How to Remove a Soffit – Kitchen Renovation Update


How are y’all doing this week? Getting ready for the holidays? Instead of decorating, we did some demolition in the kitchen this past weekend. And it involved buying myself an early Christmas present:

DEWALT 10--Amp Keyless Variable Speed Corded Reciprocating Saw DW304PK 1V

I snatched up this DEWALT 10–Amp Keyless Variable Speed Corded Reciprocating Saw that was on sale at Lowe’s. I actually held each and every reciprocating saw in the tool department. Those saws are not lightweight by any means. And since I had to hold this over my head and make repeated cuts, I wanted to make sure I bought the lightest one I could find. However, I had one other factor to contend with. Battery life! The lightest weight saw was a Ni-Cad battery saw and I didn’t want to deal with losing power in the middle of the job and waiting for the battery to charge up again. So, I chose this mid-weight fighter because it has a cord and it won’t run out of power…ever…well unless your power goes out. I’m thrilled with its performance, this prize winning middle weight really knows how to throw a knock down punch to soffits.

AND, in a pinch, it works great as a turkey carver (LOL!)

I also took advantage of those fabulous Black Friday sales at Lowe’s and bought two of these [Read more...]

Plumb Crazy over these Christmas Ornaments (from Plumbing Parts) #LowesCreator


You must think I have plumbing on the brain. After all our leaks, I’ve spent some time in the plumbing aisle. While there I came across these three things:

They are beautiful, don’t you think?! Can’t you see them hanging from your Christmas tree or on your door? What? No?

Okey dokey, come along I’ll break it down for you, this is going to be fun. [Read more...]

How to Repair a Leaky Shower or Tub Faucet


You know that saying, when it rains it pours? That statement has become an actuality in our home. While we are trying to build back from the plumbing leak, one of our tub faucets developed a leak. When I tried to tighten the handles to stop the dripping, this is what happened:

Oops. Luckily, I knew the fix was an easy one, if you can screw in a light bulb, you are qualified to fix a leaky faucet!

I’ve solved this problem in a few tubs and showers (including one on the day I went into labor with my youngest.) Yup, you could say that the faucet wasn’t the only thing that sprung a leak. LOL.

[Read more...]

DIY Book Reviews – Inspired You – The Handbuilt Home – Handmade Walls


I think 2012 could be named the year of DIY blogger authored books. So many fabulous bloggers have come out with phenomenal  books. Young House Love, Miss Mustard Seed, Ana White, and The Handmade Home just to name just a few.

For me this is a dream come true. Finally, the beautiful words and photos of my favorite bloggers are now in book format. Here’s a quick round up of three DIY books I think you’ll enjoy. You’ll surely want to add them to your holiday wishlist! [Read more...]

Black Friday Deals and Discount Codes


Is anyone getting up early to seek out Black Friday specials? If you do, best of luck, but please don’t wake me. I’ll still be sleeping off the meal from Thanksgiving. But before I head to bed, some winning announcements are in order:

First up, I want to give a big CONGRATULATIONS to Shannon Merrill Hackenberg who was the lucky winner of the Silhouette CAMEO!

AND another big CONGRATULATIONS to Denise Humphrey who was the randomly selected winner of the Flow Wall System!

If you didn’t win, listen up…I have some discounts and deals to hopefully ease your woes:

I don’t know about you, but like to do my Black Friday shopping in the comfort of my own chair. If you do too, here are a few deals I can share with you!

Flow Wall Cyber Monday Deal:

Remember the awesome organizational system I used in our laundry room and our art studio? They are offering an amazing discount on most of their products for Black Friday only!

Flow Wall is having a big sale with up to 50% off most of their wall organizational products.

 Save 10% on selected items at on Cyber Monday! Hurray, this special ends at midnight PST.

Silhouette Black Friday discounts:

Visit the Silhouette Black Friday specials page and use HANDY at checkout to get these awesome savings deals!

  • A Silhouette CAMEO® plus 1 copy of Silhouette Studio® Designer Edition (MSRP $349.98) for $229.99
  • A Silhouette Portrait™ for $179.99
  • 40% off at (Offer only valid at Expires November 30, 2012. Rain checks not available. (% discount excludes Silhouette CAMEO®, Silhouette Portrait™, downloads, download cards, subscriptions, and gift cards).
Use the promo code: HANDY from Nov 23rd -Nov 30th to take advantage of these savings.

Lowe’s Home Improvement Black Friday Specials:

Finally, although I’ll be doing my shopping online, I will have to step foot for only a few minutes at my local Lowe’s Home Improvement store. I did a little Black Friday shopping early and chose to pick up my items to avoid the wait.

Can you tell what we’ll be busy doing? Hmmm, a work stand for reaching those remaining soffits. A reciprocating saw to show them who’s boss. Batteries to keep the kids’ occupied with their various toys and Wii remotes while we work. AND a wreath to kick off the holiday decorating!

Lowe’s has over 300 items on deep clearance right now. Check them out for yourself!

Disclosure: I don’t receive any compensation on the Lowe’s links, they are just good deals I wanted to share with you. You should know that I am a Lowe’s Creative Blogger, and therefore am partial to Lowe’s ;-). The links for Flow Wall and Silhouette are affiliate links and I earn a small percentage of any sales made using that link and/or using the discount code. As always, I was not told what to write, all words are my own. I just wanted to share a little Black Friday Love with ya! Happy Shopping!


Happy Thanksgiving and an Update


Happy Thanksgiving to all my US readers. This year I am thankful for so many things. But, mostly I’m thankful for a roof over my head, heat, electricity, running water and a sense of humor.


The long list of things I’m thankful for:

I’m thankful for good neighbors who graciously let me do multiple loads of laundry a week while our machines sat unusable in the garage.

I’m thankful for our good friends and family who brought us meals while our kitchen was torn apart.

I’m thankful to my in-laws for helping us through the first week after being evacuated from our home.

I’m thankful to our good friends who helped take care of Buddy while we were homeless.

I’m thankful to all the rest of our friends and family who called or stopped by to check in on us and make sure we were surviving.

I’m thankful to be back in our own home with the ones I love.

I’m thankful that I have a husband who understood that I couldn’t let someone else be in charge of putting our kitchen back together again. And a husband who is willing to live without while we push through the process of demolition and renovation.

I’m thankful for my two boys who have been helping demolish the kitchen and are entertaining me with lots of ideas on how the kitchen should look and function after the renovation. (I know they will be sad to see that their scooter rink plans won’t be in the finished kitchen.)

I’m thankful to all of you for reading, commenting and letting me know that this kitchen fiasco was just a small bump in the road.

I’m thankful that I have the guts to decide to take over building back our kitchen on my own terms!

Most of all, I am thankful for this life and all that amazing things that it is filled with and for where it will lead me.

I hope you enjoy this short one minute video I took during some of the demolition. I’m hoping to start giving weekly updates to keep you up to date on our kitchen renovation progress.

How about that little engine that could attitude? We had a hard time getting him to stop. I think  he’d still be up there beating on the soffit until it finally came down. (Hmmm, I wonder where he gets that from?)


Coming up: How to Remove Soffits Tutorial

You can read more about our kitchen disaster and renovation in these updates:




Chalk Painted, Stenciled and Distressed Dumpster Table


Dear Beautiful Table, your scandinavian antique beauty has us mesmerized. What’s your story? Did a family of four sit around you and talk about the day’s adventures on the farm? Or were you an antique table brought over from Europe and passed down for generations?  Or were you simply an ugly table left by the dumpster of an apartment complex in Raleigh, NC? {insert record scratch sound bite here} Yup, would you believe that a few short weeks ago, this beauty was sprawled in pieces by a dumpster? All the pieces (including the leg bolts) were neatly in a plastic baggy and secured to the table. This is one of the best pieces of furniture I’ve ever found in the trash (well next to it to be exact.) I didn’t have to do any structural repairs, just reattached the legs. But, it looked like the below photo when I picked it up:

[Read more...]

Enter to Win a Silhouette Cameo before the Holidays

silhouette cameo giveaway plus silhouette discount code: HANDY

silhouette cameo giveaway plus silhouette discount code: HANDY

Gals and guys, are you sitting down? Okay, I’m so excited to be able to offer one Silhouette CAMEO to one of my readers. I made do without one of these fancy cutters for a long time. But, this year I broke down and got one. And, I’m smitten. It has been a lot of fun to make projects and crafts with the CAMEO.

If you are still in the dark about what a Silhouette craft cutter can do, check out my pinterest board of Silhouette projects. [Read more...]

How to Create Rope Light Word Wall Art


how to create a rope light word wall art sign

I really appreciate all your kind comments about my arts and craft studio. Don’t forget to enter to win the Flow Wall organizational system, the giveaway ends Wednesday, Nov. 21st at midnight EST.

The boys and I christened the art & craft studio yesterday by creating ornaments. We had creative clutter strewn everywhere! It was wonderful to be able to spread out and not stress too much about the mess (although I did end up cleaning up and vacuuming last night.) But enough about that, what you really want to know is how to create your own rope light art sign. The possibilities of words are endless. I bet your child would love to have their own name in lights!

The germination of the light sign came from this installation I did at the Habitat house I worked on with GMC. [Read more...]

Art and Craft Studio using Flow Wall Reveal


Can I get a huge cheer and a big raise the roof sign on this project! This was the project that took FOREVER because of a few speed bumps: pneumonia, mono, water leak, mold growth, asbestos discovery, and finally being evacuated from our own house. Slowly but surely I was able to transform our bonus room into an amazingly creative art and craft studio for us to enjoy. I gave you the low down on how easy the Flow Wall was to install yesterday. But, I’ve been teasing you and I know you definitely want to see the after pictures.

Before you get the 10 cent tour, let’s take a look back in time at what the room used to look like: [Read more...]

Flow Wall Assembly in the Art and Craft Room


The art and craft studio is nearly complete. One of the major successes in this room is the Flow Wall storage under the eaves of the sloped ceiling. I couldn’t be happier with the ease of installation and the storage possibilities.

If you remember my plans from September, I sent this sketch to Flow Wall and they shipped out the wall panels and components immediately. Then I had to deal with pneumonia, water leaks and my littlest guy came down with mono last month. But, once I cracked the first box, it only took me an afternoon to hang the flow wall panels; assemble all the cabinets; and mount them on the wall panels. [Read more...]

Kitchen Plan Update


It has been a whirlwind week. I’ve been doing my best to learn everything I can about tiles, flooring and cabinets. I’m so used to making do with what I have or buying things to upcycle. Picking out new is a real struggle for me. After multiple failed kitchen layout plans, we finally called in some professional help.

On Friday we met with Amy from Ferguson, the kitchen and bath suppliers. They have showrooms all over the US. Walking around the showroom was really helpful (and a bit overwhelming because I wanted everything!) But, ultimately Amy helped pull me back down to reality.

Here is one of the layouts that she proposed for our kitchen: [Read more...]

Habitat ReStore Talk on Saturday, November 17th in Cary, NC


Things have been hoppin’ around Pretty Handyville, so forgive this late notice:

It’s been a while, but I’m excited to be giving another talk at one of our local Habitat ReStores.

I’ll be sharing some amazing lighting transformations that you can create for less than $10. I hope you can make it to the Cary ReStore, 181 High House Road, Cary, NC 27511. The talk will start at 1pm. Get there early because there will be some great lighting deals and steals ;-).


Tool Review – Black and Decker GYRO


I finally finished installing the Flow Wall in the arts & crafts studio. And I had some help from this little guy:

This is the Black & Decker GYRO, it’s a cordless screwdriver, but it has one amazing feature. It is smart enough to sense which direction you want  to turn and will begin to move in  that direction at the slightest tilt of your hand. (I wish I had a tool that could sense the direction my mind is going on this kitchen remodel, but that model might be more complicated than rocket science.) [Read more...]

Fall Leaves Garden Flag with Google+ LIVE Video Tutorial


Hi, Y’all! Did you know it’s Fall Y’all! Yup, the weather has finally turned in Raleigh, NC. To celebrate this colorful season I’ve created this beautiful garden flag using a few simple supplies from the Dollar Store. Scroll down for the full material list.

If you want to watch the tutorial in my Google+ LIVE hangout, view the video below.

We will start promptly at 10am PST (1pm EST). But, don’t fret if you miss it, you will be able to play the video at your convenience later.

(If you are viewing in your email, click HERE to view this post on my website.)


Joining me is the fabulous Sandra of Sawdust & Paper Scraps and Sharon from Mrs. Hine’s Class. It’s going to be a lot of fun so stick around.

[Read more...]

A Gift for a Donor and a Google+ Hangout Reminder


Happy Wednesday! A while ago I told you about my friend Colleen who lost her husband and was trying to make ends meet. I really appreciate your outpouring of support for her. As promised, I have a thank you gift for one lucky donor! I’ve been collecting these fantastic DIY and craft items for that one special person. Colleen will be picking one lucky donor at random after midnight EST, Saturday, November 10th. And that person will get these amazing gifts you see here.

Let’s get a closer look, shall we?

A Box filled with:

  • Plaid Martha Stewart Crafts flower stencils
  • Autographed copy of the Woman’s Day magazine I was featured in
  • Pur Mineral Clear Water Filter
  • Purdy Paint Brush
  • KILZ Paint Brush
  • Pink Watering Can
  • Pink Tomboy Tools Tool Box
  • Pink Hammer
  • Ear Plugs
  • Mini-Level
  • Tape Measure
  • Mike Holmes Safety Glasses
  • Pick Your Plum goodies
  • Craft-a-Day for a full year book
  • Comet Stainless Steel cleaners
  • Scented Hand Lotions
  • Head Lamp and flashlight
  • Glade air freshener
  • Rustoleum comfort grip spray paint handle
  • Painter’s Markers
  • Illy Coffee and….
  • a Kreg Jig!!!

Please consider making a donation to help Colleen. She’s currently living with her mother and her mother’s house is about to go into foreclosure ;-(. Every dollar helps. Click on the button below to be taken to the fundraising page:

Just a little reminder that I’ll be giving a LIVE demonstration on making the fall flag you see above with my friend Sandra of Sawdust & Paper Scraps tomorrow, Thursday, November 8th at 10am PST (1pm EST.) The video will stream live here on the blog. Just go to the home page and you should be able to click the play button on the video screen. I hope you’ll join us for the fun!

If you miss the LIVE stream, the video will be available at your convenience anytime after the Hangout has ended. The video player should still be visible on the blog, so join me anytime. As Tom Bodett says, “We’ll leave the light on for you.”


When Life Hands You Lemons, Plan a Kitchen Renovation


Hey y’all. I figured you might want an update from “The Handy Home.”  There have been so many changes, you won’t believe it! I have some amazing Before and After pictures for you. (Because I know how much everyone loves to see drastic changes.)

Kitchen Before:

Monotone cabinets and appliances. No visual interest. [Read more...]

I’ll Be LIVE! Google+ Hangout featuring Homemade Thanksgiving



This is going to be an exciting week!  “A Homemade Thanksgiving” is happening!  In short, it’s a week long LIVE event filled with tips & tutorials from some of your favorite craft and décor bloggers.

Here’s the Line Up (All times are Pacific Standard Time):

Monday – November  5

12:00 pm - Five Printable Placecard Options - Kristi B  of Creative Kristi

2:00 pm - Using Natural Elements from Your Own Yard to Create Fall Displays - Barbara Garrett of The Everyday Home


Tuesday – November 6

11:00 am - Decorating on the Cheap - 5 Trending Hometalk Projects  -  – with guest Heather Patterson (At The Picket Fence)

12:00 pm - Table Centerpieces - Aimee Lane of It’s Overflowing with guest  Emily Morgenstern (52 Mantels)

1:00 PM - Creating a Fall Mantel - Barbara Garrett of The Everyday Home


Wednesday – November 7

11:00 AM - Thanksgiving Crafts for Kids - Amanda Formaro of Crafts by Amanda

1:00 PM - Thanksgiving Crafts - Amber Price  of Crazy Little Projects

2:00 PM - Turkey Cookies with Your Kids - Natalie Dixon of A Turtle’s Life

4:00 PM - Embellish with Paint - Colleen Jorgensen of Just Paint It!


Thursday – November 8

10:00 AM – Fall Garden Flag from Dollar Store Items - Brittany Bailey of Pretty Handy Girl with guest +Sandra Powell (Sawdust & Paper Scraps)

11:00 AM - Hand Crafted Thanksgiving Home Decor - Shannon Fox of Fox Hollow Cottage with guest +Debbie Manno (Debbiedoo’s)

12:00 PM – Tips and Tricks for Hosting Your Family and Not Going Bonkers! - Nellie Bellie with guests Jessica Kielman (Mom4Real) & Jen Marrs (Four Marrs & One Venus)

1:00 PM – Creative Kids’ Thanksgiving Ideas - Amy Bell of Positively Splendid

3:00 PM - Decorating with Natural Elements - Sharon Hines of Mrs. Hines Class with guests Ann Drake (On Sutton Place), Colleen Jorgensen,(Just Paint It), & Jane Windham (Cottage at the Crossroads)

4:00 PM - Quick Thanksgiving Crafts - Angie of Country Chic Cottage& Carolina Moore of 30 Minute Crafts


Friday – November 9

11:00 AM – Thanksgiving Placecards - Karen Watson of The Graphics Fairy with guests +Gina Luker (Shabby Creek Cottage)

2:00 PM – Ways to Personalize Your Thanksgiving Table - Kim Demmon of Today’s Creative Blog

Are you excited? Did you happen to catch Thursday? At 10 AM PST? I’ll be sharing how to make a fall flag using materials from the dollar store with my friend, Sandra of Sawdust & Paper Scraps. We’ll be doing the live video for you to view right here on the blog!

I’m used to creating solo videos, but I wanted to get y’all involved this time. I hope you’ll drop in for my first LIVE tutorial! I’m going to show you how to make this pretty fall flag:

If you want to be ready to craft, gather these materials beforehand:


  • Dollar Store placemat
  • Brown, orange & red thread
  • Sewing Machine
  • Silk leaves
  • Glitter paint or glitter glue
  • Stencils
  • Optional: hand sew or hot glue if you don’t have a sewing machine

If you can’t drop everything and make it Thursday at 10 AM PST, you can still watch later on my YouTube channel at your convenience. (That’s the really nice thing about Google+ Hangouts On Air – they’re recorded onto YouTube for viewers to watch at any time.)

What do you think? I know I’m really excited, not just for mine, but also to see some of my favorite bloggers too! This is really a landmark event – to have a group of bloggers broadcasting like this. I hope you’ll join me and Sandra. That girl cracks me up, so be prepared to pee your pants ;-D.