I Did It!

In January, I said I was going to finally learn to use my sewing machine.

I registered for a Sewing 101 class a few weeks later, and was … totally underwhelmed.

Long story short, the class description and the actual information covered were not really the same thing. In fact, the instructor took one look at everyone who brought their own sewing machines and said, “I will not answer any questions you have about your own machines.”

Oooooook then.

Then I sat through a three-hour class, and we actually used sewing machines for the last 15 minutes.

So I came home sad and angry, with a threaded machine I had no idea how to re-thread or troubleshoot.

Thankfully, my sewing machine manufacturer had a lot of helpful how-to guides online, and I just taught myself athank you very much!

Then I just dove right in, and made a damn quilt. (Sondra at A Calm Persistence made one for baby Nora, and I thought it was so pretty!)

I started with this tutorial, which basically said your skill level needs to be can-sew-in-a-straight-line. ✔️

I started by measuring coordinating strips of 6-inch and 4-inch flannel.

 

I layered the strips as directed, and sewed right down the middle (mostly in a straight line), and laid out my pattern.

Then I took a break, and quickly made two pillowcases, using this tutorial, with some adorable Curious George fabric I stumbled across.

Gus was SO EXCITED about his new George pillow, and he has slept on one every night ever since. 

Back to the quilt! 

I started at one end, and just added one section at a time, and it probably took three days, working mostly at naptime to finish. 

I opted not to bind the outer edges, because that seemed a little intimidating (and I ran out of fabric). I figured I could always bind it later. 

So I ragged the seams (the rag side) and the outer edges and the flip side is the more traditional quilt side.

It still needs to be washed a few more times for all the little loose threads on the rag side to work their way out, but Gus loves it, and I am super proud of myself. 

  

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Opening Up Shop

I’m getting ready to re-open my Etsy shop after what feels like the longest break, ever.

I’ve been updating some of my most popular items, and getting rid of the least popular. What I’m most excited about are the newest additions, and that’s where you come in.

I had a few ideas already for new prints, but I’d really like some feedback about favorite quotes, favorite color combinations. Or any other sort of design elements you’d want to include in your child’s room, or that you’d want to give to friends or family.

Any feedback or suggestions would be much appreciated, and as a thank you, I’ll send you a free printable 5×7 design! Make sure you leave me an email address in the comments, or email me at spiteorflight[at]gmail.com

Mr. Baby’s Room

So, I’m having a baby in two weeks, if this wee one doesn’t make an appearance on his own in the meantime.

And he is wee.

Once I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes, all my doctors were concerned we’d have a giant baby. So at my growth scan a few months ago, we were all shocked to find out Mr. Baby was measuring smaller than expected. Like, a few weeks behind-small. Physically there doesn’t seem to be an explanation for why that might happen — he looks fine, and is doing all the things he should be doing for his gestational age — he’s apparently just … wee. They said it could be a combination of my blood pressure (which has been fine for months and months) and my clotting issues (which have also seemingly been fine) OR, he could just be little.

I mean — he’s not like, freakishly small or anything. We had another growth scan yesterday, and he’s just over five pounds, and I still technically have three weeks left to go. He’s already bigger than his father was when he was born, and I’d much rather give birth to a five-pounder than a nine-pounder, so everyone wins!

We’re about as ready as we can be to bring this fella home. I officially finished his nursery last night (which was sort of pointless, since he’ll be in our room for a few months anyway — but whatever! progress! to-do list is getting smaller!)

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Please excuse the somewhat blurry pictures — my shutter finger was tired from putting up all those birds!

I love, love, LOVE the room. Some things we knew we wanted to include from the beginning, and others we sort of stumbled across as we went along. I can’t tell you where I got everything — some things were gifts, and others were hand-me-downs I cleaned up, but here’s where you can find most of the bigger items we used, if you see anything you like:

Crib
Rocker
Ottoman
Quilt
Felt Balls
Wall Decals
Cloud Mobile
Balloon Prints
Pixel Roller Coaster Print
Under The Sea A-Z Print
Giraffe Print

The bookcase is an old Ikea number I bought when I moved off campus about eight years ago, and the dresser used to belong to my grandfather. It was my dresser in my nursery 32 years ago. Both needed some attention (the dresser more than anything) so I opted to paint them both white to help camouflage any scratches and dings. One of the dresser drawers sticks a little, but aside from that they seem like they’ll get the job done. The rug is a blue-ish/gray super-soft shag number we randomly found at the annual Rug Bazaar at our local Home Depot, which we stumbled across and just happened to find a rug we liked in the right size, for a decent price.

Those felt balls? I originally bought them and turned them into a mobile, which I liked. Then I went to my baby shower and my cousin Ali gave me that cloud mobile, and I was in LOVE. I immediately went home, disassembled my obviously handmade mobile and turned it into garland (because I didn’t know what else to do with it, and I wasn’t about to let the dog eat $40 worth of felt, which she really really wanted to do). I envisioned making it a lot longer, and swooping along the crib wall, but I got lazy (too many knots) and then fell in love with the birds.

One of our favorite things is the Pixel Roller Coaster print — the artist is a retired graphic designer and WWII veteran with macular degeneration, who’s almost 100 years old. He makes everything in Microsoft Paint, so he can zoom in and work one pixel at a time. Each of his prints takes years to make from start to finish. Go look at his website — there’s a video, that I can’t even think about without crying happy tears.

I’m So … Inappropriate??!

I was looking through some of my DIY pins tonight, because I have the overwhelming urge to modpodge something.

I saw a few people had repinned my cupcake topper DIY post from last January, and I couldn’t remember ever actually explaining how to make them, so I clicked on the link to read my original post, and saw this:

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Uhhhh. What?!

I mean, I know I’m not terribly ladylike, but what about that is so inappropriate? My itchy, hairy legs? Yes, gross, but whatever — we all do it. Well, obviously except for that weird prude who reported me to Pinterest.

Anyway.

Talk about a fun and unexpected twist — my legs are hairy (again, not still) and I have another unexplained fertility medicine rash on the same shin!

Sorry if you’re totally horrified.

In other news, all of our genetic tests came back normal! Yay!! I’m meeting with my new hematologist next week, who will hopefully have some magical advice to keep me pregnant. I’d consider it a Christmas miracle, athank you.

So, the new plan is we’ll transfer two frozen embryos in early 2013 — as soon as we get a spot on the schedule. Also, my doctor told me I’m not allowed to gain another pound (I’ve been eating my feelings since October) right before this delicious holiday season. So that should be a lot of fun.

Hopefully I won’t have a lot of explaining to do on January 1st.

All I Wanted Was a Chalkboard.

I decided it would be a great idea to turn our kitchen door into a chalkboard.

Pinterest made it look so easy (and, really, it was) and fun — and Mike was on board as long as he wasn’t expected to actually do it (he despises painting), so I thought, what the hell.  I’ll just do it. I can figure out how to take a door down, and carry it to the garage.

And so I did those things. I took off the gross, paint-covered, dusty (sorry, Mom) hinges, carried that surprisingly heavy sucker out to the garage and got busy painting.

Well, no. I didn’t.  I guess I got busy prepping.

After removing the wire storage racks on the back, wrestling with a random towel bar until I gave up and just broke it in half, and patching some (now giant) holes, I got started. My original plan was to paint the whole thing (and both sides) with the chalkboard paint, but Mike convinced me to tape off a white frame for the front so it wasn’t so chalkboardy. So, the whole door got a fresh coat of white paint. While that was drying, I decided it wouldn’t take me very long to touch up the doorjamb and the baseboards — so I did. Huge, enormous, tremendous, everyone-should-do-it improvement. I was super excited.

Until I stepped back and saw the corner baseboard, where the kitchen meets the family room. Now the kitchen is clean, and bright and white, and the family room looks old, dirty, dusty (again, sorry, Mom) and gross.

Crap.

Now I have to paint that room.

Which connects to the foyer.

Which connects to the stairwell and the living room.

And the stairwell connects to the hallway, which connects to all the bedrooms.

And so I have created a trimtastrophe.

I took care of the upstairs hallway and the stairwell, since I wouldn’t have to move any furniture, and that’s about as far as I’ve gotten. Each area I finish looks so much better, that at least I’m encouraged to keep going. Baby steps. Thank god I only work two days a week.

Anyway — after a few coats of white paint, all the way around — and five coats of chalkboard paint (only two were recommended, but I figured better safe than sorry, and I had plenty), some new hinges and a replacement doorknob, I turned this:

into this:

Hello, chalkboard! I love you!

PIVOT!

A few days ago, Mike very excitedly told me about some server rack he found on Craigslist, that he was going to go pick up in PA.

I knew that he got a really good deal. I did not know how big server racks are.

So when he showed up with a heavy, giant, metal cage and couldn’t initially get it down into the basement — I was worried it would live in my dining room forever.

Last night after an impromptu sushi dinner with our friend Brian, they decided to move that bad boy down the stairs.

Remember that time Ross Geller had to move a sofa up some stairs?

No no, you come here to me.

Yeah — it was a lot like that.

After moving it veerrrry slowly down the stairs (in an attempt to not crush Brian, who was the one going backwards) they couldn’t get it around the railing.

I suggested, maybe, taking the railing off the wall to free up some space?

And then Mike came back from the garage with a saw.

Ten minutes later, the railing was unscrewed, and the post was, well, gone.

But at least there’s not a server rack in my dining room anymore.