head diy Design Fanatic: October 2012

Thursday, October 25, 2012

How To Grow Garlic

Being half Italian, I put garlic or garlic powder in just about everything I cook. 
Pasta and pizza sauce, chicken and beef stew, steak, grilled chicken, turkey burgers, and guacamole....yum!
 Because I use it every day, I though I'd try growing some. It looks easy enough.

Back in September I ordered some garlic from Burpee along with a dibbler. I love gadgets that makes your job easier, don't you? You could buy some organic garlic from the grocery store, but don't buy non organic garlic is sprayed with something to keep it from sprouting. If you are thinking of growing garlic, you might want to google what grows best in your neck of the woods and when the best time to plant it is. 
For all of you farther North, I think you have to plant garlic in September, but around here it's mid October. I'm about a week late, but we've been having some warm weather and garlic doesn't like heat, so I think I'm ok...we shall see.

Garlic loves well drained soil with lots of compost, so make sure you have good soil.  Here's how the dibbler works...you plunge it into the soil up to the stainless steel part and twist it back and forth a couple of times. This makes a perfect hole for the clove to be planted between 2 and 4 inches. Also , plant them 6 inches apart.

You can use a dibbler to make a perfect hole like this or you can just dig a hole or trench with a trowel.

Separate the cloves and use only the large, good cloves. See how the clove on the far right (all by itself) has a dark soft spot? Don't plant any like that.

 Plant the pointy part of the clove up toward the sky. Most of the points aren't this long.

I planted two rows of 28(2 different kinds of garlic) in the potato bed. My potatoes to the right of the garlic are doing well, as are my snap peas. I've harvested quite a few snap peas ~ they are growing on the trellis in the far bed. There are even 3 or 4 zucchini growing on my last plant. They don't grow quite as fast or large as they do in the summer. 
Buddy always loves to come and help me in the garden. He's such a sweetie.

The carrots are doing well and are starting to form below the ground.

Picked these goodies from our garden just last week. Sugar Snap Peas are my favorite veggie that I grow.

 My purple flowers are in full bloom. Can't remember the name of them. Anyone know what the name of this flower is?

Hope you are enjoying Fall. It was 80 degrees here yesterday. The nights are crisp and cool, but the sun warms up everything so nicely during the day. Would love it if it was like this all the time...But, alas, this is not Southern California...Just for the record, I'm not complaining ; )
How are things in your neck of the woods? Would love to know if you've ever grown garlic and how it turned out.


Monday, October 22, 2012

No Cost Stencil Project

Happy Monday everyone!

Hope y'all had a great weekend. 
We spent Saturday working on organizing the basement. It still needs a lot of work, but the storage room is almost finished. Just scroll down to the previous post if you missed it.
Was hoping to get my new project finished this weekend, but  it morphed into something a little more complicated. 

Don't you hate it when that happens?

 Ever since we had the house painted, the sidelight windows near the front door have been, well, naked....
...and you can see in the Family Room when you are standing on the front porch. 
Don't know about you, but Mr. Fanatic and I have a thing about that. Maybe it's just us, but we like a little more privacy than that. 
Which brings me to my no cost project...
A few months ago, I purchased 2 sets of curtain panels for my Master Bedroom from Ikea. Since the 3 windows in that room are narrow and the curtain panels are wide, I only needed one panel for each window. That left me with one curtain panel left over. I thought the sidelights would look a little more dramatic covered with the leftover curtain.
A super easy project: cut the panel in half lengthwise and sew the edge. 

Or so I thought. Once up,  they needed a little something and remembered the trellis pattern stencil. Of course I have some extra paint hanging around too.

Thought I'd show you of  the two stencil projects that were done for my daughter's room. 
The first project turned is a stenciled burlap jewelry organizer and matching bulletin board. You can see the tutorial HERE.
 Believe it or not, her stenciled jewelry organizer looks just as organized today as it did when I took this photo. (wish her room did, as well)

The second stenciled project was a pillow. This was also a no cost project.
I stenciled some burlap and made her a pillow, as well. Note to self...next time stencil on prewashed drop cloth fabric or soft cotton...
it's much cuddlier.
I'm excited to get to use this stencil another time because it's so pretty. I'm also happy that this project will cost zero, zip nada...
Now I just have to come up with a no cost way to hang the panels on the sidelights.

Any suggestions?

Monday, October 15, 2012


 These DIY storage shelves are a really simple solution for storing your stuff easily and without breaking the bank. 
We all have things we need to store and keep  organized so we can find it when you need it. I've found that storing your things in  tubs on simple storage shelves made with 2 x 4s and OSB is the easiest and most efficient way to keep you storage accessible.

Being organized saves you money, because if you can't find your stuff when you need it, you will go out and buy another one...

So, how do you store your stuff?

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Here are some tips on how to store your stuff:

1. Assess Your Space and stuff to be stored.
When organizing a room, I assess what is kept in the space. This means measuring everything. 

2. Build storage shelves to fit your stuff

This storage room had two storage shelves in it before, but the shelves weren't spaced correctly and stuff got piled up. 

The shelves didn't fit the stuff we needed to store and things got piled up
Mr. DIY took these shelves apart and reused the wood and OSB to make another shelf that fit our stuff. That's living frugally. (I know having all this stuff isn't living frugally, though)

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3. Store your stuff in containers with labels to make it look more organized

 I store almost everything in 18 gallon Sterilite (made in America) plastic tubs or totes. Most of my stuff fits in these plastic containers. There are also clear containers if you would like to see what's in them. 

Here's what the basement storage room looks like. The room is about 15 ft x 11 1/2 ft.
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Mr. DIY reused all of the materials from the old shelving units and bought some extra 2 x 4's to make a 3rd shelving unit.
Even if you had to buy all of the wood, these shelves are still a cost effective way to store your stuff. Have you seen the price of sturdy shelving?

Here's how we made the shelving:
These shelving units are simple to make. He just used two  8 ft long 2 x 4's and cut two more 2 x 4's  down to 24" for the ends. The total length of the unit is 8ft, so the long 2 x 4's have to be cut down a little because you are adding the short 2 x 4's to the end. 
He screwed them all together as you see in this photo. Screws are so much better to put shelving together because this allows you to take them apart if you have to rework them another time. It would have been much more difficult to take apart the old shelves to make the new ones had he used nails.
Mr. DIY used torx head, 3" self tapping deck screws.
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Mr. DIY then screwed  1/2" thick OSB  to the 2 x 4 frame. He made 3 of these for each unit. 
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Then he attached 2 x 4's on each corner to complete the unit. The shelves are spaced the height of the plastic storage boxes we have plus 1 1/2 to 2" extra space.
These shelves are super easy to make and are inexpensive, as far as shelving goes.
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 He made this shelving unit a little shorter so that the plastic storage containers could be double stacked on the top shelf. I organized this shelving unit to hold my girls childhood toys, books and clothing they wanted to keep.  The clear boxes on the bottom right hold their artwork and school mementos.
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The shelving unit on other side of the room holds Christmas and seasonal decorations. The armoire holds hunting clothes and heavy winter coats. 
We found the Ikea Armoire on Craigslist.
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It's such a good feeling to get all of my storage organized and 
If you don't have a basement and are limited on space, store stuff under beds, high up in closets, space under sofas, your garage and attic .

 At our new house, Mr. DIY splurged a bit and installed cabinets to store most of his tools. You can see the post HERE
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Mr. DIY Also installed a rail organizing system HERE
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At our new house, we have a high crawl space instead of  a basement, so Mr. DIY built a different shelving system to store our stuff. You can see it HERE.
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Where  do you store your stuff and how do you keep it organized? Leave me a short comment (or a long one) - I read every one!


Click HERE to see how we cleaned up and organized our garage.  Our storage shelves above would we awesome in a garage, as well.
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If you love organizing and functional,pretty storage, here's another great project we did in our oldest daughter's bedroom...
 We took a Craigslist Armoire and transformed it into lots of storage for our oldest daughter. 

You can see the details by clicking HERE
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Disclaimer: The above post is how we made our shelves.  We don't take any responsibility for any errors or results obtained from using this information. When using power tools, use safety equipment.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Next Project: Barn Door Shutters

 I've been pining for barn doors for some time now. 
Mr. Fanatic has Pinterest to thank for that, as I've been perusing and pinning all sorts of barn doors for months. 
At first I wasn't sure where we were going to put them, I just wanted to make some and was determined to put them somewhere in our house.
Then it hit me...
What about making barn doors into shutters to cover the glass patio doors in our basement Family Room?
 The barn doors would be perfect to provide privacy, to make the room dark when watching a movie and to add a layer of security to our basement.

There are so many awesome barn doors on Pinterest and we plan do do a simple Z design with either 2 x 6 or 2 x 8 lumber stained dark with some inexpensive galvanized hardware like the one in this photo. Mr. Fanatic thinks we should use 2 x 8's(less work and cost) and I think 2 x 6's would look better (scale wise).
C Designs DecorPad.com
Here's a simple drawing of what we intend to do. I would also like to make a little shutter for the window to the right of the fireplace.(When I say "I", it means Mr. Fanatic...lol)
Since the door will be stained dark, it presents another problem.
 (You know, one thing always leads to another)

 I think the room will be too dark and will look better and brighter in a much lighter color...A light grey perhaps? 

Mr. Fanatic took a week off and is finishing up another project. 
Today he told me of his plans to start the doors this week. I think it's a little optimistic of him to think he will.
He's currently working on a drop ceiling for a storage room in our basement and it will take him at least a whole day  to finish it. After that, he plans on making some simple shelving for the storage room.
Also, yesterday he  bought one of those solar tube skylights for the upstairs bathroom. Oh, did I mention this tube has to be done on Thursday because we're getting our roof redone?
The upstairs bath is going to look great with more natural light. 
Can't wait.
So many projects...so little time.

What's on your project list? Would love to know.


Monday, October 8, 2012

What To Do With An Extra Bedroom

Our oldest daughter moved to Southern California more than a year ago. 
We already have a guest room and a bonus room...and a basement, so we really don't need an extra room for anything.
Don't hate me.

Here's what our daughter's room looked like when she lived here, although the floor was covered with all of her clothes.
Just keepin' it real.

Here's what her room looked like when she left. It stayed like this for awhile, then I moved the dresser downstairs to the foyer. 

I keep tablecloths, napkins and placemats in the dresser. 

 I found a new coverlet at HomeGoods and bought a bedskirt online and the extra bedroom looked very plain for a long time.

The dark purple curtains are great for making the room really dark when you want to sleep in, but I wanted to make the room a little brighter without having to paint. Maybe we'll tackle that  project sometime in the future.

I bought some white curtains and hooks from Ikea an put the sheer white up.

I changed out the lamp with one that was in our youngest daughter's room.

Our youngest didn't use her down comforter, so it ended up in this room, as well.
Here's the room after the curtains, comforter and lamp. My daughter's friends always sleep in here when they stay over.
Hope you had a nice weekend.
I think I'm finally getting a little energy back. At least I had a little last night.
 It's a good thing because things are really piling up around here.
If you had an extra room in your house, what would you do with it? Would love to know.


Monday, October 1, 2012

Fall Front Porch

Saturday I gave you a sneak peek of our Front Porch decorated for Fall.

I started out with the intention of using only what I had on hand, and brought up a wreath that I used a couple of years ago from the basement. I was off to a good start...

...that is, until I stopped off at Walmart and found they had large pumpkins for $3.88 and mums for $3.33 each. Hey, it was the easy way out. Otherwise, I would have had to go foraging in the woods (and in my craft room) for supplies and I didn't have enough energy for that. (see previous post if you missed the explanation).

Here's how the Front Porch looks all decked out for Fall:
Don't ya just love it when you post pictures of a project and it shows you two other things you need to put on your "to do" list? Now if I could muster up the energy to trim the bushes and clean the steps.

I wrapped the mums in some 10" burlap I already had. (yay!)

I spent $48.22 (not counting tax) for the 10 mums and 4 pumpkins. A cute banner would look great hung over the transom window, but Mr. Fanatic wasn't too thrilled with the idea, so I guess I'll save that little project for the mantel in the Family Room.

The leaves and Hickory nuts have started to fall around here, but our trees have not yet turned colors.We still have a few weeks until peak.
Any Fall color where you are?