Shak{ering} It Up {Part Two}

If you’ve been wondering why I’ve been keeping hush hush on a shaker walnut side table update, it’s because Mr. A said, “they’re almost done, can you please post about something else?”. He wanted me to wait until they were complete. In fact, when I told him I couldn’t wait any longer he said, “they’ll be done this weekend.”

But I’m impatient.

And I really like showing you guys stuff in real time.

And I’m impatient.

Before the final reveal next week I had to show you guys a sneak a peak of some of the details so far.

Without further ado – progress:

Are you just excited as I am to see them complete? You are? Awesome. I thought so.

In case you were wondering -> Handy Husband = Happy Wife.

Much Love,

Heather

 

Pinterest Challenge – Crochet Rug Update

Normally at 2am I am asleep dreaming of puppy dogs in jousting gear riding dinosaurs with lasers attached to their heads—or something equally as nonsense and weird. I’ve never actually dreamed of that, but I regularly dream of pretty weird stuff. Today though, today is a very special kind of day. It’s the kind of day my body decides to wake me up at 2am, wide awake, with my head racing with things that need to be done. Now, I have to admit this is the very first time this has happened since I was a tax accountant. Thankfully most of what needs to be done at work/home will happen in the next few days and I can dump this stress in the trash. I’m telling you this not to complain but so you can understand why this post might seem entirely discombobulated—because I’m writing this at 2am after just being jolted out of my sleep.

That said,w riting my blog is extremely therapeutic to me. I couldn’t think of anything else I could do at 2am that might lull me back to sleep for a few hours, and leave me able to get up to take on said work at 8am.

Wait, that’s a lie. I still do have all of my old tax regulations. I bet I could pass out in 30 seconds if I picked one of those up and started reading.

This is way more fun though, and necessary. I seriously owe you guys a video update on this pinterest challenge rug. I owed you an update about 4 months ago. So without further ado, here it is. Video Spoiler: I say I have no idea what color yarns I’m using  or a pattern. On Tuesday I picked up the colors and settled on three different pattern styles I really liked and thought would work well together. More about this after the video.

This is a super long video – upwards of 15 minutes, and it’s really dark. And in talking about a puff stitch I say “a couple double crochets”. That’s totally inaccurate – puff and double crochet are entirely different so if you’re confused, don’t be – I have no idea why I said that. You’ve been forewarned.

For those of you who can’t see the video or prefer not to spend 15 minutes watching, let me sum it up for you pretty quickly:

  • I haven’t been working on the project very much because of other things. That, and I just haven’t been.
  • I wasn’t sure what colors I would be using.
  • I interject once in a while the fact it’s snowy out and is likely blowing out the entire video.
  • I have no pattern I’m using and I’m just winging it.
  • To check out Art of Crochet by Teresa on YouTube if you need ideas, or need beginner videos on how to crochet.
  • I’m not using a hard backing when I finally turn this into a rug. I’m leaving ties on each piece that are long enough to tie everything together so I can have a soft rug I can wash. I’ll be using a piece of padding and non-slip underneath, both of which I believe you can have cut to size (more or less) at Home Depot or Lowes.

Since the making of the video a couple things have changed. On Tuesday, when I went to AC Moore for photo boxes for this quick organization project, I went to grab a bulk of white yarn for the rug and found these two other colors nearby. I’m a sucker for any form of seafoam green. I am not a sucker for seafoam salad which is a family staple on my mom’s side of the family. It’s pretty much a retro jello mold thing. If it’s your thing, check out the recipe here. Minus the on a bed of lettuce part, this is the closest recipe to my Gram’s I can come up with (as I remember it). I can assure you that since my Gram reads all of these posts she will email me with the correct information and tease me about how I don’t like seafoam salad.

Way off topic. Back to the yarn. I ended up picking up these three bulk colors, and another skein of the dark teal. The bigger skeins are the basic one pound bulk yarn that you can find at AC Moore for about $8.00. There are often coupons so you can score one for about $4.00. The colors I chose are white, soft sage, pale green and the real teal is another pretty affordable brand – maybe red heart? I have no idea anymore. It’s almost 3am.

For the styles I’m going to use for the rug I decided on three basic patterns. I say patterns because it’s three styles I liked most that I can make bigger or smaller depending on my mood. I’m going to talk about my patterns below assuming you know how to crochet and understand a basic pattern.

  • Puff Stitch Flower – Described below in photos, but very similarly done as the Petal Flower. Remember that just like anything, this can be edited for how you see best. My way is definitely not the only way. This will be the main flower that I use throughout my rug. It’s has a nice soft under your feet cushiness to it.
  • Petal Flower – Teresa has a really good video here showing an awesome easy crochet flower, very similar to what I call the “Petal Flower”. I start mine with a foundation chain because I like how it looks better, but it’s not neccessary. In order to sew the flower together, start at step 5 below.
  • Basic Round – These can be done a variety of ways, using tons of different stitches. The easiest would be to chain 5, slip stitch back into your first chain and then single crochet around, remembering to add stitches as you go to expand the round by simply single crocheting twice in the same loop.

Puff Stitch Flower

1. Get your foundation chains in order. I normally do between 50-100 depending on how large I want my flower to be. 50 gives me a nice medium sized flower. I have no idea how many I have on the photo below. I was eyeballing it.

2. Skip the first chain and in the second chain from the hook make a puff stitch (here’s a good puff stitch tutorial. I just add one more chain after it’s secured.)
3. Slip stitch in the next chain, and chain one.
4. Skip one chain and then repeat steps 2 & 3 down the entire foundation chain. Secure when done and cut yarn, leaving a 4″ tail or so. The tail will help you tie the rug together down the line (this will be a separate post as I’m not at that step myself yet).

5. Take a needle with a large eye on it, or preferably a yarn needle, and a long length of yarn so you can sew this together. A little over a foot of yarn normally does the trick for me. Make a knot on one end of the yarn like you would with thread.

6. Roll your flower up until you get it looking like you want and then flip over.

7. I always like to start sewing it together by doing  a few long stitches across the entire flower first – starting with sewing the end down. Even though my flower looks smushed now, that’s just to show you how I go through all of the layers, when you pull it through you want to try and maintain the round shape as much as possible so don’t pull too tight. I try and avoid going through my puffs/petals of the flower and stick to the foundation chain.

8. You can see below that once I pull through my flower is still round. I then move over about an inch and do the same thing again. I’ll do this about 4 times.

9. Once I’ve done a basic tacking down of the entire flower, I  quickly go around the “half” perimeter of the flower.

10. After that I simply poke and prod it to see where it might need some more security. By this point it’s pretty well held but you may need more or less depending on the size of your flower. Once you’ve got it all set tie it off like you would any other handsewn item. Again, I like to leave a tail for use in attaching these all together. With all of the tails tucked underneath this is what the final puff stitch flower looks like.

Here’s a quick visual of what the layout of the rug could look like. I guarantee it will look different than this since I have more colors to use in it, but you get the idea. If you’re wondering why I’m using rounds, it’s because they make good anchoring pieces for the flowers, and they will fill in any little gaps that might happen between the flowers, as well as adding a little strength and durability to the piece (for as strong as a crocheted rug can be haha, it’s all relative).

I clearly have a long way to go.

One last thing. For those of you who enjoy photos of the girls, here they are after giving up on me since I was taking too long to throw the “peppermint” for fetching. I obviously had to take a photo of it. Don’t worry, we played again after all of this. (Rosie’s in the kennel in the background if you’re looking for her). Oh to be a dog who can fall asleep anywhere at anytime.

 

xo,

Heather

P.S. If you’ve never seen it, there’s a great facebook page out there called “Good Things Happen“. They post only good news stories they find, and encourage other people to post stories they find and/or just write on the wall good things that have happened to them. It’s a nice to have positivity show up on your news feed like this. I know the girl who runs it, but she didn’t ask or give me anything to mention it. I just really genuinely enjoy it.

 

 

Tupperware Meltdown

This has nothing to do with melting my tupperware, though that would be an intensely weird post. This post has to do with me getting frustrated with our tupperware organization. I know I said I’d give you an update on those walnut tables or the crocheted pinterest challenge rug, and they are coming I’m just editing them. In the mean time – we’re talking tupperware.

See, our kitchen is pretty small as it comes. I could lay on one counter and almost touch the wall of the other side with my feet. I’m being literal when I say that. We also have a lot of cabinets, but they are in a weird layout, including a corner cabinet that is very deep, very wide and very. very. messy.

Heaven to Betsy! Do you see what I mean?

Here’s the deal. This corner cabinet holds all of our tupperware. I organize this about once every one to two months but sure enough in no time it looks like this again. I am just as guilty as anyone else for this. I unload the dishwasher in a hurry, get annoyed and chuck goes the tupperware into the cabinet.

Since the cabinet door fell off (partially and then I got frustrated and took the whole thing off) it makes the chuck-n-go scenario a lot easier. Over the last couple weeks though I would see the cabinet and it would drive me up a wall. I knew there had to be a better solution than the ‘organize to complete chaos’ method.

Since it’s mainly me who uses this cabinet, I decided to organize it in a method I found easiest, which is likely not easiest for anyone else. I paired up tupperware with lids if I could except for my rubbermaid stuff. I have so much of it that I would run out of room super fast if I put all the lids on. So I took 3 photo boxes ($2.50 a piece at AC Moore) and did the following:

  • Glassware Covers (for our glass/pyrex)
  • Red Covers (these are our rubbermaid covers)
  • Miscellaneous covers (some of these fit other ones, or I currently can’t find the piece it fits but I know it’s around here)

I ended up tossing a bunch of covers and tupperware I knew we didn’t have the pair for anymore, or that Rosie chewed up. Yep, our trouble maker would snag a piece out of that open cabinet every once in a while and we’d come home to a piece with chew marks in it. Speaking of the goons, Winnie decided this was the perfect time for me to play with her peppermint (i.e. soft hockey puck). Sorry for the crap photos, I was too tired to grab my slowly failing external flash or tripod, and it was dark so I threw it on automatic and let the built-in flash go to town.

When all was said and done, the corner cabinet ended up looking like this:

 

If you think it won’t look anything like this in another week raise your hand.

*raises hand*

Happy Organization (even if it doesn’t last),

Heather

This Just In

It’s extremely vital you know what it looks like around here when it snows. Specifically the snow from yesterday morning, because it is entirely different than snow from another morning which will be just as imperative to post about.  This is clearly news worthy information people, and who am I to deny you?  This has absolutely nothing to do with me being camera happy, so here are a few vital points.

(1) Do you recognize this?

This is the orchard, which was entirely clear of snow on January 1st, which I posted about here. I think it’s much prettier covered in snow. Remind me I said that when it’s May and everything is green and I tell you that it’s much prettier in bloom and all green than in snow.

(2) I love how the sun coming over the hill makes the entire road glow.

Yes, I looked both ways before I stood in the middle of the road to take photos. That makes it safe.

(3) Winnie is a huge fan of the snow. Granted, Winnie is a huge fan of most everything, but I think the snow is at the top of the list along with cookies, swimming, sticks and her blanket.

See?

I laughed when she laid down to cool off after terrorizing Primrose by running circles around her—the snow was level with her back. This is her partially propped up on her front legs. Other things Winnie likes to do in the snow:

  • Play snow ball
  • Run like a maniac
  • Eat snow
  • Run like a maniac
  • Roll in it (she likes to roll in everything)
  • Lay in and bury herself
  • Dig. She is not allowed to dig in the yard and she knows it, but the second she sees that first big snow bank she becomes a digging machine. I’m pretty sure a digging machine is technically called a back hoe, excavator or front loader but I’ll stick with general “digging machine”.

Don’t you feel better now for knowing all of that about my dog?

(4) Once the sun comes up and hits the other side of the field, it turns everything bright blue. I love how pretty and clear the sky gets after a big huge snow. It happens pretty often and is a stark contrast to the gray sky while it’s snowing (which is happening again right now).

(5) I was once asked why we don’t hang our laundry out all year round. I hope this photo answers that question.

(6) After all the snow romping (later last night) warming up by the wood stove with Winnie sitting between my legs, something she has done since she was a puppy, is my favorite. She kept staring into the kitchen, over my thigh, at my brother in law prepping dinner and I told her not to beg. Winnie would like you to know she is extremely clever by looking under my leg instead.

If you ever need anymore vital information just check back here. I am sure to have it for you. You can thank me later for enlightening your day in the most intellectual way.

Much Love,

Heather

I Choose The Good

Sometimes I write a post because I feel it bursting out of me, and it always ends in a place of joy. They are the posts that make my heart a little fluttery to hit publish on, but the ones I know I need to publish if only for myself to look back on. This is one of those posts. I just wanted to say that if you’re reading this blog, Thank You. It means a lot to me. Writing is an outlet for someone as chatty as me, and anyone who knows me can tell you that I can talk with the best of them.

The fact is, when you read this it’s like you’re coming into my life and into my home. I hope you’re kind, and nice and wonderful and you enjoy what I have to say. I recently realized that not everyone is on the internet. I mean, I’m not ignorant, I knew it was there. Just like I know there is violence in the world but I choose not to read or watch the news, or watch violent shows. My head is already filled with a bunch of stuff, and when I get upset it shoots all of that out of the window and all I can think about is how my heart hurts and why people would act like that. Then I’m upset for no reason and I forget to do something important. The fact is I don’t like it when my heart hurts and I grow weary because all I ever read on the news is negative stuff. It’s disheartening. Sometimes I figure it was only a matter of time medical companies started advertising anti-depressants when the news was on.

The point is, the other day I came across a site where people pretty much bash popular blogs it seems like. I came across it through a comment someone made on a blog I like, and I thought “what on earth could people be saying?”, because it is innately part of me to believe that people are good. What I read made me confused and “what the eff?!”. I was a little angry and a little disheartened and I got that “my heart hurts” feeling. I simply will never understand why people bash other people they don’t know simply because of their design choices, food choices, clothing, writing style or what not. As I see it, if I don’t like someone I just don’t visit their house. I don’t need to go around in my life talking shit about them. It’s a huge waste of energy which should be put into laughing with those you love, or changing the life of someone you don’t in a positive way.

Besides, I know there’s a lot of good in the world. I try to focus on that so my heart doesn’t hurt so much. I don’t ever write about it because I don’t focus on it, but I think part of my adamant positive attitude has to do with the fact that I get anxiety around the ugly in life like violence and if it gets to me, it gets to life and it’s flat out just not an option to me. I’m a pretty resilient person, but I also know that my family is the ultimate source of joy and nothing else really matters. Anxiety sometimes seems like my biggest flaw but more often than not I realize it’s actually a huge reason I’m so positive. I write about my life, and to be frank, anxiety is not my life (and I don’t want this to be a place to talk about it or be all womp womp about it – it’s just not worth my time to focus on it.)

The point is I write about good things that remind me why it’s so important to breath in the sunsets and ignore the rest. I try to always choose the good and leave the bad because it has no place in my life. It’s true that life is just too damn short. God gave me eyes to see the good, and a heart that feels the bad, and an ability to use it to appreciate the absolute beauty everywhere. 

So I hope if you’re with me on this little journey of mine, that you’re happy to be at my home with me. That you are a loving and kind and thoughtful person. That you can laugh at dirty jokes, swear once in a while (or more than once in a while if you’re me), and don’t mind dirt and dog hair.

I love having you here. We might not agree on everything. You might dislike how I do something, but that’s okay. All I ask is that in my house, you respect me and I will always in turn respect you. I have a desire to love everyone, it’s something I just can’t help (and wouldn’t if I could). So if you have a good heart, a penchant for funny sarcasm, a love of kindness no matter where you are in life and the ability to see good in the world and choose it over bad, then please – come in, I have a cup of tea on for you.

On a side note, how can you not love it all when you have a dog who loves to be spun like this? It’s hilarious. Every. Single. Time.

xo,

Heather