So I'm not cool enough to post a cool pallet project like so many other Hometalkers have done. But this is almost as cool - I happened across this amazing flooring made from pallets, shipping crates and other used wood. It looks fantastic and seems to be pretty well-liked:
Not egg cartons, but egg shells. Spring planting will be here before we know it (the days are already getting longer again, hooray) and I came across the most interesting idea for planting seedlings. I have planted seedlings in egg cartons, then "planted" the carton with seedling, but it never occurred to me to actually plant in empty eggshells. To give credit where due, I stole this idea and picture from this blog:
So I don't have a great excuse for replacing my countertops. The previous owners replaced with some decent laminate (the color is not my favorite, but it's not awful) that is holding up
well. But that doesn't stop my from ogling all the fantastic eco-friendly countertop options out there. I recently ran across a new favorite: this recycled glass surface made with Skyy vodka bottles. Those bottles are made with the most beautiful blue glass, and I think this just looks great.
So I'm guessing a lot of you know about these, but in case anyone else is late to the party, I want to rave about memory foam mats. I just found out about these when I stood on one to shave and such at my aunt-in-law's house last week. They are soft and squishy and really pretty nice. And for cozy warm comfort, they sure beat tile or even hardwood floors.
And they are cheaper than you might think. You can find them for $10 to $15.
I'm a pretty simple guy who doesn't need a lot of cushy comforts, but I think these would provide a serious quality-of-life upgrade. Not even as much for the bathroom, as I don't spend as much time in there, but I would really appreciate one at the kitchen sink and one in the nursery in front of the changing table when baby #2 comes along. #KeepingCozy
Label makers may seem like an item for businesses, but I highly recommend them for organizing any home. I laughed when my wife started living the "Getting Things Done" system and bought a
label maker, but I'm totally on board now. It's so easy to label files with them, and with the printed labels, everything is really easy to sort and find.
Moreover, they are great for labeling other stuff. I stick labels on dishes I take to potluck dinners. I label boxes in the attic and such. I attach labels to all those gadget cords. Bonus tip - make the label longer than necessary, coil up part of the cord and attach the label to the coiled cord. Sorry about the lousy photo of this concept, but you get the idea.
My New Year's resolution is to finally utilize my whole vegetable garden plot. The previous owners (great people who partly moved to start an urban farm) had built a fenced set of raised beds in the backyard for veggies.
I have promised myself every year that I would utilize all three raised beds for the growing season, but I never get or grow enough plants for the space. I could grow veggies aplenty if I use the whole space, so
that's what's gonna happen in 2013. Check back after Mothers' Day (Colorado's traditional plant-out day).
Some of you know I am a sucker for anything made from recycled bike parts. I mean bikes, recycling, what could be better. So just in time for Valentine's Day, I came across this heart-shaped hook made from a bike chain. They sell them here, but it would be really easy to make your own from a discarded chain:
So the theme of the week is proudest DIY projects. I am taking this excuse to brag about some DIY work my wife and I finished in a bunch of other people's houses. In turn, that gives me a
chance to plug a great organization that is still doing amazing work in rebuilding the Gulf Coast from Hurricane Katrina.
The St. Bernard Project (http://www.stbernardproject.org/) is still looking for long- and short-term volunteers to rebuild homes destroyed by the 2005 storm. They are also working in Sandy-impacted communities. If you spend a week volunteering with the group, I guarantee you will make a difference, and probably learn something about remodeling, all while having fun, meeting great people and being in one of the great cities of the world.
In 2007 and 2008, my wife and I were in the New Orleans area for about 9 months working as long-term volunteers for the St. Bernard Project. At the time, the group only worked in St. Bernard Parish, where thousands of homes sat under 10 feet of water for several days after the storm in 2005. The group gutted the homes down to the studs, thoroughly cleaned everything and started rebuilding, using purely volunteer labor to add wiring, plumbing, insulation, drywall, paint, cabinets, counters, fixtures and all the basic elements a family needs to move back into their homes. I spent about half the time as a trial-by-fire site supervisor, leading volunteers in tasks I had learned the week before (don't worry, nothing structural or dangerous, like plumbing or electrical), and half the time as the cabinet and countertop specialist. #ProudestDIY