Sunday, April 25, 2010

After: Backyard Goes Bird Friendly

Slowly, we've been transforming the inside of our house. With the warmer weather and greener grass the Spring has sprung on us, we're beginning to look outside. We have the luck (not sure yet if it's good or bad luck) of having a totally clean slate here. Other than a few bushes and trees, there are NO flowers, NO veggies, NO nothing planted in your big yard. And aside from one bird feeder, we have no means for sustaining all the critters that come to hang out in our yard.

Our first step was to add a bird bath (cool tiered dealie we got for Christmas with a pump that runs the water through it making a beautiful running-water sound all day) and start to fill the bird feeder with food. Then, albeit a bit early, we added a hummingbird feeder. Then, my handy dad whipped up 5 new birdhouses for our feathered friends, which we hung all over our yard. We've got one bird feeder left to hang up and we're ready for the flocks.

Next project up is our great backyard veggie garden. We've got a great design (thanks again, dad!) and have the dirt sitting in the driveway. Now we just need to get all 40 or so wheelbarrows full of it back to the garden and get everything planted. No biggie, eh? Good thing the hubby is so good natured, or I'd be sunk trying to do all this myself. He's not much of a gardener, so he's really put up with a lot!

Well, all weekend we had rain so the yard plans came to a screeching halt. Let's hope next weekend looks better. I can't wait to share our successes and...ahem...learning experiences...with the new garden!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Hand Knit Bellbottoms for the Baby

We are super excited to be welcoming a new little girl to our house in a few months. But, I have to tell you, we are also all a little unsure of what to expect. Our world currently revolves around trains and trucks and a John Deere tractor. What will happen when adding another female to our equation? Dolls driving dump trucks? Playing T-Ball in dresses? Surely we'll figure out what little girls are made of soon enough, but right now it's a little hard to imagine. All I can think is pink, and dresses.

Which is why I surprised myself when I went to Loop, a local yarn shop, and choose this teal green color for the first knitting project for the new baby. Not PINK? The audacity. But it is so soft and lovely that I can't wait to see how it looks on the babe. For you knitters, it's the Debbie Bliss eco baby. I think it might be new? But anyway, it's great. The pattern I used is called Baby Bellbottoms and I got it free on ravelry. It was pretty simple to knit, actually, even though I was pretty intimidated at first.

Can't wait until I have a little lady to try them on! Next up, I'll be knitting her Christmas stocking! That, I assure you, will be pink.

Friday, April 09, 2010

After: New Curtains for Baby's Room

This room in our house is undergoing a very gradual transition from craft storage dumping ground to guest room to new little girl's room. First and foremost, I had a vision for curtains. I have been known to pick things up at Ikea having no idea what to do with them (Wait, you do that, too?). So several years ago I picked up this cute kid's comforter cover and pillowcase with rhinos on it. It's been sitting in my stash just waiting for this project. It fit the window perfectly and I didn't have a bunch of leftovers hanging around, so I felt like I even got a little destashing out of it -- bonus!

If you're wondering where I got the inspiration for the curtain rod, it came from a tutorial for an Eames-inspired coatrack on I loved the idea of using those big wooden balls painted in cheerful colors, so I just picked a couple of them up at Michael's and they worked perfectly as curtain rod finials.

The next thing this room will likely get is a new Adam Turman print for the walls. Pretty sure it will be the Cycle the Twin Cities print with the cute girl riding a bike in heels, applying lipstick. I also have my eye on a cute print by Katie Daisy like this ABCs one or this one she keeps selling out of called How Does Your Garden Grow?

It's a fun work-in-progress. Hard to give up a great guest room, but easy to get excited about our new addition and how to welcome her to her space. Hopefully she's okay with the "beige" walls, cuz mama's done painting for a while! Phew!

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Easter Pants

My little guy loves his mama-made pants. And for that, I'm grateful. He's so opinionated about what he wants to wear it's sometimes a bit of a crap-shoot. Some mornings he wakes up and absolutely INSISTS he must change his pajamas immediately. And he refuses to just put on clothes. He MUST have a different pair of pajamas on. And then there was the perfectly nice pair of slippers I bought him that were refused and then were outgrown. Then there was the sweater I spent 9 years knitting and wore once, the second time around claiming "I don't like it."

Just last week we sat down together in front of the computer to pick out some sandals on (Have you tried it yet? Free shipping!) on which there are ENDLESS numbers of shoes to choose from. He saw one pair he liked and when they didn't have his size, it was a no-go on any sort of second choice. Luckily by the time we dragged him into Sears, he had changed his mind and wanted car shoes which they had! And they lit up! Bless Sears for carrying them -- even though my son has never seen the movie (It's a movie, right?) he loves cars, and therefore loves the shoes.

That's how it is with him. All clothing must have some sort of vehicle on it. Train, truck, car, etc. Now pajamas are an exception. But this fabric I scored at Crafty Planet called Wheels by RIley Blake just fit the bill for an opinionated little bugger. I used McCall's pattern 5284 as a template and it was great. This one has cargo-style pockets that I just opted not to use. And the pattern also has dresses/jumpers which would be mighty cute and easy to whip up.

He loved the pants and wanted to wear them right away. WIth his John Deere sweatshirt of course. Good thing there are lots of great transportation-themed fabrics out there. And good thing we're having a new baby soon, because infants are considerably less opinionated about what they wear, right?

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Happy Bunny Day!

Happy Easter everyone. I hope you had a wonderful weekend. We did!

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Retro Kid's Kitchen a la Craigslist

As I mentioned before, I am a newbie to Craigslist. Mostly because of my husband's skepticism. So after two successful purchases without being ripped off or murdered, I think we're on a roll. This second one was this beautiful retro 70s play kitchen. We already have a play kitchen cupboard we found in the garbage last year, but now that we're going to have two kids, well one play kitchen simply isn't enough, right?

Now to fill it up with empty egg cartons, cereal boxes and other fun things!! It's already been inhabited by our Melissa and Doug sandwich set, on loan from my sister's girls. What more could a kid need?