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Posted by on Jul 14, 2017 | 1 comment

Removing Ornamental Columns in a 1920s Bungalow

Removing Ornamental Columns in a 1920s Bungalow

Ever since we moved into our current home – a 1920s bungalow – we’ve been underwhelmed with the two white columns between the living and dining rooms. We wanted to open up the space and we wanted the general style in the home to be more in keeping with a vintage bungalow style. After determining that the columns were not load-bearing, we watched a few YouTube videos, and over the course of an hour, took them out. Here’s how it went: Matt borrowed the neighbor’s saw and (yes, he’s not wearing safety glasses as he should be), he sawed through the middle of the column. They’re made of nice mitered wood pieces, but are hollow in the middle. He then wiggled the column until it broke free. My daughter Nadja put the four separate broken pieces on the front porch. We later put them on the curb for someone to hopefully take to use as garden decor or some other upcycled project. As the column split away, it left...

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Posted by on Jul 10, 2017 | 4 comments

Adventures in Beekeeping

Adventures in Beekeeping

Beekeeping is something that I had been wanting to do for a long time. When I finally got all my supplies and bees, I was over the moon! The whole adventure started when I got my first package and installed it. Putting the bees in the hive on the first day was both scary and exciting. Upon my first inspection, I was able to identify and find the queen in 5 minutes. She is marked with a green dot on her back. I had worried about her all week! Her survival is imperative to the hive. Her only job is to lay eggs. Without her the hive would not flourish. I’ve been keeping a journal and taking photos. A veil and gloves are essential items for a beginner beekeeper’s protection. I absolutely love inspections, I am very curious as to what is going on in the hive. I actually have to hold back because I don’t want to disrupt their work. During the first month, I inspected every 7...

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Posted by on May 31, 2017 | 0 comments

Make Your Own Flag of Hope

Make Your Own Flag of Hope

You may have seen a string of brightly colored flags hanging overhead on Mt. Vernon Avenue in Del Ray since mid-May, a gift to Alexandria from a community group in Whitefish, Montana. They’re Flags of Hope, painted by hand, and designed to “allow messages of harmony to be blown across the land.” This Thursday, June 1, alongside Bean Creative on 201 E. Del Ray Avenue from 6 p.m. to dusk, you can make your own 11 x 11 inch flag! Come with an idea for an artwork that expresses love, hope, harmony, peace, and tolerance to paint with acrylics. They will hang on a new string of flags for our community, and later move to another town in the United States. The Flags of Hope public art activity is a part of Del Ray’s “First Thursday” all along Mt. Vernon Avenue in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria. Held the first Thursday of the month from April to September, First Thursday is a series of free outdoor street festivals...

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Posted by on Mar 29, 2017 | 3 comments

Easy DIY House Number Sign

Easy DIY House Number Sign

The numbers on our house were looking pretty rough. Not only was the sign ugly, the paint was chipping, the wood was split in places, and it was only loosely attached to the house. We needed something fresh and new to boost our curb appeal. To make a new sign I purchased/gathered the following supplies: A scrap of wood Saw Sandpaper White semi-gloss paint (I used the end of a can) Polyurethane House numbers Super glue Double-sided outdoor mounting tape Step 1: I cut the scrap wood to fit the height and width of our 4-digit house number, sanded the edges and painted the front and sides with white semi-gloss. Step 2: The next day, I applied some polyurethane to coat and seal the paint. Our entryway is covered so I wasn’t too worried about making the sign completely weather resistant. Step 3: I super glued the numbers onto the wood. Getting the numbers straight and spaced evenly was the tricky part since super glue dries quickly, but I...

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Posted by on Jan 10, 2017 | 4 comments

Brad and Heather’s DIY Wooden Porch Remodel

Brad and Heather’s DIY Wooden Porch Remodel

I did a double-take the first time I drove past Brad and Heather’s home and noticed their handsome gleaming wood porch. Later, I learned that they designed and built it themselves and were willing to share their experience with us. Here is the porch the way it looked when they first purchased their home. Brad initially did his planning on paper and with computer software. He went through many drafts before​ c​oming up with the perfect design. Once they had the final plan, Brad spent several months ​drawing the interlocking wood panels using a key to indicate the differen​t e​lements. They then ordered enough white oak to build the railings and to replace the ​five original pillar​s that were removed. They salvaged the old yellow pine for other DIY projects.​ While Brad worked on the wood pieces, Heather prepared the flooring by removing many layers of paint by using a floor grinder and pressure washer​. They installed slate tiles, a choice they admitted to regretting since they said it...

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