30 March 2007

Domestication

As promised, here are the after pictures of one of the latest home improvement projects: the guest room and bath. The before pictures are on flickr, too. They were so ugly they weren't welcome here.

Guest Room: After

Guest Room: After

Guest Bath: After

The paint in the guest room is Chanterelle and the bath is Pheasant, both from Martha Stewart. I guess I would have picked a lighter brown in the bedroom but, hey, it's up there now. The bulk of the work in that room was filling in the 17 drywall anchor holes. Yeesh! Filling, smoothing, sanding, it gets old! From there it was all good times pimping it out with my Split Rock paraphernalia collection. Finally, the Split Rock shrine I've always wanted. The bedspread is granny squares (very popular right now!) made by my Great Aunt Marie. It is only a lap size (it is on there going the wrong way), and I have grandiose plans to replace it with my been-in-progress-for-four-years flannel log cabin quilt. Which currently is disguised as a rubbermaid tub full of scraps:

Work in Progress

Speaking of works in progress, I have this project for Easter.

Bella's Easter Dress

And this one, just because I can't control myself around yarn.

Another cardy in the works

Last weekend was heaven sitting on the new deck furniture, sipping wine and doing crochet.

On the deck

Too bad it's been raining since then. Good weather to sit inside, bake, sip wine, and crochet.

21 March 2007

Cardy girl

Crochet Cardigan

If she could, she would hand you the cardigan. Then want it back. "Uah!" Then hand it to you again. "UH!" She is about to do this with her socks when I took this picture. A very cute game, what with the "Thank yous!" and the extreme effort at finding something, anything, to give you, and if you're lucky, a sign or two to go along with it.

Are we ready for spring yet? Looking at other blogs and seeing pictures of out West or in England with the lovely smell of bulbs and flower petal sidewalks and such lush greens (just imagine, green!) makes me want to get out in the garden. Which, for the record, is still brown and crunchy. But I have been plotting and planning and circling things in seed catalogs and it is just about time to get going. This year's gardening resolution: no tomatoes! I know, Dad, that's the only thing worth growing. But I always water and water and WATER and get four sad little tomatoes. This year, the backyard is going to be the project. It is soggy and messy and has a gloomy under-the-deck part. And a slight (-ly massive) grapevine problem. I always feel like I have to make lots of noise and banging when I'm out there because I am afraid of snakes in the brushy parts. "Here I come snakes! You're more afraid of me than I am of you, so here's your warning to run away before we have to test that theory!" But I have visions of perennials, a hammock, a bird bath, and a Bella pool to keep me focused. As always, I am highly motivated by the idea of a before/after photo shoot. Last night we implemented phase one, purchasing deck furniture! It was so exciting. It is all in the garage now in about 40 pieces but will soon be glamourizing the back yard in all its padded, comfy, cozy, mildew-resistant glory.

Speaking of before/afters, I have another one brewing. This one involves a very exciting trip to Lowe's to buy just-arrived Martha Stewart Paint (me: "Is it here yet?" Lowe's: "no." me: "Is it here yet?" Lowe's: "no." me:"Is it here yet?" Lowe's: "yes!" zooooooom, screech!). Although, in all honesty, the Behr paint from Home Depot goes on nicer. The IKEA nightmare chandelier finally went up in the office last weekend. It involved no less than drilling 3 new holes in the fixture itself as well as putting it up twice. It looks nice, although a little modern-er than I thought, but it works pretty good in the IKEA-exclusive office. Oh and it's better than the bare bulb with tinfoil backing (no, not kidding) that was there before. That little gem is poking out of the garbage can in the garage and I smile everytime I walk by it.

06 March 2007

Craft Room Makeover

Before:

Craft room: Before

Craft Room: Before

After:

Craft Room: After

Craft Room: After

I was so inspired by Alicia's craft room in last month's Romantic Homes magazine, that I decided to give mine a makeover. I painted and organized and re-assembled almost all in one day. It was kind of a frantic, exhausting day, but still a day. Bella took 5 hours of naps, so that was the secret ingredient to my productivity. I think my favorite part of the room now is the framed coat pattern on the wall next to the window. I bought it at a garage sale with a whole bunch of others and I'm so excited to be able to look at it all the time. Also the yarn cabinet is pretty cool. Although I must say, I was agast at the size of my yarn stash when it was all spread out. Huh, guess I haven't been depriving myself. The whole makeover cost me just the paint: $19.50! And after last weekend's bathroom re-do for $85, this home improvement stuff is cheap! As you can tell, I'm quite pleased with myself and my recent homemaking endeavors. Big pat on the back for me!

My current work in progress is a crochet sweater for (guess who) Bella. I haven't crochetted anything substantial before (potholders anyone?), but I'm liking it. It is easier to do with a toddler around than knitting, you can pick it up and put it down, and there's only one metal shiney thing to try to keep out of their mouth, as opposed to two. We'll see how the finished product looks! I did finish some blue Fetching glove-like things that are pretty nice for wearing indoors at the keyboard. Outdoors they are lacking in the coverage department. And in general, I think they look a little like carpal tunnel wrist braces made out of blue yarn, which is why I haven't posted a picture of them. I am sooooo super duper excited about my next project: a sweater for me! I already bought the yarn and it's bamboo. Bamboo!

For those of you who read the last post, Bunco night was a success. I served mini egg rolls (in my new chafing dish), little creme puffs (bought frozen and soooo delicious!), cheese and crackers, jalapeno-stuffed olives (most ladies ate around the jalapeno), and corn chips with pork and guacamole topping. The ladies also drank an astonishing amount of wine, proving that it would have been worth the trip to buy the $2 kind at Trader Joes. Ah well, next time. Bella even slept through the much dreaded cowbell ringing!

We also received some snow recently, and here is the door to our deck:

Little bit of snow on the deck

I had a nightmare during the snow storm that the deck snapped off the house--just snapped right off and punked down in the snow in the middle of the back yard. And with a little help from Mark Seeley's WeatherTalk, we were able to figure out there was about 2,500 lbs of snow on the deck. So Brent did a little shoveling and now I feel MUCH better!

And that's the news from Lake Wobegon!

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