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Posts from the ‘Projects’ Category

Installing a Solaira Alpha Outdoor Electric Heater

We love eating outside at our big table in the back yard, but here in Venice it quite often gets a bit chilly in the evening, even during the summer. So we started to look into some kind of outdoor heating solution. Here’s what we ended up with:

Solaira Alpha H2 3000 watt outdoor heater, in our back yard.

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T-Shirt to Tank Top

I recently joined a gym. It was time.

To celebrate my new gym membership, I decided to make a few tank tops out of big, boxy t-shirts using this tutorial I found on Pinterest. I made one a while ago and love it–it gives me some coverage but isn’t as frumpy as a big ol’ t-shirt.

Behold the original tee:

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Building a Farmhouse Table in the Parsons Style

Note: This Farmhouse Table post was originally posted on Mick’s blog in August 2011.

We just moved into a new house with a nice sized back yard, and our tiny little patio furniture was not going to cut it. I’d already been infected with the building bug that gets many people when they get their first real house, so I was more that happy to take on the task of building a table.

Since I had very little experience of woodworking (except for an O-Level, about 30 years ago), I started out making a few smaller pieces, a framed gate, some planters and then a large workbench for the garage. Along the way I acquired several tools (and built a small table for one of them), and eventually felt ready to build the table.

Designing a Farmhouse Table

I’m a big believer in function over form. I’m also tall, so I don’t like trestles getting in the way of my legs, so I decided (in collaboration with Holly), to make a table with legs at the corners. I also wanted it to be eight feet long, and very sturdy. This is how it ended up:

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Second Hand Diva: Craigslist Bookcase

It took me awhile to catch on to the greatness that is Craigslist, but after buying several of my favorite pieces of furniture from CL, I’m sold.

Admittedly, my house is pretty much furnished. With the exception of a few pieces (like the Eames Lounge I mention here) we’re not in the market for any new furniture. That doesn’t mean I don’t have DIY aspirations.

So I had this idea that I’d search CL, eBay, etc. and look for pieces that I think have potential for greatness and tell you all about it. This is just a starting point, mind you–the logistics of linking to a CL posting makes it pretty unlikely you’d score the exact same piece. My goal is to give you some ideas and inspiration for prettying up your own second hand scores.

Here’s today’s find:

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Giant Fork & Spoon

Updated post from February 2012.

Over Christmas, I convinced my grandma to give me these:


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Placemat Throw Pillows

Before I get started, credit must be given. I totally stole the idea of making a throw pillow out of a placemat from Katie at Bower Power. Take a moment to explore her blog; it's lots of fun.

Right before my surgery I found this idea on Katie's blog and vowed as soon as I was up and about I'd make a few of these. True to my word, last week after my physical therapy appointment I headed over to Bed, Bath & Beyond and chose a few placemats I thought would make pretty pillows. I chose three but for the purposes of demonstration I'll use the zebra print.


This is what it looked like when it was just a plain ol' placemat and not a super-terrific pillow.

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