Month: January 2014

Making Our House More "Ours"

  Something has shifted lately.  I’m not sure what exactly caused the change, but for whatever reason, the Mr and I finally got to a point where it clicked that, hey, this is our house, we can do whatever we want with it.  We aren’t going to have to repaint the walls back to rental-white or worry about a security deposit…we aren’t going anywhere.

  …so lets have some fun, huh?

  Our first project was putting up a canopy in our bedroom.

  Before we lived in this house we had always had a four poster bed.  We both loved the look of it, and were rather dismayed to find upon moving in that there was absolutely no way to get it up to our bedroom.  Apparently in the 1920s when our house was built, they weren’t much worried about getting box springs any bigger than a twin upstairs.  So, a platform bed became our best option, and while upgrading from the 4-poster’s full-size to a queen has definitely been the way to go, we both felt like our room was missing something.

  I wish I could get slightly better/wider pictures of the end result, but unfortunately, anywhere further back, I wind up with walls in my way.

  G loooooooves the new canopy.  At least twice a week since we’ve put it up he has begged to be allowed to pull all the curtains shut and play in our “fort”.  We both love it too.  It has completely changed the feel of our bedroom.  I wound up moving several pieces of furniture out to account for the visual space the canopy takes up, and the end result is fabulous.  It feels airy and luxurious…and we’ve stopped smacking our knees on the corner of the bed that blended into the floor just a little too well.

  To make the canopy, my Mr. drilled holes in our ceiling and affixed rings.  They’re, uhm, rather more robust than we needed in the end, but our plans for the canopy changed several times during the process.  We had originally planned on some sort of piping to fit through the eyes, but realized that we already had a cable system we had bought for G’s bedroom (that didn’t work in there) which would present far fewer logistical problems and used that instead.  A metal cable got threaded through (no worrying about how to turn the corners!) and I hung some Ikea curtains from it using small clips.

  I was very pleased to find the curtains I did.  I was fairly certain I was going to have to head to Haberman’s and, needing 16 yards of fabric, sell them (at least) one of my children to get something I didn’t hate.  I did the math and to beat the price of these I’d have had to have found fabric that was less than $4 a yard or something ridiculous like that.  Seeing as most of the stuff I like tends to be more like $20 a yard…  I do need to do some sewing work to get these exactly where I want them.  There are two curtains on each “post” at the foot of the bed and I want to french seam them together so there’s not a weird opening at the corner.  I also want to remove the tabs at the top (since I’m not using them) and hem the whole thing to a better length.  Not a high priority though, so it’ll probably wait for a good long time before I get to it.  We also have to redo lighting in the room to make it less awkward in relation to the new curtains…but that will probably be an even longer time.

  Our second project is rather more eccentric.

  If you follow me on Facebook you already know I’ve been doing aerial for the last few months.

  It’s incredibly fun, and a crazy hard workout, and I’m a little addicted.  I dragged the Mr. to a conditioning class back in November, and he got hooked too and has been doing trapeze classes.

  I had joked with the Mr. after I’d started that I was going to make him set up a climbing gym for me at home, and after he got into it himself…well…he started thinking about it seriously.  Now, we’re not completely insane, so it’s not like we’re going to be practicing tricks like I’m doing in the pictures above at home, but a big part of hitting a wall and not being able to learn new tricks at the gym is that my hands and arms just get so fatigued I can’t hold myself up on the silks by the end of my class.  Enter this:

  Yup.  What’s up climbing rope in my stairwell.  …told you we’d decided it was time for fun.
  So before you start giving me too much side eye thinking I’ve gone entirely batty, this isn’t in the middle of my house.  Again, our house being so old, it has some unusual features.  Most houses have the stairs to the basement nested underneath the stairs to the upstairs, so there really isn’t all that much height in the stairwell unless it’s leading to your upper story.  …I didn’t really want a giant, rainbow-colored, rope-climbing gym hanging out where it was highly visible from my dining room.  But, our house must have originally only had external access to the basement, because our basement stairwell is entirely separate from the rest of the house…tacked on to the back, nice and out of view.  That means we have a crazy high ceiling just begging for a rope to climb.
  Now, I didn’t know this, but according to the Mr, ceilings aren’t really designed to support much weight.  I had it in my head we could just find a cross beam, drill an eyelet into it and start climbing.  Apparently I’d have pulled the ceiling down on my head.  What he did instead, was to attach 2x4s across our walls into the studs (which not only support the walls, but also the ceiling) and then brace a beam across those.  … he then tested it up to something ridiculous like 600 lbs to make sure it was safe.  …there’s a reason I don’t do these projects without him.
  So now we’re just in the process of figuring out what to do for fall padding.  Like I said, neither of us is interested in doing anything much more complex than climbing and strengthening our hands and arms, but it is a cement floored set of stairs we’d be falling onto if something went wrong.  In the meantime, we’re sticking to low-height exercises.
  …so does your treadmill look really boring yet or what?
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Portraits and Documentation

  Well, as expected, I’ve been running around like crazy lately.  I’ve added several new colorways to the collections in my Spoonflower shop, sketched up some new patterns and am working on colorizing them, have transferred quite a few more posts over here and oh, my children are still alive and my house is still standing.
  Please forgive my meager posts for the time being.
  As a little something for everyone to check in with, and because I’ve seen several other bloggers doing this, and adore the idea, I’m going to attempt to take at least one portrait of each boy per week.  At the VERY least every month.  They’re growing up so fast, and while I take plenty of pictures of them on my phone, I haven’t been doing very well with training my DSLR on them.  I want that to stop.  It doesn’t take that much time out of my day to grab my camera and snap a few shots every once in a while, and it gives me such great results.
(R has my eyes (so far), G has his daddy’s)
  Anyhow, I promise I’ll be back soon to show you some pictures of those projects around the house I’ve been talking about!

Welcome to Our New Home!

  Thank you so much for following me to this new location!  This setup gives me a lot more flexibility to design the page.  Add things I’d like to, and keep things I DON’T want on it OFF (goodbye annoying top of the page ad!)

  I’ve got a lot of work to get everything transferred over here still.  The old blog has over 600 posts on it.  So far I’ve transferred between 40-50.  I have to do each one manually…and then eventually I’ll have to go back and change all the links so they redirect here instead of back to the GoDaddy site.  Blah.
  In the meantime, I’m also working like crazy on the fabric lines for Quilt Market in May.  I’ve added another one to my Spoonflower shop since my last update!
  If you’re crazy about the designs and want yardage, all except the new Spring Daisy print are now available for purchase.  
  The Mr. and I have been working on several projects around the house, and I’m looking forward to sharing them with you soon!

It’s Moving Day!

  Ok guys, I told you it was going to be coming, and I’ve decided it’s time to make the leap.  Follow me on over to the new site at:
  There will still be construction going on for a while…I realized that with over 600 posts here and everything else I have going on, there was no way I was going to get everything moved in a timely manner.  For now, all new posts will be at the new site, but links in old posts (even if they’re on the new site) will still come back here.  I’ll get it all transferred eventually, but for the time being, all the info is still available.
  Update your blog readers or subscribe via email on the new site.
  See you there!

Back, with a Modified Schedule

I’ve been putting off writing this post.  Mostly I’ve been enjoying spending time with my family, but I’ve also been working on a couple of new projects that have been swallowing all my free time whole.  Which brings us to the modified schedule.  I haaaaaate admitting that I can’t do everything (that’s another part of the reason I’ve been putting off writing this…I was determined to figure out a way to find more hours in the day) but when it comes down to it, for my sanity and the sake of spending time with my kids/husband, I’m going to have to cut back on posting here.

  The Mr. and I have been doing a lot of soul searching lately.  Talking about goals and dreams and hopes for the future, and, aside from resulting in some really bad penny projects for the house, it also has gotten me questioning what I’ve been doing in regards to a future career.
  I put off going back to school this fall because of my postpartum anxiety.  The meds my doctor prescribed have me to a point where I feel normal in my day to day, but I worried that adding more stress to my daily routine this past September would be a recipe for disaster.  In the meantime, I started going to SEMi Crafty Meetups and got to know several lovely, local sewing bloggers.  One of those was Rae, of Made by Rae, who released a darling line of flannel fabrics this past September.
  Now, I’ve mentioned in the past that I got my degree in Apparel and Textile Design.  I’ve always focused on the apparel portion of that, but I certainly was trained to design textiles as well.  It just wasn’t something that occurred to me as being any more possible in our little corner of the Midwest than the apparel was until I saw Rae doing it.  Design is really where my heart is.  I haven’t been disliking the accounting stuff I’ve been doing in my classes, but I’d be a big, fat liar if I said I had anything resembling a passion for it.  So, I sat down with Rae and asked for some advice on getting started and she pointed me to Lizzy House’s e-book on getting started in the current textile design industry.
  The book is a fabulous how-to and I now have a list a mile long of things I want/need to get done before May, when I hope to attend Quilt Market.
  If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve already seen this teaser of my first piece:
  That piece is already up on Spoonflower, proofed and ready to buy as yardage if you like it.  I also have 4 prints up (but not yet purchasable) that I’ll be ordering proofs of as soon as I finish the coloration on the piece I’m working on currently.
  I want to have a couple of lines ready to go with me to Quilt Market.  According to the book, each line should have 4-12 individual pieces in 2-4 color selections each.  …I’ve got a lot of work to do.
  As well as creating the prints themselves, I also need to research the fabric companies who will be attending to get an idea of which companies would be a good fit for me and my designs.
  Like I said, I really would like to be able to do all of this AND keep updating the blog 4 times a week AND take care of my house and children AND sleep once in a while AND have a bikini body Gisele Bündchen envies (hey, we’re talking about things I want, not reality)…but I just can’t do all of that.  Quilt Market is mid May, so come June I’ll come back and reassess how things stand, but for now it’s going to get a little bare bones around here.  Obviously, I’ll still be doing creative stuff.  Fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly and Creative Broads gotta create…so I’ll post when I have projects, but unless it’s something special the Mr. came up with, or really blow-you-out-of-the-water, have to share good, I’ll be skipping the recipes.
  If it’s going to drive you totally bonkers not knowing when I’m going to post, I highly suggest either tossing my URL into a reader, or, subscribe over on the left hand side there and any new posts will come directly to your email**.
  You’ll obviously be able to see my progress on the lines in my Spoonflower shop, and I will most likely be sharing occasional images here and on Instagram as well.  Please, please, please give me any feedback or thoughts you have on pieces as I finish them, especially if you quilt!  Thanks guys!
**Ok, so because I obviously don’t have enough going on, I’m finally moving off of this terrible free GoDaddy platform…so hold off on subscribing/putting me in a reader.  I wish, wish, wish I could figure out a way to just dump everything into a new service with the same URL, but that doesn’t seem to be doable, so it’ll be a new one.  I’ll post with the redirect as soon as everything is in order!