Monday, December 23, 2013

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

'Twas the night after Thanksgiving...

'Twas the night after Thanksgiving, and all through the house,
Wifey was scrambling, the dog was a louse.

She hung the stockings on the mantle with care,
Wrapping the contents for hubby's, leaving hers bare.

The reindeer were grouped just below with a tree,
Leaving just enough room for some pinecones, you see.

The sparkly trees left glitter all over the house,
Which she quickly chased down, threatening to vacuum even her spouse.

Each tree went up, the white one quite quickly,

Sadly, the big one's lights proved to be sickly.
Wifey saved it with tulle, and lots of it!
And Christmas came to Turnberry Love, the cheer poured on quite thickly.

With a crick in her back, wifey proclaimed:
The presents are wrapped, the cute Christmas cards framed,

I do believe it's time, she explained,
For us all to gather together and thank our Savior once more -
Christmas reminds us all what it's all for:
To love, and to give, while the Christchild we adore.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

How wonderful it is that our forefathers had the insight to set aside a day to be thankful!  We have had many gifts and blessings bestowed over the last year.  However, I must say that today I am most thankful for the reminders of the fragility of life that have decorated our lives.  What a breathtaking, sometimes joyful, and sometimes sorrowful reminder they have been.  This thing we call life can come or go at any moment, and if we live in the past or yearn constantly for the future, we miss really living.  However, particularly this year, we have been constantly reminded that the best thing we can do is just live and love.  So, as we all sit down with the ones we love or steal a few quiet moments before the insanity that is sure to come with cooking loads of food, let's promise to show our gratitude by living in the moment, soaking up life, and enjoying the food made tastier by the love with which it is prepared today.

Oh, and on this chilly morning, a cute sweater, working heat pump, snuggly down blanket, comfy couch, and the opportunity to snuggle with my mom while she does some work is pretty awesome, too.

Puppy kisses all around,

Saturday, November 16, 2013

New chairs and the great coverup

So, I finally managed a good pictures of our NEW CHAIRS.  We spent quite a while searching for the perfect chair - comfy, swivels, and rocks.  Oh, and does all that without looking like it belongs in our neighbors' houses (aka in the home of someone 30+ years older than us).  We finally found them AND a fabric I have loved for ages that also happened to be this amazing Sunbrella fabric.  We ordered them, all excited (except for the whole spending money part - not so thrilling), and then we waited.  And waited.  And re-counted the weeks.  And then called to make sure the place we ordered them from was still in business (hey, you never know).  And then, one day, right before I went nawth, they came.  Things of beauty, I tell you.

And comfort.  One more problem, though.  So, you buy a new rug, and you don't like the old chairs.  You buy the new chairs, and suddenly... that ottoman you had recovered 8 years ago needs a new look.  I still love the tiger stripe, but... well...

Euck.  So, last weekend, in a search turned slightly desperate by Saturday morning, we found the perfect fabric.  I know my mom thought I was crazy, but as Karen (an interior decorator, after all) said, "Every room needs some whimsy."  So, there it was.  A lovely Ikat pattern.  A punch without being too in-yo-face.  The MIL helped me determine how much fabric to get - 3 yards.  And so I got to it as soon as the fabric was in my hands!

 I started by drawing out where I would make the cuts, since I had no pattern.  Then, I laid the fabric out, measured the top and sides, and cut with about a 2 inch addition to those measurements to make sure I would have enough fabric.  I hemmed the side panels and double stitched them.  Then, I sewed the four sides together.

The four sides stayed wrong side out and got slid back over the ottoman.  Then I pinned the top piece of fabric print-side-down on the ottoman.  Yup, literally stuck pins through that fabric into the ottoman.  I pinned all the straight sides of the top to the skirt that was also pinned to the ottoman. Then, I started sewing.

 When I got to the corners, which are slightly rounded, I gathered with 1 pleat and kept trucking.  Then, I turned it inside out and held my breath.  Holy smokes.  It worked.

In fact, it looked so good, that hubby had the great idea that I should make the mini-version of it on the small stool we recently covered.  I went through the same process all over again.  I finished both in one day that had a BUNCH of other things occupying it.  I was pretty darned proud!!!

Friday, November 8, 2013

I'm a fan.

So, for Christmas, my parents gave hubby a fan.  Yes, that's right, almost a year ago.  We have had a floor fan in our bedroom since the day we moved in with plans to put in ceiling fans at some point.  Well, then, especially after my grumbling over his cooling techniques this summer, he decided he also needed one in his office.  Fast forward to 2 weeks ago, and we were FINALLY having the boxes for the fans installed.  My coworker's boyfriend is an electrician, and after our go-to electrician flaked on us not once, not twice, but three times (and he planned on coming at 7am on a SATURDAY, people, for one of those flakes), we decided to employ "Tank" to install the boxes for the fans and do a few more things.  So, hubby crawled up into the attic (can you find him?  He's in the pic below), cursing our incredible truss-work all the while.

However, after a couple of hours, the boxes were in, and new switches were added to the walls!  The most difficult part of the day was cutting into the wood floor to install a floor outlet for the sofa table.

No more tripping over the light cord or not being able to close the door to the printer!  Yippee!  

While the boys were working away, Erin and I also took on a mini-project.  With his bad back, we have had to modify all the sofas in our house so that Winston can step up onto them instead of jumping.  Trav brought an old stool from his grandmother's house.  I had some extra fabric, so we got to recovering it.  Erin helped me wrap the fabric around...

...and we closed the ends like a gift so that the top of the stool had nice crisp corners.  I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out, and Winston approved by using it after getting trained with following a treat up it only twice!  

On Sunday, hubby installed the fans.  Really.  I held a few things for a minute or so, and he was able to finish the install all on his own.  So impressive.  Now, we have the unique, more casual fan in his office...

And a more traditional and streamlined one in our bedroom so as to not compete with the bed...

And we are huge fans =)

Sunday, October 27, 2013

The dining room complete!

We have another room that I would call complete!  The dining room has now been fully re-floored, re-lighted, re-painted, and, now, re-draped!

So, we started out with this:

And when we first moved in, we'd done the floors, and mom had painted the upper half of the walls, and dad had helped us change out the can light for a chandelier...

We bought a new table and nice chairs, and during an Ikea trip, we found these inexpensive "drapes" to absorb some of the sound and give it a grander look...

But we knew that was a temporary fix, and this summer, we were over the slightly sheer purple wonders.  We took them down, and the room felt so open.  Unfortunately, everything echoed in a major way.  So, we set out to find new drapery fabric.  I went to 1502 with my mother-in-law and found fabric we loved.  Unfortunately, it was $38/yard.  We have 9 foot ceilings.  That translates into a minimum of 18 yards of fabric.  You do the math.  I'll give you a hint.  It equals : no thanks, not right now.  Then, on our anniversary trip, we found a wonderful compromise fabric.  It had the strong lines I'd hoped for and the metallics hubby was set on.  As I showed you before, I did these suckers the right way.  And, I have to say, I think it has paid off.  Big time.  New paint on the top and bottom, new floors, new light, new "adult" furniture, and new drapes!

*Rubs nails on shirt*  Yup, pretty proud of this girl who set out to make the drapes her mom was going to pay someone to make for her and who did a pretty darned good job for not really knowing what the heck she was doing =)

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Welcome home!

After a fun week with these guys


I came home to a sick hubby who was still working hard on his day off!  Last weekend, I planted pansies in the front of the house. We decided to line the walkway with monkey grass to try to protect it from the weight of the professional lawn mowers. We are pretty sure that has been contributing to the cracked mortar we have to have fixed in a couple of weeks.  Over the past week, he's been digging up along the sidewalk, and yesterday, he planted the monkey grass and spread a light layer of pine needles. I think it's so welcoming, don't you?

From this...

To this!!

I'm also a big fan of the flowers from our wedding were still using :) and the pumpkins he bought me this year!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Happy Birthday, Hubby!

Yesterday, we celebrated 31 years of hubby's presence on this very earth.  What better way to do that than apple picking with one of our favorite families???

When they arrived, G-man got handed over, naturally =)  He looked too cute for words in his "I'm a 1 year old now" outfit!

Hubby was psyched when he found out the orchard not only had apples but apple cider, apple doughnuts, fried apple pies, apple bread...

In between sampling the delish apples straight from the trees (hey, gotta know what you're picking, right?), this adorbs family posed in front of one of the laden trees!

Greyson took his apple-picking duties super-seriously.

He even took some time to show hubby how it's done!

All that apple picking made us hungry, so for hubby's birthday, I whipped up possibly the best steak ever on our new grill.  It was such a great day spent together without any work on the house getting accomplished!  To many more, my man, to many more...  Cheers!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Draping the dining room

If you remember, we found exactly 18 yards of the perfect fabric in Wilmington. Well, it's time to put it to use!  The fam sounded SO rowdy at my birthday celebration because of the lack of fabric to dampen our shenanigans. 

I made my first panel and was shocked at how well it turned out. So, I decided I should show you what these puppies actually entail. I managed to finish 2 windows in a weekend. The house didn't get as clean, but they look GOOD. 

First, I cut 108 in lengths of fabric. This allowed for dinky hems for my 102 in panels, but I had to work with the amount of fabric available. 

Winston claimed to be helping. Not a big help there bud. 

No, seriously, Mom, I got your back.

Next, I turned down the top seam, doubled it over, ironed, and pinned it. 

The bottom hem was then turned over once and pressed. Then, it was back to the floor where I measured the fabric at either side and the middle, turning that bottom hem up to make the panel measure 102 in top to bottom. 

I cut the lining fabric to 102 in and double folded it for a bottom hem. Then I sewed up both bottom hems.

I pressed double folded side hems on the fabric. The fabric went back down on the floor, face side down, with the lining face side up on top. 

I pinned them together in the middle and smoothed them out, cutting the excess lining off the width. The lining went under the top and side seams, and those pins were moved to accommodate the extra fabric. 

Before I sewed up the side seams, I snuck a drapery weight in either bottom side of the drape panel and sewed it in.  Oh yeah, I'm going all professional here.

Next, I sewed in the fabric tape.  I gotta be honest; I watched one You Tube video and then consulted the mother-in-law, who had seen her mom do it.  I'm assuming I sewed the right places, since they gathered.  So, first, I smoothed the tape out along the top of the panels and pinned it in place.

I sewed in two places - in between each of the double rows...

Then, I started pulling and gathering and folding and fiddling.  

And clipped the folds with the clip that will hang up the drapes...

...and hooked them up.

Because the pleats need to continue down the entire panel, I pleated them about halfway down and tied them up to "train" them.

I look forward to posting a complete pic, but here's a sneak preview!