Kitschdesigns

Making And Crafts–Alphabet Artwork

October 4, 2012 22:38 by ehouston

For a long time now I have admired those alphabet prints that are EVERYWHERE.  You know the ones with the “I”, “O” and “U” in a different color, and the “O” replaced with a heart to reveal a not so hidden message.  As the decorating progressed in my son’s new room and the nursery I decided I wanted one for each space.  This was one of those projects I knew I could handle on my own and that a cheap Target frame with a matt would turn into a pricey looking piece of artwork. 

So, I started with a basic design:

ABC-Loveu

This was originally intended for my son’s room, so I used a dark gray for the letters and a simple deep red for the personal message.  Later I realized that I should have used his favorite color, Orange, instead.  Later STILL I realized I wanted to use this one in the nursery.  However, once I got further along with the nursery decorating I thought it might be neat to use a font with a floral or garden theme to tie in with all the floral prints in our little girl’s room.  Plus, I wanted to try switching the main alphabet color to that of the rainbow, while using black for the hidden “I Heart U” message.  And, then I found this font…

 ABC-Garden

It’s called 101 In My Yard and I LOVE it!!!  I think this piece turned out really cute and will definitely grow with our sweet little girl.

After finding such a whimsical font for the nursery art it seemed fitting to do something equally fun for my son’s room.  That is when I switched up the original artwork to what you see below.ABC-OrangeAndGray

I just used Word and the Sybil Green font, replacing the “O” by Inserting a Heart Shape and coloring all of it to match his new space.  At first I was concerned about messing up his ability to learn his ABC’s by using this crazy font, but later I realized he knows his alphabet pretty well already and should be just fine. 

When he is in therapy later we can talk about this in more depth, I guess.

The frames are both from Target and included white matts cut to an 8” X 10” sized opening, so just remember to adjust your margins if you decide to make one.  Two pieces of custom artwork for the price of a little time, two pieces of cardstock and a bit of printer ink, and $33.98 in frames ($16.99/each).  Not bad, I would say!

Kitsch Krafts


Currently rated 1.5 by 230 people

  • Currently 1.499996/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

DIY–Big Boy Room–The Reveal

October 3, 2012 05:51 by ehouston

Back in April I wrote about my latest undertaking, the “Big Boy” bedroom that we were creating to help my son give up the nursery to his new little sister. We were also giving up our spare bedroom, which had come in handy for extra guests and served as my crafting and sewing space. More on where I work later, right now I want to share where we are with the space now that the Little Guy has blissfully taken to his new room. First let’s recap where we started with some lovely photos….or, we can just use the usual CSI style crummy ones that I manage to take.

IMG_8235

(This was the space to the left as you walked through the door.)

IMG_8242

(And, this was the right side of the room, taken from along the side of the bed.)

IMG_8247

(A close-up of a couple design challenges in the space.)

The first thing we had to overcome in this room was the heavy floral border and matching “tray” ceiling effect the previous owners had placed up above with more wallpaper and lavender paint. I actually had a pretty easy time of removing the borders and the lavender went down with one coat of primer. Yeah! The next challenge was that all the trim and both doors had been painted with oil-based cream paint making the finish rock hard and super shiny. Just to be sure primer and paint would stick, I wiped the surfaces down with a deglosser and then used a coat of oil-based primer to help seal off the shellac-like paint job. That seems to have done the trick because after applying two coats of the glossy latex, bright white top coat, the finish has remained nice and smooth. I had a fear that after all my hard work the layers would start to peel or run- so far, so good!

Going into this project I knew only a couple of things: I wanted the base of the room to be gray so I would not have to change it again in a couple of years and I hoped to come up with a fun wall design that could stand the test of time as well. Also the Little Guy loves the color orange and insisted on using it whenever asked about his decorating ideas. Mom-inclusion Fail! I really should have known better than to ask him because this meant finding the fine line between nice room with cute accents and bright construction barrels along the side of a gravel strewn highway.

Once all the trim was painted out I used leftover wall color from our dining room to knock out what had been lavender overload. As I wrote above I wanted the walls to be gray, but came across a nearly full gallon of bluish-gray paint in the garage and figured I would just use it instead. The whole time I was painting the color on the walls I kept thinking, “where is this paint from?”. It wasn’t until I completely finished that I realized it was the color I mixed on my own and had matched to Valspar in Eggshell at Lowe’s for above the chair rail. It was also at this point that the paint was drying enough for me to see that it was definitely more blue than I had intended for this room. No worries, free paint is free paint and obviously we like the color. Due to the dark shade I did end up having to buy another gallon in order to add a second coat and get nice coverage all around. I then purchased a can of bright white Valspar paint in Eggshell finish and mixed it with the darker shade already used on the plain walls to create a lighter gray for the horizontal stripes. My original plan called for adding horizontal stripes to the main wall where we thought the bed should go.

IMG_3335

Later, I decided to add the same horizontal stripes to the opposite wall too. I figured that way if we changed up the furniture arrangement it would not look as weird if the bed landed on another wall. In the end we have two plain and two striped walls and we are all pretty happy with the look.

The second item to tackle on the bedroom “To-do” list was to figure out how to house his clothes, toys and books, seating for family reading and possibly a nightstand. A headboard and/or full bed were not necessary because we planned to push it against the wall and possibly into the corner. Plus, the twin we were using already had a basic frame and I was able to create a simple bed skirt from a new, but thrifted curtain panel to help hide the wheels and under bed storage. After a few short weeks of Sal. Army stalking I came across this shelving unit that appeared to be just the right width and height for the space between the windows.

IMG_3323

Many weeks later, just as I was about to give up on finding a deal, I made one last trip to the Sal. Army and scored this dresser and nightstand set to complete the storage item checklist.

IMG_3332

Both are pretty sturdy and I expect that they will serve their purpose well against the destructive forces of an almost 3 year-old little boy.

With the storage issues under control we were then able to focus our energy on the decorating and bringing the seating into the space. After many an online search had failed to reveal a decently priced upholstered and overstuffed rocker, we decided a better bet for our growing family would be an extra large bean bag chair to plop next to the bookcase. I did manage to find a 4-footer online from Comfort Research at a cost of $118.00, making this the most expensive item in the whole room. Honestly, we probably would have paid double for this kind of comfort, though. It’s super fun to drop into when cuddling up at the end of the day for story time.

IMG_3328

Although for a while I had a problem with my big belly preventing me from easily getting back out of the thing without help when the story had ended. ;o)

The last neutral decorative aspect of the room was the curtains. Again, I wanted to stick with gray to make things easy in the future, however I did not want them to be totally boring. At the same time I found the brand new curtain panel used for the bed skirt at the Goodwill, I also found a second pair of curtains in a light gray heavy cotton. Since I prefer stationary panels with blinds these were perfect for cutting in half, and trimming out to make a set for each of the single windows.

IMG_3319

I chose a border fabric that reminded me of a blown out tweed pattern, with a retro sort of vibe. Plus, in a way it matched up with the tweed-like fabric of the other curtain panel used for the bed skirt. Matchy without being too matchy-matchy, know what I mean?

Since we wanted this room to grow with my son all traces of the color he loves, orange, are found in easy to change accents. I painted a thrifted frame orange to hold a cute alligator print by Funnel Cloud Studio that we picked out at the Richmond Craft Mafia’s Spring Bada-Bing craft show a couple of months ago.

IMG_3340

Since then we discovered several other inexpensive accents in orange by Room Essentials from Target; storage bins, picture frames and a clock.

IMG_3338

To add some fun shapes, color and extra lighting we hung a bunch of paper lanterns from Hobby Lobby and Party City and plan to cover the existing overhead light with a clear plastic IKEA knockoff from Target.  More on that soon (I hope!).

IMG_3330

I even got crafty and made him an alphabet print with the “I”, “O” and “U” in orange to spell out “I heart u”.

IMG_3342

Of course we kept his vintage globes and topography map (over the head of the bed) and added a light up globe for his nightstand.  These all worked nicely since they have lots of muted oranges to add to the overall design scheme.

At this time, the room is as complete as I can make it without starting another big project.  I do have some half finished artwork for the wall above his bed and some pillows for the bean bag chair sitting in sewing limbo.  The only items we planned to put in here, but could not find space for are his tiny table and chairs. They are still in a state of disarray and sitting in the dormer window of the playroom. We thought they might work well in the walk-in closet, but I think he prefers to use his desk while I am working away at mine. So, for now this set will stay put and get a face lift as soon as possible.

Whew! This has been a long one and I don’t even feel like I covered all aspects of what went on in this space. In fear of killing everyone with boredom I will move on and do a quick “Before and After” post later of several elements. Please tell me what rooms you guys have been working on over the last couple of months. I’m always looking for inspiration.

Kitsch Krafts

PS- Here is a cost breakdown:

Dresser – Thrifted from Sal. Army                                $59.99

Nightstand- Thrifted from Sal. Army                             $14.99

Beanbag Chair- From Comfort Research                        $118.00

Bookshelf- Thrifted from Sal. Army                               $59.99

Bed- Already owned                                                    Free

Paint (Walls and Furniture)–

               Some already owned/Some Purchased           $60.00

Bedding- Sheets Walmart & Target                               $30.00/two twin sets

Bedding- Down comforter-Target                                  $29.99

Curtains- Thrifted/Joann’s Cotton for Trim                     $29.97 with coupons

Bedskirt- Thrifted/Already owned fabric                         $5.99

Frames- 4” X 6” – RE Target                                         $5.99 for 4

Clock- RE Target                                                          $6.99

Shelf Storage Bins – RE Target                                      $15.98 – ($7.99/each)

Orange Paper Lanterns- Hobby Lobby                             $7.99/for 3

White Paper Lanterns- Party City                                    $9.99/for 5

Initial Frames – Hobby Lobby                                         $23.99/for 3 with coupon

White Frame w/Matt- Target                                          $16.99

Light Kit for Paper Lantern – Target                                $19.99

TOTAL:                                                                          $516.83


Currently rated 1.5 by 91 people

  • Currently 1.516482/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

DIY–The Nursery–A Vintage Modern Girl’s Nursery

October 1, 2012 07:01 by ehouston

As many of you know we have a 3 year-old little boy and just welcomed a sweet baby girl.  So now you know where I have been lately.  Our Little Guy has made the transition to a “Big Boy” room and at the same time he reluctantly gave up his nursery to his new little sis.  What that meant for me was a chance to girlie-up the décor of the nursery before her arrival.  For those of you that don’t remember, the room had been painted and decorated in blue, white and brown.  These colors were actually what I had used in my office at our old Nashville, TN home, so I could see them being used for a girl, but decided I wanted some softer touches and a new look. 

Nursery-FromHallDoor

(The Little Guy’s space before softer shades took over.)

IMG_5348

(The wall colors played well with his vintage globes and teddy bears.)

Nursery-RockerFromFront

(As you can see most of the furniture is very simple and modern in design.)

Plus, after nearly three years of looking at all those circles I was ready to stare at something different for a while.

This project began like most of mine, lots of ideas and no budget.  Literally I was tasked with making something from nothing.  I decided the easiest way to neutralize the blue would be to tape off the center blue band along the walls and paint it out, which would also eliminate the circles and dots, but spare me the need to redo the entire room.  In our paint stash I had a can of Oops paint from Home Depot that appeared to be a really pale misty blue-green, which although it may sound masculine, had a softness to it that seemed feminine and perfect to me. 

IMG_3081

(The furniture arrangement stayed the same- it’s the best layout for the space.)

IMG_3085

Unfortunately after taking the time to add the first coat it became abundantly clear that the color was more sage green in the room’s lighting and against the dark brown of the lower band.  I was disappointed to say the least.  Not only because the color looked so drastically different on the walls, but that this was the second or third time I had made this mistake recently and I no longer had the time to start playing the “find the perfect color” game.  Originally I had intended to paint or stamp a pattern along the middle band, so in my mind I figured that might tone down the color, but no luck.  So, in the end I sucked it up and realized I could not waste any more time worrying about the color and I just needed to move forward and learn to love it.

It was a only a couple of days later, while rummaging through my fabric stash that I realized I had some pretty cute fabrics tucked away that could play well with the shade that ended up on the walls.  So, I set to making curtains, covering pillows and creating some unique artwork.  You can find more details about how I created the fabric pieces over at my sewing and craft site, Chic Tweaks

IMG_3094

It was fun digging through my supplies to find vintage pieces to bring out and finally use and enjoy.

IMG_3100

(Vintage fabric filled embroidery hoop art.)IMG_3110(Vintage Flower Pin Art.)

IMG_3133

(Vintage Reproduction Fabric Quilt and Pillow Covers.)

Although, I am not a fan of making nurseries super gender specific I did have some favorite fabrics in a nice shade of pink that I thought I could make work with the otherwise neutral space.  Even though the furniture is all quite modern I feel like the reproduction fabric prints (from the 1920’s- 1940’s) fit in just fine without being too over the top and cutesy.

Just like in my son’s nursery, I personalized a wall mounted plaque with hooks by adding the new baby’s initials.

WMHClothesHanging

(Initial wall plaque from my son’s nursery.)

IMG_3121

(The new version for our little girl, made with a patchwork of vintage fabrics.)

As you can see from the shots above, we kept the placement of the shelf above the dresser/changing table, along with all the teddy bears.  The bears were gifts from relatives to me and my brother when we were young.  Now they have been sitting watch over my little ones.  This time around I brought out a couple of the more girlie bears that didn’t seem right for my son’s nursery, but that I think our little girl will enjoy as she gets older.  My aunt also sent us my mother’s Madame Alexander doll, which she had been keeping for all these years (at the very end of the teddy bear shelf above).

IMG_3089

The doll has been tucked in with the loyal teddies and I think goes well with a couple other vintage pieces in the space; namely the tan bear above which wears the dress my mom wore home from the hospital and the big brown bear who is wearing my mom’s Brownie Uniform from when she was just a girl.  It’s fun to see all these sweet vintage mementos coming out from the attic to be enjoyed all over again.  The little white rocker was a gift to my son from his Great Grandma and has since been confiscated back to his room.  Jealous?  Well, maybe just a bit.  ;o)  The sweet corduroy lion was my son’s gift to his baby sister.  He likes to make sure she has it where ever she goes.  So, I guess it’s not all hate around here.

I will admit to having trouble bringing all my ideas together in this space. I finally decided to add everything I had in mind and just go from there. That is how the space ended up with a mix of vintage and modern, both in furniture and fabrics.  Taking this attitude helped me find a better home for my sweet mounted butterfly picture from the ‘60’s, along with some metal flower hooks I have lugging around for years.

IMG_3124

IMG_3091

And, for a couple more fun elements I hung a framed alphabet picture that ties in with the flowery garden theme and I strung up several paper lanterns left over from my son’s “big boy” room to act as a mobile above the crib.  The lanterns were meant to be used for a shower (baby or bridal) and came with a bunch of paper butterflies to tape into place.  I used all 24 of the butterflies to add interest to just three of the circles and I think they work pretty well for a mobile*.  

IMG_3140

(Garden Themed Alphabet Picture.)IMG_3111

When I originally set out to write this post we were still playing the waiting game and I was sure she would be late.  The pink frames are still awaiting shots of baby and grandparents and the hand-me-down toys and books are on high alert for their second chance at life outside the toy box.  However, we have already worked our way through several boxes of the stocked up diapers, the dresser that was stuffed to the brim with pink, ruffles and lace has already undergone a weeding out of the too-small newborn items.  After nearly two months of use I have to say that the look is growing on me just as fast as the closet is filling up with pretty little dresses all in a row.

Now, if I could just get some sleep…..

Kitsch Krafts

*For those of you wondering, no, the paper lanterns are not meant to be used as a mobile over a baby’s crib.  In order to avoid a possible choking hazard if the butterflies were to somehow fall off, I hung them at the bottom end of the crib.  This way, if something should come down it will land below my daughter’s feet, and she still has a great view as they twirl around.

PS – Here is the cost breakdown for you DIY nerds out there.

Many items were reused from the original nursery and/or my vintage stash. Here is the list of those items.

All furniture – bed, dresser, rocker, shelving, bookshelf, side table/stool and hamper

Bedding – quilt, bed skirt and bumper (not pictured) These items are pale blue on one side and white on the other.  I choose to feature the white side for both the quilt and bumper, when it was in place.  The bed skirt is neutral in brown and white.

Accessories – Lamp, Weather and Temperature Center Clock, Books and Toys, Teddy Bears, Wall Plaque with Hooks, Curtain Rod and Finials

Purchases, Creations and Additions:

Two Fitted Sheets- From Target                       $15.00/two with special purchase

     One is pink and green polka-dots and the other is a geometric pattern in pink.

Pink Frames – From Target                             $8.99/three

Paper Lantern Mobiles – From Party City          Free/leftover from Son’s room makeover

Flower Pin Art – Supplies from Hobby Lobby & Joann’s          $7.33 for the fabric and two pins

     The vintage pins were from my stash, along with the mini canvas boards and ribbon.

Embroidery Hoop Art – From Joann’s               $16.00 for the hoops

      All fabric was from my vintage stash.

ABC Art – Frame w/Matt from Target               $16.99

      Art was printed at home on cardstock I already owned.

Curtains, Pillow Covers and Quilt – From my stash             Free- Already owned all the fabric

Metal Flower Hooks – From my vintage stash                    Free

Initial Art on Wall Plaque – Fabric from my stash               Free

Wall Color – Oops Paint from Home Depot         $7.00/ gallon

Grand Total:                                                   $72.30

Not bad for a quick reworking of the original space and I think there is a lot of change in there for such a small amount of spending.  Tell me what you think.  I’d love to hear from you guys.


Currently rated 1.6 by 249 people

  • Currently 1.570279/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

DIY–Guest Bathroom–Artwork

June 29, 2012 00:05 by ehouston

Finally!  We got some artwork to complete our guest bath mini-remodel.  A couple of days after posting the big Reveal I attended the Richmond Craft Mafia spring craft event, called Spring Bada Bing!  As you can imagine there were lots of great things to choose from and I was a bit overwhelmed.  But, by the time we were getting ready to leave and coming back around to hit up some of the first tables we had seen I again found myself attracted to this print by ZouZou’z Basement.

Blue Peacock Limited Edition Print

Blue Peacock

It’s hard to tell in the picture above, but it’s actually a mixed media collage piece with paint and fabric.  I really liked the colors and the close-up and angle in which she captured the bird.  A little different than the usual focus artists have on just the tail.  I decided it would look nice in the guest bath, but unfortunately I had already spent my cash on other items at the event.  Flash forward about a month and my newly ordered print was sitting in my mailbox awaiting a frame.  After about a week of searching for something inexpensive and including a matt I realized the odd shape (12” X 18”) was going to require a more customized approach.  That’s when I wandered into Hobby Lobby to find a simple black open-back frame at 50% off.  Score!  So, for a total of $80.09 I had a matted, framed, and signed limited edition print of a pretty cool original piece.  Not too bad, I would say!

The second picture I have added to the space was a discovery the same day I posted the reveal.  Later that morning my son and I were out and about when we passed the ever enticing “estate sale” sign.  Of course, we made a beeline for the event, more to see the giant McMansion on the inside than anything else.  It turned out this place was full of neat artwork, however much of it was out of our price range.  On the way out, though, I discovered this little painting (or honestly it could be marker- it’s difficult to tell) with some bright flowers and birds.  I figured it would be a nice addition of even more bright color and at $12.00 I could not resist.

IMG_2411

So, here we are with these two new pieces added to the otherwise pretty neutral space. 

IMG_2400

IMG_2404

IMG_2407

I was hoping to find something for above the hand towel ring too, but no luck with that area so far.  But, the main walls that needed some lifting up are in business so I am calling this room done for now. 

How is your spring/summer decorating going?

Kitsch Krafts


Currently rated 1.5 by 73 people

  • Currently 1.49315/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Yard Work–2012–Part 2

June 28, 2012 07:20 by ehouston

As I was writing several long weeks ago, we were attempting to raise the curb appeal around our place without spending a dime.  I know, what’s new, right?  Big impact wanted without spending.  Can it be done?  Well we decided to take a chance and drastically trim back the bushes along the front of our property.  We went into it thinking that they either needed to be trimmed way down or pulled out completely.  However, part of what we love about our property is that the bushes and trees are all very mature.  It’s also one of the things that we dislike because much of the greenery is getting to a point of no return.  Meaning the pull it out and start over method is what has been most prescribed by our lawn care folks, as well as, many of the reps we have been talking with about painting the whole place.  Of course, they are also willing to do all that plant pulling if it makes painting the house easier, but for a big fat price. 

IMG_1818

(Just like me, these bushes are all fat and out of shape.)

After hemming and hawing, as we usually do, we decided to go into attack mode and spent two sessions in the yard, hacking away at the the main bushes.  I should say, the Mister did the hacking and I (in all my big-bellied glory) did all the clean-up and bagging of the debris.  The first session involved a slight slimming along the fronts, a topping and a brisk, tight shave along the backs of the main larger holly bushes.  Then we rested and had a laugh at how nude several of them looked.

IMG_1832

(Nekkid! Tee hee!)

A couple of weeks later, on Mother’s Day, because yes that is what I wanted to do on my one day of rest, we took it all up a notch and really knocked off some girth and height all the way down the line.  Of course, at this point we had also invested in a small chainsaw to get busy with and I think The Mister had fun releasing some pent up aggression.  This time the trimming was to the point of needing the truck to haul off what we had hacked away.  And, this time when we finished we didn’t laugh.  Instead we said a little prayer to the Gods of Shrubbery that they give our toothpick plants another lease on life and at least a few more years for budget sake.

Fast forward about a month and a half and we have been happy to find our shrubs blissfully branching out and filling in. 

IMG_1818IMG_2390

(In the close-up above left you can see one of the larger holly bushes nearly covered the window and passed the roofline.  After trimming we now have a much shorter version, above right, and better access to the window.  Only problem is that as it has filled back in, it has also begun to grow all crazy too.  But hey, at least it matches all the goofy shapes of the other bushes now.)

IMG_1834IMG_2395

(And while the “nekkid” bushes near the front stoop certainly need a hair cut they have started to really fill in around the bottom, above right.)

So far no one has taken the leap off the cliff to the compost pile and several have even pushed out new limbs from areas that we guess haven’t seen the light of day for years.  The only problem is that they all need a good shaping and each weekend lately we have been faced with too many activities plus triple digit heat.  My fear is that by next spring we will end up with some even crazier shaped plants to hack away at and it will take years to get back to some decent curb appeal.  If only I had some energy and …well… no gigantic belly to work around!

By the way, have any of you ever attempted to drastically change the look of very mature hedges or bushes in your yard?  I would love to hear about the process you used and the outcome.  We have read plenty about the “ways to do it right” online, but then we decided to wing it and just see what happens.  If all goes well and we save on the cost of large shrubs along the house we hope to put that savings toward adding more large trees and shrubs to the perimeter of the property.  Why is it that we move into a neighborhood and then spend all our time trying to make our yard super private? 

Oh yeah, because mamma don’t like a long trip to shopping or fast food!

Just bein’ honest!

Kitsch Krafts


Currently rated 1.5 by 57 people

  • Currently 1.456141/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Well Hello Der!

June 26, 2012 08:50 by ehouston

I have been missing you guys lately.  That is, if anyone is out there any longer. ??  ;o)  I have been working hard lately to end my 50+ day blogging hiatus, but it seems as though there is always something else that I NEED to do before I let loose this human inside of me.  We are officially at the 4 week countdown and something keeps bugging me about an early arrival.  At this point I have said that to enough people that she is sure to be late and I have doomed myself to more hippo time in the summer heat, as well as, two birthdays to celebrate during the month of August from here until eternity.  Although as I type that last sentence I can feel a leg (or some other appendage) kicking clear around my side to the back of my rib cage while simultaneously something is butting up against my bladder.  It definitely feels like the great escape is under way.  Pray for me, please!

We have been way too busy for me to even attempt to capture the essence of the crazy that has been spiraling around our home over the last couple of months.  Alas, the light at the end of the tunnel has become increasingly brighter as the “big boy” room and nursery are coming together nicely, and just in time.  The Little Guy has been happily sleeping away without much issue in his new, bigger and better (that’s how we’re selling it anyways!) room since May and as of last week the nursery furniture is in place and the bed is made and ready, should she arrive prior to her due date.  I am slowly pulling the décor together, although it has been a lot of trial and error and use of what we already have in order to keep to my usual non-existent budget.  The Little Guy’s room seemed set in stone until furniture arranging got the better of us and now all hanging of artwork has been placed on hold until we can decide the best configuration.  But, again, we will get there because living with the chaos has nearly taken it’s toll.

It may sound pretty tame.  Two rooms to fix up and rearrange.  Oh, the most famous of last words!  I don’t know if it’s the pregnancy-brain or simply that I am just not that good, but I have had the hardest time pulling the ideas in my head out and realizing them in my home.  As we round the corner and come to the end I have begun to find that I am okay with where we are, despite it not all looking as perfect as my mind was able to dream it up.  I keep reminding myself that in the first half of 2012 I have managed to complete a pretty decent guest bath mini-remodel, which I hope to have an artwork update to share with you all very soon.  I have also successfully repainted, rearranged and furnished our spare bedroom to create a decent space for a toddler-to-little-boy transition, and all on a very tight budget.  Along with that change-up, I made some modest switcheroo's in the nursery to accommodate a little girl without sending myself to a state of bed rest for the remainder of this pregnancy.

The toughest part during the last couple of months has been getting adjusted to having my office and craft space relocated to the playroom.  While I loved the solace of our shared space over the garage and just down from our bedroom, my husband longed for an office of his own.  So, with one enlightened conversation we managed a quick compromise (a miracle for even the best of marriages!) to place all the exercise equipment into my half of the office while bringing my crafting and workspace together in the playroom where all that equipment used to gather dust.  Now, if one of those psychologists from Hoarders could come by and help my husband with his pack-ratting issues we may get to a point where all that exercise equipment can be set up for use.  I certainly will be in need of some treadmill time in a couple of months.  Maybe the promise of a heightened derriere will help get his in gear.  I can only hope!

So now we come to the slow down and the time when I try to get my life back on a regular schedule.  No, the house is not as clean and tidy as I would like it to be before baby and family begin infiltrating our space.  And, yes, I would like to get a lot more food made and stowed away in the freezer before I have too many hungry mouths to feed and literally no energy to dial Chinese take-out.  But, in between putting away the painting supplies and the occasional craft project for one space or another, I am working to give my Little Man some undivided attention.  His monopoly on my time is about to abruptly end and in many ways that makes me terribly sad for him.  I will freely admit, I LOVE every waking moment that I get to spend with him. 

IMG_2169

Even those that have me walking away, teary-eyed, cussing and wanting to smother him.  Yes!  The one thing I have learned in my almost three years of being a mom is that no matter how much you love them or how cute you think they are, there are moments you want to lock them in a closet and drown your sorrows in the whir (because that’s all you can do when you are preggers) of the margarita machine. 

IMG_2286

However, as the birth of our little girl approaches and I slow down to take a breath I can see some hesitation and anxiety in his eyes.  I know he is over the moon at the idea of having a baby sister and getting the opportunity to teach her things, but as I have increasingly had to stop doing the more physical fun stuff with him I can see him starting to understand that his mom-time won’t be the same pretty soon.  So, before I regret this lost time I am setting aside all the excessive DIY, Crafting, Sewing, Blogging, Web Surfing, Facebooking (God, when did that become a verb?) and just putting my fatty pants on the ground to drive trains around endless wooden tracks, through Mega block castles with tunnels and read to George and Martha anthologies cover to cover for the millionth time. 

IMG_2234

I’m sure it’s the hormones right now, but I have had a couple of tearful moments realizing myself that my special times with my sweet little man are about to be bombarded with crying, nursing, diapering and sleepless nights.  It’s a bit of a mourning process I suppose.  After each good old-fashioned, self-absorbed and woe-is-me moment I then remind myself that it will be different, never the same as it has been, but it will be better. 

IMG_2245

My family is growing in a wonderful way.  My son will always have a playmate, confidant and someone with which he can share old age.  A true friend to experience the “firsts” of life with, good or bad, a partner in crime against the ‘rents and an eye-rolling buddy when the hubs and I can no longer hide our dorkiness.  So, for all the mixed emotions coming my way, and that of the rest of my family, I think happiness is what is standing out the most.  And, even though I feel I have let so many commitments slide and fall to the wayside, I am at peace with this place where I stand and can’t wait for our next chapter.

Kitsch Krafts

PS-I promise to get my narcissism under control before the next posting.  Sometimes it’s good just to let some things out once in a while, right?

PSS-As time permits I will share pics of all the changes happening around here.


Currently rated 1.6 by 110 people

  • Currently 1.590908/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Yard Work

May 3, 2012 00:25 by ehouston

This year we are attempting to tackle the outside of the house and the yard.  We have made small strides toward getting the yard we really want, and putting off some things we really need.  Like, a paint job.  That one is really breaking the bank right now and has been put on hold until we can figure out how to get some needed repairs completed properly before slapping a on a new coat.  I never imagined it would be so difficult to find decent maintenance workers, but just getting a call back from an ad, a number in the phone book or even a referral has proven to be a full time job.  After a month of hanging around, waiting for people to come over and give us an estimate I am pretty much over it.  We have had bids ranging from a couple grand to new car prices.  Now you can probably understand why we have taken a step back.  This type of work seems to be priced all over the place and we have yet to find the best way to know if you are going to get quality craftsmanship.  Having used some referrals for smaller projects in the past we have learned this first hand.  You can see great work at your pal’s house, but that doesn’t mean you will get it at yours.

So, to bring this back on track, one of the items on our Yard To-Do list was to figure out a plan of attack for our shrubs and bushes out front.  We are quite aware that several are really much too large and they will soon be a hindrance for anyone attempting to correct any of the siding or window trim issues, let alone painting the house.  Rather than calling in the big guns and getting yet another estimate to have them trimmed and/or removed The Mister and I decided to trim them up ourselves.  A daunting task, even for seasoned lawn care workers.  We have very little yard work equipment, but the one thing we do have is an extension hedge trimmer and various pruning tools.  Figuring we were well armed, we decided to go for it a couple of sunny weekends ago.

These first two shots show how overgrown the bushes had become.  Not only are they far to tall and wide, but they were also sporting spikey tops.

IMG_0208

IMG_1818

The Mister spent some time on the ladder tackling the two larger bushes on either side of the front stoop.

IMG_1815

And, while they look much better than they did, we had to laugh at how naked this one ended up after it’s initial “haircut”.

IMG_1832

We actually plan to trim these way down, but realized that our little handsaw will not work for this part of the project.  So, off to Home depot we go to add a small chainsaw to the arsenal.  Hopefully this next weekend we can do a little more damage, but in a good way.

Now, for the rain to let up so the deck guys can get back out here and finish the staining process.  It took long enough to find some guys we thought we could trust to do the work, so now we are VERY ready to have the work completed.  Shoot, I have patio furniture to arrange, large ceramic pots to plant and lots of other ideas about how I want to spruce up the area. 

Patience is a virtue…they say.

Kitsch Krafts


Currently rated 1.5 by 65 people

  • Currently 1.476924/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5