Category Archives: DIY Projects

Shakespeare and King Alfred the Great Have Kept Me Busy

I know that I haven’t posted any new content as of late, but I really do have a good reason! I’ve been neck-deep in a project for my History of English class and reading the “Henriad” (Shakespeare’s Henry plays). In my spare time–when I’m not reading, doing homework, or hanging out with family–I am working on the first installment of my Berlin trip posts. The first one will be The Berlin Wall (East Side Gallery) and Checkpoint Charlie.

I’m also going to be busy this  weekend with making changes to the living room and finishing the office space. But in the meantime, please take a look at King Alfred’s Blog that I created as my final project for the History of English class. I enjoyed it so much, that I just might start a regular blog roll about historical figures and writers.

I hope you all have a fabulous weekend!

Pinterest Musings: Pallet Garden and Fence

It’s spring and that means that it is time to plant our vegetable garden.  Last year we were partially successful at growing our veggies in pots.  The salad garden was amazing! However, we started the garden a tad too soon and lost half of our tomato plants and all of the bell pepper plants.  Aside from the early planting failure, we also learned that ceramic pots burst when you leave them out over the winter months.

Here’s how our corner patio garden looked last year

Salad Garden 2014
Salad Garden 2014

Here are my Herb pots that burst.

Burst Herb pots
Burst Herb pots

This is how the patio looks today.

Patio April 10, 2015
Patio April 10, 2015

What I want the patio to look like:

I think that something like this will looks a lot better than those cheap window box planters that bulge out in the center.

For the Salad Garden

Though I don’t really need anything this large, I think the depth will work well for the tomatoes and bell peppers.  Perhaps adding some sort of lattice to the back would work for growing cucumbers and fall squash.

For the Tomatoes & Peppers
For the Tomatoes & Peppers

When a patio is as small as ours, using vertical space is important.  This year I want to try growing our herbs in something like this.

For Herbs
For Herbs

As for the fence…our ghetto fabulous fence needs to go. We had some high winds earlier this spring and the fence kept blowing over.  I’m looking at Pallet fence ideas.

I really love this one. The post at The Nest by Raul Avenir has DIY instructions–wich is hard to find.

Pallet Fence with DIY Instructions
Pallet Fence with DIY Instructions

This one is very practical and beautiful, but does not include instructions.  I’ve seen this image several times, but I just can’t seem to find the original source. But the page does have several pallet use ideas.

Garden Pallet Fence
Garden Pallet Fence

Here are a couple of ideas that I quickly sketched out.

Pallet Garden Sketches
Pallet Garden Sketches

Building this depends on 1) Whether or not we are staying in Germany for another year (Hubby might get a new assignment), and 2) whether or not I have time.  But a girl can dream 🙂

Ikea Office: Getting Started

When we left Colorado, I got rid of all my office furniture—which turned out to be a blessing—because we expected to move into a small three bedroom apartment in Germany.  We were lucky and received a four-bedroom apartment, so I turned the fourth bedroom—a small, dark room—into my office space and guest room.

For the past year, I made do with an old dining table set on bed risers for my huge printer and PC Tower, two cheap pressboard shelves that I put under the table, a flimsy metal and glass computer desk for the monitor and keyboard, and a DVD tower that I used as a bookcase.  The closet is full of boxes and Hubby’s Army gear.  The room is so dark, that I get terrible headaches while I’m studying.  It drove me NUTS!

I need organization. If you’ve seen this post or this one, you know just how organized I like to be.  Without an organized space to work in, I feel anxious and can’t focus. Now that I am feeling much better, I decided that it was time to fix my office–where I spend s most of my time.  You can also see my obsession with Ikea in this post and this one.

I have been planning this room for the past four months.  After weeks of looking at Ikea’s website and working out a reasonable budget, I came up with this design.

Ikea Office Design
Ikea Office Design

Once we received our tax refund, it was time to plan my shopping trip to Ikea.  I put everything that I wanted on my office wish list and printed it out to take with us.  Ikea’s lists are great!  You can check the available stock at your local store, and when you print it out, it gives you the exact location of the furniture items.  With list in hand, we headed to Ikea in Regensburg on Saturday.

This was our haul.  That large black bin in the cart was full of stuff, and there is a bulging ikea bag attached to the cart behind all of those yellow boxes.

Ikea Treasures
Ikea Treasures

We had enough room in the van to go back in the store and get my Ektorp sofas for the living room (next weekend’s shopping trip), but Hubby was not thrilled about going back inside.

Hey honey, we still have room for sofas!
Hey honey, we still have room for sofas!

We got home a little later than we wanted and still had to make dinner, so we got a very late start on putting the furniture together. The ALEX drawers were not difficult to assemble, but they were time-consuming.  Here’s a photolog of how our night went.

Assembling the Ikea ERIK Drawer Units
Assembling the Ikea ALEX Drawer Units
Connecting ALDIS legs to the LINTORP Desktop
Connecting ADILS legs to the LINNMON Desktop

Aaaand that’s where we stopped. It was midnight and we were exhausted.

It's midnight...we'll finish in the morning.
It’s midnight…we’ll finish in the morning.

I did a little more throughout the day, but I also had a lot of studying and writing to do for school. Here’s how my day went.

Sunday afternoon
Sunday afternoon
Sunday evening
Sunday evening

I bought the wrong light bulbs for my ARSTID wall lamps, so I had to bring in a spare table lamp.  I also bought the wrong LINNMON desktop, so I will have to remedy that next weekend when we go shopping for the living room.  Still to do: BILLY Bookcases and organizing. It’s going to be a long week.

Do you have any Ikea rooms to share?

Project Time!

It’s been awhile since my last post.  I started classes again, but didn’t realize how tough these eight week courses would be! Now I know how they pack a semester’s worth of material into short sessions–they bombard you with reading and about 12 hours of homework a week per course.  Never. Ever. Again.  Two courses per eight week session for this girl from now on!

Here is what I have been working on when I am avoiding school work have spare time. These are just a couple of mood boards that I worked up using Oliboard.

First up we have the general “bones” of my office space.

Ikea Office
Ikea Office

Next up is the Ikea Living Room

Mostly Ikea Living Room
Mostly Ikea Living Room

Over the next few weeks I will be posting bits and pieces of the progress and will hopefully have a full reveal in May.

Hope you all have a happy week!

Designing for a Teen Boy

When I ask my son, “how do you want your new room to look?” his reply is, “Meh, I don’t care.”

And yet, twice now he has shown me concept rooms and artwork at Ikea that he likes.  Decorating for this boy has been a challenge because he has so many interests. He loves WWII history, Science, Comics, some new weird music that I don’t get, and Formula One racing.

It doesn’t all fit together, and he seems to prefer an industrial/modern style with bright (mostly) primary colors.

So, I took his lead by creating a design using his favorite piece of art that he purchased with his own money from Ikea about 2 years ago.

IMG_20140604_100231 (1)

From this one item (and a similar print from Ikea that he likes) I came up with this room design:


The Items

1.  Inspiration Art work from Ikea.  The telephone picture is no longer available, but the Solmyra (I call it Shhh) is sold at most Ikea stores.

2.  Task Lighting. The rooms here are DARK! The ceiling lights do little more than cast a dull glow.  My son loves to read in bed, so I will mount two of these Kvart wall lights above each night stand.

3. Malm Bed. Though the photo shows the white twin bed, it is also available in gray–which is what we will buy (eventually). Malm beds come with either a high or low headboard.  We want the higher headboard so that he can lean against it comfortably.

4 and 5. Malm dresser and night stand.  Ikea has several styles of dressers available in the Malm series, but my son only needs a small one.

6.  Micke Desk.  We love the Micke series! They are durable, yet cheap inexpensive. It’s the perfect desk for a small room.  He will be getting his first computer in September, so this is a must have item.

7.  Ikea PS magnet board. This is another must-have…simply because he requested it. This PS magnet board is an inexpensive way to display pictures, memos, or doodle ideas.

8.  Snille desk chair.  These Snille chairs are very affordable, and surprisingly comfortable.  They come in several colors including  basic black or white.

9.  PS Vago chair.  My son absolutely LOVES this Vago chair.  He said that all it needs is a comfy pillow and he could sit in it for hours.  I had trouble removing him from this chair on the showroom floor and felt kinda bad that I didn’t buy it immediately. Besides, doesn’t every teen boy need a “lounge” chair of his own? The chair comes in red, blue, yellow, black, and white.

Other Items

Some other items that I want to add are a picture rail, colorful frames, and the Bygel rail series.

pizap.com14018777917281bygel series


I’d like to throw in one or two of these, but that might be pushing it a bit…

LichtensteinLichtenstein Pillow Cover

On the plus side, my son hasn’t said “no” to any of my design ideas, on the down side–he hasn’t seen my design ideas.

Crossing my fingers & toes that he likes it! And I hope you liked it too!