Sunday, August 29, 2010

Build a Couch - Guest Post

My apologies for going MIA again. There has been some family ... stuff ... going on (for lack of a better word) and if you'd like to join us in prayer, please e-mail me at nettacow at gmail dot com. I have lots of links to put together in a roundup, just need to take the time to do it. Hubs, Goose, and I also visited the Nebraska State Fair today and had a super time, even with the wind gusting to 40 MPH. (OK, maybe not quite that high but it sure felt like it.)

Good news, though - I have another guest post from Christy of Zimms Zoo! Read on to see how they built a couch to fit their needs! [Interestingly, I unfortunately sat on this post for long enough that the Knock Off Wood website changed to Ana White! Oops, my bad...]
Have you ever wanted new furniture but your room is a funky shape or maybe the money is just not there or maybe you are like me and would be happy to have nothing in the room but cushions? Maybe you want something that doesn't take up a lot of premium floor space but could still seat a LOT of people? That is exactly what happened to me.

Our living room/dining room is a long narrow room and all the hand-me-down couches we have had just took up too much room and/or didn't fit the room right. So I went on a quest to find something else. While I was looking, my husband started bring home crating from his work that he thought we could re-use. It was full of staples and screws, but otherwise in good shape.

Then the most wonderful thing happened. I found Knock Off Wood, now Ana White. I LOVE that site. She has plans for the most wonderful furniture that I drool over. Like this Build a Storage Bed and these floating shelves. Then I found these Armless Sectional Piece Plans and it started the wheels in my head turning. I had all this crating that was exactly the right size and the screws that were in it were perfect too. It was meant for outdoor seating, but who cares? It would seat a lot of people, fit in the corner by the window, not take up too much space AND I could store toys under it.

After looking over the plans thoroughly, I decided that I would have my 13yo attempt to make these. He was excited because he could use power tools (imagine Tim the Toolman Taylor and his manly grunting). It took us about 3 days to cut the wood, remove the screws, and and yank out the staples (I now have the strongest forearms in the world!). We spent the next 2 days putting it together. Brown Bear (his manly alias) really did do most of the work. He cut, he sawed, he screwed, he conquered. The other kids (12,10,8 and 5) painted it. I merely supervised (which is harder than you may think with an 18 month old also wandering around the paint).

After we had it painted and moved in, I happily took the old couch to the curb! But it was kinda hard to sit on. So I started scouring garage sales for cushions. I found several at a local home decor store that were on clearance. Then I found 15 cushions at garage sale for about $5. I used the home decor ones for the seats and the other cushions for the backs. I bought a sheet and cut it apart to make pillow covers. I used this pillow slip covers tutorial from Make It and Love It for the covers. I still have a couple to finish. I ran out of steam. The boxes under the couch were made using the tutorial from this Craft Room post, also at Make It and Love It, as inspiration. My mom brought me several apple and orange boxes from her work and they fit underneath the sections perfectly. I just modpodged the paper on the front.

In short, if you are looking to update your house or look be sure to check out Ana White or other similar sites and then see what you might have lying around that could be used in place of what she calls for. She encourages the use of re-claimed wood. In fact the next project for my boy is picnic tables made from pallets. We plan on making 3 of them for Christmas presents.
Way to go, Christy - and a big high five for Brown Bear! Thanks so much for sharing with us!

I'll be linking up to Made By You Mondays at Skip to My Lou and Frugal Fridays at Life As Mom.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Link Roundup - It's a Boy! Edition

I am way more excited than I have a right to be that my blog friend Angela had a baby boy on Thursday. Her daughter was born at 34 weeks and was in the hospital for a while, so it is thrilling that she and her big boy (8 pounds) are home already. Congrats to Angela and Monte!!!

I feel like the links are going to be a letdown now, but that's OK. :>)

Cool stuff of the week at Frugal Family Fun Blog - Rainbow Village Printable (I want a set for ME!) and Stunning "Glass" Sculpture (plus more - click around while you're over there).

In light of my current excitement level, I might be stitching up one of these Car Seat Canopy with Peek-A-Boo from Closet Crafter.

Ooh, I love the idea for this Etched Window Tutorial from At Second Street. (Though I gotta admit, I'm not sure I'd have the patience to do all that cutting! But the result is REALLY worth it...)

Sweetie Pie Bakery has a very cute Cloth Necktie Napkin Tutorial.

Stuff like this Family Initial Wall at Flamingo Toes has really been catching my eye lately!

New Nostalgia has a great post on Making Bead People - very fun!

These Natural Wood Blocks from Home In The Country are a super (and not too expensive!) idea for a little builder.

My athletic career is pretty much over, but I still dig these Soccer Straps to hold your shirt sleeves up, from Wishes Dreams Love.

This looks like a LOT of fun - How To: Make a Big as Life Board Game at Craftzine.

I had NO idea you could make your own Fabric Tape and Stickers, as shown at Natalie Jost.

No Time For Flashcards has a great compilation of Farm Themed Crafts and Books that are cute and fun!

These Pretty Girly Lights at Kootoyoo look super simple and, as the name notes, very pretty.

Neat tutorial for a Two Handed Oven Mitt at Shelly's Sewing Shrapnel.

Tuffet (what a sweet name!) has an equally sweet post on making Flower Fairies.

These Play Pool! Cupcakes are neat for any billiards lover, from A Crafty Escape.

Combining to things I love, Crazy Domestic has a recipe for Donut Muffins. Seriously, how can that go wrong??

This recipe for Green Bean Sides from the Local Cook sounds yummy, though I'm admittedly of the mind that Parmesan cheese makes *anything* better.

Another "can't go wrong" is this recipe for homemade Chocolate Marshmallows from Unplanned Cooking. Thank goodness it's after 11 or I might be tempted to whip a batch up...

Who knew? The Prudent Homemaker tells us how to Can Bananas.

Live Renewed posted on making your own Vanilla Coffee Creamer using real food ingredients.

Cardamom's Pod tells us how to make Easy Homemade Ricotta Cheese. I have used this recipe from Cooking Light, although I would now use full fat milks because God made cows, you know.

Something tells me mine wouldn't turn out so pretty, but here's a recipe for homemade Potato Tots at Weelicious.

This Hidden Pictures Printable at Hippos and Dinosaurs is a super cool idea for car rides and anywhere else that you need to keep a little one occupied.

JanDee Crafts is right - this Stairway IS Amazing! (Lovely "rules" of the household in vinyl lettering, stuck on the back part of the steps so you read them as you go up. Very cool!)

Here's something that I need more often than I like to admit - Stain Removal 101.

I haven't read this yet, but I need to: Tips and Tricks to Selecting and Preparing Knits at Leafy Tree Top Spot.

Katie at Kitchen Stewardship shares an All Natural Spray to Battle Bugs and Disease in your garden.

A fun way to pass the miles, How Does She? posted Are We There Yet?.

Things like these Alphabet Flashcards are nice to have when a certain little one needs to be quiet. (@ homemade by jill)

Ever wonder how to use Subscribe & Save at Want Not tells you how.

It's tempting to put this under "eat" but I can't quite bring myself to do it. :>) Undercover Mama sells "a strapless undershirt that hooks to your favorite nursing bra" - how cool is that?!?

Mom's Toolbox has a great idea for Using a Shared Journal to Open Teen Communication.

Elizabeth Foss explains how this time of the year is A Time of Transition at Catholic Herald.

Cats in Boxes at Cute Overload.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Link Roundup - Pandora's Box Edition

Wow. I didn't realize it had been so long since I've posted! I didn't have very many links last weekend, so I decided to skip doing a roundup. Then Hubs and Goose and I spent this past weekend at my brother's; in fact, Goose is still there playing with her cousins. Mama is enjoying a bit of peace and quiet, although I've been doing a fair bit of thinking and pondering, and I feel like I've opened Pandora's Box on a few things. Here's hoping I can stuff back in the things that ought not be out.

One crazy thing about not posting - remember that I did a giveaway a few months ago sponsored by CSN Stores, the company that sells everything from soup to nuts and dinnerware sets to ... well, just about anything a person would want to buy and more? Well, this time I get to do a review! I am choosing a griddle, so I can make bigger batches of tortillas and pancakes and french toast go faster. Can't wait! Except I've needed to post and tell you guys about it to get the ball rolling, and it's taken me waaay too long to do so. But I'll be cookin' up a storm soon now!

How 'bout we hit some links?

SO PRETTY - check out this Magnetic Pin Dish Tutorial from Diary of a Quilter. This might end up on my Christmas handmade gift list for my quilting MIL...

Mercy, this just about should go under "do" but I'll put it here anyway - it's an Super Quick Fishing Game from Frugal Family Fun Blog. And Valerie's Fairy Cafe pretty much sums up how my cleaning attempts go. (ooh, something shiny! ... ) Also, after reading about this Nature Study Kit From Recyclables, who wouldn't want to invite themselves over for a playdate at Valerie's? I'm not done yet - Modern Wall Art, No Mess Marbled Painting, and Pretty Peacock Pictures. Seriously, if you haven't subscribed to FFFB by now, what on earth are you waiting for???

Definitely going on the Handmade Christmas Gifts for a niece is this DIY Geoboard at No Time For Flashcards. I've seen them before, but I really like the looks of these nails.

Since I'd like to eat more squash, I'm digging this post from Tipnut on Squash Recipes.

Does anybody else think it's funny that we tend to use the slow cooker more during the winter, when it would actually be better during the summer so as to not heat up the kitchen? No? Just me? Well, anyway, check out this recipe for Slow Cooker Creamy Turkey Dinner from A Year of Slow Cooking.

Blueberries are still going strong in our stores, and I'm eyeing this Blueberry Crumb Cake from The Pioneer Woman.

My "to read" pile is already far too big, but I can't help eye the sewing books in Four Favorites over at MADE.

This looks like a fun Paint and Peel Math Craft at No Time For Flashcards.

You can download free audio books at Books Should Be Free.

I love to learn more about living the liturgical year, and I just stumbled across A Continual Feast Continued, a blog by the author of the cookbook by the same name.

Some of these would be perfect for my Nappy-lovin' Goose - No Time For Flashcards has a post on Books About Cats.

Simple but fun, I like the looks of these Tree Trunk Crayon Rubbings as seen at Chasing Cheerios.

Not sure if I'll ever have one, but convection ovens fascinate me. If you have one, check out these Convection Oven Cooking Tips at Tipnut.

File this under "hope I never need to know": How To Remove Permanent Marker at Tipnut.

Need a smile at the expense of a snow leopard's pride? Check out Is...Is That All There Is? at Cute Overload.

How cute is this Wizard of Oz Party at One Charming Party?!? (hint: CUTE CUTE CUTE CUTE!)

Faith & Family Live's post The Kids Are Alright gave lots of food for thought. [It's subtitled "a hippie mom of many reflects on 41 years of family life"]

Jennifer at Conversion Diary asks How Can Parents Help Children Stay Strong in Their Faith?.

Also at Faith & Family Live, learn how A Busy Life Can Be Prayerful.

I'd not ever heard the prayer to Our Lady of Surprises before - nor actually even heard that title for Mary, but I like the prayer!

Happy clicking, all...