The focus of the last three weeks has been projects. I’ve been working every spare minute and with the kids to finish things up and we are finally starting to see some final products.
Christmas stockings. Last November after Nathan was born but before the c. diff diagnosis, I discovered these Christmas stockings and loved their simplicity and timelessness. Andrew picked up a drop cloth for me and then life happened and the stocking project majorly stalled. Post Christmas I started the project up again and found an awesome video tutorial that showed how to line the stockings. I decided that as long as I was making the stockings, I wanted them to look classy and be completely finished with hidden seams so I wouldn’t have to worry about unraveling. I found a red tablecloth at goodwill in perfect condition for $1 so I grabbed it for the lining. My mom suggested making as many as the fabric would allow so that I would be set for a long time, and I followed that brilliant suggestion. I cut out the stockings during nap time, but Emily sat on my lap for almost the entire sewing project. She can now backstitch by herself and is in charge of hanging me pins and putting them away.
Learned: I don’t like mass-producing things. It isn’t super bad to make many of the same thing once you get going (if you don’t have to keep stopping and starting). How to line a stocking – it seemed super tricky but actually wasn’t but I’m still counting it as a big accomplishment.
Wet Bag. To go along with our cloth diapering set up, I wanted to get a wet bag to put all the dirty diapers in. We’ve been borrowing an old one from a friend and I couldn’t quite bring myself to spend $20-30 on a large one (this entire effort is in hopes of saving money after all…). I grabbed a JoAnn’s 40% off coupon and then got another 20% off my entire order and bought 1 yard of PUL fabric. I loosely followed this tutorial using my own measurements. I really wanted to learn how to do a french seam to keep all of the raw edges hidden to help the bag hold up better since it’s washed with the diapers 2-3 times a week. This tutorial was super straightforward with pictures and I had zero problems figuring out this brilliant option.
Learned: How to sew a french seam! Gained confidence in measuring something and sewing something to actually fit perfectly.
Happy Birthday Banner. Last November our church had an activity that you could make Happy Birthday Banners at. I have wanted to make one for a long time and loved the idea of being a kit to assemble. Well November was the month that didn’t happen. Last week Emily wandered into my room with a plastic bag and asked what was in it. I thought it was fabric from my mom so we facetimed while opening the contents of the bag. Turns out it was the banner kit that someone must have dropped off. This project I knocked out in two hours and I’m excited to use it in October for all three birthdays.
Learned: It feels good to just get things done. There is no way to take a picture of my entire kitchen table.
Writing Table. A few months ago I had the realization that we should move the computer out of our office and into a public space. I’m the one that uses it and only when the kids go to bed, but I figured that if we don’t want electronics behind closed doors that now is the time to set that precedence. We don’t have a lot of room downstairs for adding more things and I really don’t want that space to feel super cramped. After months of thinking I realized we could turn the kids toy cabinet 90 degrees and make room for a little desk along the back. I was disappointed in my used desk options around the $20 range and decided to just make my own.
I started with this tutorial for a farmhouse writing desk. We ended up buy (2) 1×4’s instead of a 1×3 for the top of the desk because it was WAAAAAY cheaper. Go figure. Andrew asked a million times if I would be okay doing pocket hole screws instead of a mortise and tenon joint and I assured him I would because it would get the project done faster. Turns out I actually care about craftsmanship. No more pocket holes.
Side-note: the sign, “Be Not Afraid, Only Believe” was a custom project done by the incredibly talented Cammie at The Wordsmith Gallery. I’ve been meaning to hang it up but I like looking at it while I’m working so much it is still sitting propped up on my desk. More details and a deal for her shop coming soon (when I finally give the sign a more permanent resting place).
Side Project: I spray painted the vase. It used to be clear and I didn’t care for it at all. I decided to just give it a coat and see what happened. Magic. I love love love it.
As all wood working projects are in our household, it was a good family project. Emily grabbed her own piece of wood and made notes just like we were doing.
I did all the sanding outside with Emily. She spent the majority of the time running around the table and me in a circle, but when i went inside to put Nathan to bed she grabbed all our cups and water bottle and poured the water between all of them. Nathan hung out in the exersaucer during a good portion of the process.
Andrew fashioned this ingenious stand for raising the table off the cement for staining. It took him about 30 seconds to look at my set up and return with a present.
My picture taking, photobombing buddy.
Learned: I really enjoy the sanding and staining process. It brought back so many memories from our BYU wood shop days. I also was reminded that you don’t clean off your sanded surface with a wet towel. It will require re-sanding (another whole day if you have kids in tow). Use a tack cloth instead. How to use a pocket hole jig. I don’t like pocket holes.
In case you were wondering, this is what the kitchen table looked like for a sold two weeks (plus the sewing machine). We ate lots of meals on the floor.