Bedroom Things! (Comforter)

Inspiration PhotoI saw this comforter on Pinterest forever ago. Honestly, I think it’s been a solid year at least. If not longer. Anyway, I fell in love with it. But between moving last May and then working on curtains for that house (keeping people from seeing us walking around less than fully clothed took priority) and just life in general, the project kept getting put off. Which turned out to be a good thing since we replaced our bed this year and changed sizes.

There were a couple things I wanted to do differently on mine. The first being that white is most definitely the most ridiculous color we could ever have on a piece of fabric in our house. 1 black dog, 1 black cat, 1 tortie cat, and one Siamese mix cat = LOADS of colorful fur. Plus, we eat in bed. We’re human, we make messes and spill things sometimes. And kids… White comforter + kids? Ha!

Second, I wanted a more sophisticated look to the bed. I loved the look, but felt like jersey would be too casual looking in person. Originally I wanted a sateen fabric to give a gorgeous sheen to it. However. When I finally got my ass in gear and picked a color (charcoal) and priced a sateen… OUCH. That got scrapped pretty quick. The project got put off again while I worked on figuring out a more affordable option. I started looking for sheet sets I could cannibalize at places like Ross. But I never found anything I like and those stores never have just flat sheets! (Who wants to deal with a fitted sheet?) And then, I found Target’s Threshold Performance sheets. Perfect! They had that rustly, solid feel to them that I wanted. Plus, each flat sheet was in the vicinity of $15. MUCH better. Bonus: Sheets are made to last and to be washed.

I ended up using 2 king flat sheets and 1 queen flat sheet with quite a few squares left over (my fault- I miscalculated how many I would need). (Someday I will find a use for those…)

My mom came and spent hours and hours on this thing- it is not a project for the faint of heart. Hourly, I probably would have been better off buying a nice comforter. πŸ˜‰ So I’m really glad she did so much on it or it might never have gotten done!

A few tips we discovered along the way…

  • It sounds like it would be easier to do a gather stitch and just gather the squares rather than pin each side so many times. No. Just no. Tuck and pin as instructed.
  • Use at least 2 strands of thread when you’re knotting your squares. One strand is a bit weak- I had one pop within about a month of using it and while it’s pretty easy to fix, you don’t want to have to fix them.
  • Don’t trust duvet measurements!!! I spent hours and hours searching for the biggest oversize king duvet I could find. (Hubby & I fight over blankets a lot, so I wanted to solve that.) The one I eventually got measured quite a bit shorter than the seller listed on Amazon. 😦 (Maybe if I were super talented and motivated, I would have made the duvet part, too… But I spent $30 on Amazon for that duvet. To make my own would have been at least 3 times that plus all the extra work. Not happening.)
  • It’s a lot of work. A lot. But it’s also a very forgiving kind of sewing project. Your squares don’t have to be perfect, the knots don’t have to be perfect, your gathering doesn’t have to be perfect. Which makes it the perfect project for someone like me who couldn’t make a neatly blocked quilt to save her life.

After all that? I’m really happy with it. I wish it was a bit longer and wider to fully give it the look I wanted. But it makes me happy to walk in and see it on our bed. And it seems to be large enough that we’re not constantly fighting over it, so I guess it’s the size it needs to be!

Love. Maybe I'll start making the bed? Naw. Probably not. Nice idea, though.

Love. Maybe I’ll start making the bed? Naw. Probably not. Nice idea, though.

And it looks amazing at night with the super cool bed frame my hubby planned and we built. πŸ™‚ (I am beyond excited about having those under bed LED lights for midnight changings and such- I can turn that on without having a super bright light or waking all of us up fully.)

 

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Nursery Projects: Rocking Chair

Ok, what’s with the glider obsession? Maybe I’m weird- and I must be, considering what follows- but I just don’t understand why you would want a glider over a nice rocking chair. Obviously, based on my shopping attempts, I’m in the minority here.

Even in SoCal, where you can find just about anything without going far at all, I wasn’t able to find a decent chair. So… Off to Craigslist! I found this guy for $35. It just needed some TLC (that ugly gold floral bit HAD to go!).

It looks ivory... When you get close, you can see that it actually was white once upon a time.

It looks ivory… When you get close, you can see that it actually was white once upon a time.

A 40 minute drive, some sandpaper, 3 cans of spray paint, and we have a much more modern looking chair. Plus, hubby did most of the work on it- score!

Rocking Chair- After

(No picture is complete without a cat somewhere)

 

Just Plugging Along

LOTS of project posts coming soon. We’ve been busy! But we haven’t gotten everything quite put back together yet, so I don’t have nice pictures.

In the meantime…Β At 35 weeks, this heartburn stuff is getting fun. It shows up if I’m hungry. If I’m full. Water makes it worse. Sugary drinks make it worse. Milk doesn’t help at all. It’s an interesting party in my esophagus!

Eating is challenging, too, since I go from full to starving in about 45 seconds but baby’s squishing everything and there’s *maybe* room for one sandwich in there before getting too full. Which means endless eating.Β This hunger is primal, too. There is no denying it or putting it off or ignoring it. So when I hemmed a pair of pants for my hubby the other day BEFORE breakfast, that was some real love going on. πŸ˜‰

Pregnancy brain…. Our fetal movement counts rarely take more than 10 minutes since this little one’s so active all the time. But. If I don’t write down the start time, by the time I’ve counted 10 movements, I’ve forgotten what time we started and have to start over. And it usually takes 5 minutes or less. So if I say I’m going to do something and don’t…. Was it more than a minute ago? If so, I need it stapled to my forehead because I’ve probably forgotten already.

Things are almost ready!! All of Spawn’s adorable clothes are washed and sorted and folded. Things are going up on the walls. Our long list of things to have on hand for the birth is just about complete. I thoroughly traumatized a cat today when I put together the swing and turned it on. She really truly thought I’d brought a cat killing machine into the house! (Little does she know… The real cat killing machine is going to be smaller and louder than a swing!)

 

We’re Having a Baby

Ok, obviously.

But. We’re having a baby.Β  This baby can show up in as little as 4 weeks. Or Spawn can relax and hang out for up to another 9 weeks. That’s still really soon.

I’m having a little freak out here. I know, the likelihood of a first baby coming early- especially as early as 37 weeks- is low. But I also just had a friend who had her son at 36 weeks and it was her first (and no, no induction or anything. That baby was ready!). It happens, so we have to be ready for the possibility whether it’s likely or not.

In some ways I’m oh so ready. I can’t wait to snuggle this little one in my arms and sleep on my back and be able to sit comfortably. I’m excited to meet this person who regularly has dance parties in there and get to know this baby. But I’m going to miss watching and feeling my whole abdomen shift and move. While Spawn’s in me, it’s the 3 of us- mama, daddy, & baby. And in all honesty, I’m not looking forward to sharing. I’m going to miss all of the prenatal things that have been keeping me busy and helping me get out of the house- our birth class has finished, prenatal yoga lasts only as long as I’m pregnant, and midwife/doula appointments will begin to drop off and end.

 

We have decisions to make, both major and minor; projects to finish; things to buy and prep; thank you notes to write; and a myriad of other things to do in the next few weeks. If anyone has a pause button, can I borrow it?

Chevron Wall

In planning our homebirth, one of the big things that we keep coming back to is having a comfortable space to labor in. One of the books I read (or articles? Honestly, I’ve read so many now that I can’t keep track of where things came from anymore!) talked about having a space in which you can’t be distracted into thinking about things that need doing- like dusting or putting pictures up or other irrelevances like that. Which resonated big time with me since that is PRECISELY how my brain works.

Since it would be utterly impossible (without a jackpot win tomorrow) to get the entire house painted and put together and finished by mid August, we’re focusing on finishing our bedroom and turning it into a place of rest and sanctuary. We’ve been working on a lot of really huge projects from making & staining our bed frame to making a ridiculously labor intensive comforter to painting and all the little bits of decor choices that go into a room. Having a deadline is kind of nice, though- we’ve had to keep plugging away and knowing it will be done in the next 6 weeks or so has kept a ginormous project from feeling endless. (I tend to give up on rooms at about the halfway point because I always feel like the projects to get it ‘finished’ will never be done!)

I’ll write about the other projects another day. πŸ™‚ For now, here’s our chevron accent wall behind the bed:

(You totally can't tell from this picture that the rest of the room hasn't even been started. ;) )

(You totally can’t tell from this picture that the rest of the room hasn’t even been started. πŸ˜‰ )

 

LOVE. I can’t even tell you how in love with this wall I am. Yes, it was a monster of a project. But actually not as bad as I was expecting it to be.

Here’s how we did it!

First, I painted the wall one color all over- two coats. Our chevrons were just two colors of gray that were next to each other on the paint chip and the rest of the walls will be the lighter color, so I painted that one first. While I was at it, I edged the corners so that we won’t accidentally paint over the chevrons when we do the adjoining walls.

(Sorry, no pics- this is a boring step and I wasn’t thinking about it!) I let it dry for about a week. I didn’t mean to let it go so long, but hey… Life. It happens.

The simplest DIY chevron tutorial I found was this one. Super easy once you decide how big you want your chevrons to be. I pulled the newsprint roll out and mocked up 3 sizes (8″x, 10″, and 12″) and taped those to the wall. It was more work (more stripes), but I wanted to keep them smaller so they wouldn’t dwarf any artwork we put on the wall. So we picked (ok, I picked, but hubby was nice enough to agree with me) the 8″ size.

So we measured the wall corner to corner and divided it in half. Then we marked in 8″

Oh, hey- If you have carpet, make sure you have plastic on the floor when you play with the chalk line. Not that we found this out from experience or anything.

Oh, hey- If you have carpet, make sure you have plastic on the floor when you play with the chalk line. Not that we found this out from experience or anything.

intervals from that center mark all the way to each corner. We made a 2nd mark a few feet up to make our chalk lines more accurate. Then we marked them with the chalk line. For the horizontal, I wanted to start midstripe rather than at the bottom of one (since the top of our ceiling is angled, we were going to have partial chevrons all along the top and I didn’t want it to look uneven by starting with a full one at the bottom). Clear as mud? Good. We started halfway through one chevron, so the first measurement was at 4″ up from the baseboard. Then we measured 8″ up from that mark and again and again all the way to the ceiling. Marked them with chalk again. Now we have a beautiful chalk line grid!

Next up, lots of tape! I think I went through about 3 rolls of tape doing this but I’m honestly not sure. I just put on a show and worked. Basically, the stripes that you’re going to be painting with your second color should be the full 8″ (or whatever

All taped up!

All taped up!

measurement you use). Which means that your tape needs to be OUTSIDE of the painted stripes. So when you finish taping, you’ll have 8″ stripes and then 8″ minus two tape width stripes. It makes more sense once you do it. I put bits of leftover tape in the “do not paint” stripes, but they weren’t really necessary (and actually a bit annoying when we had to go find them and remove them at the end). It was easy to see which was which once we got going. Just be sure that the points of the chevrons on the paint stripes are super sharp and crisp.

Now, unless you get the really expensive tape (and maybe to be safe even if you do), you need to seal the edges of the tape to keep your 2nd color from leaking under and giving you ugly messy edges- sharp, crisp lines are a must to make this look good. We went ahead and wiped off the chalk marks from anywhere that was still visible. Then we got out the 1st color again and did a quick, light 3rd coat over the entire wall, tape & all. Let it dry for an hour or overnight- if you’re in a hurry, it just has to be dry enough that you won’t smear and swirl it when you start the next color.

You’ll still be able to see the tape through your coat of paint without any trouble. (You could just paint the edges of the tape on the to be painted stripes by hand if you have a small area. This wall was huge, so we just got the roller back out and got it done pretty quick.)

See?

You can see where the tape is as well as where I started painting the darker color.

You can see where the tape is as well as where I started painting the darker color.

 

Now, take your second color and just paint the wider stripes, being careful not to paint over the opposite edge of your tape. You can see me starting this process in the picture above.

Once your stripes are all painted, take the tape off. I really wouldn’t leave the tape on longer than it takes you to finish painting and get back to where you started in case it dries too well and starts pulling paint off along with the tape. We did have a couple of spots where it did this even taking it off while the paint was still tacky.

So pretty!

So pretty!

Here it is almost done! You can see where all the tape is gone but we still have a few chalk marks that were hiding under the paint and there are a few spots we need to touch up with one color or the other.

 

 

 

 

Yay! The room put back together- now our pillows can stop falling off the head of the bed. ;)

Yay! The room put back together- now our pillows can stop falling off the head of the bed. πŸ˜‰

Now with the touch ups done. πŸ™‚

(See our beautiful bed? Hubby saw a photo online of a similar one without plans and came up with his own. The LED light strings under it have dimmers and a switch on each side so either of us can turn them on without getting up. Plus, they’re a whole lot less likely to wake the other person up than a cell phone flashlight or the lamps. It needed a beautiful wall to frame it- it’s so fun to walk in to the bedroom and see all the things we’ve put our time into. It will be a wonderful place for little Spawn to be born into. Pics & posts on the bed and the comforter coming soon- and that wall won’t stay blank for long!)

Spawn

(This wasn’t the first real post I wanted to put up here. But I’m tired of the increasing pushes to “just give in” and make everyone else happy. So we’ll start off with a serious note and get to the fun stuff soon. πŸ™‚ )

 

aka pudding baby. I know, 4d scan pictures creep some people out. Spawn's little chicken arm is the weird part of this one for me.

aka pudding baby. I know, 4d scan pictures creep some people out. Spawn’s little chicken arm is the weird part of this one for me.

This is Spawn. SpawnΒ isΒ an extremely active bundle of amazing potential growing in my uterus. (And by active… I mean that when we were told to start doing ‘kick’ counts last week and that we’d have two whole hours to count ten movements, we LAUGHED. Every count has gotten to 10 movements in 3 minutes. Active, I say.) Pregnancy has been both utterly amazing and extremely challenging. I know parenting will only be more so. There are many days I already feel daunted by all the decisions that will come once Spawn is out in the world.

But by now, you might be wondering why I keep calling the baby ‘Spawn’ and not, at least sometimes, substituting a pronoun instead. He? She? If we’re doing kick counts, we MUST know by now what the baby is. And we do. But one of our very first decisions that we made on behalf of this bundle of potential was to keep that small bit of information to ourselves for as long as Spawn’s in the womb. Why?

We decided this because of everyone’s initial reaction to “We’re having a baby!” Which is: “What is it?” As humans, we want to classify things so that we know how to deal with them. It’s a normal, and in many cases, a necessary reaction. We need to know if an item on a plate is food or if that animal on the street is dangerous. Just like a peanut on a plate can be a yummy snack for one person but a deadly allergen for another and one neighbor’s cat can be vicious while the other neighbor’s dog can love every human on the planet, our classifications aren’t always right. Peanut doesn’t always mean delicious and not all pets are friendly. We feel the same is true about people. Having a penis or a vagina will eventually cause certain hormonal changes during puberty. As an infant or child, that difference is only used to classify a child- having a vagina in our society means one likes ponies and pastels while having a penis means one likes space and sports. The problem with classifying human beings is that it also limits. It says that *because* you have one formation of cells, you don’t (or are not allowed to) like and enjoy certain colors and activities.

So if we were to answer the “What is it?” question, each person who asked would begin to classify- and limit- our baby into certain categories. While we can’t practically put this off forever, the real answer to the question is “We don’t know.” We know what genitals our baby has. What we don’t know is who Spawn is, and that’s the more important question. It’s also a question we can’t answer for a very long time- once Spawn has a chance to figure that out for him- or herself. Based on how this baby acts now, I feel comfortable inferring certain personality traits. I know Spawn is extremely active. I feel that we’re going to have a happy, content baby- with a good dose of mischief (The kid moves nonstop- until someone else wants to feel. Then instant stillness. Every time.). But I could be wrong, certainly. There’s no way for me to guess what Spawn’s favorite colors or characters or sports or books or ANY of the rest of that will be. And I refuse to make those assumptions any more than I would say that Spawn’s going to enjoy crafting because we have the same nose. It doesn’t make sense.

What does make sense is leaving the options open. Letting Spawn tell us these things. We’re not talking about letting children run the house. We’re talking about guiding Spawn to be a caring, compassionate human being while allowing our baby to explore his or her own identity.

 

Sometimes it sounds nit picky to keep this one bit of information to ourselves for just a bit longer. Sometimes, based on the pressure we’ve already received to just make things easier on someone else, I wish we could keep Spawn away from everyone’s demands for a lot longer. If it’s driving you crazy because it’s that important for you to know what genitals our baby has, I wish you would examine your own motives. Because, when it comes down to it, it’s simply not about you. It’s not about your personal beliefs about gender. It’s most definitely not about making it a tiny bit easier for you to shop for Spawn or talk about Spawn. It’s not about making you jump through hoops. It’s not about us being difficult. It’s about respect. Whether we’ve agreed with someone else’s parenting choices or not, we’ve tried to respect the fact that someone else’s child is not ours to raise. We’ve tried (hopefully successfully) to keep our opinions to ourselves unless we’re asked. We’re just expecting the same in return. Pretty simple, huh?

Hello!

Hi! Welcome to my corner of the internet. πŸ™‚

The name of my blog came about for the same reason that I decided to start this blog. Hubby & I finally moved back to SoCal after being stuck in Idaho for several years. We don’t need to debate the merits of Idaho- let’s leave it at there are people who love the state and people who can’t stand it, and we are the latter. Living there was hard for us, and on us, in a lot of different ways.

But I wanted to keep our friends and family in the loop with our new lives as much as they wanted to be without spending 5 hours a week on the phone. I am not a phone person. So blogging sounded like a good plan. Once we got back down here, we started spending many Sunday afternoons at the beach. Sometimes we take the dog and spend hours. Sometimes we’re just there for a short walk. But Sunday afternoons at the beach sum up our new life in a lot of ways. It’s warm, it’s populous, it’s relaxed and friendly and open.

So here we are. πŸ™‚

I’m sarcastic, agnostic at most, crafty, and unafraid of adult language. I love furry things and small human type things (some of them) and despise winter. I read a ridiculous amount of books- but don’t ask what, I rarely pay any attention to title and probably wouldn’t recognize the name of something I read yesterday. I’m more than a little crunchy (homebirth, here we come!) and sometimes I wish I could live at the yoga studio.

 

Welcome. Come on in and pull up a chair and let’s make shit and laugh at the ridiculous together.

 

-Britt