Monday, April 25, 2011

The Craft Room

Even before buying this house, I had really wanted a craft room! It would be a place to store all my yarn and fabric and beads and other crafty necessities. I could set up the sewing machine and not have to worry about hijacking the dining table. I would have a little corner to sit and knit and look through crafty mags. It would be so fabulous!

Thankfully our house, with its four bedrooms, lent itself quite accommodating for a craft room. I claimed the smallest bedroom for this honor!

In the beginning, it was yellow with lacy curtains. Since a redo on this room wasn't high on our list, we actually had a few guests stay in this room as is.

In July/August 2010, while Eric was traveling and apparently I was bored, I decided it was time for this room to get its makeover! I gutted the closet (it was just a rod and shelf) and installed an adjustable shelving system. I painted the ceiling, trim and walls. There had been some water damage near the window and it took a LOT of spackle and sanding (repeat 20 times!) before I deemed it bearable (I am a bit of a perfectionist).

I managed to take the room and closet doors off the hinges for painting and figured while I was at it, I would do the closet door in the guest room. The inside of the door had some hand prints. My guess is it was the daughter of the previous owner and her friends. I think they painted the guest room themselves (in the lovely pink/purple combo!).

I felt kinda sad when I painted over this for painting over someone's memories!
I suppose the scary part of this is I painted my craft room purple (my favorite color) and it was actually kind of similar to what the scary guest room used to be...

Done painting... photo without flash
I was really unsure about the color after realizing this and also, since it is a small room I was afraid the dark color would make it even smaller!

Originally I had envisioned a tealish/aqua craft room but the office was sort of a faint aqua and the guest room was a light green and the bedroom was blues so I was afraid of having my whole upstairs being blues and greens. Purple it was.

I moved in some furniture going for white/grey accents.

I love the Expedit units from Ikea and was so sad when we had to leave ours at the condo (though the thought of taking it apart and transporting it made me less sad). I was so happy to find this white one in the as-is section for half off... and the table attachment was only $7!!

I didn't want to overwhelm non-crafty folks with my extensive yarn stash so only the top row has yarn in it. The rest is mostly knitting/sewing books/magazines and notions.

I had pictured a chair where the little white bookcase was and got my chance when we bought some new chairs for our master bedroom last month. I moved the poang chair in here and the white bookcase to the guest room.

One of my other specifics for this room was that we can still have guests in here and with the desk to one end, we can move out the chair and pump up the aerobed for company!

I love having my craft room but other than storage, I don't actually hang out in it a lot! The puppy is pretty much under constant supervision so I can't hole myself up here for days at a time to sew or knit. I thought at some point when we decided to let him upstairs (ie he has no more accidents) he could come hang out with me, but actually going upstairs makes him very nervous/excited/overwhelmed and he can't bring himself to do it. Last time we gave him a bath, Eric had to carry him up and down. We couldn't even lure him with treats.

But back on topic, I still love my craft room. I would love to see yours! Or maybe just the corner where you craft. Is it totally inspiring?

PS Paint is "Lazy Afternoon" by Benjamin Moore

PPS Linking up to the Houseography House Tour Party!
HOUSEography House Tour Link Party

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Happy Easter!

I consider myself ready for Easter... from a crafting standpoint of course! Never mind I still have Thanksgiving and Christmas stuff up on mantle (I did at least put away the pine cones).

I crocheted some Easter egg cozies! It sounds very grandma-ish but you have to admit, it's super cute.

I believe the pattern was meant for regular hard boiled eggs but I used large plastic ones. I ended up having to add 2 rows to the main body to cover them all the way.

These were quick to make which is why I actually met my deadline and they are on their way to California (for my sister).

The inside of one holds gummy bears and the other has some summery Paul Frank magnets. I wasn't sure anything chocolate would survive the journey!

The pattern is free from Lion Brand (sheep here, bunny here). You have to sign up but it's free.

The white yarn is Red Heart Super Saver, the grey is Lion Brand Wool Ease, and the black is some random acrylic (maybe Red Heart Super Soft? Is that even a real yarn or am I making it up?).

Next week I'll have a post about my craft room!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Oh hi, I'm still alive! Life has been crazy... I've traveled a little, Eric's traveled a lot. Being a puppy momma is hard while taking care of a house (and trying to decorate still!) and work got really busy. 

But I am here to tell you I'm still kicking and I will try again at the posting once a week thing. I think it will be easier once I get Photoshop and all my pics off my super slow laptop (circa 2006). 

Today I am going to share my trip to Atlanta a month ago to visit Eric who was there on work!

Despite my calling it "Hotlanta," it was actually cool and rainy when I went. Figures! Our first stop was the World of Coca Cola.

I would have loved to see a movie about their history and various products around the world. Perhaps even their marketing and branding approach (that could just be the business me) but instead we got an animated feature and a Disney-esque ride. Oh well! The exhibits with Coke memorabilia were pretty neat and I enjoyed these decorated Coke bottles. I mean, look at that knit Coke cozy!

The highlight is at the end where they have a tasting room and you can taste Coke products from all over the world. Some were good, some not so good. I took a picture here of Inca Kola from Peru because our next big trip will be there! Alas, I have learned I do not like Inca Kola so I hope they will have regular Coke there.

Right across from World of Coke is the Georgia Aquarium - the largest aquarium in the world!

We saw lots of jellies...

And coral reefs (this made us miss having our saltwater tank)...

And a really giant... well, aquarium! I am hoping you can tell the size of this by the people standing in front. Those are two WHALE sharks in there and a manta ray who kept doing flips for the crowd. We arrived right at whale shark feeding time and it was amazing to see them all swimming around!


Even as the largest aquarium, we still managed to spin through in 2 hours. It was super packed so I don't think we stayed as long as we would have.

We took a walk through the Olympic Centennial Park on the way back to the car.


I did some research before going down and decided I really need to try this place:


Five o'clock and already there was a wait! The chicken was good, the waffles were average (I like the thick deep Belgian style waffles). Definetely the Southern style meal I was looking for though!

The next day we began with a delicious breakfast at Ria's Bluebird. Go for the pancakes with caramelized bananas... it's like candy for breakfast!

With full bellies we took the studio tour at CNN.

They have the world's longest free standing elevator in the "lobby."


Because it was Sunday, not a ton was going on but it was still neat to see the newsrooms and sets. No pics allowed inside though!

We walked around some neighborhoods with small shops after and enjoyed a yummy dinner at Ecco (what seemed like the only place open on a Sun night!). Highly recommend the fried goat cheese with honey and peppercorns... yum...

So that was my visit to Atlanta! We seemed to get everything done in 2 days so I'm not sure I'd go back. Anyone else been to Atlanta? What did you think?

Thursday, March 3, 2011

An Owl Hat

A few months ago an old friend of mine asked me to make an owl hat for her baby girl like one she saw on Etsy. Since I had made a hat for her older son when he was born, I knew her baby girl was due for one!

Of course in my large stash I found just the right yarns and after searching the Internet, I had a handful of patterns and ideas to use.

I actually had not crocheted in awhile - I had to look up the definitions to make sure I was doing it right! I restarted the hat part multiple times due to miscounting and also unsureness (is that a word?) of how big a child's head is. Then I couldn't get just the right ears (they were too floppy or looked like horns) and I put the hat down for something like 2 weeks.

After much stalling, I sat down one afternoon and just finished everything up! The eyes, the nose, the tassels, the flower... they went so quick!

I have to say I LOVE this hat. After much declaration early on that I would not make this hat again, I was practically ready to whip up another one for some unknown recipient.

The original hat had a blue flower but this pink, white, and purple yarn was just calling from my stash to be used!

Ta da!! What do you think?

I sourced many patterns and made some stuff up along the way so I don't have a definitive pattern should you want your own. I do however, remember which yarns I used!
Black, pink, & orange: Lion Brand Cotton Ease
White: Red Heart Super Saver
Multicolor: Lily Sugar 'n Cream

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Light Change

Things have been busy - so sorry for the lack of posting! I'm really hoping to do better. If only thinking about the blog were the same as writing it.

Since overhauling the office, we've done just small projects around the house including one I've had on my list for the sunroom.

In an older post I had mentioned how I wanted to change the light over the table to a drum shade. Well, presto chango!

New light!

I had originally envisioned a circular drum shade but when we were at Lowe's, they had an oval shaped one as well. Since our table is oval it seemed like a nice change from the ordinary.

We made a few other subtle changes - mainly taking away the table cloth (the pattern seemed too busy) and removing the leaf and 2 chairs from the table.

We are really happy with the results!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Office Reveal

Check out Part 1 here where we decided to turn our dining room in to an office!

Last I left off we had stripped the wallpaper and primed (I might have done the ceiling at that point as well). We painted all the trim including the hutch, window frames, and a door that goes from the office to the kitchen. We had taken off the door when we moved in but it was time to put it back!

We painted the walls Flowering Herbs by Benjamin Moore. In a lot of pictures it looks tan but it has some green undertones in it. In the pic below, the more accurate color is on the left.

I don't have any pictures of the beadboard cutting because that took 2 people and 2 hands! We were able to borrow some tools from Eric's cousin and it really helped us complete the job.

To adhere the boards to the wall, we used Liquid Nails and a nail gun. Here I am with the Liquid Nails:

Sorry for the blurry shot. The camera was somehow switch to manual focus and I didn't notice till days later!

After all the beadboard was up, we used caulk to fill in the seams and putty to cover the nail holes. I made sure to get paintable caulk but it would have been even better if I got it in white (it dried clear) so the painting would have been easier! We used a roller to roll the paint (same color as all the trim) but below I am using the brush for tight corners etc.

A work in progress!
Finally it was time to pull up the tarp and get rid of all the tools!

Here is a look at the newly painted hutch (with new hardware!) and the door we added back on (with a new handle!). We were still getting hardware for the doors on the hutch. Oh, and the hutch used to have 3 shelves... we, ok Eric, busted one out in the beginning knowing we were going to put our printer in there.

This is a shot with the door open so you can see our magnet-riddled fridge on the other side.

I almost forgot, we put up blinds! They were for our original office upstairs but since we hadn't put them in yet, we put them in down here. It's great for regulating the light but also now that the office is on the 1st floor, we can close the blinds so people can't see our computers.

From the get-go we were nervous how this space would look with our office furniture. We have a really nice executive U-shaped desk we got from my uncle in NY. We had been using it in 2 pieces but it was still HUGE and HEAVY. The new office is quite a bit smaller than the old office. I had to map out a floor plan with our desks to see if it would work. Because of the space and layout, we only had 2 options!

Thankfully bringing down the desk seemed much easier than when we brought it up. And the layout worked great... the room still feels really open!

There is another opening in this room we are debating how to close off. It is too wide for double doors but too narrow for a single door.

Dylan says "hi!"

Boy, nothing like a picture to see all the wires you have! You can also see below we put back the doors to the hutch. We also drilled a hole so we could run a power strip inside for our printers, etc.

So there you have it! Our new office. We spend a lot of time in there now and Dylan has a bed nearby so he can "work" with us. 

As with the office upstairs, we are going with a Travel theme. So far though I only moved down our diplomas and hung a wood propellor. We still need to replace that light... and maybe curtains. Anyhow, I am so glad this poor neglected room has had its makeover and is getting a ton of use!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Happy 5 Months Dylan!

Well, as I start *again* on a *new* blog, I thought I'd share Dylan's story being that today is his 5 months birthday!

As I am allergic to most dogs, Eric and I were looking for a hypo-allergenic dog. I had initially been hunting for a Whoodle (wheaten terrier and poodle mix) I think mostly because it sounds a lot of fun to say "Whoodle," but also, a combo of 2 hypo-allergenic dogs is better than 1 right? I was skeptical that there would be such a thing as a hypo-allergenic dog because it could be any number of things that I am allergic to (hair, dander, saliva, etc). I was also really nervous if we got a dog and I was allergic and we would have to bring it back!

The day after xmas snow was predicted but as it held up for most of the day, Eric and I went out. In a fateful turn of events, we got on the wrong highway and ended up in NH which is where we found Dylan! I decided I would have to find out sooner or later if wheatens were a suitable breed for me so we visited with him for a looooooooong time. Like over an hour... maybe two. He was so adorable and so excited and then at the end he was tired and snuggled with us. I was completely fine which was such a shock. If you have allergies you know the suffering and to be with a dog and not have watery eyes and a runny nose and an itchy feeling in your hands was amazing!

So we took him home! By then it had already begun to snow and the blizzard was setting in. We made it back and he settled right in! This is him snuggling in Eric's lap.

Here is he a couple days later with a plush hedgehog squeaky toy. Let's just say the hat didn't last long.

Hard to believe but the pic below is only about 2 weeks after we got him. We got him a bright yellow coat for walks (which I got a size up so he could "grow" in to it) and he looks like he's got a cape on!

And here is a more recent picture of him, lounging on his pet pillow in our new office (yes you get a sneak peak here!).

Since we got him, he has gained 10 lbs from 18 to 28 lbs! It is amazing. And he has certainly grown as he can hardly snuggle in to Eric's lap like the day we brought him home. This weekend he graduated from puppy kindergarten and has learned a handful of tricks. He is mostly house trained and can jump in and out of the car by himself. Sigh... my puppy is growing up!

Funny thing though... since the day we brought him home we have had snowstorm after snowstorm after snowstorm. Over 70 inches of snow in Boston which means even more than that out where we live! There was discussion of renaming Dylan to Blizzard or Nor'Easter.

Dylan doesn't seem to mind though... he loves snow!

Happy 5 months Dylan!