Friday, June 29, 2012

Crazy Kitchen: Part One

Things I've learned.... blogging is really hard when you have three kids of your own plus one other that you babysit. When I do find time to sit down at my computer there is usually a child on my leg or toys piled in my lap and I am thinking about the fact that I have laundry that needs to be taken out of the washer. But for now I am just blogging for fun and to keep track of my little projects and home milestones, so no pressure.

Do you want to see a few pictures of our most recent home milestone? Meet the ceiling of "Crazy Kitchen". Labor-of-love! **Warning, forgive the variety of awfully lit pictures in all Crazy Kitchen posts. Thanks!**

 Two weekends before I had back surgery, way back in February, we I had this spur of the moment "Hey lets change our ceilings throughout half the house" moment. I had seen bead board ceilings all around internet land and without much research we headed out to the store and bought a ton of bead board panels to install the weekend before my surgery.

Then I researched. First thing I learned and realized once I actually thought about it... it was going to be H.A.R.D to get these panels on the ceiling! And the second thing I learned was that bead board panels are not even close to being fire retardant. So that put a halt to my plans because we intended to run the bead board throughout the entire kitchen and dining area plus the adjoining hallway. The dining area has a wood burning stove which meant no way was I putting bead board panels on my ceiling!

So plans changed and I researched scraping the popcorn (barf) off of the ceilings. We did a test spot and thought it should be pretty easy and planned to get to work ASAP.

Before icky-ness:

And after an HOUR of hard sweaty work:

We had gotten almost no where :(. Square one... what do we do??? Have an aha moment of course! We used this one big room like two rooms anyway, so why not make it more like two rooms? We could install a faux beam and divide off the kitchen area and still use the bead board panels to cover the giant mess we had just made!

We ended up installing the panels, a faux beam, and then trimming it all out to hide the seams and edges.

I will do a full detailed instruction in another post because it is going to be wordy. So stay tuned for that! If you have any questions in the mean time feel free to ask! And I hope you all have a happy and SAFE 4th of July Holiday!

More From the Crazy Kitchen Series

Crazy Kitchen: Part Two (ceiling details)
Crazy Kitchen: Part Three: The Power of Paint

Monday, June 25, 2012

Chicken Coop: Part Two!

Today I am excited to share with you the run plans for the chicken coop!!! Ana White and I worked together to figure out  a simple yet strong set of plans. Here in Central Ohio we have a growing Coyote and Raccoon population so strength was very important. The run plans are designed to use 36" wide chicken wire and makes almost zero scraps!

When I went to make this run I ran into one problem; locally I was not able to get a hold of 36" wire in a length longer that 25 feet! Now that could have been wasteful considering that we needed close to 100 feet! I decided, on the spot, to modify the plans to use 24" wire. I also dropped the run size from 12 feet long to 10 feet. IF you can find 36" wire I recommend sticking with Ana's 12' run plan (the more space the merrier). If you want or need a 10' run you will actually need to buy 2 extra 2x4x8's plus 1 extra 2x6x8 to accommodate the narrower wire.  

Now for the fun part; details and photos! This run is essentially two side walls connected with 2x6 rafters, with double doors on the end. What I love about this run is that it is so easy to add to any existing structure and can easily be increased in height if you need.

The walls are connected using 2 1/2" Kreg Kote Screws. Once you have one wall complete it is easy to just lay the boards for the next wall right on top of the first so you don't have to re-measure it all. Check out how huge these bad boys are! Seriously, the size of a small car!

Now since I was doing a lot of pre building at my home and transporting it to my sister's house I went ahead and built the doors. I totally underestimated the size of these things! They are huge and so great for getting in and out of the run to clean and what not. 
If using 36" wire your doors will look like this.

If using 24" wire you will need to add a piece of material in the center of the opening as seen here (I used scrap 1x3's).

I pre-stained everything before assembly. We also went ahead and attached chicken wire to the insides of the side walls. You will use A LOT of staples! I bought T50 staples. They worked great. Do yourself a favor and buy two boxes because you can't use too many.

Then we raised the walls onto the pre-leveled foundation and attached the 2x6 rafters. It helps to have a lot of hands for this part. After all of the rafters and front and back ground 2x6's have been attached you can move onto your doors.

I recommend this hinge set plus an extra lock for the bottom. You probably won't use the spring that comes with the set but for $7 a set it's a bargain.

The final step is to climb on top to attach more chicken wire. You could attach it from the underside or use one long piece from side to side (about 18 ft sections) but we chose to put it on top to help keep its strength against animals, snow, and maybe even children!

Tips for working with chicken wire: wear gloves and if possible long sleeves and pants. It is easy to cut with sharp wire cutters. We were going to use long sections (this is the reason that 25' lengths of wire would have been wasteful) but decided that taking more steps in cutting and attaching would result in easier attachment and less pain from wrestling with 18 foot lengths of wire (ouch, sharp!).

So there it is! A chicken coop run, DIY'd for under $200, in two days time. More photo's and posts to come with inside finishing details!

Now to appease the critics before they start commenting; it is advisable to add hardware cloth around the first few feet of the walls for extra protection. It is advisable to bury chicken wire around the entire perimeter.  And for those of you who were concerned about ventilation, on a 90 degree day it was plenty cool with adequate air inside the coop. And the chicken door will be changed to allow for opening from inside the coop during daily feeding. And of course we will be installing chicken wire to the windows. :)

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


Hey guys! Boy have I been busy! We had a birthday, a yard sale, two sick kids, and now two weeks of summer kid activities. Plus my husband and I have been doing A LOT of thinking. Thinking about moving... AGAIN! Our friends could tell you that we are movers. We move a lot! And our current home is the longest we have ever lived anywhere, a whopping 3 years! I've been scratching the new house itch for a while now and this week we came really close to jumping into listing our home. But, we stopped. We are going to give ourselves one more year to finish up projects like painting, carpeting, outdoor spaces, and cute-ing up our fugly garage (think 1970 paneling, gag!).

So, while all those things are cosmetics, this girl is thinking of ways to make my house more appealing to a buyer. And it starts with making it appear larger! Our house is only 1400 square feet. It works okay for us but I want to REALLY make sure it works for buyers. So after I finally finish painting my kitchen (which we started a minor cosmetic upgrade to 4 whole months ago!) I will be building a new dining room table that better suits that space. It needs to be much more narrow than my current oval shaped table.  Here are my inspiration photo's.

Take a look at this beauty from William-Sonoma. I drool EVERYTIME I look at it!

And these Restoration Hardware legs are pretty nice!!!

But check out these table tops!!!


Via Restoration Hardware

And once the table is all finished, I am really going to have to build this with the plans from Ana White.

I think I want mine to be taller though, like the one in the background of this photo.

Via Country Living

What do you guys think? Do you have any other inspiration photo's you'd like to share? Please do!! Look for more on this in about a month... after I finally get around to painting my kitchen. A new table sure is enough to get me inspired!
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