Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Heather Ross- Far Far Away III

I love this new collection by Heather Ross for Kokka fabrics, especially in this pink colorway. It won't be in stores until June, otherwise I'd pick some up right now for some nursery projects. Loves it. Found via True Up.

While on the nursery topic, I changed my mind on the Womb Chair color. I had it ordered in an ivory wool boucle because that was my favorite of the limited palette I was offered, but a few days before the chair was available for pick-up, Alex at Modern Chair posted on his blog that their manufacturer just gave them 30 new colors to choose from in the boucle fabric! He so kindly let me re-order a new chair because he said selling the ivory one I ordered would be no problem. I went to see the swatches in person yesterday and decided right away on the light oatmeal color (#31 on the swatches posted here). I think it will be perfect in the nursery and in the living room where it will one day reside, plus a little more forgiving stain and dirt-wise than the pure ivory. I decided against the gray which I thought I wanted, this one just seems more classy. I can't wait to get it and snuggle up in it! Here's what it will look like:

It won't arrive until the end of June though (cutting it close!), so it's kind of sad that I don't get it right now, but I think in the long run I'll be much happier with this color. It's been a dream of mine for awhile now to own a womb chair so I want to make sure it's perfect!

*By the way, for those who didn't see the earlier post about the womb chair, I ordered a much less expensive reproduction of the authentic Womb. I'm not paying $4000 for a chair. Jeff would freak.

Where Imagination Takes Flight

Jeff's piece titled "Birds Fly by Flapping Their Wings" is now up on display at the Long Beach Museum of Art for their month-long show "Where Imagination Takes Flight", which will end May 22nd with a live auction of many of the pieces. Jeff's painting is the show piece that they're using for all of the show's promotion, which is an honor, and we're excited to see what it will get in the auction. Fingers crossed, baby needs an educational savings account!

Here are some snapshots I took on the opening day (from my iPhone, ding-a-ling Liv forgot her camera). I couldn't edit any out, the detail shots are so pretty!

The museum is also making notecard sets of Jeff's piece so if you love it but don't want to throw down G's for it, let us know and we can pick you up some notecard sets. Proceeds benefit the museum so it'd be for a good cause!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The studio

It's a work in progress (so much white wall space!), but Jeff is set up in his new studio and is loving it. It's so nice for him to have twice the desk space plus all the wall space to hang large paintings in progress. He got all the basics set up (desks, computer, Be@rbricks) so the decoration will come slowly over the next few weeks. But for now here's a peek:

Monday, April 25, 2011

I'm kind of tempted to put this in my room.

But it's for the baby. It emits the perfect soft glow from the kitty's belly which will be perfect for those late night feedings and diaper changes. And the name may have sealed the deal: The Offi MyPetLamp- Table Lamp Siamese from Velocity Art & Design. Sold!  

Baby quilt and yucky diaper bag

A few more projects I finished up tonight (I'm productive when my sewing room isn't overtaken by Be@rbrick boxes!):

I wanted to do something special with this fabric because it's my favorite, and works so well with the "color story" I have going on for the nursery. The peachy pink, black, and light gray are perfect. It's called Ele-fete from Cloud 9 fabrics and is made from an organic cotton. It's a small crib quilt with bamboo batting and backed with a super soft polka dot flannel.

It's kind of hard to tell but I brought in the turquoise/mint color in the quilted ties that bind the three fabrics together. Cozy.

This little drawstring bag is made with a waterproof gold pleather lining fabric so it can hold dirty cloth diapers after a change on the go.

I was thinking the shiny gold would distract from the baby crap it will contain. Yucky things are made more tolerable with pretty fabrics.


I don't know how I forgot to share this earlier since I was super excited to finally get it done, but we have a new bathroom light fixture!! Yes, these are the things I get excited over. It was only $10 for the fixture from Home Depot and about $12 for the CFL lightbulbs, so it's not the one I was lusting over but it did save us about $200 so that's awesome. And the CFL's are crazy bright so it's like we have a giant skylight and a super sunny day in there. So bright that I had to turn off the light to take the picture because all you'd see was a light akin to what you'd find heading towards the pearly gates.



Jeff is finishing up organizing everything in his new studio today, so maybe I'll have pictures to post later this evening. For now, here is the almost blank (and dirty) slate for the nursery:

First up- clean. It took two full charges of the Swiffer Vac to take care of all the dust bunnies (no wonder Jeff has allergies...) but I still have to steam mop the room and wash the windows. Then I'll be putting on the privacy film on the window (it looks right onto the neighbors driveway unfortunately, but I don't want to always have the curtains drawn because it gets so dark otherwise). The gold doorknobs make me cringe every time I go in there so those (plus the two other sets of doorknobs in the house) will get swapped out with polished nickel ones sometime soon.

Then when Jeff's up to it, we'll paint the walls and tackle the dresser, sanding and repainting it. But first, paint swatches need to go up and studied in all hours of the day. I must find the perfect Daiquiri Ice paint color... (that link does the actual color of daiquiri ice no justice. It is NOT green.) Stay tuned.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Cute little cloth butts

Not that I'm stalking our baby registries to see if any new gifts have been bought off them yet or anything, but I happened to notice our first BumGenius cloth diaper has been purchased! Fist pump! And on Earth Day too... how fitting. Thank you whoever that was!! So on Earth Day, it might be appropriate to address those that have told me cloth diapering is crazy and I should just go with disposables, and say why we're going to do it.

1) Babies in cloth diapers are super cute. Witness:

Granted, all black babies are especially adorable, but still, how cute is this picture? They come in a gazillion colors too which is more fun to me than picking out which Disney character you want on your printed Pampers. I love them all.

2) Cloth diapers save you a jillion dollars over the diapered life of your baby. This is a biggie for us, and a huge motivator to do it. Cloth diapers are an immediate investment because they are not cheap, but it's estimated that you spend roughly $300-600 on one-size adjustable all-in-one cloth diapers that will last through your baby's diaper years (PLUS can be re-used with future children!) while disposables are estimated to cost roughly $2500 per baby over the same period. That ain't chump change.

3) While laundry will certainly increase in the McMillan household with all these cloth diapers to clean, they're at least saving us a bunch of trips to the store to pick up more diapers because we ran out AGAIN. I also don't see the laundry thing being much of an issue. At most it'll add another 2-3 loads of laundry a week for us, but starting the washer in the morning and running the double rinse cycle takes about 25 minutes (2 actual minutes of my time), and then we'll be drying them mostly out in the Southern California sun on the clothesline (sunlight helps to naturally bleach out poop stains). I can't wait to see this in my backyard:

Photo: pierrotsomepeople on Flickr

4) I guess the jury is still out on this one, but disposable diapers are made with some pretty serious chemicals like dioxin, TBT, and sodium polyacrylate which helps to make them so dang absorbent. Chemicals touching my baby scare me. Organic cotton sounds way better, unfounded or not

5) I'm 42% crunchy granola hippie and so these facts* weigh heavily on me:

  • Disposable diapers are the third largest single consumer item in landfills, and represent about 4% of solid waste.  In a house with a child in diapers, disposables make up 50% of household waste.
  • The manufacture and use of disposable diapers amounts to 2.3 times more water wasted than cloth.
  • Over 300 pounds of wood, 50 pounds of petroleum feedstocks and 20 pounds of chlorine are used to produce disposable diapers for one baby EACH YEAR.
  • The instructions on a disposable diaper package advise that all fecal matter should be deposited in the toilet before discarding, yet less than one half of one percent of all waste from single-use diapers goes into the sewage system.
  • Over 92% of all single-use diapers end up in a landfill. (Liv's note: Um... where do the other 8% go?? Ew.)
*These came from the Real Diaper Association website.

I'm also not convinced that disposables are THAT much easier than cloth diapers. I'm not talking about using the prefolds with diaper pins like our momma's had to use, I'm talking about pre-stuffed, adjustable with snaps, all in one diapers that go on and off just like a disposable diaper does. No need to fold them just so and fiddle with opening and closing pins, they just slip under the butt and snap into place in the same amount of time a disposable diaper change takes. Walking the dirty #2 diaper over to the toilet to spray the poop off before tossing the diaper in the laundry bin admittedly takes longer than tossing straight into the trash (even though according to the fourth bullet point above, you're supposed to do this with disposables too!!) but I don't see that as a big deal, especially when weighed against all the positives. 

And the best part? Jeff is totally on board and willing to help see it through. I *may* have promised him a Be@rbrick with all the money we'll be saving...

Happy Earth Day!

Thursday, April 21, 2011


Tina Fey's Prayer for a Daughter:

First, Lord: No tattoos. May neither Chinese symbol for truth nor Winnie-the-Pooh holding the FSU logo stain her tender haunches.

May she be Beautiful but not Damaged, for it’s the Damage that draws the creepy soccer coach’s eye, not the Beauty.

When the Crystal Meth is offered, May she remember the parents who cut her grapes in half and stick with Beer.

Guide her, protect her when crossing the street, stepping onto boats, swimming in the ocean, swimming in pools, walking near pools, standing on the subway platform, crossing 86th Street, stepping off of boats, using mall restrooms, getting on and off escalators, driving on country roads while arguing, leaning on large windows, walking in parking lots, riding Ferris wheels, roller-coasters, log flumes, or anything called “Hell Drop,” “Tower of Torture,” or “The Death Spiral Rock ‘N Zero G Roll featuring Aerosmith,” and standing on any kind of balcony ever, anywhere, at any age.

Lead her away from Acting but not all the way to Finance. Something where she can make her own hours but still feel intellectually fulfilled and get outside sometimes And not have to wear high heels.

What would that be, Lord? Architecture? Midwifery? Golf course design? I’m asking You, because if I knew, I’d be doing it, Youdammit.

May she play the Drums to the fiery rhythm of her Own Heart with the sinewy strength of her Own Arms, so she need Not Lie With Drummers.

Grant her a Rough Patch from twelve to seventeen. Let her draw horses and be interested in Barbies for much too long, For childhood is short – a Tiger Flower blooming Magenta for one day – And adulthood is long and dry-humping in cars will wait.

O Lord, break the Internet forever, That she may be spared the misspelled invective of her peers And the online marketing campaign for Rape Hostel V: Girls Just Wanna Get Stabbed.

And when she one day turns on me and calls me a Bitch in front of Hollister, Give me the strength, Lord, to yank her directly into a cab in front of her friends, For I will not have that Shit. I will not have it.

And should she choose to be a Mother one day, be my eyes, Lord, that I may see her, lying on a blanket on the floor at 4:50 A.M., all-at-once exhausted, bored, and in love with the little creature whose poop is leaking up its back.

“My mother did this for me once,” she will realize as she cleans feces off her baby’s neck. “My mother did this for me.” And the delayed gratitude will wash over her as it does each generation and she will make a Mental Note to call me. And she will forget. But I’ll know, because I peeped it with Your God eyes.


Sunday, April 17, 2011

Wee wee pads

On my mom's suggestion, I made up some wee wee pads today. For those not in the know, apparently babies pee on you. A lot. Which frankly, I think is rude. You give them life and you're feeding them, and they pee on you?? Pssh. So anyways, I guess you're supposed to put these waterproof wee wee pads on your lap while you're nursing because the baby is just going to piss all over you. I'm not quite sure why you need them when the baby is wearing diapers, but I guess that's something you figure out once you're a mom. Anyways, here they are:

I made them from the same fabrics as those baskets I just made. Tablecloth vinyl on one side, soft green cotton on the other, topstitched with hot pink thread. I also decided to recover my ironing board. The fabric that it was covered in before was looking pretty haggard so I recovered it with some of my oodles of IKEA gingham (now on sale, sadly because it's being discontinued!!).

And also a few pictures of those hooded towels I made to match the washcloths I posted awhile ago. I finished them the night after the washcloths but I didn't have Lily Mae to model them anymore (tear) so I had to wait until my other model was ready.

Hopefully the baby's head will fit a little better in the hood than Jeff's. Please God let her have a smaller head than her father.

Free labor!

For the price of an 18-pack of Coors Light and a few pizzas and a bbq dinner, we got a ton of work done on the house! My dad and brother were ready to roll up their sleeves on Saturday morning and everyone busted butt to get projects around the house done.

We (and I used this term loosely, I couldn't help much) sanded and stained our outdoor dining set, built the shelving units for the storage part of the garage/studio, moved the metal storage cabinet, hung a tool pegboard, organized the tools/paints/garden supplies etc, pulled weeds, and scraped and sanded the rust off the gate and painted over it with a rust preventer paint. Phew! It was a lot of things checked off the to-do list this weekend and I am so pleased. We moved all the crap out of my sewing room too so I got that room back! Next weekend we'll clear out the soon-to-be nursery. 

Look how terrible the gate looked! It doesn't look too much better right now because the rust preventer paint is a rust color (nice) and we had to let it cure 24 hours before we can paint it back to white. So no after photo yet.

The studio looks so clean and nice, and is freshly painted. Kind of a funny view out the window... We'll move Jeff into it next weekend after the floors are cleaned up and the last bits are taken care of.

My dad was way too eager to do the yard work. He had a ball pulling all the weeds on the side of the house.

I want to hang the old garage window on this wall but I'm not really sure how to. I need to figure that out. We mulched the area below it and planted a couple of grape tomato plants.

Jeff found a ton of black and brown widows under the table and he sprayed the crap out of them. Hopefully they stay away. At least the table and chairs aren't all splintery anymore!

The neighbors had a garage sale and we got their croquet set! My dad bought it for us and set it up. We're going to get a tournament going pretty soon.

Ta-da!! Here is the garage section of the garage/studio mostly set up and organized. The pegboard of organized tools makes me happy.

That metal cabinet is so cool, and it came with the house!

And here we are relaxing on the croquet court after a hard day of work. Everyone was stinky. And look Sue! We love the picnic blanket!

Happy Birthday Mandy!

It's Mandy's birthday today!! But we celebrated on Friday with a taco party! Crum was there.

The birthday girl and all our taco toppings.

It was their first dinner party on their new dining table which was awesome. They mounted an old door on two vintage iron Singer sewing table bases, and then epoxied the top, letting it drip down the sides. It was fun to spin the wheel while eating dinner.

Which was fantastic. Observe:

Mandy was more adventurous with her toppings:

I was in charge of dessert and I made Flan de Coco (coconut flan for you gringos) but then I got stage fright and didn't want to flip the flan in front of everyone. My dad was there though and he really wanted the flan so he stepped in and did the dirty work.

Splash! Oopsies. Too much caramel. Noted, and I will reduce with the next flan.

It was good though! Nice and creamy and just the right firmness.

Happy birthday Manders!