A New Home

I guess since we have mentioned it to the family I can tell y'all. We want a new a home. But we do not want to move. We want to stay in our quiet little corner in the country. Originally, we thought to build an addition. Then we end up with an awkward layout (which would drive me insane), more square footage than we need, and still have a very poor foundation. And part of me would be sad to see our gorgeous barns slowly fall apart while the house got bigger.

farmhouseatchristmas.jpg

I love the character of our tiny farmhouse, but I hate the frosty winter chill the kitchen and upstairs take on during the winter. Despite enormous amounts of insulation and straw bales around the foundation. Ultimately the worst thing about the house is the foundation...and that the laundry area is in the basement. Three of the four seasons I can handle that both the kid's rooms are not even a 10' x 10'. And one day soon the tiny stairs going to our room from the bathroom are going to cause issues when the kids reach teenage-hood.

We came to a point this last fall that maybe our best bet was to demolish the house and put a new one in its place. Living in a camper on the farm while we build. In some ways, it breaks my heart thinking about demolishing the original farmhouse after we (extended family too) have put so much money and time into it. But I felt in a weird way we were going to do a new house for ourselves.

The idea of building new came to a crashing halt when we found out to build a standard grade home with little customization would be $150 a square foot. We are talking carpet people...shudder. I hate carpet. The first thing I think of with carpet is having to clean up kid vomit and dog accidents. Yuck.  I am going to be honest, I got real LOW. And some people, read hubby, starting getting upset at me for not being grateful. I am grateful. Our farmhouse keeps us safe and dry. And with the woodstove, we stay warm. And it is extremely affordable...but it is small and hard. And sometimes when we have storms I would be more grateful if it had a SAFE basement.

I feel like I am coming full circle. When we (pre-wedding) started looking at farmhouses, we came across a place with a gorgeous barn. A barn made for converting to a home. But the hubby, in his lack of construction skills days, could not see it. Fortunately, we landed on our secluded little farm with some of the best neighbors you could ask for. A place where my grandfather on multiple occasions said if he were 25 years younger he would pick up and start over. This is coming from a man who was living on his father's farm and was always about family.

BuckleybarnwithHarley.jpg

When we first moved in, in the back of my head was the thought that big, old, beautiful, bank barn would make a really nice house. But soon babies, emergency hospital trips, and other life blurred that thought into the recesses of my brain. Then about 5 years ago hubby made the comment (now really handy in the construction area) that the barn would make a pretty awesome home. I seriously wanted to throw the hammer in my hand at him. I didn't. 

Well in the last week my bummed out brain got it in her head that maybe God has a plan for us to build a new home here. Maybe it is not where and what I thought. And maybe, just maybe, it is out of the barn. A girl can hope.

The Ticking Fridge

I have a time bomb in my kitchen. It starts ticking at random and then thunks. I hope it does not explode...sigh. Or catch on fire. Which could actually happen since I smelled overheated electrical the one time.  Seriously though, my refrigerator is making death rattles. It ticks and it thunks. After fixing the freezer 3 times from defrosting into the lower half I think the fridge is done. I spent what little energy (head colds with body aches suck) cleaning out the freezer portion yesterday morning. Fun fun fun.  The tell was the soggy bananas. Thankfully stuff towards the back was still solid and I do not keep meat in it.  So today I am starting my official hunt for a new refrigerator.

In my dreams, I would be looking at a gorgeous fridge with vintage flair. Or one with the option to have cabinet panels. Sigh. Nope for my immediate future. I will be lucky if I get my somewhat attainable french door style. That is if I do not compromise on wanting something that does not stick out a foot into the room.

So here is what I am looking for in a new refrigerator.

  • french door
  • easily fit into a 36" wide space
  • no overall depth deeper than 31.5"
  • no fancy stuff

Simple right? Nope. I am trying to stay as close to $1000 as possible. So the french door that I want may become just bottom freezer. I may lose out on cubic ft and I may end up having water and ice dispenser which I know will not work with our nasty water and cause fights between Princess Pea and Handsome Hank. I really do not care what color. Although I would like to stay away from black. These 2 are the ones I am looking at because they fit the space.

A little about the fridge we have now. It sturdy little workhorse that bought at Menards before we got married on sale for $400. This one at Menards is very similar and its price is at $849. Sigh, definitely more than we originally spent. "Upgrading" the refrigerator is something I have wanted to do, but at Christmas time just does not sound like the most fun time to buy an appliance.

Flipping: Not for the faint of heart!

So last year we had started this crazy notion of flipping a house. And this past April we had a crazy weird answer to prayer. So the hunt for a flip house began. We saw some pretty interesting things. Mold, rolling floors, and bedrooms that acted as hallways. Then our realtor, who is like family to the family, suggested we stop at a house he had in mind. It was not your typical flip house. No disastrous problems. Everything that needed to be done, the hubby and I could handle.

The price was more than what I was willing to spend on it though. We put in a verbal offer to the sellers, they were not too excited and said no. We kept looking but nothing really struck us as gold. About a month later we were back at the realtors suggested house. Would the sellers be interested in our price this time? Maybe so we gave it to them again, with an as-is after inspections. This time they accepted our offer. However, the inspections brought up a big ouchie. The cast pipe for the sewer was caved in. And they were not sure if it was in the yard ($500 fix) or in the road ($5,000 fix). We kind of backed off. They were not thrilled about taking less because of the sewer pipe and I was not thrilled about staying with our offer and possibly paying out the nose for something that is not pretty even if you could see it. Thankfully our realtor is awesome and they said they would rather fix it and then sell it. Yay for us because the fix involved the road!

So here we are working on our little flip house since August. I will do a before and after post for each room when we get done. But so far we have replaced the roof, some windows, most the electrical, and most the lighting. It sounds like we have come a long way, but I feel like we have barely done anything!

Snow

Today marks the first official snow of this season!!! I am beyond excited. To me, snow has a purifying effect. A shimmering blanket...a soft purity that calms the world.

A few years back I started really trying to take good photos of the farm when it is coated with the glorious white gold. And I stumbled onto the idea of using one each year as a Christmas card. Last year time and money got away from me. This year it is going to happen. Sometimes I think to myself that I should make a collection and sell them. But a girl only gets so much snow in a season.

Bath Fan Fab

You know when you have those moments when you're a mom and your hiding in the bathroom? Well, I had one of those moments recently. Looking up at the ceiling and thinking "oh God?" ...I actually just had one of those moments in the kitchen...anyway. I am sitting on the closed toilet seat thinking when is the hubby going to be home and how much chocolate do I have in the house. Then my thought process connected to my eyeballs and actually saw my bathroom fan. Yuck! Let's just say that it is probably the most forgotten item to clean in our bathroom.

Not only was our bathroom fan dirty, it was ugly. Picture this....

Yep, a completely serviceable and basic fan. BORING! When you're a mom you have ideas what feels like decades ago and then BOOM! You are reminded of them and not only do you remember the cool thing you wanted to try, you actually have the tools and materials to do it! In this case, it was "wouldn't painting the bathroom fan a color be cool?" And then "hey, I have some new spray paint I want to try!"

All I needed was a tarp, painting sheet, a bandana for my face and spray paint.  When I was working on the vintage door for the bathroom I picked a can of Rustoleum's Universal Advance Formula in Metallic Oil Rubbed Bronze. [Just letting y'all now that this is not sponsored. No money or gifts were exchanged].

I was lazy. I spray painted the darn thing right on my ceiling. After a thorough vacuuming, of course. First, spread whatever you are using to protect your bathroom down. I used a tarp for the floor and toilet and a painting sheet for the sink. Since our bathroom is precociously small, I stood half-hazard on the toilet and tub wall to get my painting action done. I do NOT suggest this scenario if you have room for a ladder. After a few minutes of light spraying, the standard bath fan looked a 100x better. And I didn't manage to break a leg or anything while doing it, yay me! Can you tell I am definitely an on the fly kind of girl?

The downside to spray painting your bath fan a dark color (without taking it down) is then painting the ceiling. It took about 2 coats of primer and then 2 more coats of paint. Now if I had taller ceilings...or even the standard 8' ceilings, I would have been adventurous and painted it a dark blue like Hale Navy or black. But I don't, so I went with a gray-white.

bath fan fab.png

My little "moments" are going to be much more enjoyable knowing that when I come down to earth my bath fan looks a lot nicer.

How to Install a Vintage Door

First, you have to find that fabulous vintage door that your heart goes pitter patter over. Lucky for me I am a vintage door horder. Ask the Hubby, I have a growing collection in our barn. Even older doors followed a standard system, one hitch though is they were generally shorter than today's doors. It is easier to add height to a door without distracting from its character but it is harder to make it wider. So make sure when you go door hunting know your door dimensions and try and get as close as possible.

Now you have your door! The fun begins. Remove any and all hardware that is on your door. My door, as gorgeous as it is, is a left-hand swing so that meant taking off the rusted hinges off. I did save the original hinges in hopes of removing all the crust and make them useable once again. Now hopefully your swing is the same as your existing door but if not, no worries. All you need to fix that problem is a sharp wood chisel and a hammer.

IMG_20170123_164019.jpg

Mark where your hinges will need to be with a pencil, make sure your marks are clear. You do not want to chisel the wrong area. Carefully tap the marked off area. Older wood may or may not come out easier than a new door so stressing on the careful. At this point, I left the room. Whenever the Hubby works on something old I am constantly freaking he is going to boob it up. And I don't trust myself on the special old things. So for the sanity of our marriage, I walk away. I am sure the hubby appreciates it.  

Now I hit a snag after we got the hinges on the door. The door was not shutting properly on the bottom. We had to really push on the bottom for the door to close. Now our previous door had been giving me this issue for the last 10 years. Well, I wasn't going to ruin an old door with all that rubbing. So I started attacking the door frame. I know, I know. Not a logical decision. Apparently, it was a good one. After hacking the worst part off the bottom. I realized that it was tight from the latch down...getting tighter and tighter. Now I was stumped. How much of this door frame was I going to be taking out? And Why?!?!? 

I was growing concerned, so I grabbed my square, level, and tape measure. After grabbing those tools it was easy to find out that even though the door was really close to plumb square at the top from the latch down the door-way got smaller. UGH! Thankfully the trim is recessed a smidgeon from the door frame and it allowed me to use that handy wood chisel and my sander to take the door frame down so it was flush with the trim. Dang, does the door shut nice now! Go me!!

To keep her in her gorgeous state, I carefully sanded her and wiped her down with 3 coats of satin Wipe-On Polyurethane. For her hardware, I managed to salvage the plates and paint them with Rustoleum Universal spray paint in oil rubbed bronze. I replaced the latching mechanism that is in the door with new from our local Menards. And I managed to remember that somewhere I had old porcelain knobs and they fit like a dream! YAY! She does have a nice size gap at the bottom, which I may or may not fix down the road. But for now, I am just enjoying her.

vintage door.png

 

I love this door!! So glad I made the executive decision to add character back into our old farmhouse.

Country Blessed

We are so blessed to live in the country. Although sometimes I feel the urge to live in some late 1800's home with gorgeous architecture and original woodwork. In some original small town with a cute lot and iron fence. But then I think about how amazing it is to just crank my surround sound volume up and finish inside business done to some old George Strait or new Jon Pardi. No fear of annoying neighbors with the dog that barks at the drop of a leaf. Or the rooster's crow at the most inappropriate hour of the morning. Moving would mean leaving some of the best neighbors a person could have. And the very area my grandfather said he would pick up everything and leave his grandfather's farm if he was younger. That last fact alone can break any resolve I have for moving.

I have been having a hard time lately. I yearn, need, crave to get this house done and the addition started. It doesn't help when I get this awesome idea or feature to add to the house. I have to remind myself to wait on God's timing. Even if it means never finishing this house or getting the addition.

So this year I am scaling back. Scaling back on a number of gardens; veggie and flower. Planning and planting smarter. I have decided to skip planting most veggies this year and focusing on planting perennials like chives, peppermint, raspberries, etc. Things that my family will see the fruits of for years.

Adding some much-needed organization to the garage and barn. So I can find that garden tool when I need it. Or build something for the farm quicker and easier and not stumbling over things while doing it. So far my favorite changes are the almost organized garage and the started tool storage in the barn.

Adding some much-needed organization to the garage and barn. So I can find that garden tool when I need it. Or build something for the farm quicker and easier and not stumbling over things while doing it. So far my favorite changes are the somewhat organized garage and the started tool storage in the barn.

The picture on the right is just a simple way to hang your tools using some 2x4's, screws, and nails. On the left is a simple shelf using more 2x4s. I used Ana White's garage shelving plan as a guideline to add the extra shelving.

What changes are you bringing to this spring?

20170407_134722.jpg

Killing Time + Flipping Houses

Y'all probably thought I was dead unless you follow me on Instagram. Well, I am not, April Fools! I mentioned on my insta a while back that we may be flipping a house. And we will, in God's timing. Right now we just seem to be killing time til we find the right house to flip.

Honestly, it has only been about 2 weeks since this whole house flipping came down. But let's go back a bit farther hmm? So the last post was Valentine's day. It has been a while, not my longest track record but hey, we have been busy. Catch up time! We have... looked at houses, finished houses, and looked at more houses. I have looked at a lot of houses in the last month and a half. I have also decided that I put a lot of weight on while working on the in-law's house. Constant carbs are not my friend.

Let me break it down to ya...we finished the ORIGINAL work at the in-law's house. That means...6 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, the kitchen, the dining room, mud room, and large living area got new flooring, paint and trim. Whew! That was fun. And we thought that would be it, but, papa-in-law decided that the living area in the basement needed an overhaul too. I want to point out that he was adamant about NOT doing that area originally. Oh well, that will be our "summer heat" job.

Then we helped Sister-in-law #7 find her and her new hubby a house. This involved looking at some interesting houses that included quirky characteristics like knob and tube wiring {gorgeous but too much work for them}, a kitchen sink that was in front and above the window sill of a brick house, and a house that literally leaned to the right. They finally loved onto a beautiful old 2 story with lots of original woodwork. In a good part of town. It needs some work but nothing they can't handle and we won't help them with.

 

 

I am going to get really personal here. In the middle of all this, we were struggling. While it was amazing to bless hubby's parents in the way that we did, it did put a strain on our a budget. A lot. I entered March with a lot of prayers. Between my heart problems and some possible wrong choices early in our marriage, we have a few big bills every year. And it has been hard to save for them. 3 of our big bills are due this month, one of them is the 2nd biggest out of the whole year. And we had little to no money saved for them. Like I said a lot of prayers. Well, it all came to a head when I talked to a family member the one day. After they made a comment a reacted rather shortly. They were suggesting we could buy a house and fix it up and rent it out or sell it. Honestly, I thought this person knew we were struggling. Out of that phone call started the whole shebang of flipping houses. A prayer the next morning and an answer that evening synched it. We were supposed to flip houses in a specific way. Now we have not found a house to flip but we are actively looking. AND those prayers have brought the hubby a raise and an interesting angle at helping hubby's dad...construction. It's no shock if you know my father-in-law that he has a lot of property {some people think we have money because of this} and he decided after all that work on his home that we could do some of the jobs to his commercial buildings. Let's just say at a wage that is more than both his 2 jobs combined! He is also paying me to do some of the more finish work like painting and such. We have spent about a week working in one office and we have made enough and more to pay the big bill this month. If I was a crier, I would cry. But I am not so am just beyond extremely grateful to the Father and hubby's father and praising them both.

And now I am going to go out and enjoy this sunny 1st day of April and put some 2nd hand cabinets up in the garage and complete some much-needed farm spring cleaning.

Sweet String Heart Art!

Tomorrow being Valentine's day some of you may be scrambling around trying to find a last minute present. Now I know I am usually on a budget. So cheap and cute are always a must.

Rambling through the local-ish Walmart trying to find some inspiration in the craft sections I stumbled across this cute galvanized "Love" cut out. Bingo!!

This is the perfect "base" for a cute + sentimental present Princess Pea and Handsome Hank can create for their Oma (Great-Grandma).

sweetstringartsupplies.jpg

The supplies are simple; our "love" cut out, pink yarn (like the kind for tatting), brad nails, alligator hooks, and a piece of wood. Our Oma loves reclaimed wood so that is a must.

I didn't sand this piece of wood but I did spray it down with shellac to give it some protection.

After applying your protectant (you can use spray polyurethane, it is the easiest) is dried attach your alligator hooks onto the back. You want to put these on first. It just makes things easier.

Next, decide how you want your cut out to look on the wood. If you have kids helping ask them for suggestions. This is a great time to teach a lil logic + critical thinking.

Draw or print out your hearts. Take into account the area of space that you have to work with. After the hearts are drawn I tack the papers down in 2 key points so the paper doesn't move if you have kids helping. After that it is super simple to stay on your lines. And remember with kids in the mix there may be squabbling and not so perfect shapes.

When the lil boogers....I mean angels...get the brad nails all hammered in then they can rip that paper off. I start them off by tying their knot for them and they can string away. I finish them off again with another tight knot. A good thing to do since this is yarn is to hit the yarn ends with some fray check (find at sewing stores like Jo-Ann's). I added 2 - 1 1/4" finish nails to hang the "love" cutout on the reclaimed wood.

 

I put in some 1 1/4" finish nails to hang the "Love" cut-out to the board. And to add a personal touch I added an " a +n -heart- oma".

 

 

 

 

What You Can Get Done in A Month!

get done in a month pin.png

Apparently, it is a lot.

  • Put up backer board.
  • Make a plate rack.
  • Create a photo gallery (here is a helpful post).
  • Paint a kitchen.
  • Finish the wood flooring in your in-laws house!!!
  • Make wood ledges (from the awesome Shanty2Chic).
  • Make an executive decision and install a vintage door.
  • Change out a bathroom faucet.
  • Design a moulding look for your home.
  • Update your bathroom fan.
  • Decide on a paint color for your living room....which has been a pain for over a year.

Whew!!! Those are just a few of the things we have accomplished since the new year began.If you head over to my instagram you can get a more in-depth glance at the last month or so. Not including an interesting mattress decision AND finding out our tub surround is on its last legs.  And the most major one of all? Switching from Wordpress to Squarespace.

We have more projects coming in the future and keep checking back for those tutorials in that slimmed down list of things you can get done in a month!

Tami