Thursday, October 18, 2012

Closet, Bathroom-to-be, and a Special Delivery

I thought you might like to see the dresser I was working on when we were moving here a month ago. 



I found the dresser on CL about a year ago, or so, and always planned to paint it eventually. I love the way the color turned out – our trim paint, of course!

I ended up spray painting around the handles so I wouldn’t have to take them all off.  Then I used a paint brush for the remaining surfaces.  




The bathroom is still a bathroom-in-waiting.  Meaning that we would rather finish the trim and crown moldings and mudroom cabinets before we do the bathroom.  Since we’re only a few steps from the hallway bathroom and shower, it was an easy decision when Glenn asked me to decide which I wanted to do first.

Likewise the closet will look different – Glenn will build some shelving, etc. – but for now it’s functional.



Very functional in multiple ways, as a matter of fact!  I’ll explain now about the Special Delivery.

Olivia and the twins like to deliver their school work to me in fun “mailboxes”.  Alix actually made them a cute little mailbox designed solely for their homework.  They’ve used it, too, but sometimes they’d rather be a little more…secretive.

In the late afternoon yesterday, I went into our closet to get something.  I noticed things looked a little different on the dresser.


I took a closer look. 

What was it?! 

Well, apparently Olivia had decided to give me her math facts page as a very Special Delivery.  She took the 2 little angels off of the silver tray that sits on the dresser.  Then she neatly folded her homework into a tiny square, wrapped it in a most complicated manner with the fabric loops from the girls’ little hot pad weaving loom, and leaned it against one of the angels.  The other angel, the praying one, she placed facing the angel “holding” the homework.


I think she was hoping for a blessing on the homework…

It was so cute, I still haven’t graded it, I just like seeing it every time I go into the closet!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Winter Curtains

Although it’s not winter yet – the air is feeling very fallish and nippy at night around here.  For many weeks, in the back of my mind somewhere, I’ve been trying to figure out what to do about curtains for the girls’ rooms.  Their front windows are all old, single pane windows with storm windows.  The storm windows definitely help provide a weather barrier, but since they are very old – maybe from the 70’s? – and most of them are crooked, we’re feeling some drafts!

I looked around at Goodwill a few different times, searching for something I could turn into curtains, but I just couldn’t find anything.  I needed to be able to cover 3 windows in the little girls’ room and 2 in the big girls’ room.  That’s like looking for a needle in a haystack – and really asking just too much from Goodwill.

I decided to turn new blankets into curtains.  I didn’t know exactly what I wanted – matelasse would have been nice, but it’s always expensive – so one day I just wandered through the blanket aisle at Target.

Aha!  Inspiration struck!  Fleece would be perfect for winter curtains, perfect for those drafty windows!  We bought 2 King-size blankets (108 x 108) and after a week or two, I got started.

I laid the blankets on the floor, folded them into thirds, and cut along the folds.  Then I hemmed the long sides that needed it.  I used a utility stitch on my machine that closely matched the stitch that was used on the blankets.  Since some of the long sides were outside edges of the blanket, I didn’t have to hem every single edge.  I made a nice wide casing at the top and decided to do a seam that left a few inches free so that they would ruffle up a little.

After several hours of work (sewing is never as fast as I think it should be) – they were done!




I think they add a nice soft, warm, plush kind of feeling to the room.  What do you think?



                     They have a nice drape that folds quietly, and looks inviting to me.



They were practical, inexpensive (especially compared to buying the same amount of fleece), sturdy, and they’re washable!



They are already making a noticeable difference in the drafts around the windows. 

I still have 2 more windows to go, but that shouldn’t take long.  And I may go back later and add some cute pom pom fringe on the inside edges.  But for now, the girls have curtains – and they love them.

When Spring and warm breezy weather rolls around, it will be easy to take our “winter curtains” down, put them in a bin and save them for next winter.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

A Bed for a Princess

Several weeks ago, Mrs. Noot found this crown for me on one of her shopping sprees.  She knew I was looking for something like it to hang over Olivia’s bed.


Of course it had to get a little brighter to match the girls’ room!

It took me a while, but I finally got around to finishing it!  Here it is painted, scuffed a little, then hung over Olivia’s bed.


I had an extra picture which I was still wondering where to hang.  For now, it seems just right on the wall behind the bed.



Olivia is thrilled with her special new space.  And she tried several poses for me while I took a few pictures of the crown and lace panels.

                                         Presenting it!


Reading under it…


                                                         Sleeping (?) under it…


I thought it might be kind of neat to have the gold show through in places under the white, so I used a piece of sand paper and gently rubbed the raised places.


Mrs. Noot generously gave me a long lace panel she thought would look good with the crown.  So I cut it into two pieces, serged the cut ends, stitched ribbons about every 6 inches or so across the ends, and tied the ribbons to the frame of the crown.





I realized I haven’t shown pictures of the girls’ room for a while, so I thought you might enjoy seeing what we’re doing there, little bit by little bit.











See you soon!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Girls, Toys, Dress-up Clothes, Messes,

A couple of weeks ago we had a family reunion at the Worley House. Since it is not far from here, several family members who hadn’t been out to Kenilworth yet rode over to take a look. I was very glad to have them and excited that they were even interested in seeing what we’ve been doing  - however the next time I invite a bunch of people over, I think it might be a good idea to give the house a once-over beforehand. 

I don’t think the girls’ rooms have ever looked so messy!  I hadn’t been upstairs at all that morning since I was preparing food for the reunion.

I swallowed hard when we walked into the little girls’ room. Oh my! It looked like 10 little girls lived in that room and were never allowed out!

But I’m sure it was a good lesson in humility – yes, I’m sure it was.

Of course I didn’t take a picture that day, but I’m sure it’s not hard to find one as a substitute… let’s see.. Oh yes – here’s one!  Nothing near so bad as that particular day of the reunion, but I think it works.  (excluding the little cuties who are always adorable! Focus on the room!)


And one more…


I learned a few years ago, that my penchant for tidiness was going to be challenged in a fun way.  I think God knew I was a little too.. unbending, a tad bit too….determined in my desire for orderliness.  So bit by bit, day by day, year by year, I have become much more “forgiving” of messes.  What a relief!  (for everybody!)  Don’t get me wrong – He also designed me in a way so that I thrive in a tidy environment, it just soothes me somehow.  But, when it comes to the kids’ rooms, I have tried to find a balance between teaching them to be good stewards of what they’ve been given, and the reality that sometimes the events of our day mean we go to bed at night, or leave the house for a while, with stuff strewn about.  And it’s ok.

Of course, it’s always a little more gratifying if the times we left things strewn about didn’t coincide with the times we have company. 

Well, like I said, it’s humbling.  And that’s always good. 

Fall Days

We’ve been busy here… doing.  Lots of things, like putting up trim around doors, making curtains, hanging mirrors, school, painting curtain rods, ballet, family reunions, laundry…
I’ve been meaning to post a couple of pictures, but not finding time to do it.  Today Colleen gave me a nudge, so here are a few shots Luke took last week of the girls having fun in the yard.
We’ve never lived somewhere that required us to rake leaves in the fall!  So we are all enjoying it – especially Alix and the twins.
Because of course having leaves to rake means having a leaf pile to jump into!  And dried, crunchy leaves to glory in!
This is Sophia!  I hardly recognized her when I first saw this picture! 

And Isabella with her twinkly eyes…
Although she didn’t want to jump in the leaves, Olivia had fun watching the girls.

Here is a look down the road – Luke got the picture just hours before the farmer came and harvested the corn!
I’d love to show you some of the things we’ve been working on – give me a day or so to get the pictures ready.