We have a corner lot so our driveway isn't actually on 'our street'  so even after 62 years this is the first path to the front door from the mailbox!!



This is one of the projects we totally thought was going to happen in the first six months at the house... now 3 years later we're done with it!

We debated what we wanted to do, our dream was brick pravers but that was going to be cost prohibitive, so then we considered pea gravel but that's too messy for mowing, then one day at Lowes we spotted aggregate 2' x 2' pavers that match our driveway.

We used 12 bigger pavers and 3 smaller pavers to go across our little 'bridge'

Using stakes and rope we laid out the pavers in a straight line. Then we spaced the pavers to match our walking strides, this turned out to be the trickiest part. In the end we had about a 6" gap between the pavers which is a little to much for my stride but any less grass than that didn't look that great.  Before we recessed the pavers we left them on top of the grass for a while to test out the stride and to kill the grass to make digging a little easier.

To recess the pavers Andrew dug out a few i inches added, tamped it down, added some base and some sand. Since we knew they would continue to settle we left them a little above ground level perfect for easy mowing.


Budget wise we spent about $200 on pavers plus a few bags of base and sand! What a huge difference in our curb appeal, guess I need to finally plant some flowers in those pots!
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Summer 2014’s (yeah I’m a little behind…) big expensive project was redoing all the beds around the house. We purchased the home from an estate, and the father had been ill for quite sometime, so the yard had been minimally maintained for several years.
There was virtually no mulch left anywhere and the timbers were pretty rotted, other than the big bushes we could never manage to pull out we were starting from scratch.
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It took us a weekend to just pull out all of the junk we hadn’t yet, then we did the timbers, landscape fabric and rock the following 3 day weekend.
Instead of landscape timbers we chose 4x4 ground pressure treated wood, which we stained with some reddish Thompsons Water Seal we already had. The stain helped reduce the icky pressure treated greeness. We’re hoping that by going pressure treated these will last a long time.

We went with the lava rock, based on cost and weight. Moving “light lava rock” was hard work, I can’t imagine us moving one of the heavier rocks. It’s also helps that it’s one of the cheapest since the front of our house is 70 feet long, we needed 1.5 tons of rock! It also goes well with the color of our brick.
We also decided to go with rock because we have very deep eves, so all along the house we just have dry dusty dirt.

Two years later our rock and timbers still look great, the weed block is doing a a pretty good job too considering we had a ton of annoying invasive vines.

I've been busy working on operation Making Room for Baby now that my first trimester fatique has worn off.

Since our master bedroom is off the kitchen the best nursery room is my dressing room so I've been working on reducing my clothes to fit into our current guest room. (Lots of designer goodies are now listed in my Tradesy closet)

After 2 weekends of sorting the odds weren't looking good... I started looking for ways to cheat...

A couple of Amazon searches later I found my answer! This beauty is a high rise bedframe with 16.5" of clearance underneath it! That's tall enough for your average big storage tote!

 So for $110 added 58 cubic feet of storage to my guest room and all I had to do was ditch the box spring that squeaked anyway! Even better our medium size suitcase fit under it on it's side!

Since it's a oversize 'Prime' product it took awhile to get here, so I continually planned ten tons of stuff I was hoping to fit under there to the point I joked that I it was going to turn into Narnia under the bed! So far most of it is fitting.


It's super strong and sturdy and was very easy to put together!

For the bedskirt I just took the velcro off the old boxspring (see my easy velcro bedskirt post) and stuck it to the metal frame. I'll need to add a border to the end of the bedskirt to make it a little longer. The velcro will be great to remove the bedskirt when doing big swap arounds of stuff.

If you're not willing to give up your boxspring they also make a slightly shorter one that still has more clearance than your average Hollywood style bedframe, but won't make your bed too high. 

This is not a sponsored post I'm just super excited about this easy storage solution.
Christmas morning Andrew and I found out we had a little something extra to be excited about... Baby Sharp arriving August 2016!

So far I've been super lucky in my how I've been feeling! We're now at 17 weeks and other than a couple of weeks of super sleepiness at the end of the first trimester I've been feeling great! Lots of nursery planning and baby sewing posts to come!

Here's a outake from our Christmas morning photoshoot with the 'big sister' kitties.

Announcing to our Parents

To tell our parents I sewed baby carriage ornaments with "August 2015" on the reverse since we found out on Christmas morning.

Then we wrapped the ornament in a fancy box and placed the ultrasound picture along with a Pooh quote "I knew when I met you an adventure was going to happen." - A.A. Milne

It made for a great reveal! We also got super lucky and were in Maryland in late January for a friends wedding so we were able to tell my parents in person! In fact it was the same weekend as the worst blizzard in over 10 years... but luckily we were able to safely get in and out of DC safely.

For our announcement to our parents I also sewed a Winnie the Pooh romper for everyone to have their photo taken with after finding out.

This Pooh toile was my first 'baby fabric' purchase! So sweet! I added a "S" applique in corduroy to give it some extra interest. To it create I used this free pattern from Sleeping is for Sissies which worked out really well. I'll definitely be whipping up a few more of these!




Photos with the romper!

Andrew's Parents

Andrew's Granny

Kirstin's Parents




Here's all the sewing I did in 2015 but haven't gotten around to blogging yet... someday!

I found these oversize stiff thick felt balloon shapes for under $3 each at Walmart, since it's felt I knew it would embroider well... so I grabbed two of them


Then I added "Happy" and "Birthday" to them in a thick oversize font.

I floated them in the the hoop, attached with spray adhesive and watched them pretty closely.

Then for the streamers I used Aleene's Tacky Glue and oversize ric-rac.

Of course since I'm all about the multipurpose. I printed Andrew's name in a similar font on colored paper and then cut it out in a banner shape.


It makes for a great effect.

 
Andrew had a great birthday and loved his new Mario Shirt!
My Oma is a knitter, so when I found this adorable redwork embroidery pattern for FREE (No longer free, but get it here from Trina Walker Designs) I had to make it just for her! This lovely pillow features my first attempt at mitered corners and piping!

The sheep says " I Wool Always Love Ewe"



A LONG time ago when I had one of the first tablet PCs I turned my handwriting into a font, with this font I was able to add my name to the back in my own handwriting!


Oma was very impressed with my construction, of course once she got it she had to inspect her Grand Daughter's work.

Do you have a crafty Grandmother who does the same?

Easy tailors ham storage, with some left over bias tape!  I added fabric loops to the my two hams and I hook them to my ironing board using a shower hook, a metal S hooks works well too!

Works great and I finally remember to utilize them.

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The vanity in our master bathroom when we moved in was short, oak, and featured a floral frosted glass door. See my full first budget bathroom update here.

I knew I wanted to replace it with something taller but with 2 drawers still, since this bathroom is tiny I couldn’t upgrade from a 24” wide to a 28” wide vanity. I quickly learned the 24” wide options were slim and all the options were white laminate. We had white laminate cabinets in our townhouse and had issues with the thermoplast panels pulling off the backer, no thank you. So I measured the vanity in our guest suite, 24” wide, two drawers, and GASP actual wood!

Once we completed our Guest Suite bathroom update we started on ‘upcycling’ that  vanity for our master bath.Guest Suite

First we removed the sink top, since it was marbled and covered in paint droplets, we replaced it.

Then I sanded the whole vanity down, including the laminate over plywood sides.

Two coats of Zissner Stain Blocker Oil Based Primer

3 coats of the Behr satin off white paint we used on our kitchen cabinets.

Then we raised the vanity up 5” to be counter height. To do this we added 6” wide boards, ripped down to 5” to the bottom of the vanity using corner brackets and straps, like so. We also Liquid Nailed everything as well. The key to doing it this way is to find a board the same width as the bottom of the vanity, in our case this was 1/2 inch.

Then cut a hole in the bottom of the vanity since our shut off valves in this bathroom sit on the floor.

For the vanity top I originally wanted to do marble to go with our ‘'marble floor” but the $300 price point vs. the $54 white top just wasn’t justifiable. It looks great! 

Then we placed the vanity in the bathroom, installed our new Pfister Selia faucet in the vanity top, got the plumbing in place and quickly learned that the “Glacier Bay Newport Vanity Top” doesn’t have a overflow which caused our push and seal drain from Pfister not to work. One $20 overflow less drain later, our $54 sink top was saved.

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With the plumbing figured out we focused on the trim.

We cut bead board to fit the new taller kick plate and side of the vanity. The vanity front extends past the side so the breadboard edge was not visible. For the seam with the wall we added left over cap molding from our wainscoting project.

 

On the other side we added pvc outside corner molding to fill the gap against the wall, we also used this for the corner of the kick plate. This worked out great since our corner wasn’t a perfect cut.

To finish the inside of the cabinet, I cut cardboard to fit around the supplies, then I taped it down with some blue tape, then covered the whole bottom with contact paper. In the event we need to turn the water off we’ll quickly tear it out and replace the contact paper. This worked out well since we made the access hole oversize to make it easier, with the ‘cover’ I can still use the entire cabinet.

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To finish off the project we tacked our corner round back down and caulked everything with Alex Plus.

It was a lot of work to ‘save’ our ‘free’ vanity but I think it was worth it, especially since there weren’t any out of the box options I loved, and some of the issues we had were tied to our bathroom and couldn’t have been avoided.

Supplies & Cost

Total $191.38


Are you reading Colette Pattern's new online sewing magazine Seamwork yet?
Seamwork

If not you are seriously missing out! The magazine is free, then you want the 2 included quick sew stylish patterns you can have them for just $6 for BOTH! As if it's not fabulous enough, they just added the Seamwork Radio podcast! You can learn and sew at the same time!

Ok on to the Oslo Cardigan.

My fellow sewist Mary Lou Who and I wanted to sew together so this "2-hour" pattern was the perfect project since we've both made clothes before.


 

Fit: I am currently the top end of the L size so that's what I cut, it worked well especially since this heavy waffle knit drags.

Sewing:

At the first trying on the shoulders were hanging really low. Luckily my 'too short' cowl caused me to add a small box pleat to the center neck. I also inserted elastic in the seam like at the shoulders to keep it from stretching out.


Inside

Outside



For the cuffs and cowl I used the the wrong side of the waffle knit for extra contrast.


Overall the Olso was a fun pretty easy project even if it took longer than "2 hours" =)