Category Archives: Crafts

Decorating and Updating

We are in a big transition time in our life. Not just the baby on the way, but also the impending Match (the process by which medical students are matched with residency programs). At this point, the most likely contenders are programs in Chicago and Southern California.

If we match in Chicago, then we will continue living in our awesome house. It’s a 1926 Bungalow. We’ve done quite a bit of work on it over the last 2.5 years that we’ve lived here (remodeled the kitchen, removed wallpaper, painted like crazy, etc.), but there is plenty more to do if we will be spending at least 4 more years here (the length of an anesthesia residency).

Last night over dinner, DH and I started making a list of possible updates to the house. There are some big things that need to be addressed, such as “will we remodel the basement?” and “should be try to convert our faux fireplace into something that actually emits heat?” There’s also painting to be done and furniture to buy.

Additionally, I really want to do a better job of decorating. The dining room really needs some attention and the family room/living room/den also needs some TLC.

It’s amazing how expensive things are. Even when it’s worth the investment, I often find myself balking at the prices of various objects and services. Such as, framing art… We have a great Ork poster of Chicago and it is in terrible need of framing. I love the poster and I know that I will love it even more when it’s framed, but I just know that the sticker shock will be painful. But, whatever, I need to just bite the bullet so that I can actually ENJOY my purchase!

I recently purchased the Domino Book of Decorating to help inspire my to update the house. I was very sad when Domino magazine went under, so I’m glad that they left this great book for posterity.

The other two books that I reference periodically are Martha Stewart Living’s Good Things for Organizing and Good Things: A Collection of Inspired Household Ideas and Projects.

As DH and I decide what to do in our home, I’m trying to spend more time looking for inspiration. There are some big things that I’m hoping to accomplish before June when the third member of our family arrives. Plus, I’m guessing that this is also a great opportunity to start the baby-proofing process.


Corn Bunting has begun

My DH’s parents both grew up on farms and so when I was searching on Ravelry for bunting patterns, I thought this one would be fantastic, not to mention funny. I’m making the 3-6 month size so that it’s wear will coincide with Halloween and harvest time.

I’m knitting it out of Berroco Comfort in:

Lovage                                        Buttercup

Unfortunately, the gauge wasn’t working out because this yarn is worsted, rather than sport weight. So, I just adjusted the pattern instead. I’m also adding a hole in the back for a car seat strap to go through. In the front, it will just go through the snaps.

I hope my baby is as cute as the one in this picture!

Nursery Planning – Woodland Decor

Well, there’s a little bundle of joy on the way and I’m starting to think about crafty ways to decorate for the little peanut. Even though we are planning on finding out the sex, I want to stick with green as a basic color and nature/forest/woodland as a theme. If the baby is a girl, I couldn’t bring myself to get all pink-ed out. To each her own, but for this girl: Gross. I was never a girly girl myself and don’t plan on pushing any of my progeny in that direction.

Anyhow, here are some things that I’m hoping to make or purchase or find:

I saw this Acorn Lamp craft on the Martha Stewart show some time ago and thought it looked so whimsical. I thought about making it for our guest room, but never actually got the bug to do it. Now, though, I have a little more motivation!

I like that these use a very low wattage bulb (although with CFLs, I suppose you could go quite a bit brighter) because the acorn looks like it’s glowing when you turn it on. Seems like it could be a good light at night, especially for sleepy, stumbling parents.

I found this room on Oh Dee Oh. It’s is very sparse and while I doubt I will be so restrained in my decorating, I like that it’s not an excessively cutesy space. Too many room ideas I find are way too over the top for my liking. The thing that I really like is the branch above the bed. It has two little fluffy owls perched on it!

I also dig the faux bear skin rug on the floor. It makes me think of a cabin in the woods.

I find terrariums to be so cool and magical. The ones at Green Briar’s Etsy shop are no exception. I envision putting one on a dresser or shelf.

I know that I could make one easily enough, but I’ll have to be on the lookout for cool clear containers like this one is housed in.

Small Constellation MobileI have always been fascinated by Calder’s mobiles and gaze up at them at the Art Institute whenever possible. I like how mobiles look different from various angles and how they sway around, altering their appearance with each movement. This one, found at The Wonderland Studio, looks like a good nursery version.
Birch Tree Decals These birch trees from Single Stone Studios are so statuesque! I think that they would add some height to the room and make it feel more like an intimate space in the forest.
More to come as I continue to nest!

Christmas Stocking for My Godson

Back in November, my cousin asked me to knit a Christmas stocking for her son [my godson].

I started knitting the day before Thanksgiving and was done by the following Wednesday. It knit up far faster than I thought it would (thank goodness!). I ended up designing it myself, including the tree motif (Ravelry link) from Handknit Holidays Evergreen Gift Bag. I knitted it top down with a short row heel. I think I included too many short rows though because the heel just seems too big. I have been considering sewing it up to be a bit smaller… Maybe that’s overkill.

All that’s left to do is sew the hanging loop to the top of the sock and a bell to the toe. I’m planning to send it off to Iowa on Monday!

[I’ll post pictures soon!]

Christmas Stocking Challenge

A request has been made for a Christmas stocking for a certain baby for his first Christmas.

“With enough notice, could [Baby R’s] godmother be convinced to knit a Christmas stocking for him that he’ll have for the rest of his life?  I have one that Aunt Mi made me and it would be cool to have one for [my son] too.”

She’d like it to be about the same size as hers (14.5 inches from opening to heel, 10 inches from heel to toe). Other than that, she wants it to be made by me, no other strings attached.

Here’s her stocking:

Right now, I’m favoring using the Classic Stocking pattern from Holiday Knits:

It’s a very simple red and white stocking, much like Jenn’s. I would alter the top to be able to add Baby R’s name. I am going to look around for possible embelishments for the stocking too. Either that or I’ll keep the fuzzy top of the stocking and put an embelishment on one side of the stocking and his initials on the other. I’ll figure it out as I go, as usual.

More Pumpkin Hat Pictures

My cousin just sent me some more photos of her adorable baby boy in the pumpkin hat I made for him. I must admit that I am very proud of this cute little hat. My cousin says all of her friends are disappointed that they can’t get one just like it. I love that my cousin loves the gift. I love that it’s handmade for my beautiful little second cousin. And I love that there are adorable photos of him being adorable in it.

Seriously, his little baby eyes remind me of Puss’n’Boots in the Shrek movie. How will anyone ever be able to tell him “no”??

This is a really good one of the top of the hat. I love how it swirls into the stem!

DIY Shower Curtain

*FYI: This is a picture heavy post.

When we bought our house, it was riddled with some ugly wallpaper. I am not in general opposed to wallpaper, however, with champagne taste, I am opposed to cheap looking paper. Being on a beer budget, in general, I opt for paint. Honestly, I doubt that really nice wallpaper will ever be within my budget.

So, last Thanksgiving, my mom-in-law helped me yank down the offensive strips of 1980s water lily border paper in the bathroom and paint the previously navy room a sunny yellow.She really is a champion. She helped me prime and double coat the room as well. She’s the best!

The yellow freaked me out a bit at first because it came out more sunny than buttery (I had expected a more creamy tone). However, I don’t like re-doing work (or re-purchasing supplies), so I figured I should give it a chance to grow on us before I did anything rash. Plus, it was still better than the water lilies. These pictures aren’t great, but I think they show how much brighter the bathroom became with the new paint color.

Before and After:

I really like shower curtains – but not generally the ones I can find at the store (plus, I tend to think that they are overpriced), so I made my own by altering a gorgeous full sized sheet I bought two years ago from Garnet Hill. I had originally intended to make curtains for our old apartment, but never got around to it. I’m glad that I left it in the fabric stash because I really like how it fits in with the sunny bathroom!

Here’s the finished product:

The bathroom is taking on a bit of a California tone to it. I have one of my grandmother’s antique 1940’s California plates on the wall, my old CA license plate, and a funny “valley girl” inspired card on the walls. I also have a collection of succulent plants in there.