Saturday, March 28, 2015

Catching Up

I've felt so remiss in my lack of blogging lately - it's certainly not because I don't want to! I've had the unfortunate experience of my laptop deciding to not work, so it's off being fixed - thankfully I have my phone for internet or I'd go insane, but it's not great for blog writing. So, I've been quite active on Instagram the last few weeks. I figured I'd use my IG pics to report on what I've been doing, so prepare to be inundated!

I've had a serious lack of knitting time of late because I've been doing so many home improvements. They really are addictive :) The most time consuming "improvement" for the past few months has been painting my kitchen cabinet doors.
As we speak, these 9 doors are all that is left to paint - I'm crossing my fingers that they are done on the back and that I can flip them and do the final coat on the front this weekend. Then they would be done! I'm honestly curious as to how it will feel when I can officially break all this down and not have a painting station in my living room. It's been so long!
The nastiest part has been this final cabinet base. We always thought we would have to just replace the cabinet since it was so disgusting from water damage. Obviously the previous owners had to do some plumbing work in that hole they so beautifully cut out. I have to get a piece of wood to cover it, so technically I will have to paint that as well. The picture on the right is what the cabinet looked like "cleaned" and the left is after I painted it with Kilz Oil Based Primer to cover over the old mold (gross). Since this pic was taken, I have painted it with one coat of XLM primer and 1 coat of paint  and it is AMAZING how much better it looks. I mean, it's still not perfect because of all the crap from the sink and what not in there (plus the big hole), but Oh My Gosh what a difference! I will be painting the final coat tonight and I seriously can't wait!

The doors and this cabinet are all that remains to getting my kitchen "finished" for now. I call it a Phase 1 Remodel because I definitely have further plans, but things like counter tops and appliances get a whole lot more expensive than a few gallons of paint, so at least I will have the basics covered (like finally having doors on my cabinets after 2 years of living without them, lol).
I also gave myself a decent little splurge of sewing time over the past month. Not only did I tackle the Peggy Skirt, I also made a cute pair of PJ pants (which I still have to photograph and blog about), and went straight into making a new dress pattern. I chose Simplicity 1419. I made a muslin of the bodice first and boy, did I have a hard time. I knew basic alterations I needed to the front pieces from the fitting work I did on Simplicity 2444, but I still have gaping at the back neckline of that dress that kind of drives me nuts, so I decided to buckle down and figure it out. Turns out I have a dowager's hump (lovely to know, isn't it?), so after an hour or so of pinching out darts and what not to no avail I pulled out Fit For Real People and consulted the experts. When I read the instructions, it didn't make any sense as to how that would fix a gaping back neck, but I tried it anyway and (amazingly) it worked! Who knew the experts would be right? lol I know, I'm ridiculous.
Once I got the bodice fit sorted, I picked a nice springy fabric to make up my dress :) I have it all cut out and marked, but have yet to sew it together. I kind of hope I can get this done for Easter, but I won't be devastated if I can't finish it. We'll see.
I also got experimental in the kitchen and made these s'mores (which were delicious!). I just used Aldi brand graham crackers, marshmallows and milk chocolate (their Chocheur brand with hazelnut paste in it - oh my gosh). I set the grahams on a tin foil covered cookie sheet, plopped a marshmallow on top and put them in the oven at 350F for a few minutes until they puffed up and started to get just a tinge of brown. I took them out and pressed the marshmallow down with a fork (so it covered more of the cracker). Once they were cooled off, I melted the chocolate in a double boiler and spooned/spread it across the tops. Oh man, these were so good and very easy to make, if a bit time consuming. So worth it though!
This past Thursday, I decided to finally try dying a few items of clothing I'd accumulated. It was an interesting experience, but not completely awful, lol. I'll report more on that later.

Later that day, I decided to tackle a big reorganization project. My good friend Leigh gave me an awesome Ikea shelf unit thing she had used with a tabletop on it, but no longer had space for and it had been sitting in my living room for a day. Originally I hadn't planned on tackling it yet, but I had some time and wanted that stuff out of the living room (it took up a lot of space). So ... I dug out my whole closet in my sewing room and situated the cabinets - I kid you not, they fit exactly - like, if they were even 1/2" wider, they wouldn't fit in there. The two piece together are 60" wide and 24" deep, so the tabletop Leigh had wouldn't fit (it's cut to overhang them), so I have to get a top piece cut and painted for it, but check out what I did in the meantime...
HOLY FREAKING GOODNESS! I guess I have just a little bit of fabric, huh? Those shelves are stacked two rows deep, so there is even more you can't see. I unloaded 5 Rubbermaid tubs and 1 large box (it was bigger than the tubs) full of fabric onto this baby. I still have one file box that I couldn't fit (sigh), so I will be weeding through my stash and eBay-ing some of my less-loved pieces. In my defense, I did not purchase all of this myself. I got quite a bit of this when others destashed and just gave me a whole box of fabric. Anyway, it's AMAZING to see all of my fabric like this! Some of these fabrics I haven't looked at in at least a year. I organized each shelf by type of fabric, so I will be able to "shop" my stash for my projects instead of ignoring my buckets and going to the store. I used to have to literally unload my entire closet to get to my tubs, and then pull everything out each tub to find what I needed, so this will be kind of life changing. I'm hoping it increases my productivity :) Since taking this photo, I have also cleared all that junk from in front of the closet and tidied up about 2/3rds of the rest of the room. Once I get it all cleaned up and have a topper on this, I am planning on a new tour of my sewing room post!
And why not round off this post with a gratuitous sexy shoe photo? I'm a total convert to Swedish Hasbeens, folks. I have a black pair and this pair, which I figure should serve me well until I find more on super-duper sale like these were, lol. Wooden shoes FOR EVER!

So, if you've made it this far, thanks :) I know it's just a bunch of random-ness shoved into a post, but I just really wanted to update my goings-on. Once I get my house projects finished, I will be doing some before and after posts of epic proportions (no joke, my house looks SO different than it did just 2 months ago), so check back for that soon. Now I'd better get back to cleaning ... or painting ... or knitting ... you know, the essentials.

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