Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Signs of Spring

Our trip to the cabin this past weekend was a success - it is still there and standing, and I even did a bit of work, raking up the leaves in the yard.  One of the things I love about going out the cabin in the springtime is the beautiful little blue flowers that pop up around the front door.  I have no idea what they are called but they are so pretty.




Monday, April 21, 2014

Walking on air...or laminate flooring, depending on your perspective

So as I mentioned last time, John and I spontaneously purchased 400 sq. ft of laminate flooring for the cabin back in 2010, and it was probably the second best purchase we've made, in my opinion.  Prior to this, I never removed my shoes in the cabin, because in the kitchen, "bathroom" (aka room with a mirror and a sink hooked up to nothing), and the bedroom the flooring was cracked and dirty tile, and in the living room it was an assortment of various carpets nailed down that looked as though they hadn't been cleaned in several decades.

After removing everything except the carpets - all masked up and ready to go.

Moving the wood stove which was hooked up to that chimney pipe was an amazing feat.

After ripping up the carpet, John caulked all the cracks in the plywood subfloor, in an attempt to keep nature out.

Unfortunately, I don't have any in-progress shots, but it was super easy to install.  While obviously a cheap laminate, it works perfectly for the cabin and is a breeze to keep clean.


The wood stove ready to be moved back into place.  A little ottoman on wheels was definitely our friend, as it weighs a bazillion pounds, approximately.  Unfortunately the kitchen is still to this day covered in stick-on tiles, but eventually that will get taken care of as well.


Friday, April 18, 2014

Feeling Spotty

I've never been big on animal prints, but lately I've been coming around.  Last year I got these leopard loafers, which I've actually worn a decent amount.

I try to think of them as a neutral, but I'm not going to lie, I mostly wear them with black and camel.  I am thinking about working my way up to larger doses, but in a more abstract way, perhaps.  I love how this skirt is like a polka dot with a nod to leopard.


What do you think - is animal print too intense?  Should I stick to my loafers, or are you like my husband, who thinks even they are way too much? :)

New Fridge!

One of the first projects we undertook at the cabin, aside from just cleaning and cleaning and cleaning, was to replace the fridge, because the original fridge was old and gross and dead.  Because the electricity was all shut off in between visits, mice found the fridge to be a lovely home and ate through a lot of the external bits which caused lots of problems.  So back in 2010, we headed off to Lowes to find the cheapest small fridge we could find, that wasn't a dorm fridge.  We found a great deal on a fridge, but we also found an amazing deal on laminate flooring.  We weren't intending to do anything about the floor any time soon, but it was too good to pass up.  We loaded up the explorer (there literally wasn't a square inch left over) with our new fridge and 400 sq. ft. of flooring and away we went.

After removing the fridge, this was the grossness that remained.  I won't show the close-up shot, but trust me, it was not fun cleaning that out.  

 The old fridge just barely fit out the front door.

John proudly showing off the new fridge.  We now leave the fridge breaker on when we leave, to avoid having more mice colonizing the fridge.  The $2/month electric bill is worth it.

Next up - a beautiful new floor!


Thursday, April 17, 2014

Off to the Woods

This weekend we are heading out to our cabin the middle of nowhere Pennsylvania for the first time this year, which is always a bit of a nervous time, as who knows when the cabin may eventually fall down the mountain.  I've realized I've only discussed the cabin tangentially on the blog here, so I figured I would give a bit of a background.

What the cabin looked like the first time I visited, back in 2008

John's Grandpop built the cabin about 40 years ago, and he grew up going out to the cabin for family vacations.  The owners of the adjoining 160 acres use the cabin during hunting season as well, and we have free range of their property when we go out, so it is a good relationship.  Family members stopped going out there regularly about 15 years ago or so, and the neighbors only went out a couple of times a year, so the cabin slowly was going downhill (both literally and physically).  While Grandpop did a good job building the cabin, he was a minister, not a carpenter, and it was built slowly out of scraps over time, so it was not in the best shape when John and I started going out regularly about 5 or 6 years ago.  After Grandpop passed away, Grandmom gave the cabin to John, since he was trying to fix it up.  We've been slowly trying to get it back in shape, and it's doing much better these days.

A few of the specifics - it is situated on a very small mountain, and we have about 4.5 acres of land, which is pretty secluded.  The cabin has electricity, but no running water (stay tuned for massive improvements in that department this year), and is about 20' x 20', with a loft over half of the first floor.  I've also realized I haven't been great about documenting everything, so I don't have any good pictures of what the inside looked like before we got started, but trust me, it was a little scary.  Because it's at the bottom of a hill which requires 4wd, and no one in the family had a 4wd vehicle until Hubby, everything that came and left the cabin had to be hauled by hand up and down a very steep hill (including all water).  Needless to say, not a lot has left the cabin in the past 40 years, so it was a bit full, both of stuff and wildlife.  Regular trips to both the cabin and the dump have been taking care of that, so it's much better these days.  Over the next few days I will get you all caught up to where we are now!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Tetherball Bear

I've been obsessed with bears for some reason lately (finger monkeys, move over), but Hubby won't let me get one for some reason. :)  So I guess I just have get my kicks via youtube.



Spring has sprung!




Friday, April 11, 2014

Enough Said

If at first you don't succeed, try, try again

A couple of days a week I buy coffee on my way into work, because the brown colored water and cream colored powder at work are not worthy of being ingested by humans, and I usually don't have time to make my own before I leave in the morning.  Several months ago Corner Bakery got rid of their large coffee size, making the medium the biggest coffee size.  I persisted in ordering a large, because my brain isn't super functional first thing in the morning and I forgot they no longer had it, and also, it just doesn't seem right to still call the medium a medium if it's not in the middle of anything.  At first, every now and then I actually did get a large, which gave me hope that they ran out of large cups or something, but for at least four months straight now I have had to settle for the medium.  I almost gave in this week and actually start ordering mediums, but wonder upon wonder, I got a large this morning!  I know this is probably way more information about my coffee consumption than you ever need, but it's the little things that make me happy, and I need little things these days.  Oh, and one big thing called a house, but that's not happening anytime soon, so I'll just settle for a large coffee instead.


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Take A Seat

It's been a weirdly long time since I've done anything interior designy, pretty much since I moved in with Husband and somewhat rearranged things, but it's been static since then.  Mostly because our place is small and there aren't a lot of options, and I've just gotten super busy with the rest of my life, including sewing a lot more.  But back when I was all about being crafty, I had this dream of making a couch, which Husband proceeded to scoff at, and I subsequently abandoned my dream, seeing as how he's the one in the relationship who actually knows how to build things.  I came across a picture of the Nelson Swing Sofa today on the interwebs, and my creative juices started flowing once again (side note: that expressing grosses me out a bit - I'm not going to use it anymore).


While it's not quite my usual style (seeing as how I'm a sucker for a good chesterfield), I'm envisioning it as a chair, and while it might not be strong enough, I'm thinking I can at least do a prototype using the copper pipe I still have leftover from my shelving projects.  Thoughts?  Am I crazy?


Friday, April 4, 2014

Now you see me, now you don't!

So while I keep trying to convince Husband that we can totally handle a 3000 sq. ft. house (who seriously doesn't want a ballroom?), I occasionally think about going back to my roots of small spaces.  Unfortunately, Husband is even less likely to look at a small house, given that one of the main reasons we want to move is that we have majorly outgrown our current place.  Anyway, Apartment Therapy keeps me entertained with creative solutions, one of which is this awesome sliding drawer bed thing.  I'm not going to lie, I think the part I like best about it is that you wouldn't have to make your bed every day, just slide it out of view!




Wednesday, April 2, 2014

A "Serge" of Productivity - Part 2

The second serging project I completed this weekend was the dress below.  It started out as a super simple project which should have taken no time at all, but as usual morphed into a frustrating project where I kept changing things over and over and over.  You may recognize the fabric as being one of the items from my sewing plan from a few weeks ago, so I am attempting to keep somewhat to the plan. :)

I did my usual self-drafting technique - find something in my closet I like to get the basic shape right and then modify it.  I originally drafted this as a simple shift dress with kimono sleeves with the top half having a one-piece facing to make the neck and sleeve hems simple. After I got it all sewed together though, it was too big and just looked funky to me.  So I proceeded to hack away at the sleeves several times, which was super annoying because of the facing, and I'm still not happy with how the straps came out, but they are functional and don't look terrible.  My first attempt at sizing was overall too big, including the neckline, so I both took in the sides, and added a little gather in the center of the neck.  The one thing I am proud of is the side seam - check out the matching stripes!  

Overall, I think it came out decently, but it wasn't quite what I had in mind originally.  I think it makes me look a little too much like a second grader, especially with the shirt under it.  I'm thinking I might see if there is enough fabric to turn it into a maxi skirt instead, what do you think?



Tuesday, April 1, 2014

A "Serge" of Productivity - Part 1

First things first - a hilarious post about inappropriate usage of quotation marks:
http://distractify.com/people/the-30-most-unnecessary-uses-of-quotation-marks-in-history/
My personal favorite is the one about the artificial trees, but they are all really good.

Secondly, my delightful pun alludes to the fact I actually learned how to use my serger this weekend, and finished not one, but two projects!  The first was actually just a test t-shirt I made out of leftover fabric, so I didn't ruin anything good figuring it all out.  I just traced one of my favorite tees to get the shape, and sewed it all up!  It actually came out pretty well, despite the fact the neckline got screwed up because I had to take it apart and redo it, but for the first time I've every put on sleeves (I've been avoiding them for a while now), I think I did pretty good.  Check out the stripe-matching in the back, which for some reason did not work on the front, but I'll take halfsies.  Also, if you look closely, you will see it's not hemmed properly, just serged, but since it was a test, I didn't feel like breaking out the other sewing machine to hem it.

Without further ado, I give you the red and white striped tee:





Monday, March 31, 2014

A little magenta in my life

So after coming up with my new sewing plan, I decided to go off course and sew up a dress I had already cut out of a fun and bright magenta polyester fabric I had picked up at a thrift store when I was home in Michigan over the holidays.  I used a Burda pattern, but did not include the pockets because I wanted to do french seams, since the fabric was super ravel-prone and I wasn't feeling confident enough to try out my serger yet.  It came out a bit too much like something from the maternity department, but I was happy with the finishing of it.


Friday, March 21, 2014

Happy Trees!

I just had to share this awesome mug I ran across on Etsy today:

It brought back some good memories of watching Bob Ross painting his happy trees, and who doesn't like to smile on a Friday morning?

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