Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Loom Knitted Scarf

I've completed another project.  I picked up a knitting loom at Ross for $4 to try a different way to make scarves and blankets and see what else I could make with it.  It came with instructions to make a scarf and so I tried that first.  It was surprisingly easy.  I made the scarf in less than an hour.  It's looser than my crocheted scarves.



Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Halloween Wreath

Last year I saw this cool craft idea.  I took it and added some of my own touches.  Here's a how-to:

Take a foam wreath from any craft store and hot glue green moss all over it.  



Then add some other mossy, creepy things.  Then hot glue googly eyes all over randomly.  I found some glow-in-the-dark kind for extra fun.  Tie a ribbon around it and hang it up!  Simple, fun project for Halloween!

April 27, 2011 to present

Okay, so since I've been away for a year and a half, I will update you to what has occurred.  Well, April 27th was the worst day of my life and the weeks that followed as well.  As some of you know, The biggest tornado in history drove through Tuscaloosa and then continued for over 200 miles.  We happened to be 2 blocks away from the eye and received a ton of damage.  While we didn't experience a total loss, and for that I am grateful, it has been really hard to deal with the damage we suffered and continue to be exposed to it daily as it is at our home and throughout Tuscaloosa.  It's been over a year and we are not back to "normal", whatever that is.  The front of our house is looking good, but the back is a different story.  And there is a few items still to do on the roof, chimney, and on our fireplaces.  Not everything has been bad here.  We've been on trips and had some good times together.  We tried not to let this mess slow us down! Here are some pics that represent what we've done all year and a half:

The path of the storm 4/27/12

That's our house after the tornado hit and some debris removed.  All those trees above the roof are ON our house!

we had cranes remove the trees off the house and spent several weeks with debris piles everywhere.  Then we just had bobcats and other heavy machinery around like giant lawn ornaments.

our pool and garage were damaged, but we got them back up and running by September



In May 2011, I went to Chicago and visited my friend, Stacy.


Daniel and I took a trip to Charleston in July 2011 then we hung out at home the rest of the summer.
We still had a bunch of stuff to do at home and we did have to work.
We did go to all home football games, but it felt weird to start with.  We were glad that they were playing for the victims of the storm. (It says Tuscaloosa and they painted a houndstooth ribbon on the field - a sign of help for the tornado victims)

In September 2011, we decided to paint our house green since all of the houses in the area are all neutral in color.  Daniel took the dogs to the UA dog splash where Beanie was the star.


In October 2011, we had a lot going on in the back of the house as well as enjoying our annual Halloween costume party.  (I'll show you how to make my wreath in a later blog)


In November, Daniel and I drove to Atlanta to see the Foo Fighters.  Best Concert of my life!


Christmas is always busy.  We travel from family to family visiting, celebrating, and sharing presents.  The day after Christmas, Daniel, his family and I drove to Atlanta, then flew to Michigan to spend the week skiing at Boyne Mountain.  We had a great time!  I even found an outdoor ice rink!


When we got home from our ski trip, we had a new front entrance to our house.

Also in January 2012, we celebrated the new year by going to New Orleans for the National Championship football game with some friends.  Of course we weren't able to afford $2K for each ticket, but we had a good time anyway!  Roll Tide!

At the end of January/beginning of February, we found out that we had additional damage to our front fireplace as the weather changed and it begun to crack.  We, our contractors, and our insurance company were worried that it would continue and then fall inside the house!  So, we had it removed and replaced with a gas fireplace insert.


In February, I celebrated my birthday with the coolest cake ever and Daniel, the dogs, and I took at long weekend trip to Bryson City, NC.

On St. Patty's day, March 17th, Beanie and I christened the pool, by jumping in.  It was freezing!

From March 30 - April 2, 2011, our driveway was concreted and we finally got our circle drive!


In April, we then added grass and plants to the front of the house.  It certainly helped make it look more  like home.


On the anniversary of the tornado, we had a block party to celebrate that we made it through the year and made good friendships with our neighbors.  We had fun lining the block with luminaries.


In July, I flew to New York to visit my brother during his week off.  He moved there recently, but had the week of the fourth off and was okay with me hanging out with him.


In August, we adopted another family dog, Banjo.  He belonged to my stepbrother, Kyle, but he has a youngster and his family lives in an apartment.  We were happy to bring him home for our boys.  He is getting along with them and is a perfect "middle" dog.



In September, we drove to Dallas for the kickoff of the Alabama football season.  We also visited my stepbrother Cary and his family.  The were a hoot!


And now we're here, to October. We've been working hard on the house, but we still have a lot to do.  Here's the front after some extremely hard work.












Back Again

Well, it seems I haven't posted ever since the tornado of April 27, 2011.  I've decided to change it up a little bit and start to post things DIYish and maybe some thoughts. I can't promise that I'll post often, but when I post DIY or crafty things, I plan to pin them on pinterest.  Yay!  Check soon for house updates and some crafty things!

Friday, April 22, 2011

"My butt hurts" .... "What?"



I completely feel like the bunny on the right.  If any of you follow me on Facebook, you will know that I have been having sinus and ear problems.  My illness has finally resolved, but I have a hole in my right ear drum.  I did this at the peak of my illness one night when I was coughing non-stop.  Since then, I have been having trouble hearing.  I have also been experiencing ringing in my ear and a little bit of dizziness at times.  It has been frustrating, but I expected this.  Yes, I have a little bit of experience in this realm.  Back in 2004, I ruptured my left ear drum badly while swimming with dolphins.  It had to be surgically repaired.  Then again the next summer, I ruptured the right diving 8 feet in a swimming pool.  Thank goodness it healed on its own.  I have successfully ruptured my right ear drum again about 4 weeks ago and it has not yet healed.  The past 2 days I've felt that my hearing was getting worse.  I have trouble telling where a voice is coming from if I can't see the person, I have trouble hearing myself as if I were being muffled or in a tunnel, and if there is a lot of background noise...you can forget it!  And it's hard to hear myself singing, so I hope I hit the right notes!  It's quite frustrating.  I am glad to be able to hear some and I know it should come back, but for now, I feel like i'm missing out.  Today, I see a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel.  My ENT said he saw an epithelial bridge across the middle of the hole.  This means my body is trying to heal it. YAY!  He was hopeful it would continue to heal on its own.  He still recommends that I get surgery for my sinus and deviated septum....argghh.  I go back in 4 weeks.  I hope it's healed or I'll my reply will continually be, "what?"

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

drum roll please!

You've been waiting patiently for pictures of my newly renovated kitchen.....TA DA!
While there are still some projects left for the future and some little touch ups to be made, it is done enough to take pictures.  We were so burnt out from the summer projects redoing our yard that we just couldn't even begin to think about the other projects needing to be done.  We slowly got back into things by painting the pool house, the hall way, and the foyer.  We decided it was time to get going on the kitchen, at least painting the cabinets.  We were going to keep the black appliances for now since we didn't want to spend the money to replace them yet.  I know I will disappoint you with before pictures, because who takes pictures of things their not proud of?  I took some in progress pictures though.  We started by priming the cabinets, then eventually replaced hardware and gave them 3 coats of Swiss Coffee. We went to Lowes to look for veneer to cover the end cabinet and ended up getting appliances while we were there!  Come on!  They were a great deal.  The nice stainless steel counter-depth Fridgidaire was half off!  We had to get a new cook top as the old Jenn Air was probably 30 years old and only half of it worked.  We also got a new dishwasher, which is amazing!  I just thought it was the water pressure that prevented the food from coming off our dishes, but this new dishwasher works so well.  Not even a water spot!  Okay, okay...time to reveal.  Here are the pics of the transformation:



See the dark wood? It made the kitchen feel so small.  Oh, and the hanging cabinet prevent me from using the hutch portion of my china cabinet.



  Plus it was just above my eye level that I kept hitting my head on it! It was ugly and made the kitchen feel smaller as well.  It had to go!

My father-in-law, Barry; brother-in-law, Justin; and Daniel took down the cause of my headaches.  Look how open it got!

 Our new dishwasher that Daniel installed himself!  You can see we didn't have money to replace counter tops and flooring.

Our new refrigerator that Daniel, too, installed.  I love it!

This was the hardest to install ourselves.  It was an undertaking to take out the old cooktop as it had a vent in it going through the floor and out of the house.  We patched up the hole and had to cut the tile a bit to fit it in there. We thought we could do it with a reciprocating saw with a carbide blade.  This was not working as it was really hard to control.  We headed to Home Depot and purchase the carbide blade for the circular saw. It was quite scary at first as it shot dust and sparks.  I stopped Daniel quickly and we ran for masks, which we should've had to begin with, and covered things we didn't want dust on.  Boy was it a mess!  When we got the hole cut out, it was so easy to install.  I love my ceramic cooktop!

We had to keep the old wall oven as we couldn't afford to replace it yet.  We hope to one day get a built-in wall oven with microwave.

The finished kitchen!  We kept the original wood chair railing and molding to go with the dormer and to flow into our den/family room that has wood paneling and built-in bookcases.


And I get to use the hutch on the china cabinet that I also painted in Swiss Coffee.  We also had to keep the trash compactor that we never use.  The space is narrow and we weren't sure what to do with the space.  I hoped to get a beverage/wine cooler to go in the space, but they are all too wide!

We installed under-cabinet lighting we got from Ikea.  Love it!

Our project for this spring is to get our bamboo jungle removed out behind the shop/pool house and the pool...