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Tag Archives: homeowner lvl up

Suburban Wildlife and Hand-Painted Curtains

I think a rabbit lives in our shrubbery.

It’s scraggly shrubbery, but at least one bunny calls it home. Our neighbor has reported seeing at least two together, so maybe we’ll have wee bunnies hopping about someday.

No wonder the cats like to leer out the front window.

But the real reason for this post (other than my “Ooh! Fuzzy!” moment) is to share our do-it-yourself closet “doors.”

Maybe door isn’t the right word. Maybe more of closet covering I suppose. Details.

When we moved in, there were only two accordion-style closet doors still barely hanging on to any of the closets. We addressed that early in the process by removing the offenders and moving on to the next project.

But it bugged me. Particularly the part where one of the now gaping holes was in the library where I wanted the space to feel less like a catch-all and more like a library. A home furnishings store was going out of business at about that time and I went a little crazy buying curtains that could work wherever without much concern for the overall color scheme. In an act of desperation, I tossed one of the curtains up on an expandable tension rod and rather liked it.

The idea of covering the closets in this fashion has since become something of a habit. We have a curtain in the podling’s future room and a curtain concealing our toolbox at the top of the stairs.

For the entry-way though, we wanted more of a unifying look. Ultimately, we’d like to make the downstairs something of a Steampunk space. We’ll use the fireplace as a centerpiece and also draw attention to the Desk of Doom Owen inherited from his great-grandmother. Until we can agree on how to retro fit the doorbell cover though, the Steampunk plan will have to wait.

The pass through to the kitchen, however, could not and needed some way of concealing our coats. With baby incoming, I’ve also felt a little bit frugal these past couple of months so I wanted this to be as inexpensive as possible.

Since I couldn’t find any curtains for cheap that I liked and I’m not nearly good enough with a sewing machine to trim my own, I decided to completely fabricate them instead using canvas drop cloth and grommets.

In all, the project took me two afternoons because I wanted to make sure the paint was good and dry but the grand total came in below $50.00 which included the brass curtain rods. Pretty sweet all things considered.

Extra bonus! I removed the unfriendly metal bars from our screen door and reused them as the design for my curtains.

~*La!

Our House — Covered In Bees

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In May, a colony of bees moved in under our siding. They built their hive above our dining room window and the cats have enjoyed watching them. We’ve been joking that our house is covered in bees, a la Eddie Izzard.

However, they had to go. Underneath our siding is no place for a beehive.

We started working with a bee keeper to have him come and encourage the bees to relocate to another hive so that we didn’t sustain any damage to the house. Only, right after Memorial Day, that guy stopped returning phone calls.

Scratch him off the independent contractor list.

Owen placed a call with another bee keeper and we just hoped that the bees were honey bees and not carpenter bees slowly carving up our house.

So this evening, I come home to find Ross from Sacred Life Seeds, suited up and taking care of bees-ness. He found the hive, under the siding, behind the insulation and up into the guts of the house.

Owen has enjoyed popping out from time to time to watch the progress.

Ross even shared some of the honey comb with us. Never before have I tasted something as naturally sweet and fragrant as this honey from our own house.

Maybe someday we’ll look into getting a hive of our own for the backyard and we’ll give Ross a call to teach us about keeping bees. In the meantime, I am just very glad to scratch another one off of the Jade House To Do List.

~*La!

For all of your Boulder County Bee Needs: www.bouldercountybeekeepers.org

DIY demi-Diva

Colorado really is remarkable when it comes to judging snow. In the high country, any amount can add up to good powder. For the rest of us on the plains it’s hit or miss as to whether or not the weather will be nuisance or a serene blanket of white.

Turns out, between 10 to 20 inches of snow counts as a snow day for our school district. Anything less than that and you just shift into 4 Wheel Drive and call it good.

It’s my first official snow day as a district employee and after sleeping in for an extra hour I decided to tackle the problem of our house’s outdated heating and insulation problem. See, I went home to Virginia last weekend and my dad suggested this really neat way to block out unwanted wind down the chimney when you don’t use the fireplace: foam board, duct tape and a hanger. It sounded like a McGuyver solution to drafts and thus I decided that it was the best idea ever for combating the chill in our basement, Ravenholm.

We have two fireplaces and do not use either one. There’s multiple reasons. We’ll go into those later. Right now I wanted to be a DIY Diva and get ‘r done. I even took pictures so that I could detail the process and triumphantly describe the project on the blog.

Except, not so much.

A custom-fit foam board insert to cover the opening makes great sense in theory and in application for my parent’s fireplace. For ours though, the existing glass doors got in the way and without my pirate project buddy (who is working from home today so I do my best not to pester him) it did not end well.

Meh.

I guess I’m more of a DIY demi-diva. Before I can claim full diva status I need to complete some more quests. For now I’ll just cover the windows in Ravenholm with the plastic shrink wrap and toss on another layer. So this is me, learning to be a Colorado home owner one season at a time.

~*La!