Darling, let's not ruin what we have with mere words...

Shy?  Introverted?  Don't like it when bloggers reply to your comments?  

Or are you wondering why no one ever responds to your thoughtfully phrased comments of love and appreciation.  Maybe something like "Hey thanks for the nice comment - I'm so glad you liked my poodle-princess-mod podge project - it's nice comments like yours that makes blogging/living worth while.  You are now my best friend forever!".
How many times I've wanted to tell a new commenter how much I appreciate the time they took to drop me a note, but can't because they do not have their email address attached to their blogger account!  Oh the wasted tears...
Sunny's Life in Rehab has a post to help you fix your no reply problem!  It's a pretty common problem you may not even know you have.
Before you know it you'll get replies to your kind words (why say something nice if no one's going to gush appreciatively about it?)  and when you enter contests and win - you'll actually win ('cause folks will be able to email you with that $100 gift certificate code!)

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Why I Can’t Have A Nice Guest Bath


My son doesn’t believe Mommy should have nice things.

He believes all belongs to him… for the pleasure of destroying.


He’s my little piggy…

Just poured paint all over your toys and playroom rug?

Don’t tell Mom, just wash your hands in the guest bath… wipe the paint off with the best guest towel you can find.


No, the paint did not all come out :(

Pretty soaps in the guest shower?  What a waste when they can be used to recreate the bombing of Berlin…




I’m working on a cool IKEA furniture *transformation* right now, so I’m busy and haven’t been blogging much, but I don’t want to forget about you!  

Thanks for all the comments – I love them, but so many of you keep your email private so I get no-reply@blogger when I try to respond :(

Does anyone miss the old IntenseDebate Comment System I used to have?

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Crystal Door Knob Bookend


There’s not much that doesn’t look better after routing a fancy Roman Ogee edge to it.

Like this boring 2x6 piece of lumber.

A little red paint and an antique doorknob - cheap from a thrift store, and I have an easy to make bookend that has got lots of old world style…

I’m thinking of making another… using beadboard next time??

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A Craft Project



The kiddos and I are getting over our colds, and I am finally doing a crafting project…


Can you guess what I’m making with this 2x6 and an old faux crystal doorknob?

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DIY While Expecting, or Can I Use a Table Saw When I Am Pregnant


OK.  Yes for the DIY (some of it, but No for the table saw!)


There is no cut and dry answer to these questions because they depend on how comfortable you are with using power tools, safety equipment, and what risks you are willing to take… that’s true whether you are pregnant or not.

Hopefully, I can give you some valuable information on what the risks are, and what I think are important factors to consider to help you answer this question for yourself!

There are many kinds of DIY tasks and many kinds of power tools, buy only a few main concerns for the pregnant woman.


1.  Noise.

Many power tools and DIY projects generate a lot of noise which if loud enough can potentially be harmful to an unborn baby.  You should always wear earplugs, but your baby can’t.

Still, this may not present the problem you may think it does.

Unborn babies begin to hear in the womb between 24 and 28 weeks, around 40 decibels (dB) of sound, which improves as the baby approaches full term.

Studies suggest that chronic loud noises and short, very loud bursts of noise can trigger problems like hearing loss, prematurity, and growth issues (American Academy of Pediatrics).

Most experts consider painfully loud noises for long durations, like a rock concert, to be too loud for a pregnant woman, but consider shorter durations of loud noise, like a busy street or vacuum cleaner, to be OK .  In addition, the amniotic fluid only reduces the noises in the outside world a little bit.


What is a moderate to loud noise level (one that would be OK for a pregnant woman)?  Here’s a few guidelines to give you an idea:

Rock Concert ~ 120-150 dB  (way way too loud!)

Subway ~ 90 dB  (potentially dangerous)

Busy Street ~ 80 dB  (probably OK)


And many power tools lie right at or slightly above the level of the busy street…

Here’s a few:

Circular Saw ~ 100 dB (use sparingly and for only a minute or two)

Drill ~ 90 dB

Orbital Sander ~ 80 dB


So using most power tools is no more dangerous (in terms of noise) than the subway or a busy street, so they are probably OK for short durations (but not chronically)….

For more go to The NIOSH Power Tools Database for power tool sound levels by manufacturer and specs (the sound power level is the dB sound level of the tool).


What is a moderate duration? Take frequent breaks when working with loud tools.  A couple of hours seems like a reasonable amount of time per day for moderately loud tools (play it by ear – haha)… just don’t run your sander all day every day for a week ;)

Finally, vibration shouldn’t cause any troubles… back massagers are generally OK for pregnant women, and a power tool, like an orbital sander, will put vibration into your hands, but not so much your belly… just don’t sand with your belly ‘K ;)

 Heidi Klum Maternity Overalls


2.  Chemicals

Like paints, glues, dyes, pigments, solvents and oils …

The problem with toxic exposure in the form of paints, adhesives and other products (mineral spirits, gasoline, welding) is that there isn’t a lot of information available to the general population about what is dangerous, or what constitutes prolonged exposure.  There are also thousands of chemicals in our everyday lives, and very few studies about their effects on pregnancy.


I read a few scientific studies (see citations below) regarding exposure to volatile organic solvents (VOCs) and other chemicals during pregnancy in order to share this information with you.

Exposure to paint fumes during pregnancy was very common (45% in a Danish study), but the study showed no adverse affects on pregnancy.

Another study shows inconsistent but suggestive evidence that welding fumes increases the risk for preterm delivery and low birth weight.

Mild carbon monoxide exposure resulted in normal fetal outcome, but severe poisoning causes severe outcomes.  Lead poisoning also has devastating effects.


The Bottom Line.

  • Exposure to toxins can effect the development of the baby’s organs (during the first trimester) and can damage already developed organs throughout pregnancy (and the rest of your life in fact).
  • Go ahead and paint, but use water-based paints (acrylic is best, do not use oil- or lead-based or any paint made prior to 1990).
  • Don’t use spray paint with M-butyl ketone (MBK) in it.  It can cause neurological harm to your baby.
  • Don’t use polyurethane sprays.  If you must use polyurethane, use it in liquid form and outdoors.
  • Since you’re using water-based paint, you don’t need to be exposed to paint removers, but if you do need turpentine for something, let someone else handle it.
  • Use protective equipment.  Avoid skin and eye contact by wearing gloves, long sleeves, and goggles.  Use a dust mask.  If the particles are fine (like for spray paint, or carpet glues) use a quality respirator (however these can cause breathing stress, so if in doubt ask your doctor and use sparingly).
  • If possible, go green.  Use products with reduced VOCs, toxicity or chemical additives.  Adhesives made of natural rubber are good too.
  • VOCs are most toxic in the first 48-72 hours, so reduce early exposure for best benefit.  Too bad the nasty smell lasts longer…
  • Avoid lead in any form.  Check old paint, wallpaper and walls for lead before you remove them.  If exposed, get a blood lead test.  Lead stores in your bones, and re-enters the blood during pregnancy.
  • For more information, you can contact the Pregnancy Environmental Hotline (1-800-322-5014 *updated).
  • And take care of yourself!


A multicenter, prospective study of fetal outcome following accidental carbon monoxide poisoning in pregnancy.  [Koren et al., Reprod. Toxicol., 1991]

Lead poisoning in pregnancy.  [Klein et al., Presse Med., 1994]

Non-occupational exposure to paint fumes during pregnancy and fetal growth in a general population.  [Sørensen et al., Environ Res., 2010]

Paternal and maternal exposure to welding fumes and metal dusts or fumes and adverse pregnancy outcomes.  [Quansah et al., Int Arch Occup Environ Health., 2009]

  from The Broken Plate Pendant Company

3.  Electricity

I was “lightly electrocuted” while pregnant with my second son… though it scared me, in many cases a light shock will cause no harm.

Still, household voltage can be very dangerous (pregnant or not), so always turn off the circuit breaker before doing any electrical work!  In particular, pregnant women should be way more cautious when dealing with electricity.  Never do any work that might expose you to high voltage (500 volts).


That said, the severity of damage that can occur depends on the current, duration, and situation (like the presence of water)… to be safe, talk to your doctor if you do get electrocuted when pregnant.

If there are problems resulting from the shock, they will occur immediately following the shock, the baby still moving afterward is a great sign :)


4.  Bodily Injury

This may be the most important, and the hardest to judge.  It depends strongly on your abilities and comfort with risk.

Driving to work when pregnant involves a certain amount of risk of getting into an accident that could hurt you and the baby.  This keeps many women from driving, but many more are comfortable with the risk.


Hammering your finger while pregnant will hurt (no more than usual though), and is unlikely to cause your baby any problems.  However, severely cutting yourself is another matter.

If you are very comfortable, competent and careful with your drill, miter saw, hammer, or sander, than you are probably fine as long as you wear your protective equipment religiously and take extra care.  It’s a risk, but it is generally up to you what you feel comfortable with.

However, there is one power tool that I strongly suggest avoiding until after your baby is born… that is the table saw.

The table saw is hands-down the most dangerous power tool in the workshop, and especially for pregnant women.

I say this because the most common injury from the table saw is caused by kickback, when the wood or a piece of it is sent at high speed back at the operator.  Happens that this is belly height on most people.  These injuries can be mild to fatal, and while a punch in the gut is no fun on a regular day, it is especially dangerous when you are pregnant.

Just don’t use a table saw when you are pregnant ‘K!


Also be very very careful when working at height… now that you’re pregnant your balance is off, and falling is both more likely and more dangerous!  Stay on the ground if you can ;)


So the big picture is that you can do most of your DIY projects just fine if you are careful, wear protective gear and limit exposure (problems occur for repeated exposure – like 8 hours a day, every day for weeks…)

Ok, let me know if I missed something, or if you have a specific question!  I also found this article interesting… 10 Biggest Pregnancy Myths Debunked, though it didn’t cover power tool usage ;)

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Built-In Bookcase: Nearly Done - Kinda


So here’s what my bookcase is looking like today…

It’s almost finished.

I need a few more shelves… that is priority #1.  Oh and putting the crown molding up would be smart too ;)

Finally, I’d like to build some cabinet doors for the bottom half (I made some of my own trim – so I think this will be a fun challenge too), but there’s no rush (which means it’ll be months before I get to it!)  It doesn’t have to be perfect.

Still, I think it’s gorgeous, even unfinished and with half my books and knick-knacks just thrown willy nilly on what shelves I do have. 

I can’t wait to dress the shelves with a more esthetic appeal!

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How to Draw on Your Baby Brother’s Face


Bamm Bamm here with a great art project… unusual and fun, and easy enough for anyone, as long as you have a baby brother (or sister)!

Wait for the right time to do your art.  Make a mess in the kitchen first, so Mom has something to keep her busy. 


Use markers not crayons.  Crayons don’t work so well, and pushing hard will make your brother cry and Mom will get mad.


Gather your materials before you start, you don’t want to get up for more because your canvas may crawl away.


Give your brother a marker too, then you don’t have to worry about coloring the mouth, he will do it for you.


Work quickly, you do not have much time.


Don’t leave any big open space of canvas/face left unmarked.  Use lots of colors.

And remember, parents never appreciate your art as much as they should.

Enjoy, because it washes off, and Mom and Dad will give your brother a bath right away.


Hope you all try this yourself – it’s the perfect way to add visual interest to what would otherwise be a boring baby brother!

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Built-In Bookcase: Painting for Print Resistance


Latex paints, particularly gloss and semi-glosses have poor print resistance. 

They dry soft, and anything that presses against the paint leaves an impression.


This is particularly problematic for bookcases.


I painted my cases with an interior acrylic latex semi-gloss to match my wall color.  As it is, it would have very poor print resistance…  but it can be helped.



I top-coated my paint job with 3 coats, sanding between coats, of Minwax Polycrylic, which dries to a clear, hard, print resistant finish.



If you are painting a bookcase, and want to avoid fusing with final coats of polycrylic , a good alternative would be Kelly Moore’s DuraPoxy paint which also dries to a hard, print resistant finish.



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One Last Pumpkin


Perhaps hoping to forestall bedtime after trick-or-treating himself into a stupor, Bamm Bamm insisted we carve one last pumpkin…




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