Just posted this on Facebook, but I had to share it here. SO cute!
So excited to be finished with Lindsey’s bookshelf!!! She loves it! After two coats of primer and three coats of semi-gloss interior paint (sanding between each coat), we finally lugged it up the stairs and into her room this afternoon.
She is very excited and had so much fun setting it up just the way she wanted it. She has a shelf just for special items (like trinkets from Austria and India) and several other special items mixed among the books. Of course, there’s a shelf dedicated to all of her German books too. She was upset that I took photos today though because two of her Harry Potter books are missing, so there is only one on the shelf. I think they’re at Nana and Papa’s house! :) She even stole the little bowl of “rocks collected on Lopez Island” from Daddy’s desk. So cute!
Wanted to make sure I mentioned again that these woodworking plans came from the amazing Ana of Knock Off Wood. I modified her 3×3 bookcase plans (inspired by Pottery Barn’s Bedford collection). Without her website, we would never have attempted to make this from scratch! The 3×3 Pottery Barn bookcase is around $400! We spent about $60 on lumber! Can’t wait to make something for Anna’s room next!!!
Click on the thumbnails below for a larger photo.
I am totally in love with this awesome new blog I stumbled upon, Knock Off Wood. Ana is a homeschooling, stay-at-home-mom, obsessed with furniture. The coolest part is she posts here plans on her blog for free! And almost all of her plans are knock-offs of Pottery Barn, Land of Nod, Crate & Barrel, Restoration Hardware, Williams & Sonoma, etc. Maybe I should say that again… FOR FREE! :) She builds her plans in Google Sketch-up (love that application) and uses very simple techniques so anyone can build them. Did I mention that she’s also a super cool person too??? I just know DIY Network or HGTV is going to snatch her up and make her famous!
She has an awesome Facebook fan page, a Bragging Board on Flickr for fans to post photos of their fabulous projects and a Suggestion Board on Flicker group for suggesting design plans to Ana. I took her Pottery Barn Bedford 3×3 bookcase plans and drew up a 2×5 version in Google Sketch-up.
Here are photos of our bookcase in the works. I’ll post more photos as soon as it is finished! :)
Since this is a tall, narrow bookcase, not all of the shelves could be removable. We needed to have two permanent shelves to give the bookcase stability so it wouldn’t bow in the middle. On the 3×3 Pottery Barn bookcase, all of the shelves are removable.
Since I’m painting this off-white to match the moldings in Lindsey’s bedroom, we are building it with MDF. Pottery Barn’s website says they use MDF for their white version, but they use plywood and veneers for the black or espresso versions. It’s been interesting working with MDF though… It’s SOOOOOOO strong, really heavy, very easy to cut, but interesting to drill and screw into. It doesn’t like tapered wood screws or it splits and it squeels like crazy if you don’t predrill deep enough.
Todd left the project to me just after we got the plywood glued and screwed onto the back. So it’s up to me to finish it. Woo hoo! Must mention – did you know most bookcases use CARDBOARD on the back??? Yuck!
Lindsey had some fun with my iphone camera the other day while I was cutting all of the removable shelves. Our miter saw isn’t big enough to cut the shelves (wish list item: 10″ or 12″ compound SLIDING miter saw) so I had to cut all of the shelves with the circular saw. I don’t like that thing. It makes me nervous!!!!! But every single removable shelf is PERFECT. :) Yay! The circular saw makes me nervous because it’s harder to control…
Then I used our miter saw (much safer and easier to use) to cut the inside supports (they go on the top and the bottom of the bookcase to keep everything nice and square.
Not sharing any more photos than that! :) I got the inside supports glued and screwed in last night and also drilled the shelf-pin holes for all of the removable shelves (they all line up perfectly). I’m so excited with how it is turning out!!! Now all I need to do is putty all of the holes, sand the whole thing and then prime and paint it. THEN I’ll post more photos! :)
So I’ve finally perfected my chocolate candy recipe. I’ve tried this several times over the past year and it’s never “quite right”… so I try again… and again. Finally, I think I got it right! Did I mention Todd and Lindsey are both allergic to chocolate??? So for the first time, I tried carob powder rather than cocoa powder and it turned out wonderful! I was really surprised!
So here’s the recipe!
- 1/2 cup Organic virgin coconut oil (I buy Nutiva brand on iHerb.com)
- 1/4 cup carob powder OR 2 T cocoa powder (I buy Bob’s Red Mill brand carob)
- 20 drops of Vanilla Stevia (I buy SweetLeaf Vanilla Stevia)
- Rapadura, Maple Syrup crystals or other “sprinkle” type natural sugar crystals (optional)
MELT coconut oil over the stove, making sure not to COOK IT. Just warm it until it melts. Turn off the heat and stir in carob or cocoa powder. Once combined, add in the vanilla stevia and stir.
Spoon mixture into candy molds (I use some silicone ice cube trays I picked up at Whole Foods) and pop in the freezer. After about 10-15 minutes, sprinkle the tops with rapadura or other crystalized sweetener of your choice. This adds a nice texture to the top of the candies. Put back into the freezer for another half hour to an hour. :)
Since raw cocount oil melts at room temperature, these must be kept in the refrigerator. :)
TIP: Did you know raw, virgin coconut oil can protect you from the swine flu? Swine flu is a lipid coated virus. Coconut oil is loaded with lauric acid. Our bodies turn lauric acid into monolaurin, which deactivates lipid coated viruses. It’s best to consume about 3 T a day to get the protective benefits.