We moved! Not far from where we were, about an hour. My husband got a new job so we got a new location, a new house, a new farm, a new baby on the way, and a new dream.
We have 17 acres. A lot of woods but relatively flat, with some land cleared. We brought our pigs with us but my father in law is “babysitting” our chickens. Our pigs are slowly helping us till/ clear some land and spread mulch, which we desperately need with all the clay soil.
Our old house had pretty decent soil as soon as we moved in. We still worked it for years and when we moved, it was pure black gold. (We also left our new owners a lot of stuff in the gardens. I hope they enjoyed it.) This clay soil is going to be a new challenge for us to deal with, especially with our new plans.
Our plan this year, lord help us, is to have 2 garden plots 25’x50’ with veggies and flowers. LOTS OF FLOWERS! Also to plant as many berries as we can with our time and budget. Did I mention I’m pregnant? So we’ll see, I’m not sure if I’m nesting with unrealistic garden dreams or if we can get it all situated before the baby comes. (Fingers crossed)
Have you ever tried to finish a project with a toddler and a baby? It’s hard! We’ve been working on our porch for 2-3 months. It should not take that long, but we have tried to include our 2 year old in the process. He loves to help but he makes more of a mess than actually helps right now. I love that he loves to help. I want to encourage him to stay that way and hopefully set him on the track of loving to learn new things. So with that said, I am trying my best to let him help do whatever we are doing, as much as I can. It has been fun trying to see our projects through his curious eyes and to take our time and not rush, even though it takes us forever. Patients is something I never had until I had kids. Now I’m a work in progress. I’m trying.
Pressure wash with soap – this soap is amazing! Leave it on for 10 mins and rinse. It’s like magic!
Remove iron railings- we used a sawzall with metal cutting blades to cut the metal at the concrete. Then unscrewed the mounts from the top. My husband started this part of the project while me and Witten primed the wood before we started building. That was fun. He had paint all over him, the carport, me, the dogs, etc. He would dip the whole brush in the paint and drip it all over the boards then smear it around. So I would have to go back over it and smooth it out the best I could. There were runs everywhere! It took all I had not to sand it down and do it again. He helped and he was proud of it so I left it! Next I thought the paint sprayer might be better. I was wrong. I’m pretty sure he sprayed my husbands truck at one point. At least it was the farm truck.
Add support poles – we used the 4x4s for this part. We pulled a chalk line and attached metal beaches to the concrete. my son was eyeing the mallet so we let him help hammer them into place. He got over that very fast.
Add header and footer boards -we used the 2x4s for this part attaching them with finish nails and concrete screws. we just let him hand the screws to daddy. He’s not quite use to all the loud noises yet.
Add railing and balusters – we used 2x4s for the railing and 2x2s for the balustrades. We made the hand rail 36” and the balustrades 3” apart (4” is code) a couple pieces of scrap cut to 3” is the easiest way. We used a piece of trim (1/4 x 1 1/2) to nail the balustrades too then attached that to the rail and the footer boards
Frame in door – 2x4s
Put up the door now to lock the kids in – add door sweep, knob and push pad. I used old squeaky hinges because you have to have a squeaky screen door.
Caulk -caulk everything! If you can see light through it bugs can definitely get in. Anywhere there was a crack I caulked. I love to caulk so I thought Witten might like it too and boy did he! He was caulking everything, the wood, the dogs, the concrete, daddy’s shoes, even his belly button.
Paint – we painted before we put the wood up and we painted some extra coats after it went up. Two coats of exterior primer and two coats exterior semi-gloss. Once again, everywhere! We had to sand the concrete to get it all up. Plus he threw his chalk in the paint. Yay!
Staplescreen – staple like you would stretch a canvas. We did the corners first then the middle of each section then filled in in between each staple. Witten mostly played with his chalk while we did the stapling and Trent napped so this part actually went pretty fast.
Check out my friends outdoor projects below for some great summer ideas! Please follow us on instagram and we would love to see your latest outdoor project! Add #diyprojectchallenge to your post and we’ll share our favorites in our stories!
I am trying out this new form of writing my posts. Normally it’s just HOW TO but this time it’s a little more personal. There’s a dime a dozen HOW TO posts out there and, even though I love HOW TO posts, they are not my strong suite. I love diy projects and I love to include our boys in all our projects. I’m not the best at explaining every little detail. So I’ve decided to write more about my experience with diy projects having my kids involved. I hope everyone gets a good laugh and some encouragement from this new style of posts. Thanks for following our diy journey as a family. If you have any questions, suggestions, or comments please leave below and I will get back to you ASAP.
I made this wooly Sheep toy for my kids. I used the tools that were available to me the best I knew how. If you have a cnc machine or a better way to try please do and send me a picture of your projects.
Tools and Materials
Wood (I used Oak) I wouldn’t use a soft wood incase the kids put the toy in their mouth.
Wood dowel (I used 3/8″)
I used a hand me down Dremel scroll saw and i do not recommend it.
I drew out a picture of a sheep onto white copy paper
I used kids glue to glue it onto a piece of oak scrap wood
I used my scroll saw then bandsaw to cut the sheep out
I used a drill press to cut holes in the sheep
I cut a dowl at an angle and then cut a straight line in the end with a bandsaw
Sanded the sheep and dowl all over
I used mineral oil to finish the sheep and dowl pen
I threaded wool yarn through the dowl and let my son string it through the holes
Bolt your machine down
Wax the work surface
Use contact paper
Bigger legs or no legs on the sheep (my son broke one instantly)
Use very sharp quality blades
Make sure to oil the holes very liberally
This week was so fun for me! I teamed up with 6 other amazing bloggers to do a Multi-Media DIY Challenge! I used wood and yarn for my 2 mediums. Please check out their amazing projects and post your own on Instagram using #diyprojectchallenge
“Do something today that your future self will thank you for.”
Donny lives in the Mississippi Gulf and is a CNC user by day and a passionate wood turner by night. He wears many hats (builder, maker, artist, DIYer, podcaster, Etsy store owner, website designer, and content creator) and juggles everything with a great attitude. In this interview he touches on how he does it all. You can tell he is a genuine, honest, hustler and a very enthusiastic teacher.
Here is a list of some of the questions I sent Donny and after I had it all transcribed I decided reading it doesn’t do Donny any justice. His gift is conversation. So please listen to our unedited audio conversation to see how wonderful this feller is!
How did you get into podcasting?
It was kind of selfish honestly. I wanted to chat with more well know woodworkers and makers.
What’s the basic equipment you need for podcasting?
All you really need these days is Skype. It has a built in recorder. A pair of earbuds or headphones is also a must.
How did you get into Woodworking?
I’ve always been into making and building things since I was a kid. As I got older I started fixing up my home and building things I needed.
Where do you get inspiration?
I get inspired from all those around me. Those on social media and in my daily life. I try to find something cool about everything I see.
What tools do you recommend buying first when your just starting out?
Thanks for following my journey into DIY and woodworking! Having a newborn and a two year old has been harder than I thought, so my posts are going to be more sporadic for awhile. Thanks for your support and patience!
Does you kitchen cabinets get out of hand really fast? Same here! Especially my corner cabinet! All the organizers I have looked into either don’t fit my cabinet or cost an arm and a leg! So I decided to tackle this messy corner this month with a few other blogging friends for Our #diyprojectchallenge. This months theme was organizing under $50. Which was timed perfectly with my nesting phase at the end of this pregnancy.
Does your cabinet ever look like this? Then you should check out this easy tutorial below!
No 8 self tapping sheet metal screws (size depends on your plywood, we used 7/8″)
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I have been teetering with the idea of converting our old stock trailer into a mobile pop up shop. Now I’m trying to do some research on it before we start.
The 4 main conversions we are looking at (but not limited to)
Farm trailers – they have usually been through the ringer and seem like the most work to me. They usually have lots of rust to deal with and need a big cleaning. You will need a welder or some welding experience but they seem to be the easiest to come by. They also need extra protection from the elements because they are not water tight
Buses – they are harder to find, but usually in better shape. They are usually element proofed already. With buses you have to deal with more mechanical stuff.
Campers – easily found but prices vary a lot. Conditions also very a lot.
Complete build ups – can usually find trailers pretty easy, but they can be very expensive. This route you can do exactly what you want, but the materials could be more expensive. Also no demo.
Reasons for a mobile shop
You can travel wherever you would like to go. If you have to move you can take your shop with you.
No monthly rent or utilities. You can also use solar panels if you need some energy. You still have to pay for some shows or festivals but only the ones you choose to go to.
You can set up the store where ever they will let you, like shows, events, weddings, festivals, bars, etc.
It will also be less money upfront than a brick-and-mortar shop.
You can also use it for different things, like an office, a she shed, storage, or moving and delivering large pieces.
Any mini version of a brick and mortar store really
So I think for us we’re going to go with our stock trailer because we already have it and it goes with our brand Emory Farm. We want to do different festivals and farmers markets to sell our homemade products, like farmhouse tables, cutting boards, candle sticks, jams and jellies, eggs, and etc.
I can’t wait to get started on this project. My husband and I are going to start a #husbandwifebuildoff challenge to start stocking our inventory faster, and make some extra money for this project. Once we get a few things built and sold, then we will start on the trailer. If any of you have some prior experience or knowledge about conversions I would love to hear from you and maybe pick your brain. Thanks so much for reading about our new adventure!
Today I am interviewing Sarah from The Created Home. This is one of my favorite interviews so far. She has been an inspiration to me for a while now. Her answers have really resonated with me and helped me a lot. She is very down to earth, very helpful, and one of the most creative people I have had a chance to talk too. Whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned wood worker, you should check out her stuff! I’m sure there’s something from her content that will inspire you!
My parents (well, really my father) remodelled our house growing up, so the idea of being hands on wasn’t at all new to me. Even so, with three brothers in the house and an upbringing so traditional it’s a wonder my mom didn’t wear an apron around, I did not know how to use tools. My husband and I moved into a large home with an unfinished basement and a whole slew of bad cosmetic choices not far into our marriage. We remodeled that entire thing – every last room. He taught me how to use saws, and I took my natural tendency to jump into the deep end and really learn what I put my mind to doing to work, and that was the start. In our marriage I do the carpentry end of things with more precision, and he does the rough framing/remodeling wood work with the skill of many years of experience. All in all it works out very well, even if he constantly has to remind me that I don’t need to measure the studs down to the 1/32. 😊
I started remodeling in late 2013, started playing with repurposing and doing small sign type projects in 2014, and jumped into building furniture in late 2015.
From the world around me. I make it a point not to get on Pinterest. Sometimes a good knock off is really fun to make. But I like to tap into my own creativity by getting out of the shop and just being out and around.
A drill, a circular saw, a pocket hole jig, an orbital sander…from there to a miter saw and table saw.
A lot of stuff, really. Just stick to the basics (the ones I named above), and feel out where you want to go from there.
My SawStop table saw. It’s the heart of my shop. I use it for so many things. It’s kind of amazing how much can be done with a good table saw.
Measuring. Sounds silly, but everything depends on accuracy. People try to build fast too much these days. Focus on accuracy, take your time, and make it right the first time.
People – friends in the woodworking community who are happy to share their thoughts, experiences, and ideas. There are good books and websites out there, but community kind of trumps everything.
I do the best I can, and try to make peace with the rest. My kids are young – the oldest in kindergarten and the second in part time preschool. A year ago my husband left his job and started a house flipping business. So basically my priorities are: 1. Wife/Mom, 2. Business partner, 3. Business owner. The trick, I think is to resist comparisons, in my case with those who may or may not have more time. Balance looks different for everyone, and that’s okay.
As a more concrete answer – I try (emphasis there) to prioritize time with my kids first, then an hour or so in the shop. It works better in theory than practice, but I want them to know they come first. I do my computer work in the evenings, after they go to bed. My husband does the same, and it is not uncommon for us to be up until 1am.
Our mudroom. It was a bit of a mammoth undertaking that my husband and I took on together. We ran new plumbing lines and built a dog bath. We moved all of the electrical around to line up four chandelier lights. We were able to raise one structural beam up into the attic and raise the other up a good 6” or so. I tore out the old closets that were in that space and opted for a pony wall that, while it wasn’t plan A, has ended up working perfectly in the space. We moved the house’s main heat stack from that hallway to a central location in the other hallway we renovated at the same time. New flooring, a new small walk in pantry on one end, reframing of an old window that came out, a new exterior door from a 100 year old local farmhouse, two sliding doors I built, and two walls that each moved back about 9 critical inches.
And after all of that I built a large mudroom with a locker type area and drawers for each of my family and a cabinet with pull out trays for shoes. The cabinet is topped with my first DIY concrete counter top. I also learned how to build my own shower pan and we tiled the dog bath. All of that work turned a formally kind of awful area of our home into a functional show piece. It utilized all of the skills I have been building since renovating that home five years ago and getting into woodworking. So in that way it is kind of the current crown I’m wearing. Until the next big project, of course. 😊
The very first dining table I ever made. I was not familiar with the concept of wood movement and had no idea what I was doing. I built it with 2×6’s from the local home improvement store and pocket holed the whole shebang together. Then I sold it for a song, and over the next couple months as the seasons shifted and the moisture levels of that construction grade lumber dropped it proceeded to rip itself apart. I was horrified. Over the next month I committed myself to learning all I could about wood movement, moisture content, and proper joinery methods. It was a painful, but ultimately necessary learning experience.
My focus these days is on improving my accuracy and expanding my skills in joinery. I have a long, long way to go. But I try to make sure I’m always building interesting projects that I am personally excited about, and opportunities to improve are always part of each of those builds.
I haven’t for some time. I used to build commission pieces, but stopped for various reasons that basically amount to it’s an absolute beast to do. Establishing oneself in the local market is probably the most profitable when it comes to selling larger items at least.
Yes. It mostly treads water until my kids are in school, but it supports itself, the services of a tech-type person, and a part time VA, so that’s something.
Yes, my garage. Not really. I like to keep it clean when possible.
I live in the gorgeous pacific northwest, so hiking is always a win. Reading if indoors. Photography. Mostly just being with my family.
Probably that it’s all pallet wood and rustic chic. But then, it kind of is when starting off, so maybe it’s not a misconception.
I would like to be consistently putting in at least 20 hours in the shop each week. That is what comes to mind first because it’s the biggest struggle I have now. I also want to have a separate shop. If we still live where we are now I have plans sketched for a shop we will build on our back lot. Additionally, I would love to teach woodworking classes for women.
Know the why for what you are doing. If it doesn’t come from a deep passion and drive to be better, it probably isn’t enough to get you through any of the less than glamorous parts of blogging. Or remodeling. Or probably anything else for that matter.
Be willing to work hard, because the idea that it comes easy for anyone is just not true. Find joy in the challenge – the challenge to do build complicated things, to manage a business with all of life’s competing factors making it seem impossible, to put yourself out there regardless of what cruel things might be said, to fail and to try again, to get frustrated and quit but to start again, and again, and again. Silence the voice in your head that says you are not good enough, not popular enough, not enough in any way. Never settle for half way, and know that your best will look different with every passing day. Don’t be afraid to show your mistakes, but equally so, don’t hold back from owning your success. Say no when you need to. Find your tribe, find your niche and be comfortable in your own skin. Build something you are proud of.
Thanks so much for reading these interviews!Check out Angela Rose on the last Discover the DIYer!This has been so inspiring and helpful to me on this DIY journey, that I’m going to make this, Discover the DIYer, a regular series on the blog. Let me know what you think about the interview, the series idea, and the questions? I’d love to know who inspires you to DIY, and what you would ask them, if you had the chance? I also have some very cool interviews coming up with Jen Woodhouse, Donny Carter from TheMakerMinded.com, and a few surprises!