I have been a huge Square Foot Gardening fan for many years but my wife recently turned me on to a new gardening method called “Straw Bale Gardening” she learned about online from sites like Pinterest and Garden Web. I was super resistant to trying it out as we have always had such great results with the Square Foot method and probably would have never got around to trying it out if it wasn’t for Bethany. I was traveling for work one week in early 2016 and when I came home Bethany had completely set up a straw bale garden in our backyard. This post documents the entire process with pictures and even a time lapse video. Continue reading Straw Bale Gardening
It’s been two months since our last post but I finally had a few minutes to write this post so you can see one of the cool projects we’ve been working on. We have a wall in our front dining room that needed a little something so Bethany wanted to hang a DIY Farmhouse Art painting similar to the one Haven made for us that is currently positioned over the fireplace in the family room. This post shows how the picture was made and what it looks like mounted in our front room. Continue reading DIY Farmhouse Art – Black Sheep Painting
Last night a winter storm passed through our area and we received several inches of snow! We had fun playing outside and making snow angels but the snow was not sticky enough to make a snowman. We had planned to pick up a snow disc at Ace Hardware but when we stopped by they had already sold out. The forecast predicted 2-4 inches of snow to fall during the middle of the night so we went to bed looking forward to seeing in the morning how much snow stuck around. Continue reading Snow! Homemade Wood Snow Sled
We built this homemade wood shelf unit a couple months ago but held off on writing this post as we wanted to finish the crates that go with it first. The shelf was surprisingly simple to make and cost a fraction of what it would if you purchased something similar from a store. The unit is solid wood, nearly 9 feet tall, is anchored to the wall, and stained to match the decor of our house. This post contains the instructions and pictures to build both the homemade wood shelf and the crates. Continue reading Homemade Wood Shelf with Crates
If you are not familiar with the term “Chicken Tractor”, its basically just a portable chicken run so that chickens can be moved around to eat fresh grass, much like a tractor mowing a yard. We had originally planned to allow the chickens to free range in our backyard. That lasted for a couple weeks….right up until we lost 6 chickens to a family of Georgia Red Foxes. The chickens seemed so happy free-ranging so we hated to leave them locked up in the chicken coop and attached run with no access to fresh grass. That’s when we decided it was time to design and build a “Chicken Tractor”. Continue reading Homemade Chicken Tractor: a mobile home for hens
We have been planning to raise chickens for many years and finally decided this is the year to turn the plan into action. About 2 months ago Bethany picked up 20 chicks from Tractor Supply. We raised the chicks in two plastic bins (10 in each bin) with one heat lamp for each bin. Our plan was to build a homemade chicken coop the next weekend and move the chicks outside as soon as it was ready. I studied 100’s of pictures of coops on Google Images and noted the pros and cons of all the different styles/features. I then drafted a design for our coop using Google SketchUp. Here is a picture of the final version in SketchUp: Continue reading Homemade Chicken Coop
We are all moved in and enjoying our new home but haven’t found much time for blogging the last few months. Our commitment was to blog the entire process so I decided to go ahead and knock out one more blog post this weekend. In this post are the pictures of the bathroom vanities and links to the instructions to build the vanities yourself. We saved an amazing amount of money by building some of our own vanities. If you like a farmhouse or rustic style then I highly recommend these homemade vanities as an alternative to expensive manufactured vanities. Continue reading Bathroom Vanities
I have been busy working down Bethany’s “honey-do” list since we moved into our new home. There were quite a few woodworking projects on the list, including building a long farmhouse dining room table for our large family. When I sat down to start drawing up the plans I asked her to provide me with pictures of tables similar to what she had in mind. Bethany only provided me with one example, a picture from Chip and Joanna Gaines’ website:
The table was made for a couple with 7 children (Allen and Gail Holt) on an episode titled “Fixer Upper: Yours, Mine, Ours, and a Home on the River”. It was built by Clint Harp with Harp Design Co. and met Bethany’s design guidelines of simple, rugged, and LARGE.
As many of you know from our “Designing Kitchen and Cabinet Layouts” post, our whole house was designed around Bethany’s dream kitchen. While we made every effort to save money on other areas of the house, we were much less frugal when it came to the kitchen. Because we are so thrilled with both the aesthetic and functional results, I wanted to take the time to share pictures and explain in detail why Bethany loves her dream kitchen design so much!
This kitchen design is not one that happened by accident. Bethany slaved over the design for many months and mocked up every version and every detail using Home Designer Architectural software. Here is a screenshot Bethany took using the software and then what the kitchen looks like now in real life:
Our family has always enjoyed hanging out in the family room, gathered around the fireplace. We have always had gas fireplaces but we considered having a traditional fireplace in the new house. In fact, I was hoping to have a traditional wood-burning fireplace so we could take advantage of all the free firewood we have on the property. For a variety of reasons, we ended up deciding on installing a direct vent fireplace. Three of the main reasons for this decision were: Continue reading Direct Vent Fireplace