A Raised Dog Bed for Belka

Raised_bed_for_Belka

Belka needed a raised dog bed. She is small, 9 years old, has arthritis, and cannot jump. Belka is our third dog, our latest pet addition. Her name means “squirrel” in Russian. She is from Kazakhstan. She used to be a stray her whole life. Well, she stationed herself at a municipal garage, for the most part, where a couple of drivers cared for her, brought her food from time to time, and found adoptive parents for her puppies. But she was never inside a house and still had to roam the neighborhood for sustenance. This is how my husband first met her – she was searching for food. Then one day he was walking down the street and saw her sitting on the side of the road and nursing her front leg. He picked her up and took her to a vet and then to another, more capable, one. She ended up having a surgery to fix her broken elbow and another one to have her spayed. She was very ill and very confused. My husband cared for her day and night. And then- bam! she got on a plane (three, actually), crossed a half of the globe, and joined our family. Here she is. Everyone, meet our Belka!  Continue reading

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Spray painting again – a French style desk with Ormolu

spray painting desk

I’ve just started remodeling my guest room. So many upcycling projects planned! This is the room where my daughter stays when she is in town. Because she visits Europe, France in particular, very often, she loves old Europe flavor in interior design. So I decided to add some French flavor to the room while reusing most of the furniture.  One thing I had to replace, though, was a Shaker style, small desk. It absolutely did not fit in. Craig’s list, then! Sure enough, I found a very nicely shaped, French style desk with Ormolu (bronze ornaments on the legs) for $95. It was heavily nicked and scratched, especially the top and needed refinishing. A spray painting candidate? Will see, first I need to remove the old finish.

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DIY reupholstering a couch

DYI reupholstering a couch

I never thought about DIY reupholstering furniture until my dogs completely ruined the upholstery on my cheap but beloved armchair I used as my office chair. I found an upholstery shop, emailed them a picture of the chair and asked how much it would be to reupholster it in leather. I was totally clueless how much it could cost. They probably laughed hard when they saw my email. I never got a reply. Then I did a research on reupholstering prices, said “Oops!” and decided I would do the job myself. Nothing to lose, really.

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Upcycling outdoor chairs into lounge chairs

Upcycled outdoor chairs

I while ago, when we moved into our house, I imagined we would spend a lot of time outdoors, in the backyard. Our dogs would play with abandon, we would sit on the deck enjoying the weather and sounds of nature from the nearby woods. So, we invested a lot of energy and money into landscaping our backyard – building a deck, a paved patio, a pond, and getting other niceties. The niceties included a patio set from acacia wood consisting of two arm chairs, a small table, and a loveseat. Continue reading

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A plumbers pipe bench, all 12 feet of it

plumbers pipe benchAn extra long bench along the wall in the living room was in my design plans from the beginning. I wanted to visually balance the 16-feet-tall section of the wall that was covered with pallet wood.  On a practical side, an extra surface for the table lamp and other things I wanted to display in the living room was also welcome. Now, you can probably find a ton of gorgeous benches on the Internet  of all sorts of styles and materials. I searched and did find many I liked.  There was one problem, however. I couldn’t find any bench that would be 12 feet in length. And that was what I needed. Continue reading

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Making flower arrangements with landscape plants

The time I dreaded has come! We are going to have the first hard frost tonight. And tomorrow is going to be even worse. So I thought of using what little blooms I still have in my garden to make another flower arrangement. I got out and found just a few tiny flower heads on a lantana in a pot and a handful of blooms on my landscape roses. Hm-m. That’s not much. I need more color. Well, berries then! My landscape roses are covered with rose hips, and there is a plenty of berry clusters on nandinas.

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Upcycling pallet wood and other wood scraps

Jeez, it is so hard to concentrate when my puppy boy feels he didn’t have enough action for today and pretends his long, silly nose is a flute and starts playing it – very soft whistles at first, then it all builds up to a crescendo worth of Beethoven. And then he comes to offer me his kisses, and more kisses, and more puppy love, and more whistles and then it all descends to a pure, unadulterated, unsophisticated barking. And then he steals my flip-flops in hopes I will bribe him with a treat to get them back. I usually do. All that after we just came back from a 2-mile walk. A third for the day. Seriously, people, it seems I live to walk my dogs. In any case, my ultimate remedy of locking him up in his wire cage which is right next to me in my home office worked pretty well, and he went for a nap.

Now I can finally switch to the topic of the day. Which is – upcycling pallet wood. Continue reading

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Planting bulbs in a glass vase for a modern look

I love plants blooming indoors during the holiday season. Poinsettias, Christmas cacti, bulbs… They look so lovely and cheerful, especially when all the weather can offer is a hundred shades of grey. I particularly like planting bulbs such as paperwhites and amaryllises and watch them grow and bloom in a matter of weeks. Several years ago, I was so much into forcing bulbs to bloom indoors during the winter – a half of my fridge was stuffed for weeks with paper bags filled with tulip and daffodil bulbs. My main concern was that my husband forgets all my warnings and tries to eat one of them. Thankfully, he never did.

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Spray painting for a splash of color

Sometimes, all you need is a splash of color to turn a drab into a fab. I needed a couple of bedside tables for our guest bedroom and I wanted them to have just a hint of the Old World style. I found the tables on craigslist. They actually came as an add-on to a very cute and old, heavily carved, Asian style side table. These guys were not that lucky. Their legs were wooden, but the top was made of some kind of a wood-looking laminate. The resulting appearance just screamed: I am so 80s and cheap!

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