Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Year in school paper organizing.

For the last few years I've been dumping all the school papers, art projects and other misc things the boys make into a basket throughout the school year. In June, when all the papers we could possibly ever want come home, I sort through the basket of papers. I'm not going to lie- it takes hours of my time and energy. Not the sorting so much, but the thought that I'm not saving the right stuff. Now that the boys are older I ask their input on what I MUST save and what they want to throw away. They're very insightful and for the most part it's me who feels it all must be saved. I photographer a lot of the art so I can make copies or prints if it's really special.


Top is before I started, below is after I got it down. I actually doesn't look sugneicantly smaller but there was a LOT that got tossed.



When the pile it seriously smaller and easier to manage I file it away into a file box. I started these boxes after my oldest finished 1st grade. Now that he just finished 4th grade I had to upgrade the size of his box. I keep a lot more of his younger years stuff. I find that I keep less and less as he grows. I also realized there's less artwork that comes home with each passing year. That actually makes me a little sad because he is so creative and LOVES art.


 

I'm glad to have things organized and put away.  If they grow up and toss it, I might be sad. But its fun to look at how their hand writting has changed over the years and what they art is turning into.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Garage sale stool

I went garage saleing with my husband back in May and we found this metal stool. It was only $3 so I spent the money and snapped it up. I think my husband wasn't sure why I wanted it but I knew with a tiny bit of paint it would be a fun stool for the art desk I painted last fall (which I might not have even blogged about).


 I went with a sunny yellow to complaiment the blue painting desk.



An easy project but I do need to get better about waiting till all the paint it dry before moving on. I tend to rush the drying process and it never fails that I leave a finger print or two in the wet paint.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Office Chair Re-upholstered...

My Husband has an office chair that he bought in a silent auction when we were dating or shortly after we got married (it's been a long time). He LOVES his awesome desk chair, and I don't really blame him- it's super comfy. Well the seat cushions have seen better days and were starting to rip, fade and become altogether dingy.

On a whim one day he decided to take the chair apart to see how easy it would be to re-upholster the cushions. Of course taking it apart was the easy part. Since he doesn't sew, he then needed my help to make the chair beautiful again. He kindly bought all the supplies and then waited (and waited) for me to get around to the sewing part. A few weeks of gentle nagging and I finally found some time to get the job done.

I'm no expert but I used the existing cushions as a guide and did the best I could. It was my first time ever using stray adhesive, or thin foam or even this stitch.



The stitch I used had to go over the cording but not sew into the cord so that I could pull the cord through the thread and have it cinch the cushion over the plastic seat parts. Very interesting but it worked really slick.




Once the cushions were snug on the plastic chair pieces they snapped right back into the grooves of the chair. It was pretty awesome to see the transformation. I didn't take a before shot of the yellow dirty chair, but here's the new orange office chair.



Friday, March 9, 2018

Pink Leg Warmers...

Back in November I started this project. It wasn't a hard project it I just didn't really have a lot of motivation to finish them. Fast forward to February when I finally finished them. My son wore them once and hasn't wanted to wear them since. I'm not sure why- I made them just for him the way he wanted them. Some projects are just like that.

Here's his pink leg warmers/ yoga socks in pictures and the pattern:


PATTERN
I cast on 64 stitches. Joined the stitches for working in the round and then made a *Knit 4, purl 4*  2 inch ribbing. I wanted a new challenge so after the ribbing was 2 inches from cast on I started to make a rick rack rib stitch in the round.


Rick Rack Rib stitch:

Round 1: *Purl 1, skip the first stitch, knit in the back loop of the second stitch (do not slip this stitch off the needle), knit into the front loop of the first stitch and now slip both knitted stitches of the needle; repeat from * to end of the round.

Round 2: *Purl 1, skip the first stitch, knit in the front loop of the second stitch (do not slip this stitch off the needle), knit into the front loop of the first stitch and now slip both knitted stitches from the needle; repeat from * to end of the round.

Repeat rounds 1 and 2 to the desired height.


I forgot to write down the pattern as I was making it up, but after the pink measured 12 inches I cast off 34 stitches, leaving a little less than half (30 stitches) on the needle. Then I cast on 26 with my main color (pink). I joined the stitches for working in the round again and *knit 4, purl 4* rib with my second color (purple) till the ribbing was 2 inches. I cast off all the stitches and wove in all the loose ends.
END PATTERN


I didn't even have the time or energy to take really fancy photos either. These we took really fast in the front entry on the dirty floor with my iphone camera. C'est la vie

Though I felt disappointed having made something he hasn't really worn much yet, there was one awesome thing that did come out of this knitting project: I convinced my son (who I was making the leg warmers for) to read aloud to me while I knit. It became a nightly routine until I was finished this project. It was a wonderful bonding time and I hope we can continue it into the future. 


Saturday, February 24, 2018

A rattle for a new baby...

One weekend I just happened to stumble upon the most adorable knitting patterns for stuffed animals. I've never tried knitting a stuff toy before but they were too cute not to buy the pattern and try. I bought the Wasabi pattern for the little whale.


It took me a couple tries to get it started correctly but then it was super fun to see it come together pretty quickly.


I decided to not use button eyes like the pattern called for because I didn't want them to fall out or be a choking hazard to the baby. So I stitched the eyes. As I was finishing the eyes I realized I could add a few little bells inside to change it from just a stuffed toy to a rattle for the baby. Oh I was so excited about this idea.



I finished it up just in time to give it to my son's teacher for her baby shower gift. She has been amazing this year, encouraging my son to thrive in her classroom. I don't want her to leave before the end of the school year but am excited she'll get to snuggle with her first child. We'll miss her loving care but it'll all work out fine.




Saturday, January 13, 2018

A New Quilt for baby...

My cousin had a baby shower back in July and as a gift I decided to make her a quilt for her new baby. Of course, it took a while to get things worked out as far as color, design and ordering the fabric. So it wasn't till New Years Eve that it was finally finished and I could take it to her.


My cousin and her Husband both enjoy fishing and hunting. With my twin sisters help we found a bit of inspiration to use that in our design. I even had an extra arrow started that when we were putting the quilt together, when it wasn't need on the quilt top I threw together a quick quick pillowcase to store it in. I love making these cases for smaller quilts, because when we travel we love pillows as much as warm blankets. We take the quilt out and stuff a jacket inside when we want both a pillow and a blanket.


The arrow heads were a bit tricky but eventually we got the look we wanted.


I love all the textures on the quilt. The backing is a very soft fuzzy material, the edging is satin and the cotton piecing on the front is matte.
 

 Baby A seemed to love it right away and even took a nice warm nap in my arms wrapped in its coziness. Hooray for handmade gifts.



Monday, July 10, 2017

From Rack to Open Wardrobe

I worked at a school this past year and it was so much fun. At the end of the year all the teachers were organizing their rooms and cleaning things out. One item that was up for grabs was from the Kindergarten teacher I worked with. It was a rack she didn't need anymore. I grabbed for my sister initially. My sister is amazing at looking at something and seeing its full potential. She didn't want it for anything but maybe a garage sale clothes rack. Then it hit me how I could use it for all my clothes. Our closet/ drawer system isn't working for me and I needed a change.

Here's how the rack looked after I sprayed it black. 


Then I started thinking about more storage... like shoes. Where can I hide those (not that I have too many). A box! I grabbed some 1/2 inch birch plywood from the garage stash and started constructing a box that would rest on the two lower bar supports.



I stained it in a limed oak stain, which is pretty much a white stain, but I loved it next to the black metal. The two side pieces to keep it from tipping off were a bit tricky but it worked with the bar up the middle. Here it is empty... we're waiting for new carpet so ignore the bare cement floors pictured.


Then I went to the container store (love that place!) to buy a few bins to organize it all. I think this is most of my clothes and all my shoes (you can't even guess where they're hiding- but they are there).


I'm so excited to have everything all in one place. Of course there are a few boxes with my winter/ seasonal things put away for the summer, but I'm happy to keep things simple. Too many clothes and I'd be lost for what to wear. These are all the pieces I wear constantly/ daily and have no need for much more than this.