Category Archives:Building Projects

Distressed furniture- TV stand

When we packed up the moving truck, we realized we needed to get rid of a lot of furniture. One of those pieces was our TV stand. After we got settled in our new house, I scoured a few garage sales to find a new stand and came home with this one (for only $18!)

Before repainting, I only sanded the finish down so that the polyurethane was off the stain. I used an orbital sander for most of it, and hand sanded the decorative channels.

Finished product:

I put two coats of the dark grey on to cover, and then the distressed was added in a silver/white color.

To read more about the technique I used for painting click here.

Overall, I’m really happy with the results- the cost of the whole project was much less than buying brand new. Of course, finding a deal on a piece of furniture you like is the most difficult part. I will definitely try more distressed looks in the future; although not too many that my whole house looks crazy with the look ­čśë

Solar Oven tryout in the works

Keeping cool in the desert is definitely a must. And turning on the oven, heating the kitchen up is certainly counter productive when trying to keep an entire house cool.

As you may know, I do love to bake, especially fresh breads to eat with our homemade pasta. Before we moved I had done an article on baking bread in a bread machine verses the oven.

Now with us living in the desert, I’m really looking forward to building a solar oven and try my baking in there. Stayed tuned for my future blogs on building and then cooking in a solar oven! And check out my “review” on the bread machine vs. the oven.

Fencing for the future

When you have about 4 acres of pastureland, what do you do? Fence it in for that future horse, of course! And what a start for our journey to farm-dom.

When surveying our property, we had intended to fence in the entire parcel. The cost, however, was pricey at this time so we opted to fence in about an acre for our first horse pasture.

After getting a few (far above what we were thinking) quotes, we pulled up our britches and said, ‘Hey we can do this ourselves!’

In several trips to Blain’s Farm and Fleet and Menards’, we acquired 15- 9′ corner posts 8″ diameter, 35- 8′ posts 4.5″ diameter, and 34- 6’6″ metal T-posts.

We rented a post driver and a skid steer with a bucket that came in handy to move a burn pile that was composed mostly of roofing shingles.

We only had the heavy equipment for the weekend so getting all the posts in was the priority. Our neighbors had a Saturday morning wake up call to the sound of pounding posts. Ear protection is a must, for both driver and helpers!

Once we had measured where all the posts needed to be the post driving actually went quickly, first all four corners and fence gates, then the middle posts.

We used nylon mason line to rope around the posts making sure we were putting our fence up in a straight line.

And unfortunately we had a post driving mishap. 

This picture is of a broken post, and the post we set next to it.

We bought 5 spools of high tension coated wire 1320′ each of electric and non electric wire.

I recommend that if you are doing any kind of wire stretching with cable wiring that you purchase a wire de-reeler/spinning jenny. We didn’t buy this at first, and we had a lot of issues getting the wire uncoiled efficiently.

This is a spinning jenny- you put the spool of wire on and spin it off.

We started out with just 5 wires 12″ apart, two hot (electric) and three cold. We have added two lines of electric Polywire at 6″ and 18″ since deciding to purchase two meat goats before we purchase a horse. Springs were required to install the Polywire so we used the old springs from our broken washing machine!

These new lines will come in handy because this one gate is over a dip in the ground.

Stretching all that wire was definitely what took the most amount of time, weather permitting.

The last thing we have to do is get new hardware to transfer the 6′ gate from the pig pen to the horse/goat pen. Then we will be ready for our boys to arrive in June!

Winterizing a chicken coop

The time has come! Fall is here; pumpkin is everywhere in everything. And with all these changes comes that cold weather, so our chicken coop needs some winterizing!

Here is what it looks like now.

We are going to change the way the nesting boxes are. We think that with the A frame style of the roof, the girls are having a hard time getting into the built-in nesting boxes.
We started with adding a floor to prevent mice and other rodents from building nests inside the coop.
We constructed the new nesting box on the back 24 X 12 X 12 X 14 so that the roof is angled to prevent water damage. Making sure to paint the complete inside and outside for ease of cleaning.

Adding the hole in the back of the coop for the nest entrance may seem complicated, but we used a circular saw. Placing the saw in the middle of the line to cut helped to make sure I didn’t cut past the size of the hole we wanted to make.

The last thing we did to winterize was put a piece of sack (from a seed bag) over the window to prevent drafts. dsc07126
Now our girls will be happy and dry this winter!