Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Bits for Bean

Now that the majority of the "big stuff" (carpet, paint, furniture) is out of the way, Boy and I have been focusing on the details we had planned for Bean's room. We've already finished up projects like wallpapering the back of Bean's bookcase, painting my old side table orange, covering a pillow with dinosaur print fabric for Bean's chair and installing shelves for some of his toys.

This past weekend, we added two really small details that I'm totally excited about.

We found silhouette cutouts done of Boy and I when we were toddlers, scanned them and cleaned them up a bit and framed them together:

And, we found a use for the hook we had coming out of Bean's ceiling:

I love how these fun little details are adding so much personality to the room. I know, I keep saying it, but we're getting there! The room is close to done and I can't wait to see it once it is :)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Sewing Toys

One of the items on my 2010 list was to sew a fabric ball for Bean. I first saw this project on ReFabulous' blog (where all my good sewing projects come from!). I LOVED the idea and thought the project was absolutely adorable . . . but I figured it was out of my skill range (I like to stick to sewing straight lines). I honestly didn't think I could tackle it, but when I wrote up my 2010 list I figured I'd add the ball project a) because it is so freaking cute and b) to challenge myself.

The pattern is FREE c/o The Purl Bee. The cutting is a bit of a pain (10 pieces per ball), but once that is out of the way the project goes super fast. I made a few little modifications to compensate for my lack of sewing chops: I didn't chain the pieces together. It likely took longer that way but it was easier for me to stop, cut and restart the machine for each seam. I also used felt instead of fabric for the circles at the ball ends because, well, have you ever tried to iron a hem to a circle? It didn't work out so well for me, is all I'm saying. The felt doesn't have to be turned under and I think it added a neat, crafty look.

The first ball I made was flannel . . . I had a dragon and castle print, a flaming guitar print, a pirate print and a neat 70's looking animal themed print. The flannel was FANTASTIC to work with on this project . . .the extra bulk really helped me line things up and keep my seams straight. I didn't quite stuff this ball full enough, although it is still totally cute and useable. Word to anyone who might want to try this project: stuff your ball . . . then stuff it extra!

The second ball I made out of two colors of gingham and two different outdoorsy print fabrics from my stash. I LOVE how this ball came out. The gingham was so thin it was a bit tough to work with, but I managed and I'm really proud of the results!

There's one sewing project crossed of the 2010 list! Over the weekend I also bought materials to sew two nursing covers (another list project) and materials to make favors and game prizes for my baby shower in March (fun!!!). There is going to be quite a bit more sewing in my future.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Checking things off the 2010 list

New carpet!!! We had it installed on Friday and although it was kind of like MOVING and ergo, sort of a nightmare, I can't even imagine what it would've been like had we gone with Lowes or Home Depot over a small, carpet only store. Or what it would've been like without Boy's dad to help us move the furniture out of the bedrooms on Thursday night. Or without my parents to help us put together Bean's furniture and finish off a slew of other errands on Sunday.

End result: We did most certainly work our arses off ALL weekend. And when I say "all weekend" I mean from about 10am till 10 or 11pm EVERY SINGLE DAY FOR FOUR DAYS (I am counting Friday, in which we also went to "work" work). HOWEVER, least I sound bitter, we DID get almost every single thing we wanted to accomplish checked off the list.

Carpet install, CHECK!

Cleaning out the closets, CHECK!

Building Bean's furniture, CHECK!

Sorting through my baby books for the Bean, CHECK!

Putting up shelves in Bean's room, CHECK!

Finding a great fabric and covering the pillow on Bean's chair, CHECK!

FINALLY finding a new lamp and mirror for our bedroom and thusly CROSSING OFF a big item on my 2010 list ("Rearrange and add pieces to Boy and my bedroom until it no longer resembles a catch all filled with half-assed things we each had before we got married"), big fat THRILLED CHECK!!!

No, seriously, with the bedroom. I am THRILLED with it!

We also managed to find frames for some things we'd been meaning to put up for ages, clean out my dresser drawers and make a Goodwill run, try a new (and AWESOME!) Smitten Kitchen recipe, make a slew of new items for the old shop (that part admittedly was just me) AND clear our DVR backlog of new Project Runway and Big Love episodes.


In other news:

- I woke up around 5 this morning to Bean hiccuping. He went on for about 10 minutes, then got so ticked off that he thrashed around like a little crazy person. He SO takes after his mama.

- LA is currently under a tornado warning. QUICK! Tornado belt peeps! What does one do in the event of a tornado? Instinct would drive us all to duck under our desks a la earthquake, I'm sure . . . but would that be a good plan?

- Preggo brain! I make myself a cup of (decaf) tea in a commuter mug with milk and sugar every morning. The other day I got home and opened the mug to toss my teabag before putting it in the dishwasher. No teabag. I drank the whole mug that morning too. With no tea in it. Just water, milk and sugar. AND I NOTICED NOTHING AMISS.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Little Man's Room

Our big project over the last three weekends has been getting little Bean's room ready for him. We have a second bedroom in the condo (and an upstairs loft that we use as our office) and, knowing that we planned to make a bean soon, we hadn't decorated the second bedroom at all. We had it set up with an air mattress and some spare furniture as a makeshift "guest room" like this:

First order of business was painting, which we did the weekend after new years (with an environmentally rated, zero VOC paint, of course). We picked a light teal color . . . not really bright, not really pastel . . . it is fun and calming without reading too "baby":

We also washed all of the white chair and ottoman slipcovers and visited a carpeting store to pick out our new carpet and set up a measurement appointment.

Then last weekend we had a marathon session involving cleaning out the closet to make room for Bean's things:

Painting my old wood side table bright orange, the perfect accent color to the teal walls:

And painting the chair rail . . . fun with painters' tape!

We also made an Ikea run for some shelves and lamps, reconfigured our storage in order to clear out Bean's closet and wallpapered the back panel of my childhood bookcase (pics coming soon!)

On Thursday, the window in Bean's room was measured for shutters which are being built now and will be installed sometime before Valentine's day. And tooodaayyyyyy . . . the new carpet is going in. As I type! This is what my living room looked like when I left for the office this morning:

YIKES, right?! But fortunately carpet is a one day deal and by the time I get home my Boy will have put most of the furniture back where it belongs. Husbands are handy like that.

This weekend we're going to work on cleaning out our closet and moving the furniture around in our room (mommy and daddy's room deserves some attention too) and also on building the crib and changing table and hopefully putting up the new shelves in Bean's room. If I've got the time (and I should, hooray for three day weekends!!!) I'm going to make a run to the fabric store and recover a few pillows and bits for the room. We've got a framing project or two left . . . and an artwork project I'm really excited about.

We're getting there, in other words. I love how everything has turned out so far and I can't wait to see it all completed and set up.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Clearing the holiday backlog

I feel like I've got this MASSIVE, daunting backlog of things I intended to blog about which, counterintuitively, is keeping me from blogging about anything. It is January 13 and I haven't written about XMAS yet. Xmas, people. That thing that happened three weeks ago.


When I was growing up we always opened our presents on the eve, not the day. We tried Xmas morning once and it just felt . . . wrong. Since Boy's family always does Xmas morning, it is UBER CONVENIENT that my family does the eve. We worked out a little rotation whereby we spent Xmas eve with my parents, drove over to Boy's brother's house for Xmas morning with his family then ran home to prep for the big Xmas day feast which we hosted for everyone at our house. Our families actually really like each other (either that or they're all stellar actors), so spending the later half of Xmas day together eating, playing Wii games and generally hanging out was a ton of fun.

Things I was most excited about: Our "big presents" from my parents (a TomTom nav system, which if you'd ever been in a car with me you'd KNOW I needed badly!), from Boy's mom (a Wii!!!) and from Boy's siblings (DJ Hero for our new Wii!); hosting the big meal at our house . . . I love how our tree looked and how beautifully our cookie buffet turned out (I was thrilled to finally use the tea tray (pictured below) that Boy's family bought for me at Hampton Court as a wedding present); GIVING presents, which for me is always more fun than the getting. I made a few this year that I was super excited to give: a silver and garnet ring for my mom, a cable crocheted hat for my dad, a Vatican coin necklace for my mother in law and a copy of Bella's wolf / heart charm bracelet for my sister in law (nerd alert!). We also scored some awesome Star Wars related bits for my brother in law and an uber cool Hampton Court related DVD for my parents that (fortunatley!) they didn't know had been released yet.

Christmas Eve at my parents' house, opening Bean's gifts:

Christmas morning at my brother in law's house, opening more Bean gifts:

Christmas Day at our house, part of the post meal cookie buffet:

The day after Christmas, Boxing Day, if you will, we decided to sneak off and drive up to central CA to visit some friends and spend a night at the Historic Santa Marina Inn. We found an insane rate on Travelocity (seriously? It was cheaper than a motel.) and absolutley loved the hotel.

The following day we went up to Boy's uncle's house to help celebrate his birthday and spend time with him and his family, then continuted on to Monterey, where my mother in law owns a house. We spent three nights in Monterey and visited

The famous Montery Bay Aquarium

and Big Sur

Then we drove home, stopping at outlets along the way and buying cute Bean things. Like an Original Penguin polo. 12 months sized. Couldn't you just keel over at the cuteness of that?! We almost did.

There you have it: "What I Did On My Christmas Vacation"

Man, do I feel BETTER now!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Stealing Other Blogger's Ideas

I noticed that Jennie at She Likes Purple has a running list in her sidebar of things she wants to accomplish in 2010. I LOVE THAT! They aren't resolutions which, in my experience, are doomed to be abandoned by mid February . . . just tasks that I'm giving myself the whole year to complete. And think of how awesome it will look all crossed out (hopefully!) at the end of the year.

I made a similar list and posted it in my left sidebar. I'll be adding to it as I think of things or as things come up (I'm sure a few more Bean related things will!). Here is the original list as of today:

Things I want to do in 2010 (to be amended as necessary)

1) Have new carpeting installed in our bedrooms
2) Have shutters installed in Bean’s room
3) Paint Bean’s room
4) Put together a nursery fit for OhDeeDoh . . .and submit photos there
5) Rearrange and add pieces to Boy and my bedroom until it no longer resembles a catch all filled with half-assed things we each had before we got married

6) Make a blanket and pillow for Bean
7) Make a fabric ball for Bean
8) Sew a few diaper clutches
9) Sew a few nursing covers

10) Take Bean to Disneyland
11) Take Bean to The Natural History Museum
12) Take Bean to an Aquarium
13) Take Bean to an art museum
14) Hike with Bean in a carrier
15) Take Bean to the Griffith Observatory

16) Read Husband Coached Childbirth
17) Read Spiritual Midwifery
18) Read Ina May’s Guide to Breastfeeding

19) Find the perfect going home outfit for Bean
20) Find the perfect Halloween costume for Bean (I’m thinking Dragon)

21) Lose my baby weight
22) Switch to organic produce, whenever possible
23) Bake a loaf of wheat bread

24) Streamline and gussy up my Etsy shipping procedures by using Paypal shipping for domestic orders and ordering a seal stamp for my packages
25) Improve my Etsy customer service by ensuring every customer receives a shipping acknowledgement, whether via Paypal or Convo.

26) Buy or make an ornament to participate in Boy’s family’s holiday ornament exchange (for once!)

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Year in pictures

Oh, right! I have one of these blog thinggies. Seem to have forgotten that fact for, oh, TWO WEEKS. But, to be fair, my holiday break was filled to the brim with family, days out and lots of scurrying to get Bean's room started. So! Let's just move on as if I never abandoned this here blog-thing, shall we?

In January:

Boy and I flew back from spending the holidays in New Hampshire and came home to the condo we had jusssttt started redecorating.

Then we flew to Vegas!

And got ourselves legally married!

And went to San Diego to see No Knife.

I engaged in battle royale with FUCKING WEEVILS, conquered the flaming oven of death, and spent a heck of a lot of time planning my wedding (with spreadsheets! And graphs!)

In February:

I was made to wear an absurd hat at my bachelorette party.

Boy became obsessed with taking timed exposure pictures using a flashlight.

My office threw me an amazing bridal shower.

And I had my two year Etsyversary and rebranded my Etsy shop, discovered Smitten Kitchen via her amazing Guinness and Baileys cupcakes, oh, and I guess Boy and I celebrated our first (technically) (legally) married Valentine's day. There was a hockey game (odd choice, but FUN!) followed by takeout dinner, wine and chocolates.

In March:

Boy and I flew to the UK for our wedding. SQUEE!!!

We spent a few days at Hampton Court.

Then a few in Conwy.

Had the most amazing, fairy tale wedding.

Skipped off to Edinburgh for our honeymoon.

Then London . . .

. . . and even Paris for a day.

In April:

I started a silversmithing class . . . and acquired BLOWTORCH!

Boy and I tackled our first major DIY project on the condo . . . repainting and furnishing our rooftop deck.

And I spent much time recounting our wedding exploits. (Also, I will have it be known, I was VERY SKINNY.)

In May:

I set my first faceted stones.

Boy's family threw a party to celebrate our marriage and we got to cut a cake with a SWORD!

And I hunted for the perfect lipgloss and silversmithed a few pieces of which I'm immensely proud.

In June:

I set my first cabochon stone.

Embarked on Moose In The Kitchen's OOTLS organization project which was MUCH MUCH needed and a great success for my poor straining closets.

I also finished my metalsmithing class and went on a new recipe bender.

In July:

We flew to Vegas for Boy's birthday.

My sinuses raged against casinos.

We took up hiking.

We also got an IR filter for our camera and the cooking rampage continuted.

In August:

We went to Spamalot!

Got some VERY! BIG! NEWS!

Spent a few days at Disneyland for my birthday . . .

. . . and another day at Disneyland for my mom's birthday.

I spent some time reminiscing about the Disneyland visits of my childhood, found it hard to fit into all of my pants, hosted a Savor soap giveaway and Boy and I became Disneyland annual passholders essentially for free! (Thank you Disney Visa!)

In September:

Boy and I hosted a Labor Day BBQ on our deck.

I visited Disneyland with my best friend from first grade.

Boy and I discovered that an air mattress and portable DVD player turn our deck into a makeshift drive-in.

And I had my first ultrasound (although I wouldn't mention it here until later), made my first pie (then tossed 3/4 of it due to "morning" sickness), and did a ton of reading (in 10 minute intervals before bed as I was falling asleep at 9:30 most nights). (September was pretty barfy. And sleepy.)

In October:

Boy and I got new bookcases for our bedroom.

We saw The Jealous Sound three times and Sunny Day Real Estate twice during the second best three days of my life (second only to my wedding!). They made this sappy preggo emo-saur weep with happiness. (Really. There was weeping.)

I scammed Disneyland visits out of my Boy and my sister in law,

I celebrated my favorite holiday by dressing up as Sookie Stackhouse, making some killer cupcakes with Boy and passing out candy at my parents' house.

And, most importantly, I spilled the beans on Bean both here on my blog and at work and to my friends. Damn good thing too. I was showing pretty nicely at 12 weeks!

In November:

Boy and I started touring daycare centers (and found one we love!), Went for our big ultrasound and found out our Bean is a healthy and adorable little BOY and I felt his first little kicks.

I volunteered for Habitat for Humanity (and got to use a metal saw!).

We spent a fun filled Thanksgiving weekend with my family and Boy's, I did some reading and promised myself that I'd attempt natural childbirth and I did a super fun guest post for StyleLush.

In December:

Boy and I took a weekend away to celebrate my 1,000th Etsy sale and my 20th week of pregnancy (where else?)

We decked out the condo for Xmas.

And pulled off an amazing holiday, which I've yet to fully recap but will soon . . . and in the meantime, here are pictures!