Tag Archives: Reading Nook

Reading Nook … Before and After!

The Reading Nook was finished by Christmas Eve! I have had so many of you wondering if I finished and if Miss Precious liked it …

 She did!!!!

For those of you who want to see the Before and After right away …

You will have to wait until the end to see them side by side 🙂

However, I’m prepared to show you the finished project if, you keep reading until the end! Deal? I promise to make it worth your while.


For me, most of the fun is in the details that make it special. I found some glow in the dark butterflies (#Target) that I knew would be perfect for when the door is closed and the light is turned off. I arranged them to look like they were fluttering off in a group.


Miss Precious LOVES keys so I found some that had words engraved in them. (#Michaels) Three of them really sum up what I was doing … “Secret”, “Memories”, and my personal favorite, “Journey”.


Snuggling was a must! and I fell in love with this snowflake throw (#Target) that is so cozy. I wanted a place to store it when we don’t need it so I bought a white hook to hang it on. No secret place is complete without a flashlight and I found a red one to match the accent color that I was using. Yes, Miss Precious LOVES flashlights too!



The Dreaded Cushion …. da da da DA! I picked this upholstery fabric as it reminded me of all the places that books can take you. (I am an avid reader!) I also wanted to use it because it will grow with her and never be out of date. (At least for this kind of space) The fabric is sturdy which I love, and soon, will do a post on, “What I learned while making a Cushion”. Subtitle … “Someone, save me from this HELL on earth”! You get the idea. I had to make it, as the size I needed, made it too expensive to purchase. I love it and I am glad that I can say, “I did it!!!!!”

 There were more books in the baskets below that she could open … A “Handy Manny” series. Teach them while they are young 🙂



This sweet little pig became my theme and I found her, and her books at #Costco. I am so happy that I went with her as the theme as it gave me an opportunity to bring in a paint color that I would not have chosen otherwise, but now am in LOVE with!




I am not removing the door, so that it remains a secret that it exists. After all, children love secret spaces. Then again, So do I! I set a plant in front of the door and she did not even peek in there once.



Miss Bliss over at Bliss Ranch suggested a bow on the door and I knew she was right! I love fun suggestions 🙂




Miss Precious and Adorable Daughter disappeared on Christmas Day. Look where I found them.


It is almost hard to remember the closet it used to be, until I did a side by side. I vote for the Reading Nook in that space 🙂 LOL, as if you needed to have them labeled … I give you the Before and After! Thank you everyone for following along on this project, giving me support, and your interest. It means so much to me.



As a “THANK YOU” and celebrating one year of blogging I am hosting a giveaway. A $25 Starbucks card! (I don’t know about you, but I could use coffee about now to keep awake while I clean up after the holidays!) Young or old, in the States or another country … anyone can enter. I am no longer on blogger and miss seeing your friendly faces, so I am hoping you will follow me either by Linky or Network Blogs.

Hugs and Happy 2013!


To find more on this project …




The Reading Nook was featured here …


I was featured on Practically Functional


All Star Block Party

Featured on One Creative Weekend
a Rafflecopter giveaway

I party here …

In The Old Road
The Fun In Functional @ Practically Functional - Wednesdays @ 8am




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2012 – A Look Back


Today, I am taking the time to look back, before I plan for the New Year. (2013) It is a good time to reflect on how I used my time and goal setting for the coming year.

This past …



Not just a Housewife

I entered a contest. Stacy from Not Just a Housewife hosted it and I was blessed to WIN with my Playhouse (that I built under my stairs). You can find that story {here} The playhouse was the reason that I started blogging in the first place. After looking for some ideas online and not finding what I wanted, I set out on my own to make what I had envisioned. A whole new world opened up for me in this land of blogging … I have made new blog friends and I have been able to share what I am working on. Just maybe it will inspire someone!

This was the winner … (thank you Stacy!)

Playhouse under the Stairs

A quick peek inside …

Playhouse under the Stairs

That month also found me redoing Mr Dog’s Space. His kennel was by the door, but was not very pretty to the eye. You can find the whole story {here}


I also started making a Murphy Bed. Wow, January was a busy month for me! I must have started the New Year at a full run 🙂 You can read about it {here}

It was started in Jan but it took me until April to have it fully finished. I got side tracked by doing other things … that’s just my way!

Murphy Bed



February found me with a slight interruption while I moved myself out of our shared office and built Mr Man a shelf in, what is now … his office.

(I have yet to make myself a permanent office space …  Do I hear a 2013 goal? 🙂 )


I also took some time to be thankful for my Father, and am so glad that I did, as he passed away September 25th. I miss him! (More on that later.)


Back in the day … this is My father and I building fence on our property. We used to have contests to see how many hits it took to drive in a nail. My best was 3. That’s right … started swinging a hammer helping my dad.


Mr Man and I spent 2 weekends at the “Home and Patio Show” and “The Lake Home & Cabin Show. Good Stuff there to dream about!



Mr Man and I went to one more show … “The Home and Garden Show” where I met Mr Chip Wade. I was in heaven! And of course, gathered more ideas!




I did something new in April. I joined a blog challenge. I blogged every day for 30 days and am proud that I finished. I am planning to do it again in 2013.

(Another 2013 Goal)


I finished the Murphy Bed that I started in Jan! Yay Me!!!

No big projects this month … but we did make a trip to “The House On the Rock” in Wisconsin.



May found the guest room completed. Not only did I make the Murphy Bed but I also painted and hung blinds. Nice change in that room!



I entered a “Mission Impossible” Challenge that you can view {here} A bit of work happened in our front yard 🙂




June was a busy outside month for me …

1. There was a mailbox that got a facelift and new planter {here}

2. Painting the house trim and sprucing up the garage door {here}

3. Including a new color for the front door {here}


4. I put window film on my dining room windows to keep out the sun damage on my wood floor {here}

AND … one of my most controversial posts

5. Staining my front walkway {here}




The month of working on my mudroom …

It started like this {here}


you can read about the new tile floor, washer and dryer, but the complete after will be revealed in Jan!

One of the small things I made was a HUGE hit. Go figure 🙂

It was an almost no cost to make … A laundry tip jar for the change that finds it way into the washer or dryer.




August was about all the small things. I didn’t have any big projects that I was working on, although I still have a mudroom that could be be finished!

We took our vacation and went to Door County, Wisconsin. You can read about that {here}

It was also when my dad had his stroke and I flew out to California to be with him.



September was silent on my blog. I hope that I didn’t lose to many followers but my time and attention was with my parents. Dad passed away on the 25th. I was honored to be with him when it happened but I have to say … it was one of the most difficult things I have been through. I am so thankful that he is at home with God and pain free!



 My first post back was about … yup, my dad {here}

Then I worked a bit on my laundry room, and then yay … I was back in the game again with …

Recovering my piano bench {here}

Before and After 🙂Piano Bench

 And, then there were all the chores to get ready for winter here in Minnesota. I didn’t take any pictures as I was work, work, working! 🙂



Whew, I am tired already!

November saw me moving my blog from Blogger to #Wordpress! That was a goal of mine from last year and I did it!!!

Mr Man and I took some time away for our Anniversary and went to “The Split Rock Lighthouse” {here}


It was time to decorate for Christmas … and out came a wreath that needed decorating {here}




December brought with it the idea for Miss Precious to have a Reading nook. Geesh, last year I made her a playhouse. How do you top that?!

I started by gutting a closet {here}  You can continue to read through the posts from there 🙂


My goal was to finish by Christmas and ….

(Woo Hoo) I made it. The reveal will be in January 1st and I will be hosting a giveaway to celebrate!!!

Hugs and enjoy the last day of 2012!



Newbie with a twist party

Reading Nook Staining and Painting

Some changes were made in the Reading Nook since I last shared.

One of them was the ceiling. The white was such a stark contrast to the red that I decided to paint it.

(Sorry … the pic is a bit blurry but it is the only one that I evidently took. )

The ceiling took 2 coats of paint.


I also decided that I wanted to stain the wood as it was feeling like a sauna to me.

I used my favorite stain … Jacobean!


I had to re-stain the upper part of the back, as the wood didn’t take it as well as the rest.

I painted on the stain and then left it longer before wiping it off.


I used Minwax Polycrylic in Satin to seal the stain and wood.

It dries FAST and a fan helped the process too. 🙂


I wanted to paint the shelves and top railing white to help them stand out …


I also had to paint the seat of the Reading Nook as I really made a mess on the first coat. LOL

Live and Learn!


Now to let it all dry before I do the detail work. I am hoping to have it done but I am stressing about all I have to do!

Not just with the Reading Nook but … baking, cooking, cleaning …

You understand 🙂

*If you missed any parts of the construction of the “Reading Nook” you can click on the links below …

A Reading Nook Idea

Reading Nook Construction begins

Reading Nook Wood Finish

 Reading Nook Decor



Reading Nook Decor

What to do … what to do?

I saw an idea using letters to spell words … and I thought, “What better word to spell than, R.E.A.D!”

I purchased white wooden letters, scrapbook paper (all black and white … just like pages of a book), ribbon tape, keys, and Decoupage that I already had on hand. You can see by the pictures below that I chose writing, cartoon, and drawing paper.


I gave each letter a different design, alternating white and black backgrounds.

On the white, I used the red accent tape that matches my paint color. (I lucked out on that one!)

On the black, I hot glued small keys.

Two reasons for this …

1. Miss Precious adores keys.


2. Reading is the key that opens a Big, Big World!



So easy to do and made me feel so crafty! LOL

https://www.joy2journey.comDo you remember seeing this picture of things I bought for the Reading Nook?


The two baskets at the bottom needed something to make them cute.

Left over wood provided me with tags, left over twine to attach them, and stencils that I already had on hand.

Originally, I planned to use matching paint but nixed that idea when I realized it would make it look to cutsie.


I ended up using a black permanent marker.

You have heard of “Thing 1 and Thing 2?”

I made “Book 1 and Book 2!”


I drilled 2 holes in each one and laced twine in to hold them onto the baskets.

(My pictures are a bit blurry but … you get the idea)


Now a few new books to match my “Olivia” theme.

One word … Costco!


My fave is “Olivia dances for Joy”

Get it? Joy2Journey … dances for Joy? I know, I know. A bit cheesy 🙂


So far so good in getting a lot of the decorating done!

The little arrow below is where I decided to add a bit of reinforcement. I framed it but now need to get it painted!

So far so good getting alot of the decorating done!

Back to work I go … See you tomorrow for another update!

*If you missed any parts of the construction of the “Reading Nook” you can click on the links below …

A Reading Nook Idea

Reading Nook Construction begins

Reading Nook Wood Finish




Reading Nook Wood Finish

Santa is worried for me.

Look at his face.

No pressure here … but it is 9 days until Christmas!


  No worries (HA)

Ok, focus!

I sanded the old wood that I had (remember my stock pile?), to match the new wood.


Fortunately, for me … this step went pretty fast!


Next step, staining the wood. I used “Golden Oak”

A fan was necessary to quickly dry and keep the odor away.

*Handy hint: A pair of gloves are a must to keep your hands stain free.


I trimmed the seat area using molding, an adhesive, and finishing nails.


I will fill the corners with a stainable wood putty to give it a more finished look later.


Remember I told you I had a reason for choosing this paint color?

“Olivia” the Pig is why I chose the paint color! I wanted to match her outfit 🙂

*Handy hint: Don’t rely on your memory to choose a paint color. Either, bring in an object to match or bring home paint samples.


Olivia has faith that I will get this done by Christmas Eve … see? she is smiling!

(There will be more frequent posts from me until Christmas as I finish this project.)

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It’s off to work I go …



Reading Nook … construction begins!

Don’t you just love how, when you are working on a project, it starts to take shape just the way that you imagined? That is how it is for me right now. We left the closet (AKA Reading Nook) empty of all it’s contents {here} and ready to construct a new inside.


Every builder needs a workshop … this is mine. It is simple and moves wherever I need it 🙂



There will be no comments on my hair!

I got up and started working, when Mr Man snuck up and took a picture of me. Some days, construction women are not pretty!

I made a 2X4 frame, topped it with “Purebond” plywood.

I was worried about the bench part being sturdy, so you can see that I put lag bolts into the studs. This bench is going nowhere people!


Shopping for this space was easy!

I needed baskets for books, pillows to lean on, decorations, and a throw to snuggle up with while reading.

Oh, and a cushion. Oh, my goodness … I am going to have to make one! Can’t buy one the size I need, and a custom order would cost me a fortune.

I can do this …

I bought foam, batting, upholstery fabric, thread, and an upholstery needle for my sewing machine.

(Most was on sale and I had a 20% off entire purchase coupon. Yay me!)


I have to clear out the fun stuff and get back to work!


I like things to be rustic but pretty.

I like texture, and the wood in my garage could be put to good use.

I just measured the length and then randomly cut them. They are attached by Power Grab and finishing nails.


  1. I was half way up the back wall when I thought, hmmm … I should probably paint the top part first. Up a ladder I go. Yup, Mr Man with that camera again! You have to love my zebra socks 🙂
  2. 1st coat of paint but will definitely need another. *Paint color – Calypso Berry in flat.
  3. Working the wood up to the color while it drys.
  4. 2nd coat of paint applied. (I will share later why I chose this color)
  1. Starting on the side wall and installing my first shelf. (The right has more room on that side)
  2. Spacing for a second shelf.
  3. Finishing up to the top.
  4. One more side to go! Woo Hoo!


 This is who I am making this for … The other “Joy” in my Journey.


I better get back to work! Lots to do 🙂



I like to party at …

A Reading Nook idea …

Last year, when I was building Miss Precious a Playhouse , I saw an idea of a Reading Nook that caught my interest. Miss Precious was 3 last year so I knew I could wait to make it until this year. I love that she is aware that I make these things for her with my tools.

A Reading Nook that caught my eye was made by Thrifty Decor Chick. I looked at many, many ideas on line since then, but I keep coming back to Sarah’s design.



For me, it is because she used a space that most of us have already in our homes. (If we have a closet that we can give up)

Fortunately for me … I do!

Really the only thing this closet is used for is some linens and gift’s for upcoming holidays or birthdays.




Top Shelf: Random Pillows

2nd shelf: Rug and random sheets

3rd shelf: Random sheets

4th shelf: Pure randomness

Bottom: Gifts and gift giving supplies

There seems to be a theme here … maybe, I should have called this the “Random Closet”!

I am now bestowing this closet … a purpose.


 Removing the shelves was made easy with my cordless screwdriver, and having a trash can close by? a must! There sure are a lot of holes that will have to be repaired. All random sheets were donated and not hurt during the process. 🙂


Except for the ceremonial “filling of the holes” it is ready to be turned into something special. I love this part of the process. It is a blank canvas and ready for whatever I create.

Some people have hunting dogs, I have a construction dog. One who lays in the way most of the time 🙂


Here is to getting all your projects done on time!