Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Finally! Dog Feeding Station is Finished!


Elevated Raised Dog Feeding Station


Happy Tuesday friends! I hope you all had a fabulous weekend! We spent the weekend doing projects around the house. But we did manage to have some fun with the kids and dinner with my family.






 

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you saw that I hinted about a new project that would be listed for sale. I posted that...two weeks ago! I am sorry for the delay. Oh man, this project was such a headache. Our initial plan was to make this as a storage dog feeder with a pull out drawer in the front. 




Apparently that was a little too ambitious for us. We did one thing after another wrong. So, we decided to go with a different design and use the other one as a slightly irregularly shaped toy box. 




Here is what we came up with. I actually think the former design was a little too big for an average sized dog. This one is a little smaller, but is the perfect size to accommodate a Labrador sized dog. 


 

I started by making the frame. I used 4X4's for the legs cut at 13 inches in length.




The aprons are 2x3's that I attached to the legs using pocket holes and screws. The long aprons I cut to 24 and 1/2 inches and the short aprons to 11 and 1/2 inches.



I wanted the aprons inset by about 1/4 inch. Easy way to do that is to find the right sized piece of wood to slip underneath while you screw it in. That way it's even on all sides.

Making sure it's all level



Chiseled the edges a bit and gouged it to distress it




The tabletop is this spruce pine fir project panel from Lowe's that we cut to the size we needed. Our size was about 32 and 1/2 inches by 19 and 1/2 inches. (We were going to use it for something else, that's why it's already painted.)



Checking to make sure our measurements were correct




My husband cut the holes in the tabletop to fit the dog bowls. He rigged up this simple guide to help him draw a perfect circle. 






Then I gave it all a coat of my favorite stain color, dark walnut. So pretty! 

Three coats of polyurethane...correction two coats of spar urethane and it was still tacky after a full day. I gave it a quick wipe with paint thinner and sanded it with 220 grit sanding block. Then I did two more coats of wipe on polyurethane. That did the trick! Jeremy attached the top and it's good to go. 



Isn't it beautiful!? This will make a beautiful piece to add to your home. 

Elevated Raised Dog Feeding Station


And if you don't want to make one yourself, I have this piece listed for sale in our store! Check it out!



*Cute dog not included :) 

Monique

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Grandma's Deluxe Chocolate Chip Cookies



Hey everyone! How was your weekend? We spent it working on our next project that I hinted about on Instagram. I'll be posting about that soon. 

For now, I thought I would share my Grandma's chocolate chip cookie recipe! After working in the heat all day yesterday, I decided to turn on the hot oven and eat hot cookies! Ha! It just sounded soooo good to me! I know there are about a thousand and one chocolate chip cookies out there. I did wonder for a moment "why should I share just another chocolate chip cookie recipe? Aren't there enough?" Then I banished that crazy thought. For there is no such thing as too much chocolate chip cookies!

I've tried soooo many different recipes over the years, and honestly, I love them all! I don't think I have a favorite. However, there are a few key things that I have to have in a chocolate chip cookie. If you are like me, it has to be chewy, slightly underdone and have an abundance of chocolate chips. My Grandma's Deluxe Chocolate Chip Cookies fits the bill. It calls for all brown sugar (I use dark brown sugar for an even more complex flavor) and no white sugar. This gives the cookies that chewy texture that you are looking for! This recipe makes about 2 dozen cookies, depending on how big you make them and how much dough you eat ;) 

 All right, lets get down to business.


Get out your baking supplies and get baking! You've got all your normal cookie ingredients here.


Cream the butter and brown sugar, mix in the eggs and vanilla, add the dry ingredients...you get the idea! Try not to eat all of the cookie dough before you pop them into the oven. Or just stop here and grab a spoon. Whatever works for you. :) 



If you have more self control than I do, you should have about 26 cookies on your trays. (Do your cookie sheets look like this, or is it just me?)


Pop 'em in the oven for about 9 or 10 minutes. I like my cookies a little on the underdone side, so I would shoot for 9 minutes. I did this batch for 10 minutes and some of them were a little browned on top. It made me sad. I gave those ones to the kids 



Here's the recipe!

Grandma's Deluxe Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients
2 and 3/4 cup all purpose flour 
1 and 1/4 teaspoon baking soda 
1 teaspoon salt 
1 and a half stick of margarine or butter, softened
1 and 1/2 cup light or dark brown sugar 
2 medium eggs 
1 teaspoon vanilla 
1 and 1/4 cup of chocolate chips (chocolate chunks would also be good!)

Instructions
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Mix together the flour, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.

Cream together the butter and brown sugar. 

Add the eggs, mixing well after each egg is added. Add vanilla.

Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing well. Add the chocolate chips.

Drop by spoonfuls onto greased baking sheets. 

Bake for 9 to 10 minutes. Don't worry if they look a little underdone. They will continue to cook a bit while you let them cool. Let cool on cookie sheets for a couple minutes before transferring onto cooling rack. 


I hope you enjoy!

I'm off to hopefully get that project finished!

Monique

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Step Stool build and Weekend Fun



Hello friends! I hope you all had a fantastic week! We are really enjoying our lazy summer this year. With everything going on, I know we're not the only ones spending much more time at home. It's been a little different but I have enjoyed the more laid back summer. It's been good for my homebody children, and it's given me more time for woodworking! 

Like this step stool! 

Child's Kids Step Stool


It took me a lot longer to finish this simple project than it should have. First, because I made quite a few mistakes. Note to self: don't do woodworking when I'm hungry. My brain doesn't work right! Secondly, we had a super fun family weekend. My parents rented a water slide/bounce house for the kids and we had a nice BBQ.







So much fun was had! Even the adults got in on the fun! However, it's all fun and games until someone gets hurt. I ended up spraining my ankle getting out of the water. I'm not the most graceful!




(Then right as I was finishing this post and project up, my son broke his wrist.) It's been an eventful week.

Needless to say, it took a bit longer to finish up this project. 




I made a different style of step stool for my library shelves last winter. However, the design of this one was not up to taking on my five children and their constant use. One of the legs completely snapped in half! Thankfully without injury to my child! 

So when a friend of mine asked me to make a step stool for her grandson, I knew there was no way I would make this one again! 

A search was made for another simple build that would be more sturdy and I found this one over at Addicted 2 Diy. I didn't have a 1x8 board so I used a 1x10 board instead. I also used some scraps that I had on hand. I know, that kind of defeats the purpose of a "one board challenge" but I wanted to work with what I had.



First, start by making the two frames. I cut two sections of the 1x10 board at 15 and 1/4 inches. The other two pieces at 7 and 1/4 inches.



Attach using 3/4 inch pocket holes and 1 and 1/4 inch pocket screws and wood glue.


Next is time to attach the two front trim pieces. I didn't feel like ripping the board to size, so I scoured my scrap wood collection and found two pieces that were the exact size I needed. 




Attach the trim pieces to one side of the frame using the pocket screws and wood glue. Double check to make sure all of the pocket holes are facing the inside where they won't be seen! Even though I thought I checked, I still made that mistake and had to undo my work! I should know better than to work on an empty stomach! 




In the interest of keeping it real, this was another major "mistake" that I made. After snapping this photo I noticed that the trim pieces were in the wrong position. The top of the trim pieces should have been flush with the top of the edge of the frame. The wider part of trim should have been facing the front, not the thinner part! I was so frustrated. I swore I did it right. Ended up undoing all of that work, and redoing it! 

.......Only, when I went to stand it up again.... IT. WAS. WRONG. 

Then I realized. 

The step stool was simply upside down. It was right the whole time. I just had the entire thing upside down. I blame it on the lack of food. I told you, lack of food does crazy things to my brain!



There it is, RIGHT side up, and painted a bright white! Now it just needs the steps!

By the way, these painters triangles are amazing!

Since I used a 1x10 board instead of a 1x8, I needed bigger treads. Thankfully I had a 1x12 board on hand. I cut those to about 18 inches wide and gave them a beautiful coat of dark walnut stain. 


The steps hung too far over, so I had Jeremy trim them down to about 10 and 1/2 inches and attach them for me (since I was hobbling around with a sprained ankle). 

Meanwhile I got to work in my Sillhouette Studio to make the words she wanted on the step stool. I tried a different technique than I have in the past and it was a total fail. I'm sticking with what I know for now. 



I simply traced the outline onto the step and used my handy dandy paint pen to fill in the letters.

That's all there is to it! 



Child's Kids Step Stool



If you make one, I'm sure you will have an easier time than I did!

Just remember to eat something first. :)

Monique

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Pool Towel Rack and Fourth of July fun



Hi everyone! I hope you all had a fabulous Fourth of July weekend! We had a quiet weekend spent at home. We played in the backyard, had a small little firework show for the husband kids, and BUILT STUFF!

This girl has the cutest swimsuit, but apparently it's too much work to put on

Getting my snuggles


Over on Instagram, I posted that I was working on a new project. If you guessed: Pool towel rack, you were correct! This was such an easy and fun project! Hopefully this will help towels from being scattered all over my yard, my floors and everywhere else. Hey, a mom can dream right?

I found these plans over at Anika's DIY Life. You should check out her site for the full plans if you want to build one of these for yourself!

The plans said to use redwood boards, but since I'm super cheap I just used regular common board from home depot. I'm sure it won't hold up quite as well as the redwood with all of those heavy wet towels, but I was willing to risk it.



I loved the simplicity of this plan and materials. It took only 8 2x2 boards and pocket hole screws!




Cut all the pieces to size and drill all of the pocket holes.



Then assemble the two frames.



Then build the two shelves.



Then you attach the shelves to the frames. Unfortunately, I didn't capture any pictures of this step.


Then you add the two middle frames. 



Our boards were in a little rough shape, so it doesn't look as neat and clean cut as I would like. Does anyone else have such a hard time finding good lumber that's not warped or cracked?



I filled in the cracks with sawdust and wood glue. And gave it all a good sanding.

towel rack


It's all done! The only thing left to do is paint or stain it. I can't decide between painting it white or staining it a dark walnut. Which do you think? Let me know in the comments.

Towel Rack



Towel Rack

Even though it's not finished, we are already putting it to use.



 I'm going to go and watch the kids play in our super tiny pool (all of the pools are out of stock everywhere, so this is all we have for now!)




Oh, and letting the kids play with the scraps is such fun! They are painting them to use as building blocks. 

Have a blessed week!

Monique