Sunday, November 20, 2011


I'm too tired to think of a title. It's been the longest day ever.

Hallway from down by Mary's room 9/30/11

On the right is the hallway bathroom. On the left is the top of the basement stairs. The open door divides the bathrooms and bedrooms from the rest of the house when closed.

Opposite view.

So we took down that open door and the one that goes to the basement (when open, it swings into the stairwell). We had a great plan. We could sand, paint, and replace the hardware in three days. John took the doors off, and we got sick. It was a week before he even started sanding. Maybe two weeks. We got used to the hallway without the door. We never closed it, and that corner of the hallway seemed larger without it.

Then I had one of my GREAT ideas. The ones John just loves.

But first we had to do this:

Divider door still off, looking at the basement door.

New trim. Waiting to paint the walls.

Getting there! I got that long wall painted last week.



John is taking pictures too!

I wish the color would have photographed better. It was raining as I took these. The door is painted with one thin coat of paint that matches the interior of our front door.

John worked so hard on this door. It turned out perfectly.

Going to bed early tonight.

Friday, November 18, 2011

I should.....


Sleep more than 5 hours a night.

Not be allowed to use a hot glue gun. (Various crap has been falling off the wreath all afternoon.)

Try to blog in under 10 minutes at the end of Ellie's nap.

Don't breathe.

Don't breathe.

Don't sneeze.

Don't run.

Don't jump.


I haven't heard anything fall off for two hours. I'm taking it as a good sign. As I was hanging it, ornaments were falling off. Then I took something to the garage, and I heard more falling off when I came back in. Nothing broke. I used more glue and tried not to breath too hard.

Probably shouldn't even look directly at it.

Last year my stick wreath hung here, and John ran into it daily. I usually stand the ironing board behind this door, but I've moved it. The door is closer to the wall. I hung the wreath up high so the girls wouldn't bump it. I took out the nail that's usually in the back of the door and replaced it with a drywall screw. The wreath is very heavy. I'd guess there are between 350 and 400 ornaments on it. I have no idea how I'll store it after Christmas. I seriously doubt the hot glue will hold up for a year in storage anyway. I'm just going to enjoy the heck out of it for however long it lasts. There's a mix of vintage/thrifted, plastic, new/clearance, and ornaments I've used on the tree in previous years. Grandma Mary gave me a huge box of her vintage ornaments to help me out, but I couldn't bring myself to use them on here.

I also hung up my yarn wreath in the entry.

I didn't want the pink tree to be the only pink thing in the room, so I made this wreath to match it. It looks sort of out of place right now. I might try to sneak a few more Christmas thing up from the basement this weekend.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Lessons learned.

First lesson: Don't paint until 11pm when you have a cold. You'll wake up in the morning to find something like this:


I was removing the outlet covers as I went instead of doing them all at once. I was going to go back for this one. Oops. It's fixed now.

Second Lesson: Even though you know it's going to take hundreds of ornaments, you can't really grasp that it will be HUNDREDS of ornaments until you dig in:

Getting there!

I stopped counting after the first hundred, but I think I'm close to 200 now. I still have to go back and fill in all the gaps with small ornaments. Maybe another 150 or so will do it. That's an 18 inch straw wreath form under there somewhere. I've only broken two ornaments so far. It weighs a lot. I have no idea how or where I am going to hang it. But it is going to be pretty!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Ornament wreath

I've wanted to make an ornament wreath for three years. I actually tried to make one a couple years ago, but it looked awful. I took it apart. Last year I started buying thrifted ornaments whenever I could. I still didn't have enough. I had a few from the clearance racks too. Finally, I asked my Dad to help me get some. He got me 10 boxes for $2 (total) at an auction he frequents. Yippie!

Now I just have to find time to make the darn thing. It's going to take forever, and about a million hot glue sticks. I pulled my boxes of ornaments from the basement tonight and started sorting them. I'm hoping to start on it tomorrow during Ellie's nap.

I hope it ends up looking something like this:

I hope mine turns out looking that good.

I have my other Christmas wreath done. I need to get a picture. We're still working on the house too. I was right! The paint chip wasn't the same color as the existing paint. It's similar, but I like it so much better. I'm hoping to get the last bit of the project finished up this weekend, but we are going to be really busy with other things too. It finally feels like we are so close to having this entire trim project DONE!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Projects and progress

I am so glad we decided to put all new trim into this house. But it hasn't been an easy project. We are down to the living room (I ignore the kitchen), and I dread doing it. We have so much stuff in here. I'll have to move it to the dining room, and then we will do the room as quickly as possible. We will not be starting until after the holidays. We've decided to get started with a sneak approach.

Standing in the living room

That is the wall that goes from the entry way. The open/missing door is to the hallway we just finished. Last Friday, I took out the baseboard from the entry to the doorway and the door trim as well. John finished up the demo by taking out the baseboard from the doorway to the corner.


John got the new trim up Saturday. By Sunday night, I had the nail holes patched, the trim primed, caulked, and painted. I want to get the other side of this little hallway done before we empty the living room. It's just two more sections of baseboard and the door from the hall to the dining room.

Looking from the dining room.

John's working on one more part of this project. I'm hoping to have it done in the next week. Here's a sneak peek:

And then there is this:

John says it is the same color as the current wall color, but he is wrong. I still don't have the paint. I'll be painting the long hallway, the short hallway, and the living room this color. I picked (and liked) the current wall color, but it looks too yellow to me next to the white trim.

And now, my thrifty find of the week.

I saw this little table on Saturday. It was $2.50. I thought that was too much to pay, and I knew that it would be marked down to $1.25 on Monday. Then I kicked myself all day Sunday for thinking that $2.50 was too much to pay. Ellie and I were waiting when the store opened back up on Monday. The table really wasn't that exciting, but it was the size and shape I needed. I considered painting it, but then decided to just cover it instead.

There's nothing like left over drop cloth and some fabric paint. I added a textile medium to the paint so it would be washable. I still need to trim some loose threads and wash out the fabric marker that's on the top. It's certainly not perfect, but isn't intended to be an heirloom.

I made up this little quilted topper for the kitchen table, but maybe I'll leave it here.

Now imagine it with a pink Christmas tree on it! I bought a three foot tall pink tree last year on clearance. The girls are going to be so excited. It is going to be their tree. I'm going to let them decorate it however they want.

I am so ready to decorate for Christmas! Just a couple more weeks.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A mug rug for Allison

A mug rug is a fancy coaster. A reason to sew. A way to use up scraps. I'm not sure it serves any real purpose. But I had fun making it, and I hope my friend Allison enjoys using it.