November re-cap (seriously where do these months go?)

A couple of things I wanted to get done this month… here was my original list:

1. Finish bathroom stripes<—- yep you guessed it;  I’m still not done.

This is what I had left at the beginning of the month:



And now...



I ran out of froggy tape…. The only tape I will ever use…

I did get the entire far left wall done except for the very top stripe (I needed to wait because it goes around the shower and I need to take the curtain down.



and I got 2 stripes done on the closest wall to the left. The color is off because the paint is still drying.



Yes I am the queen of procrastination. Yes I should have known that 1 roll of tape wasn’t going to cut it… no I can’t cross this goal off my list just yet.

2. Knock out sewing orders ( I also finished the pumpkin shirt, and the other onesie- just no completed pics of those)



3. Begin decorating for Christmas (I do have a post all about this planned). Loving how my red and white tree turned out this year!



4. Get my sewing bookshelf organized
before:



after:


5. ORB patio set
See the discolored table top??



After:



What a beauty!



Spooky: a pool, a deck, and a cemetery?

We loved the pool in our backyard for about a year.


It really was puuuurfect to look at.
However, it was annoying to vacuum,  the chemicals were expensive, and it was a pain to balance at the beginning of the season. After the flood of 2009, all the water mysteriously drained out of it. We were stumped, but it solved the problem of having to cover it and winterize it.
The summer of 2010 we called to pool place to have them replace the liner and our 14,000 gallon disappearing water problem was solved… the sides were completely rusted through. I guess the liner had sprung a leak by rubbing against the sharp rusted out sides. They told us we could have the metal replaced and a new liner to the tune of $3,000…. negative.
So we I had a brilliant idea… walmart sells round pools, and they had one 20 feet in diameter (our opening was 24 foot). We could put it in the same place, there would be a little room on either side which would make it easier to put the winter cover on. It seemed perfect. And $2,500 less than the other option. We bought her, brought her home, set her up and filled her up. and THEN we noticed the broken filter. Long story short, we bought the pool at the beginning of June, and didn’t get the filter until the beginning of August…. we had to stir the water manually…. add the chemicals… stir some more… not.fun.at.all.
This summer we were over the pool. So what we should have done to begin with (and I take full responsibility for the dumb pool decision making), was get rid of it all together. But if we got rid of the pool, we had a huge 24 foot round hole in the middle of our deck.
Had a few estimates to replace the deck…
*The first one would cover over the existing one to avoid the labor of tearing it down (the structure was still very sound)- around $10,000  (Can you see the size of my eyes when I heard that????)
*We said no way, how can it be done cheaper?? They could fill in the hole- but doing that would still involve building from the ground up, making sure it was sound, etc… around $7,000…. I knew real quickly that we weren’t getting out of this without spending WAAAY more than I wanted.
*We brainstormed some more and a friend actually came up with the idea that we went with… Get rid of the 2nd layer all together. Keep the first layer (which you really can’t see in the picture) and extend it along the back of the house. Estimate for that?? Just at $4,000. I think I heard the hallelujah chorus…
Here she is on demo day week:


We actually sold all the wood to a man who was going to build a deck… so Josh tried to keep most of it intact… they loaded it up day after day for close to a week.
In this picture you can see where the old deck meets the new wood. They kept the old portion but stabilized it better.

And in 10 hours… and 4-5 men… this is what we had:

You can still see the old wood on the ground that hadn’t yet been hauled away. What a different a day makes!!
But not all our problems were solved… we were left with (AGAIN) a 24 foot wide hole in the ground… that is really tempting for a black lab and toddler to get into ALOT of trouble in.

We needed to find fill dirt, but really didn’t want to pay much for it… because we knew we needed alot. I posted on the online yard sale up here asking if anyone knew of anywhere to look… had a couple responses, but none led us to any dirt.
We asked around at church because surely SOMEONE would know. Sure enough someone said that the cemetary (that’s connectd to the church) dumps extra dirt in the back of the church… BINGO! This pile of dirt had literally been under our nose the whole time. And to make the story spooky, we did this the entire week leading up to halloween (totally not intentional though)…


So shovel-ful after shovel-ful and six truck loads later…. here she is all filled in. Gotta give hubs major props for working well past dark many nights to get this done. Yes a CAT would have made this a million times easier- but to each thier own right?

Although we’re pretty positive that it will be obvious for a while that there was a 24 foot pool in this area, we hope some grass will make it much less obvious.

and in a really high pitch squeal….. here’s some baaaaby grass!!
All in all we are very satisfied with this renovation. It feels great to be done AND PAID FOR!

Shadowbox

I’ve wanted to put a shadowbox together for little man even before he was born… actually when we decided what his going home outfit would be.

I bought the shadowbox back before we got married. I wanted to put wedding memories in it, but I could never justify putting anything flat in it (paper things) because shadowboxes were made for thick, fabric-like stuff. So the box sat and collected dust, and it move with us from our cottage.... and I was asked numerous time from the mister what in the world I was going to do with it. In all honesty, I had no idea. But I knew I'd eventually think of a use!

The newborn baby stage buzzed by us so fast that I didn't even think to pull his newborn outfit out before packing his clothes into storage. One day in October I went on a hunt in the attic to find all the pieces. I found the onesie, but knew the hat would be separated from the mittens, which would be in a different place than his shoes. I gave up, brought the onesie down, and vowed to go through his baby stuff later. 

Surprisingly, that happened in November! I got everything down, dumped it all in the middle of the living room floor and started organizing. See the problem with putting all this stuff away as he outgrew it was that we ended up with pacis with 12 month jackets, and bottles with 18 month shorts… I put all the newborn-3 month stuff together including sleepers. I put all the accessories (boppy, bottles, crib bedding etc) in another box. And then started boxes from 3-12 month winter, 3-12 month summer. Then 12 months -24 months. I have an entire box of PJs which I seperated (except for newborn -3 months) from the rest of the clothes. And everything got a beautiful label. I found his newborn outfit and then everything got moved to the shed. I seriously thought our ceilings were going to fall in from the attic because there were so many boxes. 

Here is the shadowbox:
I highly suggest using a real shadowbox. Although they cost more (and I'm sure there are ways to DIY one), the board inside the box was a foam material, perfect for using sewing pins. This one was from Hobby Lobby and the price was $23.99 but I'm picked it up for around $17. You know, Hobby Lobby always has a sale on something! Here's the board:
And nothing could be softer or sweeter than minky fabric...
I cut the minky exactly to the size of the board... no overlap because there wasn't room in the frame for overlap. I hot glued the minky to the board.
Next I arranged the clothes how I wanted them to make sure it would all fit and I started with the bottom layer first. In this case it was the pants. I pushed sewing pins through the clothes (in hidden creases) and into the foam board. Every few pins I would flip the board upside down to make sure that it was holding and to see where I needed to add more pins.
Here it is finished!
I love that the pins are totally hidden, but it still looks a little wrinkly and worn.

After I gathered all the supplies this took less than 5 minutes to assemble! I am so happy this is done!

The shadowbox found a permanent home in his new room on his toy shelf:

Canvases

It has been a dream of mine since we bought our house to have canvases made. When we first moved in it was just Josh and I, and although I love the man to DEATH, I didn’t want canvases all over the house of just us… talk about egocentrical.


So I figured I’d wait until we had a baby… great idea! But then I didn’t want them all of Lman when he was an infant…
So I waited some more… 3 1/2 years to be exact!
I’ll cut to the chase and show them off…
I knew I wanted to incorporate our giant J in the collage… and I LOVE it. I do need to patch the wall from the 97 other nail holes and then repaint the whole wall again… but if we stay in this house a few more years I would love to paint the walls gray…

The top left picture was taken by Suni for Luke’s newborn pictures. He was a 11 days old and so squishy and cuddly. Bottom left was an  impromptu moment on the 4th of July. I had Suni edit the picture for us to just color the flag… it turned out perfect and Lman looks so respectful which is why I love it so much! And then the peek a boo kissing picture was from our last session with her. These are all 12×16 canvases.

Here is the fourth one I got…
This picture quality is HORRIBLE- it makes the walls look pink which is totally off! But this is the 14×14 canvas. LOVE his eyes, and it’s just perfect.

Here was the price breakdown…

I got a deal from savemore.com. I was able to get $266 worth of canvases for $136. I had to buy a $90 credit for $30 and because my total was over $120 I got free shipping. Each 12×16 cost $69 and the 14×14 was $59. On a regular day I would have only been able to get barely 2 for that price!

Although savemore is like groupon, I actually ordered them from canvaslifestyle.com. I would definitely order through them again!!!

November already?

I seriously can’t believe it’s almost time for turkey. I have been MIA because life has been SOOOO busy! We have Christmas with Josh’s side of the family the Sat-Tues BEFORE Thanksgiving. Which means I have to have all my shopping done… like tomorrow (so I can wrap and double check everything). I have been working like a mad woman trying to get a bunch of loose ends tied up.
Here is my to-do list this month:
1. Finish the bathroom stripes (I know this was a goal for Oct. and I failed miserably- but I am MUCH closer now than I was at the beginning of Oct.) This is what it’ll look like done. I have 2 out of 4 walls done. Very subtle, but I’m in LOVE.
This is the wall that I still have to do:
2. Knock out my sewing orders… I’m sorta cheating on this one because most are done because I spent 4 hours sewing today… BUT I still have about 4 hours worth left to do- and we’re talking serious procrastination people… these are orders I got in AUGUST. I’m usually not that bad, but my customers are so gracious and said whenever you have time… and, well I just haven’t had time! I wanted to get ALL the monogramming done first, then I go back and do the sewing… so today I did all the monogramming… very rough looking, but it looks 10 times better than they did this morning.
3. Begin decorating for Christmas- I hung the wreath today, but I don’t think that counts- We’re doing 2 trees this year (a birthday Mickey Mouse one for Lman, and a real one that is going to be candycane/peppermint theamed.) I always do some sort of theme- one year it was blue/silver, last year we didn’t even have a tree because Lman was learning how to walk. This year I’m feeling the red/white. I bought some red/white decomesh that I am really excited about using! This wreath was my first experience with decomesh and it was so fun!
4. Get my sewing bookshelf under control. WOW it is messy. I have thrown all my fabric that I’ve used in the past 4 months into one bin and it is completely overflowing now. I need to get it organized back into it’s proper place!
5. Finish the patio set- I am in the middle of Oil-Rubbed  (<— hardest word in the English language to make past tense… geesh) Bronzing  it. I have all but 1 chair done, and the big table needs to be finished. I’ve already done 3 big chairs, 2 little chairs, and the little table. It really needs to be done before it gets too freezing cold. Here are the before and after’s from last month.

Here’s a flashback to October’s to do list.
1. His 10 year HS reunion
2. A yard sale
3. Finish my bathroom project (painting glossy stripes on the wall)
4. Do some Christmas planning/sewing/ 2 year party planning. We were blessed to have our anniversary, Lman’s birthday, and Christmas all fall in the 10 days before Christmas… talk about chaos.
5. Hopefully squeeze in some time to go to a pumpkin patch

4 out of 5 isn’t too shabby!

Some posts I have planned (with some sneak peek pictures):

*My canvases came in! I can’t wait to show them off! and the best part is how much they cost!!!
(I can’t really post a pic without completely ruining it)

* The Hallway Facelift… I mean everyone makes a model magic impression of thier dog’s paw right???

*Lman’s birthday invitations

*How we filled in where our pool used to be… and it involves getting dirt from a cemetary on Halloween Eve… oooo spooky. Sadly the story’s not nearly as dangerous as it sounds.

Well I think 630 words for tonight is pleanty! Cheers to getting everything accomplished this month!

**Wanna see how I did? Jump ahead here. http://www.createprettyblog.com/2011/12/november-re-cap-seriously-where-do.html

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