Friday, July 27, 2012

It's curtains for you, curtains, you hear?

Minute 5:

These next valances, to replace the depressing ones in the study, required a lot of pickiness.  I'm more of an "artsy" sewing gal.  However, these had to be perfect, seeing as they were a pattern you could easily see and a plaid border.  I used my Simplicity book for directions and carefully lined them.  I measured and measured and measured some more.  I pressed.  I did it all.  It took way longer than my last attempt.  

The dining room became my official craft room.

I planned to do tabs in the contrasting plaid.  Again, I carefully measured.  According to the book, they needed to be the length of the loop plus 5 inches and 3.5 inches wide.  According to the book, I needed 33 of them.  Eh, NAH.  I cut it down to 21 (7 per valance).  I cut 21 perfectly square tabs.  I folded them over, and sewed half inch seams on 8 of them.  Then, I decided, I should try them to make sure I liked them because they seemed awfully... dinky.  Well, I managed to get ONE turned right side out.  After like 15 minutes of struggling.  These darned things turned out to need 16 inches of length.  Hubby tried to help and gave up after trying to figure out how to start the turning it inside out process.  So, I attached one with a pin to the curtain and asked him what he thought.  He no likey.  Me either.

I especially didn't like the idea of having to do THAT amount of work another 20 times.  So, I decided we should go with rings.  Rings that clip on, to be exact.  Well, we picked those up at the Lowe's tonight while looking at bathroom stuff (ugh, more on that later...), et voila!

We went from this:

To this:

To... drumroll please... THIS!

A thing of beauty, I tell ya, a thing of beauty.  I am purty darned proud, to say the least.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A Cleaner (Laundry) World

Everyone who has gotten a home tour has missed our "laundry room", which is just really a closet big enough for stackables and a water heater. While part of it is because it's not exciting, the other reason is that the whole room was covered in lint. Why? You ask. Well, the dryer was originally vented into a bowl of water, basically. When we moved in, it progressed to a knee high, and Mom often said that moist heat couldn't be good. Well, I lobbied for venting the dryer to the outside, but other projects won out.  However, when Chris, our electrician, announced that our GFCI breaker (a pricey piece of equipment, mind you) had probably gone bad because of all the lint 2 Sundays ago, hubby got the grin.  Next thing you know, we're at Lowe's buying stuff to vent the dryer!  I didn't do the full before effect, but you can see the clumps of lint from where I had started sweeping the baseboards here.  Please note that this was not the first time I had cleaned this space, as those lint balls may lead you to falsely assume!  We sneezed for 2 days straight.

You may also notice hubby in this picture.  He's behind the dryer, cutting a hole in the floor.  See?

It was not a fun job.  It required lots of yelling through the floor, which would inevitably result in Winston barking his fool head off and me snatching him up to make him quiet.  The pieces didn't fit together easily, and I refused to go under the house to hold stuff for hubby.  I held it from the laundry room, but the crawl space is NOT big enough for this chickita, thankyouverymuch. (Note: it is, unfortunately, big enough, that all work at the floor level was uncomfortably high for hubby.  Good thing there were cinder blocks down there for him to sit on!)

Anyway, I cleaned everything off.  Twice.  And hubby even painted and took out the GROSS shelving unit (plastic coated closet shelves + moist heat = disgusting stickiness).  Et voila!  We have a beautiful, clean laundry room!!!

The best part is that my million loads of laundry this past Sunday did not affect our house's climate.  A thing of beauty, I tell ya.  And yes, that gorgeous floor is original.  One of these days, it might get replaced...

Monday, July 23, 2012

Blinded by the light...

So, you may remember that we purchased blinds for the master bath a while ago.  For only $18.  Well, about 2 weekends ago, we headed back to JCPenney to get more - for all 3 bedrooms to be exact.  Unfortunately, they were out.  However, the super-nice (slightly nutty) cashier managed to price over-ride them and order all of them for our original giving price!  She then managed to have them sent to our house free of charge.  
They arrived this week, and hubby set to hanging them up!  It makes a HUGE difference in the heat on that side of the house!  Winston pouted the first day when he realized he couldn't see out the front windows.  Opening those blinds has now become part of my morning routine.  Spoiled puppy!
Here's an office window...

And one of the guest bedroom windows.  It feels so much more cozy!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Fabulous fabric.

So, this weekend, we decided to go in search of fabric to replace the valences in our study.  We headed out to High Point after a ROUGH morning run for this chickita.  Apparently, food does really impact your body... and your runs.  

Anywho, we stopped at our fav place - Fabric Forum - and recruited the help of a very skilled seamstress!  We found fabric for our bedroom (I'll show that later - I'm in the midst of changing the sheets, so you can't really get the effect of that fabric in our bedroom.

We didn't find fabric for our study... but we DID find green fabric for our kitchen!  We crossed our fingers that it would go.  And it did!  It did!  

Our talented seamstress bud helped me pick out some sparkly trim with black trim to pick up the cabinets.  I was so inspired, I made them last night and this morning!

Sadly, I still need to work on my straight line skills (in my defense, the pattern on the fabric was not straight - a challenge to decide which to go with...).  This was highlighted by the nice black line, but once hubby fixed the tension in the rods, it wasn't as bad as it first appeared.  The sparkles are a little tough to see in the picture, so here's a close up (which still doesn't do it justice)!

So, back to our trip yesterday.  We decided to hit up the clearance fabric folds at 1502 quickly.  The store is HUGE.  

They have beautiful fabric, but it is pretty pricey.  The folds are much more reasonable.  I found just a little bit of a pretty floral fabric.  Not enough to do full valences, though :(  And then, on the next table, I spotted a plaid.  It went perfectly, and in my head, it matched our study perfectly.  I was SO PUMPED when I discovered that I was exactly right!

Trav was pretty much over the fabric search by the time I finished up the purchases.  Good thing they have husband chairs available!  

We also bought ourselves a new wireless printer/fax/copier/scanner, which I set up and stuck in a cabinet - so no more attempting to hide our printer in the dining room!  OHHH and we bought a new lamp, but that's going to have to wait, too, because I'm too pooped to think about going in and snapping a pic of that right now :)

Monday, July 9, 2012

A great weekend

A great weekend guys, a great weekend.  My paw-ents actually did no home improvements (other than their usual cleaning frenzy), and I had guests on Saturday night!  She was a little protective of MY bones, but I was a good boy and shared.

She did kind of freak me out a few times, so I sought safety...

I swear they were having a better time than it looks like in this picture.  They were in the middle of a serious conversation, clearly.  And I can assure you that the meringue on that chocolate pie they're having was awesome!!!  

Sunday, I got to rest up even more because my paw-ents headed to Charlotte to see Chris and Caroline.  It was lovely.  When they got back, mom kept talking about how cute the "preggo" Caroline looks and how fabulous their new house is!  She's looking forward to heading back one more time before - I hear, anyway - I am once again going to have competition for the cutest, littlest thing in the room.  

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy? 4th of July!

Winston here again. Mom made me wear this stupid shirt and I had to endure a really long and impressive fireworks display at the top of my street. Man am I glad she's going back to work tomorrow and I can REST.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

An update from Winston, since my parents have been so busy.

A message from Winston:

I am sure you have noticed a lack of blogging from my mom.  Well, let me tell you, she's been one busy lady.  A few weekends back, she and dad headed off to Charleston with my grandpawents to do some prep work for my uncle's wedding next year.  It was beautiful:

But it meant that they LEFT me.  It turned out to be pretty OK.  My grandma took me to her house, where I got to pick blueberries (sorry about the sideways picturse - I didn't realize what a tough job mom has posting these things!)...

...and hang with the boys, playing poker and drinking all night (don't worry mom and dad, I didn't smoke)...

When they got home, my grandpaw had surgery on his paw - I mean foot!

So, Mom and I hung out with him one afternoon while dad was on a business trip - she worked while I guarded him.  Man, it's a tough job to try to keep up with caring for all my people.

The next weekend, company came.  I love company.  Except the company this time included a little person who was just about my size.

Everyone just thought she was soooo cute, and I kept getting in trouble for trying to get the treats she'd offer me (well, at least I THOUGHT she was offering them all to me).  So, I figured, if she was going to be in her mom's lap...

...I was sitting in mine.  Safe from the noise and unpredictable movements of a scary 14 month old baby.

I at least had my cousin, Daisy, for support... and she also decided it was safest with her mom.

My mom just seemed to love Natalie.  So much so, she even let Natalie play the piano with her!

Well, little lady, two can play that game.  I want you to know that is MY SPOT!

Anyway, my grandma had a birthday.  She's a special lady, and I wanted her to have a special day.  I also needed a break from all the company.  All those women and their laughter can wear a guy out!  So, I sent them all up to the mountains for the day, while I helped dad prepare a special birthday meal for her.

So, then, last weekend, my parents left me AGAIN.  This time, I got to hang with my grandpawents and my good buddy Aunt Martha.  (Mom was sad that Natalie and Jessie had gone home, but I was a little relieved.  I'm just not used to that kind of activity.) Mom and dad headed to Wilmington for my aunt Christina's wedding...

I must say, I sent them off in style.

By the following Monday, after a few tutorial sessions, my aunt Martha was rocking out using her iPad!

We had one last delish dessert (I know - Martha let me finish hers) before she left.

So, now, we're almost caught up.  You can imagine that there was a lot of (scary) house cleaning going on in preparation for visitors and whatnot.  Just when I thought things were going to settle down, my parents decided to get a king size bed.  Now, they tell me that this purchase had a lot to do with me.  They claim that I have a tendency to shove both of them out of bed.  Don't believe them.  The real deal is that I want to be snuggled up to BOTH of them, yet I don't want to get smothered, either.  A puppy's legs need to have their space, you know.   Well, anyway.  Friday, some dude I'd never seen before had the NERVE to come into MY house, and my parents wouldn't let me at him.  He left the bed, so I guess it wasn't that bad.  Friday night, mom and dad started moving mattresses around and really freaked me out.  They let me ride with them to bring one to Clemmons.  That made me feel a little better.

They were pretty excited about the deal that they got on the bedspread, bedskirt, and pillow shams.  They put it all together, admired their work... and then I tried to get in bed.  I was EXHAUSTED.  May I just share my disappointment with them?  They got a bed too high for me.  And sheets too slippery.  I tried to jump up and fell.  Harrumph.  I must say, though, it sure is nice to have all that space to spread out in... and the comforter adds another layer of soft comfort for my sleeping pleasure.  

Dad finished the headboard for the new bed.  He started on it quite some time ago, and it's been hanging out in the hallway waiting for a bed to go with it.  It needed some extra moulding to get finished, so he did that yesterday while mom cleaned and ironed and cooked and whatnot.  I have to say, he did a pretty nice job.

Well, folks, hopefully, life is going to slow down a little for my paw-ents, and mom will be back to her regular posting schedule, because my paws are killing me from all this work!