March 21, 2014

A Winner and a Reveal

My low tech drawing generator (putting names on a slip of paper and drawing one out of a bag) picked Pat as the winner of my giveaway. Pat chose the Jim Shore Easter basket. My thanks to all of you for commenting and I hope I can stick around long enough to do this again for my 700th post.


The garage sale went well this morning though I'm still not sure it's worth all the effort. We spent every evening dragging stuff out of the storage building, attic, and closets, and I spent hours every day unpacking boxes, cleaning, and pricing. And we made $200. We're supposed to have another day of it tomorrow, but the forecast predicts rain in the morning, so today may have been it.

We had a good turnout considering we are seven miles from town. I think that was because there were several of us and we advertised it. We all noticed that $5 was pretty much the cutoff for prices. Anything over that, no matter what the price, the buyer offered $5. So even if we do have the sale again tomorrow, the collectibles will stay in the house and I'll try them on ebay or etsy.


I also wanted to show you another project we've been working on. We're not finished but had to get it out of the garage to get ready for the sale.

These are cabinets that we made as an entertainment center thirty years ago.  I've repurposed them for my china in this house.  In every other house we've had, the three pieces were together, but in this house, they only work on this wall and, as you can see, there is a little extra space on the left side.

  So we cobbled together a bookshelf out of leftover wood in our garage.

Hubby routered the same cut in the sides so that part will match.

And then we sanded.  A lot.  (One of these days I'm going to get my camera squared up with the piece before I take a picture.)

It's made of pine, ash, and white oak plywood, and pine and red oak hardwood. But it's better than a vinyl covered particle board bookshelf from the big box store, fits the space perfectly, and best of all, it was free - so far. All that will show is the face frame, and it is the same red oak as the other cabinets. I need to put another finish coat on the face frame and then it should match the rest of the cabinets.  (Sorry, I was too tired to move all that garage sale stuff.)

Next up is doors.  I hope we can remember how we built the first doors.

March 18, 2014

600th Post Giveaway!

Technically, this is my 599th post, but with the garage sale coming up I thought I should get started.

I have two items for the winner to choose from. I hope you don't mind regifting. The first is a kabob grilling basket. Mom gave it to us for Christmas, apparently forgetting that she gave us the same thing last year. The second is a Jim Shore Easter basket that I bought for my daughter and she totally rejected it. Since I have a similar one, I don't need this one although I think this one is really cute. But mom made mine, sooo....

To enter, just leave me a comment and make sure your email thingy is turned on so I can contact you. I'll draw the winner Friday afternoon.

March 17, 2014

Ugh, We're Going to Have a Garage Sale, Any Tips?

I have a love/hate thing about garage sales. I used to love going to them, and now it's hardly worth the gas. I've always hate having them. However, we have too much stuff and don't want to just give it away. I'm not sure a garage sale isn't just giving it away by the time you add up the time involved.

Hubby wanted to have a booth at a flea market but the local organized monthly trade day closed down. I was ready to donate some and try to sell the rest on craig's list and ebay when a neighbor called and said some of the neighbors had organized a neighborhood garage sale. There will be at least four families so maybe that will be enough to draw people out of town. That's another reason I don't like having garage sales. We are off the beaten path. About seven miles off the beaten path.

But now we're obligated, and we've been dragging stuff out of the closets, going through boxes, and getting ready. Tonight we have to get into the attic. I dread that. I'm the only one who can stand up in there and only at the peak. Walking around hunched over isn't as easy as it was when I was thirty. I'd do it this afternoon so we could start pricing tonight, but I have to take Deedee to the eye doctor for laser surgery.

Our plan is to set up everything on tables in the garage and tag them with different colored tape. Different color for each dollar amount, and write the amount on there as well. I'll price in even dollar amounts except for a 50 cent box and free box. I thought I'd also group the stuff by price so it's easier for me to tell people how much something is if the tape falls off or they can't find it.

Then, on the morning of garage sale day, we'll move the tables outside and close the garage doors. I don't want to have to find sheets to drape over everything that isn't for sale and still have people going over there to peek behind them.

My neighbor also has a couple of friends who want to come over the afternoon before the sale starts because they work. She suggested notifying all the neighbors to come to the presale also. Sounds good to me.

Hubby is going to take off work and we'll both wear a fanny pack to keep the money close. Since it's just our stuff this time, we hadn't planned on keeping a tally of stuff sold. But I wondered if it wouldn't be a good idea to have an inventory sheet of some kind.

One neighbor is putting an ad in the paper, another is making signs, and I am placing the craig's list ad. We'll all have signs in our yards pointing the way to the next sale.

Any tips from your last garage sale?

March 14, 2014

What Are Your Thoughts on Linky Parties?

Personally, I have mixed opinions. For the most part, I like to visit them, and sometimes participate. It's one of the best ways I've found to see new ideas. Of course there are also repetitions of the same old ideas although there are some with a new twist on that old idea.

But lately, I've been talking to other bloggers and researching an idea for a new linky party, one that is specific for do-it-yourself home repair, building and remodeling. Tell me what you think by taking the poll on the sidebar, or leaving a comment. Don't feel you have to agree with me. I'd really like to know all opinions, both from people who do participate in parties and those who don't.

I first began linking to parties in 2009 as a way to grow my blog, and it worked in a way. Of course back then, I thought the most important thing was the number of comments I got. It's really not, at least not as far as ratings go. I was really hung up on comments and would comment on every blog linked in the party, only to get a sprinkling of comments in return.  I didn't have a stat counter back then so I don't know if joining linky parties increased my hits on other blog posts.  Of course, back then I didn't know what hits were and how they affected my blog.

Once I found out what hits were and saw that I really didn't have that many, I realized that what I really gained from linky parties was blogging friends.  And for this empty nest stay-at-home mom, that was invaluable.  Still is.

That was before pinning. Now there is a lot of pressure from some blog hosts to pin from them in order to participate in the party. Why? Because pinning brings them hits, and hits raise ratings which brings in advertising and makes their blog come up higher in search results. And advertising pays for the time spent blogging instead of washing the dishes or working a nine to five.

Getting back to comments though, when I joined linky parties five years ago, I probably averaged twenty to forty comments per project. Lately, I average five to fifteen. Partly, it's because I am more selective about the parties I join, but partly, mostly I think, there are soooo many links per party, and soooo many parties, that there just isn't time to comment as much.  But I've also noticed lately that my daily hits are much higher in the months when I join a few linky parties.

So why start yet another party? To fill a niche. I've searched many times for linky parties that are specific for home repair, remodeling, and building and there aren't any. If you are into diy and you join a lot of linky parties, you know that posts about painting a china cabinet get ten times the hits that one on rewiring a light fixture gets. It's the wrong audience for that type post.

Don't get me wrong, I like to make crafts, refinish furniture, sew, and paint. But I also like woodworking and remodeling. Actually, I love woodworking. I'd give up eating for woodworking if my stomach would let me. It won't. But I'd like to find other bloggers who love remodeling and this seems like a good way to connect.

This won't happen next week, or even next month. I've talked to another blogger about doing it with me, and both of us are going to unavailable for the same times so we need to work out a few thing. But if there is enough interest, I'd like to start planning. I'm sure there is a learning curve involved with it as well as some costs.

March 11, 2014

Courtyard Fence Sneak Peek

I've been MIA, but for good reason. We have been building a fence to make a courtyard out of a recessed patio. We still have to add the beams that attach to the house, and then stain, but the hard part it done. Hubby set the posts and I built the panels.

I did the top part of the gate with my scroll saw - finished it yesterday.

I wanted to be able to see out the gate but I didn't want it so open that anyone driving down the street could see in, so I made a small design in each slat on the top.

We attached one panel with bolt latches so we can take it out to move large things in and out.

March 04, 2014

Ever Wish You Had Three Hands?

Hubby's hands are the size of baseball mitts, so it is no problem for him to hold two 2x4 boards in one hand and a drill in the other hand, AND apply enough pressure on those two boards to hold them tightly together while he drills a screw into them.

I can't do that. My hands are too small. If I had three hands I could hold both 2x4s AND drill. But I overcome this deficiency by using clamps. In this project, I could have used four hands. So I used a clamp on one side to hold the boards together, and a clamp on the other side to hold the edges flush. I also had to hook two clamps together to extend the clamp length. That left my hands free to put the screws in quickly and easily.

March 03, 2014

Snow Pellets

It's a "snow day" here, but other than a day off, the kids get a bum deal. Do you know how hard it is to build a snow man out of snow pellets?

It looks like a snow cone machine exploded.