Friday, September 6, 2013

I know the best people.

Yesterday I mentioned my desire for a small utility reel to make into an end table to my buddy Clifford. I'd been keeping my eye out for one for like a year with no luck. 

I found this in my office this morning. 

Sometimes you just have to know the right people. :)

Wednesday, September 4, 2013


I did. For reals. Well, in theory, technically, but I did and I feel pretty darn good about myself.

I know this might be a thing that other married people do all the time, but I don't, or haven't very well in the past. I'm actually kind of a closet decorating sociopath.

No really. I know you think I'm this sweet wonderful person who is bubbly and perky and cheery. Turns out if you actually have to share a house with me that all goes out the figurative window. I have a habit of only asking my husband's opinion when I think I'll like it and then ignoring it if I don't OR I just don't ask because I know we won't agree and I do what I want. Then I just act like I had no idea he would hate it.

What?!? You don't think we should paint the new dining chairs I found at a garage sale and bought without consulting you yellow?!? You're not a fan of aqua chevron?!? Did you not see this pin?

Because we both know those chairs are AMAZING!!! No, you don't want happy rainbow colored chairs?!? Why not?

For reals (is this my phrase of the day or something?). 

I even have myself convince sometimes that I'm not being conniving.But I'm turning over a new leaf. I'm actually going to act like my husband is a person who I love and whose opinions matter. I know, this should be a given, but it hasn't been in the past and I need to rectify it. Thank you for putting up with my crazy for so long, Babe. Lesser men would have bailed out by now. :)

We had a big talk about this a couple of weeks ago. I'm pretty sure he thought it was probably all talk just like it has been every time before when I said I was going to take his opinions into consideration before doing things to the house without asking. Something must have made him think I actually meant it this time because yesterday he sent a link to this AirStone Veneer stuff.
It was pretty, but since we hadn't talked about putting stone veneer on anything lately I wasn't really sure why. When I asked where he wanted to put it he told me in the kitchen.

My previous mental response would have been, "Say what?!? Once again, I don't think you've been following my Kitchen board on Pinterest very well recently because we are clearly planning on white subway tile."

Instead, I started searching for images where people had actually used it in kitchens. And guess what? People actually have and it actually looks good. 

I sent him this one because the comment really cracked me up.

True story. I want something a little lighter than this and I'm still partial to the subway tile natural stone versions like this one

but, I'm considering it a major victory in the fight to work together on decorating.

Friday, August 30, 2013


Hey there. It's been a while. 
This morning I got an article torn out of BUST magazine in the mail.

It was titled,

Cut from a Different Cloth: Amy Sedaris' New Fabric Line will Give you a Crafting Boner
Now that is a fucking title. 
Which reminds me. I've decided not to censor myself on my blog anymore. I drop F-bombs like sprinkles and that's okay. It's part of who I am. I try to refrain from dropping too many in social situations where it's inappropriate or around my 1 year old, but to be honest, I'm also a lot more concerned about her speech being kind than I am about whether or not it includes a few expletives. Yup. I just said that, Mom. Sorry. Love you!

Anywho, it lead to me having this little conversation with myself in a chat to the AWESOME person who sent it to me. 
I really want to blog about a crafting boner
think it's okay if i start blogging like i actually talk? maybe that's my niche? people who drop f bombs like sprinkles and want to build awesome shit and crafty things?
in fact, i think it is
So, there you go kids. My new niche. It's what sets me apart from all the awesome mommy/DIY/home decorating blogs I read. Which are totally awesome. I love you all. I'm just not you. I'm someone who totally got a craft boner over Amy Sedaris' fabric line (and yes, I'm aware it was a very old article and it has been out for a very long time). I also have hilariously inappropriate conversations while walking across campus with my bestie/GBF(gay boyfriend). My authentic self demands it and I will no longer suppress her.
I'm really happy about this because I think part of my deal was that I just didn't really feel like my blog was me. It was generally random (totally me), and crafy (also me), but it didn't quite ring true somehow.

I know, you're thinking, "how exactly does the judicious use of expletives make that big of a difference?" 
I does. To me. And that's really all that matters since it's MY blog.

In related news, I found this other article from BUST while searching for a link to the article she sent me. Hint, it's bigger on the inside. That's a Dr. Who reference for those of you who didn't catch it. It was mostly just for you, Babe. 

Monday, July 1, 2013

I'm a beauty shopper? If not I'm just like one.

Okay guys. This is totally random, but I saw it today and it struck me as a little funny since I just bought foundation yesterday.

Did you notice that first part?

Beauty product buyers are 96% more likely to be a DIY enthusiast.


Eighty-eight percent more likely to be married.


SUV driving, parent, pet owner?

I'm pretty sure by body conscious they don't mean aware and attuned to my body's needs
so I probably don't fit there, but damn man.

And yes, I do sometimes use online reviews, generally Real Simple roadtests, but I didn't think of that at the time. In six months when I buy more I just might have to try out their top choice.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

I am so freaking happy.

Okay guys. Here's the deal. I haven't been posting as much lately. I've been trying out this new thing where instead of doing things and obsessively posting about them I use that posting time to do more things I want to do.

Like last night, I put Norie to bed, watered my garden while I talked to my dad (a.k.a. listened to his hilarious narration of Tosh.0), and went for a jog with the puppos. Then I sat on the couch for a bit with my hubby AND still had time to skim my new Real Simple.

Old school me would have spent at least an hour, if not more, of that time coming up with something witty or crafty or whatever to post about. Long story short, I have more time to enjoy my life when I post less often. Hopefully you're cool with that.

I promise I'll still post when I do something awesome or see something I just have to share (like today), but it will probably be more like once or twice a week than every freaking day. I'm better in small doses anyway.

So, with that explanation for my lack of posting out of the way, I have a super duper infographic to share.

Looks like I should keep doing whatever I'm doing. :) I should, however, maybe post some photos of the garden I'm obsessing about. (Did you see my Smart Gardener OMG post? It changed my life.)

Monday, May 20, 2013


You are AMAZING.

Do you realize that?

No really. You are an absolutely amazing human being and the world is lucky you're here. It needs you. It needs you to be your most authentic self, the amazing person you were meant to be. Without you the whole thing isn't quite right.

I'm serious. And I'm going to do something about it. I've been saying I'm sequestered off working on a BIG AWESOME THING I can't tell you about yet (but will someday, promise), but really I think I needed to take a step back from blogging to think about why I actually do it. Thanks to my former life coach Jessie May for helping me to think about what I was prioritizing (through a newsletter no less).

I've been blogging for a long time and I was starting to feel like I was posting just to post and it was a thing I had to do, not a thing I wanted to do. I mean, it's not like I get paid for it (though I certainly wouldn't complain if you mailed me a quarter for every time I made you laugh). I realize that consisting posts is one of those things you have to do to make that happen, but the vibe had gotten off. Anyway, during my time away I've had some revelations about another BIGGER AWESOMER (or at least way less complicated and really exciting) THING that I can totally tell you about.


And I'm SUPER EXCITED so please realize that the capital letters really are words that I'm shouting in my head causing my face to become all smushed up and funny looking with excitement.

It's a long story, but the basic gist you need to know to follow along is this: for literally (not figuratively) months I've been getting the feeling I just need to do things. Random things. Like introduce two people from very different parts of my life who live on different continents or send crazy emails to people I don't really know baring my soul. Not like I get a little nudge of an idea, I mean I feel straight up compelled to do them. I've just been taking them as commands from The Universe and going with it. I haven't really had any idea what any of them had to do with anything I just really felt like I NEEDED to do them.

Here's the thing: I think they are all starting to coalesce into something. Something AWESOME.

Then last week I was talking to my mom. I realized after our talk that one of the things I am CALLED to do in this life is to help other people see their true selves and realize how AWESOME they are. I've been doing it for years and always really enjoyed it. I just never thought of it in those terms before. Everyone should be able to see themselves and know how amazing they are, but most people don't. They have this crazy idea that awesomeness is limited and linked to some socially accepted measure of merit.

For example, I told my office mate about this realization and sarcastically responded, "no one is below average." I was so excited and joyful I didn't skip a beat and reminded him that everyone is above and below average depending on what characteristic or skill you're talking about, but that doesn't make them any less awesome. It's not a limited resource. Me thinking I'm awesome doesn't imply in any way that anyone else is any less awesome. Everyone can be awesome at the same time and if we actually acted like that was the case (because it is) the world would be a better place.

We are all intended to rock out at life as our most authentic selves. If everyone really owned how amazing they are life would be a lot better. People who feel good about themselves and who they are don't have any reason to try to make life harder for anyone else. They spread goodwill like sprinkles.

Please, for me, really own your awesomeness. Be the person you are deep down under all the stuff the world has told you to be. Be the person you're not sure you can be. Paint the thing you want to paint. Write the book you've always wanted to write. Smile at eveyone you see even if they think you're nuts. Enjoy that ice cream and skip if you feel like it. It's okay. If anyone asks what you're doing just tell them, "Being Awesome."

You're in there and the world needs you out here. 

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

I Should be Procraftinating

I got this crazy idea last week that I just needed to cut some things out of my life and focus on one or two main priorities so I could get them done. All kinds of things got dropped in favor of focusing all my energy on THE PROJECT (i.e. that BIG AWESOME thing I would tell you about but I can't on my blog. If you know me in person you already know about it. I'm just not ready to talk about it on the internet yet) and cleaning. Even my BLOG (gasp!). I allowed myself to work on my pregnancy/baby scrapbook, but only because I want to be able to have it out for Norie's party and I'm almost a year behind. All other creative endeavors were cut from the calendar.

You know what?

It was awful. The whole week I couldn't focus and I'd forget stuff I really need, like parts of my breast pump at home (I had to buy  new ones) or lock my keys in the car and have to ask a friend to bring me my husband's keys (Thanks Justin), or some other not super horrible, but random and frustrating thing that doesn't usually happen to me.

Then this morning I was talking to my mom and I said something about how when everything just seems to fall into place it's because you're in the flow of The Universe. When you're not it's like you're continually going upstream and nothing seems to work and everything feels like too much effort.

Conclusion: The Universe wants me to be creative.

Even though my projects frequently annoy the crap out of my husband I think he knows it too because this morning he sent me a link to 23 Quotes That are Totally Craftastic. One from CraftSnark really got to me.

Via CraftSnark,

I clicked the link and do you know what she said?
There will always be laundry that needs to be washed. or folded. or put away. There is a constant stream of dirty dishes making its way towards the sink. Dinnertime arrives every 24 hours. But inspiration is not constant. We must create while we are inspired to do so. Because housework can wait... some more.
I will probably never finish absolutely all the things I want to get done and cutting all the fun creative stuff out doesn't make it any better. It just makes me frustrated and cranky about doing the functional life things I need to do. Hopefully I'll find that balance.

Until then I'll indulge in just a little procraftination.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Where have you been?

Hey peoples.

I haven't posted a lot lately. I'm working on something. Something BIG. And AWESOME. And I can't quite tell you about it on my blog yet, but between it and cleaning the house for Norie's 1st birthday party (it will take the whole month left) and focusing on spending more time with Austin and Norie I haven't had time to post.

I'll be back. Just give it time. I promise.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Smart Gardener OMG

It's official. I'm obsessed.

Remember that app I mentioned in the Great Garden Giveaway post last week? It was the Vertical Vegetables and Fruit Smart Add-On from Smart Gardener

It is everything I've been saying I want. I told it where I live and how many people are in my family (I only said two adults because I don't think Norie will eat enough this summer to match their kid predictions), then I picked out what I like to eat and it told me how much to plant and planned a garden layout based on a 4 year crop rotation, it's orientation to the sun, plant height and spacing, and the size of my household.

It is the COOLEST thing ever.

Or maybe just the best thing ever for an overly neurotic gardener who doesn't really know what she's doing but has control and perfection issues. Either way I'm hooked.

Did I mention it gives me weekly to dos that I can have sent to my phone?

Here's the plan for my three raised beds.

When you click on the pictures it even gives you information about how to plant it (depth, spacing, and a handy little picture of how to plant the square) along with companion planting info.

Did you know spinach and strawberries were good companions in a garden? I just knew they paired well in a salad. Nom. But Smart Gardener does so I don't have to know and I can just trust that it is optimized.

I even picked varieties that I know are available from the greenhouse where I'm planning to buy my transplants. Now all I have to do is get on my list of to dos. I have plans tonight and tomorrow so I'm thinking Wednesday there may be a flurry of activity in the garden. However, I heard a rumor that it might try to snow Thursday so maybe I should just wait it out until the weekend. I'm not sure if I can.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Strawberry Gardens and a GIveaway You Should Know About

Okay, so now that the excitement of Norie's first steps has been documented we're back to that post I mentioned Tuesday and meant to post yesterday.

Every fiber of my being wishes I had done something really impressive in the garden last weekend. Okay, not quite every one. A ton of them are huge fans of the fun things I did instead of gardening like going to see a live production of The Sound of Music at the Columbian Theatre and working on a little building project at my parents. The gardening fibers, however, are seriously disappointed. To help quell them I thought I should at the very least post something about gardening and share a super sweet deal with you. That's a fair trade-off, right?

I REALLY, REALLY want to plant some strawberries. Only problem: strawberries are perennial. That's great except perennials imply commitment and you know how I feel about commitment. The only thing I can commit to is my Babe. It's his birthday today. Yep, I sure did sneak that right in my post. :) Anyway, then I saw this on Pinterest.

Strawberries planted in gutters hanging from above and a light bulb clicked on in my little head. Well, actually a whole process of attempting to find the original source of the image that followed the exact path Cathryn Wellner details in this post occurred, but in that process the light came on.

I want to build a pergola, but instead of having slats I want to use gutters (or maybe build cedar wood boxes) and plant strawberries in them. It would be the most amazingly yummy pergola ever. Obviously pergola construction is a whole lot of additional commitment so instead I'll be planting strawberries in some empty planters I have laying around instead.

Now for the super sweet deal.

Right now Storey Publishing is having the Great Garden Giveaway. It has gardening tools, a ton of books (including some of my favorites), and even an app. I know because I've been spending a little too much time on their website recently.

Look at all that stuff. And even better, you get a free Grow Super Salad Greens ebook just for entering. Go sign up right now. Just promise that if you win you'll let me borrow some of your awesome books.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

She's a Biped!!!

I had a blog post for today all queued up, but it will just have to wait until tomorrow.

Yesterday I told my mom that I post on the most interesting or exciting thing I've done in the last 24 hours. My project for tomorrow it pretty cool, but this blows it totally out of the water. To stay true to my word I simply must post this.

Yep. That's my daughter. Walking.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

A Woodchuck!?! Seriously? Yep.

Yep. That's right. A straight up woodchuck.

In my yard.

I saw it yesterday when we let the dogs out and they chased it over to the neighbors. It ran under their deck. The whole thing happened really quickly and I wasn't quite sure what it was at the time. My brain said small beaver with a furry tail. I knew that wasn't a real thing, but that was pretty much what I saw.

My husband had said something about the pile of dirt in the front yard a couple hours before. He thought we had some moles. His parents have an army of moles in the yard of their house in the country. Honestly, I thought the pile was from a plant I dumped out a couple weeks ago, but if he wanted to blame a rodent that was fine by me. 

I didn't put the two together until I saw another pile in the yard on my way out of the driveway this morning. I knew what I had seen wasn't a mole so I thought...maybe a gopher?

Nope. That wasn't not quite it.

I was sure it had a furry tail, not a little rat one and it was WAY bigger than the description for gophers. Then I found this handy What's Digging Holes in my Yard? Extension publication from the University of Minnesota. 

Deep burrows with excavated soil spread around the entrance. Possible cause: woodchuck

Yep, that's it. 

Sidenote: did you know a groundhog and a woodchuck are the same thing? I didn't until the internet told me so.
I kinda hate to do anything about it. It is the cutest little guy. I'm sure it's a totally horrible thing to have in your yard, especially when you have an infant, but I'm certainly not going to poison or shoot him (or her). She could have babies. I'm not killing the mother of adorable little baby woodchucks. I mean, I have an infant. Moms have to stick together regardless of species. Plus, poisoning anything is a bad move when you have a little person who puts anything and everything in her mouth.

More googling.

Humane Society What to Do about Woodchucks

Apparently timing is crucial and I shouldn't evict it until mid-late summer. Since I've never seen this thing before and it certainly hasn't been burrowing in the yard for long I'm going to go ahead and say it doesn't have babies in the burrow so maybe will try to evict it.

Austin still thinks moles are making the holes so maybe we can just keep the woodchuck. What do you think? It is absolutely freaking adorable, but I don't really want to share my hard earned vegetables if I ever actually get up the gumption to plant a garden.

Friday, April 5, 2013

In Spring: Wall Art from Stickers and Thrift Store Art

A while back I was about ready to lose it if I didn't get to do just a little something creative so I took on a tiny project with a piece of thrift store art I bought a couple of years ago. Like thrift store art plus stickers tiny.

I had some sparkly pink stickers that came with one of the page kits I bought for my pregnancy scrap book, but hadn't used yet. The only problem was I had to decide what to write. Indecision kicked in and it took me a whole day to pick something.

Once I knew what I was writing I was feeling impatient and couldn't be bothered to take multiple shots or stand still long enough for a clear shot. Quick little projects like this get me way too excited. I didn't take any mid project either. Bad blogger. But seriously, do you really need pictures of how to peel off stickers and stick them on something?

Thursday, April 4, 2013

How to Make a Sweet Blog Header (For Your Mom Even if You're Still Not Totally Satisfied with Your Own)

Hey guys! I miss you. Norie was sick all last week and I spent this week trying to catch up with life. I'm almost there and have several reasons to be extra motivated about life so expect a flurry of new posts in the near future. Anyway, back to the post.

I love my mom's new blog header.

I love it so much I went crazy and sized it for her facebook page and even made her business cards to match.

I have one too, but I'm not totally in love with it (thanks for the props though, Crystal!). It's definitely an improvement, but it's not there yet. I really think maybe I just made one for her that was a lot like what I really wanted and then didn't know where to go with my own. That and it's a little too crafty (as in it doesn't speak to the parenting, decorating, building, gardening, and cooking parts of what I write about). I hope to get it updated (again) over the weekend after I had some time to think about it.

Since Crystal thought it was great I wanted to tell you how I did it. You know, just in case you wanted to make yourself one too and had some crazy idea that I would do something super hard. 

I'd had this idea for a while and finally just did it over Craft Weekend. I sketched out a basic idea and made my mom pick out some scrapbook paper she liked (it's from My Mind's Eye Bramble Rose).

I'm obsessed with decorative tape so I made some faux decorative tape from one of the pattern she liked by cutting a 1/2" wide strip and tearing it. I used a random sheet of off white card stock cut down to 5"x11" so there would be come visually blank space for the lettering. I laid everything out on her kitchen floor and just took a picture of the whole thing from directly above.

Then I used Picasa to crop the image to the dimensions listed for her header.

And finished off by using the Add/Edit Text option to add her blog name and tag line. I highly recommend using a font with two versions since it lets you switch it up a little without making it look like you're a crazy font person. I used Niagara Solid and Niagara Engraved.

For her Facebook cover image I simply recropped to meet the cover image dimensions (851x315).

Easy peasy. Now if only I had my own thought out I would be set.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Complete Guides to Sewing & Needlework

I only purchased two things during my little Craft Weekend. Both of them were books (go figure). There was a buy one, get one sale in one of the booths at Rerun Consignments & Mall in Council Grove and for $7.95 I just couldn't pass them up.

I am absolutely in love with the cover art of Reader's Digest Complete Guide to Sewing, but the inside is beyond amazing. If I actually read that I'll know how to sew anything and impress your grandma with my needlework skills.

The diagrams are absolutely awesome. Here's a little sampling.

How to tell if your pressure is off and adjust it.

A glossary of handstitches AND pictures of how to stitch them (this is just one page there are several).

A whole chapter on zippers.

Explanations of what the hell all those funny feet that came with your sewing machine do.

I read some reviews and it sounds like if you buy one yourself you want to get this 1978 version which is apparently way more awesome than the newer ones. Go me.

I'm not quite as in love with the cover art of the Complete Guide to Needlework, but the inside more than makes up for it.

Embroidery, crochet and rug making all in one super duper awesome book. Oh my! It even has directions for making the most awesome quilt ever. Did I ever post about it? I'm not sure if I did. Norie got it from her great grandma Millie and I know I've posted pictures with it, but it totally deserves its own independent post.

And last, but certainly not least, how to make a braided rug. It's been on my list of to-dos for a while.

My grandmother used to make them out of bread bags. Or maybe she crocheted them out of bread bags. She was thrifty to the core and you know what? They were awesome beyond reason. I don't eat a ton of bread so I think I'll just use fabric, but I'll be thinking of her when I do.

I'd love to tell you I'm going to post a project from either of them on some sort of regular basis, like a Wednesday sewing workshop, but you and I both know I'm not that organized or predictable. I'll try to actually read some of them and tell you all about it when I do though. Promise.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Craft Weekend!

No, not that Craft Weekend. I'm still on the waiting list for THAT Craft Weekend.

This one was just me, my sister-in-law Jamie, Norie staying over at my mom's to junk and craft and eat Mexican food. It was cut short by the unseasonably wintery weather, but we had a great time anyway. Unfortunately I was so busy trying to keep Norie from freezing to death (why do I always take her on fabulous junking trips in extreme weather?) I didn't take any pictures while we were at Bearly Makin-It which is the coolest place ever.

Here's what I did document.

My sister is plotting a dinosaur theme for her son's room, but I thought this monster was super cool. 

This vintage baby scale that would look super cute in an upscale nursery or as an awesome prop for newborn photo shoots.


With our shortened timeline we only got one craft done, wall art made from thrift store canvases and vinyl letters. I got excited and forgot to snap a before before I started so it's a little bit into the process. 


Jamie added some color before she started so I had plenty of time to get a shot. Norie was all about the crafting and loved that teal paint. If you want to know more about that floor go check out my mom's blog.

Since I didn't have to wait for a coat of teal paint to dry before I could stick on my letters I got mine finished that night.

Jamie's had to dry overnight and I woke up to this. It took all my self control to leave the letters on until she woke up.

I forgot to take an after shot of Jamie's, but she posted this one to Facebook.

Craft Weekend Number One: Check.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Garden Templates: A Cure to My Planning Paralysis??

If you follow my blog you know I've been trapped in a state of garden planning paralysis lately.

A good friend suggested I get over my hangups...and garden. As in do the thing I really enjoy without over-thinking the shit out of it.

He's really wise.

I like the idea, but you know that is really not my style....but I have good news. There is a whole set of 4'x8' garden templates on the Kansas State Research and Extension Demo Garden Blog.

Two really caught my eye.


I've been thinking about planting rhubarb around the yard as part of my larger edible landscaping scheme, but that requires a whole lot of thinking about where they will go and planning the yard and I get sucked back into my paralysis. Instead I'm just going to plant two beds just like the template and see how it goes.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Goodwill Outlet

If we're Facebook friends you heard Thursday that I was planning a trip to the Goodwill Outlet while I was in Denver this weekend.

In case you missed that post I'll give you the run down. My mom and I were driving to Denver for the weekend and on the way she mentioned that there were several Goodwill Outlet stores in Denver. My brother-in-law had mentioned them to her and since she'd never been she checked out the website. Three things caught her attention

1) merchandise that doesn't sell in Goodwill stores
2) carts switched out every half hour to keep the selection "fresh"
3) stuff is sold by the pound.

You have to know, right?

I did. I mean how can you not go to a place with that sort of description? So we went.

It experience.

You walk into this huge room filled with blue carts full of merchandise. 

That part really isn't all that weird and the stuff really isn't much different than you would find in a typical thrift store. The part that makes it weird is the professional shoppers there.

People litterally spend the entire day shopping. I'm not one to judge all day thrift jaunts, but this is a whole different story. Especially the "refreshing" of the merchandise. Every half hour they pull out new carts from the huge stockpile in back. I took a picture so you could get an idea of the inventory we are talking here.

People literally jockey for position around where the new carts will be placed (there are strict rules about shopping from moving carts). Honestly, the action that ensued when the cart wheels locked was a little terrifying. I was wearing Norie at the time so I stayed quite a ways back from the action.

I did however find this





It even moos when you open the door.

One of the professionals there (the least wild eyed of them) saw that I had picked it up and even offered me the animals she had pulled from the cart. I ended up with two horses, a cow, a pig, a sheep and a rooster along with some random little people all for a buck I still owe my mom.

Overall it was a great trip. I'd go again, but I wouldn't take Norie and I would bring gloves next time. We washed our hands before we left. For serious. I felt a little gross, but still super excited about my barn.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Caterpillar in a Hat

Norie made a picture at daycare.

Austin hung it up.

I asked why he hung it upside down (half sideways really, but clearly oriented in the opposite of the direction some would have hung it up.)

He looked at me like, "what do you mean?"

He has a point. It totally looks like a caterpillar in a hat.

If you're having trouble think Alice in Wonderland.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Baby Swim Lessons and the Perfect Swimming Suit

Ever since Norie was born I have been pumped about swimming lessons. They were the BEST when I was a kid and so far she seems like she'll be a super water baby too. Last summer she was too young to go to the city pool (there are cooties in there you know), but she did get some kiddie pool action in at day care. From all accounts she LOVED it. She also loves bath time. Like a lot. Once she was squeaking and splashing so excitedly Austin came upstairs to make sure I hadn't smuggled a dolphin into the house. Okay, maybe he just wanted in on the fun times he could hear, but he claimed dolphin patrol.

So anyway, I hear parent led swim lessons (because that's what you do with super tiny babies like mine) are quick to fill up in my small town and I've marked the day sign up begins on my calendar so I can make sure Norie gets a spot.

I'm pretty excited. Almost as excited as she would be if she had any concept of what swimming lessons are.

Then today I was in Target shopping for coffee filters and teething tabs and I happened to walk past this.


It is just about the cutest thing I've seen in a long while. Well besides Norie. She's pretty cute. And her cousins are pretty freaking cute too. But in terms of swimming suits this is super duper cute.

Unfortunately it doesn't come in my size. Damn.

Monday, March 11, 2013

How to Make DIY Blackout Curtains

Remember back in February when I posted about my snow day project?

It's still not done.

Not the curtains. I finished those up in four-ish days working during naps and after Norie was in bed.

That sounds really quick now, but at the time it felt like forever. I ran out of thread and bent two needles including one as I back-stitched the very last seam of the very last curtain.


I even hung them, as long as you count thumb tacking them to the wall hanging them.

I had to. Norie will not sleep in a well lit space and snow plus lots of windows equals a super well lit space.

The part I can't get done is the curtain rods. I'm way too cheap to buy them so I'm going to spray paint some EMT (à la this tutorial) and add some finials you might recognize, but it's been too cold.

No curtain rods means no curtain reveal, but since my blog buddy, Crystal, (like my real, bi-directional blog friend who knows who I am) wanted to know how I made them I figure I can give you the run down on the sewing part of the process and how cheaply I made them.

I had been trying to figure out what I was going to do for curtains in the play room for a while. The room could seriously use some temperature moderation (it has two huge windows and no heating vents) and I knew eventually the light factor would be become an issue with Norie's 7pm bedtime. I found some king sheets on super clearence at Target and bought two sets (I checked the dimensions listed on the package and did some mental math to figure out how many I needed to make six 84" curtains). They were $11.38 each. I couldn't wait to chop them up.

I used Ana White's Tab Top Curtains which I've done before, but this time I added the blackout fabric. I got it for a steal too. No really, 60% off home decor fabrics at JoAnn's with a President's Day coupon. Since I needed 14 yards of the stuff and it usually runs $6.99 a yard I saved like 60 bucks.  My total was only $42.65 including tax. Woot! I bought so much they put it back on a roll for me and I had to unroll it on the living room floor to cut it.

I didn't have to make any changes to Ana's Tab Top Curtain Plan to line them. I just cut the blackout fabric into 84" sections and lined the curtains with them. To make sure I sewed the blackout fabric in the right place I folded the fabric over 5/8" (the plan says 1/2", but I have this thing about 5/8" so I guess technically I made a tiny change) at the top and sides and ironed it. Then I folded the top down 4" and ironed it to make a crease to follow.

When you unfold it will look like this.

I laid the blackout fabric up next to the crease line and even with the fabric I folded over so that it would be inside the finished edge, but not all folded up in the finished edge. Hopefully that makes sense. If not, let me know.

I took a close up so you could see what I mean.

Then I just folded the fabric over again around the blackout fabric and pinned and stitched it at like 1/2" because I'm a little neurotic and I like finishing seams like that to be 1/8" from the edge instead of a 1/4".

I did the same thing on the other side and just wrapped the blackout fabric in the same basic way in the top and bottom hems.

Sheets - $11.38 x 2= $22.76
Blackout fabric = $42.65
Thread (because I ran out and had to buy more) = $3.22

Total = $68.63

That's only $11.44 a curtain. Austin says I should figure in my time and they would become really expensive, but DIY is meant for people who have more time than cash, right?


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