Sticks As Drawer Pulls

Who woulda thought to use plain old branches as drawer and cabinet pulls?  What a GREAT idea!   (Such a nice walk up at the lake looking for the perfect branches for the project.  The only problem I had was that it’s still a little snowy up there, so they were all wet.  Eh, not a problem, I just stuck them in front of a little floor heater we have to dry ’em out.   


After they dried out, I lightly scraped off the bark.  Just enough so that they wouldn’t “shed” bark as they were used. 

I cut them down to the size I needed, for me 6″ or thereabout (it didn’t matter to me if some were shorter than others.  That gives it that natural look, in my opinion.) 

I wanted to try just the dried out branches and then some coated with polyurethane.  Here’s the difference:


Without polyurethane


Coated with Polyurethane

How I Installed the Handles

Once I cut the branches to the length I wanted them, I held them up to the drawer/cabinet.  With a very skinny pen (which I have hung on to for years knowing that it would be difficult to find another one that would fit through small holes) from inside the drawer/cabinet, I stuck my pen in the hole to mark where I need to predrill the holes for the screws.

I used a drill bit much smaller than my screws, to predrill the holes.  I didn’t use the old drawer pull screws, I needed a sharp screw so it was a chinch once I pushed the screw from the back of the drawer, through and found the predrilled hole, then screwed it in from the inside of the drawer.

I didn’t finish all of the cabinets and drawers but I will this week when I go back up and will post more pictures.



Thank you to Kristi at Addicted 2 Decorating for the idea!


Painting a Cheap Rug for the Patio

So….I have been wanting to have a beautiful back porch added on to our lake home.  Something similar to what we had done here at our house:



I still love the stained concrete floors I did two years ago.  I will write a post on that soon!

Welllllll…..Dave didn’t quite agree.  Why?  “we’ve had to sink ‘this’ amount of money into this house that has been nothing but a snafu so there’s no way we’re spending big bucks on constructing a patio, you’ll have to figure something else out.”

I couldn’t disagree with him but I know that there is no damned way I’m going to sit out on that beautiful deck we have stung and bitten by bugs that I’ve never even seen before.  I truly believe they wait there for me to pull up every week or so. 

So, to compromise and still have something screened in,we agreed on this from Lowe’s:


It was $499 and looks really well made.  I read tons of the reviews and they were all pretty good.  The only problem with these canopies, in my own opinion, is sure, they look good from the inside of your house, and they definitely serve the purpose for which you purchased it, but if you are looking at the back of someone’s house with one of these, I don’t know, they look tacky to me.  Normally I wouldn’t care, but this is, afterall, a lake house and lots of people are on that lake to see it.  But, I don’t gots no choice, do I????  It’s one of these, or it’s saving until I can have the patio enclosure that I really want.

Of course the second we got home with the monstrosity, I started thinking of ways to decorate it inside.  I don’t want to slap a couple chairs in there and consider it done.  I want to put screen under the deck.  I’m telling you, once those weird looking bugs realize, after chomping at the bit when they saw me arrive, that I’m outside but I have screens around me, they will figure out how to get in.  Nope, they are NOT going to gain entrance through the slats of the deck! 

I want a rug out there, of course. (My goodness, isn’t that what this post was supposed to be about?)  Talk about rambling. 

I didn’t care so much for the outdoor rugs that they carry.  I was at Home Depot the next day (my love for Lowes and Home Depot knows no bounds) and found a plain, thin, woven rug for $11.97.  Ah, perfect:


I decided, after researching some other painted rug sites, to use spray paint.  I bought the colors that I liked and didn’t pay much attention to anything other than price.  Shoot, four cans of spray paint cost more than the damned rug!  Here’s the green I used:

Rust-Oleum 12-oz Green Apple Satin Spray Paint

I started just taping off stripes.  I used duct tape so it would stick to the carpet.  I was only concerned that the first stripe on each long end was the same on both sides so I used a cardboard piece that was about the width I wanted my first stripe to be.  I did that all along each end and put pieces of tape to keep myself straight.


After that, I winged it.  Probably a little more than I should have.  I should have stuck with plain ole’ stripes, but nope, in typical Susan fashion, I kept going this way and that way!


I ended up making so many dang rectangles that I was messing up whatever color “scheme” I had originally intended.  Eh, whatever, I used the spray paints that we had after I ran out of the original colors I had bought.

For many, MANY years, I made window decals ( and vinyl words and sayings that go on your wall (, I have a cutter.  For those of you that own a Cricut, that’s basically what it does, but it’s about 20 times that size.  I cut my businesses down two years ago from total burnout, but I still have my plotter (cutter) and I still use it for some older customers and for stuff I want to make.  So I made a couple of flowers, weeding them (no pun intended there!) backward, so I took out the letters and art and spray painted them on.  I made a saying too.  Here’s that part:


After screwing up just a little (does it matter, really?  It’s for me, and there will probably be a chair on top of most of the carpet, I ended up with this:


No doubt, I’ll end up making another one now that I see my mistakes and what I do and don’t like about it.  Needless to say, I had fun and afterall, isn’t that all that matters?

Vinyl Floor Planks that look like Wood


It was time for us to pull up the builder’s grade carpet in our house.  I really don’t like the look of the laminates I’ve seen and real wood flooring was a bit out of our price range.

While watching “I Want That” on the DIY Network, we found out about vinyl plank flooring, by Style Selections, that looks just like wood.  It looked like something we really should investigate, so off to Lowe’s we went.

The stuff looked amazing.  Not to mention how easy it would be to install.  Peel and stick.  Literally!  It comes in boxes just like regular “real wood” flooring, but it’s thinner in depth and SO easy to cut to size when needed.   You just score it and cut it with an Xacto knife, though shoot, I used damn scissors a lot of the time!

It’s vinyl, so it’s perfect in kitchens as well.  Something I wanted, since I was sick of the boring tile in our kitchen/dining room.

The cost was definitely less expensive than laminate and we were able to put it right down over the tiles in the kitchen, and the subfloor in the living room.  Point is, no moisture barrier was needed, etc.

It’s been almost a year and I still love it!  Definitely worth looking at if you’re thinking of replacing your flooring.

Here’s a before and after picture (sorry, I didn’t take many pictures during the process since I was also putting up the board and batten at the same time)!  Obviously, I bought new furniture, too, but I promise, it IS the same house!  ha ha

floorbefore                  Floorafter

Feb1814 floorKitchenafter



Board and Batten


What’s the difference between Board & Batten and Wainscoting?  Hell, I don’t know!  But I know that when I did web searches on both, board and batten pictures were more what I was looking to do, it was higher up on the wall.  If anyone knows the real difference, please let me know!

After researching professional sites, I made my plan of attack and headed to Home Depot.  First, they cut an 8′ x 5′ piece of 1/4, sanded plywood into 2″ strips.  They were so happy to do that for us.  I was ready to buy the precut 8′ strips (lath), which came in 1.5″ wide x 48″, which is the height I needed.  But the guy strongly suggested I have him cut the plywood since it would only be $13.00 vs. a lot more if I purchased the strips already cut out, so shoot, I said you betcha!  

I next needed moulding for the top.  I picked something pretty plain.  I didn’t want it to be too decorative.  Since I wasn’t going to put a wood “wall” on there, the actual wall became that part.  So all I needed was some good white paint and nails for my nail gun.

I wanted my board and batten to be 48″ high and the wood strips about 17″ apart.  I cut one piece to be my guide.  However, what I found useful was measuring the wall I was working on and dividing that width in inches by 17″, that way I wouldn’t be short.  I was able to adjust the width accordingly.  You can’t tell at all that some of the distances between vertical strips is 16″ and some are 18″. 


Next I painted.  I decided to paint the moulding separately and just put it on the prepared walls.

On a side note, you can see that we had also pulled up our carpet and were installing vinyl plank flooring.  More on that later.


The entire project only took me about a week.  Not bad since I did quite a large living room, foyer and hall. 

Here are a couple of “after” pictures a few months later.  I decided to get rid of those tan/orangey walls and I’m SO glad I did.  The hardest part of that job was deciding on which color gray paint to use!  I never realized I’d get so crazy about it.  Used below is Sherwin Williams Dovetail. 


I’m So Excited, My Cow’s Head Was Delivered!

ImageI LOVE this guy!  Very quirky.

I’ve had this old red door for quite some time.  I bought it to bring up to the Lake, but it really doesn’t have a place there, so it’s been sitting in the garage.   This Christmas I decided it bring it in the living room and I liked it with a Christmas wreath on it.  I decided to keep it in there, but not sure it looks good.  What do you think?ImageI wish I could take credit for the idea, but I’ve copied it from Miss Mustard Seed.  Not only do I love her ideas and blog, but her Milk Paint is awesome!  I’ve done a few projects using the paint and they’ve come out wonderfully.  I will post those soon.


Backsplash Using Ceiling Tiles


Our house was new when we bought it.  It had high end finishes throughout the house.  Except the kitchen!  The builder didn’t put any backsplash on the walls and also didn’t put a lip on our rather large island.  That seemed odd to me, no lip so you aren’t able to put a stool there?  Well, I fixed both issues!  ha ha

I honestly didn’t feel that I would be very good at hanging tile and it seemed so permanent to me, so I decided to use ceiling tiles.  I found a place online that had so many different finishes to choose from.  But for me, the DIY was what I wanted.  So I ordered 15 unfinished tin tiles in silver.   They were only $10.00 each so shoot, I didn’t feel I had much to lose if I ended up not liking it.

I tried several different finishes on one of the tiles, as a guinea pig, and decided that I really just liked the one that I spray painted white and then sanded the edges of it.

I didn’t continue it behind our sink.  I like it the way it is, on the wall behind the oven.  The wall only took 6 tiles, so I have quite a bit still left.

I only put nails in the four corners of each tin.  Another good feeling, because I know if I want to change it, I haven’t wrecked the wall, not to mention that I seem to change things really often!

This is the way the tiles looked when I received them.


Here is a broader picture of the kitchen and how they look now:


Office and Guest Room Combination Or “Hide all the stuff for your home business”


When our daughter graduated college and moved back home to continue school, our guest room became my office. Making window decals sometimes entails rolls of vinyl all over the place.  i had really let it get awful.  We had no place for guests to sleep on their occasional visits, so I decided to reclaim it as a spare room.  But what to do with my vinyl cutter (quite large) and my computer, etc.?   In the closet!  It’s been perfect.  At the end of working, I tuck the chair in and close the doors.  The cutter is to the right of the window and yes, it can’t be hidden, but otherwise, the room looks inviting and

ImageImageI stole the headboard idea from my niece, Kristen.  When I first saw their guest room with one, I thought it
was the coolest idea, So…..$22 and a can of spraypaint and we have a headboard!  Thank you Kristen
and Nick!  This is a queen size bed so it would work very well for a king sized bed.

Coffee Bar

I have to admit, I am a coffee snob.  Worst yet, my daughter has become one as well.  Ugh, how I have failed!

Since I have my “one appliance on the countertop” rule, once my husband begged me to let him put his convection oven on the countertop, I knew I had to do something with my coffee pots.  Yes, plural.  I use two.  I use our Bunn for morning coffee, and during the day I use my Keurig Vue.  I love BOTH of them.

I found a great looking wall shelf on Houzz and was so happy to see that it was sold by Hobby Lobby.  I was lucky enough to catch it on sale so I bought two of them.  One for our home and one for the lake. So here is my coffee bar, which is in our dining area (open to the kitchen). 


Appliance Garage or in my words Hide that Hideous Toaster

The “rule” is only one appliance on kitchen countertops.  I love that idea and it’s the way I like things, no clutter filled countertops.

My husband was not happy when I started to put his toaster in the cabinet.  Nope, not happenin’.  I searched and searched for a way I could hide the dang thing.  The roll down appliance garages are cool, but it just wasn’t going to look good in my kitchen.

So I happened on this from Hobby Lobby (at 50% off, it was about $15.00):


I actually bought two of them.  I got ’em home and started to hollow them out.  I took all the drawers out and just stapled the drawer fronts back on.  I didn’t care what the inside of them looked like.  So here is the one that covers the toaster!


Here you can see a better view of the way they look in the kitchen.


Our Lake House….the Good, the Bad and the OMG, Ugly!

When we first went to see this house, our realtor told me that they smoked in their house.  Well, I must admit, as ashamed as I truly am, I smoke.  However, I never have smoked in our home.  So I didn’t think much of it.   I figured I didn’t smell it because I smoke.   It wasn’t until after closing, when we walked into the house, that it knocked me over.  Just unbelievable.  It was awful.  Dripping from EVERYWHERE.  Here are pictures.

Now think about it, how in the world THAT much nicotine got into the cabinets???  I know it seeps in of course, but OH MY GOODNESS!  Look at the cutlery tray!!

2013-02-15 17.41.23 2013-02-15 20.58.44 disgusting2-2013

My husband was furious.  He really hadn’t wanted to purchase a second home, and this really wasn’t helping my plight.  I kept assuring him that with a little painting, I’d get it all fixed up.

Our daughter, Dave and myself had made plans to “camp out” there that night.  I was really excited!  I had so wanted a little home on a lake.  He complained all night that the smell was preventing him from sleeping and I really couldn’t argue.  But I kept defending this sweet house, “this house NEEDS us, Dave”.

The next morning I went to pull up the disgusting carpet, only to find this:


The crack went from the dining area into one of the bedrooms.  How in the hell did this happen, we had an inspection done??  Dave had us packed up and on the way home within minutes, while he called the realtor.  And then a lawyer.  Nope, nothing.  Not a thing that could be done.  Did they know about the crack?  Eh, I like to think the better of people, but when you walked on it even with the carpet down, you could tell something was under there.  I figured they had cable wire or something under there.  So a call to a foundation repair company was made.

Within the next two months, we found out we had termites (yup, had a termite inspection done as well but there was snow on the ground….) then had to completely have the exterior plumbing.  All of this to the tune of $4,000.   The one question we DON’T ask around here is “what’s next?”!

Needless to say, Dave has been up there maybe four times in the last 10 months of owning the house.  It makes me sad, but I’m determined to create this house into a home.