Monday, October 29, 2012


There is A LOT going on right now in our Tiny Tudor.  A little cut here, a little paint there. ;)  I'm just waiting to complete a couple things before revealing any posts and pictures and do apologize for the slow-down in posting.  
As we enjoy our new neighborhood, we I am constantly on the prowl for expanded tudors that inspire.  As our neighborhood is also full of "scrapes" that have been re-built to look like period homes, Ryan and I often argue about whether homes have been expanded or are all new construction.
He did disagree with me on this one, but it is a beautiful expansion........

.....originally built in 1941, so- young compared to our house.  Everything above and to the left of the front door is new. This home is on the same size lot as ours and was purchased in 2004 and expanded.  I have been keeping a list of addresses on my phone with hopes of finding pictures on-line, but thankfully for all our privacy, the pictures are scarce.  Now that I know the pics are up to me, I will try to snap more, however stealthily.  My hope is to use this blog to collect ideas and to point out things I like and don't like about the renovations and expansions I collect.
Mostly I wanted to let you all know I'm still here and there is lots of fun to reveal.....very soon!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

pallet box

Pinterest. a partner. a pallet.  So much can be accomplished with these 3 things!  I had pinned a fall table-scape some time ago featuring a centerpiece that included a box fashioned from old fence posts..... 

A few days later my aunt pinned one similar made from a pallet and I knew it had to be done.  And then it appeared!  Some work was being done on a house across the street and a pallet appeared leaned up against a tree.  Although I would call it a "mini-pallet," I had to have it.  I left a note on it for a couple days asking the owner to drop it in my yard if they were just going to throw it away and as the worker visits dwindled, I took it!! It was very unlike me to take it without explicit permission but I was re-using and cleaning up the neighborhood and the house being worked on was vacant.  
My wonderful partner came home a little early one day after traveling for work and jumped on the project and opportunity for time in the shop.

This little beauty required only a few cuts on the table saw and you could customize to nearly any size with nearly any pallet. My husband left the original nails but cut them off thinking they added character and I couldn't agree more.

 I did make a mistake on the finish.  I visited a small but usually wonderful hardware store and first found the perfect handles for $4 (total). 

 I next asked for a recommendation for a stain or finish and was debating between a zero VOC polyurethane and Tung oil.  Because the oil would dry hard but also penetrate a bit and bring out some of the natural wood character, I went that route.  The poly would have first required a stain and the same green company's stain and poly in the smallest sizes offered would have totaled $50.  The Tung oil cost just over $12 for a lot bigger quantity and was more inherently green.  Unfortunately the kind salesperson did not tell me the Tung oil could take several WEEKS to dry.  The box was assembled and oiled in less than an hour but took over a month to dry.  I hauled it around the yard chasing the sun for days and finally brought it inside to set it in front of a heat vent.  If time is money this was a costly lesson, but thankfully the only cost was a delay in my filling it.
I finally gave up on it getting any more dry one day last week and filled it with fall's delights.  

I also tried flame-less candles for the first time as the person I pinned this from had started a 
fire with hers :-/
I'm still a much bigger fan of the real thing, but the soft flickering light with no fear of fire burning little fingers or the house down makes it worth it.


I got to put it to the dinner party test this Saturday night....

I think it would also look great in front of the fireplace on our slightly raised hearth or in front of the kitchen window filled with herbs in the spring.  Or as the pinner commented on the picture below, on the mantel filled with hydrangea balls-yes please!!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Family Command Center

Family command center has become quite the buzz phrase in this time of Pinterest and blogging.  Had we opted for the sprawling Highlands Ranch Haus, we would likely have a large desk area right in our kitchen and even maybe have an office on the main floor that would make a family command center easy or unnecessary.  Our office, however large, (for our expectations) is in the basement, and we have only one eating table, so we had to get creative to control the clutter.
I have given in to one pile of papers being on the dining table or living room side table as there is always a bill to mail or form to fill or article to read.  I am very happy with how organized our little idea turned out.....

We first had to decide between this wall where the aprons are (there is a brick chimney under there which means hanging is hard.  Those nails the aprons are on were already there.)

Or here on the side of the fridge and next to the sink.

 Per Ryan's good point of standing at the sink a lot, this spot won.  The metal board and towel bar are from Ikea and were less than $20 total. 
There is room for the family calendar, recipes for the week, and current activities and coupons are housed in that clip at the top.

Our individual and family calendars automatically sync (thanks to Steve Jobs,) and I added the recycling, large item pick-up, and Ben's school calendars so we only need one calendar displayed.  I also love that I can now look back at our weekly menus for ideas and to reduce repetition.

My genius engineer husband also came up with this idea for cooking, and I just move the clip to the side when not in use.  It was quite handy to be able to read and stir this week.