Sunday, March 25, 2012

Rainy day

Someone's nice and cozy in this rainy day weather... We cut up our 4 inch thick memory foam mattress topper (those things totally wreck your back sleeping on them) into 8 big squares that I'm going to double up and then cover in upholstery fabric for floor pillows. The cats immediately claimed the whole stack before I could get to them of course, so I covered two with a blanket of Elsa's and put it in the window on my ironing board for them. HAPPY CATS.

I don't know how many times I've sung the Itsy-Bitsy Spider to this face today. Lost count.

All done!

The bathroom is freshly painted and put back together. Stick a fork in her, she's done. For now.

Looks the same as before, huh? In person it looks MUCH better than it did before, I swear. The previous owners actually left us a bunch of the house's paint colors behind, so I just needed to touch up the Swiss Coffee white on the walls and door. We repainted the sink cabinet a light glossy gray so the room wouldn't be all white, and to give a little contrast with the bright white floors. It's hard to tell in this photo, but it's pretty much the same gray as the light one in the bathmat. Sharkey Gray from Martha Stewart for those that are curious.

Our little flooring disaster turned out to be not so much of a disaster after all. We got some much needed updates to our only bathroom and we're really happy with how it all turned out.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Bathroom updates!

My mom said I'm like Sarah Winchester, because I always need to make some renovation around the house. Sort of true, but this one HAD to be done. Our bathroom floor was rotting away! About two weeks ago I noticed a dark line in our vinyl flooring around our very vintage pink toilet. As I touched it trying to rub the mark out, I realized that it felt like wet cardboard underneath which meant that our subfloor was soaked and rotting. Awesome! I had immediate thoughts of a plumbing disaster and thousands of dollars wiped out of our savings account, and freaked out every time we sat on the toilet thinking we'd crash down into the foundation.

We got on it right away and it turned out to be localized to just around the toilet (it was not level I guess and water was leaking out when we flushed) so the flooring installers were able to rip it out and install a brand new plywood subfloor, mortar board, and then shiny new tiles on top! They also removed and hauled away our pink toilet and installed our brand new white one, no need for the plumber even!

We kept the improvements going and took down the glass shower doors to replace with a shower curtain. It's SO much easier to clean, but the main reason we took them down was to make bathing Elsa in the bathtub a lot easier too. It makes the bathroom feel bigger we think, and I like that the shower curtain hides all our bath products. No one needs to see Jeff's Costco-sized Rogaine. (It's why he's so hairy.)

After the bright white tile went down (with gray grout- one more detail to make keeping the bathroom clean easier!), the "white" walls, sink cabinet and baseboards look so gross. So of course those have to be painted which we're in the middle of doing right now. So you'll only get  half-way done progress photos for now.

EWW!! I can't believe that was under our feet this whole time. Nasty.

Poor pink toilet. They had to sledgehammer her out to remove her from the bathroom, she was that rusted and beat up. Bye bye, you were cute, and probably gorgeous when you were new and amongst your other pink friends who survive you.

Yay! New non-rotted subfloor! And wonderboard for the tile.

Because this was a rush job (1. We didn't want the toilet to crash into the crawl space, 2. Sue was visiting us that weekend and 3. We only have one bathroom and a few bushes) we had to go with a basic tile that they could get quickly. I liked these white octagons and squares anyway, but if I had my dream tile, it'd be from Heath. I think they look great though with the vintageness still preserved in the bathroom, and the gray grout makes them look a little more special.

Ta-da!! New white toilet. We got a basic Kohler model, but it's leaps and bounds better than old Pinkie. It flushes so quietly and quickly, but c'mon, it's a toilet. Not much more to say.

The shower curtain though... pretty great, right? My mom said it looked like Marimekko which I can totally see. It's DwellStudio though, that I got at Target (not available online anymore, and Amazon jacked up the price by $15!). Love the colors and graphic boldness it brings to the space. The bathmat was another score from Macy's, on clearance with an additional 40% off AND including Sue's extra 15% off coupon, it ended up being like 7 cents. Thanks Sue!

And the last improvement to be covered in this post, a new towel rack and Elsa's toy pod! Removing the shower doors meant removing one of our two towel bars, so with the very limited wall space we had in there, this Grundtal rack from IKEA was perfect. It has four bars that swivel out. Super useful AND it matches our AARP shower bar in brushed nickel!

Elsa's frog was a baby shower gift and it holds her new bath toys which she is a big fan of. To keep my fans happy, I'll close with a picture of her enjoying her new splash time surroundings.

Visit with her Noni

Some pictures from Sue's visit... I blame Jeff for not taking more, I was at work! 

Okay, this next one wasn't taken when Sue was here, as she probably wouldn't have allowed her precious little granddaughter to be humiliated like this, but it was too cute not to include:

She loves her Cheerios! And here she is, up and conducting business at her desk:

This one is for you Carol!

It has been pointed out to me that I may have been neglecting the boys of their share of blog time recently. They are alive and well, and shall we say, spirited (loud). Thor has become a fan of Elsa, realizing that she adores them and will shower him with attention if he lets her. She's getting better about not trying to rip their ears off, but she's still a little on the grabby side. Tyr still keeps his distance. 

Thor has taken a shining to Elsa's stroller too. He curls up in the pocket underneath the seat for a nap, and like to go for a ride around the house. 

I'm on a mini-vacation from work until the first of April, so I'll try to be better about posting here in this coming week. Pinky swear.

Friday, March 16, 2012

A few sewing projects

I had started this mini-quilt for Elsa when I was pregnant and set it aside and totally forgot about it. I found it half-finished when I was digging through my fabric bins looking for a dress fabric for the baby and decided to finish it up. It was a super easy quilt and I finished it while drinking beer with Jan as he played with the cats. Three squares (bamboo batting, muslin back, and pretty cotton top) sewn together and turned right side out, then double topstitching running around the perimeter to make a sort of fake piping, and four topstitch lines (top to bottom, side to side, diagonals to diagonals) quilting it all together. BAM!

Pretty fabric, no? I used hot pink thread to topstitch, because hot pink loves that green. (Hey Brooke! THAT GREEN IS MY FAVORITE COLOR!!!)

This is I think my first attempt at baby clothes. I used a pattern from Lotta's book (p.s. I love her style but dang, the impreciseness of her hand sketched patterns drive me bonkers and there was an omission in the sewing directions that made me have to go back and fix stuff, so I was kind of annoyed) and this is what came out:

Cute!! I love her idea of the little stuffed friend sewn in to the pocket so she always has a little thing to play with. I kind of want to do this to all of her clothes. I used the soft cotton gingham I picked up at JoAnn's the other day, some polka dot linen bias tape from Matatabi, a scrap of Cloud9 blue birds fabric for the pocket, a scrap of polka dot flannel for the friend (with bamboo fiberfill inside), and some satin cord for the string.

The back has a hook and eye closure making a little peephole so her giant head can fit through:

It's of course too big for the peanut so this one will have to wait a little while. Little dresses are easy and rewarding to make though, so I'm thinking I might make a bunch. 

Saturday, March 10, 2012


I sewed up this little diddy for Elsa's room today. The fabric calendar was printed by Lisa Rupp (love her designs) which is normally sewn into tea towels, but I asked Lisa for a custom listing of just the fabric so I could make this out of it. Have I mentioned how I love Etsy??

I was too lazy to make my own bias tape out of this perfectly matching aqua gingham fabric I had so I just cut a square of it two inches wider and longer than the calendar fabric, folded it over a half inch once on each side (and pressed) and then folded it again another half inch over the edge of the calendar fabric and pinned and then sewed around the inner edge, just like with bias tape. Easier and has a little more heft to it to than if I just did bias tape.

I looped a length of black ribbon through it to hang it but that wasn't sturdy enough to keep it flat, so I cut a length of a bamboo skewer for the top rod. I drew a heart around Elsa's birthday (July 12th) and hung it by the rocking chair because it was pretty much the only wall space left in her nursery. I'm going to have to cool it on the wall decorations.

And there's the pillow in it's new home!

I love you GapBaby...

The Gap has pretty amazing sales. This weekend is one of their family and friends sales where everything is 40% off! That's a pretty great deal. I ordered a couple of things for myself online ($22 premium jeans! $10 lovely work sweater!!) and Lynne and I popped in there today to see the goods in person. Elsa threw a fit just as I got in the fitting room so I aborted the mission and saved a few dollars. She miraculously calmed down and was a peach when we entered the Gap Kids section of the store however. Hmm.

Auntie Lynne bought her THE CUTEST little ballet pink tiered tulle swimsuit. My dad is already passing out with excitement over seeing Elsa in her baby pool, so this picture might send him over the edge. We need to get that baby pool blown up ASAP while these temperatures are still in the 80's!

My friend Jen hooked us up with adorable little bikinis from Gymboree where she's a designer, so I reluctantly passed on buying this one since we didn't need it, to which Lynne said "Yeah no. That has to come home with  us." It's a 6-12 month size so it'll last us through the summer, and we plan to do a whole lot of swimming. "Swimming".

Something I couldn't pass up though was this amazing trench coat. It's for when she's a toddler, and is in the 12-18 month size, so she'll be wearing it when she's walking. It has the raddest neon pink piping and the buttons are so great. And it was only $19!

Tres chic. And this next dress didn't come from the Gap but it's another lovely piece just sitting and waiting for Elsa to get big enough to wear it. Our family friend Monica bought it on a whim for Elsa and it's so darling. It's a pinwale corduroy with a drop waist. So flapper-ish!

This baby has got some fashions.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Pillow craftiness

Here's a little pillow I made for Elsa last  night (I am SO happy she doesn't wake up to the sound of my sewing machine when she sleeps. My set-up is right outside her nursery door so I was a little worried, but it hasn't bothered her yet!). I used the Nani Iro fabric I love so much on the front:

And this lovely raspberry cotton gingham I picked up from JoAnn's on the back:

I was happy to find it because all the ginghams they used to have were a poly blend and this one is pure cotton. It's so much softer. I'm going to make her a ton of stuff from this.

I also put on pink ball fringe because c'mon, that's just cute. She'll probably like sucking on the balls too. And because I'm a nerd, I printed out fabric labels so everyone knows that I made it.

I bought more ball fringe in white for the lion's mane of that round pillow I want to copy, I just need to find a round pillow insert now! The pillow insert selection at JoAnn's is severely lacking.

More cuteness

It doesn't take much to get me to post pictures of Elsa up here. Two comments on the last post will do it! (Thanks Dad and Jamie!)

Elsa has been such a champion eater, with the exception of two things. Star shaped pasta with a tomato/carrot sauce (what kind of Italian is she!?) she practically gagged on and then gave me a dirty look. And frozen wheat bagels- not a fan. All the books said babies loved them, Elsa not so much. Even after they defrosted and weren't cold, she would still make this face:

Here she is with her favorite treat (Mum Mums) stuck to her chin, while wearing my favorite little fleece suit of hers:

She's super into bath time and getting very splashy so we're going to have to move her to the big girl's tub soon.

My mom calls this move of Elsa's "The Flamenco Dancer". She's usually doing it while making a spitty noise and then looks embarrassed when we start laughing.

I can't resist. I have to post more from this Jude/Elsa photoshoot. They are too dang cute! Here she is trying to choke Jude out with exuberant love:

Whoa... he's looking at me. WHAT DO I DO!?

Sit back and watch him intently while he plays with my buttons.

When I work from home and take a break, I strap her to me and we water the garden together. She likes it, and I'm prepping her with the gardening knowledge she'll need when she starts her Seedlings for Sale business with Jude. Jerod has it all worked out. They'll grow seedlings from seed and then wheel them around the neighborhood in their Radio Flyer wagon selling them to suckers neighbors. They'll be millionaires by the time they start kindergarten!

Thursday, March 8, 2012