I left my head and my hearth on the dance floor.

Project 37: Re-tile the hearth. Selecting the eight square feet of tile for this space is driving me crazy! So many possibilities! I found these 2" talavera tiles at the flea market. I don't think this is the right direction, but it's pretty cool for something else.

The roof, the roof, the roof is missing.

So we bought a house. (Yay!) But it needs a new roof. (Boo!) But the new roof is free! (Yay!) There's no such thing as a free roof. (Whaaaaa...?)

We actually bought the house we'd been renting for the last 6 years. So no moving and no new furniture but no exciting key exchange and painting coveralls. Mostly I just noticed how dirty all the walls were. I also got to work redesigning the kitchen and bathroom so we can renovate them slowly and cheaply. With a common vision, it'll be easier for us to load up on supplies to avoid spending $2000 at once. And I can find bargain stuff. Which I love.

The downside is less sewing and more photos of what I want my house to look like. Which can be boring. Except that I'm cheap, so maybe it'll be fun to see how I'm gonna make this:

 Look like this:
Also? If you've ever been to my house, you'll notice that in order to take that photo, I had to remove the door. I can remove doors now! Whenever I want! 

It's all sinking in. Slowly. 

This is where we keep our kitsch...

My husband has a hard time visualizing my thoughts. I try to explain, I use hand gestures, but he wants a drawing. And not a sketch. The man wants to see some semblance of scale!

This is my kitchen. It's not to scale, (shhhhh...), but is pretty close proportion-wise. The left hand upper and lower cabinets actually sit on a perpendicular wall, but I wanted to see the wall treatment all at once.

Since I didn't want to redraw and recolor if I made a mistake, I drew the room on paper and then used tracing paper to add color. I need to go back over the room in black pen, but that could be scary.

The little grids are a suggestion of the square tiles I want on that wall. I'm trying to design a custom tile treatment that I can do myself. 12x12" mosaic square tiles are around $10/sqft. Custom? $125/sqft.

I'm too cheap for that.

Sample Pot!

It's always bugged me that even though different colors, the paint colors in my living room and hallway look too similar. Because they are the same tone. My living room is a sage-ie green and the hallway is a sandy beige. But at night they look like they are the same color.

Yesterday I bought little sample pots from Fine Paints of Europe. One is a super deep olive and the other looks like a springy green. The olive will look black at night, so that's out. And that springy green is growing on me. It'll deepen at night and add a bit of brightness to the walls during the day. Without being electric.

I think I need more samples. But if I were being honest, I just like them because they are cute and tiny. And match my kitchen.
I need to wipe that shelf.


I took the boys to a sushi restaurant for lunch this week. I blame Disney. Between Mulan and Monsters, Inc., I had no choice. I know they don't seem like sushi movies, but Mulan is Asian and in Monsters, Inc. Mike Wazowski takes Celia to Harryhausen's for an anniversary dinner. Which is a monster flavored sushi restaurant. Combine that with the Melissa and Doug sushi set Hartwell got for his birthday, you have a sushi crazed boy. Make that "Shushi." 

The place we went was great. The servers thought it was adorable that my boys wanted to try the sushi. And they put my in a booth at the back of the restaurant, my favorite! They also checked on us a lot and wanted to know what the boys thought.

We ordered the Sushi Fun Plate, so the boys could make their own sushi. Mostly they just ate the rice and played with the "bubbles," which was the salmon roe.

The next day, Hartwell asked to go eat at the sushi restaurant with the rectangle cookies. I'm pretty sure he thinks sushi is rice balls, orange juice and orange sherbet with a wafer cookie.

Not close at all, buddy.

Surprise! A book cover!

When I was enlisted to make the class art project, Miss Shelley told me that a lot of the parents made a little photo book to go with it. So I took my camera, along with my markers and fabric squares, and proceeded to record the crap out of my project. And then my battery died.

I borrowed the school camera, but it was set on "no preview" so I was snapping away hoping I was gettin' the good stuff and occasionally scrolling through to see if I succeeded. So old fashioned!

The photos were okay, but there were not nearly as many as I would've liked.

So, photos I had. Book? Not so much. I wanted some crazy origami folded paper photo thing that was super excellent. And non-existent. I emailed muses, (that's you, Blazer), and molested the internet looking for the perfect thing.

Then, Captain Cough-ie woke me up. With my allergies, if I'm up, I sneeze. And can't get back to sleep. So I grabbed my iPod and searched for something to do for the photo book. At 2 am.

I found this tutorial at kirin notebook. Pretty amazing. A reversible note book cover. I got a book and some photo corners at Target and got busy with my cover.

Here is the quilt top:
The inside and my feet:
 The inside/reversible part:

And the back:

I did a photo of each kid holding up their artwork.Here's a photo of my guy:
I think it turned out pretty cute. I was a little worried because the tutorial is the kind where you just do what they say and then turn it right side out and see if you succeeded. Which I did!

(I don't know who put Vaseline on my camera, but they need to stop. It looks like a Moonlighting episode up in here).


We have a birthday party to attend today in the park. The mom had the best party idea ever. She just sent an email that said something like "Come celebrate my son's birthday! We'll be at the park around 3 pm! Come for an hour or stay all day!" And it's on a weekday, so it doesn't really infringe on other plans. Plus, three o'clock is a great time to get the wiggles out.

I made these trinket bags for the birthday boy. His mom is quite a hiker and I thought these would be perfect for collecting excellent rocks and sticks and quarters. And anything with a carabiner is awesome!

I put those grommets on by myself. In case anyone heard any furious hammering this afternoon.

The tutorial is from Amazing Mae.

Super Quilt

In September I signed up for a preschool art project. September may as well have been 1993 because I barely remember signing up. But it sounded like something I would do. I spoke to Hartwell's teacher and we decided to do a quilt.

I used these two quilts and just adapted them for kid participation.

I went to Hartwell's class and brought some 6"x6" squares of muslin that I ironed on to freezer paper so the kids could color more easily. Then we used some fabric markers to color the squares.

Before I started, I drew what was in my brain:

I clipped the seams every 1/8". They said 1/4" but that didn't give me that fluffy look.

I really like this quilt a lot. I think I'll make more. It was simple and the "rag" part leaves a lot of room for mistakes. Which I make a lot of. If I've ever made anything for you, I will gladly point them out.

 DIY Day at A Soft Place to Land!

Hooks, Check 'Em Out.

I feel like my like would be a lot more organized if I just had more hooks. They are all over my house. My kitchen has hooks on the outside of the cabinets for measuring cups and bowls and colanders. It looks slightly decorative but mostly utilitarian. My bedroom has hooks on the front and back of the door. For towels and whatever. I even have an eye hook placed in my back splash to hold the cutting boards in place.

This weekend we went to Ikea to scout the counter tops. There was a bin of dog butts and my kids were trying to get inside it. I knew I had a place for them. I just don't know what they hold. Mostly it just looks cleaner. Before this rack had two pegs and holes where the other four used to be.

I also had John put some hooks on this cabinet. It sits by the front door and since we don't have an entry way, this is my poor mans version. Now I can hang my purse on the hook and keep it out of the hands of the wild monkey's that live here.
Then, while cleaning out our bedroom "armoire," I found these shabby chic hooks. I'm sure I'll find a place for them, even if it means a coat of paint. Any ideas?