Saturday, February 25, 2012

keys and paint.

Our latest project was a long time and coming. When we first moved into our house, we had the uncanny ability to lay our keys down and forget where we put them. We don't have much counter space in the kitchen - and none that is close to the door - so we didn't have a prime location to consistently put our keys.

In our apartment, we had hung little hooks right inside the doorway to hang our keys on and it seemed to work out well for us. We hardly ever lost our keys or had to hunt them down when we were trying to leave for work or school. So, when we moved into our house, we did the simplest thing possible. We put two nails in the wall in our stairway which is just inside our main entry door in an attempt to recreate the hook situation we had in the apartment.

This worked for awhile...until the nails started falling out of our silly cement-board walls. Our keys would fall down the stairs, the nails would fall down the stairs, the dog would find the nails, we couldn't find our keys - you get the picture. So, to solve the problem, Rob asked if I would make my next craft project a key hanger. I had all sorts of creative ideas but couldn't find the right supplies to make the ideas work out. Then it happened.

I found these letters for 99 cents each at Hobby Lobby and had the perfect idea to add a little bit of color (and some much needed key hanging space) to our stairwell.

I decided to attempt the project while Rob was at work one day (I don't work on Thursdays) in order to surprise him when he got home. I don't typically use power tools by myself. Bet you'd never guess that! Right?

I had a leftover dowel laying around from when I made my mom's birthday present and I found an old piece of trim in our scrap wood box in the basement. I cut three pieces from the dowel to use as hooks. The best part was that I remembered what my handy boyfriend always tells me about pre-drilling with a smaller size bit so I don't crack the wood when using the larger bit. It's ok, you can be impressed. I don't mind.

In fact, I was so impressed with myself I had to take a picture. I've taken better pictures. Oh well, you get the idea.

After I had drilled the three holes, I used a hammer to pound the dowels into the trim. I was left with this:

The whole process took a little longer than expected but I at least had the general concept together before Rob got home from work. He was very impressed with my [lack of] power tool skills. In a spur of the moment decision, we decided to spend the evening painting the stairwell in preparation for hanging the new key hooks when they were finished. I set-up shop at the dining room table to paint the letters while Rob tackled the paint in the stairwell.

Before Rob started painting, we were convinced the stairwell ceiling was white. HA! Guess again.

I don't know what color it was before, but it definitely wasn't white. We have really poor lighting in the stairwell so the picture doesn't do the colors justice, but you get the general idea. The ceiling got a nice new coat of white paint and the walls were spruced up with a light gray - the same color we will eventually get around to painting the basement with.

Last night I put the finishing coats of paint on the letters and the hooks so that we could hang them today! I chose pretty bright colors - the blue is the same blue we are in process of painting our exterior doors, the orange is the same colored I used to paint the snowman's nose for my mom's birthday present and the green is "Grass Green" that I picked up from Hobby Lobby...on sale for 34 cents. Perfect!

This morning, Rob hung everything up for us. I decided it might be better to hand the power tools back over to him at this point. He pre-drilled holes so that we could use toggle bolts to hold the hook with. We didn't want to deal with any of that nails-slipping-out-of-the-wall-every-time-we-hang-our-keys-up business again.

Mr. Beacon often likes to watch Rob work. He's like a little kid. Rob will work on a project and Beacon will sit quietly next to him and watch every thing he's doing. We'll probably let Mr. B use the drill next time.

After Beacon gave his final approval on the placement for the letters, I hung them up and [drum roll please]...

A brand new, colorful, useful key and leash hanging space! We knew we wanted three hooks because we each have a set of keys and Mr. B's leash and harness are always just laying on the first step because we don't know what else to do with them. It conveniently works out that the letters spell our initials AND give Beacon a hook too! (I didn't even plan that!)

And so, I think we officially like it. The keys and leash have been hanging on it for about an hour now and I haven't heard anything come crashing to the ground so I think we're in business. Not to shabby for a $3.31 project, if I do say so myself.

What projects have you worked on lately?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

lucky day.

Looks like a certain [spoiled?] dog in the Bergman house hit the jackpot this week!

A 10 lb. box of Milk-bones and an almost empty peanut butter jar all in one day!

Hmm...I wish someone would bring me a 10 lb. box of M&Ms and an almost empty [er...full?] jar of ice cream. Beacon! Bring me M&Ms! You can't eat them anyways!

If you could have someone bring you a 10 lb. box of anything, what would it be?

Saturday, February 11, 2012


It's Saturday. If you visited our house today, here's what you would find:

My good-looking husband painting our entry way.
Here's to an entry way that is all one color instead of the five colors it's been for the past year!
(Yes, I realize it's a really small space. And yes, there were five colors in that space.)

Me working on a five-page study guide for Legal Issues and Ethics in Counseling.
(What is transference and counter-transference? A gold star will be awarded if you know.)

And a puppy. Tuckered out from running around outside in the snow all morning.
(He sure does love the snow.)

Happy Weekend, from the Bergmans.
Whether you're home-improving, studying, or napping - we hope you're enjoying your Saturday as much as we are enjoying ours.