Archive for ‘{Just for MLE Readers}’


{Free Download: Planter Box Tutorial}

Once upon a time, I told you a little bit about the pair of planter boxes that live on our porch. Well, Nate made a really neat tutorial PDF a while back, and I thought it was about time that I share it with you! (Along with some pictures of our porch garden of course!)

If you read the fourth issue of the Indie Fixx online magazine, Joie: Blooming, you may recognize this tutorial, since it was featured in the issue. Unfortunately, something went wrong when the magazine was uploaded to Issuu and the free PDF download that Nate put together wasn’t available. (As my besties Joanna and Emily would say: Whompers!)

Anyhow, I’m too proud of Nate’s work not to share it with everyone … So here it is: Just for MLE readers!


1 box of all-purpose 8 x 1 ¾ dual-torq drive crews
1 box of all-purpose 8 x 2 ½ dual-torq drive screws
4 Long Sides – 1” x 4” x 48”
4 Short Sides – 1” x 4” x 5 ¼”
4 Bottom Boards – 1” x 4” x 48”
4 Legs – 2” x 2” x 24”
1 Long Leg Brace – 2” x 2” x 45”­­
2 Short Leg Braces – 2” x 2” x 10 7/8
2 Long Bottom Braces – 2” x 2” x 45”
3 Short Bottom Braces – 2” x 2” x 10 7/8
2 Short Basket Braces – 2” x 2” x 6 7/8


Be sure to use cedar, which is naturally able to handle the temperature shifts and adverse weather that come with being outdoors. For the same reason, you’ll want to choose decking screws for assembly. To prevent the wood from splitting, pre-drill all holes using a drill bit slightly smaller than the shaft of the screw.

Rather than using a single, wide board to form the sides and bottom of our planters, Nate and I combined multiple narrow boards. We did this for two reasons: (1) to save on cost (two 1” x 4” boards cost much less than one 1” x 8” board), and (2) to allow for adequate drainage. To be sure that only excess water, and not dirt, drains through these crevasses, we lined the bottom and sides of the box with burlap using a staple gun. (If you stop after this step, the boxes are great for holding potted plants, or goodies & decorations for a backyard barbeque!)

Free Download:

(click the image to download the full PDF)


{Etsy Spotlight: Vinender}

Every now and then I see a piece of art that makes me pee my pants a little. Just a little, not enough to be embarrassing. Ahem…Every now and then, I find a piece of art that I can’t live without. Usually, I live without it anyway or try to find some way to make something like it myself, but recently I came across some pieces that are so amazing I can’t hardly stand it. Thankfully, my step-brother-in-law (*whew*), Kevin, makes them, so–Guess what, Kev?–these are all I ever want for every birthday, Christmas, anniversary, Halloween, graduation, or Winter Solstice Ceremony.

Photo by Sassyfras Studios

Kevin and his wife, my step-sister Michelle, live in South Carolina with their beautiful daughter, Numora Mae (isn’t she precious?!). Kevin collects salvageable wood from all over the Carolinas and arranges it into amazing mixed-media art.

The result is striking. From far away, you see a modern silhouette and some seriously amazing color composition. Get closer, and you can see vivid details: little pieces of American history just begging to tell their stories.

My current favorites are his owls, but his stuff is like one of those great albums where every song is your favorite at some point or another.

If you want to see more of Kevin’s work, be sure to check out his store on Etsy. Also, as a little surprise for {My Latest Excuse} readers, enter the promo code “DEANNAHOOKSYOUUP” and get 15% off your purchase! If you live in Grand Rapids, Michigan, you can see some of his work in-the-flesh at Carlyn & Co. There are also some pieces on display at Daly Designs in Greenville, South Carolina.

Photo by Deb Baynum Stinehart

I certainly hope you enjoy his work as much as I do. I’m already clearing off my walls to make space!

UPDATE: I just learned that Kevin is available for custom pieces. If you would like to commission something, just shoot him an email here.

Unless otherwise specified, all images were used courtesy of Kevin Stinehart.


{Featured in Joie #4!}

Today is the day! Jen Wallace from Indie Fixx just released the fourth edition of her online magazine, Joie. The issue’s theme is “Blooming,” and My Latest Excuse is featured as part of a DIY gardening article! Remember those planter boxes we made last year? You can find all the instructions to make your own in Joie #4.

Joie is “all about the art of joyful living” and is filled-to-overflowing with inspiring images and super unique crafting ideas. I’m pumped to be part of such a cool project. If you have some time, take a look at the publication by clicking here or on the image below.

If you’re visiting My Latest Excuse for the first time, Welcome! Feel free to say hello or share your favorite distractions with MLE readers in the comments below: links, blogs, pins, books… Anything that keeps you off-task and inspired! (I know I’m always looking for more things to add to my list!)


{blog lovin’} + Interviews!

I’ve been getting hits from a site called “blog lovin'” lately, so I decided to check it out…Guess what I found? What the what?! A beautifully designed blog reader?! I didn’t know they made those! It also has iPhone and Android apps available. I’m in love, and I know you will be too! I just finished transferring all of my Google Reader blogs over to blog lovin’ and I can’t wait to get started!bloglovin

Apart from good site design, blog lovin’ beats Google Reader by letting bloggers “claim” their blog and manage their own blog lovin’ home page! Fabulous! Be sure to let me know in the comments when you’ve signed up and subscribed to my blog. I’ll be sure to subscribe to yours in return! Just click the “bloglovin” image in this article or in the sidebar to check it out!

Also, this coming week I’ll be sharing several posts I’m really excited about. First, if you haven’t already visited her incredible shop, I’ll be introducing you to Vaida of {Kaleda} on Etsy. She’s from Lithuania and makes beautiful wreaths and nature-inspired decor that make my little heart go pitter-patter, and she’s going to tell us a bit about her creative process. I can’t wait for you to meet her! Then I’ll be showing you an awesome new store that just opened in downtown KC called Black Bamboo. *swoon* Stay tuned!

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