Wednesday, November 7, 2012

New Home Ownership=CRAZY LONG Project List

 I know that a lot of you have been waiting for some updated pictures to the house.  It has been very busy for us trying to get things in order.  For those that have an older home, you can sympothize with fixing one problem, and two more pop up in it's wake.  That's what it's been like for us, so decorating got put off and put off.  I'm still not 100%, but I'm done enough that I'm comfortable with posting some pictures. 
I think the biggest difference has been painting.  I have completed painting the Master Bedroom, and the Living Room.  I still need to finish the Kitchen (hence no Kitchen pictures), and I think we are going to paint at least one of the upstairs bedrooms, as it is a nasty peach color (also formerly found in the Master Bedroom).  Hubby as been supper awesome at helping me with some of the painting, and he's been replacing plugs and light switches (there were at least 6 layers of paint on everything, yes even the plugs and covers).  He has also been adding some plugs for TVs, and wires for internet and satellite.  We've also slowly been replacing the outdated lighting fixtures, and still have some to install, and a few more to buy.
So here are the Before and After shots (click image to enlarge): 
~~Warning: Long Entry, but lots of pictures.~~


 I painted the ceiling a flat white, the trim on the windows a semi-gloss white, and the walls are a Taupe color that I'm totally in love with.  The ceiling is curved, so I worked with it.  I measured up 8', taped it off, and it gives it the look of crown without the woodwork.  I think we are eventually going to put crown up, and add some rope lighting for indirect light source.  We eventually want to wall mount the TV, but there is no studs in the bookshelf opening, just a layers of plywood, and drywall.  It works for now, so we are good.  Hubby installed a plug inside the cabinets for all the electronics.  It's nice because there are no cords to bee seen (plus there wasn't power on that wall anyhow). 
The Mantel was my favorite to finish.  Hubby had to help me hang the mirror as all the walls are plaster, and nails don't go in easily and pull out even easier.  We have been using a lot of anchors and Command Hooks.  We are looking forward to hanging some lighted garland (there is a plug on the top of my Mantle!), and our Christmas Stocking, which I need to make.  Unfortunately the fireplace is completely unusable as it sits.  We had someone come out to clean it, and he told us that it is rusted to the point of dangerous if used (we've just weather proofed it for the season).  We plan on getting an insert and running a new pipe inside the old one.  It will be more energy efficient anyway, and do a better job heating more of the house, and not just the living room.  

 This is my 'Family' wall.  This was the only wall I had an idea of how I wanted to put it together, and then that idea didn't work, so I got rearranged several times, and I still need to fix the top picture.  We have a lot of books, and it was a struggle trying to decided where to put what ones.  I left some room at the bottom of the arrangement (if you think it looks off balance, it's on purpose), for pictures of not-so-distant future kids (More on that story to come).  The top picture was a fun project.  I had gotten the frame as a gift from my Dad.  It was brown with family pictures in it.  I didn't want another collage', so I took out the pictures, accidentally broke the glass, spray painted the frame black and the matte a solid cream, then I used paint samples from the home improvement store (which we are recognized by sight now), to replace the pictures.  Hubby was pretty impressed that it was a simple, yet impactful change.  The bench sitting there actually came with our dinning room table, but we liked it there better, and we have enough chairs that it won't be missed.  Plus it can be used for back up seating for larger gatherings.

This is the entry wall.  The window treatments came down within the first week.  They made everything very dreary.  I put my Family Tree, and my lunch bag wreath on this wall with my $5 faux banana plant.  If you are questioning the white box lid on my plant, it's because Peep thinks it's a little box (since he was an outside kitten for most of his life).  Once he learns that that plant is not for that use, I'll take the box lid off.  We still need to get our couch, but for now we have our LovSac/BeanBag, and a chair with a footstool.  We also have an electric fireplace that we've been using, mostly for ambiance.


You cannot tell in this before picture, but the walls were peach.  Yes, as in circa 1960s/1980s Peach.  Totally not our color, so it had to go.  This was the first room to get put together, mostly because we spent most of our time here in the beginning.  We were able to get a bedroom set before we moved (both a first for us).  And while we did that we got a bigger bed frame, in hopes to some day upgrade from a Queen to a King.  Thankfully we didn't have to wait too long to transition.  Hubby's Dad told us about this great foam mattress for an even greater deal.  So, we've been on our new mattress for about 3-4 weeks.  And the best thing is, my Starry Night Quilt finally fits the way it was intended.  One downfall is that every body sleeps in the bed at night.  Yes all three fuzzie babies and one giant fuzzie Hubby, plus me.  At least I stay warm. 
Here is our dressers with my first pass of getting pictures hung.  I still have some more work to do in here as far as decorating goes.  I wanted to refinish and recover my cedar chest, and I need artwork for above where the cedar chest sits.  So, I'll probably be posting again about the bedroom. 

In the bathroom, we just put up new linens, and some towel rods, and tp holder.  I still want to get some artwork in there (not much availble wall space), but I have to decide what will hold up the extra moisture, and go with my Nature Theme.  Don't mind my clutter counters, I just wanted to get some pictures up and disregarded the crap that got left out.
Other updates that I'm not showing pictures of:  Hubby got me a washer and dryers.  The laundry room is still a mess, mostly because I still have to revamp my Linen closet, so all those boxes are in there, and I was doing some laundry today, so it's even messier.  We also had to replace our Pressure Tank for our well because the bladder went out.  I think that was a blessing, because as Hubby and his Dad where pulling the old tank, the rusted out bottom completely fell off on them.  There are few other bits that needed attention, but I won't bother you with all the nit-picky stuff.
That is all the updates I have for now.  As soon as I get the kitchen finished, and the bedrooms cleaned of boxes and stuff, I'll post pictures of those.  And just to let you know how greatly we are enjoying Fall and all the beautiful colors of nature, here is a picture of the road in front of the property.  Hubby borrowed his Dad's brush mower and was finally able to get the front mowed down.  (FYI: our property is on the left with the white fence).  Happy Fall!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Home, Home on the. . . .Pasture?

We have been back in Arkansas for nearly two weeks, and we've been busy getting our home set up.  Between the million boxes that ended up in my living room and kitchen, and trying to get stuff where it belongs in the house so I can unpack those million boxes, it's been crazy busy.
Just getting out of Utah was crazy.  If you are familiar with the freeways this next part will make sense, if not, sorry. We took I-80 and got stuck for an hour to go a mile in Park City.  They had the freeway closed for some reason.  After we got off the freeway, we had to detour 45minutes just to get back onto I-80 less than 10miles later.  So, the first day we were delayed nearly 2 hours, and we didn't get into our first stop until after 11:30pm.  Needless to say, we crashed.  The second day we drove, and drove, and drove.  I don't have any pictures because if you've been through Nebraska, you know that there isn't anything to look at.  We made it to Kansas City, and crashed our second night.  On our last day we only had a short 4 1/2 hour drive to our new home.  We were planning on taking a nap, but we were too excited, so we went off-roading back to the park.  Hubby showed me around, and I captured his 'Serine' face (see below).  It was nice to see him relax so quickly after the long drive (24 hours), and the craziness of unpacking the truck and organizing the house.

The next morning Hubby woke me up to watch the sunrise.  I didn't mind too much because we crashed at 9pmish the night before.  It was magical.  The fog was rolling in from the river and coming through the trees and onto the pasture.  If this doesn't make you want to come visit us, I don't know what will.

 The first day, the animals were out of sorts with nothing to really climb on.  Once we got the boxes into the house the cats were in heaven, playing king/queen of the mountain.  They had lots of places to climb and hide.  They have adapted pretty well to everything. As I write this, they are both in the downstairs with us in the window.  The cats have also taken to playing and running a muck all night, and sleeping, usually on my side of the bed, together (close but not touching).

 Duke is in heaven.  He was out with Hubby, and discovered the spring/pond, in the park.  Right now, since it's been so dry, it's more of a mud hole.  Well, he jumped in and got up to his chest in dark sticky mud.  Hubby hosed him off outside, but Duke still managed to bring some inside with him.
Since I'm still trying to get my house in order I don't have any pictures of it.  My goal is to get boxes in the room they are supposed to be in (or in a temporary storage state), then I will paint, decorate, and then I will update with before and after pictures of what I've been up to. 
We have been spending a lot of time at the home improvement store, fixing and changing stuff.  We had to fix the kitchen faucet, and the screen on the sliding glass door, putting in shelving in closets.  And we've been replacing the drab curtains with white, faux wood blinds.  Even those few things are making a difference.
Oh yeah!  And Hubby got chicken the first day we were here.  Yeah, I wasn't sure I wanted to take that on right away, but he gave me his sad little boy look, and promised to take care of them, and stated that he wanted fresh eggs by his birthday, so of course I couldn't deny him.  We have 8 Rhode Island Red Hens hanging out in a plastic bin in the workshop.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

New Point of View

We've had one big, crazy, loooooong, summer.  We have been busy, and mostly with one thing.  We are going from this view:

To this view:

'What is this?' you ask.  'Well, that's our backyard,' I answer.  WE ARE OFFICIALLY HOME OWNERS!!!!!!  We have been working on this since May, and finally closed on it today.  We are headed back to Arkansas next month, and completely thrilled about it.  We feel so blessed to be getting our dream house with our dream property.  We are very much looking forward to hanging out on our deck and surveying our property.  We finally have our piece of Heaven on Earth to jump happily into the next steps/stages of our life.  Hubby has been talking about all the wonderful things we get to do with that much land.  The bonus is that there is already a house, a workshop, a barn, a storage building, all that pasture, and a bit of forest with lots of hardwood trees.  Lots of room for lots of growth in lots of areas of our lives.  
It doesn't seem real yet, and probably won't until we are actually there.  It's been crazy just getting to this point.  Here is a little of the back story:  I found the property online in March, and just filed it for later (since we weren't really looking yet).  Then the middle of May I looked at it again and then I showed Hubby.  He got all sorts of excited, and we contacted his Pappy and our Realtor to go check it out.  They both raved about it.   While trying to get out to see for ourselves, we found out that there was another possible buyer, we jumped on making an offer, sight-unseen, and they accepted.  We flew out, fell in more love, I twisted my left ankle, and fell off the back porch stairs (see pic #1 below) in my excitement (only after being there less than an hour), took out my right big toenail on the way down, bled all over, grossed out our Realtor.  Hubby took me to the Medical Clinic and I told him that we had to buy it now, since I bled all over it.  I won't bless you with a picture of my bleeding toe, but if you've ever lost a nail, it is pretty bad.  The house is older (see pic #2 below), but I totally think that it adds character, and it's just the right size for what we want to do with our future.  And Hubby is in love with the very back of the property, he calls it the 'Park' (see pic #3 below).
#1 Back Porch Stairs (don't mind the toilet)
#2 House, from the front
#3 The Park


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Pooh Corner

 I found this great tutorial on Honeybear Lane (an amazing blog BTW) and I had to make one.  Luckily a friend just had an adorable baby girl, and her wonderful Husband painted a gorgeous mural of 1000 acer woods from Winnie the Pooh, in the nursery.  I seriously almost started crying when I walked into the room, it was that beautiful.  So here is the outcome of my efforts.
<----- This is the front.  It's a woven pattern with unfinished edges, so it's kind of a faux rag look.                  ----->
This is the back.  She accented all the soft colors with Hot Pink.  and how could you go wrong with Hot Pink for a Baby Girl.  Here is a close up of the front with the weaving.  I did  cute Pooh print, and added a yellow, blue, and green print to accent the colors of the Pooh print.  The I did an off white for the other direction.  It gives enough color without being overwhelming.  I used a hot pink thread that matched the back to sewing the layers together.  <-----Here is my binding.  I just used some leftover green and used my new sewing machine and did a swirly pattern to give it some whimsy.
Here it is draped on the back staircase at home.          ----->

Here here it is all wrapped up and ready to be given away.
They absolutely loved it, and I was so glad to see the looks on their faces when they unwrapped it.  I love bringing happiness to great people and friends.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Scarlet Fever

 My visiting teacher asked me to make a Scarlet bag for her daughter that graduated High School, and a matching one for her daughters best friend.  These bags turned out so cute, and the girls LOVE them.  One is red outside and black inside, and the other is the opposite. 

 Here are the insides of the bags next to each other.

I think they turned out great.  One of the girls is going to BYU-Hawaii, so the bag will be great to just throw into the washing machine, when needed.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Mommies Weekend

So this is a week late, but I wanted to post something to let my Mom know how much I appreciate her.  I was able to go to Arizona for Mother's Day Weekend to spend with her.  It was nice to have Mommy-Daughter time.  We shopped, we got our toes done, we went dancing with my step-Dad, we sewed a little, and we talked a lot.  I am an avid people watcher and I like seeing where people get their personality traits from.  Well, spending that much time with my Mom (just the two of us, and it being a long time since we've been able to do so), I realized how much of me I get from her, even down to some/if not most of my mannerisms. 
While there I helped her finish putting together a dress that we cut out at Thanksgiving.  It was fun to watch her sew, and learn how to figure out how to solve sewing problems.  I have a tendency to get stuck in my own head, and struggle to see a problem from all angles.  We also played a lot with her new puppy, a Cocker Spaniel.  We grew up with Cocker Spaniels, so it was fun to cuddle and play with a puppy again.
Here is my Mom and I after church on Mother's Day.  I'm wearing the dress I helped her make for me.  
It was a great weekend, and I'm glad that I could go.  I love my Mom so much and am grateful for all the wonderful things she has given me, given up for me, and taught me.  I hope to someday be as good a mother to my own children as she has been to me.  And I know that she'll be the best grandmother to my children.  I love you Mom!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

A Family In Need

 I am a huge blog reader.  And I came upon this blog called Honeybear Lane.  She is so creative, and recently she had tragedy strike her family.  Her beautiful sister-in-law passed a week after giving birth to her third child.  You can read the story HERE.  I was completely moved by this plight of this loving father with three young children and no means of support.  Please, if you feel impressed to do so, sent your thoughts, love, prayers, and if you can, any small donation to help this family at this time.  Although I'm not a mother yet, my heart aches for this family.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Pirates in my Purse!

 I made a Travel Bag a while back, and it turned out huge and awesome, but I wanted to have a purse that I could put in it at the airport, and pull out when I got to my destination.  So, here is the finished product:

I wanted kind of hidden front pockets, so I learned how to do a double welt pocket.  It was an interesting experience, but it turned out better than I had hoped.  And it gave me confidence to try it again.

Here is the inside of the front pockets that I lined with my Pirate Fabric.

I ran out of the lining I used on my Travel Bag, but I found this super awesome pirate print.  I love putting in fun and unexpected linings in bags.  Hubby thinks it's weird, but loves me anyway.

I put lots of pockets on the inside (as per usual for my personal bags).  It's the perfect tote size, and fits nicely with my Travel Bag.  And a close up of the cute pirate print.

I have a lot more projects in the works, that are actually in the process of being sewn.  It's been a while, but I'm excited to be getting some stuff done.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Day 31: Where You Relax

I am usually just chilling on the couch with Hubby after work, and that's pretty boring.  So, I'm putting a picture of where I'd like to relax.  This is a picture of a field where we used to live in Arkansas.  I would just like to spread a blanket under one of those trees and watch the clouds go by, with Hubby of course.  We are really missing Arkansas, and hopefully we will get back there when it's time.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Day 30: Toy

Because I don't have any children, I had a hard time coming up with this one.  So, I am putting a picture of what I use for fun (which can be defined, loosely, as a toy).  This is my 1949 Heavyweight Singer.  I named her Betty.  I need to clean her and replace her rubber parts, and someday get a new case for her, but she is a pretty good machine.  In the background you can also see my newer Singer, and my Juki Surger.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Day 29: Feet

This picture is one of my sister's favorites pictures of when we were little.  She was a newborn, and on the far right, I'm in the middle, and our older brother is on the left.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Day 28: Trash

I really didn't want to take a picture of trash or a trash can, so I'm going with the opposite of trash: Treasure.
This last week I've been working on my latest creation.  It was inspired by THIS bag I saw on Pinterest/Etsy.  I fell in love with the color and the idea of the slouchy bag with  two handles.  I changed it up a bit, to make it my own.

 It's about 20"w x 16"h x 6"d.  I made it to travel with, because I always seem to over stuff my purse.  I got some Turquoise Duck Canvas from JoAnn Fabrics and a cute Cotton Flower print for the lining.  For the brown handle/accents I used 550 Paracord.The front has 4 lined pockets that I put at an angle to add interesting lines.

The sides have a pocket each and tabs to hook the longer strap to.
I didn't line the side pockets.  Instead I made a bias tape and sewed it to the edge.
The back has a huge pocket to stick a lap top in, with a button/elastic closure for easy access.
I lines and over-lapped the lining to make a band for interest.
 I also interfaced the outside parts with stiff iron-on interfacing some peal interfacing.

On the inside of the back outside pocket is a hidden zipper pocket for anything I need easier access to.

The top/shorter handle is as wide as the bag for extra support, but I bound the middle to make it easier to carry with my hand if I don't want to sling it over my shoulder.
The top also has a zipper closer to keep all the stuff I will put in it from spilling out.

The inside has 3 tall and 3 short pockets on each side, for a total of 12 inside, and it's wide enough to put stuff in the middle.

<---------  Here it is hanging by the short handle.

Here it is hanging by the long strap. ------>

I have a enough Duck Canvas left over that I'm planning on making a bag to go with it to carry around as a purse once I get to my destination.   I'll have to find a complimentary lining for my bag.  Look for more pictures to come.