Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Whatnot: The Money Pit

We've all see the movie right - Tom Hanks and Shelly Long buy the house of their dreams, a bit of a fixer upper, but everyone loves a project - right!??!?  Of course one thing after another goes wrong, hilarity and much destruction occurs, and pile after pile of money gets thrown at the house until it is ultimately rebuilt virtually from scratch.

I'm living in the money pit.

Hubs and I bought our house 5 years ago, we new it was a bit of a fixer upper, but it was a fairly new house in a great neighborhood.  Within a day of closing on the house we had painted all but three rooms (floor & ceiling - painting parties, so much fun!!!); within a month we had walls torn down to open up the dining room and stairway.  Within two months we found out that the kitchen plumbing was almost destroyed by large quantities of oil being put down the drain through Aisian cooking (we have the plumber out about once a year because without tearing out all the plumbing to the street, there is nothing else that can be done).  By the end of year two we painted the entire basement (which is the whole footprint of the house).  Year three saw the replacement of the washing machine, a leaking air conditioner unit, and the realization that with a twin pregnancy we HAD to have a bathtub in the house.  So, year four led to a complete 2nd story overhaul that resulted in a new Master bath, a new walk in Master closet, a reconfigured hall bath with a tub added, and the repainting of EVERY SINGLE WALL (except the then guest room, now baby girl nursery).  Now here we are in year five and we have discovered mold in the basement - which means excavating the wall by removing the concrete sidewalk and all the dirt, and then sealing the wall to protect water from getting in the block.  I will have a wondrous tale of our experience with MidAtlantic Water -but now is not the time (italics equal sarcasm).  Our kitchen faucet is down to a dribble, our main floor toilet is running non stop (even after trying two different replacement flaps), and I am losing SOOOOOOO much hair post pregnancy that my gorgeous new(ish) master bath tub is starting to clog on a regular basis.

I can't even start to calculate how much planned and unplanned money has been thrown into this house over the past 5 years... I can't start because for a penny pincher, it would just make me cry.

But, I love my house.  With all its flaws, it is a phenomenal house for our family.  And slowly, piece by piece I have made it feel like a home.  Wellllllllllllllllllllllllllllll, almost....

There is one room in the house that has never been touched by a paintbrush, never been given a curtain, never had a single personal item adorn its walls - my poor poor laundry/mud room has been sadly neglected for far too long.  I have tons of ideas for the space, gorgeous thoughts of organized shoes, a functional laundry sink, and an ironing board.... sigh.  At this time, there is no way I can do anything to the space - I don't have a penny to throw at it... you did just read that we have to EXCAVATE our basement, right!!!

Never fear - there could be a solution in sight!!!!

Mandi, from Vintage Revivals is having a CONTEST!!!  (The winner gets a room make over for free.  That says FREE people.)

So please, PLEASE, PLEASE cross your fingers and pray that our room makes the top 10 (oh yeah, and click that picture thingy up there and VOTE for it! voting is Sept 7-14, tell all your friends to vote, get your great Aunt to vote, go to a computer cafe and log into every computer and VOTE - hmmm that might be considered voter fraud).
Here's a look at what I'm living with:
 Here is is, a long bowling alley of space - the bones are good, there is just no flesh here!
 I chose not to pick the shoes up (for the fifth time in one day), because I need you to see how lacking this space is in function.  The shoes go in the blue basket, which is accessed by the two 18 month old monkeys to become a game of throw the shoes.
 This table is the closest thing to function int he room - and it is just a landing zone ;o(
 Oh look there are shelves - wire shelves are pointless, that is all I will say
 Yes, this is my laundry sink (I can not soak anything in it, I can not use it as a craft sink, you can barely wash your hand here!)  Oh and that is a pretty high heel IN the sink from the shoe throwing game mentioned above ;op 
 Poor naked window (I've made curtains for just about ever other window in the house, just not this one)
 Bare expanse of wall - You know that so much could be done on this wall!!!
 My pitiful hanging rack - one might say that I have too many bags, but must I mention the shoe throwing game again to explain why everything must be up off the ground???
 This is a fabric headband that I use to hold the door open so that said monkeys can not lock themselves IN the laundry room and get into even more mischief.
 Yes, yes, I have a mud room closet - but once again - WIRE RACKS - not so good for holding shoes, and there is too little hanging space, and my vacuum is crammed inside because the monkeys... I think you get the picture...
...But in case you don't, here is the trash can ON TOP of the table, taking up valuable dumping space, because if it was on the ground we would have a TRASH throwing game rather than a shoe throwing game.

Oh, and the two hideous light fixtures (I have replaced EVERY other light fixture in the house).  This picture doesn't show the horendousness of brass bases and glass covers with a floral motif, ughhhhh.
Please, please Mandi, come make this blank, nonfunctional, un-homey space one of your gorgeous works of art!!!
*I'll bake you something yummy, I'll sew you something pretty, I'll get my three beautiful babies to smile and giggle at you...

Friday, August 24, 2012

Project $0: Updates, competitive nature, and sharing the love (week 2)

OK - so here is the run down of where I am currently:
                               ~ 6 shirts DONE
                               ~ Three pants DONE
                               ~ Jacket DONE!!!!

Wanna see the jacket?????  You know you do ;o)


You see, I write my posts during my middle of the night feedings, and I typed that last section Wednesday night, projecting how much I could get done Thursday in order to post on Friday.  I sewed together the cuffs for the jacket, I sewed together the two layers of hood, I then went to top stitch the hood and my needle BROKE, grumble grumble snifflefinx.  This would not be a huge deal, but I broke another needle on Wednesday while going through way too many layers of khaki.  I was down to one needle - a super slim voile needle, I put it in and the machine stopped sewing.  As in, wont make a stitch in any fabric to save its life.  I'm blaming the needle.  So until I get more needles, or figure out what is wrong with my machine, I'm stuck with ALL the pieces of the jacket done and no way to connect them to one another (so frustrating to be so close and SOOOOOOOOOOO far away!).
So let's focus on what is done:
Khaki pants with cargo pocket, flat front/elastic waist, and cuffs


-Docker style khakis: slash pockets, stitched on placket, welt back pockets, hand stitched blind hem



And the poor, poor jacket...


So, I spent my evening doing something else...
Those who know me know that I have a bit of a competitive streak.  I love to play games (particularly Settlers of Catan, Ticket to Ride, and my new favorite Dominion) and I may even enjoy occasionally winning.  I have noticed recently though that my normal sweet disposition whilst game playing has become a bit more aggressive since the arrival of my children.  I tend to stuff my emotions during the day to keep a calm exterior for my kids, and it seems those emotions are boiling over onto my friends and family during more intense rounds of game play.  Hmmmmmm, there must be a solution to this dilemma (I can't have everyone I know run for the hills when I need a game fix).
Enter: Project Run and Play.  An online version of the ever popular Project Runway but for KIDS!  And there is a sew along with prizes.  So it is a competition, with no one I actually know, and only a computer screen to yell at when I view all the amazingly talented other entries and realize I don't stand a chance. WOHOOOOOO!!!!!
Every week has a theme, so I started sketching (my figure drawing skills are WAY out of practice)
week 2: Fashion Icon

Week One: Remix of a bias skirt
I have many more ideas, so these may not make the cut.. but we'll see.  I may make one or two things for baby girl, but essentially I will be sewing within the rules of Project $0 (the two overlap).  So every challenge will incorporate something for the boys and must be something that enhances their fall/winter wardrobe.  I will also only be sewing with upcycled materials or things I have in my fabric stash (sooooo happy I have a twin white sheet on had for week three!).

So, if my machine ever works again, the Suits are 100% back in the running.  My Mom and sister both shared some wool suiting that they had left over in their own stashes... SCORE!
Here is the piece from my mom - it has really nice light blue and grey tones in it.  AND she let me borrow her serger.... ahhhhhhh serger ;o)

Sharing Some Love
Have you visited the flicker group?  No????  What are you waiting for?  There are already some amazing things being shared!  Here are two of my favorites so far.
I just love that they are red, and that little fire engine is beyond cute!!!

I love this simple dress that looks anything but simple.  Black and white is always classic, and the fact that she made the dress, bag, flower pin, and bloomers(not shown) from her materials is awesome!
Thank You for sharing in the group Threading My Way

Click HERE to see and join the fliker group!
Operation: Project $0  BEGINNING              WEEK ONE

Had any sewing catastrophes of late???  Someone amuse me with your own horrendous tale of woe!  Pretty Please.

linked up: http://www.bedifferentactnormal.com/2012/08/show-and-tell-saturday-082512.html,http://www.sewcountrychick.com/search/label/Sew%20and%20Tell%20Saturdayhttp://www.sumossweetstuff.com/2012/08/market-yourself-mondaycolor-blocked.htmlhttp://etcetorize.blogspot.com/2012/08/make-it-great-monday_26.htmlhttp://www.creatingreallyawesomefreethings.com/m-m-m-119/http://www.ishouldbemoppingthefloor.com/2012/08/mop-it-up-mondays-31.htmlhttp://brassyapple.blogspot.ca/2012/08/link-up-party-make-it-monday-45.htmlhttp://www.linesacross.com/2012/08/the-cure-for-common-monday-52.htmlhttp://www.craftionary.net/2012/08/Best-diy-projects-crafts-party-33.htmlhttp://thecreativeitchboutique.blogspot.com/2012/08/sew-cute-tuesday-82812.htmlhttp://adiamondinthestuff.blogspot.ca/2012/08/time-to-shine-party-no-83.htmlhttp://www.sugarbeecrafts.com/2012/08/take-look-tuesday_27.htmlhttp://www.sew-much-ado.com/2012/08/we-did-it-wednesday_28.htmlhttp://onelittlemomm.blogspot.com/2012/08/wkww-what-kids-wore-wednesday_28.htmlhttp://raegunwear.blogspot.com/2012/08/sweet-and-tasty-treats.htmlhttp://www.theshabbycreekcottage.com/2012/08/transformation-thursday-no-167.htmlhttp://www.momnivores-dilemma.com/2012/08/creative-juice-thursday-87-features.htmlhttp://bec4-beyondthepicketfence.blogspot.com/2012/08/under-100-linky-party_29.htmlhttp://www.the36thavenue.com/2012/08/23-diy-home-projects-and-link-party-71.htmlhttp://networkedblogs.com/BxvOm

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Wondering: Saying Goodbye

Recently we have had a rash amount of saying goodbye.  Some goodbyes are harder than others.

The boys favorite local Auntie moved away.  Sweet Aboye, I will miss you my friend, you made such an impact on my life and the life of my children.  But, I shall think of you every time I paint my nails another glorious shade from the collection you left behind for me to treasure.
Since a picture shows a thousand words and all:

And we finally were able to place Napoleon (the cat) at PAWS.  This was a hard decision and a long time coming, but necessary for the health and sanity of us all.  He was our first baby...

 From being just a baby to meeting the new babies, his life altered vastly.  It was at this moment that he realized he was no longer the center of our whole universe.

with the wonderful people at PAWS
*You can follow Napoleon's status here: http://www.centrecountypaws.org/cats/Cats2.cfm?ID=3239
The boys don't seem too upset, but they at times wander the house saying 'meow, MEOW?' and looking at me as if to ask - 'Hey where'd that furry thing go?'

With saying goodbye comes saying hello; hello to new opportunities, to new neighbors at the park, and to a new month of my baby girl's life. (4 months already!?!?!)

Tears and smiles will forever be mixed in the forward moving journey of life.

****Don't miss Friday's update post on Operation Project $0 - no clue what I'm talking about, check out the first two posts here:  Post One      Post Two