Posts about DIY.

TGIF (football season, that is)

So here’s the thing about The GingerBeard Man that many of you may not know: he is way super into football.
Like WAY. SUPER. INTO. football.
I am not into sports… The poor guy had to shelve all of his hopes and dreams of curling up in matching team jerseys for Sunday night football with his wife when he proposed to me. I understand football, I’m just not a fan. He is such a fan though. He reads all the info, he listens to the podcasts, he knows all the players names and the coaches names and their children’s names (just kidding.. I think) and he looks forward to the beginning of football season like a kid waiting for Christmas.
And right now, I am so glad because I have so much stuff to do.
I would consider The GingerBeard Man and I to be in a perpetual state of “the honeymoon phase.” If you were to look in from the outside, you see two people who are best friends and who do pretty much everything together. And that is really great. I love hanging out with him, and I’m pretty sure he likes hanging out with me too ūüôā Which is good because I’m not going anywhere, lol.
That said, I have a lot on my plate right now and I’m glad that he has something to keep him occupied while I try and get on top of it all so I don’t feel like I’m blowing him off all the time. The jewelry stuff has gotten a little crazy. Keeping up with the photographs and advertising for The Navajo Silver Shop takes up a few hours a week and I have also opened up a second etsy shop (Hippie Silver) for a different type of jewelry. My brother convinced me to join him for a craft show in October so I have been working on preparing for that as well. Sometimes I can spend an entire day of the weekend working on this stuff and when I finally stop, it’s dark!
Also, you may remember, I had mentioned a few months ago that we are wanting to sell the house, so there are a lot of little projects around the house that need to get knocked out. And some not so little ones, like the tile backsplash in the kitchen which I finally finished this weekend. Except for the grouting, which I will do next weekend. It feel so great to check off a box next to a major item like that, but it has so far taken me three full days to get to where I am on it. And I am sure there is at least one more full day for the grouting and cleanup.
And, of course, the project I want to be working on with ALL of my spare time is the TFTC podcast, which I am hoping to publish sometime in December, or January first at the absolute latest. I had no idea how much work would go into researching, preparing for and finally publishing a podcast. It’s a lot. But it’s a lot in all the right ways! Like the exciting ways! And I cannot wait to get it off of the ground. So while my super cute husband is watching football over the next few months, I am hoping to really hunker down and work, work, work on all of these little projects ūüôā

My Teeny-Tiny City Balcony

I live in an 800 sf condo just outside of the downtown core. I moved in here about a year ago and LOVE it. The view is kinda incredible (city skyline to the west, and the lake to south) and it completely uninterrupted. When I was looking at condos I knew there was no way I could live anywhere with out outdoor space. So while my balcony is only 30 sf I’ve made the most of it.


I started0237434_PE376790_S5 with the flooring. The floor of the balcony is plain concrete – which is okay, but can be dusty and hard to clean. I went to Ikea and purchased these amazing floor tiles.

The Boy installed them in 15 minutes. There are a few advantages to using a product like this. First is the dust issue, no need to worry about concrete dust in your home! Second is that it just feels nicer on your feet when you walk out barefoot like I often do. Third is the over all look. My condo has dark hardwood floors, visually the floor tiles make it look like the dark hardwood continues to the outside. And lastly if it rains, the water dries off the floor tiles faster then it would off the concrete.





Next up was the furniture. I wanted something I could curl up and read in. Considering the size and the width (only 3 feet) I went with something that was as wide as possible. Mission accomplished with this amazing set that I ordered online at Home Depot and had delivered right to my condo door (wahoo for free delivery!). The set is dark grey, with a lighter grey cushion. It came with a coffee-table cube, that also acts as storage! Double duty furniture is the best for condo living!



0313296_PE514252_S5No outdoor space is complete without plants! And since I like to cook I love to have fresh herbs close by. Again, double duty, looks great and we can eat them too! This year the Boy went with my dad to the garden centre, choose out all the plants and repotted them. The plant stand is from Ikea and it’s brilliant! Its a tiered design with space for 13 pots, and the levels of the plants is adjustable. I’ve got it set up flat at one end of my patio, but you can adjust it so it’s at a 90 degree angle as well. This year I’ve got basil, rosemary, cilantro, thyme, some ivy and a couple of flowers. The pots that you buy from Ikea don’t have holes in the bottom, so the Boy drilled a hole in to the bottom of each to allow for drainage. He added in some pebbles and then some potting soil, then the plants and we’re all set!


Lighting and Accents0880756_1

Bird-Brain-Firepot-Pele-Small-Sepia-Pearl-11504573_LRGNo space is complete without your personal touch! The interior of my condo is all greys and turquoise blue accents. In order to help make the balcony feel like part of the whole space and not a teeny-tiny self-contained space, I continued the colour scheme
to the outdoors as well. The accent pillows are outdoor fabric, safe to leave out in the sun and rain. I actually have three sources of light – first is an old set of filament style string bulbs I bought at Target before they left Canada (sob, sob, sob…), second is the fire-pot and lastly is a set of solar fairy lights. I also have some lanterns for candles if I feel like that’s the right mood.


And Voila! My tiney-tiny balcony space!





Ikea Floor tiles:

Ikea plant stand:

Ikea pots:

Conversation Set (no longer available at Home Depot):


Accent Pillows:

Ikea, Home Depot, Best Buy and Canadian Tire have paid me nothing to promote their goods. I’ve done so out of the goodness of my heart for you to be able to create your own amazing tiny little outdoor space!


on starting a business

I come from a family of artists. All of my siblings have some kind of artistic tendencies, for me that was always writing. My long time dream is to be an author. But very early in life I chose the path of parent and not too long after that, I chose the path of single parent. And single parents don’t get as much time to write as you might think ūüėČ
My father has always been a silversmith. Back in the old pre-internet days, he would load up his van with tables and jewelry and go to farmers markets or craft shows and sell jewelry. The days he was home were spent soldering, adding stones, and polishing existing pieces to be ready for the next show.
Several years ago my father “retired” to his house in New Mexico and took to selling his jewelry on ebay exclusively. He’ll be 76 this year, so I think he is tired of all the traveling.
About fifteen years ago, my older sister went to visit our dad and learn as much as she could about his business. She then moved to a very remote part of North East Canada and bought a huge home and set up her shop in the basement. She has been doing that ever since.
More recently, my younger brother made the same trip to visit our father and returned and started his own shop, followed by my little sister… my brother is the most vocal about how well he is doing with it. Now, he currently has a full time job and he owns a vending machine so the the silver shop is his “hobby” business, but it is making him money and he adds to it every month, making it bigger and bigger.
So I was finally convinced enough to make a modest investment into my own silver shop. The biggest thing for me was not to dip into The GingerBeard Man and my salary for an experiment. Because even if little brother is doing well doesn’t mean I will. Luckily, at my job, I get an annual bonus. So I took my bonus and bought a ton of supplies and a dot com and started Navajo Silver Shop. Or rather, I am still in the process of starting it.
The GingerBeard Man excels at all things design and also at the creation of websites. This site was my little pet project that he was kind enough to set up for me. So I am currently harassing him to do my logo, marketing stuff and to set up, but he has this whole pesky career that gets in the way sometimes, lol. In the meantime, I have set up a little ebay shop and have listed about half of what I have. “Hobby” businesses still take up a lot of time and I haven’t really found a balance between taking photos and listing items and making dinner and doing laundry just yet. I’ll get there.

Learning to remodel my house or learning that I can’t.

So the Husband and I have discussed off and on the idea of putting my house on the market. ¬†I’ve had this house since 2008 and while we have updated some things like pulling up all of the carpet and the forced kitchen remodel due to a super terrible leak (that’s a post for another day), we haven’t done much else. ¬†Mostly I’ve never had the cash and my house was so crammed full of children that it seemed futile to try and make things nice when there were still kids around to ruin it. ¬†One day I will post a few photos of what my youngest has done to the walls in her room and you will know what I mean.

Now that we will be down to two kids and I have a little extra cash, I am thinking it wouldn’t be a bad idea to go ahead and do some repairs and upgrades. ¬†Give me an idea and access to Pinterest and suddenly I think I can do anything. ¬†Of course, I have access to pinterest fails¬†as well, so I know I can also ruin anything. ¬†On that note, I am thinking about starting with a small room to test out whether I can actually do this without having to hire someone to come in and fix it afterwards, but also so that it hopefully won’t take me six months to finish just from the sheer size of the room.

I’m thinking about starting with the second bathroom. ¬†It’s relatively small but also hideously ugly and it’s one of those rooms that make you feel like it’s impossible to keep it clean or organize it. ¬†Initially I thought “I’ll gut the whole damn room” but then I started reading about it and I realized that when it comes to removing a bathtub/shower combo thingy and replacing it, I am totally not capable of doing that without hiring someone and really, I don’t think it’s necessary. ¬†I can clean up the tub and replace the fixtures and be content.

That leaves the floor, walls, mirror, and vanity. ¬†(The commode was replaced a few years ago and doesn’t need to be replaced again.) ¬†I had the floor tiled shortly after I bought the house, but there are a few broken tiles and I am sure I will need to add some tile when I remove the vanity. ¬†I’ve never tiled a floor before, but since it won’t be the¬†whole floor, I think I can probably handle it. ¬†Once that is done, I would like to do the walls. ¬†I’m thinking about putting in wainscoting and then painting the wall above it. ¬†I’ve never painted a single wall in my house because they aren’t dry wall. ¬†They are the vinyl walls that come in manufactured homes and frankly, I’ve always been too scared that I would make them worse. ¬†Fortunately, my walls are white so none of that ugly floral wallpaper stuff. ¬†They do still have the batten strips though and I hate them. Here’s the thing, I have seen online where some owners have pulled the batten strips down and used drywall mud to seal them up and then painted the whole thing. ¬†So I’m thinking I’m going to give that a go.

You know, as someone who has never done anything involving dry wall anything.

I’m sure it will super easy.¬†/sarcasm

So if I somehow manage to do that, I can then install baseboard and ceiling molding, something else I’ve never done. And then install the vanity and a new mirror. ¬†Easy peasy right? Ha! ¬†And if you’re thinking right now¬†why don’t you just get your husband to do it? I would like to at this point mention that, while my husband is amazing in many ways, home repair isn’t one of them. ¬†He and I have about the same level of experience with home maintenance and repair. ¬†And most of that experience is getting someone else to do it for us.