DIY Embroidered Dishtowels

Update: This blog has moved! You can check out this post here.

Those who read this blog regularly know that I love to travel. It is particularly meaningful to me when I am able to get to know the culture and lives of the people. There is no better way to get to know a country than to stay with people that know it well, and I have been fortunate to have been welcomed into the homes of many around the world. I always try to bring a small gift that is meaningful and represents something from my little corner of the world.

I have found that dish towels are something that everyone can use. They are light and easy to fit in a suitcase. Best of all, they are customizable. You can put anything on them. There are many patterns to buy, but I prefer to draw my own. This is one that I made for doña Rosa, the woman I stayed with in Costa Rica.

DIY embroidered dish towel

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DIY Photo Booth

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My brother and sister in law had a photo booth at their wedding. Everyone enjoyed it so much that I was determined to have one at my wedding as well. Unfortunately, when I priced them, the cheapest one that I could find cost $1000 for the evening. That was more than I had left in my budget, but my desire to have a photo booth did not wane as time went on.

diy photobooth

Then, I found How To: DIY Your Wedding Photobooth at A Practical Wedding. This post gave me the confidence that I would be able to do it myself. I started googling “do it yourself photo booth” and found that there were almost as many ways to make one as there were people who tried. I was able to make a photo booth for under $100.

Update: This blog has moved! To read the rest of this post, go here.

Days 7-9 of the Drama Involving the Kitchen Floor

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This should NOT be viewed as a “How to Tile” post. If anything, it is a “How Not to Tile” post. We are not professionals. This was the first tile job for both of us. Hopefully, our story will provide amusement and the attitude of “Hey, if they can do it, anyone can!” However, unless you are a professional, experienced amateur or a masochist, I recommend that you hire someone to do the work for you. You can read about Days 1-3 and Days 4-6, if you missed those posts.

Day 7: Friday, March 22

I started by pulling out all of the spacers, so that our kitchen floor no longer looks like a mini ceramic Arlington.

Spacers set in ceramic tile

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Days 4-6 of the Drama Involving the Kitchen Floor

Update: This blog has moved! You can check out this post here.

This should NOT be viewed as a “How to Tile” post. If anything, it is a “How Not to Tile” post. We are not professionals. This was the first tile job for both of us. Hopefully, our story will provide amusement and the attitude of “Hey, if they can do it, anyone can!” However, unless you are a professional, experienced amateur or a masochist, I recommend that you hire someone to do the work for you. You can read about Days 1-3, if you missed that post.

Day 4: Tuesday, March 19

We woke up to snow and freezing rain. Poor Douglas had to go out to shovel and came back completely soaked. I worked on my post on Days 1-3. Then, back into my painting clothes I went to primer the floor for the leveling compound. Crème, as always, wanted to help.Painting primer on the floor

Update: This blog has moved! You can finish reading this post here.

Days 1-3 of the Drama Involving the Kitchen Floor

Update: This blog has moved! You can check out this post here.

This should NOT be viewed as a “How to Tile” post. If anything, it is a “How Not to Tile” post. We are not professionals. This was the first tile job for both of us. Hopefully, our story will provide amusement and the attitude of “Hey, if they can do it, anyone can!” However, unless you are a professional, experienced amateur or a masochist, I recommend that you hire someone to do the work for you.

Day One: Saturday, March 16, 2013

We got a late start. Since it was the first day of spring break, we stayed in bed a little longer than normal, but it felt really good not to have to get up and go to work. After we finally rolled out of bed and ate breakfast, I started moving the furniture out of the dining room so that we would have room for the kitchen appliances.

Douglas pulled the stove out for me, and I painted the wall back there. It was really disgusting! You can get a reminder of what it used to look like while reading “The Time It Rained in the Basement…. And Other Plumbing Stories.”

Painting behind stove

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Drum Roll, Please! New Coffee Table

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I have been excited for this project for a long time. After finding this drum in the trash in 2010, it did not take me long to decide what I wanted to do with it. I thought that it would make an excellent coffee/side table. What did take me a long time was actually getting started on the project. Anyone else have a problem with procrastination, or is it just me?

Drum used as side table

On Monday, I decided that this was the week. On Wednesday, I took the drum to a local glass cutter to get a piece of glass cut for the top. The shop is a lovely family-owned business. They quoted me $50 + tax to have the 1/4″ glass custom cut. It goes to show how I have been raised that I balked at the price at first. My grandmother attributes our thriftiness to our Scottish ancestors, but all I know is that no one on my mother’s side of the family likes to spend money needlessly. I justified the cost in a number of ways. First of all, I was supporting a local business, and that always makes me happy. Secondly, I did not spend any money on the drum, so in the end it was going to be a cheap side table. When I went to pick up the drum and glass on Thursday, they only charged me $45 total. I am so glad that I went ahead with the project.

Update: This blog has moved! You can see how I made the drum table here.

Homemade Cleaning and Personal Hygiene Supplies

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For years now, I have made 70% (percentage approximated very unscientifically) of my cleaning supplies with rubbing alcoholwhite vinegarand baking soda. It has saved me money, and my house is clean as ever. Then, in November, I read this blog post about homemade deodorant, lip balm,shower scrub and eye make-up remover. Deodorant was on my shopping list at the time, and I thought that I would like to try a homemade deodorant. It took me a while to get around to doing it. Do not worry! I have been using antiperspirant in the meantime. I just pulled a stick out of my travel bag. Then, on Tuesday, I read this post on Apartment Therapy about cleaning the washing machine. I am not sure how, but that made me wonder if I could make my own laundry detergent and other products as well. I did some research, and my loving husband went out in search of the ingredients. He had to visit three grocery stores to find everything I needed. The good news is that I have large quantities of everything left over, so it will be a long time before we have to buy them again. Everything is available online, and next time I might just order everything from Amazon and skip the running around to different stores. The kitchen then became ground zero for production.

Making cleaning supplies

Update: This blog has moved!  Here you can finish reading this post to see how I made toothpaste, deodorant, laundry soap and dishwashing detergent.

Guess What’s Coming to the Kitchen – Part III, the Ultimate Post

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Ultimate as in the end… hopefully! The dishwasher is up and running. It is not completely fitted into the space, but we are waiting to use it a couple of times to check for leaks while it is easier to pull out. You can read the beginning of this story here and here.

New dishwasher

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DIY Fall Wreath

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I came up with this idea while on a walk with Douglas and Kahlua. We were surrounded by all of the fall foliage, and I wanted a way to capture some of it. It is possible that I have seen this done somewhere else, and I apologize in advance if anyone thinks that I stole their idea, but as far as I know I did not.

DIY Fall wreath of leaves

Update: This blog has moved! You can finish reading this post and find out how I made the wreath here.

DIY Air Freshener

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I made my own air freshener with items I had in my home.

DIY Air Freshener

Update: This blog has moved! You can finish reading this post and see step by step instructions with pictures here.