Sunday, 21 April 2013

The Bed that Sarah Built

I came across the Camp Loft Bed on Pinterest a couple of months ago. iBean was still sleeping in a crib, but I knew that she would need a big girl bed by summer. Since her room is small (inside walls measure just under 9'x9'), I thought a loft bed would be ideal.

I have NEVER done a DIY. I don't even own tools. As a university student, I spend one summer building roof trusses, so I am not totally useless with tools. But to build something like this, I definitely needed help. My step-dad Ed is very handy, so I asked him to be my consultant and helper to tell me if I was doing things the wrong way! Fortunately, he was able to lend me a miter saw (which he borrowed from his brother, or brother's friend's cousin's uncle...), some aluminum saw horses, and his years of DIY expertise to be my advisor and lead carpenter.  My husband, not so handy.  If you want amazing bread or croissants, he can hook you up.  If you want gardening advice, he knows what you need. If you want to build something, he already ran off screaming in the other direction.  Not that I don't think he could. It just is really low on his list of fun things to do.

Day 1: Buy wood. Back cars out and turn garage into danger zone. Miter saw wood. Drill pocket holes using my new favourite tool the Kreg Jig.
Welcome to my workshop

Day 2: Borrow sander from friend. Run out to buy sandpaper and swear at damn sandpaper for not being the right size and wrestling it into the stupid clips.  Repeat like 10 times.

Day 3: Wipe all boards with a damp cloth, let dry, then prime the wood. Priming sucks. It's boring and white and thick and no fun.
Two saw horses, a vulcan ladder and some old leftover baseboards make a pretty good set up for painting!
 Day 4 and 6 (but not 5, because I was subbing in a kindergarten class that day and resorted to having a peanut buster parfait for dinner that night.  God bless kindergarten teachers...): paint, paint, paint! the pink boards are actually glamour pink, which was leftover paint from iBean's room. The rest of the boards were boring white. White on wood is a tricky thing.  It doesn't conceal the imperfections of the boards and made me nervous that it would never look nice.
Is that PINK??
 Day 7: Work at school teaching music. No DIYing. Just singing and ukuleleing.

Day 8:
Construction day! Tony was in Edmonton for a course, so not the ideal weekend to build something.  But my lead carpenter and advisor would be out of town the following weekend, which meant all that painted lumber would be parked where my car should be for another two weeks.  Nuts to that action.
So we started working at 10:30 am. We had to empty out iBean's room and carry in the lumber, then it was building time! By 1:15, we had this much built:

My lead advisor was hungry and my iBean was tired, so I put her down for a nap in Sashimi's bed and we took a siesta for lunch. I continued measuring pieces out and put the bookshelves in place.

The brother-shelves: a handy feature for any little girl who wants to put her brothers away.

It's like a stage!
After iBean awoke, we realized that we needed a different length of screw to attach the 2x2 to the 2x6s (where the slats under the mattress sit).  Also, we needed a twin mattress.  Minor detail when buiding a bed. So I packed the offspring into the car, bought a mattress, had my credit card declined, phoned my bank, determined that my card number had been stolen and someone was trying to purchase some cell phone crap in the USA. Cancelled my card. Swore a bit, then resumed building the final component of the bed: the stairs.
cleats for the stairs. Ed watching the kids climbing like monkeys on the bed
Final plank for the steps.  The kids are super excited (and helpful...not)

VoilĂ ! iBean's bed is complete!
iBean's new big girl bed. Marvel at its awesomeness.

My favourite part: the reading nook. And by the way, you must add Pete the Cat and his Four Groovy Buttons to your reading nook.  Fantastic book.

The boys are already planning out their new beds. And desks. And bookshelves. And toy boxes.  Tony asked me last night if there are plans for a DIY chicken coop on Ana White's site.  Which there totally IS.  I guess I have my next project! Those chickens are gonna be so posh in their luxury accommodations...

For all the more technical information related to building this bed, you can read my brag post on All of her plans for various projects are available as PDFs. For free.  FREE!! She then invites members of her site to post brag posts of the DIY projects they've done, and I was extrememly proud to submit my first brag last night. 

For all of you wannabe DIYers, I say to you YOU CAN DOOOO EEEEEET!
Now I wanna go relax in the reading nook with Pete the Cat.

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Rewarding laziness

Sashimi's played at his first public piano recital this week.  The theme for the recital was "A little Night Music" and all the pianists were to wear pajamas.  Sashimi and I were performing two duets: Twinkle Twinkle and Catch a Falling Star. So he wore his Angry Birds pjs and I wore a T-shirt and pink fuzzy cupcake-covered pajama pants.
Keesadilla, being his normal self, had been wearing pajamas all day.  We tried to convince him to get dressed to go to the recital, but he was resolved to wear his pajamas.  Non-matching pajamas.  Inside-out pajama shirt.
And since he's four years old, we let it happen.
Little did we know, there would be a door prize at the recital for anyone who showed up wearing pajamas. So guess who won the door prize:
An awesome spa memory foam pillow.
And now there is no way we are going to be able to convince him to get dressed again.
The ultimate reward to being lazy and stubborn in the way only a four-year-old can.

Keesadilla in his everyday attire.  Ready for a trip to Walmart...
 **As an aside, Sashimi nailed his performance :D