Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Channeling Niecy Nash

Every year I say the same thing: "This is our last yard sale ever."  And somehow, by the time the next yard sale season rolls around, we've accummulated enough extra stuff to have another sale. 

This year, my mom, five friends and I joined forces to host basically the best yard sale ever.  We sold a lot of treasures, including a lawn mower, a bunch of yarn, tons of books, a surprising amount of clothing, a small card catalog, and lots more.  But somehow, nobody picked up my childhood dollhouse.  Maybe it was the price tag that said "Make an Offer!"  People in Madison hate making offers.  Just kidding- I just made that up to make myself feel better.  It was still left at the end of the sale, and there was no way I was bringing it back in the house (our house is under 1000 square feet, and I'm sorry, I'm not devoting any of those feet to a dollhouse), so here's what happened:

I love this kind of thing!  It's like a little mystery... who will the new owner be?  Who will live in the dollhouse?  Where will it end up? 

This little kitty from the Free Pile also didn't get claimed... it became a package deal with the dollhouse.  

This guy drove up about three seconds later.  I was overjoyed at the chance to watch part of the mysterious adventure unfold. 

He said he was picking it up for his 8-year-old sister, who has always wanted a dollhouse. 

Watching the little house be driven away, I felt an incredible lightness... and then I went in the house and started identifying items we can sell next year.  Never mind the fact that this was our last sale ever. 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Kale Explosion

Despite the desert-like conditions we've been having in Wisconsin, our kale has pulled through.  I harvested our second crop yesterday, blanched it, and froze it.  What's really amazing is the way the leaves keep growing back.  It's basically the perfect crop for a non-gardener like myself. 

Monday, July 23, 2012

Quiet Book Sewalong: Page #9

Here's my take on Carissa's page #9!  This one turned out to be one of my favorite pages, mainly because it was pretty simple to make, and because the little squares look kind of like ravioli.   

Basically, it's a set of 9 felt sqares.  The reader's job is to find the matching colors hiding on the reverse sides of the squares. 

At first, I thought I would add buttons to each colored felt piece, but truthfully I'm pretty lazy, so this is it.  Homemade looking, yes, but still ravioli-ish.  And I do love ravioli. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Quiet Book Sewalong: Page #8

This page is nothing like the darling idea Carissa posted.  But sewing around a bunch of little magnets sounded like a nightmare, so I made this little garden instead:

Pick the veggies!  Put them in the basket!  Now take them out!  Now put them back in again!  Hours of fun.  And who knows what else little fingers might hide in the basket?

Monday, July 16, 2012

Life is just a...

Yesterday I pitted, chopped, measured and froze 15 pounds of cherries.  In a few weeks, when it's cooler, my mom and I will make them into jam. 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Ten on Ten: July

 1, 2, and 3: Watering the garden
4: Oatmeal in the slow cooker
5 and 6: Packing lunches
7: Storytime aftermath
8: Iced tea with my mom- an unexpected afternoon treat!
9: I'm so lucky
10: Out to door to evening yoga

Find more Ten on Ten here!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Before and After

We have five windows in our living room.  Three are right next to each other, in a "we wish we were a picture window" formation at the front of the house.  Two are more independent.  They always have been, ever since day one.  They're willing to do their own thing, and they're not about to apologize for it.  This weekend, though, I got those two windows to team up.  Here's what we did:

We said good-bye to these boring, dusty, and did I say boring blinds... 

And we welcomed these cheery new cloth shades!  They're not perfect, but they're an unbelievable improvement.  No offense to the person who selected our old shades 39 years ago, of course.  I used this no-sew tutorial, and it was truly pretty easy. 

Do you want to know the strangest part?  Karl and I have been wanting to add some color to our living room for the longest time, and we were waiting for these chairs at Target to go on sale:

Can you believe I found the exact same fabric, on clearance?  It was a total accident!  I didn't even realize it until after I made the curtains.  Don't worry, we're not going to get the chairs now.  That would be red floral overload.  I cannot wait to take down the big set of blinds on the panel of three windows!  We've got regular cream-colored curtains to put up.  Not exactly original, but I think they'll be a breath of fresh air. 

Monday, July 9, 2012

Quiet Book Sewalong: Page #7

Okay, it might look boring, but trust me... it's going to be fun!  The left side is a pocket, just the right size for a few sheets of stickers (on my shopping list!).  The right side is a clear plastic sheet, perfect for sticking, unsticking, and resticking the stickers.  I see many busy hours in this page's future!  For the plastic, Carissa suggests using freezer paper, but I am secretly pretty cheap (plus I knew I'd use one little piece of the freezer paper roll, put it in the drawer with the tinfoil, be constantly annoyed at the number of boxes in that drawer, and finally throw it away in like 27 years) so I went to the thrift store and grabbed a cheesy stationery set.  It's the kind that usually comes with round gold seals, except there were no seals in this one.  Just some old envelopes and a mediocre-looking notepad.  You know how a lot of times those sets come in clear plastic envelopes? Sometimes with velcro closures?  Well, I hacked up the clear envelope and used the biggest piece for this page.  It was about $2.25 cheaper than the freezer paper, plus I got the notepad as a bonus.  And the space in the tinfoil drawer, of course. 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

2012 Resolutions

Six short months ago, we welcomed 2012 with high hopes.  How about a little resolution check-in now that half the year has passed?  My resolutions were:

1.  Practice my banjo for 100 hours.  Here is the little timer I use to keep track of my practice total (and my fingerpicks and the supersweet pink wristband I wear because believe it or not, I'm allergic to my banjo):  

I'm almost a quarter of the way to my goal... not the worst, but not quite what I had hoped.  Oh well, I'll just change my goal.  My new resolution is to practice my banjo 50 hours this year. 

2.  Organize all of my photos into albums.  To be honest, this was also a 2011 resolution.  But take a look at this:

All of my photos are in albums!!!  They're even in chronological order!  This is basically a miracle.

3.  Buy nothing from Amazon.com.  This was an easy one.  It's way easier to avoid taking action than it is to take action.  I don't hate Amazon-- I just like our local places better.

There you have it!  Now I have six more months to practice 25 hours, tie up a few loose photo ends (like sending the extras to people-- maybe you!), and keep avoiding Amazon.  No sweat.