Sunday, January 25, 2015

35 IHeart Kitchen Reno: Planking Progress

I probably could have posted Friday, but we were thisclose to getting our planks installed, that I decided to wait until we put in the last nail and our abs were screaming in pain from all of the nightly planking sessions.  OK, so although our abs really are not feeling the benefits of all of the planking happening over here, our ceiling sure feels the results.

If you recall, a week earlier our space looked like this.

And the same angle today.

We purchased the plank wood from a local lumber company and ordered 16 ft. boards of primed tongue and groove planks.  We looked at quite a few options, and landed with the AllPrime product because it is lightweight, split resistant and double coated with oil primer.  What I love most is that the boards are already super smooth and coated with the primer, which means less work for us before and after installation.  We believe it was worth a little extra expense up front to go with pre-primed, smooth planks because they do not have any visible wood grain or knots, and after my cabinets in my studio yellowed even with multiple coats of primer, I was not about to risk it again on such a large and important project.

The boards were delivered on Friday afternoon and we started installing them the following day.

The first step was to locate the trusses in the ceiling to ensure our nails had something to grip to during installation.  Bryan found the first truss by measuring two feet off of an external wall, and using a screwdriver and hammer to tap up into the ceiling (this is the homeowner's special version of a stud finder, which we realized we didn't have on hand).

He continued to check every two feet and mark where each ceiling truss was located.  With each of us on a ladder on opposite sides of the room, we then pulled a chalk line across the ceiling.

With the ceiling marked, it made it much easier to know where to nail in the planks.

For this project, we borrowed my father-in-law's scaffolding, which was the key to our success in completing this project in a week.  I was able to stay up on the scaffolding and be pushed across the floor to do a lot of the nailing.

We applied Liquid Nails to the backside of each plank to really ensure a good hold...

And used 2" brad nails every two feet.

We staggered the boards for strength, just as one would do when installing flooring.  Every once in awhile a rubber mallet helped to tap the boards into the grooves (using a scrap piece as a buffer when tapping things in place).

The entire length of each row was 21 1/2" feet, and after the first day, we had a whopping five rows installed.  We were definitely just getting our bearings and figuring out a system.

During the week, my husband would come home from work, we would feed the kids dinner, take them to their school activities, and typically start working around 7:30 or 8:00 as they were settling down for bed.  A couple of hours later and we were ready to snooze as well.

Measure, cut, glue, nail, repeat.  We managed to get things done with two people, but when we had three or four working on it thanks to friends stopping by to help, it made covering the 550 square feet even faster.  Six days fast!  (And I thought it was a weekend project... funny how that happens.)

We did all of our cutting inside because the garage is full of items for the kitchen and it is coooooooold in Wisconsin in January.  My husband took a note from his old shop teacher and used our shop vac to reduce the amount of flying dust while making his cuts.  Another homeowner's special.

Although the process was time consuming, it was not all that challenging.  The hardest part was cutting out around the recessed lighting kits.

My husband's trick for that process was:

1.  Using a white piece of paper and placing it into the groove of the last plank, he pressed around the lip of the light.

2.   He cut out the indented circle.

3.   He double checked to be sure it lined up correctly.

 4.  He marked the next plank board where the light starts and stops.

5.   He traced the cut template onto the board based on the markings.

6.   He used a jig saw to cut out the circle from the plank.

And YES!

Still not anything pretty to look at, but there is so much potential happening here!  We finally pulled down those final wall studs; that paired with the new planks and it feels like our space doubled in size!  We couldn't be more thrilled about the openness and all of the light streaming through during the day.

We had no need to run the planks to the peak as there will be a giant faux beam installed there next.  I really think that will be the major turning point for this project.

Well, that and finally getting some new sheetrock on the walls in the kitchen.  So that is what is on the agenda for this week.  We are building our beams and maybe even patching the walls.  The best part?  No more staples to be pulled!  It was all uphill after that. 

Once the beams are installed we will putty all of the seams and nail holes, and the entire ceiling will be sprayed white.  And you may have noticed more colors have joined the paint swatches on the walls... and you know what?  I still haven't committed to anything.  I have never in my entire life had such a hard time picking a single paint color for a room.  I may just go in a different direction all together.  So stay tuned as the color drama unfolds.  I am in suspense right along with you!

You can follow all of the kitchen progress here.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

25 UHeart Organizing: DIY Sewing Kit

I am so honored and exited to introduce you to Ursula, organizing extraordinaire behind the blog Home Made by Carmona!  She is the newest member of the iHeart Organizing team, and she is here today to share with us her super stylish and organized sewing kit!  Whether for cleaning, lunch packing or even bill paying, I am always a fan of creating organized kits designated to a specific task.  And I think that this kit is just SEW cool!  Just like Ursula.  Here she is now to share how she put together the dreamiest sewing kit around.

Hi IHeart readers! It is such a honor to be here sharing today! Amazingly IHeart Organizing was the very first blog I'd ever been introduced to, and it caused me to catapult headlong into the wonderful world of blogging! Haha, I feel like I've come home, back to where it all started.

Today I'm excited to share with you my DIY sewing kit and how I organize it. I feel that a craft kit, sewing kit, or even an organization kit HAS to be more than just a plain jane kit. I mean, we're creatives...we are as inspired by the materials and tools we use as much as the actual project! So I say forget run-of-the-mill, make it creative, make it beautiful, make it work like a charm for you. Oh right, plus my poor feet were tired of catching all the stray needles, so I knew a better organizing solution was in order! Haha!

My sewing kit is admittedly unconventional, but I felt it was important to come up with storage that perfectly suited my needs. Occasionally that means re-inventing the wheel (which I do probably more often than I need to)... so I started with a $20 dollar bill, and ended up with a plastic file box and several acrylic storage containers.

So how does a bunch of plain storage containers become a sewing kit full of personality, and tons of yummy sewing craft possibilities?

Well, I started with a bit of spray paint to create an ombré white-to-gold effect. Tape off the area you don't want painted, and work your magic! Need few acrylic painting tips? You'll find a few tips with my gold painted file holder here, mostly because I'm a bit of a spray paint fanatic.

I also employed the use of some fun decal stickers and rub-on-transfer letters. That definitely took things up a notch! I share how to use run-on-transfers in this DIY magnetic tin post here.

The best part is how MANY tools and materials this thing holds. Wait, "holds" isn't the right word... after all, my previous sewing kit "held" lots of things. No, this is better, this is a whole new level of organization happiness! This bad boy stores, separates, organizes, and makes my life SO much easier! No more jumbled masses of thread, needles, and whatever that weird twisted piece of metal use to be.

Three interlocking towers hold a large variety of doo-dads. I love that they interlock because it means I never lose a thing! No tiny little random plastic holders to sit and sort through. If you grab one, you've grabbed them all! It also forces me to put everything away properly, if you don't screw it back on, no lid.

The tall tower does it's part to store many of my main frequent use sewing materials. And the medium and little guy are perfect for holding specialized items that you don't typically have a lot of, but don't want getting lost in all the shuffle. Here they are separated and unscrewed...

Then there are the two large plastic organizers with compartments. I would recommend getting an organizer that has adjustable compartments. I happened to know exactly what I needed to store, but you never know what future tools will come into your possession. These two store my bead collection, my sewing machine tools, and other large miscellaneous sewing materials.

I love having a separate bin dedicated to my thread, and to my bobbins. After all, they are the rock stars that hold your seams together. ;)

Then one final piece of acrylic holds my scissors, and even an additional needle kit. You'll want to take a closer look at the needle kit, another easy little DIY well worth the effort! It is simply some rectangular pieces of felt sewn into a small book that holds all my needles.

Even those specialty needles which often require an oddly shaped storage solution have a place here!

I hope you've enjoyed the tour of my DIY Sewing Kit! It may not be your conventional sewing kit, but after discovering that the conventional wasn't working for me, this was the best solution for my needs!

You can find all of the product sources over on Home Made by Carmona here.


"Hi, I'm Ursula and I blog at Home Made by Carmona where there is always a fun DIY project in play. I've got expensive taste and no money, I'm a neat freak who's house didn't get that memo, and I firmly believe organization has the power to improve our homes, habits, and the members that abide there! I'm so thrilled to be here at IHeart Organizing, the blog that first inspired me to start my own blogging journey."
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