Interview at the Permit Office: Your Questions Will Be Answered!

Building_permit

Do I need to pull a permit for this? What happens if I don’t pull a permit? What can I expect? What surprise could come up? What happens if you fail the inspection?

These are just a few of the broad questions I have for Mr. Barry Mooneyham, Director of Wake County Planning, Development and Inspections. I’m not sure Mr. Mooneyham knows what to expect, but he was genuinely glad to let me come talk to him this coming Wednesday morning. I have a list of questions for him about building permits and about why people are so hesitant to file for a permit.

Please add your own questions to my list by asking them below in the comments. I’d love to help you get your questions answered. Be on the lookout for the follow up post after my interview. ;-)

Creating with the Stars: Do You Have What it Takes?

Oh yeah Baby! Are you ready to fight for your right to create? Get ready because Creating with the Stars is coming! East Coast Creative has picked up the most popular contest in blogland and has polished it with a new name and brought in new stars (me included). Now all they need is new talent. Are you game? Can you bring your creativity and blow the blogosphere on it’s rear end? Yes?! Well then, I want to be your star! I promise to be here day or night to help you hone your ideas, give you tips and support. Then I’ll cheer — no wait — yell until I’m hoarse for your sweet victory!

It’s time to show off those handy skills and flex your creativity to win…

creating with the stars

Here’s how it all works:

Submit one project that shows everyone your best stuff into the linky party on East Coast Creative that will begin on February 5th. Projects must have been made October 1, 2011 or later and must be your own work.  You have until February 21st to enter. From those entries, 12 of you will be chosen by the blog stars and EC2 as contestants and will be randomly paired up to work one-on-one with a Blog Star, to duke it out in a four-week competition to see who’s the most creative.  The Star will give suggestions, ideas, encouragement, and help so you can come up with the best project possible.  Each round will have a theme and the bottom three will be eliminated based on reader votes.  Once the contest is started, weekly projects are anonymous, so big blogger or rookie, everyone’s on the same, even playing field!  Find your favorite project to link up and be prepared to put your best foot forward if you want to survive!

Get those projects ready because I can’t wait to work with you one-on-one…face-to-face (on Google Hangout or Skype)…and ear-to-ear (on the phone.)

How to Keep Your HE Front Load Washer Clean and Smelling Fresh

keep HE Clothes Washer CLean

HE (High Efficiency) washers possess the technology to use a lot less water than the old top load washers. Plus, they cut down on dryer times with an amazing spin cycle that leaves clothes damp not sopping wet. We love our HE washer, but I have several friends who hate theirs. Why? The biggest complaint about the front loading HE washers is that they get mildew in the gaskets and start to stink. We have owned our front loading HE Washer for six years, and this month was the first time I’ve ever had to clean it. Pick your jaw up off the floor and I’ll explain. [Read more...]

Winner and Reveal of the Guess the DIY Blogger Contest

Pretty_handy_girl_then_now

Oh my goodness, I hope you had a great time travelling back in time yesterday and laughing at our childhood portraits! Did you guess who I was? There were so many of you who were soooooo close to guessing all the DIY bloggers correctly, but finally one person…one blogger…one true DIY fan rose to claim victory! [Read more...]

Before They Were Bloggers – Guess these Famous DIY Faces Contest

Guess_the_blogger_FIN

The contest is over, but feel free to view the results!

Let’s take a ride in that DeLorean parked outside and go back in time. Back to a time before there was Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter. Before chevrons, mercury glass and ombré were hot. And most importantly, before there were blogs!

We’re going back to when these DIY gals were worrying about how high they could get their hair, was there food in their braces and oh no…not another zit! Talking on the phone for hours meant stretching that long spiral cord beyond its limits and tying up the only phone in the house. Common purchases for these DIY gals may have been the latest cassette tape, neon bracelets, a swatch watch and a tube of clearasil. You wouldn’t catch them dead in the hardware store, totally unheard of to the max!

Are you there yet? Do you see leg warmers or jelly sandals? You’re getting closer…the time machine has stopped so step out of your DeLorean and behold…the time before blogs: [Read more...]

The Hometalk Show – Learn How to Update Your Kitchen on a Budget

Hometalk_Hangout_kitchen_Graphic

Yesterday I had the pleasure of hanging out with Miriam from Hometalk and Heather from At the Picket Fence. We discussed budget kitchen updates that you can make to your kitchen right now for very little money! If you missed the hangout, no worries, you can watch the recorded show here:

Or watch it on Hometalk’s Google+ page.

I’ll see you here tomorrow, same Bat Time, same Bat Channel and I guarantee you won’t want to miss tomorrow’s post. Pee before you read it because you are gonna laugh your buns off! I promise!

 

DIY Photography Light Studio Set Up

clothespin_clipped_side

Can I just tell you that I have a bone to pick with Mother Nature lately. She seems to sense when I’m just finishing up a DIY project that really needs to be photographed. Case in point, last week I wanted to photograph my “You Rule Valentines“, but we had 4 days of gloomy weather! 1,2,3,4! I shook my fist at the heavens and told that Mother that I wasn’t going to wait any longer. Then I took matters into my own hands…so there!

I built a little table top light studio, and now come rain or sleet or shine, I have control of my photography lighting!

Want to make your own? It’s super easy. Here’s how… [Read more...]

Glitter Cut Out Valentine Name Tags

center_attached

On friday, I shared my tutorial for making You Rule Candy-Free Valentines.

I also created a tutorial for making those cute tags. If you have a Silhouette or other craft cutter, I have a few tricks for making the cut out tags. In particular, I want to show you how to attach the centers (technically called the counters in typography) of letters so they don’t drop out after being cut. You could simply glue them back in, but when you are making 50 tags that can become time intensive. I guess an alternative would be to  simply change your child’s name to something like Nick where there are no letters with centers. ;-) Yeah, maybe not. Here’s how I dealt with those pesky letters with centers: [Read more...]

You Rule: Candy-Free Classroom Valentine Gifts

ruler_tag_on_end

Happy Friday! Do you have snow? I know the south eastern states got a surprise visit from Mr. Winter last night, and I couldn’t be more thrilled.

Besides sledding, the boys and I will finish up these fun little Valentine gifts over the long weekend:

They were easy to make, and easy on the wallet! (I’m sure you have some of the supplies already. If not, make do with what you have on hand.)

Materials:

[Read more...]

Melted Crayon Heart Valentines

broken_crayons_in_tins

After the abundance of candy and cookies consumed over the holidays, I cringe at the idea of more sweets finding their way into our home. Especially candy with artificial colored dyes added. Valentine’s Day and Halloween are the two holidays where I have to brace myself for the inevitable influx of dye-laden candies. I don’t have concrete proof, but I’m fairly certain that one of my sons has a dye sensitivity. This sensitivity manifests itself in behavior issues.

Because of this, I try to make Valentines that don’t use candies.

And for Halloween I give out chocolates instead of hard “colorful” candy.

Last year, we made these really fun colorful crayon hearts.

And attached them using Elmer’s glue dots to cards that said “For Crayon Out Loud, Won’t You Be My Valentine.” I’m not the first to invent melted crayon hearts and I’m certainly not the last. I used Chef Messy’s tutorial to make mine:

But, I just saw that Kelly at Pink Hammer Blog has a tutorial using glitter yesterday:

Coming up: What my son said to make me have a change of heart on giving out candy and another Dye-Free Valentine’s Day gift idea!

P.s. Thanks for all your comments about refrigerators! I took a look at Sears today and definitely think one of those Samsung french door beasts will have a spot in our new kitchen. 

Sewing a Bench Cushion with Piping

wrap_foam_in_batting

I’ve made some progress this weekend on the desk for our kitchen. This was the keystone in the decision making process for the color of our cabinets. I wanted to see what the color would look like in the kitchen, on a real piece of furniture before spending big bucks on cabinets. I’m happy to say that after trying a few different colors, I’m in love with Copen Blue by Sherwin Williams. I think the skies might have just cleared and I heard the distant chorus of angels singing “Hallelujah!” Yes, it was that big of a moment!

You can see this beautiful blue in The DIY Show Off’s Beach Eclectic Cottage Room that she designed for Shaw with Cassity from Remodelaholic.

This week will be a busy one, I have several projects to start; several to finish; need to pull a permit and I REALLY need to order a refrigerator. If you have one you absolutely love, I’m open to your suggestions. Currently we have a 18 year old side by side. I’m thinking a 25 cu ft or larger french door fridge might be better suited to a growing family of boys.

But, I’m sure you aren’t here to listen to me ramble. So, instead I have a tutorial for making a bench cushion with piping.

Before we get started I wanted to let you in on a little secret: The bench cushion and side table fabrics you see below are actually shower curtains!

You read that right. Shower curtains are not only inexpensive, but they are durable and can stand up to moisture. This makes them perfect for outdoor use. I bought both of these at Target for under $20 each!

[Read more...]

How to Install Radiant Floor Heat using WarmlyYours

tempzone_layout_warmly_yours

Are you ready to get toasty today? Today is the day that I’ll be showing you how to install the WarmlyYours TempZone radiant floor heat. Can I tell you a little secret? I was terrified! I was so fearful of breaking the heating wire, that I handled this roll with kid gloves. And I yelled at ANYONE who dared step on the mats in shoes. I realize now that I may have been paranoid and overreacted a little. I was just so anxious to have warm floors that I protected our radiant floor elements like a Mama bear of her cubs.

Remember on Wednesday how I told you how I had chosen WarmlyYours radiant heating systems because of their awesome warranty? Well, I also read feedback about their customer service and it ROCKS as well! That service starts with the ordering process.  I was in contact with a representative from WarmlyYours who helped answer ALL of my questions (of which I had many.) She reviewed my room layout and suggested the TempZone Cut & Turn Rolls which is one long mesh roll with the heating element woven and evenly spaced throughout the roll. I was doubtful and wasn’t sure how the roll would fit through the doorway and “roll” around our laundry room. But, she reassured me that they would send me detailed plans for installation. And that a DIYer like myself should have no problem with the installation.

Within a week, I received my custom TempZone roll with a layout just for MY space.

Not just a standard layout, but a custom plan for my exact room dimensions and usage. I was extremely impressed to say the least, because the plan was very detailed showing the exact location of the cuts I needed to make in the mesh mat (not the wire.) Having this map saved me hours of brain-twisting planning at the least.

Before installation, I read the instruction manual in its entirety (highly recommended.) Remember, I was a little nervous and didn’t want to do anything to damage the heating mat. I even made sure I was hopped up on caffeine so I could absorb every nugget of the lesson.

Are you ready for the tutorial? It wasn’t as difficult as I anticipated and this part went fairly quickly. Let’s roll! [Read more...]

Installing Cork Underlayment for a Radiant Floor

perfect_fit_cork_tiles

After you read the title, I guess the cat’s out of the bag. It’s true, I installed radiant floor heating in our mudroom/laundry room and I couldn’t be more thrilled. One of the positives of having a plumbing leak and subsequent gutted room, is being able to make changes that you otherwise wouldn’t have considered. Tile floors with radiant heating underneath was one such change we never entertained until our flooring was ripped out.

Here’s the low down on those two rooms. Our long hallway mudroom that ends in the laundry room was an addition to our home back in the 80′s. It was built on a concrete pad and the owners must have decided not to tie those two rooms into the heating and air conditioning. Consequently, in the winter, these rooms are brrrrrrr…chilly willy! (It’s true, my blood has thinned over the years from living in the south. I think I’d turn into a useless popsicle if I had to spend more than an hour in Alaska like Ana White.) The linoleum flooring that was there didn’t do much to dampen the chill. And, I knew since we were installing tiles in these areas that it would only contribute to that polar ice effect (wimpy wimpy wimpy, I know).

I decided that I wanted to try to add radiant heat in the floors. After a few nights of research, I settled on a company that makes custom configured TempZone radiant heating mats  for your home.

[Read more...]

How to Patch and Level a Concrete Subfloor

self_leveler_pour

We are well on our way to putting Humpty Dumpty back together when it comes to our mudroom and laundry room. The kitchen, it’s still a blank canvas.

After the water leak, the linoleum flooring had to be removed. What was left was a plethora of problem areas. Cracks, crumbled concrete and an uneven surface resembling the moon.

Before putting down any new flooring, we had to have a smooth and level surface. Adding a self leveler was the best answer to the problem. We purchased most of the supplies from Lowe’s and borrowed a large drill. And here’s how we did it: [Read more...]

New Year’s Goals and Another Kitchen Progress Update

drawing_on_floor

Happy New Year! What did you do to ring in 2013?

Every year we have a New Year’s Day party. It’s our annual tradition. This year we almost didn’t have our party because our kitchen was in such a disheveled state. But, I remember someone wise asked if you wait until your house is perfect to invite people over or recognize that your true friends will come to see you and not your house. Of course in our case, I’m sure there was a few curious people as well.

But, honestly, this was one of the most memorable parties we’ve had! The guests drew on the floor: [Read more...]

Rustic Red Pie Safe Painted with Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint

brushing_wax_on

Over the holidays, I had the good fortune to attend one of Miss Mustard Seed’s painting demos here in Raleigh. Marian is such a joy to watch. She’s so laid back about her painting techniques, that you want to jump up there with her and start painting. Of course, I resisted the urge that day. But, I did have a little time to experiment with some Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint over the break. I know, I must be one of the last people to give it a whirl, but you know this handy girl has been a little busy ;-). [Read more...]