Doggy Dining

I’m excited to share this fun little project I did this weekend.  More modern-style raised doggie feeders are kind of hard to come by, so I decided to make a set of my own!  We have two retired racing greyhounds, and it’s recommended to feed them from elevated dishes to make them more comfortable and possibly reduce bloat, a medical condition that can be quite serious.

All the materials came from Ikea, so I suppose this could also be considered an Ikea hack!  I do apologize for the lack of progress photos – I’d just gotten the rotary cutter and I was so excited about it I forgot to take pictures. XD

I started with one $4 Ekby Tryggve shelf and four (red!) Ekby Stodis brackets for $.50 each.  Since the shelf was more than long enough, I used a circular saw to cut it in half – one half for each diner.  Then I used a newly-purchased Ryobi Cordless Rotary Cutter to cut out circles – just big enough for the bowls to fit and catch on the lip.  I added the brackets to the shelves first – normally I’d put the brackets on the walls and then add the shelf, but this made more sense as they were small and going to be low on the wall.  I anchored each of the screw holes in the wall just in case a dog gets excited and decides to step up on the little ‘shelf’, and then everything was installed!

I like these because they’re easy to clean by just wiping them off, as well as keeping messes off the floor (mostly).  Even if they do make a mess, with the open space beneath it’s easy to just swipe under there with a towel or broom (or to pick up the rug under Zelda’s because she still thinks the wood floors are lava =p).

The shelves are ‘permanent,’ but no more so than a screwdriver and a little spackle will take.  And even though they’re attached to the walls, they have a lower profile than the other raised dishes we had.

Cute, modern, and tidy raised dog dishes for just $3 each?  I’ll take it!

A new studio…

Nick and I are planning on purchasing a new home in the next year, and one of the most exciting projects for me is developing my studio space.  I expect to locate it in a ‘loft’ space immediately off the stairs on the second floor of the home, and it is subsequently open to the rest of the upstairs.  I want to be able to keep it very tidy and clean things up in a jiffy when I’m finished working, but I also want the space to be pretty!  I checked out a few options on a recent trip to Ikea and here’s my plan!

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The majority of items are from Ikea, with a few accents thrown in from Urban Outfitters.  The curtains are pieces that I already have (and got lucky finding images of the patterns online!).  I really want the space to be more than just a work space, also a place to enjoy relaxing, reading, playing games, whatever I’d like to do! The sofa is also a sleeper, great for those extra guests we may have.  I’m sure I’ll also be able to find lots of places for the kitsch I already have and any extra small storage I may need.

What do you find that you need in a studio space?

Two weeks later…

I’ve been steadily working on my classroom, and I’ve just about got it where I want to start out.  Furniture is in place, number and alphabet lines are up, library is.. well, halfway sorted.  Now all I need is kids!

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A lot of the walls are still bare as we’ll be creating charts with students.  I love the bunting, and I’m planning on having the kids create more for the rest of the room.  I’m so excited!  Just two weeks until school starts!  Wow!

The HGTV Green Home!

Last night the winner of the HGTV Green Home was surprised at her home!  I’m a little disappointed that it wasn’t me (or Nick!), but delighted that the home is going to a fellow educator.

Nick and I were in luck because the Green Home this year was built in the nearby community of Stapleton in Denver.  Because of it’s closeness, we had the delight of visiting and having a tour of the place!  It was really incredibly gorgeous and inspiring to view this spectacular home in person.

source: HGTV

One of my personal favorites was the “Do” Room, an evolved craft room that also doubles as laundry.

source: HGTV

Both comfortable and functional, the room has places for all your crafting, but also the potential to hide it and create a serene space for just about anything!

Did you know the Green Home also has an unfinished basement?  All that gorgeous space, and then some you can customize!

Congrats to the winner, and enjoy!

Fun With Chalkboard Paint!

I happen to have a theme for this week, and it’s dun dun dun… chalkboard paint!  I started out using it for speech bubbles for our engagement photos.  After that, I made some boards into regular old chalk boards, also for use at the wedding!  Those are all fine and dandy, but I wanted to see what else I could do with this versatile paint!  So I grabbed a few jars that I’ve been collecting and a few other cans of paint and went to work!

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Wax paper and painter’s tape helped me seal off the areas I didn’t want getting paint on them.  I did each jar a little bit differently!  One jar got a complete coat on the outside (after a base coat of regular spray paint), another got an interior coat of white and a fabric cap.  These two others are my favorites!

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A little squat salsa jar got a coat of light brown paint inside, but the cap got a few coats of the chalkboard paint!  Since I couldn’t get all the adhesive off from the original sticker, I covered it with some cute cute lunch-themed fabric and there you are: lunch money jar!

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The other I added a little chalkboard ‘label’ to!  First I blocked out a base for the label and painted with the same beige as the lunch money jar.  Then I blocked out a slightly smaller space for the chalkboard paint using painter’s tape.  A few coats later, and there we are!

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The adventures will continue Friday with more chalkboard paint stories…  Stay tuned!

A bit of organization…

My recent finds in accessories left me with a delightful problem: I needed better storage for my scarves and belts.  Before, they spent time hanging on the builder wire shelf organizers that were installed when the house was built.  They’re not a bad system, but they leave a lot to be desired for storing small items, and my accessories sort of hung there limp and neglected, and I couldn’t see anything or access anything easily.  I had a few requirements for my new solution: pockets needed to be clear or see through, so I could identify what was there, and they should be vertical storage, both fairly easy to come by.  I came across two separate solutions…

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A traditional wall-mounted belt hanger was useful for not only some of my belts, but for my bathrobes and some of Nick’s belts, too.  My second solution was the over-the-door shoe hanger!  This version was made with a great open mesh that would let me see what was inside the pocket!  And with 24 compartments, there’s plenty of space for lots of accessories!  I haven’t even filled it up yet!

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The shoe organizer does hang on the ‘front’ of the closet door, but we rarely close it, and our master bedroom is fairly private, so I’m not too worried about the decorative implications for the moment.  I’m definitely feeling more creative and have a lot of new inspiration when getting dressed in the morning!  Bring on the accessories!

What are your favorite organization solutions for accessories?