In part one, titled The Overflowing Toilet Effect, I had a reason to use the word toilet, but now that I’m referring to my own opportunities which were presented to me by others, I thought I might tone that down a bit- kind of like knocking some of the sawdust out of your hair, for the sake of others you’ll cross paths with at the grocery store, so they don’t think you’re an escapee and are suddenly found in the middle of a group of officers with what looks suspiciously like tranquilizer guns.  “I just needed some creamer for my coffee…?”

As I said before, I thought the summer was going to be calm and I was going to be ultra organized in my efforts.  It was, after all, the start of market season and one of the two upscale flea markets I signed up for had been cancelled.  Oh well, I thought as I looked at my sparse calendar.

…and then a friend told me about a new flea market in the downtown Denver area and before I knew what I was doing, I had signed up for it.  I was accepted and I added the one flea market to my calendar.  “There,”  I thought, “I can swing one more.”

…and then I went to the Haven Conference, was recruited for another market in the Vail Valley area, I signed up for another flea market and, the most exciting opportunity of all: I was invited to be a contributor to a new online magazine called From the Front Porch by the amazing Kirsten Thompson of Sweet Tea and Saving Grace.

I read through the list of topics- trips through the south, home decor, seasonal crafts, inspirational essays and zeroed in on the most difficult topic- the DIY project.   I threw my name in the hat and then thought about the fact that I had never actually written out a step-by-step list of instructions for any project I’d ever done.  How hard can it be?

How. Hard. Can. It. Be.  Dumbest famous last words EVER.  I do this so chronically on the regular that I should be used to the inevitable disasters that come with that kind of territory- but, no.  I thought I had a leg up on this DIY project since I had just made two decorative chicken nest boxes that were requested by customers that missed their chance at buying a rusty, crusty metal nest box at the last flea market.  I emailed off some pictures of the nest boxes to Kirstin and proposed a smaller nest box painted silver and white- which was nothing like what I had built or had plans for.  She loved the idea and I was well on my way to becoming published for the first time- I just had to create a whole new nest box, plan and take beauty shots…of wood.


The nest box went fairly smoothly until I got to the last step- the roof.   I grabbed my board while Mr. Old House Chic grabbed the nest box and we hauled them outside for the last of the beauty shots before I was done with the project.

“Ummm, that’s not going to fit your nest box,” Mr. Old House Chic helpfully told me.


“That piece you’re carrying, the roof board…It’s not going to fit the nest box.  It’s too small.”

“No it’s not.”  I said this with confidence because I had measured, remeasured and measured again.  It would fit.  I’m telling you- it will.

It didn’t fit.  I’m telling you- it didn’t fit.  I couldn’t believe it- it did not fit.  I was one step away from being done and it didn’t fit.

I looked at Mr, Old House Chic and back at the board and back at Mr. Old House Chic.  He stared right back at me like it should’ve been so very obvious and I became irrationally irritated with all of the above.  I turned my back on Mr. Old House Chic and placed the board on the sloped roof the chicken nest box and found that it not only did not fit but it teetered and tottered because the center vertical board was too tall…by a centimeter.  But that’s all a teeter totter needs is just a centimeter to turn a chicken nest box into the best play ground toy ever.  I thought about calling Kirstin back and saying,  “Listen, just kidding about the chicken nest box…What? Oh, you like the DIY chicken nest box idea?  Yeah but listen, how about a DIY teeter totter?  No, seriously, it’ll be great!”

I racked my brain and decided to trash my current roof and go with a flexible roof like some thin bead board- let me phrase it this way:  I needed something I could muscle into place with one leg hitched onto the top of my nest box holding it all down while using a nail gun and gritting my teeth hissing things to the nest box like, “You better get into place…no, don’t you even think about- NO! I said BEHAVE.  Do.IT. NOW!”


It was finally nailed into place and I stepped carefully away and waited for the whole thing to come undone.  I waited for a full five minutes for the bead board roof to slowly straighten out and send nails flying but it didn’t actually happen…I ran for my camera and took pictures as fast as I possibly could before my DIY Chicken Nest Box caved in on itself…and then went back to my 99.9% done instructions and changed the roof to using bead board and the title to read, “2-in-1 DIY project- Chicken Nest Box AND Homemade Teeter Totter.”

No, not really….


The truth? It turned out to be such a cute project and if you need a unique take on a shelf for a table top or to hang from a wall that could be used in just about every room in the house OR if you want a five star condo for your chickens, the free Old House Chic DIY Chicken Nest Box project,   found in the pages of the gorgeous e-magazine, From the Front Porch, is for you.


  1. Sandy
    September 17, 2015 at 12:41 pm

    I love it! The bead board looks much better than a plain board roof! And I love how we all can have the best made plans that turn into what we think are major screw-ups! But then a bright light shines upon us and the real masterpiece has been born. Mistakes equal the evolution of a masterpiece! So next time you think “your toilet is clogged,” remember a true masterpiece is about to erupt!

    Glad you’re “back in the saddle”. 🙂 I’ll email you. I’ve had a lot of clogged toilets, but I just grabbed the plunger!

    • Bernadette
      September 19, 2015 at 7:39 am

      I love it “…a true masterpiece is about to erupt!” Some grab the bull by the horns while we just grab the plunger! So glad to hear form you and I hope all is well!

  2. Kirsten - Sweet Tea & Saving Grace
    September 17, 2015 at 12:42 pm

    And I love your perfectly imperfect DIY Chicken Nest Box/Teeter Totter! You poured so much heart into this magazine – not just the nest box but the heart candy article and your encouragement to me throughout the whole process. Love you tons!

    • Bernadette
      September 19, 2015 at 7:37 am

      Thanks so much for the opportunity! I loved working on the nest box project and contributing to From the Front Porch magazine!

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