Winner! and Halloween Pics

So… Halloween was a great success!
Bamm-Bamm went as a Garbage Truck – he was so excited about his costume -isn’t it adorable!?
I got the how-to from this Garbage Truck Videos blog site.
It was cheap; I basically just needed cardboard, hot glue, and paint.  It was moderately easy too (except for burning myself on the glue gun!)
Little Man was a Hershey’s Kiss – costume was $2.99 at the thrift store (a great place to get Halloween costumes)!
OK.  Now you’ve seen my adorable babies, I can announce the winner of the $65 CSN Giveaway!!!!

I wish everyone could have won!  Our lucky winner is
Congratulations!!  You’ll be receiving an email shortly with the Gift Code – Happy Shopping!!

Hope everyone had a fun, safe Halloween!

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1 More Day – CSN Giveaway!


My First Giveaway ends Sunday night!

If you haven’t stopped by to leave a comment yet, what are you waiting for!!

There are less than 100 entries, so the chances are good – maybe this time YOU will win!

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Flock of Bats Doorway

I did this last Halloween too.
I used a pattern off the internet to cut 4 different sizes of bat… then taped them to my front porch and door.
When Halloween was over I taped them to the inside of a large zip-lock bag and saved them for this year.
I did the work one time, and it only took me 2 minutes to decorate the front door this year!!

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Built-In Bookcase: Building Shelves to Avoid Sag

** Don't forget to enter the $65 CSN Giveaway before the end of Sunday!!

So I’ve been putting together the shelves for my bookcases this week!

This can be easy or hard, cheap or expensive, depending on your preferences.

The key is to avoid sag.

the wood whisperer

Most materials will sag at least a tiny bit under heavy books, and your eye is able to detect a sag of just 1/32” per foot!

The coolest website to utilize to avoid this catastrophe… The SagulatorAn online calculator that takes material, load, dimensions, edging, method of attachment, you name it, into account to determine the amount of shelf sag (or deflection) you will get.  This is a seriously fun calculator to play with!

You want a sag of no more than .02” per foot.

Here are some handy numbers for you!

Hardback books (9x11): weight ~ 20 pounds per foot,
magazines of the same size weigh ~ 42 pounds per foot!

I copied this shelf weight limit chart from a Woodworking magazine for you…  The numbers on the right are the pounds per foot the shelf can handle before showing sag (for shelves 11 inches deep).

Type Length
Species Thickness
24 in.
30 in.
36 in.
42 in.
Red Oak 3/4” 49 21 9 5
w/ edging 116 47 23 12
Poplar 3/4” 42 17 8 4
w/ edging 97 39 20 10
E. White Pine 3/4” 33 14 6 3
w/ edging 76 32 14 8
Fir Plywood 3/4” 32 13 6 3
w/ edging 96 39 18 9
MDF 3/4” 9 4 2 1
w/ edging 73 30 14 7

My shelves are 19 or 24 inches wide, made from 3/4” thick MDF with hardwood edging on front and back.  I bought some 1x2s and routed a 3/4” wide rabbet for the back of each shelf.  I also bought some nice decorative top cap molding that I used as a front edge for each shelf.   

I’ve discovered that my shelves will have very little sag, even with heavy hardcover books on them. Whew!  I’m glad.
But what aspect of my shelf has the biggest impact on sag?  I checked the sagulator.

Basically, hardwoods sag less than MDF or plywood.  I would have guessed that adding hardwood edging to my shelves helped them the most, but it's not the only factor.

One thing that made a big impact was thickness of my MDF… even 1/8” thinner = much more sag!

My shorter shelf width helps them sag less too (it is best to keep shelves under 30” wide, if possible).  

So now I know, and next time I build shelves I’m checking the sagulator again!!!

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Happy Gluten-Free Anniversary to Me


It’s been 8 years since I found out I have an allergy to gluten (found in wheat, rye and barley), also called Celiac Disease.


I was lucky.  I only suffered a few months of pain, and digestive issues before I stopped eating gluten-containing products and found instant relief! 

Turns out Celiac Disease runs in the family, and my cousin suffered many hospital trips and surgeries just a few years earlier before she was properly diagnosed.  Because of this, I had an idea what might be wrong only a few months after becoming ill.


Gluten intolerance or allergy can manifest in a dozen different symptoms, affecting your energy level, mood, skin, stomach/digestion, concentration/mental, or respiration.  Everyone is different.

Blood tests do not always come back positive, since those tests aren’t very accurate.

If you have regular problems with any symptoms of gluten intolerance, it may be time to try out a trial period of eating gluten-free.  It made all the difference for me!


If you want to learn more, Lisa from Lisa’s Gluten-Free Advice and Healthy Living has a wonderful post!

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Bobbypin’s Beautiful Bookcase


Don’t forget to enter the $65 CSN Giveaway – 1 week left!  And your chances of winning are excellent (aren’t giveaways on small blogs the best?)

Go here to enter!

Now I have to share with you Jan’s (Bobbypin’s Boardwalk)gorgeous bookcase!

She spent less than $300 building this!

Isn’t it gorgeous – she has a tutorial!!!  Go check it out!

I have to say… This is a perfect illustration of what a little trim (OK a lot of trim, but it’s not expensive) can do for some ready-made bookcases.

Love the faux leather look too!

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Built-In Bookcase: Hiding Mistakes


We all make mistakes.

But hiding woodworking mistakes doesn’t have to be hard.

Worst-case scenario: you have to cut off the bad part and use the lumber somewhere else.

Other times a careful placement, trim or wood filler, caulk or spackle will do wonders!

Here are some of the mistakes I made while building my bookcases…

The lumber slipped on the table saw and got gouged

PA080011 PA230001 PA230011
fill with wood filler and sand  

Molding cut too short


Cut a bevel into the end and a short add-on piece and splice them together.

Enormous gaps

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PA080003 PA080023 PA220001

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use multiple layers of caulk   – smooth after each application

I started making the wrong angle cut in the baseboard.

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tried caulk, but wood filler   worked better (needs more paint)


Nail holes

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use wood filler to fill and then sand.


I guess I should figure out when you should use caulk and when to use wood filler or putty (and then share that info with you!)

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How Long Does a Pumpkin Planter Last?


Well, I guess it depends on how you “treat” it before you plant in it.

Before planting in my pumpkins, I washed one of them with a bleach & water mixture.

Putting dirt in a pumpkin will definitely speed up the rotting process! 

I didn’t expect my pumpkin planters to make it to Halloween, but I’m surprised they rotted so quickly.

Still, can you tell which one was washed with bleach first?

Yup, the one that’s still looking OK 11 days later.

So if you want pumpkin planters for Halloween, either clean them with bleach first, or expect them to look bad (really bad) after just a week and a half!


I’m tossing ‘em!

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Built-In Bookcase: More Trim


Since this bookcase is inexpensively built from MDF, the hardwood trim is key to making it look more expensive and well-put-together.


The trim hides the gaps between the cases, and along the wall, ceiling and base.


I used mullion between the cases (and even made some of my own) .



The key is to use solid wood (plain or with a decorative edge) to cover the edges of the MDF, and frame the bookcases against the wall and ceiling.

I used a 1x2 (3/4”x1-1/2”) along the left wall, and a piece of stock ripped to 3/4”x3/4” along the right wall where there was a tighter fit. 

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I used quarter round between the wall and the door surround.  On one side the gap was too deep for quarter round so I used shoe molding which is like a quarter round molding that’s been elongated .

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I used boards ripped to 4-1/2” wide to cover the bookcase bases.  My baseboards were then nailed to these boards.

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Finally, I nailed two long 1x2 boards along the top of the bookcase.  My crown molding will be nailed to this to complete the look!

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All the trim is done, the cases have been primed 2 times.  The only things I have left to do is build the shelves, install the crown molding and build and install the cabinet doors to the bottom half.


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