Category: DIY Projects

Bird Feeder Pulley System

It’s been awhile since I last posted, but I have been busy with many projects.  Now I have lots of blogging to catch up on.

We are fortunate to have a little cabin up in the north woods.  We enjoy relaxing at our little place in the woods and watching all of the wildlife.  Patrick decided to hang bird feeders not long after we purchased the cabin.  We started with basic bird seed and were delighted with visits from squirrels (gray, red, black, small and large), chipmunks, raccoons,  a variety of birds (chickadees, nuthatches, blue jays,  and a variety of woodpeckers).  So fun to watch all the action.


A few years ago during a Thanksgiving weekend visit, Patrick splurged on bird food with dried fruit and nuts.  I thought it was overkill as it looked like trail mix I would eat myself and the price was pretty steep.  Later that evening we couldn’t figure out what was eating the nut-fruit mix  at the feeder.  Definitely something we had not seen before.  It looked like squirrels, but they were moving too fast.  Could it be some kind of bird?  It looked like they were flying to the feeder from another tree.  After some seriously patient watching, we finally figured out it was a bit of both…..flying squirrels.  I never knew these were native to the north woods.  So fun to watch!  So cute!  They are nocturnal, so they have very large eyes relative to rest of their body.  Needless to say, we always buy the fruit-nut mix now for our furry, flying friends.

This fall, we decided to add another feeder.  We had to get it higher into the tree, but still needed access for filling.  We developed a pretty simple pulley system.  The supply list is pretty simple and can be seen below.  I used a planter hook, rope, a pulley, two carabiners, an eye hook, a pulley, a screwdriver and drill.  My feeder is heavy when filled, so I might need to replace the planter hook with a stronger hook that has a cross bar for added support.  It is already starting to bend with the weight.


We drilled holes into the tree and screwed the hardware in for the planter hook.  These screws came with the planter hook.  I hung the pulley from the hook and passed the rope through.  I tied a carabiner to the end of the rope for easy connection and release to the rope on the feeder.  I made sure the rope was long enough to lower the feeder to ground and tied the other carabiner to this end of the rope.   Getting the rope right is definitely the trickiest part of this project.  The carabiner at the end of the rope reaches to the pulley when the feeder is lowered.  It doesn’t lower all the way to the ground, so the quick release on the feeder is helpful to detach the feeder for filling.   I screwed an eye hook into the tree and use this to secure the carabiner on the rope so the feeder is secure in its elevated position.  A quick weekend project and our feathered and furry friends enjoy their new feeding station.


Hope you are having a great fall.  I look forward to your comments.  Please find the link at the top of this post.



The Search for the Perfect Bathroom Vanity


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When restoring the 1898 Locke-Marchialette home, not just any bath vanity would do. I walked through aisle after aisle at the big box stores, spent countless hours searching the internet, and paged through mountains of magazines.  Clearly, I obsess more than most on such details. Everything I was found was too generic or way, way, way over our budget. During my internet searches, I came across some photos of beautiful dressers turned into vanities.  I decided this was the perfect solution and purchased a bedroom set with a dresser that was just the right size. The set included 2 dressers, a mirror, and headboard.  I was on my way to the perfect bathroom!

The first step was aligning the dresser with the new plumbing connections extending from the wall. The back of the dresser was then cut out to accommodate supply and drain lines.  I did have to sacrifice the function of the top center drawer to accommodate the sink basin, but the configuration with the two small top drawers on either end provides adequate storage.  We also had to notch out the center of the larger drawers to accommodate the drain line.  The openings were enclosed with 2 x 4’s to protect the pipe and we didn’t sacrifice too much space.

Once the dresser was installed and the plumbing connected, I painted the dresser using Amy Howard chalk paint.  Next time, I will thin the paint with some water for a smoother, thinner coverage.  I absolutely loved the ‘Atelier’ deep gray color with the white marble floor.  The bathroom was beginning to look elegant, so I abandoned plans for a drop-in sink on the wood dresser surface for a white marble top with an under mount sink.  Definitely achieved a more elegant end result.  Once everything was painted, I sealed the dresser with Minwax Polyurethane for water/moisture protection.  I applied three coats with a light sand in between.

After completing the project, the drawers were sticky and didn’t slide easily.  A good friend taught me an old trick….I rubbed the wood guides on the bottoms of the drawers and on the dresser base with a bar of soap to lubricate things.  Problem solved!

What makes this project even more rewarding is that the new homeowner appreciates the unique vanity.  I look forward to your comments on this project.



Before: Original hardware was saved, but replaced with nickel-finished knobs to complement other bath features. I loved the raised, arched panel.  Beautiful design template to work with.

During: Note the notching of the drawer at the bottom of fixture.


After: I love it!  Look forward to your feedback.  I need another ‘project house’ to experiment with a different dresser for an alternate style.  So many options to chose from.

An old beat-up dresser gets a new life as a bathroom vanity with a few coats of chalk paint and a marble top. Even the dresser mirror was used for this bathroom renovation.

Please leave comments using the ‘comment’ link at the top of this post, just below the title.  Thank you.