Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Baby Knitting

Over the weekend our little family spent a significant period of time in the car to travel to a very special lady's 100th birthday. Not only did we listen to the entire audiobook of The Swiss Family Robinson, but 10 hours in the car provides an ample amount of knitting time. I finished two sets of booties (which just need some buttons, I'll share them soon!) On Monday I was still on a roll with the knitting and whipped out this super cute baby hat (here's the ravelry link to the pattern, or the direct website link.) Some friends of ours are expecting and don't know what they are having so I figured I would make a set for a boy and another for a girl and just have an extra set for any future babies that come along. So, the boy set is done! Feels good to be ahead of the game. The baby is due in a couple weeks so hopefully I will have time to finish up something girly.

ETA: Okay, you knew this was going to happen, right? My husband just called. Our friends had their baby last night - it's a girl! Time to get busy!!

Friday, August 14, 2009

A little something exciting...

I think I am finally ready to share a little exciting news with you (No mom, I'm not pregnant.) I got published! Two of my projects are in the latest book in the Pretty Little Series by Lark Publishing, Pretty Little Presents! I've been waiting to share the news until the book was in my hands - didn't want to jinx it or something! But now its finally here. Check it out!

My projects, a flower baby rattle
Eek! That's really my name!

and fabric napkin rings

The book as a whole is really cute and has some projects I will definitely be trying out. I'll try to do a more thorough review soon, but for now you'll just have to gaze at my projects!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

A little freshening up

It was time to freshen things up in my living room. Remember this? Seems art in this spot has a shelf life of about a year. Anyway, here's my latest version.

I like that I can change things up a little just by swapping out a few pictures rather than starting from scratch. We'll see how long this one lasts!

A few notes, not that you were going to ask, just because I can actually remember right now! From bottom left, going clockwise:

  • original art from Sydney displayed on a magnet board made with metal roof flashing
  • a matryoshka doll from my grandma displayed on a shadow box shelf
  • scrapbook paper in a shiny frame
  • Sydney crossing a bridge last summer in Alexandria, MN
  • Looking up a tree, last summer, Edward Lake, MN or was it Lake Edward?
  • Fabric on embroidery hoop
  • Lily pads at the lake last summer
  • Sydney's folded hands at 3 days old
  • An abandoned bird's nest we found in the yard this spring, displayed in a shadow box
  • My sister's photography
  • Patterned paper from Paper Source

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Birthday Kitchen: Before & After

My how the time flies! I can't believe I've been away from here for so long, and I also can't believe my baby turned 4 this week. We had a great party over the weekend with lots of family, food and fun. We finished Sydney's kitchen just in the nick of time, and I even got my house clean before everyone showed up!

The story of the kitchen:
I've wanted my daughter to have a play kitchen for as long as I've had a daughter. We had one when I was a kid that my dad made and I have many great memories of playing with it. I've been scouring the Internet for great deals, but man those things are expensive! I knew it could be made, but my construction partner (my husband) was not really on board. After much pleading he finally relented after I gave myself a deadline - one week to find a second hand table to start with or I would give up the dream (until Christmas at least!)
I bought this table at a thrift store for $20 that Thursday. I spent more than I thought it was really worth, but it was sturdy, the perfect height and at least partially made from real wood. The other cabinet that was going to be the fridge was purchased at an auction sale several years ago for $12.
As so it began. Lee added sides and a back to the table and an extremely sturdy shelf to the inside. I primed and painted both pieces with paint I already had on hand. I chose black so it would at least somewhat "go" with our family room where I wanted it to live and to match the fabric I had already chosen for the skirt under the sink.

We "installed" a faucet we found for $2 at a Habitat for Humanity Restore* and new knobs that turn, a towel bar on the side, oven knobs, a long fridge like handle for the cabinet and cut a hole for the bowl sink in the table.

The oven door I made from wool felt. It has a velcro door with a vinyl window. We thought for a long time about making a real door for the oven, but decided this was a much easier, cheaper, safer method.

So here is the breakdown:
$20 Table
$12 Cabinet (although since I was cleaning out the garage I think this shouldn't count)
$ 2 faucet
$43 for oven knobs, faucet knobs, towel bar, shelf, tension rod and misc. supplies
$ 3 acrylic high gloss spray finish (my black paint was eggshell so this gave it a nice shiny, cleanable finish)
$ 6 stainless steel bowl
$86 Total Cost (not including a whole Saturday and several evenings of labor)

Used black paint, silver spray paint, screws, plywood, fabric, felt, and velcro already on hand.

And...the finished product.
I love it! And thankfully so does Sydney. She was also lucky enough to receive some super cute accessories from a crafty friend and a crafty Nana!
A little funny story for you in closing...I purchased several plastic baskets for Sydney to organize her food, dishes, etc. in her kitchen. Monday morning I was trying to help her get everything set up. She insisted we leave one basket empty under the sink which I insisted was where her dishes should go. She informed me that was the dishwasher! Of course! Why would she think she should wash dishes in the sink - I never do! :)
* If you have a local Habitat for Humanity Restore be sure to check it out! Not only are you supporting a great cause, but they have some great finds there for super cheap!!