Saturday, June 14, 2008

Almost forgot

I DID actually do a teeny bit of sewing this last week. I made some cloth wipes to go with my cloth diapers. I knew there was a reason I had all this flannel laying around. The sizes are odd because I mostly used up scraps of what was left after I cut out bibs, but I figure it doesn't matter all that much. I could easily gone the cheapo route and cut up some old towels, but I bought some terry from Hancock's just because I wanted to see what it was like. It washed up super duper soft, and I kind of like that it's thinner than a regular towel.

They were pretty easy, although a wee bit more time-consuming than I thought they'd be, but only because I'm anal retentive and had to iron and topstitch and all that stuff. Yes, I'm becoming a total sewing nerd. I'm going to make some more when I get a chance.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Handy beats crafty

I haven't had much time to craft or to post this week since my in-laws are visiting from out-of-town. I just have to brag for a minute on them because while I know many people don't get along with their ILs, mine are wonderful. My mother-in-law is really great with the baby, and I totally trust her to watch E without having to hover nearby. We are pretty similar, personality-wise, and get along really well. An my father-in-law is super handy, can fix or make just about anything, and he always does some big house project for us whenever he is here. I usually feel bad putting him to work when he's technically on vacation, but T insists that he enjoys doing it.

So this time, we decided to tackle the big project of painting the kitchen. Sounds like a simple task on the surface, until you realize that the entire kitchen is covered with two layers of wallpaper, one of which is painted flaming red with some weird brown streaks for "texture." I forgot to take some 'before' shots, but here's a couple from not long after we moved in.

When we first moved in, the red didn't bother me so much. But after a while, it becomes really overwhelming, almost claustrophobic. I've been dying to change it, but we really didn't want to slap another coat of paint over the red, we couldn't afford to pay someone to do it, and we weren't up to doing it ourselves, especially since I had already stripped the painted wallpaper in our bathroom and knew what pain in the butt it was. Enter my awesome In-laws.

In case you've never dealt with stripping wallpaper before, let me just tell you now: it sucks. And the geniuses who put it up in our house decided to just go ahead and stick it directly to the drywall, which makes it more complicated. I won't go into too much boring detail, but let's just say that it's a multi-step process which involves stripping, sanding, and priming. Bleh.

Add to all this the fact that the idiots who decided to paint the kitchen screaming, fire-engine red did a really sloppy, half-ass job and got red paint all over the ceiling, cabinets and trim. This led my FIL to declare that painting the ceiling was necessary. Here's a couple shots after he finally got the ceiling done and the walls primed.

Originally, we were going to texture the walls to cover up any imperfections left from the stripping/patching process, but I think we were all a little nervous since no one had ever worked with texture before. We ended up deciding to just start painting on one wall and seeing how it would look without texture. Here's the "after" pics.

For a 4-day project, I think it turned out pretty well. I'm still not 100% sold on the color, even though I'm the one that picked it out. I struggled for a long time with what direction to go in, since I didn't want it to be another bold color, and it also had to coordinate with the yellow in the next room. In the end, I decided to go for something that would be kind of a warm light brown/tan neutral; something that wouldn't overpower the woodwork. The color on the chip was called "Warm Cappuccino," but it turned out to be much more peach-y and flesh-toned than I thought it was going to be once it was up (it looks almost pink in the pictures, but it's really not). But everyone else likes it, and I think I just need time for it to grow on me. I will say it makes my kitchen look SO much bigger, which is always a plus. Now if only I could convince T that we need new counters...

Thursday, June 5, 2008

quickie update

Once again, I've fallen woefully behind on projects. I started working on a romper that is giving me a huge headache (stupid crotch gussets), so I've temporarily put that aside to go back to the bibs I've been meaning to make for ages now. Although, I have to say E very rarely tolerates a bib these days, so I'm thinking I may use the rest of my stash of flannel and make some cloth wipes to go with my new cloth diapers. I almost bought some, but when I realized that they are just a layer of flannel and terry or velour, I figured I'd save some dough and make my own. Of course, mine won't be all pretty and serged, but I think I can live with it. I'm too tired to take any pictures right now. I'll get some up later this week.

I should also mention that my fabric stash is starting to get out of control. While my friend was here, I managed to buy a few more pieces (I couldn't resist the apples & pears print), and then last week, another mom offered up some fabric for free, so how could I say no?


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