possibly put it in our less than liveable basement as a backup when people are sick or if/when my hubby gets “stupid” (drunk) again.
If you have questions feel free to ask. Here is a link to what we based our box on…
http://www.compostjunkie.com/composting-toilet-plans.html

A Quickie…

…cleanup. So after the lovely time we had Friday…

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…and found out our septic was froze, lovely, we had another lovely mess on the kitchen floor.

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This is a pretty clean version of the nasty condition my floor was in, it was pretty much black. Now I did not have the time or energy for an intense, hands and knees floor scrubbing so I had to mop it.
In these dirty conditions I use a 2 bucket system. One with clean soapy water and the other with rinse water.

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You can tell the rinse water on the right, it’s filthy. The 2 bucket system allows for you to not have to get fresh soapy water as often, I only had to change it once. The rinse water I dumped/changed quite a bit. Simple steps; mop/scrub an area, rinse, remop the same area, rinse, and move to a new area.
My floor now looks like this…

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…a vast improvement from what it looked like earlier.
On a side note, you are probably wondering what we are using for a toilet right now. This is it…

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…we are planning on constructing a composting toilet. That may be a tutorial coming soon !

All Froze Up…

So its been an interesting few weeks. One of the worst things that has happened is the septic freezing…yes our septic has froze. Not much I can say about this but let’s pray for an early thaw!!!
Called on a price for a john, since it does not seem like its going to warm up soon. Also considering a outhouse or composting toilet…we shall see.

Getting Dusty with Mud!

So I got stalled in the drywall AGAIN in my lil guys room. It was because I ran out of joint compound. Last weekend, in more snow, I ended up at the hardware store and bought some. Yesterday I had the chance between stair work and framing in a window, to lay a coat of the joint compound on. After sanding today, I have the one wall done and all that is left is around the door, yay!!!

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Hopefully I will have the mudding done by Friday, when we are adding something to the ceiling that helps with my sanity and adds character!

DIY Dining Bench

DIY Dining bench finish

I have been wanting to replace our dining chairs since my hubby made a pedestal table out of a wire spool. After making our garbage cabinet {not finished yet} and all the other pieces of remodel all over my kitchen, it seemed like a good time to start the benches. That and I had finally figured out what I wanted, and most of the wood for them was in the barn. Wood from a project we decided not to do.

Here are the plans…

bench plansPretty detailed, huh? The benches are 56 inches long, 11 1/4 inches deep, and 18 inches tall. We used 2″x12″s, 1″x6″s and 1″x10″s. We only had to buy 1 board…sweet is it not? We used 6D finishing nails for the face boards and assorted pocket screws and regular screws for the rest. On your screws make sure you have a size that will go all the way thru and sufficiently into the next board, but not all the way thru both.

Our cuts for the 2 benches: 2 seats – 2x’s @56 inches, 4 legs – 2x’s @16 1/2 inches, 2 ledges/shelves – 1×10’s @44 1/2 inches {longer than actual so they would not wiggle}, 2 braces – 1×10’s @11 3/4 inches , and 4 decorative face boards – 1×6’s stripped in half @56 inches. With the exception of the bench seat boards, all the 2x’s and the 1×10’s were stripped down to 9 inches.

Diy Bench 1Then on the legs I had to figure out the shape for the “U” on the bottom of the legs. I just used a can lid from a citronella candle bucket. Then my hubby cut the shapes out with our jigsaw while the clamp and I held it down.

DIY Bench Jig Saw

After cutting out shapes on the legs and the decorative face boards, we put the pieces together with pocket jigs {Kreg Jig brand is awesome, but not a necessity}. We put 4 jigs in each end for the the legs {4 for seat & 4 for shelf/ledge on each side}. We placed the legs 4 1/2 inches from the edge of the bench seat.

DIY Bench Pocket JigI am sorry I do not have pictures of how we put the brace pieces on, I was in the middle of homemade pizza. Basically you drill 2 pocket holes on each side of the end that connects to the bench seat. Put those screws in. Then pre-drill thru the bottom of the ledge/shelf {underside} and then screw into the brace from the bottom of the bench.

Now you are ready for the decorative face boards. We just nailed {6D finishing nails} them in since they were more decorative than anything. The ends of each face board are flush with the ends of the bench seat board.

DIY Bench Face Board

You can tell we had a lot of help with the last part.

I stained the top, but you could paint the top if that is what you want.

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Here we have stain and you can see I was not very careful about getting the face boards. I had to prime and paint the rest so I was barely being careful. Taping is always an option if you are pickier about the edge. On the varnish I did 3 coats of oil based poly in a semi-gloss. After the last coat had set I remembered something…even if the can says you do not need to sand, sand between coats. Tip: for an uber smooth finish on the last coat of poly thin it down {I used paint thinner}, makes it go on smooth and also smooths out that last coat a lot. Between not sanding between coats 2 and 3 and not thinning the poly I had to sand {with 220} and lay one more coat of varnish on the bench.

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After the last coat of poly had set {not the full 24 hours but more than 18} I taped off the top stained & varnished area of the bench. Priming is important. Tip: check your primer and your paint selections. If the primer can be re-coated in an hour, do it. It makes the painting process a lot faster putting on more coats of primer. You will use less paint and the whole project will get done faster. I forgot, bummer.

DSCN1700After 1 coat of primer {should have been 2} and 2 coats of Delicate White in Semi-Gloss the bench is done!!!

The Finishing

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My to do list for today. If I get all this done today there will be lots of posts this week! If I get painting done, the stair area will be finished until we replace the kitchen floor (not staining/varnishing stairs until then). One more room checked off our New Years Resolution…old house finished for the a new addition!

It’s Not a Curtain, It’s a Door

So after my varnishing of the bathroom trim and the subsequent spilling of the Polycrylic, I had to make a new curtain, er door.

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It is double sided since lining would not be very pretty in the stairs. Naturally the fabric I chose was not long enough so I had to be creative and add the the dark blue to the bottom. Pretty simple after making my pieces of fabric square with a cutting mat and rotary cutter and then sewing the dark blue bottom to the patterned fabrics. I pinned both sides together with the pretty sides {right sides} touching, then sewed the pieces together {remember to leave a opening}, and zig-zagged.

PicMonkey Collage2Then I pulled it right side out and sewed the opening close. Then onto tabs for the curtain rod. This is a super easy way to make a pin-tuck like curtain.

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The Finish…

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Lil’ Boy Blue

So yesterday we stalled on the remodel…sigh hate that. You get to a certain point and think that is enough, I need a break. We hit it major yesterday. The bad part is usually that break goes from a few days to a few months. Today the hubs has to work and I need his assistance for the stairs, so I will be trying to motivate myself by working on our son’s room.

What his room looks like now…

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Anyway you could say I stalled on the drywall phase…
I loath drywall, especially mudding. Two tips for you about drywall and mudding. First, hire it out – at least the mudding if you can. Second, if you cannot afford to pay someone to do it, take a cake decorating class. Smearing that mud on the wall helps when you know how to smooth frosting on a cake.
That is unless your walls are wonky and have this problem, then it is a either patience/work or a professional. A tip in this situation is build the deeper side first, then tackle the whole seem. It helps.

2014-02-06 09.37.28Notice that the one side is darker than the other? The white side is dry joint compound, the darker side is still wet. The wet side is recessed about 1/2″. Yuck!!! Not much the hubby and I could do about it. I would also like to point out I am out of practice and have rippling. With mudding, the smoother you put the mud on the nicer it comes off. {Another tip when DIY-ing drywall/mud, if you have a a seam that has a crack in it and you are worried about it cracking in the future or a inside edge you are having issues with use painter’s caulk. On the cracks apply the painter’s caulk before taping/mudding and on the inside edges after you have sanded. I love using painters caulk on the inside edges, it makes the paint go on smooth!

Hopefully I will be all finished mudding by this weekend and started painting…the dark blue wall will be interesting to paint over!

Lesson Learned: Mudding is all well and good unless you got fluctuations at the wall seems.

Update: Sanding joint compound…I have dry and wet sanded. Dry sanding gets it done faster, no drying time but is messier. Wet sanding is MUCH cleaner and somewhat evens out/blends the joint compound smooth but there is a drying time. I am not sure which I prefer. One note on dry sanding that joint compound is EXTREMELY drying!