Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Bobbie Villa

I grew up watching episode’s of “This old House” long before HGTV and DIY Network even dreamed about being channels on television.

Yep, back then, it was Bob Villa’s, “This old house” and the “Yankee Workshop.” PBS at it’s best. Ha.

I’ve logged many an hour bringing my Dad tools or holding one end of a long board steady as he cut it on a table saw. I heard the “stand back” lecture countless times from both my Papa and my Daddy when it came to said table saw.

I’ve also said at least a million times, “my Dad could make that.” It’s a phrase my mom and I say almost any time we’re out shopping and see anything made from wood that’s beyond overpriced! Because truthfully, he could. He’s not a carpenter by trade, but he really can build anything…and do anything, for that matter.

For some crazy reason, I thought maybe it was in my blood, too, to be able to build something. I thought, surely, all those epsiodes of watching Bob Villa and all the times I spent holding a board had qualified me to be able to build something. It looked simple enough to me (HA) and I was especially motivated after reading the Knock-off wood blog, where an Alaskan WOMAN posts plans for all sorts of cute stuff! Stuff that we all drool over and dream about… like farmhouse tables, and Pottery Barn bookshelves, and platform beds.

I was in the market for some bookshelves for the playroom. My heart was set on something similar to the Pottery Barn Kids Cameron shelves, but my budget wasn’t. bkshelf

(image from PBK)

I looked at some less expensive options, but I just couldn’t bring myself to pay $60.00 for basic particle board shelves. Especially since I wanted 2 of them. If I’d gone with the cheap ones, I’d have laminate shelves that I really didn’t like, that wouldn’t hold up well, and I still would have spent $120.00. I even considered buying ONE PBK shelf and squeezing all the toys on it, but I knew that wouldn’t work either.

Then, I decided I’d get my Dad to help me build some. He built Cooper’s play table from a picture I’d ripped out of PBK and it’s just like the picture, only better, because HE built it. How sentimental is that? I know how well built it was and I know MY grandbabies will still be playing with that table many years from now.

As I started searching the internet for some plans, I came across Knock Off Wood and decided that I, MYSELF, could build the bookshelves. The plans said I could build TWO shelves for $60.00 and that ANY one could do it! I was IN!

Of course, I got way over zealous upon planning my first project, and before even beginning, I had already planned to build a new kitchen table, and a bed for DW and I, along with my bookshelves. I’ve always believed in “thinking and dreaming BIG!”

When I told my parents and DW about my big plans they all suggested I start with the shelves and then maybe think about starting a new project. In other words, “don’t go buying the wood yet, Annie!”

When I showed my Dad the plans and told him what I was doing, he wrinkled up his nose. See, the plans called for a sheet of MDF. My Dad has a strong hatred toward MDF, also known as JUNK to him. He said if I really wanted it to last, I need to use real wood, but he told me to save money, I could use the hardwood plywood as a substitute like the plans said could be done. So I did, because he’s my Dad, and he knows. :)

I’ll just tell yall, when I thought of plywood, I thought of that really rough kind plywood_01 and couldn’t imagine how that would paint and look… but when I asked him, with a slight laugh, he told me there were different kinds of plywood and the “hardwood birch” is smooth and would be fine. And he was right…cause he’s my Dad…and he KNOWS…

I had my heart set on doing it all by myself. I wanted to say that I, ALONE made these. While, I can say I really did most of it, I did have a little help. DW helped me hold boards while I nailed because they’re long, ya’ll and I don’t know how the Ana held it all by herself and nailed at the same time. I guess that’s why she’s making tables and beds and writing plans and not me.

We got the plywood from Lowes, and went ahead and had them cut it into the dimensions I needed. DSCN1061 This was a MAJOR plus, because it meant that I didn’t have to use the table I am slightly scared of that thing. Could be the exposed blade, but my money is on the many lectures I received on “Staying back” from it when I was little. Plus it’s so loud and even sounds scary. Like it could cut your hand off scary.

The other cuts I made using a miter saw.DSCN1079 I am pretty good on a miter saw and I really want my own for Christmas. For real. I want this one. Dad, I want you to do my Christmas shopping this year. Please buy me this saw. :) This one belongs to my BIL, Van, and it’s awesome. It has a laser light that makes making perfect cuts so easy! I got some experience using it when we did our laundry room cabinet redo. I totally owe Van a new saw blade.

I used a nail gun to put the shelves together and we only had a couple mishaps. DSCN1068

Slowly, they came together and started looking like shelves! DSCN1069 DSCN1071 DSCN1070 DSCN1074 DSCN1075

After they were all together, my parents stopped by to check them out. My Dad is quite the perfectionist, and I knew they were good, but no where near perfect. He said they looked great to him and he gave me a few pointers on what to next time and what I could do to make them better. DSCN1080

He gave me some wood putty and let me borrow his big belt sander.DSC_0007 I’ve only used a palm sander before, so I was pretty pumped to get to use the BIG DADDY. I guess he could see the excitement in my eyes, because he handed it over AFTER telling me to “be careful and hold onto it, because it’ll sand a hole in the shelves, and if it gets on you, it will eat the hide off ya.” Remember the table saw talks and my fear of those to this day? Well, even after visions of my “hide getting eat off” I am not scared of the belt sander. I held onto that thing so tight my knuckles were white, turned it on, and went to town! He was right, though, that thing will sand! DSC_0021 check out all that saw dust…that’s from ONE pass with the belt sander!

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I decided to round the corners of the shelves, too

After the un-even tops had been sanded down DSC_0008 DSC_0011 and all the cracks and holes had been filled with wood putty and sanded, I kiltzed and painted them. (I should mention that actually when they were built, I was so tired of messing with them, that they sat in our garage for TWO weeks, yes, TWO weeks, waiting to be painted.) That doesn’t matter, but I just thought I’d keep it real, in case yall started thinking I was something more than I am.

So here they are. DSCN1930DSCN1925 For $60.00, TWO shelves that look a whole lot like the ones from PBK. I’d say that’s way better than spending $199.00 PER bookshelf.

Now, the website, says that ANYONE can build these and while they are pretty basic, I can’t imagine having built them without never have even had a little experience with or around tools. But I do agree, YOU could make these. But trust me, get somebody to help you hold your boards!

I’m off to buy the wood for my farmhouse table.


It will be a while before I try that, and since DW said he’s not sleeping on a bed that I make until I’ve had more experience than building 2 bookshelves, that’s been put on hold, too! :)


Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Last Friday, we had Allie Claire again, and had such a fun day! I couldn’t not post these pictures of the girls after we played dress-up!

When we found out that baby number 2 was going to be a GIRL, I knew that she’d have to have a dress-up corner in her room. DW built the dress up rack in Annabelle’s room, and before she was even born, she had plenty of stuff hanging on it!DSC_1085 It’s all just been waiting on a day like Friday!

The girls were so cute when they got their “outfits” on… they just oohed and ahhed over each other and literally blew themselves kisses in the mirror in AB’s room! Too sweet! DSC_1046 DSC_1068 DSC_1060


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Allie was sporting one white glove, and I guess since she was making a Michael Jackson fashion statement, she felt musically inclined, too, because she busted out the kazoo in the playroom! DSC_1076AB was feeling it too, as she sang back-up, but she’d already ditched her princess dress for some shades before she belted out a little “laa-laa-laaa”!   (HA!)!!! DSC_1088



It was another fun Friday!


Monday, June 28, 2010

Sunny Saturday

Saturday started off like most Summer Saturdays when we’re home…DW mowed the grass and I did a few things around the house. When he came in from outside, he said, “lets go do something…”

Since it was already almost noon, it had to be something close.

We thought. And thought. And thought.

Finally, one of us suggested going to the Rainbow Springs State Park. DSC_0025 I’ve always wanted to check it out, but we never do when we are down there. DW’s spent a week every summer of his life at the river house, yet he’d never been there either…well, not exactly. He said when they were kids, they’d take the boat up the river and paddle in the park and look around. He said he can remember climbing on the waterfalls. He also said he remembered seeing monkeys in cages. After that, I was REAL excited to see what this place was all about… WATERFALLS and MONKEYS? IN FLORIDA???

The drive in was really pretty. But I didn’t see any waterfalls or monkeys.DSC_0030

When we made it to the parking lots, there were more people and foam noodles than I could count making their way through into the park. DSC_0037

$4.00 later, we were in the park, too. DSC_0053

It was so crazy to see the river from the opposite end.

Everyone had the foam noodles, because no inflatable floats are allowed in the spring. The actual swimming spot is SO beautiful. Crystal clear water…


See the sign in this picture?

When we’re at Blue Run, that’s where we drive the boat to, anchor, jump in and swim, and then head back to the house… It’s as far as boats with motors can go. But one time, DW and I were at the river house for our anniversary and we pulled the canoe up with us, and paddled farther down to the head and actually saw the State Park pavilion from the river. Like I said, it was really neat to see it from the opposite side. DSC_0167

Once you got into the park, there were concrete and brick trails through the whole place.DSC_0125There were gazebos and benches and lookouts scattered all throughout the park, that lead to the different “waterfalls.”DSC_0098


It was totally worth our $4.00 just to walk around and see everything! DSC_0093



DW remembered right about the waterfalls…

But, we hadn’t seen anything about any monkeys…

UNTIL we saw this…DSC_0123

My first thought was that some Godzilla sized monkey had escaped and was waiting for us on the trail…

Nah… it was just some rundown fence…but we did see thisDSC_0101

and I am guessing that’s where the monkeys used to be??? or maybe DW’s memory isn’t what it used to be. (He DOES have another birthday coming up in August…) ha…

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It was neat to do something neither of us had ever done before, and especially considering it was so close to home!

After walking around the park, we hit up the Sonic. Lucky for us, it was 2:00! DSC_0175

AB had her first slush, and ya’ll be the judge…think she loved it?!?!

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It was a great sunny-Saturday!