Friday, November 30, 2012

Holiday Time

This past holiday weekend Wood and Cloth took a break from the nursery and worked on Thanksgiving and Christmas related activities.
First up was cooking Thanksgiving dinner.  We actually go over to the husband's parents' house and have dinner with his family.  We do however like to have a bunch of leftovers so every year I make a full on feast for us to eat at home.  This includes a 16 pound turkey (yes it is only the 2 of us but don't forget we do have 3 pugs...) artichoke stuffing, fresh cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, rolls, frog eye salad (this is for the husband as the wife will not eat it), and a cherry pie.  This year I also got a bee in my bonnet that I wanted to do turkey stock and turkey noodle soup.  I think I forgot I was pregnant and maybe spending hours on my feet standing in the kitchen working on mounds of food was not a great idea.  Or maybe I was truly feeling my pregnancy cravings and baby girl wanted a ton of yummy turkey day related food.  Either way we ended up with a ton of food that we have slowly been working our way through since Thanksgiving.

It was a good thing that we had some much food as we burned a ton of energy and calories getting the house Christmas ready.  It was a bit of a challenge for me this year. It was hard for me not to be able to run bins of decorations up from the basement.  I could carry the lightweight things but after a few trips up and down I started to feel winded so the poor husband was left with the bulk of the work.  After all of the bins were upstairs in true Wood and Cloth tradition we put on National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation and started to deck our halls.

The husband and I have done a bunch of stupid DIY stuff over the years.  Sometimes the endeavour is stupid because we should have just purchased something and saved ourselves a bunch of trouble.  Sometimes it is idiotic because there is a chance of bodily harm (not usually death mind you).

One of these stupid activities is hanging 3 very large wreathes in our living room.  This year marks the third year of stupidity.  The first year involved the husband hand carrying the wreaths up a very tall and steep ladder and then swinging them into place.  We actually did have an incident that first year where the largest wreath fell down.  While no one was hurt we do have a pretty good scuff mark on the wall that we have left untouched to remind us of our moronic past.
The second year the husband got smart (well a bit smarter as if we were really smart we would not put up the wreathes in the first place).  The new plan involved rope and a pulley system.  The plan involved looping the rope around the wreath and the top rung of the ladder.  The wife would then pull the wreath up using the rope from the ground while the husband was on the ladder waiting to place the wreath into position.  This system was a success.  No wreaths plummeted to the floor and no husbands feel off of the ladder.

So for our third attempt we absolutely were going to use the rope method again.  One small problem.  The wife was no longer in the position to pull the wreath up.  This year the husband had to do the pulling until the wreath was up at the top of the ladder.  I then used my extra weight to hold onto the rope making sure the wreath didn't come down while the husband climbed the ladder to put the wreath in place.  Again no major incidents.  You will notice the "JOY" is a bit off but it was close enough.  I wanted to take pictures of the husband on the ladder and swinging the wreaths into place but that idea was quickly shot down as I was reminded about the husband's fear of heights and that he would like me to stay to steady the ladder.  Fair enough.

With the wreaths in place we went to work putting up the rest of the decorations.  It took me longer this year as I had to stop and take breaks quite frequently.  While I might like to think I can still do everything I did before I am about to start my third trimester and things are getting more difficult.
It took the better part of 2 days for me to get up all of the decorations. 

I couldn't help but think about how next year I will have a 9 month old to "help" me put up Christmas.  I might have to adjust some of my decorations as I am not sure that she will have the patience for Mom to hand tie with fishing line Christmas ball ornaments to the banisters... Next year I may just have to throw some tinsel around and call it good.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Let the Nursery Begin...Closet Doors Be Gone!

With the craft stuff out of the nursery let the fun begin!

Before I even thought about color schemes and nursery themes I was thinking about storage.  As I stated in earlier posts I am a bit obsessed with organization right now!  I like to have places for things that are not all stacked up in a corner. With a girl on the way we were going to need a bunch of closet space for clothes (even if the husband doesn't agree).

Step one of the nursery was to rip up the closet!  I have always hated our closest doors in the nursery room as they are the sliding kind which just seem to always get in the way.  The problem is that swing out doors would just take up a bunch of space in the actual room, so...

First step was to take down the doors.  They just get in the way and curtains would look way cuter, right? Next came ripping out the shelf and painting.

I knew I wanted a bunch of shelves and drawers to maximize the space.  Having one large shelf and clothing rod really limits the amount of small, cute, and cuddly clothes one can cram into a closet.

With the prep work done we needed to make a decision on build or buy.  The husband had convinced me that for the sanity of all involved it would probably be best to just buy a closet organizer from IKEA.  He was concerned about the length of his project list and the current NFL season.  I won't allow a TV in the woodshop (aka the garage) for fear of lost fingers and other appendages so he tends to not get much Wooding done on Sundays. 

We had used a PAX system organizer in our old house and it really did add a bunch of functional space to our closet.  The one we had was pretty small but for the nursery I wanted to get a pretty big mamma-jamma with a combo of shelves and pull out drawers.

The building and placement of the unit did not go as planned. Unfortunately it was a bit bigger than I anticipated.  Yes I did measure, (this isn't amateur hour) but I didn't think about being able to get around the depth of the unit.  The problem was that it was so deep that we ended up blocking one of the corners making it unusable. 

The husband thought we should scrap the plan for the organizer and just use the closet to it's fullest.  The wife thought we should just knock out the little jut in the wall which would open up the space in the corner (it would be really easy...).  After a large amount of negotiation the organizer and wall stayed put. 

Even though we are losing a bit of space on the one side we are more than making up for it in functionality of the organizer. 

Next up was the shelves and clothing rods.  One advantage with children's clothes, especially baby clothes, is that they are small and don't hang all the way to the floor making multiple stacked clothing rods a possibility.  The husband used 2 brackets per shelf. 

Cut and painted the boards. Attached the boards to the brackets, and finally installed the clothing rods.  They turned out perfectly and I couldn't be happier with the end result.

Now I'm off to sew the curtains!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Very thankful...

No craft projects today.  The kitchen will soon be a disaster area filled with potato peels, turkey parts, and hopefully wonderful smells.

We are extra thankful and blessed this year for our little one on the way.  My 26 week appointment was yesterday and everything looks great and right on track.  Hopefully I passed my glucose test but seeing as I won't get my blood work back until after Thanksgiving I will be enjoying all of the yummy carbs and sugar just in case I won't be able to over Christmas.

Wood, Cloth and Baby wish you and yours a wonderful day filled with family and friends.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Car Seat Cover Tutorial - Redux

Earlier this year I posted a tutorial for making car seat covers.  I have made about 8 of them over the past couple of years for friends and family.  I enjoyed making them but it was always a little bitter sweet as I was eagerly awaiting the chance to make one for my own baby.

So of course when we got the baby news this craft went on the "to do" list. 

I feel in love with this fabric from the Riley Blake Apple of My Eye collection.  I like that it is girly without being overly pink.  The red polka dot fabric has apples mixed in periodically which I love!

Click HERE for the link to the original tutorial.  This is a really easy project without any really difficult steps.   They really go together quickly and make good baby shower gifts.

This was the first sewing project I completed for my little girl and there were a couple tears of overwhelming joy along the way. 

I can't wait to pull back the cover and see a smiling face looking up at me.

Monday, November 19, 2012

What do you do with a toilet room? is a real phenomenon that pregnant women tend to go through.  It is the drive to make your home ready for a baby.  The husband does not believe that this is a real condition.  He believes it is an excuse women have made-up to go shopping and force their husbands to do projects around the house.  He can believe what he wants but as the wife is the one growing the baby she calls the shots.

My main nesting focus has been organization and maximizing storage space.  We are lucky to have a large amount of storage space already but for some reason I just envision that as soon as the little one arrives she will take over every inch of space with diapers, bath paraphernalia, headbands and bows, toys, and of course...clothes!

I don't like clutter.  I like things to have a place that is easily accessible.
I wanted make a bit more storage space in the extra bathroom that will become baby bath central.  My focus was clearing/cleaning out the linen closet so that it could be used for baby bath items.  Up until this project the extra bathroom linen closet was used for towel storage for all bathrooms, including the master bath.  I didn't want a bunch of homeless towels so space needed to be created somewhere else. 

Do any of you have a toilet room?  A toilet room is a complete waste of space in a master bedroom that only houses a toilet.  While some, including the husband, might argue that function alone is important enough I couldn't help but feel we were wasting a storage opportunity.

Pinterest to the rescue!

I stumbled upon this great usage of space from laramarkdesigns on the HGTV website...just add some shelves!  I loved the chunky look so the husband came up with the following plan that used 2x4's.  It ended up being a pretty cheap project, looks great, and provides some extra storage space freeing up the baby bath room. 

Win, Win, Win!

Chunky Wood Shelves

Project Rankings
Difficulty - Medium (You do need wood working tools including a planer)
Frustration - Low
Makeability - 100% worth it!

Stain or Paint
Wood Glue


Step #1: Determine the number of shelves you want and the desired length and width.  The width will just be how many 2x4's you want to glue together.  We ended up using 4 2x4's so the total width was about 16 inches.  The husband used 1x4's to rest the shelves on instead of trying to anchor the shelves to the walls themselves.  If you want more of a "floating shelf" type look you may want to figure out a way to direct mount the shelves to the wall and skip the 1x4 shelving brackets.  If you want to use the shelving brackets you will need to measure the following for each shelf....2 pieces that are the shelf width minus 1 inch (the width of the 1x4), and 1 piece that is the length of the shelf. 

Step #2:  Cut all of your 2x4's to length and glue them together with wood glue.  Clamp the pieces to together and allow to fully dry.  ***A tip from the husband is to try and find some fairly straight/non-warped 2x4's it will make gluing and the next step easier.***

Step #3: Cut your 1x4's if you are making the shelving brackets.

Step #4:  Once your shelves are dry you will need to run them through a planer to get them smooth.  If you don't have a planer you can probably use a sander to get some of the smaller height differences in the wood buffed out. 

Step #5: After wiping down your shelves to get rid of the sawdust you are ready to paint or stain your shelves.  You will also want to stain/paint your 1x4's.

Step #6: Install your shelving brackets by placing the long piece at the back of your wall.  This piece will go from edge to edge of your wall.  Next install your 2 side pieces.  They will butt up against the back piece shelving bracket which is why they are 1 inch shorter than the width of your shelf.  Take care to get your shelving brackets level or else your shelves will not be flat and they might wobble.  No one like a wobbly shelf!

Step #7: Place your shelves on the brackets and enjoy your new found storage space.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Making room for baby!

When we built our house almost four years ago I knew I wanted to have a room where I could store all of my craft items, spread out projects, and not have to clean everything up at the end of each day.  I wanted a craft room! 

With no children we had a large excess of rooms so I pretty much had my choice.  I decided on the corner room.  It was the biggest of the remaining rooms and had the best window. 

It was a bunch of fun to convert the space into a dream craft room filled with storage and Wood and Cloth projects.  Wood made the craft table (using table legs we had found in an antique store) and the built-in window seat storage.  I had fun finding a bunch of antique items to use as storage and organization, I sewed a window cushion cover, and we both got our feet wet on home DIY projects with the installation of the bead board and chair rail.

I spent a ton of hours in that room making things for friends, family, and our home.  However, if I am honest, I always wanted the room to be a nursery.  I suspect most of my choices for decor were based on the hope that someday we would be able to put a little one to sleep in the room. 

So as soon as we got the news I started planning the destruction of my beloved craft room and the creation of the nursery.

Before any of the nursery fun could truly begin we needed to move the craft room to the empty room down the hall.  Previously this room was used for all of our numerous painting and staining projects...(we will have to find somewhere for all of our craziness..most likely the basement)

Making the move was not as easy as I thought.

I kind of freaked out when planning the new craft room.  I loved the yellow in the old room but didn't know if we were going to keep it for the nursery or not.  If we were having a  If we were having a girl..maybe.  So I spent a couple of months in a constant state of "what do I do."  I didn't want to move everything out of the nursery into the new craft room without painting it first. 

But what color?  Did I want to do something fun on one of the walls like batten boards?  What was I going to do for storage now that I was leaving the cabinets in the nursery?  Needless to say numerous hours were wasted on Pinterest trying to find inspiration.

Total breakdown.  I am going to blame it on hormones but I was completely incapacitated when it came to any decisions related to the nursery.  Very frustrating and not really like me.  I can usually envision what I want and begin to work toward it immediately (and somewhat impatiently).

Finally one day I woke up and decided who cares?  The new craft room can be a work in progress.  We can move stuff out and paint later.  No need to have everything in place.  I just needed a place to begin nursery crafts.

So here I sit in my new craft room with unpainted walls and I love it. 

It is smaller, less bright, and devoid of character (so far).  I love it because next door is an amazing space that will welcome my baby girl in a few months.  I have projects planned for the craft room but they will have to wait... 

I have a princess that needs a castle.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Laundry Room Final Reveal...six months late!

I can't believe I never posted the final pictures of the laundry room redo!  Apparently we finished just about the same time we got the amazing baby here is the big reveal six months later!

This really was a fun (and involved) project.  Because so much time has gone by I have been able to put the new laundry room to functional use and I couldn't be happier.  It is very functional, has a ton of storage space, and is bright and cheerful (which is needed when you are doing stupid laundry).  If you remember the husband was a bit concerned about the crazy patterns but he has seen the light and likes the room almost as much as I do. 

I linked to the past posts if you want a refresher of what we did and how we did it.  This was definitely a combo effort from both Wood and Cloth.

Painted Rug
Stripped Wall
Built In Cabinets
Chevron Wall Art
Mini Clothesline Decor

I did make the paper fans using a tutorial I found online (there are a bunch of them out there) as well as the roman shades.  For the roman shades I went with a tutorial that converted the cheap mini metal blind kind.

I don't know if I can pick my favorite project.  They all came out like I wanted!  As a final follow-up on the rug...I think it still looks great.  I was worried about the paint job but it has held and still looks like it did on day one.  I am counting that as a win!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Wood, Cloth, and....

After a longgggg break Wood and Cloth is back with new posts and a bunch of new projects.  Our last post was way back in July.  I knew we were not going to be regular bloggers but I didn't think we would need a 6 month hiatus so soon!  So what have we been up to....?  Traveling the world?  Winning the lottery?  Developing the new iPad mini...? 

Nope....making a human!

In June we got the amazing news that we are expecting our first child in February.  We couldn't be more excited as we have been eagerly awaiting this news for a long time now. 

As soon as we saw the "positive" sign our lives have not been the same.  The first trimester brought a lot of worries and sickness for Cloth.  Neither of those activities are very conducive to home decor and improvement projects.  Everything was fine but when you have been waiting so long it is easy to focus on the things that might go wrong and forget to enjoy the ride.  Meanwhile Wood spent most of the first trimester trying to ride out the wife's hormones and take care of the majority of the cooking (as pretty much any strong smell or raw meat handling would send the wife running to the bathroom).

With the approach of the second trimester we started to get very excited to find out the sex of the baby.  Everyone would ask if we wanted the sex to be a which the husband would always reply "it is either going to be a surprise in a couple of weeks or a surprise at birth."  It is true no matter when you find out boy or girl it is still a surprise.  That being said we did want to find out as soon as possible as we are both planners...we did have nursery projects to plan after all!  DIY decor doesn't happen overnight!

So drum roll....

We are having a little girl! 

My mother's intuition was wrong from day one as I was convinced she was going to be a he but we have had multiple ultrasounds and she is definitely all girl.

The wife's first thoughts were to all of the cute little girl clothes she could buy and possibly make...the husband's first thoughts were to how much more a girl was going to cost us.  Apparently he has already started a plan to make sure she does not want a wedding, that elopement is the way to go.  Or even better no wedding as she will not be allowed to date.

Our lives are about to change in amazing ways and as a result our projects are going to be nursery and baby heavy for the foreseeable future.  We have already been pretty busy so hopefully there will be a bunch of posts in the coming weeks.  I am super proud of how the nursery is turing out so I can't wait to share.

Wood, Cloth, and Baby Girl