Budget Barn Doors

White Barn Door
After a long and sometimes heated discussions about how to add some privacy to the sleeping areas at Stardust Rose we decided on a wood plank wall with barn doors. We had loads of challenges with a slanted ceiling, ceiling beams and most importantly, a fear of doing something mediocre. I just could not image putting a basic wall with a pre-hung door on this unique mid-century cinderblock homestead. The best news is that they were fairly easy to build and really budget friendly. To enclose our 8 foot opening here is what it took took 

21 6′ 1×6 planks, 

1 10′ 1×6 plank

6 8′ 2×4

1 10′ 4×4 

2 4×4 hangers 

Barndoors hardware (Amazon)

Floor anchors


1.5″ screws

4′ aluminum c channel
First good decision we made was to preparing all the cut pieces. It was so much easier and it insures we could see the lines between the planks. Then we basically framed a wall with a 3′ opening. It is framed as of it was going to be drywalled. Whe hung the 4×5 across the span and used the 2×4 on each side. We then faced the 4×4 with the long 1×6 at the top followed by the cut planks down the walls. Next we installed the hardware. We built the door by screwing our planks into 1×4 boards on each side and one across the top. Then attachebthe door roller and hung it. We did have to do some adjusting. We also ended up putting an aluminum c channel on the bottom to accommodate the floor track piece. Could have been done by routing the wood but we didn’t have a router so that was our solution. 

It took the 2 of us a day to do. I think we spent more time planning than building (not uncommon for us!) Wood and hardware ran about $150. I LOVE the way it turned out. 
Let me know what you think or if you have questions. Or share a link to your budget barn doors! 

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Category: l&l

A Cozy Bed

We finally finished the floors so we could bring in a bed. First night at the Stardust Rose in a bed was a windy one. But lovely linens made up for the whistling desert. And working from bed this morning was dreamy! 

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Category: l&l

Block Print Pillows

I spent the afternoon making these block print pillows. So much fun. They are really easy. 

I used white linen cushion covers from Ikea. I had them already. They never looked great on my sofa for some reason.  It is great to give them a new life. I suppose this makes this an IKEA Hack #ikeahack (prepare to go virtual haha!)

Here is what you will need. 

  • Matte fabric paint (speedbal works better but this is what I could find impulsively at Michaels)
  • Small foam brush
  • Pillow cases (or anything)
  • Wood blocks (scrap 1×2, 2×4 or similar) 
  • Adhesive craft foam 
  • Scissors (don’t run!)
  • Manila folders 

First I just played with cutting out shapes. Some worked better than others. Circles are hard! Then I put the shapes and patterns on the wood. Peel and stick, baby!  The good news…the foam is easy to reposition if you get it wrong or don’t like it. 

One of the challenges with the fabric paint is the sad selection of colors. I wanted something that was similar to an indigo blue. So I got 2 royals and a black.  I learned quickly that a little black goes a long long way. I made more paint than I needed just trying to get it back to blue. So my advice is start small. And add more black or white slowly. 

After coming up with 4 stamps and a blue that I liked I started testing on paper.  I simply painted the foam stamp gently with the foam brush. It doesn’t take much paint to get a good stamp. 

I put unfolded file folders inside the pillows to give them form and keep the ink from going thru the top layed. This may not be necessary but it did help the over all result I think.  

Then it was show time! And voila, I love it. They turned out exactly how I had hoped, maybe better.

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Category: l&l

New Plates

I am a hardcore, white plate purist. But I fell hard for these Merimekko side plates. I chose the smaller size because I can’t really picture a full enteè served on them but a green salad, bold dessert or eggs are  beyond graphically speaking! They are melamine so you may see them move to the trailer.  They were part of a collection at target and were in the clearance area. Scooooore! Here are some quick snaps of the thier maiden meal. Breakfast a la Merimekko.


The love has been flowing for our little pink palace. I was originally going to paint her white but the pink has been growing on me. I am leaning away from the flamingo pink she currently is and  to a more desert rose pink. I just hit pink overload though. 

Any favorites? Maybe darker? Oh pink, you are such a delicate balance between beauty and Barbie doll. 


Category: l&l

Are you a DIYer?

Do you have what it takes to be a home renovator? Here is what my hubby has found it takes.

DIY infographic

Some [most] folks are amazed when they find out how much of our renovation projects we take on ourselves. We truly almost never call in the pros without at least giving the project a try. We have had a few notable exceptions. We don’t replace large panes of glass, we have pest control person and we defer to contractors where structural integrity is involved. Most of the time, however, we sort it out ourselves. Between the internet, common sense and the kind folks at Home Depot the always seems to be just enough info to get the job done.

It is important to note that while we do manage to get stuff fixed up, it is not fast or better most of the time and sometimes it isn’t even cheaper.

Why do it then? Great question. I am not sure I have a great answer. It is usually, cost but also pride of accomplishment. After years of doing it ourselves, it is hard to let it go, even when we should.

My advice, give it a try. you can always call someone in if its beyond your ability. Chances are it isn’t.

Side note, Thank you to all the folks who put up tutorials online. I can’t believe you take the time to explain to me, in depth, how a P trap works. You rock!

What projects do you hand off to the pros? What have you done that surprised you? I can’t wait to read about it.

Little Victories 

We have Wifi! It’s been a long few weeks. My lack of posts and pictures has been mostly the result of no internet out at the new desert oasis. It hasn’t kept us from working tho. In fact it probably kept us working longer.  

In other news, the living room paint is done!! I cleaned, swept and made a place to sit and have coffee. Nothing fancy but considering how this looked a few weeks ago it HUGE!   

Gus would also like to tell you how hard the life of a constudyion dog is.  Very, very ruff. 

Desert Rose or Casita Blanca

We have taken the plunge and bought another vacation house in the high desert. A beautiful 1957 jackrabbit homestead. Or a soon to be beautiful is more accurate. I am excited to share the adventure.  We are unsure of the name. It is currently pink but may get painted white. I love both names, Mike doesn’t like either of them but he has no better ideas so he doesn’t get to vote which name do you like?  Here is a quick pic.  I will upload a video soon. Did I mention the views?  Stunning. It also has a barn that will be a guest house.  So much fun (work) ahead! 

Carrot Top Pesto

We went out to Suzies Farm today for the Strawberry Jam, the annual you-pick strawberry festival. But Mother Nature did not cooperate and there were no berries. (Mother Nature can be a bitch). My excitement would not be deterred and I turned my excitement toward the carrots, beets and kale that was available. It was a beautiful day, the trip there and back in the Dee Dee (1964 Dodge Dart convertible) was alsmot as good as the festival itself.  

After unloading our bounty I set to cleaning (big job with the root veggies) and taking off the tops. The carrot tops were so fresh and lovely and organic that I decided to take the opportunity to try a recipe I have had for a while. Carrot top pesto. Now I know what you are thinking. Pesto=Basil. Yes I thought the same. But give it a try and you will be a believer. This recipe is simple delicious, vegan and super green healthy.  So give it a whirl (literally, I ised a blender) As usual, I suck at writing recipes but with this it doesn’t really matter. 


Use a blender (smoother) or food processor (more textured) to blend the following ingredients. 

  • Carrot top leaves (not the stems)
  • Olive oil
  • Nuts (I used cashews)
  • Garlic (I used jarlic)
  • Salt & pepper

What are the preportions? No idea. I stuffed all the leaves I had (3 cups?) and the cashews (1/2 cup?) and started pouring in oil until it blended. Then a few spoons of garlic, then salt & pepper to taste.  That’s it. Spread it on bread, put on pasta, use in dressing, or do what I did and pour it over tomatoes. This easy, healthy treat will change your life. ( I may be exaggerating) 

It will become a regular part of you farmers market day routine. Let me know how it works for you! 

      Lemons 2 ways


         It’s the time of year when friends trees are bursting with lemons and I am the lucky recipient of bags full. I am not a big lemonade drinker and even if I was it’s a bit chilly here by the beach this time of year. So my stand by recipes are lemoncello and lemon curd. So it was perfectly natural this week while visiting friends in Nor Cal to harvest the tree at their new house and head to the kitchen. We made lemoncello that we mixed with sparking water just in time for the mini heat wave that happened on our last days in town. I also whipped up some lemon curd so, of course, had to make a cheese cake and crepes because you can’t just eat it off a spoon (LIES!!) I am putting together proper recipes with fancy photos for a post soon. Here are a few snaps from my phone to get you in the mood.