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11/18/2011

23 Months!

That’s right… our baby big girl is only 1 month away from the big T-W-O! 

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Photograph courtesy of Spangler Photography

It’s amazing just how incredibly fast this past year has flown!  It doesn’t seem like it was that long ago that I was planning her 1st birthday party… and now I’m working on her 2nd!  Simply amazing!

11/16/2011

Laundry Room Ceiling Repairs

Remember back in March when Craig accidentally stepped through the ceiling in the laundry room on the first day of our kitchen renovation?  Well we’ve finally gotten around to fixing it. 

Don’t get me wrong… we did a very quick, very temporary fix right after the incident occurred.  However, there was still a medium sized section of plaster missing around the duct that connects to the HVAC unit in the laundry room. 

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And with winter coming we wanted to make sure that hole into the attic was covered up.  Not to mention the fact that we wanted to add more insulation to the attic and it would be best if there weren’t a hole in the laundry room ceiling for insulation to fall through.  So, a few weeks back we decided it was finally time to fix the ceiling.

Craig went into the attic and moved as much of the insulation away from the laundry room ceiling as possible.  Then he removed a large section of the old ceiling (which the former owners had previously patched with wood paneling and sheet metal) in addition to some of the remaining plaster around the HVAC duct.  This left him with a pretty significant hole in the ceiling.

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He then measured and cut pieces of sheetrock to fit.

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Next he very carefully screwed the drywall in to place, making sure he didn’t accidentally screw into a water line in the attic (like our sheetrockers did when hanging the drywall in the new kitchen).

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Once the sheetrock was hung Craig used mesh drywall tape and joint compound to give the seams a rough patch job.  He also filled in the small gaps around the HVAC duct and wiring with Great Stuff just to make sure that we wouldn’t get any cold air in from the attic this winter.

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We’re not going to worry about sanding the ceiling and pretty-ing it up right now.  We’re still planning to move the HVAC unit into the attic (which would free up almost half of the square footage in our laundry room for a mud/storage area!) and we figure there’s no point in smoothing it all out and making the ceiling perfect when we’ll have to do it all over again in a few months.  So for now it’ll just have to do. 

Leaves!

Who knew that one tree could produce so many leaves.

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Thankfully we had a very eager helper when it came time to rake the yard!

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11/13/2011

DIY Scrap Fabric Tutu!

I’ve been dying to make a scrap fabric tutu for Bailey ever since I first stumbled across them on Pinterest months ago (pins below originally from here and here)

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I mean what little girl wouldn’t want to run around playing in one of these?  They’re absolutely adorable!

So, I pulled out my sewing box and gathered the necessary materials—measuring tape, pinking shears, 1/2 inch elastic, needle and thread, and fabric scraps (some of which was left over from when I made Bailey’s nursery bedding)

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I referenced several tutorials before starting and did a blend of a few different ones.  The first step was creating the elastic waist band.  I measured Bailey’s waist (which was about 17 1/2 inches) and then cut a piece of elastic a couple of inches shorter than that (as recommended in this tutorial).  Next I folded the elastic in half and used my needle and thread to sew the ends together.

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Then I folded each end back and sewed it flat (just like in this tutorial).

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Once I had created the elastic waist band I began cutting my strip of scrap fabric using my pinking shears (to cut down on the frayed edges). I cut the strips about 1 1/2 inches in width and anywhere from 17-22 inches in length.  I just eye-balled it, so none of the strips turned out perfectly straight.  But that only adds to the character of the tutu if you ask me!

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The next step was tying the fabric strips to the elastic waist band.  To do this I folded the strips in half and pulled the cut ends through the center of the waist band.

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I then folded the ends back over top of the waist band and pulled them through the loop at the center of the fabric scrap.  I pulled firmly to tighten the fabric around the waist band.

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Then I repeated this process a few dozen times to fill out the tutu.

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Although the tutu looked pretty darned good at this point, I still wanted to add a fabric rosette like I had seen in one of my inspiration pictures. 

Once again I relied on Pinterest to provide the guidance.  I clicked back over to my DIY & Crafts board and remembered that I had pinned this (originally from here) several months back.

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So I pulled up the fabric rosette tutorial and followed it (for the most part) step by step.  The main difference was that instead of using fabric glue (which I didn’t have any of at home) I simply used a needle and thread to hold my flower together as I wrapped and twisted the fabric.  I also twisted my fabric a little tighter than the example in the tutorial (hence the less open and petal-ly flower).  But I was still very pleased with the outcome seeing as it was my first ever attempt at sewing a rosette.

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The very last step in the process was sewing the rosette onto the tutu using my trusty ole’ needle and thread.

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And here’s the finished product! 

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Don’t you just love it? I know I do!  Can’t wait to see it in action on Bailey!

11/07/2011

Insulation

It’s a dirty job, but somebody’s gotta do it!  And when you’re the owner of an older home (say a 1961 brick ranch perhaps) that someone may just be you. 

We had added several bales of cellulose insulation to the attic over the bonus room (which had been a carport in its earlier life) about 5 years ago after discovering that this space had virtually none overhead.  At that time we realized that we didn’t have adequate amounts of insulation over the remainder of the house either.  But after insulating over the entire bonus room we decided that this would be a project for another day. 

I guess that day finally arrived because Craig and I spent several hours adding insulation in the attic over the rest of the house this past weekend.  I know… sure sounds like a good time, doesn’t it?  We decided that we had been putting the dirty task off for way too long and we wanted to make extra sure that we didn’t have any issues with pipes freezing this winter (since our house is on a slab and our water lines are in the attic)

We had moved a lot of the existing insulation around when we installed the recessed lights and repaired the water line that was accidentally punctured while hanging sheetrock.  So, it was time to make sure that everything was put back in its place and that a nice new fluffy layer of insulation was added on top.  The goal was to achieve an R49 value or approximately 14 inches of insulation (instead of the 6-8 inches that was currently in place)

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So we went to Lowe’s and bought 20 bales of cellulose insulation (which was the minimum insulation purchase to qualify for the free blower rental) and loaded it all into the truck to take home.  I tell ya… there are times in life when it really pays to have a truck and Saturday was definitely one of them!

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We used the same brand of cellulose insulation as we did 5 years ago. We like that it is a natural product (I think it’s made in part from recycled newspaper) and it is much easier to work with than nasty, itchy fiberglass insulation.

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We carefully covered the new floors with sheets and cardboard before moving the insulation blower into the house.  Once the machine was inside and everything was hooked up we got down to business.  Craig had the fun job of being the person in the attic directing the hose and spreading the insulation while I had the lovely task of opening the bales of insulation to feed into the blower.  Last time we did the insulation work the roles were reversed.  And I’ll be quite honest with you… I’m not sure which is worse… having to be the one in the attic or being the one loading the machine.  They both SUCK (but at least they don’t suck nearly as much as they would if it were fiberglass insulation)!

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But on the bright side… the job is FINALLY done!  The pipes are covered and there’s a nice fluffy layer of new insulation on top of everything which will hopefully help us achieve our desired R49 value.  And for that I am truly thankful!

11/01/2011

Halloween…

…is the perfect excuse to get all dressed up…

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…and spend an evening having fun with your friends!