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I built a fence

We went to the hardware store yesterday to get some French gothic pickets.  We couldn’t buy the pre-made section of fence because it would not fit in my vehicle.  Also, it is less expensive to make your own… and SO fun!

On a long cable lead, so he won’t dart away, (which he has been known to do on more than one occasion), the big brown dog goes down the deck stairs to the backyard to do his biness.  While down there, he also routinely wraps his lead and himself around the deck posts.  Now, the interesting thing is he does it on purpose.  Seriously.  Also, he KNOWS how to untangle himself, but he prefers to wait until I tramp all the way down there, cursing under my breath, before he untangles himself.  When he sees me he runs around the post to untangle himself, before hopping and jumping around like a bunny, hoping I’ll run around the yard with him.  Uh-huh, I think not.  Especially, at 6:30am.  So, in anticipation of school starting soon, and knowing full well that continuing the annoying dog-and-post routine to my daily schedule will, undoubtedly, put me over the edge, I decided to eliminate the post problem… with fencing.

I had some white painted fencing that I used as headboards in a guest room a while ago, but no longer use.  I figured I could use the fencing to circumvent the dog’s shenanigans.  Then I realized I would need additional sections.  So we got what we needed and got to work.  I like it.  Can you see the old white “headboard” fencing on the right side?









My sweet son and I worked on some of the fence together.  He loved pounding nails, especially.  It was a blast to do it together.  We made sure to use the level when mounting the 1x2s with galvanized “curly-q-y” decking nails.   









Here’s a helpful trick:  when hammering in your posts, use a nail to separate them.  See the nail?  That-a-way each post is evenly spaced and there is also a little room for any future expansion of the wood.


                                 Note to self:  get a pedi.


So, here is the backside:

Dog:  your fun has been spoiled  (insert maniacal laugh here)!  That lousy hound has had his game cut short.  He is going to be very upset.

And the front: 








I guess I will have to paint the fence white to match the old fence headboards, but I really like the natural look.  But as one of our friendly neighbor boys said, “It will look good white.  It will bring out the color of your house.”  😉

Oh, my.  See that pitiful patchy grass?  The dog is responsible for that too.

On a happy note, may I just say that I LOVE my $15 circular saw?!  I do.  And I can’t wait for my next project.

The Boy’s Bathroom

I’ve been very busy in the last week redoing the boy’s bathroom and bedroom.  His bathroom really, really, reeeallly needed an update.  Someone’s little fingers had pulled at the seams of the seashell wallpaper and ocean beach scene border, so it had certainly seen better days.  A few days before the boy went to camp for a week, I gathered a wallpaper scoring tool, a water bottle to use to saturate the paper, a scraper, and a large sponge and started in…  D and I removed shelves and baseboard trim that needed to be revarnished.  Then I scored the paper with the tool.  See the little holes it leaves?  You need to be careful not to apply too much pressure or you will end up leaving holes in the drywall.

Next, we used a water bottle to saturate the paper really well, hoping it would be a cinch to remove since I had sized the walls before papering but, still, it was very slow going.  The shelves we removed were white, ran the length of the walls above the toilet and far counter, and were mounted above the border on the two far walls (sorry, no pictures, because once I decide to do something I usually jump in and tackle it, neglecting to get Before pics.) The “sky” above the old border is not paper it was painted to match the sky in the top of the border.  I had painted it above the border, up the walls, onto the ceiling, and into the skylight shaft when I first did the bathroom.  I thought this bathroom was mighty cute in its day, with its nod to Florida but, alas, it was time for it to go, go, go.  And after hours and hours of stripping and washing walls, the paper was finally gone and it was time to paint.  First, the ceiling went bright white!  

It felt fresh and bright and I was pleased to see the transformation.  Before I painted, I wondered whether or not to leave the skylight shaft painted like the sky or paint it white like the ceiling.  I ended up painting it out to match the ceiling and LOVED the result.  After, the REAL sky was the main star.



Isn’t the patch of blue sky pretty?




It was a little sputter and start to get the wall color nailed down.  But after two trips to the paint store and several choices, finally, a color was found that matched the crazy laminate.

After spackling holes and sanding, and spackling and sanding some more, the cutting in began. 








Hey, notice the gigantic ’90s builder-grade mirror?  Keep an eye on it because after the painting is complete it is going to change… for less than $20!  Yes!

But before we see the fun and cool After photos, let me tell you about the trouble I found.  Hang on people, it’s scary.  What is that in the photo, you ask.  It’s a disgusting mess, that’s what it is!  It is peeling vinyl flooring with black mold underneath.  It is right next to the tub.  Water causes black mold, folks.  Killer. Black. Mold.  Yikes! 

So I pulled off the baseboard, which needed to be restained and varnished anyway, and sprayed it with straight bleach.  I was pleased to see the mold “die” and I cleaned it up really, really well.  Then I pulled out all the old grout from in front of the tub.  After letting the floor dry for a good day-and-a-half, I hot glued the vinyl back down (gotta love the hot glue gun!) and regrouted along the tub.  To be proactive in not allowing the water to run out of the tub and cause the same problem again, I bought Spraymaid Bathtub Splash Guards to install on each end of the tub.

To further spruce up the newly-painted bathroom, I also bought a new toilet seat and lid with stainless steel hardware, and a new stainless handle since the original plastic handle had discolored and looked guh–ross!  The new seat and handle were both very easy to install and only needed a screwdriver and pliers.

Remember that builder grade mirror?  Well, people, with two lengths of pretty trim (approximately $6/each) and four on-sale ($1.39/each) medallions I picked up from Lowes, (painted front and back with some left over white paint), I transformed the look of the mirror into something soooo much better.  I used a small level to make sure the medallions were level on the corners of the mirror and hot glued them in place.  I made sure to not get the glue too close to the outside edges because the backside perimeter is reflected in the mirror (hence the reason I painted the backside).  Next, I measured twice three times before cutting my first strip of molding with a small hacksaw.  I cut from the frontside of the molding to the back, in case there might be any splintering of the wood.  Luckily, it was a great fit.  I sanded the edge a bit to smooth out the cut. Then I did it again… I did the same for all the sides and ended up with a spruced up mirror.  Love it!

Before                                                     After   (Benjamin Moore- Truffle: AF-130)

When he returned from camp, the long-legged boy loved his “new” bathroom.  In fact, he wanted to take a bath in his bathtub (surprising, because on the rare occasions he takes a bath it is always in my big master bathroom tub).  We got rid of all his old bath toys at the recent garage sale so I noticed he used Legos to play with in the tub.  After his bath, I found this on the counter~

His Legos, spread out on the towel to dry.  As a mom, it is little everyday scenes like this one that warm my heart.

Look for the boy’s bedroom redo post, coming soon