Archive | March, 2011

Spring Break

24 Mar

Mr. Right took vacation during my school’s spring break, and while we had originally planned to go to Dallas to see a Gustav Stickley exhibit at the Dallas Museum of Art, an unexpected heating oil bill for Home Up North had us reconsidering and ultimately canceling our plans. We didn’t do anything remarkable – perhaps ate out a bit more than we should have and slept in later than usual – but still had a fantastic time together. In between our leisurely activities, household maintenance, and my catching up with calculus, I even had time for some knitting, and finished a jumpsuit for Viv:

Sadly, while cleaning on Tuesday we discovered that moths had gotten to a sweater I knit for Mr. Right several years ago. It was in storage under the bed and was devoured within a matter of weeks. I’ll freely admit to crying – it took me months to knit and it was a special gift that I was really proud of making for my husband. After some tears, though, we got down to business and with any luck have destroyed the last of the moths. And, in a fit of feeling it quite necessary to show the now-defeated moths that they can’t get me down, I decided to knit Mr. Right another sweater, and set out experimenting with several different yarns. While I still haven’t found the perfect new yarn, I’ve been stopping after each new swatch to make use of the remainder of the skein, and have been knitting up a batch 2011 Christmas gift hats in the process. I have another yet one on the needles, and am also working on a crocheted yoga mat bag… The moths may be gone, but the yarn/craft bug has definitely bitten.

Hats, Swatches, and Cats

 

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Jungle Safari Diaper Cake and Sleep Sack

13 Mar

Our friend Kay and her husband (who works with Mr. Right) got a positive pregnancy test about six weeks after we found out that Vivian would be joining our family. They aren’t finding out the gender of Vivian’s future playmate, instead opting to go with a gender-neutral jungle safari theme for the new baby’s nursery. Of course, this gave me an excuse to go to JoAnn Fabric and find some appropriate material for a sleep sack:

I’m co-hosting Kay’s baby shower with another girlfriend, who is due a few weeks after Kay (and whose husband also works with Mr. Right). We’re sticking with the jungle safari theme for Kay’s shower, too. On Friday I had the good fortune of having no obligations other than a morning appointment with my OB, and gathered the supplies to make an appropriately-decorated diaper cake. Whew, diapers are expensive! We’re planning on using cloth diapers with Vivian and had already done plenty of research about cost savings, but I still had sticker shock looking at the shelves of disposables. Fortunately, the store’s generic brand happened to perfectly match Kay’s shower motif.

Fun, isn’t it? I’m looking forward to putting the rest of the shower together. And to more sewing for babies – I’m considering making some matching bunting to welcome Kay’s shower guests and will definitely sew a couple of bibs out of the leftover sleep sack fabric! Meanwhile, I have yet another scrappy sleep sack for Viv waiting to be sewn up, and need to start thinking about sewing for A’s baby, too. And then there’s that whole school thing… So much to do! Seven weeks until finals and seven weeks until Vivian’s due date. Yikes!

Adventures in Spray Paint – Viv’s Refinished High Chair

8 Mar

I had been planning on spray painting Viv’s high chair on Tuesday or Wednesday, but nasty weather combined with a busy school schedule meant that I didn’t have an opportunity to haul out the tarp and freshly-sanded chair until Friday morning. I was chomping at the bit to get started, figuring I’d have a finished chair to show off with plenty of time to spare before going out for dinner in the evening.

Almost finished with sanding

Painting was more difficult than I had anticipated. Despite trying to keep a good distance and spray lightly, I still ended up with paint drips. I managed to remove some of them with my fingers but others remained pretty obvious. With a relatively even but amateurish coat of paint applied, I walked away, allowing the magical spray paint leveling agents to (please please please) do their work and make the paint dry drip-free. The remainder of the afternoon was spent checking on paint drying progress (slow to non-existent) and waiting for my Fabric.com order to serendipitously show up so I could stick to my (totally unrealistic) timetable…

…by Saturday morning, the most glaringly obvious drips seemed to have disappeared, my fabric had arrived, and the chair was ready for its final, touch-up coat of paint. Home stretch! And then the cracking started – and I was not going for a faux country look. According to Google, spray paint is prone to cracking when 1) multiple layers are applied too quickly or 2) the temperature is too cold. And, with Friday’s paint drip debacle and a temperature hovering right around 50, I was an unsuspecting prime candidate for yet another spray paint disaster. I prayed to the DIY gods and went inside to knit and bake corn muffins.

The paint was dry when I went outside to check on Sunday. The cracking was apparent but minimal, and generally on the underside of the chair. I was getting impatient by this point and decided I could live with the cracking – time for upholstery! Searching for information on making the corners look especially awesome yielded few results, so I just folded and re-folded it until I thought it looked acceptable, and stapled away. I’m pleased with the result:

Finished!

 

  • High Chair – $40, Craigslist
  • Sandpaper and Mask – $11.00, Lowe’s
  • Spray Paint (three cans) – $14.00, Lowe’s
  • Tarp – $10.oo, Hardware Store
  • Upholstery Tacks – $4.00, Upholstery Supply Company
  • Fabric – $22.00, Fabric.com

Total Cost: $101.00

Obviously, I didn’t save a whole lot of money by choosing to refinish a high chair instead of buying one new. But, I do feel like I ended up with a product of far superior quality to the plastic-and-particleboard high chairs that are so common today, not to mention the fact that I’m pretty sure Viv’s chair is fairly unique in its style. It’s a nice addition to our dining room and I hope that Viv will get a kick out of it someday.