Monday, August 15, 2011

Art Wall & Summer Fun

I promised you all an update after I hung the wire art hangers I got from Ikea. I only got 2 packages of clips and wished I had more, but overall I'm thrilled with how it turned out. On my next trip I'll pick up a few more clips. Be sure and let me know what you think!

The kids helped me pick out their favorite pieces of art. I have all of their art folders from all of their school years, so it was fun for us to look back through them. If/when I get more clips, I'll probably add a couple more pieces of art and change things around a bit. For now, I'm happy with it, and happy that some of the kids' art is on display.

Here are a couple other things that have been keeping us busy. We took a trip to Lagoon (a small amusement park outside Salt Lake City, Utah.) The kids had fun and we survived the heat! Here are a few pictures. If you want to see anything better, just click on the picture to enlarge it.

 
Lagoon has a super old wooden roller coaster. The kids didn't believe us when we told them it was probably 50 years old and then we saw this poster that said it was built in 1921!!
 

We were planning to head home Saturday morning (it's about a 5-hour drive from Salt Lake to Boise) but my cousin got us some VIP passes to Park City, so we headed up there and had a BLAST!


The kids did the bungee-trampolines (I'm making that name up. I have no idea what they're called!) and we all did the alpine coaster and alpine slide. Mike and I also did the zip-line, but the kids didn't weigh enough.   We had a terrific time up there.

A week later, I took the boys down to spend a few days with my dad and step-mom in Idaho Falls. The raspberries were on, so the boys spent some quality time with my dad in what we like to call "The Raspberry Jungle" because the canes are taller than all of them. Dad included! They also helped my dad pick all of the cherries off his little tree. I can't believe how many cherries were on that tree! We got to bring home some of the fruits of our labor. Yum!

I didn't get any pictures of the boys in the raspberries this year, but here are a couple from a few years ago to give you an idea of why we call it the "Raspberry Jungle."
  

And here are a few pictures of the boys picking cherries with my dad.
 Grandpa gave the boys a lesson on proper cherry-picking technique. Pull up and leave the stems on!






I'll be back in a few days to share some cards.
   

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Baby Shower Gifts

My little sister had another baby in May. She's my second niece and her name is Catherine Jane. It's all I can do to not steal her every time I see her. She's delish. Here's a picture from just a couple of weeks ago. I think the only person who wants to steal her as much as I do is Mason.

Well, in preparation for my sister's baby shower, I got my craft on and made some super cute things for this little angel. Let's take a peek, shall we? Don't die from the cuteness!


 I think she's already outgrown the little yellow hat, but the other two and the booties she'll have to grow into. All of these projects turned out so cute. I can't wait to see them all on her!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Another project completed

Another project that has kept me busy around the house was a little "Sprucing Up" in our basement. We updated the paint and furniture for not a lot of money, but it sure made a big difference in how it looks! Check it out for yourself!  Before:


Ok. Embarrassing. What a mess! It actually gets much much worse than that on a regular basis since the only time I go down there is to get into my craft room. Whew! Look away. Here's how it looks now.

Much better, although part of it is just because the garbage is picked up off the floor!! We still have a couple of small changes we're going to make down there, and this week when I was in Salt Lake I made a trip to Draper to hit IKEA. I got these and these and Mike's going to install them tonight. Then I'm going to use them to hang my kids' artwork on the walls. That should make it look even better. I'll try to remember to post an update with the art on the walls.

ETA: Click here to see an update on the Art Wall!

Our latest project is the laundry room. Here's the before:


It was driving me absolutely bonkers that I could never get through the room because of all of the coats and backpacks and shoes and laundry, so our plan is to stack up the washer and dryer and move them into the far corner on the same wall where they are now. Then put floor-to-ceiling cabinets along the wall where the washer & dryer are now. We sold the bench & cubby unit on Craig's List, tore out the floor, stripped the wall paper, and here's how it looks now.

 And my husband regularly looks like this:
Progress is slow, but I have hope. As with any project, things keep coming up. Things besides the kids and swim team and camping and swim meets and summer and spring and winter and fall. Things like the fact that the only access to our crawl space is behind the cabinets in my craft room. See:

That means that any time we need to access the crawl space I have to empty out the cabinet and move everything off my desk so we can tear down the cabinet. And then when we're done in there I have to completely re-assemble my craft room. With moving the washer and dryer we're going to have to move the plumbing and electrical and knew we'd need to have easier access to the crawl space, which resulted in this:


Yes. We cut a hole in the floor of our house and moved the crawl space access to the floor of the closet in our office. It doesn't seem like that big of a deal, but it was a project the took us two days to finish. Two days of Mike in the crawl space yelling at me, and me in the office yelling down at him. Not yelling AT each other, but yelling was the only way we could hear each other! Here's how it looks now:
Well, it mostly looks like that. All of the stuff is back in the closet, so you can't see the floor, but under it all I know it looks like this. And no matter how much stuff we pile in there, it's always going to be easier to move than completely disassembling my craft room. Nice, huh? My husband is a bit of a stud muffin. I swear the man can do a.ny.thing. So, now that we have easier access to the crawl space, AND the laundry room is stripped down to bare walls and subfloor, all we need now is time. And if you think I don't have enough time for blogging, you should see where the laundry room reno is on the list. I will say that every sliver I get in my feet from the bare subfloor moves it a little further up on the list. I'll be sure to post pics when it's done, or at least as we make progress. Here's what I'm hoping for when we're done.
Maybe a little brighter, but something along those lines.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Christmas Tree Skirt

I've been working on making a new Christmas Tree skirt for about the last 400 years. I got the skirt itself finished the year I started and then had brain block on how to finish the outside edge. And so it sat. And sat. And sat. For about 5 years. This year I was determined I was NOT putting up my tree until the new skirt was finished. As luck would have it, a friend of mine started working at my favorite quilting store this year. So I dropped in and pleaded for her to help me. Well, in just a few minutes she was able to get me going again and I finished my skirt and it was beautiful under my tree this year. Here's how it turned out.


Friday, July 29, 2011

Posh Pillowcases

I think the thing that got me so excited to make display samples this year was that I did a LOT of sewing, crochet, and general crafting for Christmas gifts last year. Although I realize it's almost time to start thinking about Christmas for this year, maybe that means its a good time to give you some ideas you could start on now. I'm going to show you some of the projects I made last year for gifts.

The first project was pillowcases. I saw these fancy pillow cases online and made a BUNCH for gifts for all my family this year. Hope you like them.




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