Category Archives: Crafts

Spray paint, Doris

Most people know this by now. It’s not a “best kept secret” or anything like that.

Spray paint is amazing.

It makes ugly things look not ugly.

Take Doris:


Doris was Jonny and my first buy together. It was September of 2003. One year before we were married. I was living in Idaho and he was visiting from England – the only time he was here before he moved here. We were doing the long distance thing. We didn’t know each other very well. But we knew that we needed Doris. There was something in the eyes. The creepy, follow you wherever you are, eyes.

And Doris stayed just like that for years. 9 years.

Until I did this:


And Doris went from creepy, people wondering why we had her, to hip, modern, decor. The eyes now hold a forlorn look that breaks my heart. Oh Doris. The things you have seen. The injustices you have endured. Be at peace.


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Father’s Day Table Tennis

When we bought the Birdhouse last July – maybe before that when we were still dreaming about it – Jonny started talking about table tennis.

To him, table tennis is what fathers and sons should do for quality time.

Then we saw About Time and balled our eyes out. That clinched it.

I did some research and liked what I saw at the Idea Room, but wanted something that would be easier to move around. Figured if I cut it in half, we could hinge it and make it foldable.

Now that the boys are getting a little older, they can help out in more ways. And I knew a simple fold-up table top game would be something they could handle. With a little help…

(This is the kind of photo you take whilst chasing a 2 year old and making sure the others don’t knock down stacks of lumber.)

We gathered a 1/2 inch, 49″x97″ (that’s the size they come in) piece of mdf, 4 small hinges, and 3 cans of chalkboard spray paint. We had the guys at Home Depot cut the mdf in half for us.

I always overestimate how much the van will hold, so the kids screamed in the car for 15 minutes while I wrestled the mdf pieces in. Classic.

As soon as we got home we primed. Everyone helped:




It didn’t take long for the primer to dry, so we did all of that in one morning.

The following day I taped off three sides and down the middle of the 2 pieces of mdf, while the boys watched the Andy Griffith show (side note, old shows are the BEST.) Then they got out there and spray painted (you probably shouldn’t let children spray paint).


Two year olds definitely shouldn’t spray paint. So he read the labels for us.



OK to be honest, they didn’t spray paint much. And I found out why I prefer Valspar spray paint so much with it’s easy spray button and protective shield.  The spray paint only covered one side each. And I bought three. So… I was short one back side of the table.  The idea was that when the ping pong table is closed, the back sides could be used as a chalkboard for fun or an outside meeting or something. But I figured we only need one side for chalk boarding, so I rummaged and found some cheap black spray paint for the other side.

When I peeled off the tape, the table was looking like this:


Now we’re talking!

Once it was dry, we added the hinges.




They’ve got some crazy drill skills.

And we did it! The table was complete. We added on a portable, clip on style net, and some paddles and ping pong balls.


And then I ruined the surprise the day before Father’s day when I had Jonny go into the shed to grab a ladder – the exact place I had hidden our surprise. Agh!

So we gave him the present early (I didn’t tell the boys the game was up. Just nudged them in the direction of giving it early so we wouldn’t have to wait until Sunday afternoon).


And he was so blessed! And my boys were so proud and pleased to bless him.

And then Jonny and I played a lot of table tennis after the kids were in bed and talked about tea pong and British things like that.

This is fantastic when friends and family come over!

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