Friday, July 25, 2014

Little projects I've been working on

Since we concluded our official "school year" in May, I've turned my attention pretty heavily toward getting the house in order for us. By "order", I do not mean clean. No, no, no. Hurricane Bear and Typhoon Bug live here, after all. My philosophy on cleaning with young kids in the house is simple: If it can draw bugs, or make someone sick or naked, it should be dealt with. So I focus on those things and get to the other stuff when I damn well feel like it have time.

I digress. All the time. Back on topic: projects! I have done some sewing and painting and more painting and I have another sewing project in line, plus some fun ideas for making the backyard more appealing to the kids.

First, I mentioned before that we bought a free-standing pantry to help with some of the kitchen overflow. It was this boring, cheap, particle board number from Lowe's or Home Depot or something.

This was legitimately the least-blurry shot I got with my increasingly worthless point-and-shoot.

I decided to spruce it up:

Chalkboard paint! I think it's a requirement in all homeschooling homes.

I got the idea to do this with the measuring cups on Pinterest. I LOVE it.

My Bug, doing the drawing of the things with the chalks.

I'm very happy with how it turned out. I put the bulletin board up because I wanted a place to display the photos our loved ones often give us of their adorable children, but I do not really do albums or photo shelves and always find that those pictures end up in paper piles on the counter. The bulletin board gives me a no-thinking-required place to stick them and enjoy them. Once I find more of them in the paper piles, that is...

I also painted the entire main floor of the house in Behr's Natural Gray. I love it because it is an actual GRAY. It's not greige. It's not bluish or greenish. It is, as the name implies, a very natural gray. I love how it looks. It's calming and neutral and I very well may use it again when we move in a few years. 

Okay. Sewing. I made some toss pillows, WITH ZIPPERS, for the living room. This was my first experience with zippers since I took a costuming class in college and had an instructor right there to help me the entire time. I did it all by myself. With a tutorial. Ahem. But I did it and they look AWESOME.

I made those! By myself! Yay, projects with straight lines!

I also painted my dining chairs black because 1.) they looked like crap, all dinged up; 2.) black looks better with our gray, green, and blue color scheme. I am going to make cushions for them, probably out of the green fabric I used for the toss pillow on the right, because they are very uncomfortable chairs. I'll post a picture of the dining table and stuff when that's all done. Try to contain your excitement.

And then there's the back yard. It's a great space, all fenced-in, and with a nice awning over the back porch. But we needed to add some things to make it more fun for the kiddos, so here's what I've got so far:

Normally I'd spread things out a bit more, but Husband has to mow again soon, and it's easier to stick everything on the patio if it's closer to the house.

We've had this set for years, but Husband scrubbed it down and fixed all the terrifyingly rickety chairs so we can eke a few more years out of it. I'm hoping to find a good deal on an outdoor rug, too.

The thing I wanted in my back yard more than anything else in the world when I was a kid. But this one is, um, for my children. I have absolutely NOT done a handstand or a full turn on it. Ahem.

He gets a little nervous.

I saw something like this on Pinterest, obviously, and had to make one. I do have a pre-schooler, after all.

And another one of Bug, because Bear was reading and in her pajamas and didn't want to participate.

I also want to get them a mini trampoline. We used to have one, but Ella ate it because she is Ella.

Oh! And apropos of nothing, I won a poetry contest.

               It's really me. Not a different Jennifer. The poem itself will be at one of our county library branches for people to read. Pretty cool!

Our county fair has a creative writing contest with various categories each year. I decided to enter a poem and I won! Now I make sure to constantly refer to myself as "an award-winning poet". "Well, as an award-winning poet, I think we should have Subway for dinner." I think this is charming and delightful and not at all obnoxious. Ahem. I also had my first poem published in a literary magazine a few months ago, and I have a few more out right now. It's been nice to do some actual writing for myself again.

There is always a ton going on in our lives, which I love. Selling the house finally freed us up to move on. Next goal: buy Husband a truck. In cash.