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Category DIY

‘Blessed’ Quilled Banner Craft

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Knock, knock. Me again! Aren’t you glad I’m only here in your computer and not actually showing up at your door during the Thanksgiving holidays?! :D I would bring a pie or something, but since I’m pretty sure uninvited guests aren’t real high on your priority list, I’ll just stick to the computer screen.

{You’re welcome}

Even though I’m only coming to you thanks to a broadband network, I do still come bearing gifts! Hopefully, you were here yesterday to get in on my cute ‘Thankful’ Button Craft, which I was ab...

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‘Thankful’ Button Craft

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This post may contain affiliate links, which means by clicking on them you help support a homeschooling mom and her incredibly overworked husband! We appreciate each and every click!

Hey guys! Happy {early} Thanksgiving!

Who here loves Thanksgiving as much as I do? Go ahead, raise your hand.

{It’s okay, I won’t judge}

How could there be a better holiday than one where you gather and spend time with the people who matter the most to you and then stuff yourself silly to boot? Definitely tops in my book!

At this time of year, everyone likes to discuss all the many things they’re thankful for- and I have a list longer than my arm...

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Stars and Stripes Forever!

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This post may contain affiliate links, which means by clicking on them you help support a homeschooling mom and her incredibly overworked husband! We appreciate each and every click!

There’s something so special about the Fourth of July- in fact, it happens to be one of my favorite major holidays. It’s such a no-stress type of holiday where everyone is more easygoing,  the red, white, and blue everywhere is just so darn festive, and the allure of a beautifully burst firework cannot be denied!

It’s not just special to me, though… it happens to mean a lot to my whole family too. ‘God Bless the U.S.A...

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Throw Me Some Bead(board), Mister!

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Alright, this is not a ‘Moms Gone Wild’ Mardi Gras post or anything- so don’t anybody get the wrong idea here! (Ironic the bead reference though, as the hubs and I honeymooned at The Orleans in Las Vegas and actually have several strands of beads around the house as a fond memory of the time we spent there- and no, we didn’t do anything ‘special to get them’! You can easily buy them in the gift shop!) Regardless, I’m not passing out treats in this post… at least not in that regard! What I will bare though, is the awesomeness that is our new porch ceiling and the trials and tribulations (of course!) that we went through to achieve it.

Rot is GROSS!

 

If y’all remember my last post, you’re very familiar with the hot mess of a house that we bought ~2 years ago. It was a foreclosure, so we got an awesome deal- but it has required SO MUCH WORK and we’re still not done with it yet. {read: still a hot mess} Of late, we’ve abandoned the inside for the outside as we just can’t take it anymore! The catalyst for this great migration to the outdoors was some wood rot that needed repairing and once that was fixed… well, it just kind of snowballed! *grins sheepishly*

 

We started out by replacing the front porch columns (they look sooooooooo much better!) and while researching the column wrap kits, I ran across this amazing vinyl soffit stuff that looks just like beadboard! This was an awesome find in so many ways:

  1.  In our initial repairs of the house we had to replace quite a bit of vinyl siding and Tim got really good at putting it up so I knew he could easily do this
  2. It is super cheap and I was totally able to find it local (and in stock!) so no waiting for shipping or paying freight charges!
  3. It completely covers our horrible plywood ceiling on our front porch which was that rotten butter yellow color and had all the rusty nails showing (GROSS!)

    Horrible plywood ceiling- YUCK!!

  4. It goes perfectly with our modern cottage/vintage/urban/farmhouse design aesthetic!
I WAS SOLD!!

 

Of course, we had to go about it all the wrong way in the beginning! We started out by pulling off the plywood and realizing that our studs were not 16″ on center as they should have been (our house isn’t THAT old- that rule was in place in 1980 when it was built!). Then, in reading the instructions for the beadboard, we saw it needed to be nailed every 8-10″ to prevent bowing, so we had to reinforce between the studs with 2×4’s. {Commence unhappy hubby here}. This added an extra day (literally!) to our project, just to cut 50+ 14.5″ 2×4’s and toenail them between the studs to add the extra support. But that sure beat sitting out there one evening and having the beadboard fall on your head or bow like sailcloth!
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I ‘Column’ Like I See ‘Em

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I couldn’t wait to show you the ‘AFTER’!

*Sigh* As much as I LOVE DIY projects, I do believe the NC summer is already starting to get to me. That, and the fact that we can’t seem to ever have an easy go of any project we attempt. The hubs always jokes that we seem to be cursed in this arena. No matter what we take on- it’s ALWAYS 5x harder! Like the fact that our house was apparently built by a bunch of crackpots who had not a care for state rules and regs (and probably paid off inspectors), so every stud in our house is not 16″ on center. Some are 14″. Some are 12″. You get the picture. We’ve even found some load bearing walls barely capable of bearing a bag of groceries, much less our roof- so we’ve had to reinforce. It’s just been a never ending process! But, like mama always said (gosh, did I just channel Forrest Gump?), ‘When you own a home, you are married to it’. She couldn’t have been more correct. However, our home is more like our fickle mistress because we are, of course, married to each other! :D

But I digress. We’ve spent the first two years working on the inside of our house and I’ll post all that DIY goodness later, because it’s still not actually done (that whole 85% girl thing, you know?). But here recently, we’ve gotten the wild hair to begin working on the outside of our home because it is just UG-LY! (Trigger cheer: U-G-L-Y- you ain’t got no alibi- you ugly!) Everything about it is awful- the bricks are all tones of brown on brown, the trim is painted this nasty shade of rotten butter yellow (yuck!), the shutters and front doors are baby poop brown, the 3-tab roof (original to the 1980 house) is brown as well and in terrible condition- it is just GROSS!

 

The house was obviously owned by a bunch of manic depressive when we bought it. It needed HELP!!

See the ugly column?

Another shot of the awful columns!

One of the things we always hated was the columns on the house. They were so small and spindly (and also painted rotten butter yellow) and were meant to be decorative, although they were anything but. I kept pushing my hubby to replace them with 4×4 posts (because even though I’m an 85% girl, he’s totally a 100% guy) but he was worried about how we’d get them out of the concrete and keep from losing the porch roof in the changeover (all totally valid concerns!)
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Framed Fabric Art (or is it?!?!)

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They say that necessity is the mother of invention- I tend to disagree. I’m of the camp that believes it is laziness that is the true mother of invention. Case in point: I have this swath of wall behind my front door- just a random piece of wall that doesn’t really have a purpose, isn’t all that great to look at, and doesn’t do much good for anybody other than holding up the roof...

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All the House is a Stage….

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…and all the men and women merely potential buyers! Okay, okay- so I totally defiled one of Shakespeare’s most famous lines… but it was kind of fitting given the topic at hand… so, I went with it! And in case you hadn’t guessed, yep- today we’re talking about STAGING!

Now don’t get me wrong- we (meaning me, the hubs, and the kids) are NOT in any danger of moving anytime in the next geologic era. Seriously, I told my kids the next time I move it will be from this house to the cemetery! During the past 7 years, we have moved five times.  FIVE TIMES!! I’ve always admitted to having a bit of the gypsy wanderlust in my blood, but even I think this is getting ridiculous!

This time, the person doing all the moving, is my sweet sweet Mama (hi Mom)! Her home is located a mind numbing 2 1/2 hour drive away, down one of the most desolate stretches of American highway- it’s like the hallway in Poltergeist where JoBeth Williams goes running towards her kid’s room and the hallway just keeps getting longer and longer- yep, just like that.

Now, we all know moving is never fun. And if anyone ever tells you they enjoy it, they’re either lying, a masochist… or both! BUT, it gave us the perfect chance to utilize all the stockpiled knowledge we’ve picked up from shows like ‘Sell This House’, ‘Get It Sold’, and ‘Designed to Sell’ (just to name a few). Here’s what we did:

  1. Cleared out all personal effects and 95% of knick knacks- personal effects detract from your home and distract buyers and can potentially keep them from paying attention to the most important reason they are there- to view your house so they can buy it! If they spend all their time looking at your wedding pictures, they’re not paying attention to your upgraded kitchen appliances, etc.
  2. Painted the whole interior of the house a unifying neutral color- not always necessary, but definitely helps. A lot of buyers don’t want to be burdened with the task of painting (or repainting) when they move in, so having a neutral color that appeals ‘to the masses’ helps- even if it’s not necessarily a color you would normally choose. Remember, when staging you are trying to design for the buyer- not for yourself.
  3. Cleaned the whole exterior of the house- pressure washed vinyl siding, cleaned up all landscaping, had pergola in backyard re-stained, replaced any damaged siding/shutters/lighting, etc- it’s very important that your home have curb appeal. If it doesn’t, a potential buyer may decide to not even bother with seeing the interior. Think about it- if they don’t even want to be bothered with repainting the living room, WHY would you think they’d want to completely redo the front yard?!
  4. Cleaned, cleaned, and cleaned- had the carpets steam cleaned, had the house professionally cleaned, had any issues like damaged linoleum replaced, etc. – I can’t stress to you the importance of presenting a clean and uncluttered home. It allows positive chi to flow through with the potential buyers, it also projects a calming image and shows the buyers that you actually care for your home and take good care of it. It helps them feel like they are purchasing a quality home and not someone else’s headache.

Once you’ve laid all of the above groundwork, then the fun can begin!

I have to admit it took a bit of convincing to get my Mom to agree to allow me to stage- not because I’m bad at it or anything (!) but because we went at it a bit backwards. See, we had to go ahead and move her here (where I live) which left her house completely empty. Once the house was empty, she didn’t want the hassle of staging it and dealing with the upkeep (can’t say that I blame her).

She tried to sell it leaving it empty for the first little while, but it just languished on the market. If the housing market wasn’t still in such a slump, perhaps it wouldn’t have been an issue; her house has amazing upgrades and is a steal at the listed price. BUT, it IS a buyer’s market and upgrades or not- an empty house just wasn’t selling.

So, after a lot of convincing I finally got her to agree to let me stage. We didn’t have a lot of spare furniture and/or spare money (who does?!?!) to put a much into the house, so we used just bits and pieces we had that we weren’t using in our own homes and stuff I managed to cobble together from yard sales. That and lots and lots of spray paint!  Gosh, I love spray paint! And here are the results!

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