Title RW

This project feels like it took me forever, but I think that’s mostly because I had the idea rolling around in my head for well over a month before I ever even began.  Once I started though, it was fairly fast and easy and came out just as I’d hoped it would.

One thing I have always been picky about in home decor is light switch covers.  I do not do the cheap, generic covers.  Ever.  Not even in rental apartments.  Yup, I’m that crazy.  I purchased several wood light switch covers for my very first solo apartment years and years ago and swapped them in while I was renting.  Naturally I swapped them out when I left and I’ve had them ever since.  I have a box stored in the garage with random home related odds and ends that could eventually become something cool and that’s where I found the old apartment light switch cover tucked away, just waiting for new life.

I’ve been working on completing the nursery for Baby Number Two and I knew I wanted something special for the light switch cover.  I checked out Etsy first for unique one-of-a-kind pieces but nothing jumped out at me so I decided to make my own.  I quickly decided to match the art work I’ve been framing for the walls.  You can check out this post I wrote a few months back if you want more info on the artist, but here’s a snap of the art I chose to mimic.

Frame RW

Here’s a breakdown of how this project went down.

Switch 9 up

Ya know, so you can make your own.  I have a few pregnant friends out there reading this who just might want to give this project a go!  And of course, this same technique can be used for any room really, I just think the whimsical look is well suited for a child’s room.

One –  Admire the light switch cover you had in your first solo apartment that you just re-found in a box in your garage.

Two –  Give it a light sanding.

Three –  Trace the art you want to match using transparency paper.

Four –  Locate some carbon paper or make your own for free with a charcoal pencil.

Five –  Cut out your tracing and your carbon paper and tape it to your light switch cover.

Six –  Trace over your tracing with a pen.  Push hard.

Seven –  Remove your tracing and your carbon paper and admire your handiwork.

Eight –  Go over your traced lines with a wood burning tool using the thinnest point.

Nine –  Go over your wood burned lines with a black sharpie.

Light Switch RW

Lastly, paint in between the lines with acrylic paint, allow to dry completely and finish with several light coats of sealer.

I love the depth and texture the wood burning tool created and I love that you can match the colors and design to your existing art.

I already had everything I needed on hand, but if you’re starting from scratch here’s a list of the supplies you’ll need.

SUPPLIES

wooden light switch cover (these can be bought natural so no sanding would be required)

transparency paper (I used a cheap plastic page protector)

carbon paper (store bought or homemade)

a pen (who doesn’t have one of these??)

wood burning tool (like this one)

black Sharpie

acrylic paint

paintbrush

sealer

That’s it!  Now go forth and reevaluate your light switch covers people!!!

– Joanna

Question of the Day:  Quick, look around.  What kind of light switch cover is in the room you are currently in?

GentlemanFarmerLogoSmaller

I’ve loved every second since we moved to “the country” last year.  Caring for our livestock (What? Chickens are livestock), starting the garden, walking our woods, harvesting apples, mowing with the boy, feeding hand-split wood into our stove on a snowy day… it’s all been grand.

Of course, that’s me talking.  If you ask the Wife, she’d likely point to a few gripes.  Today’s post highlights one of those, just so you don’t think everything is Norman frickin’ Rockwell all the time over here.

Sigh…

Mice.

We’ve had mice.  Not an enormous infestation by any stretch, but in the last year we’ve caught several and have “detected” a couple others that have obviously gone to that great big cheese wheel in the sky.

After asking the neighbors what’s up, they chuckle, shrug, and say it’s part of the life and we better get used to a little scratching in the walls each year when the temperature drops. Of course that doesn’t make Joanna feel any better.

So out of love for my woman, and no desire to co-exist with Minnie long term, I cashed out bookoo bucks for an exterminator service to take a walk around and put us on a pest control program.  I then fixed some small issues like door weather stripping and set out a few commercial traps.  For months we thought our furry little friends had moved on to greener pastures.

Then a few nights ago, we heard it again.

Scratching.

Jo was not pleased.  I was not pleased.

This. Meant. War. 

I decided $#!t needed to get real. Only the heaviest duty, homemade, redneck looking mouse trap would do.  (Yes, I admit it, with darkness falling at 4:30 PM and the ground covered with snow, I’m sometimes looking for projects.)  Take this, Mousey!

DoneClose

Our primary problem area is an outside water closet that houses the furnace, water softener, hot water heater, etc.  I’m betting it’s too easy for them to come in where the well pipes enter from underground and I’m not sure how to seal it off, so I wanted something that could catch multiple critters at once if needed. The beauty of this setup is it can keep on keeping on without needing to be reset after one little guy loses his battle with Mr. Snappy while his buds scurry away.

Plus it was free since we had all the materials needed, thanks in part to a perma-stocked mini fridge. Want a Midwestern Mouse Terminator of your own?  Read on.

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We’ve been doing a little DIY around the old homestead lately.

And by “we” I mean The Husband.  But although he’s been doing the actual “work” part, I have been an integral cog in the process.  The shopping process.

That’s right, I can shop for a ceiling fan with the best of them.

It all started a few months back when my niece and nephew were visiting for the weekend and my niece tugged on the ceiling fan pull in the guest room and out it came.

Old Fan Up RW

See see, only one pull cord.

There is no switch for the ceiling fan on the wall.  You turn the lights and fan on and off solely with the pulls.  So while the fan still worked, the light was stuck in an off position.  This resulted in two months of garage task lighting clipped to the headboard to provide some much needed light.  Despite the fact we don’t have overnight guests all that often, the guest room doubles as my art and sewing studio so it actually gets a bit of use.

The husband also spent a week sleeping in the guest room after The Destroyer ate an entire loaf of artisan bread and licked clean a package of raw chicken and threw up 40 times in the span of four days.  Being pregnant and pretty dang tired I made them both sleep in there so I could get some sleep.  On the off chance this lovely story scares you away from ever staying with us, I promise we covered the wood floors with an old tarp so believe it or not the room stayed pretty clean that week.  I’ve shared too much now haven’t I?    

But I’ve segued.

We checked at Lowes and found we could replace a part and potentially fix the ceiling fan, but I put a bug in The Husband’s ear about just replacing the whole thing.  He’d have to take it apart to fix it anyway, it might be a good time to spruce.  No, an excellent time to spruce!  In my opinion replacing light fixtures is one of the best ways to update a house.  And let’s face it, our house needs some updating.

After months of wearing him down with talk of how the ceiling fan was the very last update that needed done in the guest room before declaring it officially done, The Husband agreed to replace it for me.  WOOOOO HOOOOO!

Now I just had to find the right one at the right price.

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I have a quickie holiday decoration post for ya today.

Please excuse the crappy pictures . . . I haven’t exactly mastered Christmas light photography yet.  I don’t feel too bad about this since I didn’t do any research on the subject or bother to pull out my tripod which is kinda crucial for night time photography.

For the past few years I’ve hung two lighted wreaths in the front windows of our home. These wreathes were super cheap and super fast to make and they have a huge impact from a distance which is what I was going for.

Wreath RW Title

Materials

Metal Wreath Form

Strand of Christmas Lights

Extension cord

Timer

The Haps

This couldn’t be easier.  Wrap a strand of Christmas lights around the metal wreath form.  Hang from a window and run an extension cord to a timer plugged into your outlet.  That’s it.  There isn’t much metal to the form which means you see more of the lights!  It’s super bright from the road and makes a huge impact on your holiday decorations.

Here’s a close up so you can see what it looks like when you’re right on top of it.

Wreath RW

Pretty basic, but again, super bright and full from the road!  Did I mention it was cheap and fast too?  Yeah, well, it was.

We currently have one in the guest room and one in the dining room so we never really see them from the inside anyway.

There you go.  Happy decorating!!!

– Joanna

Question of the Day:  Do you hang lights outside??

 

The good.  The bad.  And the chocolate.

I probably should have started with the chocolate to keep your attention but oh well.

1. The Good

I’ve been planning the nursery lately and it’s been all kinds of fun.

I ordered a neutral rug for the room that can be used elsewhere in the house if the babe demands a Pepto Bismol pink pad someday.

Tree Pic R

There is a lot going on with the art I’ve picked and I didn’t want the rug to compete.

There’s a dimensional balloon piece, a Fox and The Hound print from my room when I was a kid . .

Balloons RW

as well as four fox prints . . .

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One thing I stink at when it comes to blogging is getting posts up relative to the moment.

Sweetey Petey’s birthday party?  It was a month ago and I’ve failed to mention it (or send out Thank You cards because the adorable Curious George note cards I bought have disappeared in the abyss of the house somewhere and I’m just about to give up hope of ever finding them and buy new ones.)

Halloween?  Also approaching a month ago and I also have yet to mention it which is a real shame since Petey was The Man With The Yellow Hat, completely adorable and I got so many compliments on his costume.

I started a funny Spam post in April which I have yet to finish.

I have three recipe posts photographed and recipes typed up but no interesting back story added yet.  Crockpot French Onion Soup, Glazed Sour Cream Puffs or Gluten Free Coconut Granola Banana Bread anyone?  I also have four posts photographed for a new Sunday series I’d like to start up soon.

Highlights from a weekend with my niece and nephew OVER TWO MONTHS AGO.

A few DIY house updates including a storage room, wallpaper stripping, and ceiling fans (this one is pretty much done I just need The Husband to actually hang the ceiling fan first before I can post it.)

The Father-in-Law e-mailed a funny guest post that needs to be shared and soon.

A hopefully funny post entitled “I Wish.”

I have some fabulous Sweetey Petey raking leaves photos that I really want to share even though it snowed here last week.

Speaking of snow, since it was only a week ago and the timeliest of the potential blog posts, I think I’ll share those today!

Here’s little Petey in the snow last year.

Snow Plant RW

He mostly did a lot of flopping in his bubble suit.  Cute flopping, but flopping nonetheless.

This year there was way less flopping.

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The Husband has been nagging me to hang pictures on our walls for months.  Unfortunately for him I prefer only to hang pictures in finished rooms with freshly painted walls and a plan.  It took me five years to finish the last house so clearly I’m not quite there at this house yet.

If you’re wondering why The Husband doesn’t just hang the pictures himself . . . he’s not allowed.  

I’m a royal pain when it comes to pictures.  They have to be hung just so.  We’re talking perfectly centered and level and hung with the center at exactly 35 inches down from the ceiling.  Unless there is large piece of furniture to consider, like a couch or a bed, this is how it’s done.  I even have a little drawing that illustrates simply how to find the exact place to nail that picture hanger in the wall.

If I’m using Command Adhesive, instead of nails or screws, painters tape is involved to find the perfect spot as well as a little basic math.

So it’s a process.

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It’s time to get this show on the road and finish off the Baby Robin series so I can concentrate on stripping.  Cough.  Ahem.

Where we were?  Ahhhhh . . . BEAKAGE!

Robins 1 RW

Three little beaks.  Sitting in a tree (not really, it’s more like a front porch light.)  P.E.C.K.I.N.G.

I won’t be offended if you stop reading my blog now.

But at least finish watching the Baby Robins grow before you leave.

Robins 3 RW

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Keeping myself accountable, I’m stopping in with the daily update of my wallpaper stripping project.

Here’s what my lovely wall looked like yesterday.

Tuesday May 28 RW

Here’s what it looks like today.

May 29 RW 3

And here’s how much I still have to go:

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In the food blog world accountability often comes in the form of posting every morsel that enters the mouth.  I believe the theory on that is if you decide to post everything you eat for all the internet world to see, perhaps you’ll make better choices.  Eat one brownie instead of half the pan.  Or maybe not eat spoonfuls of brownie mix right out of the box.  Or perhaps not turn mac and cheese into popcorn three nights in a row.

I don’t feel bad for any of these things so I don’t need to be held accountable for my food choices.

The Husband eats the other half of the cooked brownies and he never feels bad so why should I.  Besides, it’s a small pan.

Brownie mix noshing only happens maybe once a year after all (try it atop ice cream and thank me later) so no guilt there either.

And mac and cheese popcorn?  It’s awesome and we’ll talk about that in another post coming soon.  You’ll thank me for that too.  I use organic popcorn . . . so there’s that anyway.

What I do seem to need to be held accountable for is my lack of stripping.

That’s right, stripping.

Wallpaper stripping.

On April 17th I posted the following picture.

April 17

And then the danged wallpaper sat untouched till last Thursday, May 23rd, when my folks came up for a visit and my mom peeled off a few strips for me.

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