Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Alerting the State of Iowa

Katie:  I need to call the State of Iowa and let them know that I will no longer be carrying a driver's license.
Byron:  Why?
Katie:  People should know who I am.

Overheard on Glee and modified for my own purposes.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Acer Rubrum, October Glory

Today as we came home from work, we noticed that our trees were planted in our front yard.
Tada!  There is a matching one on the other side of the driveway.  I was really hoping that our builder would forget about planting trees for us because I really wanted one with lavender flowers, but he remembered.  Which, even though these trees won't bloom lavender, they are red maples and will turn bright reddish orange in the fall.  I guess I can handle that.  Here are a few more photos.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

We've Been Sodded

After six months of waiting for our new house to be built, and then nearly two months of living in the house with a dirt yard, today our yard got sodded.  (For anyone out there who knows my passion for correct grammar, I understand that this may not be the proper use of the word but it reminds me of a basketball cheer from high school so that's how I choose to use the term.)  Back to the sod.  When we got home from work, fortunately the sodding crew had started our sprinklers.  Yay!  But unfortunately, although they make their profession out of this type of work, hooking up a garden hose to a faucet proved to be a bit of a challenge and water was leaking all over the place.  Boo!  Byron and I spent about 3 hours outside admiring our new lawn.  He was setting the sprinklers just so, moving them around the yard, and talking yardwork with the other men in the neighborhood, while I just watched him work and chatted with the neighbors.  I also may or may not have shrieked and claimed to have gotten soaked by the sprinkler only to look down at my pant leg and see one drop of water.  But I can't confirm if that really happened or not.
But now for the big reveal.  Picture from the front...
And from another angle...
And from behind...
If you look really closely, you can see Minnie!

We are so glad that we have a yard.  You may find this hard to believe, but it is way more convenient than having a big plot of dirt.  The only downside?  The water bill.  We will be accepting free will donations starting, um, now.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Would You Wear Pants Like This?

These are the curtains that I ended up with in my living room.

And my bedroom.  (The picture is the best I had.  Can you see the sliver of them over there?)

And in both places, this is how they have hung for the past few weeks.

A friend and non-sewer who is preparing her home for an open house (and hopefully sale, we're praying!), asked if I would help her hem curtains that she and her husband recently put up.  Of course, I said, and so last Thursday she came over and in approximately 15 minutes, we had the job done.  15 minutes.  That's what I spent hemming someone else's curtains, that I don't even see.  And my curtains?  Pooling on the floor, getting dusty, and looking a hot mess.
So I fixed the problem and hemmed them.  It took me around 30 minutes to do 2 panels, but they look so much nicer now that they are the proper length.  The best part is, I used hemming tape so I didn't even have to flip on the sewing machine.  How easy was that?
First you iron a hem into the curtain panel at the desired length.  In my case, I was shortening them by 9 inches.
Then you insert the hem tape into the crease, and iron it again.  Can you see it in there?  It's basically clear netting...I may not have gotten the best snapshot.
Cut the excess fabric off.  The end will look nice and clean.
Then I just popped the curtains back on the rod and voila!  Job's done.  They look great, and now the hit at the perfect length!

I am always amazed at my powers for procrastination.  Even if a project will only take an hour, just starting it seems like such a big job.  I mean, I had to take the curtains off the rod, walk 15 feet to the ironing board, plug in the iron, wait for it to heat up...  Real big tasks like that.  *wink*
One more thing that I can cross off my list.  What's next?  Maybe a knitting project.  Maybe a sewing project (I heard here that April is stash busting month).  Maybe I'll cook something fabulous, or even keep working on setting up home.  Stay tuned...

Sunday, April 11, 2010

It Has a Home

The art project from yesterday has a home in our hallway.  I showed my husband the places I had been thinking of and he ultimately selected it's final location.  He makes much quicker decisions than I do.  It's hard to photograph this area with any perspective because our hallway is an L shape, but you pass it on the way from the living area to the bedrooms.  And hopefully, those using the guest bathroom for the first time will be so intrigued that they take a few more steps just to admire it!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Totally Free Art Project

It's no secret.  I read A LOT of blogs.  There isn't a day that goes by that I don't mention something that I read on someone's blog.  I will probably start my stories like I actually know these people.  Then someone will ask me a question, and I embarrassingly have to explain how I "know" the person, and that I don't "know" the person, I just feel like I do.  If the particular person I am talking with does not share my love for reading blogs, then I usually get a strange look.  Oh well, I don't care.

That was the long way of me trying to introduce this post.  Because, I saw this idea on one of the blogs that I regularly check out, and I knew I wanted to do it for myself.
The photo isn't the greatest (I was trying to minimize the glare by blocking it with my shadow - probably not the best photography technique), but I really love the result.  And, it was so easy.  It took 30 minutes tops, which included picking out the paint swatches at Lowe's, and I had all the supplies on hand.  And now I'm going to tell you how I did it.

First, I picked out all my paint swatches.  I knew I wanted to focus on yellow and orange, but the pink was a surprise.  I wasn't trying to pick it out, but it's just the way it worked out when I got home.  This may not have been the ideal frame Ihad in my mind to use, but I already had it so I went with it.  I figured out that for my frame, I would need 5 swatches in each section, so I started laying them out on my fancy workspace (bed) like so.
At this point I would like to extend a huge thank you to Minnie, my trusted assistant, for helping to hold the workspace (bed) in place.  After I figured out the groupings, I made them into an orderly grid.  This requires some form of adhesive.  Really any will do.  I used clear tape.  About 500 pieces of clear tape.
Just some of the 500 pieces of tape
Then I centered that piece in the frame.  Then I did it all again for the second section, and then I did it all again for the third section.
And then...you put the frame back together and ta da!  You are done!  All I have left to do is find the perfect place for my new FREE art and hang it up.  I have a few places in mind - the bathroom and the hallway are probably in the lead right now, but really anywhere is a possibility since we haven't hung very much in this house yet.

This paragraph feels a little random here at the end, so if you find the place where it should have been, let me know.  I just want to say that my favorite part of this project is not that it was free or that it didn't take long or that it was super easy, but my favorite part is that when you get up really close to the photo, you can read the names of the paint swatches.  They are always so fun.  I noticed that on mine, there are names like Sweet Peach and Ivory Castle.  How fun is that?  I really encourage everyone to do this project.  It would look great just about anywhere, and depending on the colors that you choose, it can totally change the mood of the piece.  If anyone else does this project, I want to see pictures!
My assistant.  Isn't she cute?!?!

Friday, April 9, 2010

I Dreamed a Dream

picture found here
Last night I had a dream that people were actually reading my blog.  And leaving comments.  It was really strange.  I guess most people would argue that the point of having a blog would be so that other people could read my thoughts and opinions on different topics, or maybe see the projects I have completed, or even just to see the general happenings of my life.  Well, that would be fine, but that would also assume that I have told more than 4 people that I actually HAVE this blog.  Which I haven't.  I'm a little bit private and scared when it comes to the internet.  Maybe someday I will get good at this and I will stop being shy and someday I will get a comment.  And it won't make me feel weird.  It will just make me feel *FAMOUS* (which, honestly, even though in my dream there were only like 8 comments, is how I felt).
Tonight I have another interesting experience ahead of my.  My husband and I are going to be prom chaperones. I still have my prom dress from 10 years ago.  Do you think it would be appropriate to wear it?  Yeah, I don't think so.  But, since it is prom tonight, I have to go get fancy.  So shower and shave, uh-huh.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Little by Little

Little by little things are taking shape around this place.  Things are actually taking shape around here more quickly than I'm posting, because I'm still trying to get down that whole process of, you know, taking pictures of what I'm doing (before and after), uploading those pictures into the computer, finding them again, writing up a post, etc.  It's a complicated process for some of us.

So anyway, today a couple of things have been done.  The first is that I found a place for one of my posters, and we got it hung.  I actually took the initiative myself for once and measured the spot for the nail.  My big strong husband came along and actually pounded it in, but mostly because it was over my head, not because I'm not capable, right?  Right.  Anyway, it took one of our bedroom walls from looking like this...

To this...

The second thing we did tonight was bring in the TV stand that my husband so lovingly made for me.  I don't want to get into it, but what was supposed to be a simple project turned into a loooong project, version 3.0.  It may or may not be finished tonight, but we are using it as is in the meantime.  I'm sure there will be pictures of it  at another time.  That is, if I get that whole picture taking process down.

So slowly but surely, we are putting our mark on this place.  It is going from a bland, new construction ranch, to the place where WE call home.  And despite my frequency (or infrequency) of posting, I do have a lot of ideas cooked up inside my little brain just waiting to make their way onto my walls and floors!