Monday, April 30, 2012

Green Thumbing It?!

This weekend we completed the huge task of planting our garden--all smiles over here! :-)  Creating the garden bed only took my husband maybe a total of two hours considering that our backyard is full of rocks and clay and he had to dig out a lot of it to even get started, but creating the bed perimeter with landscaping timbers (these are untreated by the way) was a breeze.  It took about three weeks to complete because all of my plants that I started from seed died :-( and I needed to do a little more research before I did anymore.  (DIY gardening did not start off on the right foot), but I promised you the good, the bad, and the ugly and this got ugly fast!

I decided that as a beginner gardener I needed some plants that could withstand my not so green thumb.  So my neighbor and I decided to attend the Ready, Set, Grow gardening class that was held this weekend at the Richmond City Main Library and walked away with some useful knowledge about being a "smart" gardener and even walked away with some free plants.

Afterwards Jordan and I ventured to Southern States to get some Black Kow, a cow manure compost.   There I found five tubs of baby chicks (pullets) as they're called in the farm world ;-) and I fell in L.O.V.E.  I immediately called my husband to see if we could raise some "urban chicks" and he was down until....we realized we needed a chicken coop (insert sad face here) and needed to wait for the ordinance to pass regarding City of Richmond residence being able to raise backyard chickens, because right now the city ordinance reads:  No person shall keep, place or maintain fowl on any parcel of real property in the city which contains less than 50,000 square feet in area, but as I read on...I can have a cow no matter the size of my yard as long as its not wearing a bell--crazy right?! So for  baby chicks, but we will have some next spring for sure!  Look for the DIY on chicken coops to come, lol!

Anywho, after some help from the kids (not goats actual children) ;-)  we completed our lovely garden! 

I will post pictures regularly on the progress of our "urban garden".

We also have some herbs growing indoors...I'm in love with my chocolate mint--now I just need to find some yummy recipes that I can throw some of these into--any ideas???

Need some all natural pesticides?  See the recipe my neighbor was nice enough to share with me...

~1cup vinegar, 3 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon dish soap, 1 tablespoon hot sauce, 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes, fill the spray bottle with water, shake...let set for a day....shake and spray

(always wash your food before eating!)

~A 1/4 bottle of wine near strawberries keep the gnats away.

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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Laundry Room Re-Do!

You see blogging about my DIY projects has become an addiction.  I used to be addicted to shopping for my wardrobe and now it's all about creating a sense of style for my humble abode.  I get this itch three, sometimes four times a week and have to scratch it! ;-)

Recently I thought my laundry room needed a mini-makeover, so I went upstairs to start brainstorming.  I've seen several awesome laundry rooms on Pinterest, but I have a tiny little space to work with so I didn't plan on spending top dollar for this one {or any other project for that matter}!

After browsing some of my Pins I thought to myself--hey instead of just painting the walls a "purty" color...STENCIL IT!  And that I did!  I made a trip over to Michael's after work and found the perfect damask stencil, Martha Stewart spray adhesive, and a (3) pack of foam dowels.  I had purchased some accessories for the space during my previous trip to the Thrill of the Hunt that I was super excited to display! 

So here's the down and dirty on stenciling:

I used the  Martha Stewart Craft Stencil Adhesive Spray from Michael’s to spray the back of the stencil. This helped the middle parts of the stencil stay close to the wall and not bend out for a nice crisp line. I repositioned the stencil three or four times before re-spraying it.  And you'll want to use a drop cloth to spray the back of your stencil so you don’t get sticky stuff all over the floor (which I'm guilty of, lol!).

I sprayed the adhesive to the back of the stencil and positioned it in the middle of the wall and worked outward from there.

I also used good ol' blue painter's tape for holding the stencil up at the top and bottom.

I used the small foam dowels to apply the paint.  I just dipped the foam dowels in the paint and dabbed around the paint pan to remove the excess paint before applying it to the stencil.

Before repositioning it on the wall for the next application I would lay it on my drop cloth on the floor (face down) and wipe the back with a dry folded paper towel to remove the excess paint.

After repositioning the stencil about a thousand times...this is what I came up with.


Whatcha think?

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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Thrill of the Hunt!

Today I stumbled upon an amazing thrift store today while visiting an architects office in Ashland, Virginia. Yes I was on the job, but I couldn't resist going into a store by the name of Thrill of the Hunt! "Thrift" store doesn't really describe what this place is...because while it is "thrifty", it's much more trendy and definitely a hot spot to buy all things "prrruutttyy"! The pieces are very affordable and not to mention the owners are very polite and make you feel right at home. After chatting it up the the owner I found out that they upcycle furniture in house and even offer custom farmhouse tables from reclaimed barn wood (did I mention that I've been wanting a farmhouse table, and I haven't brought one because I refuse to pay over $2,000 for a dining room table), well their tables start at $299.00- yes you read right...only $299 from reclaimed Hanover wood. So, Hanover not only produces some of the best tomatoes I've ever tasted, they're also producing some fabulous tables. I was going to have the hubs get started on DIY(ing) me a dreamy farmhouse table real soon, but once I told him the price he even agreed to buy one. I am super excited about getting a farmhouse table (that isn't faux), but true reclaimed wood from a few counties away that will tell a beautiful story from all it's scars. The Flex will not be able to haul this who's helping me pick this up? And hurry before my husband changes his mind, lol. 

Anywho...they had many other wonderful pieces, so many it's too much for me to even get down. There were some pieces that I was able to snap a picture of, a few of them I even purchased.

So if you're in the area please check them out @ 315 England Street, Ashland, VA 23005, you can't miss their trendy sign which is definitely a representation on what you'll find inside!

Also check out their website here and "like" them of Facebook here.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Green Day

In honor of Earth Day 2012 my community started our monthly community clean-up in old Manchester.  We had a great turn out!  Members from area churches, neighbors, and people that grew up in the area came out to support our effort to bring the community together and give back.  We even had people tweeting about our efforts to keep the community big-ups to Black RVA for getting the word out!  I just wanna say thanks to everyone that came out and participated in our effort to keep our community clean and we look forward to our next community clean-up, which by the way will be every third Saturday of each month.  If you would like participate in our community clean-up, please contact the Blackwell Community Group at

I also took the family to the annual Manchester Earth Day 2012 event and we had a wonderful time!  I scored two rain barrels for only $15 each {although we do have to add the overflow valve and faucet, I will post about that project soon}.  I've been eyeing rain barrels at Whole Foods and some other places nearly $100 this was definitely money in the bank!  Not only am I participating in going GREEN, but because I reside in the City I am able to save up to 50% on my water bill for using rain barrels, pervious pavement, rain gardens, and/or vegetated filter strips.  I'm super stoked--again money in the bank!  So after a little work to the barrels, some dreaded paperwork, pictures, and even sketches of my property, I could possibly save up 50% on my water bill each month--I will let you guys know how that turns out.  Enough about the rain barrels already...I also got three FREE succulents, which is great since I'm not plant friendly ;-), a cute RVA sticker for the Flex, made some contacts with local organizations willing to help with our community garden, and a very happy little girl because she got to play in a pool of corn.

Happy Earth Day Everyone!

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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Even your Furniture needs some Bling!

I've been working on my living room since we purchased this house in late July of last year and I am anticipating the end, but I know it's still just the beginning.

We have an old chair we brought about 4 years ago that needed a little pick me up.  So I thought adding some bling to them would make the chair a keeper {at least for a little while longer}.

So while I was at work I went online and found these upholstery nails at Lowe's and ordered four boxes online and picked them up on my way home.  Oh and by the way I just found out that you can shop online at and pick up your order in 20 minutes or less {this is the best thing since sliced bread...for a DIYer like myself anyway!}  While I was there I decided I should get one more box of the shiny little nails if they had them {and boy did I need every last one!}

I came home and grabbed a hammer before I could even start dinner.  And when you have a little helper it makes things a little easier  harder, but at least she wants to help out, lets see if she's still interested in helping mommy in her teens {doubt it, but hey here's to wishful thinking}.

It started going south immediately because if you don't hit the nail perfectly it bends the post. I messed up an entire box of nails because of this, so it's a good thing I brought that extra box.

I really like the chair with the trim.  And for just under $7 it's a rather cheap makeover.  The whole project took about an hour.  Not too shabby huh?

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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

We did it!

So even though it's a raining day here in Richmond, the sun is shining in my heart!  I am super excited to say I hit the 1,000 mark this morning {page views -- that is!}  As I am writing this post it's now 1,010 and I'm lovin' it.  I started this blog hoping that just one person besides my husband would even look at it and as I post more DIY projects I get more and more responses from people telling me that they love reading my blog and seeing what I am DIY{ing}!

But lets not stop there!  Tell your girlfriend, co-workers, momma, grandma, husband and whoever else you can think of to read The House Made Home. 

Also make sure to "like" our Facebook Page  and subscribe to my blog through Google+ friend connect, and get updates on my DIY projects and get inspired to start your "hunny get on that already" projects! ;-)

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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Mold Me!

Ok, I know it's been some time now since I we finished the paneled wall in our living room that I mentioned here .  I have to acknowledge Decorchick! for inspiring me to tackle this one, it was definitely an adventure.  So here's all the juicy details....

 I bought 1, 4'×8' sheet of MDF a 1/2 inch thick at Home Depot for $20, and had them cut the sheets into 4 inch wide, 8ft long strips for me.

I should have listened to Decorchick! when she recommended painting your wall white or whatever color you would be painting it before you added the boards, but of course I didn't. 

My husband cut seven (7) of the twelve boards down to approximately 66" and lightly sanded the boards to smooth out the rough edges before he nailed them to the wall. 

My husband nailed each board 2 ft. apart starting from the middle of the wall....I know, I know we're not "exacto" on this one, we picked the middle of the wall due to our control units for the alarm and HVAC unit.

Then we figured out where we wanted the smaller pieces to fit to make the “boxes.”  We chose a smaller row up top and slightly larger on bottom, and big rectangles in the middle. My husband used our hand saw to cut all of the pieces of MDF to fit in between the vertical boards.

And when everything was all nailed up, all we had to do was caulk all of the seams and spackle the nail holes.  But my husband didn't listen to me and he covered them alright!!! With a huge amount of compound. I told him to use paintable caulk, which would have done the job without all of the sanding.

After all of the unnecessary sanding was finished it was time to paint! [and if you have already read "Wooda", Shoulda, Coulda you would know that because of my husbands excessive use of compound I had to paint twice...yes DOUBLE work for me!]  I painted about 4 coats of Clark + Kensington Paint - Ultra White [that was FREE from Pleasants Hardware].  I used a brush to get into all of the nooks and crannies and a foam roller for the walls and boards.

And yes the MDF does stick out from the baseboards and existing chair rail a bit because it's a 1/2 inch thick, but I surprisingly like the way it turned out and for $25 it's been one of the cheapest projects that has had the most impact on a room!

I love it! Hopefully I can convince the hubs to do this one more time in the master bedroom.

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