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Itai’s Room Update

The walls are painted (Glidden Parchment White) and the floor is installed- (Truffle Hickory laminate from Lowes).  Originally we planned a plywood floor, but for ease and to accomplish it faster, and because we couldn’t find a stain color Itai considered a hobbit color, we picked Laminate.IMG_1743IMG_1741

The fun thing is that Itai is helping with every step.  I hope that I am teaching him good skills and the knowledge that you have to work for what you want.

Just a reminder here is the before



Project: Itai’s Lord of the Rings room

has begun!  A few months ago after I finished the boys room with the plywood floor, Itai decided he wanted his own room.  So he moved into our spare bedroom.  The room has been a storage catchall, and is painted a powder blue, with an inspirational quote and shelves, and none of Itai’s personality.

When making my project list for the year- Itai’s room and my craftroom closet were top of the list.  Itai decided it has to be a lord of the rings room- why can’t it be star wars?  You can find all kinds of Star Wars themed items right now- but not Lord of the Rings.  And he has definite ideas about what he wants in it.  Art, shelves, bunk beds, he has something in mind for it all.

I didn’t take a picture before I started (I was too ashamed of how it looked, with boxes, books, empty lego boxes and plastic bags, a big huge bed, and nothing organized at all.)  Here is how it looks now without the carpet (ha!  Now only one room has carpet in it- that is my bedroom- and only because my room is the most neglected room in the whole house)


The first pic is the view from the hall to the window, and the second pic is the view from the corner by the window to the door.

The first order of business was to clear everything from the room.  This entailed finding a million and one lego pieces in the carpet, along with 1 and 1/2 contractor trashbags full of papers, boxes, and lego wrappers off the floor.  There was also a queen sized bed, a cabinet, a corner desk, and baskets, and rubbermaid tubs full of what should be in the craft room closet but didn’t have a place to put it.

Next- out came the carpet, and tack strips.  This I am intimately familiar with as this is the next to last room that had carpet (Did I mention I have a vendetta against carpet?)

Tomorrow morning I will take out the closet door and door molding inside the room, and all the base boards.  Then we will be ready for paint.  Itai has chosen Glidden Parchment White as the color as it is Hobbit Hole color.  Now granted- we only can see the color briefly in the movie and while there are tons of pictures on google images, there is not a clear picture anywhere to show the color.  So Parchment white is as good a color as any.  Here is a glimpse at the Project Board I have made for Itai.

Itai Project Board

The map of Middle Earth is huge- and will be above a desk on the long wall to the left of the door.  In the corner on the same wall will be 3 tree trunks (Itai says like Mallorn wood) with trunk rings for shelves- this will be the display for his built legos.  the opposite wall will have bunk beds in the middle of the wall.  On the side near the window will be a reading nook with a bookshelf with more branches.  The other side of the bunk beds, near the closet with be an Art Wall.  He found these water color art pieces of Viviprint, but we might see if we can diy them.  I will be doing my second plywood floor, this time in 7″ strips, and stained a cross between Minwax Cherry stain and Colonial Maple.

So wish me luck!- here I go!



Dog Crate with a Drawer


First project for 2016- and it wasn’t even on the list!

Goodness- I made my project list for 2016- and had every intention on starting the craft closet build- but……. when we picked up our dogs from sister, she told us that instead of them sleeping in separate kennels, they have been sleeping together while we were in Israel.   I have had Ana White’s Large Dog Crate Plan pinned to my pinterest board for AGES!   A kennel and an end table together?  Just what I needed.    Here is a gratuitous picture of my sweet puppies- introducing Gabi (the mini dachshund) and Sophie (the Havachon).


Both dogs are small- so I was going to need to size the kennel down- I got the measurements of kennels from Petsmart, and I looked at the measurements on Ana’s site.  I decided I wanted to add some functionality as well.  – I wanted a drawer, to hold puppy treats and brushes.  But this will also be an end table for my nest.  well, couch.  There is one spot on the couch where I always sit- the end table usually gets every piled on it- papers from the kids for school, pens and pencils, my project plans and anything else that I have going on.

For the kennel I decided on 20h x 19″w x 28″d.  The drawer would be 7″ total making the height of the kennel 27″- the same as the plans from ana white.

Now this year, we are on a very tight budget for the first half of the year- any project I do has to be a little at at time- so just for fun I went out to my woodpile in the garage- I didn’t have any 1x3s but I did have 1x2s- and the crate is for small dogs- so sizing down to 1x2s is probably more scale appropriate.   I must have bought a bunch of 1x2s for another project that I decided not to do, or that I used something else in place.  So I didn’t have to buy any wood, I did have to buy drawer slides and one can of stain, but that was it.

I started with the front piece.  1x2s cut to the right size- pocket screws to make them into a frame.  They were perfectly square!.  I built a second frame to go inside to make the door- but instead of wood slats, I chose to use hog wire fencing- painted rustoleum hammered oil rubbed bronze.  Side and back frames with plywood for the bottom panels.  – cut with my wonderful Festool track saw!  Love that thing.  I used more hog wire fencing.  I assembled the box using pocket screws and I added corner L brackets in the bottom corners for strength.  The bottom I cut from 1/2″ plywood.  Next on top was another 1/2″ inch plywood top.  Then I assembled the drawer frame using a 1x6x8.  Glue and pocket screws attached the drawer frame to the crate.  I built the drawer from a 1x4x8.  I made it 24″ deep and used full extension slides to take advantage of the whole space.

The top to the drawer unit is another piece of 1/2″ plywood.  I cut it a little bigger on the front and sides but installed it flush with the back.  I also added trim, and spray painted it with Rustoleum Black Laquer- sanding between three coats.  It is as smooth as butter!  – it looks awesome with the provincial stain I used for the crate itself.

Black hinges, black slide lock, and a black drawer handle finish it off.  I am sooooo pleased.





Dee - January 6, 2016 - 9:38 pm

Awesome. My Sophie would love it too.

Jake Helms - January 21, 2016 - 6:34 pm

How can I get a set of plans for it?

Project List for 2016

Hi everyone- it is the first day of 2016 and I am looking forward to the projects I have planned for this year!  I have so many projects that I want to do- so I am listing them here to keep me accountable and to check off as I complete them. Itai’s Room

First on my list is Itai’s new room- after I completed the Plywood Floor and the bed, Itai decided he no longer wanted to share a room with Ari, and has moved into the spare bedroom.  and immediately after Itai moved out, Ari, who normally would sleep on the floor, decided he would sleep in the bed Itai abandoned.  It worked out for everyone!

This means that Itai got stuck with the spare bedroom- a modge podge of Items piled for storage, furniture that doesn’t match at all, and nothing to show Itai’s personality at all.  It is his turn to have a redecorated room and I am just the person to give it to him- only thing is- he has requested a Lord of the Rings room.  What?  Of all the themes, this is what he chose.   After some research- it is doable- and I am kind of excited to make this happen– I hope it turns out well- here is the plan…

1) Paint- powder blue is not a lord of the rings color- we are going with a more neutral color- perhaps a white grey- Itai wanted a wooden room but I have to consider the future when he no longer wants a LOTR room.  I will paint the room and the ceiling the same color.

2) Floor- this is one of two rooms that has carpet still- out it goes!  I will be putting in another plywood floor, this will be a wider plank and be of a lighter color- not so golden as Ari’s floor.  (have I mentioned I don’t like carpet?)

3) Bed- we are going bunk beds!  somewhere along the lines of this pin I found on pinterest Lord of the Rings Bunk Beds  I think that I will build a basic bunk bed and use cedar posts for the ladder and facade.  Not sure yet- going to get the walls and floor taken care of first.

4) Desk- we will need to come up with a desk idea that we can both agree on.  The kids are not allowed to have their computers in their rooms so it doesn’t need to hold a laptop or desktop- but needs to be good for doing homework- and for his writing projects he likes to create for himself.

5)  Decor- Itai wants a big map of Middle Earth it is 63″x45″- he is thinking he wants it on the same wall as the bunk beds- but I am not so sure.  We are negotiating:)  He also has a wooden bow that my mom found at a garage sale- we will find a way to display it , maybe with some arrows if I can make/find any.  There are tons of quotes and art having to do with LOTR on Pinterest.  Also Itai has tons of lego characters and memoribilia so I am going to build a book case- probably also out of cedar- that will hold it for display.  I need to decide what kind of window treatment would work well- he doesn’t like a lot of light in the morning so something to block the windows… maybe wooden blinds?

Craft Room Closet

Second on my list is the craft room closet- The pomeranch is a 6 bedroom, 2 story home.  The 6th bedroom is a 2nd master- with a smaller bathroom but a long skinny closet.  Have any of you seen Sandra’s closet on Sawdust Girl?  She is such an inspiration!  I am going to build a built in closet similar to hers- with drawers and hanging space galore.  This will give me much needed craft storage and yet if we ever need to sell the home- will make a wonderful selling point.  I am planning all white with chrome drawer pulls.  I will include some jewelry drawers and some much needed shoe storage (which for craft room purposes will hold sewing machines when not in use.  I will put some either open shelves above the hanging space, or some doors to hide clutter, or a combo of all of it in order to utilize all the space.   Lighting will be a rectangular light fixture, and maybe a couple of can lights.  I will be posting a more detailed description in a dedicated post.  The walls will be painted all white as well.  As much as I loved Sandra’s planked ceiling, it isn’t right in our home so the ceiling will be painted white.

Pantry Closet

Like many homes, our house has a pantry closet that looks like a bedroom closet- it has two doors that open and wire shelves for the food.  It has about 12 inches of black hole on each side that food disappears inside only reappearing when I bravely clean the pantry.  I am going to pull out the wall to open it up and build custom cabinets with drawers and doors.  Also I will utilize the top 36 inches that is just wasted at the top.  It can hold appliances and water jugs, platters and more.    In case you are wondering about electric- there isn’t any in the walls I will be working with.  The hallway between the pantry and laundry room will get 2 canned lights.  So much more useful than the boob light that is there now.

But wait- there is more:)

Master Bedroom makeover

The most ignored room in the house is the Master bedroom.  It is long past due for paint, yanking out the carpet, and a new headboard/footboard.  Here is the plan

Paint- Revere Pewter from Sherwin Williams will be the paint color for the walls, and the ceiling will be white.

Floor- I want to do laminate- but we will wait til the more appropriate budget moment as it is a fairly big room

Bed- I am going to build our bed with a similar design to Pottery Barn’s Embarcadero bed- because while I would love to just buy one, I don’t have 2000 to spend on it.  Besides- I am building with a twist- I will include storage bed drawers as the mattress support- ridding myself of the box spring- and giving the room some storage.

Nightstands will be the matching Embarcadero design.

Decor wise- I don’t have a plan yet- although I have a design palette in mind- based on a pic I took while in Israel.  I am going to have to sew it – as they no longer make the duvet cover I wanted to buy.  I will also have a blanket ladder because sometimes Ori wants a blanket and sometimes he doesn’t.

So this is the plan for 2016- it will be a challenge to get everything done within a year, and within a budget- but when am I not up for that challenge:)



The Pomeranch

When Ori and I met in 2000, it was through the SCA (a renaissance reenactment group) and Ori had only been in the US since 1997.   It was my birthday and I hadn’t been on a date in a couple of years, so I asked him out.  (very proactive, and not like myself at all, but so glad I did)  After that date and being together for 4 months, Ori’s student visa was ending.  I knew then that I couldn’t let that man walk out of my life, and we were married in Vegas.

Ori had a some money set aside- and a fear of debt equivalent to my sister Jennifer’s fear of spiders.  Ori was interested in owning some land, and a house, so we found a cute little property in Campbell, Tx.  It was far enough from Greenville that we felt like we were in the country, but to go to Greenville was only 15 mins by car.  We picked out a mobile home from Palm Harbor homes.  This was our home until 2003.  I remember when we moved in , it was the coldest, wettest winter.  Ori’s driving skills ended up with him in the ditch several times as the road to the property is a dirt road.  We had a well dug so we wouldn’t have to be on city water, and after the ground dried out enough, we had an asphalt driveway put in.  Our oldest son was born in 2002 while we lived in Campbell. Best thing about living out there and being pregnant in the summer was I could walk around in a sports bra and shorts and no one could see me.  We could go for walks down the country roads, with the occasional cars passing us, kicking up dust.  When you live in the country, your neighbors all wave, its very friendly.

In 2001, we moved to London England because Ori was working with an Israeli start up and this would put him on 4 hrs away in case he needed to go in the office.  We were there for 3 months, for the hottest summer on record.  We were subletting a flat from Ori’s cousin in St John’s Wood.  I loved this 3 months, we were planning an official wedding and getting to know each other.  But I was homesick, and wanted to visit home for my birthday (I had never spent a birthday away from my twin, ever)  While we were home for my birthday (September 8), 9/11 happened.  I was sitting on the couch at the Pomeranch and my sister called me.  She said turn on the TV right now!  I watched in horror as the 2nd plane hit the twin towers in New York.  Shortly after that, Ori’s startup called and said they couldn’t afford to keep us in London.  I didn’t dare let Ori go back to London, there were so many hate crimes toward anyone who looked even vaguely middle eastern.   My other sister Jennifer went with me to pack up the flat.  I did more sightseeing that week than I did the 3 months we lived there.  And home to the Pomeranch we came.

Funny thing was , while there were so many hate crimes in London, Campbell was a sea of calm- and even though it is in the heart of redneck country, our neighbors were calling to check on us, to make sure no one was causing trouble.

On further reflection though- I don’t think we were really country people- we spent almost everyday driving somewhere, into Greenville, into Dallas, anywhere but home.  And Ori was offered a job teaching security products in California.  I was apartment hunting with Itai in a front pack, so he must have been 6 months or so, and literally while touring an apartment, Ori called to say he was laid off.  So glad we had not committed yet.  2 weeks later we were in Austin, and have lived here ever since.  We sold some of our acreage a few years ago but retained some acres and the house.

Why did I tell you this long rambling story about the Pomeranch?  Well, it is bitter sweet, but we are about to sell all but .8 acres to the same people who bought the other acreage.  And this  started me down memory lane.  So much of our life is tied around that property.  It is the right decision to sell.  After a bad experience with a renter that involved him subletting the master bedroom to a series of women without our knowledge and one of them melted the master bath vanity cooking meth, we don’t want to deal with renters any more.  We can use the money more than the headache.  We close on the sale next week.  We still will retain .8 acres that my Mom and Dad’s house sit on.  They have lifetime access to the Well and Driveway.  But there is a bit of sadness in the sale.  There will always be a Pomeranch, even if it is wherever we are instead of acreage.  We can still visit the original Pomeranch, but from now on the Pomeranch will be in Pflugerville, TX.