Mad Like Alyce

Last year in July we moved from a basement apartment unit to a balcony unit on the same property and it was without a doubt worth the stress of moving and rent increase. It was the perfect place to enjoy a cup of coffee in the early mornings, and while Damir’s Dad was visiting for 5 weeks we sat out on the patio with a glass of wine every night!

bench5

bench6

Mystic is still pretty camera shy, but at least she didn’t move while avoiding eye contact.

The problems with our previous deck setup we always ran into were:

  1. We only had 2 patio chairs, and any more would be cumbersome on our large but not that large balcony and…
  2. Patio furniture is actually pretty expensive.

With Damir’s dad coming back for another visit at the end of July, I wanted to find a way to make the patio more conducive to seating more than two people without overcrowding the balcony. In addition, I love putting my feet up when reading but there wasn’t any room for my zero gravity chair. I had noticed that we always centered the two chairs, the grill took up the full open side, but we rarely used most of the space opposite the grill next to the wall…. and I thought it would be the perfect place for a bench!

So the hunt for the perfect furniture commenced! Most patio sets you could find in Sioux Falls were far larger and more expensive than what I wanted to spend. Even the sets I found at IKEA were $200 for a simple bench, and frankly, it didn’t feel all too stable when I tried them. With no viable option for purchase that fit my needs and budget, I defaulted to my usual method… DIY! Even better, the bench cost a total of $20. Getting the lounge cushion on sale for $30 brings it to a grand total of $50, a quarter of the price to buy something in stores and it is a perfect fit to my balcony.

bench3

DIY Patio Bench

I know that typically a bench will use a typical 4 legs supported by braces and cross-beams, but while I feel moderately competent with a drill, I felt that building a stable bench on my own might be a 50/50 crapshoot. Instead, I decided to build two columns to support the bench top. While this does take more wood in total, it ensures a stable platform, and makes for a more interesting look overall!

The measurements shown will give you a bench that is 5 feet long, 20 inches high, and 18 inches

What you need:

  • 9 8-foot 2×4 boards
  • 1 box of 2 3/4 length inch construction wood screws
  • Drill & saw

Instructions:

1. First, you need to cut up all of the pieces. If you have a circular saw, this will be a lot easier of a time than I had with no power in the garage and opting instead for a hand saw. Luckily, Damir took pity on me after the first two boards and cut the rest for me! Here is the breakdown for how to measure and cut the boards.

  • 4 boards = Cut each board into 1 piece 5 feet long and 2 pieces 18 inches long.
  • 2 boards = Cut each board into 8 pieces 12 inches long.
  • 2 boards = Cut each board into 5 pieces 18 inches long. You will have some extra leftover from each board.
  • 1 board = Cut 2 pieces 18 inches long. You will have 5 feet remaining.

You should end up with a total of:

  • (4) pieces 5 feet long
  • (20) pieces 18 inches long
  • (16) pieces 12 inches long

2. To build the columns, start with placing two 18 inch pieces down, then laying two 12 inch pieces cross-ways on top and square it up. You can begin to screw it all together at this point or you can continue stacking them up until you have 5 layers of 18 inch pieces in total (18 inch should end up on top). Then, use a drill bit and pre-drill all of the pieces and work your way down, setting each level to the side.

bench1

You should also keep in mind that you don’t want to drill the holes in the same place since the screws will go all the way through. I personally would put the holes for all of the longer pieces towards the inside of the square and the shorter ones towards the outside of the square so it wouldn’t become an issue.

3. Once you have pre-drilled the wood, you can then begin to re-construct the pillar by again stacking each piece, but this time screwing each piece to the layer below it with just one screw per corner. The pillar should have 5 layers of the 18inch lengths (on both the bottom and the top) and 4 layers of the 12 inch intermittently stacked between each. Repeat process with the second pillar.

bench2

4. Place the pillars roughly 2.5 feet apart (this is objective, any distance is fine) and lay the 4 long 5 foot pieces across, spacing them out across the full depth of the bench. Make sure to place pillars so that the top of the pillar (18 inch pieces) are perpendicular to the 5 foot pieces. Use two screws for each board to attach each to the pillars.

bench4

5. If you want to leave the wood bare, you are done! You can now paint, or simply top with a comfortable cushion and enjoy your new custom bench.

Hello!

Hi! I'm Alyce.
Welcome to my journey towards living a happier and healthier life while living with PTSD and chronic pain... and never letting it keep me from my passion for Halloween, cooking, and way too many DIY projects... all at the same time!

Costume & Makeup Tutorials

Instagram

  • My new favorite IG account... u need to scroll through these posts! #Repost @iamtheswimreaper (@get_repost)
・・・
Lol #justbeingbasic
  • Bahahahaha too funny not to share! #followyourdreams #freddykrueger
  • When I first saw @miss_stryx post her challenge, it really shook me. What AM I most afraid of? My first thought... was everything. Which made me realize that honestly, my biggest fear is losing control of my PTSD. I was diagnosed with PTSD 9 years ago, but it  took a good few years before I really understood what that even meant and how it impacted how I felt each day. It took even more years of counseling and amazing support from my friends and family before I was able to really get control of it. I'm happy to say that I'm now at a place where I live with PTSD but it doesn't control me. That being said, I'm always terrified of what might happen if it would spiral away from me again.
My second greatest fear is something that has plagued me from my childhood, but became an outright phobia and trigger once I developed PTSD. That is a fear of needles.  Shots, giving blood, and especially IVs.  Then it hit me... what is the perfect combination of both of these  fears? A lobotomy. A very controversial treatment used in the past on people with mental illness, involving a huge needle. 
From that terrifying vision came an awesome collaboration with some really great friends, and filmed and edited by the INSANELY talented @jibclimmer to complete my first ever horror short film. I'm so thankful to have so many talented and wonderful people that were willing and excited about making this vision a reality. I hope this isn't too dark for you guys, but I totally understand if it is! The idea actually terrified me and I put myself in the very center of it! Ultimately, filming this was actually not scary at all, as I have such incredible friends, and I was in a safe space the entire time. This particular version of the film is not the final version, since we were limited to 60 seconds on Instagram. Very soon we hope to have the entire short film up and posted and I will make sure to let you all know when that is live on YouTube! It is with great pleasure that I present to you my entry for round 1 of the #StrykingFEAR contest.
  • What would you do if you foresaw the telling of your own death? Here are some stills of my round 2 entry for the #StrykingFEAR contest. To see  the backstory on my Undead fortune-teller,  check out my last post for a quick short film introduction. The 2 part tutorial video should hopefully be up on the blog shortly!
  • For round 2 of the #StrykingFEAR contest, the character I was initially least excited about was the fortune teller. Why? Because fortune tellers are usually great beauty makeups. While I love doing horror looks, I really can't say I'm great shakes at beauty makeup. And then it hit me... what a great opportunity to do something outside my comfort zone AND something familiar with a two part makeup? I borrowed a crystal ball from a friend, ordered tarot cards, and learned a little bit on how to do a reading and pulled together an ending to this fortune teller's story… or should I say beginning?
  • When your sling gives you a full blown chronic pain flareup. Laying on the floor with my legs up to help take pressure off my lower back, and mystic seems pretty concerned. Good thing I have episode three of the @girlinspacepodcast to listen to!If you haven't started listening to this audio drama, you need to check it out ASAP! #chronicpain #chronicfatigue #lifeinasling #girlinspace #findme
  • Good things happen when you leave the apartment for the first time in a week! These must've gotten dropped off when I was taking a nap, I opened my front door to find this gorgeous Halloween bouquet on my doormat from @bkbecker! I just can't get over those adorable bats!!! #ihavethebestfriends #halloween
  • Rose Madder has an ethereal beauty and raw feminine power, however, something is off... something not quite human. The shadows under her skin would be perhaps leprosy, perhaps something worse, and her eyes are rabid with madness. “Don't look at her face! That is not for the likes of you.”
She was fascinated by the texture of the woman's back, her bare shoulder, and the lower part of her neck. The skin was finer than watered silk. But farther up on her neck... Rosie didn't know what those grey Shadows lurking just below her hairline could be, and didn't think she wanted to know. Bites were her first wild thought, but they weren't bites. Rosie knew bites. Was it leprosy? Something worse? Something contagious? 
Products used in this look are: 
Woochie cream makeup in Dead Guy Grey, @mehronmakeup aqua color in white and gray, Light green cream makeup from the zombie color set from Woochie, Eyeshadows from the @tartecosmetics artist palette.
Gold aqua color from the Mehron brilliant palette, @bennyemakeup bruise wheel.
Full tutorial on the blog!
  • One of the reasons I love Stephen King novels is because he illustrates just enough of the character for your imagination to kick in and fill in the horrifying details that make it real and terrifying for each individual. Because this has never before been made into a motion picture I was really excited to be able to make my own spin on how Rose Madder would appear for round 3 of the #StrykingFEAR contest. Check out the full tutorial, now up on the blog, link in bio!

@madlikealyce

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