Use What You Have – Scrap Wood…

Last week, I was all on task to clean the garage. That was going to be my “project” of the week.

I got sidetracked.


It all started with me gathering together a bunch of small scrap pieces of wood that were scattered around the garage – left over from the wood work during our renovation 6 months ago.


I didn’t know what to do with all the small, seemingly unusable, pieces of cherry wood. I got mentally stuck on these scraps. What to do with the piles? I couldn’t move on until I decided what to do with the scrap wood. Or, maybe, I was looking for an excuse to procrastinate the garage cleaning task. I don’t know. All I know is that I didn’t want to just throw the wood away. On the other hand, I didn’t want to stack it up in the corner somewhere to be forgotten.  Eventually, I decided I needed to use it or loose it. I opted to use it. Also, I justified this side project in my mind – technically I was still cleaning up the garage by getting rid of the scrap wood? Anyway, the jigsaw came out and I started cutting. Two hours later I had cut 32 pieces of wood for an art project…


I hand sanded the sharp edges a bit. I liked the contrast of light and dark of the different pieces so I opted to maintain that. The already older, darker pieces of wood got a coat of oil. The light pieces of wood stayed naked – without oil. A spray finish was applied to everything. I, then, glued the pieces together to create flowers…


I thought the flowers looked pretty good, but they didn’t feel quite finished…


I remembered my fancy hardware experience from just 2 weeks earlier – The Secret Project. This project was going to be out in the open. It needed some fancy hardware, so off to the neighborhood hardware store I went.

Yep. Fancy hardware was the detail these flowers needed to feel finished…


I will pair these posies up with a cow in a sunflower field print and call it an art installation – for work.

Cow in Sunflower Field...

Put your orders in now – we’ve probably got another hundred pieces to transform into something fun :)

The Secret Project…

I have been skulking around here for a day or three – working on a secret project.

Dr. Suess...

It all started when a neighbor brought a cat named Mo over for a visit. I was sitting on the floor of our entryway trying to get Mo to come over to me. He refused to come anywhere near me.

It was then that I noticed underneath the vanity.


Sorry about the blurry view, but you obviously get the picture – ugly and unfinished.

Generally, nobody is going to be sitting on the floor of our entryway – and likely wouldn’t care about the view anyway. However, the problem was that I was sitting on the floor in the entryway – and I saw it – and I care! I tried to unsee it. It lurked in my brain. I knew it was ugly under there. I couldn’t just unsee it.

I decided it needed to be finished – so I could sleep at night. I opted to not tell anyone I was doing this project because it did seem a bit crazy – even still now, in retrospect. Tad was also (and still has been) left in the dark about this project. Last night, he arrived home from work and asked what I did during the day. I quickly rattled off the list – dropped off the security door screens for repair, stopped at Ace Hardware for secret project materials, off to the kitchen store for a made in the USA cakelet beehive pan (more on that later), over to Olive and Finch for some lunch, and back home to finish up the secret project. Tad looked around for a few minutes to see if he could find the secret project. He could not.


Anyway, back to the project itself.

I figured a few hours, some left over materials, and it would be good to go. I was wrong. This covert operation turned into a mission.

I had some extra tile so I thought I would just slap some of that up on the back wall and call it done. Nope. It didn’t seem quite finished enough.

I decided it needed some Schluter trim along the bottom to match the rest of the room. Ok. It matched the rest of the room. It looked good, but then the top of the tile looked messy.

I looked around the materials scrap pile and found a small piece of wood trim for the top edge of the tile – even though I am, literally, the only person on the planet that knew about this project and the messy top edge of the tile.


It looked okay, but still not complete. I installed some cherry wood base along both sides.

By this time, I am all in.  So, a small cherry wood block detail was added to each corner.

Then, I decided the block needed a little hardware detail – in the form of some fancy finish screws. This is how I ended up at Ace Hardware for secret project materials yesterday.

As I explained my project to the Ace Hardware guy, I wondered if I may have gone one detail too far. He tried to steer me to the cheap (aka ugly) screws – because it was an under the vanity project – and I think he thought I was having a break with reality. I was like “Dude. I know I sound like I have lost my mind, but details matter to me. Please show me your best finish screws.” He shrugged his shoulders, directed me to the fancy finish screws, and said “I would use the chrome ones if I were you.”

Thanks Ace Dude. Chrome was definitely the way to go.



So, to wrap up The Secret Project…

The blurry before view from the entryway.


Now, the after view from the entryway. Subtle, secret, but definitely worth it.


And – just to followup on Mo, the cat, from across the street. We checked in on him while his family was out of town. This is what was going on at his house…


That is a turkey.


Maybe, even weirder than a stealth project under a vanity?

Water Towers…

I now wake up to a view of water towers.

fullsizeoutput_1237I like it.

I am freakishly fascinated with old fashioned water towers. I don’t know why I like water towers. I just do.

As I roam our lovely city, I have a few favorites around the area…

Olde Town Arvada water tower...


Anyway, I got in the habit of waking up to a “view” during construction. We slept in the basement, and each morning I would wake up in a forest…


I loved that. I missed it when we moved back upstairs. I wanted that same daily experience in our new bedroom.

Our bedroom is very quiet, calm, and undecorated. There are some grey painted walls, wood flooring, lovely natural cherry trim, a bed with solid bedding, a bench, two side tables, and two wall mounted bedside reading lights. Ok, so, when I list it all out now, there is more than I thought in there.

Nonetheless, it was feeling a bit sparse and in need of some pattern.



However, I didn’t want to go crazy with pattern and/or artwork. I wanted to keep the room feeling kind of minimal. In my mind, wallpaper was the best way to accomplish what I was wanting – something mural like that would create a “view”, something very simple with a larger graphic pattern, and minimal color. Hmm. I, then, remembered the water tower wallpaper pattern from way back when we were deciding on the basement stair wallpaper.

I didn’t even shop around. I wanted the water towers! Tad was easily on board given it was the right color (there was a grey and white version) and not flowery.

Ordered (from Cavern Home). Installed (by Corbel Interiors). Now – lulling me to sleep every night (with visions of water towers dancing in my head). And – happily greeting me every morning (as I motivate for the day ahead).



Next needed is a natural wood beam to add some interest to the bed wall. I love the whole, natural wood, exposed beam thing. Beams are kind of like water towers for me. I notice beams. I stare at beams with wonder and awe. Beams make me happy and calm. I haven’t yet broken the news to Tad that we are going to install a beam in there, but we are.