Archives for posts with tag: decorating

I love to crochet. It’s such a simple craft, but can create such beautiful finished projects. I enjoy knitting, but I’m not enough of a planner to feel like I can truly create with it. I can follow a pattern, but not innovate. With a crochet hook and a ball of yarn, I’m more confident that I can whip up an idea out of my head and get going.

So last week I decided that the boys needed matching pillows on their beds. I was inspired by this post over at The Purl Bee. I loved that it was just a simple square to crochet. I whipped up a square, quickly stitched on a big Z, and now all that I need to do is sew on a backing and stuff it. I love projects that I can finish in less than a week! Of course, it’s been a week, and I don’t know when I’ll actually get around to sewing on a back and stuffing it. But still, it feels rewarding. I’m happy with how it turned out, but for the J I’m attempting next, I’ll break out the graph paper and plan a bit better so I don’t get the funky crooked lines I ended up with on the diagonal here. Hopefully this is a project that will actually get finished.

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When we moved in to our house, there was a ton of furniture here. There was a beautiful assortment of solid wood bedroom furniture made by a company called “The Imperial Loyalist”, based out of the Niagara Falls area of Ontario in the 1930s and 40s. We have a double bed with two nightstands, one tall dresser, one shorter one with a mirror, two twin beds, and a lamp. Beautiful, massive stuff. We through one twin bed and a dresser in Z and J’s room, and called it “decorated”. But, it still needed help. Over a year later, we finally got around to doing something with their room.

In the spirit of late-night-infomercial before and after shots, I apparently made the before shots as horrendous as possible:

We slapped up 50$ worth of MDF and called it “wainscoting” and coated it all with some white semi gloss. Leftover hallway paint went up top, and some to-be-remedied cheap roman shades went on the windows. We have lots of decorating left to do, but I have two able-bodied helpers. Z even put up all the wall decals by himself. Could you tell?

I’m absolutely thrilled with how much better the dark wood furniture looks against the white and blue than it did against the existing light yellow. Now we need a larger rug, some higher quality window treatments, and some other finishing touches. My mother is sewing a quilt for the toddler bed. It was supposed to be a baby gift, then a first birthday gift. Now we’re at 2.5 and counting. Maybe birthday #3? There’s also going to be a matching cross-stitch birth announcement to go over J’s bed, framed to match Z’s.

They love it, which is what matters most.

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Last October we bought our first house. After living on the third floor of various elevator-less apartment buildings for years, I was more than ready to have a door on the ground floor and a washer and dryer to call my own. We love our house. It was built in either 1928 or 1935 and has charm oozing out of every crack of its uninsulated walls. The kitchen, however, was less charming and more disturbing.

Sadly, we didn’t take enough before photos. Here’s all I have:

As soon as we got possession of the house, we gutted it.

Here’s what the kitchen vomited into my backyard:

And here’s what it vomited into my dining room:

When we first planned the kitchen redo, we decided to keep the back door in the kitchen, where it originally was. It was pretty difficult to fit in enough cabinet and counter space around three doorways and a huge window, though. Here’s what we came up with:

Oops, right? It just didn’t work. I had good intentions with the double-level cabinets. I’m tall, so reaching into them wasn’t a problem, and we had planned to put all our small appliances in the cabinets right at counter level, with outlets for them within the cabinets themselves until we learned that that was against code. So I ended up with no counter space, no room for coats, boots, hats, scarves, and mittens in the winter, and a funky cabinet arrangement.

After our third little boy was born in April, Mr. Teatimewithmandy re-gutted the kitchen, moved the back door out, and re-arranged the cabinets. We repainted and put up a bead-board backsplash too.
I think we got it right this time.

I love it now, and am so happy with what we finally ended up with. I can tell you one thing for sure. I don’t plan on gutting the same kitchen twice in less than 12 months ever again.

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