31 Jan 2012

master bedroom progress - picture ledges and dressers


Last week I showed our bedroom curtains and I have more bedroom updates today.  We recently completed the picture ledges and finally finished filling the frames with photos this week.  So here are the ledges above our dressers.

The dressers were hand-me-downs from my parents.  I painted the drawer fronts white and then spray painted the handles teal this past summer.  There are no "before" pictures as I was not blogging back then, sorry:(.  If you would like to visualize what they looked like before, just think medium brown stain with brass handles (very 70s).

We wanted our ledges to be super simple and to be just the length of our dressers so we had to build them ourselves.  They were made from two 1" x 6" (3/4" x 5.5" actual size) pine boards that we cut in half with the table saw.  For each shelf:
1)  We ended up with 2 pieces: 3/4" x 2.5" and 3/4" x 3" that were the length of our dressers.
2)  The 3" board was screwed to the 2.5" board from the top (i.e., the 3" board was our ledge).

After a couple coats of really good paint, the ledges were mounted to the wall by screwing from the front of the underside/2.5" board at the studs.  We countersunk our holes and filled them with wood filler and that was it.  Super simple :).


We were a little concerned that as our ledges didn't have a lip that the pictures might fall, but we haven't had them move at all despite some vigorous testing (yours truly crazily jumping up and down). :)


I wanted the ledges to be mostly about the pictures so I used minimal accessories.  The frames are all from  IKEA.  I already had some from there so I thought it would be easy to go there to see what would go with the ones I had.  Yep, I arranged a bunch of frames on the display shelves at IKEA to decide what looked good.  

'The photos are mostly of Little Pilot and Nalle and some photos from our wedding.  Since the handles were turquoise already I wanted to add a bit of the turquoise to the ledges.  The turquoise came via frames, a framed piece of fabric and ribbons that hold up Little Pilot's salt dough hand prints.  We made those handprints this past Christmas after several unsuccessful attempts.  It took Little Pilot a few introductions to the dough before he allowed his mommy to press his hand into it.  The bird on the shelf is Iittala and was free.  A previous tenant of an office Tech Guy rented left it behind.  It was kinda crazy that another Finn had rented the same office.  You can also see the handles in this picture.

I didn't really know what to put on the dressers and decided that it was about time I unpacked my milk glass collection that has been sitting in the basement since our move about 10 months ago.  Yikes!  I can't believe it took me that long and there are still more that needs unpacking!  I may change it up a bit, but it was nice to see some of those pieces again. :)

The bedroom is coming along.  Just a few more things like nightstands and fixing the nailhead trim on the headboard.  I keep getting side tracked by other projects such as putting up board and batten in the entry and updating Little Pilot's room!  I'll hopefully be able to show you those projects soon. :)

linking to:  domestically speaking, blue cricket design, home stories a to z, the shabby nest, miss mustard seed, whipper berry, thirty handmade days, tatertots and jello

30 Jan 2012

Nalle kisses

Little Pilot loves to give his big brother kisses.  He also loves snuggling with Nalle.  I was so happy I was able to get a photo of them together like this. 


Oh, I love you my boys.  I thank God for blessing me with you everyday.

27 Jan 2012

I'm the tornado

This week's project 52 theme is self-portrait.  

Yep, that's my self-portrait - a tornado.  I decided to try and see if I could create motion blur and I think I got quite the blur in this picture. :)  I'm at the new outdoor rink that opened up near our house this winter.  In the mornings it often looks like this with no one there.  On this day it was very cloudy and snow-raining (very fine, wet snow).  I think it made my spinning blur/tornado have the perfect stormy sky backdrop.

I was in this layback position in the picture. 
 I haven't figure skated in years, but it was a very big part of my life for a long time.  That old back wasn't quite bending as it used too, but the turn out on my free leg is not as bad as I thought it might be. :)

I took my photos above using my dad's tripod and used the self-timer for the first time. I had to pull out that oh-so-fascinating camera manual. :)

Little Pilot came down to the rink as well and went for a couple of spins with his mommy.  He was very serious during all of it, but when we got home he was practicing his spinning and lifting his leg up just like mommy.  Don't worry Pappa, I think he still likes planes more than figure skating. :)


Here's another photo of us spinning with some more blur.

Outdoor skating is one of our winter fun list items.  We have done this skating with mommy thing a couple of times now and I think we can sort of check off that item.  Hopefully we can still find him some sort of skates so he can try a glide for himself. :)

26 Jan 2012

MASTER BEDROOM PROGRESS - CURTAINS

I thought I would share some of the progress we have made with our bedroom.  You can read about our plans for this room here.  We have quite a few DIY projects in this room that we have been working on (headboard, painted dressers, custom closet, picture ledges and the curtains).  Today I'm showing you the curtains I made since they are completely finished.  Yaaay!  

Let's do a little before and after:

Curtains before (circa 1960s):
What was up with those curtains?  They didn't even have a rod and looked super awkward.


Anyhoo, here are the new curtains after:

I found this grey and white fabric on clearance for $4.00 per metre.  The fabric had the stripes running vertically and I was worried that I would lose the grey and white stripe effect if I made them with vertical stripes.  Since these curtains would be open most of the time they would look single coloured as often one of the colours ends up inside the fold.  Thus, long story short, I railroaded my fabric to create horizontal stripes.  You can see the full length of the curtain here and a little snippet of one of the dressers I painted.

I really like how they turned out this way (much more graphic and interesting).  Railroading the fabric entailed cutting two pieces of fabric to the desired curtain width and then sewing them together along the side edge.  I was also happy that the seam where I joined the two widths of fabric together is not too noticeable unless you are really looking for it.  It's probably for a few reasons:  
1. I made my seam on the white stripe, 
2. I lined the drapes so that the light doesn't shine right through emphasizing the seam
3. the seam is below eye level
4. I was super careful to make sure the stripe with the seam was the same width as the other stripes.

I tried to take a picture to show you the seam in detail, but Little Pilot was not going for it.  He had gotten up from his nap and needed his Mommy's full attention.  Curtain photography session ended here.  The seam is in the white stripe above Little Pilot's head. 


Here's one more picture of how the room is coming together.  I brought up this nightstand from the basement and am thinking of painting it.  We need another one for my side of the bed (lucky Tech Guy, he actually gets some kind of nightstand) :).  So lots to do still:  figure out nightstands, hang the artwork that's just propped up, decorate, etc, etc.

Thanks for taking a look at our curtains.  There's lots more to come! 

25 Jan 2012

highchair slipcover how to



I'm back with the how to for Little Pilot's highchair slipcover.  You can read my initial post about it here.  The slipcover was made out of necessity as Little Pilot's highchair (Phil & Ted's Me Too) did not have a removable cover and was getting difficult to clean.  I used outdoor fabric that is super durable, washable and wipeable.  Here is a little before and after:



Before we get started I want to note that I did not make slots for the safety straps on my cover as Little Pilot refuses to wear them and I am always with him when he is in the chair.  This does NOT mean I recommend not using the safety straps.  It was made this way as I know I have never used the safety straps with Little Pilot.  I will try and note in my "how to" where I would make changes to include the straps below.  

Let's get started with the "how to".  

1.  First you will need to make a pattern for your particular highchair.  I traced the bottom/seat of the chair by placing it on a piece of paper and tracing it.  I then cut it out to make the seat pattern.

Using this pattern, cut out your seat piece from your fabric adding a 1/4 or 1/2" seam allowance (whichever you prefer) around the rounded edges and a 1" seam allowance along the front straight edge.  The straight edge will be double folded and stitched as a finished edge (see below).

* If you are including the straps.  Mark the location and width of them on your seat pattern and make notches on your seam allowance for the seat to indicate their location.

2.  For the sides I measured the width/circumference of the seat and then the height using a measuring tape.

I then cut a rectangle from my fabric.  The width of this rectangle was the circumference plus twice my side seem allowance (0.5").  Thus, my width was 25.5" + 0.5" + 0.5" = 26.5".  The height of the rectangle was the height of my highchair x2 (as the cover wraps the inside and outside of the chair) plus 1" (my finished edge seem allowance) and 0.5"seam allowance.  In my case it was 8" + 8"+ 1" + 0.5" = 17.5"
You can see the two pieces cut out in this photo.

Onto the sewing...

3.  The first seam I sewed was the finished edge of the seat - a double folded 1/2" hem.

4.  I then sewed the finished side/short edges of the rectangle - I made a double folded 1/4" hems on either side.

5.  Now you are ready to attach the rectangle to the seat.  Sew one of the long (unfinished) edges to the rounded edge of the seat using your 1/4" - 1/2"seam allowance you decided on in step 1.  The finished edges should line up at the front edge of the seat.

You will end up with a pouch something like this.

You will also want to finish the raw edges with a zigzag or other finishing stitch to prevent fraying.

*  If you have included a spot for your straps in step 1,  stitch up to and in-between your marked spots leaving two slots.  To finish the open slots: zig zag the edge and fold over the seam allowance and then topstitch around the entire slot opening.

6.  Sew the bottom edge of your side with a 1/2" double hem.  This will finish off the bottom edge.

7.  Make your ties.  I made mine from my fabric, but you could use some fun ribbon if you wanted as well.  I cut 4 strips of fabric that were 1' x 17".  I folded the strips in three (kind of like a letter) and zig-zag stitched them closed.  I then cut each strip in half to end up with eight ties.  The ends were folded over a 1/4" and straight stitched to finish.


8.  Place the ties on your slipover.  I fitted my cover on the highchair and then pinned the ties where I wanted them.  I then removed the cover stitched the ties reinforcing them well.


 * if including slots for the safety straps that are over the shoulder as well (i.e., come out from the top of the seat), I would mark the width and location of these straps at the top of the cover where it folds over.  Then stitch button holes in your marked spots to create the openings.


Thanks for taking a look at my "how to".  Please let me know if you have any questions.

One last photo of the new slipcover in action - just to make this post more enjoyable for the grandparents :).

I've linked with these sites:
ginger snap crafts, whipper berry, the 36th avenue, thirty handmade days, tatertots and jello

23 Jan 2012

nalle's #1 feeder & a new highchair

I've been plugging away at my project list and one of the items was to make a slipcover for Little Pilot's highchair.  We purchased this one recently, in addition to his regular highchair, so that he would be able to sit at the kitchen island.  It has probably been one of the most useful baby gear purchases we have made.  The highchair is the Phil & Ted's Me Too.  Little Pilot loves to sit in it and "help" me in the kitchen.  Little Pilot does not sit still at all usually (he's constantly on the go), but in this chair he's good for quite awhile.  This has been a life saver!

The only issue I ended up having with it was that the cover was not removable.  It was really difficult to wipe down and I couldn't throw it into the wash.  Enter in the slipcover I made this week.  Let's look at  the before and after:


I chose an outdoor fabric for the cover which has been super easy to wipe off so far.  I was so happy to find fabric in same turquoise as our backsplash.  I think it adds a nice pop of colour to our island, n'est pas? :)

Here's Little Pilot trying out his new highchair slipcover.  I think he likes it!


Now for it in action....
Please don't mind the food in the mouth we will work on chewing with our mouths closed soon.  That goes for Daddy too. :)  This was a rare occurrence with Little Pilot actually wearing his bib.  I think here Mummu was trying to coax him into wearing it by wrapping a tea towel around her neck as her "bib".  Nalle dutifully sitting under/next to Little Pilot's chair, on the other hand, is extremely usual.

You can see why in this photo:

Yep, Little Pilot is probably the best Nalle feeder in the house.  I think he has just edged out Pappa for this title. :)

Overall, I am really happy with how the slipcover turned out.  I will be back with a "how to" in case anyone else has also run into the same situation with this type of highchair.

20 Jan 2012

It's a DC4 or is it a DC6?

I'm  continuing with my project 52.  This week's theme is "I dreamed a dream".  Little Pilot has been quite ill this week so I wasn't overly creative with this one.  I took a photo of some flowers and our giant (4' x 6') airplane print.  

So how do these things tie into the theme?  I don't know how many know that, as a kid, I used to dream of becoming a pilot.  I was told that my dad (who used to be a pilot) had hoped I had been a boy.  You see, they already had a girl, my sister.  After this discovery, I desperately wanted to be "the boy" my dad never had and took a liking to airplanes.  I went to airplane museums and air shows.  I even completed a project in the fifth grade on the F-14 Tomcat.  I think that the love for planes still exists deep down.  Yep, the huge plane print in my dining room might be a good indication of that! :)

So that explains the plane, but what about the flowers?  I just liked their colour against the sepia print. :)  I guess I am also dreaming of spring and getting to work on the garden.  


The flowers were a gift from my sister-in-law.  Don't tulips always look nice in an Aalto vase?

The print is called "Wings over Manhatten".  Pappa says that the plane is a DC6 or a DC4.  You can't see the whole plane in the photo,  but Pappa is pretty good at identifying planes. 

And what does Little Pilot think of this big airplane in the dining room? ... 

He lurves it!  


This picture was taken the day that we put up the picture.  Little Pilot talked about it non-stop, making his famous, "sheeoooo" airplane sound. 


I wonder if some of Little Pilot's airplane love is possibly inherited from Pappa and Mommy?  It will be fun to see if he continues to love airplanes as he grows up and possibly end up with a giant airplane in his dining room. :)

18 Jan 2012

marshmallow meringue

Someone at Nalle's house had a birthday.  I am not allowed to say who.  It was a significant number, but I'm not allowed to mention that either (it rhymes with flirty).  :)   Anyhoo, for this unnamed birthday person, I made this cake/dessert.



We call it a marshmallow meringue because it is soft throughout.  It doesn't have that crispy/crunchiness of a traditional meringue at all.  It really is a melt in your mouth treat.

It's baked on a rimmed cookie sheet and is super easy.  You put it in a preheated oven, turn said oven off and forget it there overnight.  I sometimes forget it altogether until I go to use my oven.  I'm just a little absent-minded like that. :)  

I topped our meringue with whipped cream, strawberries and blackberries.  You could use any fruit really.

I serve this one already cut into square slices on a tray.  Here you can see how nice and fluffy the meringue is and how much was devoured straight away.

Little Pilot had fun tasting this one.  He really liked the blackberries despite his puzzled look in this photo.

Little Pilot is also practicing feeding himself using a utensil.  Look at him go at this piece of marshmallow delight!

"Num-Num!"  Little Pilot shouts.  I lurve all that cream and berries on his face, hands, sweater and hair. Good thing it was bath night that evening! :)



recipe:
6 large egg whites
1/2 tsp salt
250g sugar (about 1 1/4 cups/ 8.8 oz)
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

300 ml heavy cream
fresh fruit (such as strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, etc.)


Preheat oven to 220 C/425 F.  Beat eggs in mixer using whisk attachment at high speed until soft peak begin to form.  Gradually add sugar keeping your mixer on.  Add in cream of tartar and vanilla continuing to beat mixture until stiff peaks begin to form.  Spread your egg white mixture on a parchment-lined, rimmed cookie sheet.  Place in the preheated oven and immediately turn off the heat.  Leave in oven overnight, but do not open the door until the morning.


Just before serving, whip heavy cream until soft peaks form.  Spread whipped cream over the meringue and top with fruit.

*adapted from Nigella Express




linking with:
The36th Avenue, Sweet Violet, Whipper Berry, 30 Handmade Days , Tatertots and Jello

15 Jan 2012

playing in the sunshine

I love the simplicity of some of our days over here at Nalle's House.  The other day we had lovely sunshine streaming through the front window (our favourite playing spot).  I snapped a few pictures and tried converting them to black and white.  

I like the shadows from Little Pilot's eyelashes in this one.  Little Pilot has his daddy's eyelashes - much nicer than mine. :)

Nalle was with us too.  Little Pilot always has to give Nalle a little love.  Little Pilot has special hugs and kisses reserved just for Nalle (he puts his whole self into them).  It melts my heart.

I also included this one.    

Little Pilot is actually not feeling well right now and is resting.  Can't wait to see him back to his happy self soon.


13 Jan 2012

made with love


This week's project52 theme is "made with love".  I actually had a hard time trying to choose something I've made to take a photo of.  Do I pick something I've baked, sewed, knitted, DIYed, crafted, etc.?  What would look good in a photo and how could I make it interesting?  I decided that I would pick something that was especially meaningful and definitely made with love.  I chose a knitted project, a baby blanket, that I started during my first pregnancy.

I had patiently waited for the first 12 weeks of the pregnancy to go by before I started knitting.  I can remember how excited I was to finally begin knitting for my very own baby-to-be.  I had gotten a pretty good start on the project when in my 14th week we lost the baby.  It was an incredibly difficult time for us.  I had to take a significant amount of time off of work as my OBGYN wanted me to miscarry naturally and there were minor complications.  All that time at home was hard, but it also gave me time to mourn.  One of the things that helped a great deal was to finish this blanket.  I didn't want to at first.  I wasn't sure how I would feel about completing it and possibly using it for another baby.  I even remember doubting we would ever have another baby in those weeks following.

Today, I am happy to say I did complete the project.  I think it very well reflects this week's theme of "made with love".  It was made with love for a baby we did not get to meet and was used with love for our Little Pilot.  I am glad I now have something to remember that first baby by.  God gave me the strength to complete the project and to have faith that another little baby would use it someday and for that I feel blessed beyond measure.

Now, here's my photo for this week.  I tried to focus on the blanket, but Little Pilot also gets to be in there because, as Tech Guy puts it, he was made with love too. :)  I think I was able to take about 2 pictures before Little Pilot woke up.  He's in that stage now when he wakes up way too easily.  Thankfully, one of them was okay.

This blanket is two-sided.  It has stripes on one side and squares on the other.  The pattern is from one of my favourite baby knits book Essential Baby.  The yarn used was Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran.

I had to put a picture of the blanket with Little Pilot's lovey.  It's a little sheep that a dear friend made for my baby shower.  When we got it originally it had a lovely turquoise ribbon around the neck with a cute button.  I had it as a decoration in Little Pilot's room, but somehow he decided it would be his lovey and now it is quite threadbare and not so white anymore (despite multiple washings).  I was given some of the material to make a back up sheep, but I haven't gotten around to making it yet.  It's another item on my unending project list that needs to be bumped to the top!

Here are some more up close details of the blanket (both sides).  I love the moss stitch border.


Lastly, another one with Little Pilot.  I love how you can see his swooping fine hair in this photo and that the soft colours of the blanket don't over power his fair hair and complexion.

Thanks for taking a look at my baby blanket project and for letting me share my story. :)




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