Monday, October 25, 2010

Baby Hats

Well I did say I would have some crafts on this blog so here's two projects. My cousin just had a cute baby girl and since the weather is starting to get chilly, I knew she needed some hats!

I love baby knits because not only are they adorable, but they knit up real fast! I knit this hat in two days.

Pattern: U-Cord Hat from Stitch 'n Bitch
Needles: size 7
Yarn: 1/2 skein of Target Knitting Yarn (yes I still have some of this in my stash!)
Started: Oct 19, 2010
Finished: Oct 21, 2010
Notes: Cute and simple pattern... this is the 2nd I've made with this pattern.

I discovered this other baby hat I knit awhile ago and still had (probably a stash busting project) so I sent that along as well. A girl can never have too many accessories. (Sorry this one didn't photograph well.)

Pattern: I'm guessing but probably Homespun Baby Set from Lion Brand (Ravelry link)
Needles: Unknown
Yarn: Lion Brand Homespun in Baroque
Started: Not sure but I made 3 similar hats back in 2007 so this could be from then

Now you might be asking, where do you get a baby sized hat model when you don't have access to a real baby? Well remember that vase I spray painted last week? Turn it upside down and it's the perfect baby hat model!

I have many more babies to knit for so expect more knits!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Clear Out!

Even though it's been 10 months (and 3 days) since we moved in to our house, I am still cleaning out boxes. I can't believe we moved with all this stuff! On the other hand, when it's packed away, you realize what you really do and do not need so I can look at things and say, I haven't touched this in 10 months, out it goes!  It's funny to think we moved in to this large house and now I have a sudden urge to get rid of stuff. I thought I'd write about good ways to find new homes for your stuff.

- Craigslist: An old favorite but I am finding now that we are farther from the city, there is less market. Also people in the 'burbs aren't looking for things to last their college years and then toss them, they want nice stuff!

- Amazon: We cleaned out a ton of video games and DVDs to set out for a yard sale. To get an idea of resell price I went to Amazon's Trade In Program and realized it was worthwhile to send items in! The shipping is free and for about 18 movies and games, we got over $70 in Amazon credit.

- Consignment: We are lucky to live very close to 3 consignment stores - one for women's clothing and accessories, one for baby and children's items, and one for household goods. I have a LOT of clothes - some still new with tags - so I dropped off a couple. I already have another round of purses and shoes to drop off.

- Yard Sale: We had our 1st ever yard sale this past Sat and did pretty well. It was a neighborhood yard sale so I think that really helped. Of course the rule is, don't bring the unsold stuff back in to the house! Right now it's sitting in the garage.

We put out a bunch of free leftovers and I just discovered Big Brothers Big Sisters will come pick up items so I will be scheduling that. I am sure we we'll have a bag for the Salvation Army (with a drop off box conveniently at the dump). And maybe some books to the library?

It's great to have cleared out a whole corner of the living room, made a little money, and donated to charities. All that stuff and none of it went in to a landfill. Whew!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Hello Sun Room

After seeing the transformation from painting the hallway, we were gung-ho to start another painting project. There was no procrastinating any longer, it was time to tackle one of the more difficult rooms in the house - the sun room!

The sun room used to be a covered and enclosed porch that was converted back in '03. This is one of the rooms that sold me on the house - this and the kitchen. Although since we have made upgrades to the master bedroom - that is also a close competitor!

Sadly all the pictures I have are at night because that is when we get home from our day jobs and start our "second job." Here is the "before" shot standing at one end of the sun room and looking in to the family room. The walls are peach-y.

And here is the view from the other end. The accent walls are a forest green and we were never very fond of them. We are guessing the wall scheme was based on the lamp you see in the top right corner.

Living Room Before

You can see why this is one of our more difficult rooms because of the high ceilings and all the cut-in's around the doors!

I'll tell you now I am going to tease you with in-progress shots! Here we are after one coat of primer and a coat of ceiling paint. Even though this room is not very old, there was a lot of touch up on the walls and ceiling to do.

And you can tell that green wall did NOT take primer very well. This is after one coat of primer. You can see where I painted a happy face. I'm not sure if the green paint was oil-based because the primer (and this was KILZ, the good kind!) practically beaded on the surface. It took THREE coats of primer to cover the green and even out the bead-i-ness.

I hope to have some finished photos for you next week! We did finish painting the room but it is totally empty. I figure the least I can do is get you a daylight shot. We are having a hard time trying to decorate this room so get your decorator's hat on so you can help us out!

Also we discovered a painter's tip! If you wrap your rollers in plastic bags and leave them in the fridge, you can use them the next day! We currently have 3 rollers in our fridge.... yum.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Hallway

Well I am off to a running start aren't I? Truth is, we've spent the past week (and weekend) working on house stuff! But now I can present to you a before and after!

This is our master bedroom hallway before.

View from the main hall:

View from the bedroom:

Please note the granny-style valance left by previous owners and outline of a mirror on the wall which apparently used to be blue.

I know it seems weird our master bedroom has its own hallway but it basically has to do with an addition (our master bedroom and room below it) that was added on in the early years of the house. We have learned early on not to question what the previous owners were thinking when making house decisions so it is what it is. It is actually a large area for a hallway and I admit, it is kind of a waste of space!

So after 9 months (actually almost 10 I guess) of walking through this drab off-white and patchy hallway, we got around to painting and even decorating and wow, it is such a difference! Now when walking to the bedroom, you immediately start to feel relaxed.

Hall After

Hall After


- Walls: Benjamin Moore Regal, Matte Finish in Rich Cream (next time I would use the eggshell finish to better hide the blemishes on the wall)

- Trim: Benjamin Moore Ben, Semi Gloss in Decorator's White

The best part about the decorating is we had everything on hand so it only costs us the paint and paint supplies! I am amazed how the hallway now is a pretty and functional space!

What do you think?

On a side note, I have been reading on other house blogs about the wonders of spray paint. I decided I had to try it for myself so I grabbed a scratched brown vase destined for a yard sale (forgot a "before" photo) and spray painted it white. How's it look? I don't know what to put in it but I think it looks so much better!

Spray Painted Vase

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Here we go!

Welcome, welcome! The past year has been full of changes with even more to come so I decided to channel all my excitement in one place. I thought it would be fun to share all my projects and accomplishments and maybe even some failures.

I decided to give some purpose to the blog so I am going to focus on:

(1) Home improvement/design/renovation/inspiration/whatever you want to call it - My husband and I just bought our first house 9 months ago and we are in the home stretch to get a housewarming in by the 1 year mark. Will we make it??

(2) Crafts! - After a brief hiatus, I am back to knitting and maybe if I'm lucky, I will sew again!

(3) Travel - Who doesn't love to see photos of far away places? I also hope to remember my trips a lot better by "documenting" them. I don't travel as much as I used to but I am also pretty behind on trips I've taken (case in point, Alaska Cruise 2009... photos still in camera...).

So there we go. I will refine as needed. Hopefully I will be posting once a week and hopefully you will enjoy it and leave lots of comments!