Saturday, January 29, 2011

Saturday/before/here we go again.

We're working around Mary's stuff for as long as we (er, JOHN) can. Today's task is to trim out the windows. In the above picture the old trim is off the windows and laying on the floor. John's out in the garage cutting the new trim.

Here's the other side of the room. I'm going to paint the closet doors with chalkboard paint just like I did in Ellie's room. I have the pink paint for the walls, but it is going to be a few days before I can paint. John's patching a huge hole in the wall where the old intercom used to be. It will take several coats of mud and the dry time between coats is 24 hours. John also has to make the new baseboards, install them, and put in the quarter round. Then, I paint. And paint. Pink walls with white trim. I think it's going to look super cool with her red desk and her new red headboard.

Mary's sick. Poor thing. We are taking it easy today (well, everyone but John!). If no one else gets sick, and we stay on schedule, I am hoping to have this room painted and put back together (less the doors) next Sunday night. If we accomplish this, it will be our quickest turn around yet in this house. (We did the same thing to most of the rooms in our old house too.)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

my morning.

"Mommy, can I play chalk?"

"Yes, Ellie."

"Can I play chalk?"


"MOM!!!!! Can I play CHALK!?!?!?"

"Yes you may?"


"Ellie, are you wanting me to specifically say 'Yes, you may play CHALK.'"

"Yes, Mom."

"Okay, Ellie, yes, you may play chalk."

"Can I play it?"


"Can I play it RIGHT NOW?"

"No, Ellie, you may not."

"Okay, Mom. Can we play blocks?"

And repeat.

I don't know if I should laugh or cry.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

(almost) Five

How does this:

Mary--3 days old.

Turn into this:
Mary--two days before her 5th birthday

in just 5 years?

Mary is one of those kids that has gotten easier over time. She was a difficult baby. She was a crazy, emotional toddler. I think that 5 is going to be her best year yet. She loves school. She loves reading and writing. Meltdowns are few and farther between. She can make many of her own decisions and likes having the freedom to do so.

Mary and John had a little jam session after her party today. She can't really play yet, but she can strum the guitar and loved playing along with John. She knows the words to the songs he plays for her. So she "played" along and sang her heart out. She seems very interested in playing, so we will are going to look into lessons. She's always been very musical. Maybe she'll be a rock star some day.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

I hate red and red hates me.

Remember the red candle stick that broke when I tried to spray paint it?

Mary asked that I paint her desk red. I sanded. I repaired. I got two coats of primer on it. I got 2 coats of red paint on it. I was feeling good! Then I told John I just wanted to go downstairs quickly to see if it needed a third coat. I go down there.....oh, what's that in that box? looks like a drawer? but to what? It was the last desk drawer. I'd taken it upstairs one night to glue down some loose veneer. I'd forgotten all about it. So there it was, not primed or painted. I was so mad. I was hoping to have the entire thing done, but instead I needed to apply 2 coats of primer and 2-3 coats of paint to it. Ugh. I got it done and put two coats of poly on EVERYTHING. I counted the drawers about 5 times to make sure I had them all.


After (impossible to get a good picture of the actual color. It's more red and less bright pink in real life):

Louise doesn't seem happy with flash photography.

Mary got right to work.

I was sitting on the floor putting the hardware back on the drawers when John brought the desk upstairs. The first thing I saw? A place I didn't paint! Argh! Red does hate me! How on earth did I miss the same spot 3 times??? It's on the left side, down at the bottom. Right under the bottom drawer, on the top of the leg. It looks like a glare from the flash, but it is not.

Thank goodness for touch up paint and for a four year old who is just happy to have a desk of her own.

I love the way the original hardware looks against the red paint. The desk looks pretty funky in her blue room, but that is about to change. Weather permitting, I am going to go buy paint for her room on Wednesday. We're replacing all the trim in her room and painting the doors too. I am so unmotivated to work on this project. I'm already a room ahead in my mind, but what's new?

Tomorrow: Mary's fifth birthday party. Seems like we just had her second birthday. I really, really cannot believe my baby will be five this week.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Five dollar light fixture

Last fall I looked at the big box home improvement stores for a lantern type hanging light for the entry way. I found a few that would have worked. They were $30 or $40. None of them were exactly what I wanted. I wanted something super simple and fairly small.

There's nothing like standing out on the porch with no shoes on taking pictures!

I found this five dollar fixture at a yard sale. I was so excited when I saw it! I almost jumped for joy. It was originally twelve dollars. Woot! A little black paint and I was happy. John got it hung up last night (he claims he forgot we had it, I figured he was worried it would burn the house down). I need to take the globe off and paint the inside of the brass with black paint. That should be tricky.

I took this picture with the camera up over my head because I was too lazy to get a chair.

I am really happy with it. I really should go through our OLD pictures to see if I have a picture of the original fixture. John took some pictures before we bought the house, but I am not sure if he got every room. We took it down the summer we moved in and replaced it with a cheap flush mount light just so we'd be able to see in there.

One more thing off the to do list!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Repurposed art.

Remember this thrifty purchase? I only bought it for the frame. I didn't even look at the picture to be honest. It was a 50 cent frame which was a great price, and the shape was good for what I needed. When I got home, I thought the art was sort of pretty. My Mom saw it when she was here last summer and seemed to like it too. So I (of course!) saved it.

I found another 50 cent frame at the same independent thrift store a while back. I really loved the shape.

I gave it to Mom on Saturday. I still like the art, but it just isn't my style. It will look better at her house.

Mary's desk is either done or is getting a third coat of paint tonight. She saw it last night and is happy. I'm glad I let her pick the color. I'm still hoping to have it done by her birthday.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Is it Friday yet?

This week is over! Well, at least school is. There's a teacher work today tomorrow, and the school is closed Monday too. Tomorrow we are heading out to see my side of the family for the weekend.

I got my runner washed and dried. It didn't fall apart! I think maybe I am getting the hang of sewing. The first runner I made last summer had a seam come loose and fray out in the washer the first time I washed it.

This was Mary's second week of full day school. She's adjusting well. I thought she would be a grump in the late afternoons, but she has been fine. I think that 5 is going to be a really good year for her. Her birthday is in 12 days.

Above is her new desk. I got it (I think??) in December. Mom, the girls and I went thrifting together. I thought it was funny how Mom didn't even bat an eye when I bought it. I remembered when she thought I was crazy when she saw the TV stand before I painted it. She's caught the thrifting bug too now. I think it's funny. She thought I was crazy when I bought my brass turned black lamp too. Now she refuses to pay full price for anything. I've taught her well.

When I saw the desk, I thought I'd paint it white. Then I realized a white desk for a child probably isn't a good idea. The night I started working on it, I thought maybe I'd paint it light green. I think we still have some left over paint from painting Mary's walls in her old room. I thought the light green would look great with the existing hardware (and match her rug). I was excited. I came upstairs to get Mary's opinion, and she cried. So much for green. It isn't my desk so I'm painting it the color she wants. I'm really hoping to have it done by her birthday. I think I should unless something goes really wrong.

Monday, January 10, 2011


I thought for sure I'd finish this table runner last night, but I did not.

I have the about half the hand sewing of the binding done. It's maybe another hour or so of work.

I'm using left over fabric from my Christmas tree skirt, though I don't plan on this being my Christmas runner this year. I'll probably use it in the summer.

I think I'm addicted to quilting. This was my first real attempt at anything other than simple stripes. The entire runner is 48 inches long (4 stars). It's not perfect by any means, but I love doing it.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


I wondered what Ellie and I would do on these winter afternoons while Mary is at school. I had thought Ellie would be napping, but she quit napping about 6 weeks ago.

My awesome sewing machine I inherited from Mamaw Judy.

Turns out she plays by herself! Huh. All I have to do is supply the voice of her animals and friends. She says "what's wrong, cow/puppy/baby?" and I reply that they are hungry/sick/tired/need a kiss. She feeds them M&Ms. I wonder if she is my child as I never want to share my candy!

Blurry Ellie and her friends.

And then I get stuff done. Yesterday we played puppy while I worked in the kitchen. Puppy needed a doghouse and a nest and food and a drink. And blankets of course! Today I sewed.

I made these quilted coasters for Mom using left over fabric from her table runner. I'm pretending that I've gotten a jump start on my Christmas 2011 sewing. But I plan on giving these to her this month and will probably give her something else for Christmas.

I've put the log cabin blanket away. I'm sick of it once again. I plan on doing some more sewing, and I'm also knitting some fingerless mittens for my SIL whose birthday is in a couple weeks.

I'm getting ready to transform Mary's desk too. Just as soon as I put all the Christmas stuff away. John got it all carried downstairs for me, but I need to get it back on the storage shelves.

This week is flying by. It's almost time to go get Mary from school.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Ellie's room.

Welcome to Ellie's room!

View from the door.

Chalkboard painted closet doors.

Artwork over her bed. I'd had these prints almost 10 years and never used them.

Cheap cork board that I spray painted fancied up a bit.

Ellie's been living in her room for a couple weeks now. There are still a couple minor things to finish up, but today was a good day to get pictures while she played in her bed. I don't have true before pictures. This room was Mary's room when we moved here, but the room is so small we ended up giving her the bigger bedroom. My plan was to keep this room as the guest room while the girls shared the other bedroom. But then Mary was so possessive of her stuff that it just seemed easier to give Ellie this room. So, this room was light green with wood toned trim. John replaced all the trim and added quarter round. I painted the door white too (like the ones in the entry and dining room) but didn't get a picture of it. We put the closet doors back up after I painted them with chalkboard paint. The doors are too short for some odd reason, so John added a piece of trim above them. I still need to paint that white, and then when the weather is warmer I want to use chalkboard spray paint on the track that holds the doors. I need to find a bigger rug too.

Overall, I am happy with how her room turned out. It needs a few more little things to look lived in though. Ellie doesn't seem to notice, so I am not in a hurry.

Next up, Mary's room. I'm hoping start after her birthday party (in just 3 weeks!!) and be done before we go skiing in March.

I'm working like mad on my log cabin blanket. It's so slow going.