New Home Update — Week 22

Garage Entry Door Painted -- A Pinch of Joy

Garage Entry Door Painted -- A Pinch of Joy

A new coat of paint — well, several coats actually — changed that shiny, yellow faux oak but really metal fire door between the house and the garage into this.  I love it!  Although it may get a darker, grayer coat eventually because it does get a lot of traffic.  We’ll see how it holds up.  It makes the real oak wood closet doors look better too. Thanks, Chris, for the suggestion to paint the frame!  Lots more changes coming to this small space!   It’s where we enter our home most frequently and is quite visible from the living area.  I see the wreath drifted off center —

1Garage Storage 4 cabinets and some cubbies-- A Pinch of Joy

We added four new cabinets to the garage for storage.  Second from right has painting equipment.  So glad to have it out of the house and organized!!  We topped the four cabinets with the three cubbies we brought with us.  Wheels was exulting over all the storage space — won’t be empty long.  Here’s the story behind the works for him and works for her cubby storage.  Needs black and white labels.  That’s Deputy Frog on top of the cabinet; walk past his motion sensor and he goes “ribbett, ribbett.”  Bytes and his brother delighted in hiding that thing in the most unlikely places just to see me jump.  At least it is over my head now so I can walk by without setting it off.  I thought it was long gone, but seems he surfaced in time to make the move.  Be afraid, Deputy, be very afraid.  One ribbett and the trash can is just six feet away!

Hooks in Laundry Room -- A Pinch of Joy

We added a rack of hooks across from the washer and dryer in the laundry room.  Works great to hang clothes right out of the dryer.

Laundry Room Backsplash - A Pinch of Joy

I added a utility backsplash behind the laundry room sink.  This sink gets used for dirty jobs and we anticipate that use will increase.  There was a lot of splashing on the wall and this seemed the most effective way of dealing with it.  Today the spider plant is getting emergency therapy.  Yesterday the furnace registers got a scrubdown.


We’ve done mundane things like caulk all the windows where ever they needed it .  . .

3closet shelves

remove too high  hanging rods and add a shelf.   A new rod is waiting to be installed here, once the support is painted.  We’ll do this to all the closets.

Organized Pantry -- A Pinch of Joy

It took two days to organize the pantry.  I was disappointed to find that the shelves are not only NOT adjustable, but, in fact, the supports are glued to the wall.  Just did not want to add drywall replacement to the list right now so I worked with the way it is.    I reworked the things in kitchen cabinets and basement storage, putting some things in the pantry and putting  things I had in the pantry in cabinets or storage.  That is definitely still a work in progress.  I like the way the pantry finally pulled together though.  I stock up at sale time so its nice to have enough space to see what we have at any one time.

The Shark Tank -- A Pinch of Joy

We made a Shark Tank behind the pantry door.   I’m thinking of hanging a plaque to my sister Vee, who recommended the Shark vacuum and steamer.  Love, love, love them both. Never been able to find a light weight machine that really worked before.  These are great!  Should I be annoyed that the last person to use the vacuum didn’t empty it?  I’ll just be glad they vacuumed!  

Big project

We brought the big outdoor table into the basement game room so I could spread out for this big project.  I may have bitten off more than I can chew this time, but stay tuned I’ll show you the results and how I did it in a future post.  If it works out — .  I hope you’ve enjoyed these little peeks at our new home while we are settling in and making it “ours”.   Thank you for your patience  while we do!!!  I can’t leave today without a couple of these pics . . .

Snowstorm 2016 -- A Pinch of Joy

The Blizzard of 2016.  Eighteen inches of snow and gusts of fifty mile an hour wind.  Severe snowstorm with winds over 35 mph and visibility of less than a quarter mile for more than three hours — that’s the definition of blizzard.  We had that, for sure!  This photo was about halfway through the storm Tuesday.  That’s a six foot privacy fence!

Blizzard 2016-- A Pinch of Joy

The view out the front door this morning.  That’s an almost eight foot tall tree.  Three neighbors came over to help Wheels and Bytes shovel out early Wednesday morning.  Front end loader, snow blowers and snow shovels made really quick work of the four foot deep snowdrift that filled our entire driveway.  Welcome to the Great Plains!

New Home updates:  Changing colors      Solar tubes    Painting Progress     Home Update Week 7    Home Update Week 11    Week 19 Painter’s Progress   New Home Update Week 22  

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New Home Update: Painter’s Progress Week 19

Mudroom gets a coat of primer

This time last year, I was finishing the design for the new home we were going to build. We loved the design and the details, but other important things – like the builder and the right land — just weren’t coming together. A few months later, we found this house on the third “shopping trip” 1000 miles from our Ohio home. (Thanks so much to my patient, hospitable and helpful sisters and families for their help and support!!!!) It was quite similar to the design we had planned — except we wanted a big front porch. Instead of building a new house, we’ve been painting this one. Probably could have built a new house in the same amount of time  :-) But we are done with the big paint projects. Happy dance!  Here’s what we’ve done most recently:

Mudroom gets a coat of primer

Wheels is putting  a coat of primer on the back entryway.  We had a discussion on the proper name for this space between the coat closet and a bench.  I’ve been calling it a mudroom.  He informed me we don’t have mud to worry about so we should call it a foyer.  I said it was too small to be a foyer, we’ll just call it the garage door space.  Well, it doesn’t matter, he said, just as long as it is not a mudroom.  Then it dawned on me.  That’s the door he uses most often and  he was taking offense at being considered a mud tracker in-er.  Okay, foyer, I said.  We’ve called it the back door  ever since.  Unless we want to get really specific.  Then it’s the mudroom.

After Painting: The Basement Bath

The basement bathroom above was painted a warm gray (Sherwin Williams Popular Gray), perfect for this windowless space.

Laundry Room Before

The laundry room before.  The mirror hangs above the sink.   All of the recently painted rooms were this same gold color.  It was the lightest color in the house and still took a coat of primer and two coats of color to cover.

Laundry Room After

Love, love, love the pure white of the cupboards against the blue green of the new wall color  (SW Tidewater) in the laundry room after painting.

5Guest Bath

The guest bath got a new color too (SW Cay).  The blue makes the copper glass top on the vanity stand out beautifully.  We needed new hardware in here so chose black ringed with copper, repeating the sink color.

 Bytes Office

Bytes office was painted SW Bubble to reflect as much light as possible.  Yes, the top of his computer monitor is the same height as the closet door.   The monitor is enormous and sets on a standing desk.  Definitely dominates the room!

8 Pantry After

We painted the walk-in pantry at the last minute.  It was a huge job, but finishing it meant all the rooms were freshly painted.  Bytes sprayed the walls, which saved a ton of time.  The walls are SW Biscuit and the shelves are SW Interactive Cream.  (Appropriate for the pantry — biscuits and cream!)    The ceiling paint is indeed yellow — Sherwin Williams Friendly Yellow to be exact!  Just for fun.  It looks like a bit of sunshine peeking through the transom above the pantry door.

9Back Door

We’re done with the big jobs.  But there is more to come. . . this shiny, yellow, shiny, metal painted to look like oak, shiny door in the foyer/mudroom is just begging to fit in with the new blue (SW Topsail)  walls.  Did I mention it is shiny?  Really shiny.  Not that it bugs me or anything.  Really, really shiny!

  New Home updates:  Changing colors      Solar tubes    Painting Progress     Home Update Week 7    Home Update Week 11    Week 19 Painter’s Progress   New Home Update Week 22  

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How to make a large, lighted outdoor wreath

How to make a large lighted outdoor wreath -- A Pinch of Joy

How to make a large lighted outdoor wreath -- A Pinch of Joy

Christmas time in a new house totally different from the last abode. How to decorate for Christmas? We were spoiled with our 10 minute exterior decorating. Ease of installation in potentially frigid air was at the top of our list. Weather is a huge factor and everything has to be able to withstand wind and snow. Our something new needed to be simple enough that it could be done in an afternoon without breaking the budget. Yet large enough that it would make an impact on its own. That large triangle at the front of the house – yes, the one over the garage door – was calling out for something. That space needed: A wreath, of course.

The previous owners, who built the house, planned ahead with outlets under the eaves. The wreath could be lighted very easily. There was even a hook at just the right height for a decoration of some kind.  Most of the Christmas things we own, including material for such projects, are in storage two hours away.   So off to the local craft store, which happens to be a very large Hobby Lobby.   I am a practitioner of the “buy things AFTER the season is over for the best price” lifestyle, and this was a reminder why.  But it is our first Christmas here – worth it, right?

Here’s the tutorial showing how I made a 48” lighted wreath. If you’d like to see the condensed version, scroll on down to find the video instructions.

 Fluff the wreath

  1. Fluff the wreath. It is flattened for shipping and needs the branches lifted, separated and arranged to bring it into three dimensions!
  2. 2Roughly plan placement of ornaments and ribbon
    1. Do a rough lay out of the decorations. We chose a contemporary theme with two main colors, bright red and lime green, lots of glitter, and ornaments of varying size and texture. I decided to keep to a tight structure, with the 4 inch wide mesh ribbon down the middle of the wreath and lights on the side and center. The ornaments would be randomly placed to balance one another, providing visual interest and movement.

    Evenly distribute lights and fasten securely to wreath

    1. Plan the lighting layout. Decide where the bottom of the wreath will be so the strands of light can begin and end at the proper points. Distribute the lights evenly around the wreath, with some tucked inside the wreath. We used two strands of bright white – one for the middle and one for the center opening. One end was left free to plug into the extension cord so that it was hidden beneath the bow. The two strands plugged into each other, also under the bow. Fasten the lights securely to the wreath frame using small plastic zip ties. (Don’t use wire to fasten electrical lights.)

    4Securely Fasten Bow -- A Pinch of Joy

    1. Securely fasten the bow to the wreath frame. Begin by firmly twisting the wire at the bottom of the premade bow around the metal wreath frame, then reinforce that with zip ties or wire.   I also fastened the ribbon with wire on the underside of the bow to the frame in several places.

    5 Tie knot in end of mesh ribbon

    1. Tie a knot in the end of the mesh so it will not fray. Tuck it under the bow and fasten securely with zip tire or wire. You will repeat this step at the other end of the ribbon.

    Make loops every 4-6 inches

    1. Make loops (or little poufs of ribbon) every four to six inches. You can vary the amount of   ribbon used in each pouf, with more ribbon creating a looser pouf. I kept mine fairly tight so the wind couldn’t catch them easily.

    7To make loops

    1. To make pouf, simply pinch the ribbon tightly between thumb and fingers,then fasten them securely to the wreath frame with zip ties (what I used) or wire. The wire frame of the wreath is made with concentric circles. I varied the circle to which I fastened the ribbon creating some visual movement.

    Lay out all ornaments

    1. Lay out all ornaments, rearranging as necessary to create a visually balanced whole.

    9Securely fasten all ornaments

    1. Securely fasten all ornaments using zip ties or wire. When all ornaments are in place, use a low temperature glue gun to firmly secure all ornaments in place. Even the low temperature can cause some ornaments to melt a bit, so proceed with caution, keeping the glue application at the fastening point so it can be easily hidden.

    Finished Wreath -- A Pinch of Joy

    1. Stand back and admire! This size wreath, and making sure everything was as windproof as possible, took around four hours of work time. I had planned and unplanned disruptions so actually had it spread out, first on the kitchen counter and then the dining table for most of one day.

    Lighted Wreath

    1. Night view.

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