Deuce Cities Henhouse

Macrame, Hoo-ray!

Woven Macrame Folding Lawn Chair
It seems like every summer I macrame a chair or two, this year I went a little buck and am up to two sets, that is four chairs my people!! It also seems like every year they get a little cooler too. I guess I’m just honing this craft. Anyways, I get lots of e-mails about these chairs, and I just wanted to show off this season’s weaves while reminding the fine people of the internet that I have made two video tutorials on this subject (1 good one, and 1 kinda good one), as well as well as a written how-to with pictures! My brother and sis-in-law are living examples of learning from my vids. They are in the process of making two chairs for some budz as a wedding gift – which I think is a super sweet idea! Anyway, back to me, their success is an endorsement for how I rule a little bit at explaining hard to describe things on the web.

Woven Macrame Folding Lawn Chair

Woven Macrame Folding Lawn Chair

Woven Macrame Folding Lawn Chair

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Creativity is V. Cool

Black
Friends, I don’t mean to sound like a whiney baby or anything, but I’ve had so much on my plate over the last 7 months. On top of mommin’ kids, I’ve been bringing our youngest kid to a bunch of therapies (you guys might remember me sharing with you that Gus has ASD) anywhere from 2-4 times a week, on top of daily school . My oldest, Finn, had been attending an elementary school that was out of our district, which meant pick up and drop off every day, and on top of all that my husband (aka partner in crime) has been traveling for work more than ever. Summer has been full of swimming lessons, science camp, summer school, birthdays, and also we happily have the kids’ friend Elsa hanging with us M-F. I guess I didn’t realize how much all of this running and kid-lyfe consumed my day-to-day.

Last week was my first free week since the beginning of January. We (the kids and I) had nothing to do, and honestly, I was a little bit lost with this new freedom. I tried to enjoy it, and chill, and hang with the kids, but I felt lost without a specific place to focus my energies. I honestly was feeling a bit depressed, which seems like the opposite of what I should’ve been feeling.

I tried to offset my lack of focused energy by filling my time with things that I remembered enjoying. I got caught up on all my favorite blogs, devoured and went down every pinterest rabbit hole, thumbed through lots of magazines and got back on my daily workout routine.

Then something cool happened. Like lighting (don’t care how cliche that sounds), creativity struck. My mind was racing and full of new and exciting ideas. Ideas were coming fast, and I realized I was feeling intention and purpose, something that I haven’t felt in a really long time. As I used to do when these feelings would happen, I hit the ground running. I made plans, wrote things down, made sketches, and before I knew it I was painting the wall in our entry – a small symbol of an even bigger feeling.

The significance of what this meant to me is huge. For the last two years I’ve been trying to figure out why I haven’t felt consistently creative, whether it was medications or anxiety, or had I just lost it? I’m beginning to realize that creativity takes time and focus, and my other mom duties have eaten up a lot those energies. To be creative requires a mind that has the time to rest and have the ability to wander, as well as the time to think through and build from ideas.

Anyways, I guess I just wanted to share that I feel very excited about what the future holds. August is still a little busy for the kids and I, but much less so than the previous 7 months. School starts again in September. Finn will be going to a school where he can catch the bus on the corner, and Gus will be going full time three days a week and part time the other two. I will have time in my days where I can focus, and think, and do! The support and validation I felt from all the instagram high-fives last week felt good too, so thank you! I have plans guys, and I’m excited to share more as they begin to take shape.

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Instructions and Parts list for minimalist DIY Double Brass Pendant
Guys! I’m back with the final installment of the girl-party-make-a-light-fixture post! My pal Nicole (aka Colz) needed a new light fixture for over her new black sink — yep that one pictured above — which makes its home in her incredibly awesome new kitchen! We made this brass beauty for her, and it looks amazing – I liked it so much I made one for my bathroom too. Also, don’t worry! I will force Colz to share her kitchen with us once the tiling is finished up, and her cabinets are decked out in real hardware, the blue painters tape is cool and all, but c’mon. Blue tape be darned, I just couldn’t wait to share the sconce. Don’t my She’Vaughns have the best style?

I know this is just a quick “wazzup” post, I’m still in the midst of crazy kid birthday celebraishes over her. Who thought it was a good idea for all of the kids to be born in July? I am so looking forward to the month of August. It will be the one month of the summer where I don’t feel like I’m playing catch up all the GD time. I’ve missed being away from the blog, and making and fixing stuff. I can’t wait to get back at it and share with you dudez.

Onwards! This one went together very quickly and looks super great! Directions and parts list below!

Please if you’re not familiar with electrical wiring contact an electrician

  • Disassemble the socket and attach the wires
  • Reassemble the socket with the wires feeding out the end
  • Slide 1 threaded nipple down the wire and attach to the top of the socket
  • Slide the brass socket cup down the wire
  • Slide 1 straight coupling down the wire — Thread one end of the coupling into the nipple now attached to the socket (sandwiching the cup)
  • Carefully slide the brass swivel onto the wire
  • Thread the swivel onto the other end of the straight coupling, turn the swivel 90º
  • Slide the 10″ pipe onto the wire and thread onto the swivel
  • Thread the wire through a 1/4″ hole on the cluster and attach the cluster to the other end of the 10″ pipe

(repeat these steps for the the other arm)

  • Use the orange nut to attach the 2 black wires to another an additional black wire. With another orange nut, attach the 2 white wires to an additional white wire
  • Thread the new black and white wire through the 1/8″ hole on the cluster.
  • Enclose the spliced wires inside the cluster and attach screw on the top
  • Use the slotted plug to cover the remaining hole on the cluster
  • Thread the black and white wire through the 5″ pipe and attach to the cluster
  • Send the wires through the center hole on the canopy, slide on the grounding wire and attach to the nipple with a washer and hex nut
  • Connect the wires from the sconce to the wires in the wall box. Again, if you’re not sure how to do this, contact an electrician
  • Use the mounting bracket and acorn nuts to attach the fixture to the wall

 
Instructions and Parts list for minimalist DIY Double Brass Pendant

Instructions and Parts list for minimalist DIY Double Brass Pendant

Don’t forget to check out the instructions and part lists for the double brass sconce and the black and brass globe sconce!

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Instructions and Parts list for minimalist DIY Brass & Black Globe Light Fixture
Okay, guys, I’ve been wanting to share with you some light fixtures I made with my girl gang (aka The She’Vaughns) earlier this summer. Both of my girls wanted new light fixtures for their homes, and both had been drooling over stuff they had been seeing on their internets. After my recent exploration into DIY lighting I had to intervene and stop them before they spent tons on fancy fixtures. I insisted we make our own! So, we spent a night designing and planning. We ordered parts from Grand Brass, waited a week and then spent another night assembling and wiring our new fixtures. Seriously, this is as close as I get to a craft party.

We made a pair of these really awesome black and brass sconces for my pal Cam. Her family had just purchased a new house earlier this spring, and they’ve been working like mad to turn their 70’s split level, into a Scandinavian-crystal-lovers paradise. Check out the below photos to see if you can spy the herringbone floors they had installed. Amazing, right? Someday I’m gonna share that whole space with you guys, you’ll love it.

Anyways, we made these really awesome black and brass sconces for her living room. I think they turned out pretty damn good, don’t you? I need an excuse to copy this design for my own space, I might modify it a bit and make a pendant for my upstairs hallway light. I think the contrast between the black and brass is pretty fantastic.

FYI: To paint the shade and canopy black we used Rustoleum flat black spray paint and left the rest untouched brass.

See below for instructions and a shopping list

Instructions and Parts list for minimalist DIY Brass & Black Globe Light Fixture

Please if you’re not familiar with electrical wiring contact an electrician

  • Disassemble the socket and attach the wires
  • Reassemble the socket with the wires feeding out the end
  • Thread the wire through the dome shade and neckless holder
  • Thread the wire through a 5″ piece of brass tubing
  • Sandwich the dome shade and neckless holder between the socket and brass pipe
  • Screw the brass pipe into the top of the socket
  • Slide the slip ring onto the brass pipe (leave it loose)
  • Thread the wire through the armback
  • Attach the armback to the brass pipe
  • Thread the wire through the other piece of brass pipe
  • Screw the brass pipe into the other end of the armback
  • Slide the modern slip ring onto the brass pipe
  • Send the wires through the center hole on the canopy, slide on the grounding wire and attach to the brass pipe with a washer and hex nut
  • Tighten the modern slip ring while holding it firm to the canopy
  • Connect the wires from the sconce to the wires in the wall box. Again, if you’re not sure how to do this, contact an electrician
  • Use the mounting bracket and acorn nuts to attach the fixture to the wall
  • Slide up the dome shade and attach the dome to the neckless holder
  • Tighten slip ring firmly to the dome shade

 
Instructions and Parts list for minimalist DIY Brass & Black Light Fixture

Instructions and Parts list for minimalist DIY Brass & Black Light Fixture

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My June Garden

Window Boxes


Guys! July is the craziest month for me, I know I haven’t blogged in like 2 weeks, I know I’ve had photos sitting on my camera for nearly as long. My boys both have birthdays this month, combined with long holiday weekends and cabin adventures, theres just no time left to say “whazzup” to you dudes.

I hope you are all doing well and enjoying the summer timez. Things are going pretty great over here at casa Allen. I’m typing this from the beach – My weekday mornings have been spent watching the kids take swimming lessons. Like I mentioned in the last post, I’ve been working like crazy trying to get my house ready for the fine folks from Do It Yourself Magazine to come and photograph our home for a feature that will be coming out in January (!!!!). They will be here next week, so things are totally nutzo right now. We spent a long weekend with my folks, brother and sister-in-law, at this tiny but very sweet cabin in Northwestern Wisconsin. Many beers were drank, bodies were swam, and fish were caught. We packed it all in! Things have been good.

Anyways, gardens. They are a thing. I’m always surprised how much they can change depending on conditions from year-to-year, and I’ve been really happy that I’ve kept this annual summer gardening diary up. It has really helped to enhance my gardening game, and I suggest my gardening budz out there to do the same — even if it’s not actually on the internet.

The major blooming plants are almost done for the year. I just went shopping and grabbed a few more July-August bloomers because my gardening goal for this season was to fill in the later summer perennials. The flowering Hydrangea tree I planted this spring turned out to be a good idea! It’s just starting to flower and it looks so pretty in the backyard. I highly recommend for anyone looking for a summer flower with height :)

 

All grown from Seed


Both these Impatiens and Petunias were all sowed indoors!

 

Impatiens

 

Strawberry & Cream Hydrangea


This is that Hydrangea tree I was talking about. The flower should turn pink later in the summer and they will stay blooming into the early fall.

 

Strawberry & Cream Hydrangea

 

Shade Garden


This is the shadier side of the yard (although it does get a bit of early morning sun). Things have been really coming together over here. I have a few plans for next year, one of the Hosta has gotten too big, and would probably do better in a different space, and I lost a Lupine to aphids. Besides that though, it’s all been coming together nicely.

 

Heuchera Flowers


I love these dainty little Heuchera flowers so mucho!

 

Shade Garden

 

Rose Bush

 

Creeping Sedum


Creeping sedum is such a good option for those who are looking for ground cover. For the early part of the summer they cover the ground in green waxy foliage and then transition to having these hot pink starburst flowers later in the summer.

 

Sun Garden


How do you guys feel about Hosta flowers? I’m on the fence? I keep the prettier white orchid looking ones, but cut back a lot of the purple. They tend to look a bit spindly, and I prefer a more manicured look. ‘Dats just me.

 

Sun Garden

 

Asiatic Lily

 

Yellow Day Lily

 

Hot Pink Phlox

 

Zinnias!


These short little Zinnia’s just started to bloom, they should grow a little taller, peaking out just barely over the tops of the rest of the garden. I love zinnia’s, like, a lot, but I’m not sure there is much room for them in this side garden anymore. I have a new crop coming up in my tiny alley garden guaranteeing I’ll have plenty for cut flowers.

 

Orange Day Lily

 

Impatiens – From Seed


More Impatiens from seed!

 

Jacob’s Ladder & Allysum

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