A Lesson in Patience

When I last left off in the dining room, I mentioned I’d probably paint the walls with some oil primer to make sure that nothing bubbles up when I put a second thin coat of joint compound on the walls (to fix any bumps or lumps from wallpaper removal).

Well, fast forward a couple of days (and a lot of airing out), and the dining room now has a fresh coat of oil primer. And I’m getting so impatient because the walls look smooth already. I am itching to paint the walls yesterday. But, I know that it’s an optical illusion; I still need at least one more skim coat and sand job before the walls are truly smooth.

This is one of the hardest parts of DIY; preventing yourself from skipping crucial steps that you know will make or break the outcome of the room. Even though the walls are starting to look really great, I know that if I slapped paint up right away, every missed little scratch and lump would show up on the finished paint. And I’ve worked too hard up to this point to just half-ass the last step.

So, I’m working on my patience. Or something similar to patience, because silencing the voice in my head that’s nagging me to just paint the room already feels a lot like going crazy.

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One Hell of an Arm Workout

The dining room is at an awkward stage right now. Awkward, as in if I showed you a picture of this room yesterday, it would have looked exactly the same as today. Only the difference between them is a couple of hours spent sanding joint compound with my new favorite tool. And therefore rubbery arms. But I'm grateful to find new ways to get in shape (she said, sarcastically). To give you the full history of progress, let's backtrack a bit: The wallpaper was taken down, which left an awful mess of torn drywall behind (before you regale me with your favorite … ... READ MORE

Count Your Brush Strokes Instead of Sheep

when i can't sleep

Last night, I had a tough time sleeping. I just couldn't get tired enough, and always catch a tough-to-fight second wind around 10pm. So, knowing that I wasn't going to be hitting the hay quite as early as I would have liked, I used my go-to cure for when I can't sleep: painting something. I don't know precisely what it is: the soothing and quiet house, the repetitive nature of painting, or simply knowing that I'm getting something done, but this method seems to work for me each and every time. I paint about half a wall, wrap up the brush (I don't bother rinsing this … ... READ MORE

Haven, You Exhaust Me (In a Good Way)

haven conference 2014

Today, I'm back from the exhaustive DIY conference known as Haven. Thankfully, this thing is held in Atlanta every year, so I don't have to deal with the whole travel thing quite so much as the rest of the attendees. But if you've never been to a conference before, trust me when I say that I am tired. I spent all of yesterday (the first full day at home afterward) sprawled out in bed with Charlie, dealing with what should be dubbed "The Haven Hangover" (it impacts even non-drinkers, but in my case, I'll admit that mine was helped with a few beers in the … ... READ MORE

Next Up: MY Dining Room

dining room mood board

Maybe it's that Mom and Dad's dining room is now finished off so nicely, that I can't help but want one of my own. Or maybe it's that it's been months since I've worked on this room and I'm too project A.D.D. to not switch back whenever the hell I want to. Or, simply, I'm tired of having absolutely everything that belongs in the dining room and kitchen (including furniture) piled high in my living room like an episode of Hoarders. Yeah, probably the last one. But at any rate, I'm ready to get the walls in my dining room finished off. I've already sketched up my game … ... READ MORE

Easy Storage for Outdoor Cushions


This post won't be as long as the forever-taking reveal of Mom & Dad's dining room that I posted last week, but I thought this idea was one of those perfect and simple tips that's prime for the sharin'. So that's what I'm doing. This past winter, Mom scored a pretty good deal on an outdoor dining set and umbrella. Only issue was, the cushions had seen better days. So she went to a local home store called At Home, and picked up some inexpensive outdoor cushions to replace them. I can't say they're my favorite choice (sorry Mom), but hey - they do the job (and … ... READ MORE

Mom and Dad’s Dining Room Reveal


Remember back in March when Dad and I spent a weekend putting up drywall in his dining room? Maybe not, but trust me - it totally happened. And Mom was pretty excited when she got home from her birthday weekend and found that the makeover she's been waiting nearly twenty years for was finally happening.  Get ready for a lot of pictures (seriously- you're going to suddenly see why I do all of those partway, unfinished reveal posts by the end of this!). You see, normally, Dad comes over to my house to help me make a big mess and improve things around the UDH. … ... READ MORE

You Asked, I Answered: Laser Hair Removal

bikini - laser hair removal

No need to adjust your computer screen.  This post really is about laser hair removal.  Coming from a DIY home improvement blog. If you think seeing this post is weird and don't care to read it, I am totally fine with that.  I agree that it's weird to be coming from my blog, especially when I don't share a great deal of these kinds of stories (I work on it though, as evidenced by this departure from the usual subject matter).  Normal sawdust-related topics will commence again next week. It all started with an Instagram post.  And then the post requests came via email. … ... READ MORE

Time Tips: Well, THAT Was Easier.


It's been a while since I did one of these posts.  And this one has been sitting in my Drafts for a while.  None of these individual time-saving tips seemed like they warranted their own post by themselves, so I lumped them together because they fell under a single common thread:  stuff I wish I'd done sooner. While no one tip has drastically changed my life (except, perhaps, the last one on the list), here's a little secret:  the real time-savers are the simple things.  The stuff that you don't notice are wasting the day.  When you think about it, things that only "take … ... READ MORE

A Whole Lotta Somethin’


It seems like when I get rolling on several projects at once, this blog takes a serious hit in terms of quantity of posts.  And yet, my Instagram feed keeps plugging right along. Like Charlie and I getting a small break from the rain to make a new friend. Or, for instance, these beauties.  On a trip to Lowe's to grab the trim that will surround the new laundry room tile, I wandered into the garden section and picked up some new flowers.   As you can see from the scraggly casualties in the pot, the hope is that these will do a little bit better in … ... READ MORE

Laundry Room Tile Backsplash

laundry room tile backsplash

It's taken a couple of weeks, but the back wall of my laundry room has now disposed of 100% of the leftover box of tile from my kitchen backsplash. I always knew that adding tile in here would dress things up a bit (and tie the two rooms together a little more, since they're right next to each other), but I'll admit that without having tiled the kitchen first (tutorial here), things probably wouldn't have gone quite as smoothly in this room.  A few cuts around the window left me with a couple of head-scratchers (especially since I was determined not to have to drive … ... READ MORE

Copper Charm for the Kitchen

moscow mule

For as long as I've been making design plans in the kitchen, there is one element (pun-intended) that has always been in the works:  copper accents.  And thanks to a recent sale of these popular mugs, I now have the beginnings of that collection in my possession: Aren't they gorgeous?  They're called Moscow Mule mugs - named after the drink they are supposedly made to hold (the copper is apparently what keeps the drink at the perfect cold temp).  I honestly didn't buy them for making cocktails - I'm more of a craft beer gal, after all - but now that I have them … ... READ MORE

How to Extend & Fix a Wobbly Outlet

wiggly outlet

In a perfect world, I wouldn't do as much assuming as I do before I begin a project.  I almost always underestimate the time a project's going to take... that I have every possible supply I could need already on hand (ha!)... and that I really won't make that big of a mess.  I'll be careful and aware of my surroundings. In other words, I can be pretty stupid. In a perfect world, I would do all of my homework before beginning a project and not just assume that two previous tiling projects make me an expert.  I would "get" that tiling a wall has a few more tricks up its … ... READ MORE