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

Share

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.

Continue reading

Share

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

Share

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

Share

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!

Continue reading

Share

Upcycling Doors, Doors, and More Doors

My house was  full of ugly closet doors. Old, painted over too many times, chipped and nicked. Ugly. It bothered me. Every time I looked at one of them, it offended my sense of  beauty. I thought about sprucing them up by yet again painting them. Still ugly. I also thought about buying new ones, but decently looking doors are so expensive! $300 for a closet door? No way!

Then one day it hit me – I have a few wooden blinds with broken tilting mechanisms stashed in storage. Stained in honey oak, huge in size (36 by 74 inch each), and a perfect material for refacing the pesky doors. Best of all, I will be upcycling both the doors and the blinds!

Continue reading

Share

Reusing Old Flower Arrangements

My husband had two surprises for me on my last birthday. The first one was that, being a half the world away, he wouldn’t be able to return by my Bday. But, since I got the news in advance, it was not already a surprise by the time clock hands started counting September 19th. The second surprise was an unbelievably beautiful flower arrangement waiting by the door when I came home from work that day.
I mean, the guy was in Kazakhstan, in the middle of nowhere as online standards go, and he managed to find and have delivered this awesome piece. Seriously, I went online and tried to find the same arrangement at the most popular flower delivery sites. Ha-ha, I failed! Nothing was even close!

Continue reading

Share

Wall Art For Free – Upcycling Driftwood

Upcycling, pure and simple. Just by having a nice walk in a park and picking a piece of driftwood, you will end up with a gorgeous wall art. For free.

I didn’t even plan on searching for driftwood when my husband and I took our dogs to the Mason Neck State Park. As usual, we headed for the water. If we didn’t, our dogs would drag us to it anyway. Our labmaraner Raya goes simply insane if she is near water and not allowed to wade in. Styopa, who is a German shorthaired pointer is not as much enthusiastic about the water as about keeping Raya company and being mischievous in general. So, why bother fighting water dogs wanting to get their hides wet? Continue reading

Share