How to Paint a Miniature House

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Yesterday, I unveiled my mini-me house mailbox. I appreciate the kind comments (even it they were coerced ;-). )

Today, I wanted to give you a little tutorial on painting a mailbox to look like your house. If you can color in a coloring book, you can create a painting of your home! [Read more...]

Make a House Shaped Mailbox – a Lowe’s Creative Idea

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June is almost here (although it felt like summer this weekend) and more people are spending time outside sprucing up their yards and improving their curb appeal. As you drive down my street you are greeted by beautiful lawns, flowers, and {screech!}my peeling mailbox.

{Insert sad frown here.} My mom and I painted this mailbox shortly after we moved into the house. We had a lot of fun painting it together and I took all the necessary precautions of priming it and sealing it with polyurethane. But sadly we made the mistake of painting a few cute bumblebees on the top. Within a week of installing the mailbox I went to retrieve my mail only to find the bees had been pecked off the box. “What the…?”

I’m fairly certain a bird had just perched on top of my mailbox and was ready to partake in a buffet of bumblebees. After the paint had been chipped, it allowed water to seep underneath and slowly over the course of a few years we have the sad looking mess of a mailbox show here:

I wanted a unique mailbox that looked like a mini-me of our house. Plus, I wanted it to be tall enough to accomodate a priority mail box. So, I set about building my own custom mailbox and now you can too!

[Read more...]

The Results are In, But the Front Door Dilemma Continues

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Wow, y’all knocked my socks off with the response to my front door color survey! Over 350 people responded. With that kind of a response I should ask for your help more often!

And the reader’s choice winner is: [Read more...]

Front Door Dilemma

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Our plum colored front door has served our home well for over 5 years. Actually, I can’t take credit for the color choice. The previous owner chose the color, but luckily she and I had similar taste. I know I told you that we used to live across the street from our current house. But, did I ever tell you that we both painted our powder rooms at the same time? We saw each other on Monday and were shocked to learn that not only had we both been painting our powder rooms over the weekend, but that we had chosen the same color!

Time has passed, and I’m yearning for a brighter and cheerier front door. A door that makes people rubber neck! [Read more...]

How to Remove a Stuck, Stripped or Painted Screw

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Isn’t it frustrating when you are trying to unscrew a screw and the head is stripped? Or some moron painted the screw and now you can’t get your screwdriver into the slots. (I might have been the painting fool mentioned.) Luckily there are two ways to solve this problem. [Read more...]

Stencil Myself a New Door Mat

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I picked up this plain vanilla door mat a while ago at a thrift store. I knew I wanted to transform it into something stencil-tacular. But, I couldn’t decided on the right pattern.

While at SNAP I was introduced to Royal Studio Design stencils and won a free stencil to take home. This Chez Sheik design immediately jumped out at me. The moroccan look is very beautiful, don’t you think? [Read more...]

A Little Love Affair

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Today I have a little love story to share with you. I fell in love with my husband many, many years ago! Back then, this was us:

Go ahead, get your laughs in now!

He looked like Axl Rose to me, and that’s all it took to make my perm and hairspray lovin’ heart to go pitter patter. If you told me that one day I would marry this guy and have two boys, I might have believed you in a puppy love kind of way. But, never in a million years could I have realized how leaving one rose on his windshield would lead to the wonderful life and family we have together. We will be celebrating our sixteenth wedding anniversary (and 24 years dating) this weekend. Believe me, those numbers are as shocking to me as they are to you.

But, I wouldn’t be totally truthful if I didn’t tell you that my heart strays occasionally. It happens more than I like to admit. This is my affair: [Read more...]

Creative Art Supply Storage

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This week, I’ve been giving you a few glimpses of my true personality. I think I’ve mentioned before that I have a background in illustration. Well, we’ve known each other long enough, I think it’s only fair that I show you a few of my paintings: [Read more...]

Copper – A Little Bling-Giddy Bling Bling on da How-wow-wowzz

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It’s DJ P-Diddy Handy Gee in da Howzz today!

Yo, yo, you, listen up! I have a rhyme for you. Give me da beat boyz:

There was a little roof called Barn-ey, oh yeah…
and he was too purple and greeney, oh no…
So, he got the yank and hit the curb-ey, yeah yeah
In its place is some shiney de-light woot woot!

Yes, I can rap with the best of them! Don’t you think?  Oh alright, I’ll stick to my day job.

When I left you last week, I was trying to decide what type of roofing to use on the little side entrance roof.

Many of you were onboard with the copper idea. If that was you, you’ll be happy to see that I decided the same thing.

I did want to show you one more picture I took at the Southern Ideal Home Show before we move on. Look at this adorable dutch colonial with all the copper roof accents. Gorgeous, right?!

Built by 2sldesignbuild.com

When I saw that photo, I pretty much made up my mind that we needed to have a little copper roof on our home. I got a few quotes from some local companies, but ultimately decided to use The Aluminum Company of North Carolina. We’ve used them before to install gutters and gutter helmets on our house. (Which we are super happy with! No more tree debris filled gutters on our home.)

We’ve always been pleased with the Aluminum Company’s workmanship and their customer service is top notch!

Last year after we had a new gutter installed, we discovered some new wood rot over our front door (a recurring theme on our house.) I had a question about how the gutter helmets were installed and if water could be leaking behind them. I called the Aluminum Company and within 24 hours they sent out their inspector to double check the workmanship. Not only did he come out and was super polite, but he took an hour to take apart some of the gutter to show me the hidden flashing behind the shingles. Then he took a hose and painstakingly ran water on top of the gutters and then each dormer until we narrowed down that the leak was coming from our middle dormer window.  When the roofing was installed (before we lived in the house) there wasn’t enough flashing put around the dormers. But, the new gutter and gutter helmets were working perfectly. I don’t have to tell you that this was above and beyond the call of duty.

Back to the present day. Within a few days of getting an “over the phone quote” for the copper roof, this smiling young man, Joe Nemeth (no relation to the football player) showed up to take some measurements for the job and get an exact estimate for me.

As you can tell from his truck, they do a lot more than gutters and copper roofs. (Windows, siding, doors, shingles, and a whole lot more!)

Next, I received a phone call from the scheduler who gave me some options for a date to install the roof. I love that they give you options and a definite time. (Ahem! Local Cable Company, please take note: The Aluminum Company gave me options for an exact date and time, not some crazy 4-8 hour window on a day that you chose, not me!)

A day before the work was scheduled, a big 18-wheeler rolled down our street and left all the materials for the job. The next morning, bright and early, this kind gentleman (my apologies for forgetting his name) showed up on time to start constructing the copper roof.

He took exact measurements and cut the copper with tin snips. Then he used a metal break to create the folds in the copper for the standing seams.

Each section is installed and the seams are fitted together so there are no exposed screws or fasteners. Really sleek, right?!

I also learned that a copper roof is very energy efficient because it reflects the suns rays. Whew, let me tell you when I climbed up the ladder to get a closer look I felt the heat reflecting off the copper. It was enough to roast a marshmallow on top of my head! Plus, the copper should last a long, long, long time. Which means, there is no waste going to the landfill after 15-20 years like an asphalt shingle roof. That makes me happy.

Within a few more days the Aluminum Company sent their gutter guys out to install the short run of gutter and connect it to the existing downspout on the front of the house.

Those guys were really great!

They put up with a lot of my questions and even a last minute decision to change the downspout from white to black so it would blend in with the roof.

{Squeeall!} I’m super excited by the little bit o’ bling that adorns our home now. I find myself rubbernecking as I drive away to do the kids to school shuttle every morning.

What do you think? Did you doubt my choice to use copper? If so, do you like it now? Or do you think I’m crazy? (This is definitely debatable, ask my husband.)

Granted, that bar wasn’t set too high when it came to improving upon the purple awning.

In the meantime, I’m going to sit back and enjoy the show as the copper mellows from that shiny color to a warm brown and maybe one day if we’re lucky a pretty patina!

Modified from ColourLovers user: Koala988

I’ve heard all kinds of stories about how to patina your roof. The installer said he heard if you put ketchup on it, it will speed the aging process. I’m sure my neighbors would definitely call the state mental hospital if they saw me up on a ladder slathering Heinz 57 on our new roof. I think I’ll just leave it for now. Because this looks 300 times better…

than this…

Side note: I actually had a conversation with the birdhouse manufacturers at the Southern Ideal Home Show to find out how they patina their birdhouses.

Birdhouses by Tim Chorba (919)664-8383

I was told they order a special chemical that speeds the patina process from Triple-S Chemical in California. Hmmmm, that has me thinking.

Until next time.

aka DJ P-Diddy Handy Gee
(my apologies to Busta Rhymes for copying his look for today’s post.)

Disclosure: I offered to write this post and mention the Aluminum Company in exchange for a discount on our roof. They had no idea what I was going to say about them. But, I knew it wouldn’t be hard to say good things about the company because we’ve used them before and I’ve always been happy. I would never recommend a company to my readers that I didn’t like myself. One thing that I really value is that the owner, Jeff Monsein, stands behind every job his company does. He even gives out his personal cell phone number for customers to call if they are unhappy! How many CEOs do you know that will do that?

An Unfinished Symphony

Today I’m taking you on a big departure from the DIY tutorial world. I wouldn’t write this post if I didn’t feel that this story needs to be shared.

Tomorrow is Mother’s Day and I know I don’t have to tell you how important it is to have a loving mother in your life. A mom is someone who loves you no matter how much you screw up or no matter how old you get. A mother is someone who is there to pick you up when you fall down and kiss the scraped knees and bumped heads. A mother is the person who sits down last at the dinner table after everything else has been tended to. And the first one to pop up when something has been forgotten.

Can you imagine a life without your Mother? I realize that some of you are nodding your heads right now and my heart goes out to you. There is a new family amongst your numbers that will be celebrating Mother’s day tomorrow without their mother. I’m asking you to open your arms and take them into a big virtual hug. [Read more...]

Pass Mum the Bottle

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Hey, procrastinators among us, do you need a last minute Mother’s Day gift? How about a bottle of liquor for your mum.

[Read more...]

The DIY Talent Parade Highlights

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I’m still on a high after the fabulous DIY Talent Parade. Seriously, I think the Rose Parade needs to watch out because y’all have some fabulous talent! There were so many amazing projects, it was hard to pick just a few of my favorites.

To start off the highlights, I present to you this colorful living room makeover by Yanet from 3 Sun Kissed Boys. I love how she nailed the color palette when she decided the word for the room should be cheery:

Plum Doodles wowed us with this standard vanity makeover by painting the toe kick black and adding legs and a skirt. Check out here step by step tutorial: [Read more...]

Winner of the $100 American Express Gift Card from Pennington Seed

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The time has come, it is time to choose a winner at random to walk away with a $100 American Express card.Tonight I have an assistant to help me choose the winner of the Pennington Seed American Express card giveaway.

Please welcome the adorable Hammie! This adorable little hamster has been specifically trained to draw one name out of a hat at random! Let’s welcome Hammie and encourage him to go fetch one name.


Photo by Giugiaro21 via Creative Commons [Read more...]

Saying Goodbye to Barney and Hello, Beautiful!

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I detest Barney, the purple dinosaur. I’m not sure what it is about him that turns my stomach. Maybe it’s because he’s too artificially sweet. Maybe it’s his annoying theme song. Or perhaps it is his unnatural purple and green color combo.The dislike of all things Barney has carried over to my house, because I nicknamed this ugly purple awning over our side entrance: Barney. Hmmm, look, they even have the same color palette. Yuck.


Barney has seen better days, his outdoor canvas has started to wear thin and the sky is peeking through the awning. [Read more...]

SNAP! Recap and My Empowerment Talk

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Phew, I just made it through the whirlwind two weeks of speaking engagements! First I gave three back-to-back talks at the Southern Ideal Home Show in Raleigh. Then a few days later I hopped a plane to Salt Lake City to give my presentation at SNAP. Remarkably I still have a voice. [Read more...]