Deuce Cities Henhouse

Closing the Gap

Picture Molding to Crown Molding
Okay budz, so I try to be true to the history of my 1910 home whenever possible, but there was just this one thing I couldn’t handle anymore. It all started way back when we bought the house in 2010 – we were touring the second floor and were checking out the master bedroom. I was pretty into the space but I stopped to ask the realtor about the strange and uneven crown molding. I asked him why it wasn’t touching the ceiling, my main concern was that the house unsettled in some weird way (which I admit was super novice, but I didn’t know). He explained that it was picture molding, something you might be familiar with if you too have an old house. The olden folks used it as a ledge to hang a hook that attached to a wire that attached to their pictures. All a very intense plan to spare their pristine plaster walls from nail holes. Typically picture molding is hung about an inch from the ceiling. Ever since we’ve moved in I have never understood or appreciated the picture molding, I am the worst.

I get it, great plan all you olden days people! However, you never planned on someone coming in during the 70′s and unevenly spraying the ceiling with gross popcorn texture. You didn’t know it would look super not cool with your really nice moldings. So sorrry victorians I’m not getting rid of that most-likely-asbetos-ridded-ceiling anytime soon, I’m getting rid of your utilitarian moldings instead.

Point is, the molding looks super bad, uneven, and unfinished. I have never hung a picture from it, and it’s historical value didn’t mean that much to me.

Being the handy gal that I am, I came up with a solution to close the gap between the ceiling and molding using 1″ pine cove molding. I am a genius, what can I say. Seriously though, using the cove molding to fill in the gap between the top of the picture molding and the ceiling basically disguises the picture molding as crown molding AND as a bonus, that original molding is still all intact if ever there is a day I realize the crime I’ve committed by altering it. It’s a real win-win, and I feel really happy since closing the gap.

Picture Molding to Crown Molding
Wanna close your gap too? It’s pretty simple. First of all the only show you should ever watch on TV is This Old House, reference this crown molding how-to specifically, Tom Silva is THE MAN. Secondly install that shit, if you’re smart you’ll use the pre-primed cove. Next, you’ll have to do the most satisfying thing ever and caulk it using some sort of quick drying paintable caulk. My brand of choice is “Quick Paint“. Lastly, paint it white bros. You’re in business.

Picture Molding to Crown Molding
This cost me $52 bucks! I would do it again in a heart beat.

Picture Molding to Crown Molding

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in Around the House, DIY

Free.99

Easy Closet Clean Up, Wallpaper shelves and paint for a fresh look
Sometimes the best things in life are free, blah blah blah. Whatever, I couldn’t think of a cool intro. You’ll just have to tolerate my lame catch phrase. Sorry people.

I’ve been spending tons of time making our bedroom nice, I’ve got lots to share with you guys in the coming weeks. First things first though. I couldn’t live with my mess of a closet any longer. It was one of those things where it stayed tidy for awhile and then just spiraled out of control. When friends or family came stopped by for a visit I’d find myself jamming everything into the closet and trying to shove the door closed. It was bad. We don’t have a fancy big closet or anything, just a small semi-walk-in closet that is tucked in under the eves of the house. It runs the depth of our room, 10 feet or so and is relatively functional for the size. We have space for foldables and hangables and the closet even hides a ladder to access our attic. We don’t have tons of clothes or anything, and it has worked perfectly for us (except for when it’s a mess).

Here is my closet the last time I cleaned it out (you might notice that was nearly 3 years ago), not too much is different then how it sits today. I had previously lined the shelves with leftover wallpaper from the music room and painted the walls black. Yes, I was trying to be all cool and stuff, but I should’ve known better than to paint a small closet black, we can’t all make good choices all of the time. I took everything out of the closet, painted it white and repapered the shelves in the leftover hygge & west wallpaper that I used on the far wall in our bedroom. Then I purged like nobodies business donating nearly four bags of clothes. Next I organized all the hangers, wooden for Jeff, white plastic for me (cause I’m classy like that) and then I refolded and rehung everything! It’s so great now. Getting dressed is kind of fun, I feel like I have access to all these clothes that had gone missing for months, because that is actually what did happen. Hands down cleaning this mess of a closet has changed the overall feel of the bedroom.

Easy Closet Clean Up, Wallpaper shelves and paint for a fresh look
Okay so I lied, this wasn’t free. I bought a task lamp for $19.99 so that I could see in the morning when I was getting dressed. If you haven’t noticed it’s pitch black at 6am. I couldn’t resist buying another ranarp (I’m addicted) and grabbed the cool clamp-hang-it-anywhere version.

Easy Closet Clean Up, Wallpaper shelves and paint for a fresh look
Oh yeah, I posted a photo of my closet clean up on my instagram and a few of you were very curious about my knock-off walnut style Eames hang-it-all. I bought it on super sale on one of those fad-flash-sale-sites a few years ago. You can still find it at walmart though, so there is that.

Easy Closet Clean Up, Wallpaper shelves and paint for a fresh look

Easy Closet Clean Up, Wallpaper shelves and paint for a fresh look
Anyway, long story short, I cleaned my closet and everything feels way better now. I highly recommend you try the same. Best makeover money can buy.

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in Around the House, House Keeping

New Chair!

Bertoia Diamond Chair
Don’t pay any attention to that dusty old radiator back there, I’ll take care of that later. Look instead at my new chair! After scouring craigslist for the last few weeks I finally found a Bertoia Diamond chair for the corner of our bedroom. I had my heart set on one for this space in the corner for-like-ever. You just have to imagine the chair sitting in this corner with new beautiful corner shelves and lots of books hanging out behind it. It will be the best.

The only thing is, I kinda wish it was white. I’m considering giving it a spray paint job, but don’t know if I have the guts to pull it off. Would it be such a sin to do this to this 1953 chair? I dunno. There is also the option of paying a buttload of money to have it sandblasted and powder coated. Also sounds like a pain. What would you do?

Bertoia Diamond Chair

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in Furniture

Sweet Potato Bisque with Bleu Cheese Croutons

Spicy Sweet Potato Bisque with Bleu Cheese Croutons
Hi. Make this.

That’s right guys, I’m back with another recipe, sorry. I know, I know, there have been a lot of food posts lately, but give me a break. I’m in a crazy nesting way, squirreling away and canning stuff for the winter. Our fridge is full to the brim with the last of the CSA winter veggies, it would be a waste not to use ‘em all up.

Considering I have about a bizzillion jillion sweet potatoes, I was really happy to find this delicious recipe. There is a thin line between sweet potato soup and baby food, the key is to make it spicy. Babies happen to hate spicy stuff, so adding cayenne pepper will make it totally palatable for grown people. Put some bleu cheese croutons on top and your six year old will go eat dinner in the other room, cause your soup is just so stinky and delicious. Seriously, can you really go wrong with bleu cheese croutons? Nope. I’m making this again next week. Believe that.

Spicy Sweet Potato Bisque with Bleu Cheese Croutons

   
 

Sweet Potato Bisque with Bleu Cheese Croutons
Recipe from Driftless Organics

Ingredients:

▼ 4 medium sweet potatoes, peeled & cut into 1” chunks
▼ ⅛ – ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
▼ 1 tbsp olive
▼ 2 tbsp butter
▼ 1 large onion, diced
▼ 2 cloves garlic, minced
▼ 1 tsp dried thyme
▼ 6 cup chicken or vegetable stock
▼ 1 cup half & half
▼ Freshly grated pepper & nutmeg
▼ 1 cup stale French bread, cubed
▼ 2 tbsp olive
▼ 1⁄4 c. crumbled blue cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss sweet potatoes with oil, salt, & cayenne & spread on a baking sheet (line with parchment or tinfoil for easy clean up) & roast for 40- 45 minutes, until soft & caramelizing on the edges (use convection if you’ve got it, but it won’t take as long). Meanwhile, heat butter in a heavy-bottomed soup pot & sauté onions until translucent. Add garlic & thyme & sauté until golden. Add roasted sweet potatoes & stock & bring to a boil. Lower heat & simmer for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat & puree soup with an immersion blender or food processor in batches until smooth. Return to low heat, add half & half, stirring frequently, until it returns to a gentle simmer – do not allow it to boil. Add freshly grated pepper & nutmeg to taste, cover & keep warm while you make croutons. Heat oil in a skillet & add cubed bread. Stir until starting to brown. Turn off heat & sprinkle with blue cheese. Cover for a minute to melt cheese. Ladle soup into bowls & carefully place some hot cheesy croutons on top.

Spicy Sweet Potato Bisque with Bleu Cheese Croutons

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in Eats

Painted Dresser

Vintage Makeover : Blush Painted Chest of Drawers
Well Guys, I’m making some progress in the bedroom. Like I mentioned last week, I’m taking the bedroom makeover pretty slow right now, I want to make sure that I am living in the space and making the right decisions about it before committing to big purchases or making bad design choices. I am really happy with how things are coming and I am very happy with this new addition.

This dresser was a hand me down from my Aunt, it had seen better days and needed a bit of love. I got to town sanding it (after testing for lead of course) and over the courser of a few weeks I was able to make it pretty again. I love the simple lines of this piece, the details of the rails especially – in between the drawers they curve in slightly and have my heart. I’m pretty sure the dresser is made of maple and even has cedar lined drawers. I’m sure it was a nice piece of furniture it’s heyday.

I could’ve painted it white, but I thought this was my chance to add something kind of sweet and awesome to our room. I painted the dresser in the best shade of light pink/peach with slight grey undertones – Benjamin Moore’s Peach Cloud in the Satin Impervo. The Satin Impervo is an oil based paint. I would always recommend an oil based paint when painting furniture because it doesn’t dry as fast and levels out beautifully. Leveling out means that you don’t see brush strokes as prominently as if you were to use latex. It applies wonderfully – like butta – like, I kind of love painting with it just for fun. Of course it’s a bit more complicated to clean up, you need to use mineral spirits and make sure to dispose of the paint properly. To make things a bit easier, if I’m in the middle of a painting project and I have to take a break I’ll just toss my brush in a jar of mineral spirits which keeps it from drying out. Once I’m ready to paint again, I just have to quickly wipe the brush down with a paper towel when I’m ready to go. Anyway, in my opinion, furniture painting calls for oil based paint.

BEFORE : Vintage Makeover : Blush Painted Chest of Drawers
The obligatory before pic. Woof.

Legs from Pretty Pegs
I’m still considering adding these legs to the dresser from prettypegs.com. The legs are broken on the back side of this dresser and they wobble a bit.

Vintage Makeover : Blush Painted Chest of Drawers
I’ve painted furniture a lot in my day. A long time ago when Jeff and I got our first place I painted a whole set of shabby old bedroom furniture white. We were just out of college and didn’t have any money. There was no Twin Cities Ikea back then, and I wanted to use a color to pull the bedroom together. I decided to paint all of the furniture. My folks’ neighbor just happens to be a pro painter – he is a wise old chain smoking sage wizard and guided me through my first furniture painting project. I still follow his lessons anytime I take on projects like this, and I thought I’d share with you guys.

Tips on Painting Vintage Furniture:
Test for Lead
Pick up a Lead Test Kit at your local hardware store before starting your project. If there’s lead, you should probably look for a different piece of furniture to paint or proceed with extreme caution, do a bit of research and try out one of these lead stripping kits
Sand or Strip the paint
Determine the quality of the paint job that is there, if it’s in really rough shape it would be best to strip the piece of furniture. If it just needs a bit of help, sand the layers down using a heavy grit paper until smooth to the touch.
Patch holes and imperfections using bondo
Bondo is a two part filler that long been used to fix auto body repairs. It works great patching holes in furniture too. Use it especially if there are holes from hardware you want to fill in. After patching dings and holes you’ll have to sand down the excess dried bondo until the surface is smooth. Bondo dries pink, and is good for furniture you plan on painting not staining.
Use a Tack Cloth to Clean up small dust particles after sanding
If you want your paint job to be smooth and blemish free make sure to use a tack cloth immediately prior to painting surfaces. It’s tacky (duh) and dust particles stick to it like glue.
Use a good brush
I use a professional grade 2″ tapered brush for my furniture painting projects. A good brush is a good investment in your DIY tool belt.
Prime with Oil Based Primer
This is a good thing to do even if you decide to use latex paint. Latex paint does not adhere to oil based paint, so if the paint that was previously on your furniture was oil based the water based latex will bead up and not go on smoothly. However, latex paint does adhere well to oil based primer, using the oil based primer insures you’ll get it right because it works well covering both oil based and latex paint, and your fresh paint will adhere to it no matter what you’re using.
Sand with fine grit sand paper (220) between paint layers
Good sanding is key to nice smooth surface. Use a high grit sandpaper and don’t forget to wipe down after with tack cloth. Use it after the primer layer too!
Paint with Oil based paints
Like I said above, I think oil based paints are best for furniture surfaces because they have a long drying time, allowing more workable time during the application. Also, it levels beautifully and reduces the amount of visible brush strokes.

*Don’t sand your final coat!

Vintage Makeover : Blush Painted Chest of Drawers

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in Around the House, DIY