October 23, 2014

I dug out an old photo album last night.  I was in search of a specific picture, and prayed  it was there.  When I finally laid eyes on it, I cried.

sammie and vi

It was taken on February 14, 1995.  I didn’t remember it was Valentine’s Day, but I did remember it snowed that day!  Snow is a bit of a rarity around here, and it was an epic snowfall.

But, aside from the weather, that day was memorable for another reason.

My Uncle Sammie and Aunt Violet arrived from Montana for a visit.

For any of us who’ve made that journey, we know it’s quite the trek.  To say I don’t get many visitors from my hometown is an understatement.  My brother commented that he was quite sure it was easier ~ and probably cheaper ~ to get to Timbuktu!!  :)

But, they and some friends of theirs got in their car and toodled down the road and across the ferries to see us.  For a few days, they visited with us in our cozy little camp apartment.

We talked and laughed.  They played with our boys and told us how cute they were.  (They really were, weren’t they?).  They helped with dishes and took us out for supper to Banners Restaurant.


My sister called last night to tell me Aunt Violet had passed away.  Although I knew she was failing health-wise, the news was still a bit shocking.  My heart started to squeeze as it does with painful news, and immediately, I remembered.

My mind flitted through so many scenes ~ Sunday afternoons at her farmhouse,  New Year’s Eve in their family room addition,  lunches at the Tastee Hut,  her impeccably decorated Christmas trees, and those precious few days in our own home.

Sweet Rememberings.

It’s the rememberings, I find, that makes saying good-bye for the last time so painful.  It’s in those rememberings that we mourn the loss of being able to make more memories.  It’s a hard thing to let go of.

But, it’s also in the rememberings that I also realize how richly blessed I am to have the memories in the first place.

vi and sammie

Aunt Violet, thank you for blessing my heart and enriching my life.

Uncle Sammie, thank you for being an incredible role model of long lasting love and commitment.

And to the rest of my family in Montana today, know you are in my thoughts and prayers.  I so wish that road between us were shorter and easier to travel.  If it was, I’d be on it…

Big hugs around your neck to you all.

And, hallelujah, for the hope of Heaven.

Because of it, this good-bye isn’t forever.

{That family reunion up there must be pretty amazing!!}


I know this doesn’t really fit with the 31 Days of Projects theme, but thank you for your understanding in today’s diversion from homey projects.  My pre-scheduled posts ended yesterday, and I currently have a big ol’ project on the go…so hopefully I can get a little more blogging done before tomorrow!

Blessings to you all.


Sliding Barn Door Tutorial

October 22, 2014

{If you missed yesterday’s post on the Sliding Barn Door, you may want to start there.}

First of all, right from the outset, I want to make it very clear that if you make a barn door the method I’m about to explain, it will be heavy.  As in very, very heavy.  As in, “Oh, honey, is this door going to pull down the whole house?” heavy.  But, my husband assured me that this hardware can handle up to 400 pounds, and it’s not nearly THAT heavy!!;)

Now that we’ve got that cleared up, let’s get going.

As I’ve mentioned previously, we were inspired by and referred often to the Handmade Home’s tutorial on How to Build a Barn door.  Like theirs, our door is very, very large – measuring in at 49 inches x  84 inches .

Rather than using plywood, we chose to use MDF, as it comes in slightly larger sheets.  The outer edge boards are 1 x 8s and the middle boards 1 x 6s.

Once the back piece was the right size, Irwin cut the side and top boards, glued them and tacked them down with a nail gun.


Then the center boards were added. 

Once all the glue was dried thoroughly, I stained the outer and center boards by wiping stain on and off.

priming outer boards

Since MDF doesn’t take stain well, I primed the insets and back of door with Aqua Lock primer.

priming insets

aqua lock primer

Now, I apologize, for the pictures of all the next steps are lost…(or perhaps I didn’t take them in the first place?? I can’t even remember…)

Once the primer was dry, I wiped a bit of Vaseline on random places on the stained portion of the door.  (Wherever the Vaseline is, the paint won’t adhere, providing an “old door” patina.) Then I painted a coat of White Heron on it.

The stain bled through the paint in some areas, but I decided to leave it that way.  It gives lots of dimension and different colors to the door, and adds to the antique look of it.  The wood peeks through in certain areas where the Vaseline was.


I was going for a “slightly distressed” finish not a “beat it to death distressed” finish…

The tricky part was getting that heavy door up the basement steps…and then hanging it on the hardware.

We reinforced the area where it was to be hung (it’s a 12 foot rail) by first attaching a 2 x 8 x 12ft.  board securely to the studs and painting it.

Then we hung the rail itself, making sure it was the right height for the door and taking into account the fact that the floors in our house are far from even…


While we were attaching all that, we propped the door on some boards so it would help hold the weight.


The hardware itself came from our local Home Hardware and tallied in at $85.00.  I was so excited when I discovered it was available right here in our own “backyard” and is such a nice alternative to the expensive online options.

As far as projects go, this was one of the bigger ones that we’ve tackled.  I definitely wouldn’t call it a quick and easy one…but it is sure nice to have it up and functioning.

sliding barn door with words ps

{And have I mentioned that I really love it??:)}

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Sliding Barn Door in Office

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Ever since we moved into this house, we’ve been perplexed by this strange closet.  Although it has one door on the left, it has a big, gaping hole on the right ~ and it’s all the same closet! I hung a curtain up there to hide the mess, but we’ve been trying to find a […]

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Barn Door Inspiration

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In anticipation of our next big ol’ project reveal, I thought it might be a good idea to start with the inspiration behind it. I’ve been watching for quite a while a big trend of adding sliding barn doors as part of interior decor.  Although I’m not one to jump on the trendy bandwagon for […]

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Sunday Funnies

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In the spirit of learning and teaching something new, I thought this video was the perfect Sunday Funny: Aren’t they just hilarious? ~ and they aren’t even trying to be!:) Have a Happy Sunday!

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Teach Something {Cooking up Some Fun!}

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Last week I shared that blogging was my “learn something new” exercise.    Not only do I think learning something new is fun and important, but teaching others can be, too! I had a good friend tell me once that no matter what age or stage of life we’re in, we should be a mentor and […]

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Quick No Sew {Vintage Pillowcase} Curtain

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I can’t begin to tell you how motivating this 31 Days of Projects series is for me.  I’ve been working like a crazed maniac trying to finish up all kinds of things  I’ve been wanting to do before I need to get back up to the camp kitchen later on this month.  The process of actually doing […]

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Painted Wooden Crate

October 16, 2014

When our now- almost- 22- year- old was just an itty bit of a thing, my husband built a step-stool for him.  He drug it all over our apartment and perched himself on it to “help” me bake, brush his teeth, and whatever else he needed to do that was just out of  reach. He […]

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7 Tips for Small Bathroom Organization

October 15, 2014

{We just finally finished our small bathroom makeover.  You can see all the details here.} There are some beautiful and snazzy articles on small bathroom organization tips.  I know, because I’ve searched out and studied them in great detail.  So, today’s post’s purpose is to shed some light on the truth of small bathroom organization. […]

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Small Bathroom Makeover Reveal

October 14, 2014

Once upon a time (about 6 months ago!) we decided to give our bathroom a  makeover.  One project led to another to another…and yet there always seemed to be “something more” to do.  I kept putting off the reveal until it could be really finished…and then wanted to wait until the  light to was just […]

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