Christmas gift…

Every year, there are a couple gifts that I’m really excited to give – this sign happened to be one of them this year. In Steve’s family, we rotate which sibling we give to and this year we gave to his youngest sister. She is a mother to five boys and this is their family motto. I had the idea to turn that motto into a large wooden sign with each letter cut from wood. (similar to some signs I’ve previously made shown below).

It’s been a while since I’ve made one of these and now my wheels are turning again for all the holiday signs I want to make!

The reality of projects…

This is real life – a project that was seemingly simple (attaching the sweep attachment to our central vac) that just didn’t go as smoothly as I had hoped. This has been unfinished for months and I was ready to cross this easy project off my list. As dinner was cooking, I searched through the garage to find the pieces I needed. And I found myself on the floor of our kitchen.

My three-year-old captured this picture (this picture and 100 other pictures in burst mode).

Let me be the first to tell you – my most “simple” projects usually take the most time! What should have been hooked together in less than a minute took so much longer.  The hole wasn’t cut large enough, which meant the central vac pipe wasn’t fitting and we couldn’t push the plate back in. Steve and Hallie tried their hand at it as well. (Also more burst pictures from the toddler) And then we stepped away. We’ve learned in frustrating moments it’s good to just step away for a minute and think through a new solution – most likely outside the box.

A few hours later, after kids were in bed and the dishes had been cleaned up from dinner, I found myself back on the kitchen floor with a new approach and within a few minutes I had it attached and screwed into place using the exact tools and pieces we had before.

Projects can be frustrating and NEVER seem to go as planned which requires some creative solutions. Step away. Take a breath. Think outside the box. Repeat over and over again.


DIY Walnut Bed…

DIY Walnut Bed

This post was a long time coming. In fact – we did this project 1.5 years ago. I had a newborn baby at the time and I was working to get out of the funk I was in. The rest of the boys were gone for a weekend camping trip and I asked Hallie what she wanted to do. We could go to dinner. We could go shopping. We could watch a movie. You know what she chose: Build a bed (made my mom heart proud!!)

She was in a twin bed at the time and the thought of ever getting a sister to share a room with had been dashed and she wanted a queen bed. How could I deny her of her one request (that really I was excited to work on)? But building a bed in a 24 hour stretch is tough – especially when I was still tending to a newborn. But he went down to bed for the night and we worked our tales off. Side by side. Late into the night.

DIY Walnut Bed

The next morning we were back at it trying to beat the boys getting home. Hallie sanded and I attached pieces together. Hallie did more sanding. At one point she asked – do we really need to sand this much? Yep – unfortunately we do. We made the frame out of 2×4 pine – but the rest of the bed was made from walnut and when you spend that much money on wood, you might as well sand it and make it feel real nice!

DIY Walnut Bed

By the time the boys were pulling in – I had just completed the 2nd coat of wipe-on poly – no stain was used, no need to when you work with wood as pretty as walnut.

This bed consists of a simple headboard, footboard and rails. In the four beds I’ve built, I’ve always used this hardware from Rockler hardware. Its easy and fool proof. I’ve not had any problems with this hardware and I used it on our bed that I built 8 years ago. Not only is it secure, it can also be dismantled in no time.

DIY Walnut Bed

After we got it set up in her room I had “givers remorse”. I really loved the bed and started wondering why we didn’t build it for my room and Hallie could have our old bed. I threw the idea out to her but she wanted this bed. The bed she worked and helped to build.

Suddenly, it no longer looked like a little girls room! Throwing this bed in their with new bedding aged her room 10 years. A year and a half later and I’m still wishing that bed was in my room! (Find her frame makeover here.)

DIY Walnut Bed

DIY Walnut Bed

DIY Walnut Bed

DIY Pallet turkey…

It’s officially turkey week! The beginning of the holiday madness – what we like to call the calm before the storm.

I feel as though Thanksgiving has been slightly overlooked this year in our household. I had all intentions to put up decorations but by the time I got Halloween decor down and knowing Thanksgiving was early this year, I’d be ripping Thanksgiving down in no time to make room for Christmas. I would love a little more breathing room between Halloween and Thanksgiving. Can’t Halloween be bumped to September?!

The only decor that made an appearance this year was the pallet turkey on our patio.

Pallet Turkey

Last year at this time I had a friend visiting and we decided on a whim to do a project that she could fit in her suitcase and take home with her. (Which ended up only kind of fitting!) I had pallets left over from a project and I was about to throw them out when they were finally repurposed.

Pallet Turkey

The only tools we used were a scroll saw and a drill. We put pieces of wood together and traced three different sized circles and cut with the scroll saw and attached them together with screws. We shaped the feathers and cut with a scroll saw as well as the legs and feet. The face took some time drawing and redrawing – cutting and then recutting.

My friend went home with a semi-unassembled turkey with intentions to piece it together when she got home. I just learned recently she still isn’t quite done – and she asked that I not un-friend her for not finishing it yet. 🙂 Perhaps we should’ve stuck to a project that she could’ve taken home finished! But if I’m being honest I’m the queen of semi-finished projects. They always gets finished…eventually!


DIY Thankful Sign…

DIY Thankful Sign

Just before my TIA, I started collecting materials for a new project – a THANKFUL sign. I wanted it large to sit above my entertainment center and I wanted the letters cut out of wood. Funny sidenote: when I showed up to the ER, I had my purse with me and as I was grabbing my wallet out, a pack of scroll saw blades came with it! I had just been that morning to the specialty wood shop to grab my last supplies. After my ER visit, I was feeling anything but myself. I felt out of place in my own body, I was tired and dizzy.

After two weeks passed and I could feel the depression start to wash over me and zero motivation to do anything, I pulled out my tools. At first, I was doing it somewhat reluctantly because I really didn’t feel like working with wood. But saws have healing properties for me and this jig saw project was just to trick to snap me out of a downward spiral. And what better message to be working on for me, right?

As I cut those letters, I had a distinct impression of gratitude that I was still able to do projects like this. That the numbness in my fingertips had subsided and I could feel the vibration of the saw. I had complete control over my fingers to move the wood in and out from the blade. I felt like myself more so than any other time in the previous weeks and it felt good. Project Kara is a happy Kara, even if they’re small projects.

Tonight as a family, we spent time talking about gratitude and a spirit of Thanksgiving. We all took turns sharing things big and small that we’re grateful for. I am beyond grateful for my health – a huge wake-up call for not only myself but also Steve. We often take our good health for granted and I recognize that. I am grateful to feel like myself again, its an uncomfortable to feel as though you don’t fit in your own skin and body. I am grateful for a loving and dedicated husband who takes care of me even when I don’t think I need it – he always knows how to help me. I’m grateful for those little humans who call me mom even when we’re in the thick of it and my patience is surface level – they’re always quick to forgive. I’m grateful for friends and family near and far who enrich my life on a daily basis. I have so much to be grateful for, I love a season dedicated to sharing our gratitude.

DIY Thankful Sign

DIY Thankful Sign