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Saturday, November 29, 2014

Who Doesn't Love Gingerbread Houses?

Who loves gingerbread houses? I do! Here are some of my favorite Gingerbread Houses.


This gingerbread house was made by my grandson a couple Christmas's ago (2012).  He was 7 years old. Grandma helped a lot :)




This was made by my grandson the same year at his home.




My granddaughter and her gingerbread house in 2002...




My niece made this one with her daughter (2013). She got the kit at Trader Joe's. Pretty cool.




How about the worlds largest gingerbread village? Click HERE




What about Three Designer-Worthly Gingerbread Houses?  Love. Click HERE




This one was made by my grandson this year (2014). Pretty special if you ask me.




This one is fun!


Friday, November 14, 2014

Make Pillows the Easy Way!

Making pillows could not be easier! If you can sew a straight line on the sewing machine, you can make these! The first thing to do is to add 1" to the width and height of the measurement of the pillow insert. So for a 12" x 16" square pillow, cut two fabric pieces 13" x 17".

It is easiest for me to use my cutting mat and rotary cutter.









Buy a polyester zipper that is approximately 14" shorter, or you can sew the end to shorten....


The zipper package has instructions on how to shorten a zipper.


Shortening the zipper by following the instructions on the zipper package.



Now lay the zipper face up lined up with the edge of the fabric and pin in place if you want to.


Sew in place as close to the zipper teeth as you can.



I always open the zipper before sewing all the way down so the footfeed will clear the zipper.








Turn zipper as indicated below and lightly press in place being careful not to touch the zipper teeth with the iron.



Now lay the fabric with inserted zipper on top of the other piece of fabric and stitch in place.


Again I stop sewing a few inches from the end and open the zipper so my foot feed will go around the zipper easily.


Finish sewing the other 3 edges leaving the zipper open a few inches so you can turn it right side out.





Turn inside out:



Now cut off the pesky tag on the pillow insert.





Tada!

















Puttin in a 'floor' above our Living Room!

We built our house 11 years ago in 2003 with the help from our brother-in-law and my sister. It took us a year & a half to build it.

So for a few years we have been talking about adding a ledge or something...to add support.

What you're seeing is the "before" picture. See that half wall on the left side? Well, that is gone now....The bigger window is really a trapezoid window that is 4' wide by 6' tall It has cracked 2 times. So my husband decided that we must reinforce the house by adding a 1-2  ft ledge all the way across. Later he decided we would just add more floor space.


So we (I mean mostly my husband as I was the go getter and helper) took out the half wall to start with...The drywall is removed on one side in this photo.

No more half wall!


So since we built this house (with the help of my BIL and sister), we knew every square inch of this house. Especially my husband. He must had been thinking about how he was gonna to this because this is the next step...'Notching' out the drywall so he could insert the first I-Joist. This tool did wonders! You can get it at Harbour Freight.




After that he ran Romex 12 wiring from an outlet on the floor level over to the new level...see the hole for outlet box lower left?


Then he cut out a new outlet box location under the smaller upper window and ran wire from that plug down behind the wall into the open cutout area. He drilled holes into the 2 x 6's and threaded the wire all the way back to the first outlet...




We had to make a 'notch' into the ceiling for the first I-Joist. The I-Joist fit perfectly into where the drywall was cut out. 





After the first cut seemed to be the perfect size, I made a template for the other 8 I-Joists. Because we built this house, we knew that the ceiling rafters were 16" on center so we measured over 16" from the first I-Joist so we would know where to put the next I-Joist.

We used the template to trace the location of hte I-Joist onto the ceiling. Here is a short video showing how my husband cut out the drywall notch for the I-Joist using our handy Multifunction Power Tool that I showed you earlier.

video






We could feel were the rafter was to the right of the cutout...

After all of the I-Joist holes were cut out, the I-Joist were put in place. 16 penny nails were used to nail into the I-Joist sideways into the rafter (whiich you can't see, but it is behind the drywall to the right of the I-Joist.)

We did all of the cutting outside.




 This is the other end of the first I-Joist. A Joist hanger was inserted onto the 2 x 12 and nailed into place.









Cutting off the oak trim so we can install the last I-Joist.






After all the I-Joist were in place, we laid 3/4" tongue & groove plywood on top of the I-Joist. (Sorry didn't take a picture of this). As we laid down each piece we used construction glue on top of the I-Joist so that the plywood would be solid. The half wall was next. This photo shows us cutting the 2 x 4's for the new half wall.




Wiring was ran from the outside window wall by drilling holes thru the I-Joist and threading thru the Romex wire. An electrical box was put in place. Also Romex wire was ran to the center of the downstairs ceiling so we can install a ceiling fan/light later on.



We had leftover installation from building our house so we decided to use it to help with reducing sound from above the living room.


We covered the installation with plastic. I'm still trying to decide if we should put drywall on the ceiling or some boards.




Now that we have a floor to stand on, the window upstairs had a huge crack in it starting at the upper left and going all the way down to the bottom right and had to be replaced.





We ordered a replacement window from Home Depot about 3 weeks earlier.



This is the old window which is about to be demolished.  This window is several feet above the outside ground level so we decided it would be best to take it out on the inside of the house. My husband and I closed off the area around the window with plastic. He broke the window with a hammer. Carefully. (Well, there is really no such thing as the word 'carefully' when glass is involved, but we succeeded in getting it out.)





After the window was taken out and the new one installed, we tackled putting down the bamboo flooring. We love it. Notice the can ceiling lights are still there. We couldn't decide whether we should take them out. For now, we added lower wattage bulbs so it won't get very hot.




Our new space for guests. I kinda like it.




Now we need to patch drywall around the window and on the half wall, finish off the ceiling downstairs and hang a ceiling fan. I'm kinda not liking that part. Any ideas on how we should do the downstairs ceiling? Oh, and now I want to add a privacy screen of some kind and I thought about adding glass block on the half wall...Ideas?