Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Mountains of Monkey Hats in the Making

My neighbor is participating in a craft fair next month and has asked my to make a bunch of hats to sell. My goal is to make at least a dozen, even two dozen if I can. I'm getting close to the minimum number I want to make. (See photo left). Pattern from All Free Crochet which I don't follow exactly.

As part of the preparation I need to come up with a company name and pricing. Charging money is always hard for me. I feel guilty asking people to pay me for anything I do.

Another thing I might do is these nifty kleenex holders. I found this pattern on Skip to My Lou. They are fun to make and could sell cheaply. The ones pictured here are made for full-size tissues. I changed the sizing to 11x11 pieces of fabric and it worked like a dream. Since I like to keep my hands busy, these projects have been very enjoyable and the prospect of making a little money is icing on the cake.

Speaking of cake, since the kids have been selling lemonade this summer, I plan to make some strawberry lemonade cupcakes for them to sell some Saturday soon. What a great thing to pair with strawberry lemonade. See Half Baked Cake Blog.

The wash basin is filled! I decided to go with blooming perennials -- honeysuckle (climbing), kobold gayfeather and butterfly blue pincushion flower (mounding) and periwinkle (trailing). In time I'll find out if I made the right decision. I usually figure out my planting mistakes in a year or two.

Saturday, July 23, 2011


I already had so many projects in mind to do around the outside of the house. However, with this sewer project over, other projects have made their way onto the list and have even reordered the priorities of the previously planned projects.

One of the new projects we have begun is the paving of the "back area" of our house. Using concrete molds bout at Lowes, we are pouring pavers using a terracotta colorant at half strength for a softer hue. The mold is a cobblestone pattern.

Another outdoor project that should be fast and fun is filling this wash basin which used to be in our basement. Mike cut the broken half off and now it stands next to our porch filled with top fill and peat ready for planting.

Meanwhile, there are so many areas of our yard which are empty now because of the sewer digging. It's been a good opportunity to sift through and get rid of as much ivy and morning glory is possible. But trying to decide what to plant in these empty spaces is a bit overwhelming.

Indoor projects abound as well. a neighbor friend needs monkey hats to sell at her craft booth next month and I'm busy crocheting for that. Old buttons are always in demand for eyes and I just got a bunch form an ebay seller. The seller actually had buttons that were separated by hue. Of course, I opted for the earth tones.
And I could not be more pleased with the selection of buttons. So happy!!!

I haven't been out to my mother's in a couple of weeks, so progress on the trailer as been at a standstill. However, I have great new curtains for between the bedroom and the kitchen. I found them at Kmart at a BOGO 50% off. And they are perfect. All I need to do is sew on the tabs and hang them. I hope to do this early next week. This will make a big impact.

Now to find a good (cheap) bedspread. Bargain hunting will begin soon. We'll really need to take a trip in the trailer once it is done so we can really enjoy the changes.

The Swedish Room is my inspiration for the trailer since it is a newer trailer with the same type of layout. It's encouraging to see that newer trailers can be just as charming as the vintage ones.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Backhoes, Fountains, and Sewing Projects


The last few days have been eventful. I could not bear the sight of the 10-foot hole right next to our house, so I fled to my mother's place with the kids for a couple of nights.

This is how our house looked yesterday according to the photo my husband took. I'm glad I didn't have to look at that.

The upside to all of this is that the contractor found that we had awful soil under our house and replaced some with good solid stuff. So our foundation will be the better for it.

Today the holes are filled in for the most part and the kids and I are home again. One more day of construction and we'll be normal again.
Another good outcome is that all the weeds in our back section (6-feet) are gone! And they leveled the area.

It's crazy how little of a back yard we have. Just look at the middle of the picture where the little cement wall is. From there to the house on the right is our "backyard." That's life in the Northend of Tacoma, baby.


In the meantime, my mom, the kids and I had a great time in Bremerton yesterday. We took the foot ferry from downtown Port Orchard and landed in Bremerton in the early afternoon and spent the rest of the day there.

The fountain park there is fantastic. It is filled with very shallow pools (five in all) which contain structures reminiscent of submarine stacks. Every few minutes the stacks spray large amounts of water out the tops much to the delight of the children hovering around the bottoms of them.Add ImageAdd Image
It is beautifully landscaped and there are many places to sit and eat or enjoy the view. Mom and I found a shady spot and it was lovely.

I'll be taking the kids back there this summer again. The place feels like a resort in a way. It was like being on a vacation for a few hours. I highly recommend it.


Yesterday I tore down parts of the decor in the trailer and felt quite triumphant, taking pictures and planning. This morning I woke up thinking, "WHAT DID I DO?" Nevertheless, progress has begun for real now and there is no turning back. (Well, there is if I undo what I've done today, but I'm not going to.) It's onward and upward. I spend most of the afternoon sewing, stapling and screwing decor. There is more to do, but I'm happy to report that things are changing and so far I am quite pleased.

I have more sewing to do. Before leaving my mom's house (where our trailer is kept) I made more measurements and hope to bring more curtains and such back to her house when I visit next. You can see how far I got in one afternoon. I'm pretty happy tonight. Especially because one corner of my house doesn't seem to be ready to slough off at any moment now.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

New Projects in the Works

I am currently obsessed with the idea of updating our travel trailer's interior. I was happy with it just the way it was until my friend Nicole shared a link to a blog (http://vintagecottagecamper.blogspot.com/) and ever since I have been thinking about the possibilities of changing out the decor in our own.

We bought the trailer after a tenting trip when my children were almost two- and almost one-year-old when I saw a Casita trailer parked in the next site over. A quick tour of our camp neighbors' Casita was all it took to start me on the path to travel trailer ownership.

For years I was happy with our trailer just as it rolled off the assembly line. But after exploring a few blogs, I'm filled with excitement to get this project underway.

Before I make any changes, I want to show the before pictures. Our trailer is by no means a vintage trailer. But that shouldn't stop me. The way they come decorated is, according to my sister-in-law Mia, "geriatric." After much pondering, I've decided a French country look is what I'm going for. And I have already purchased fabric with that end in mind.

The first of my projects are the dinette and the bedroom curtains. Both will use the red gingham. The dinette, naturally, will use the rooster fabric. The bedroom will use the toile.

This should be fun. I'll post pictures of the results soon.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

There's a Backhoe in My Yard!

Remember the "Mad" magazine feature called "Scenes We'd Like to See?" Well, this is a scene I didn't want to see. There's a backhoe in my yard and it's digging up our old sewer line as well as the neighbor's and our plants.

We came home from the tenth anniversary of our kayak event to find out our neighbor's sewer line was backing up and that our line (though not affected yet) connects up to theirs before connecting to the main line.

Work began last Wednesday and will, hopefully, conclude on July 5. However, I'm not expecting everything to be finished then as we are still not sure whether our line from the kitchen will be involved in all this and if so, we'll lose whatever bit of driveway we have in front of our garage.

The tension is mounting...

Here I go again

This is my second attempt at blogging. Life is short and the days are going by so quickly. There is always something going on and something to do or make. So, before I forget what I'm doing, where I'm going and what I've been making, I'll try to get them recorded.