Thursday, February 13, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day!

Hello my friends!

I have a lot to share today - including some updates with our renovations! I'll leave those to the bottom. It *is* Friday, which means it's time for a new Festive Friday challenge - but I'll be doing my post for that tomorrow or Sunday. Saying that, you can head over to the Challenge Blog to see what we all created and get the low down on the new challenge!

Quickly, here are the few Valentines I made this year. Time is at a premium so I really just focused on creating what I needed, rather than building up a stash I am not likely to use - even though I so love creating for Valentine's Day!

I made two cards the same for my girls - I actually used a Monday Mood Board from WPlus9 a couple of weeks ago, but never did get these posted. I also hoped to enter this into the "Comfort Zone" challenge that Dawn posed, but also didn't get it up in time. That's okay though, they're here now!

I used some of the Minty Fresh Wool Trim from my shop to tie up the tag on my card, and I also used some of the Red Seam Binding - I just used it un-crinkled! You can do this with an iron, or an old hair straightener - whatever you have on hand!

And hey - thank you all SO much for your support and encouragement on my new venture! I've already shipped a few things out, so that's a pretty good feeling!

I also wanted to create something for Emma's teacher, because she truly is amazing. Teachers around here are so incredibly undervalued by so many, and I want to make sure she knows how much we appreciate all that she does. So I picked up a Starbucks card, and made this for her:

That's the same Minty Fresh Wool Trim - truly, it's SO nice to work with, and it's just a little bit different than ribbon or twine. I am hoping I can source some more colours!

Alright, ready to see what I've been up to?

Warning: These are all Instagram photos... I'll show you real photos when it's all done, but this is what's easy for me during the process!

Last we talked, I mentioned that we'd pulled down part of our kitchen wall, so that we knew we could go ahead with other plans. Here is Josie, ready to help pull that wall down:

Isn't she the best? And she LOVES to help - they both do. They're hard little workers, these babies of mine.

So, because we *could* pull down that wall, here's what it means: We will be moving the work area of our kitchen into what is currently the eating area; where you see Josie standing in the photo above. That wall next to her will come down, combining our now sun-room with our new kitchen, making the space a kitchen/family room. This means that we can use what is currently the work area of the kitchen to build a nice big master closet in our bedroom.

Are you with me?

That means we were able to pull out our existing closets, and add a shower into what was previously a miniscule ensuite.

That's Emma, all kitted out, hammering away at the crumbly drywall. She pulled out this wall nearly all by herself! We have done a lot of work like this in the past, before we had kids, so the rest of us fell back into a very natural rhythm. And when we were looking at subfloor and bare studs, I felt this calm, easiness come over me. Ahhh... finally I feel at home.

And that's where we got to that first Friday night. We removed the rest of the floor and that ugly vanity the next morning, and almost right away my hubs got to framing in the shower and closets. Always a good feeling to see the bones of the new room developing.

Once I started hanging this drywall, it was finally feeling like progress. This one is moving slow for us - we are way behind in our schedule as of right now. I spent January doing another 30 Day Zumba Challenge, which ate up a lot of my time (but I did well, so I am okay with that). I am usually the one to do the little jobs during the day while my husband is at work, but I haven't been doing as much as I had wanted to be.

Meanwhile, I've been spending my evenings *devouring* the blog of Miss Mustard Seed. Seriously... I take the iPad to bed with me and read into the wee hours, the way one does with a good book. I can't get enough of her beautiful home, her gorgeous furniture projects, and learning everything I possibly can about her Milk Paint line.

I've been intrigued by Milk and Chalk paints for awhile, and the more I learned about the former, the more I wanted to get my hands on some. We had decided we would build our own vanity, since we needed something quite small, and I was struggling with how to finish it when it suddenly seemed so obvious that I needed to try out this incredible paint. I ordered three colours and some antiquing wax, and counted the days until my box came!

Which was around the time I decided that it was time to leave my no-saw rule behind and learn how to build the cupboard myself.

I had a *lot* of help. My husband is the one who did well in math, not me - so I made sure he did a lot of the measuring (someone recently commented that I must be good at measuring since I would need to be in order to created cards with cohesive layers... I found that amusing because I eyeball *everything*, and it never even occurs to me to pick up a ruler!).

But I learned how to use all of hubby's saws, and did as much cutting as my little limbs would allow (as in, there were times I couldn't reach over the giant sheet of ply, so he took over...), with the exception of the tricky ones that he has more experience with.

Can you believe a plain jane piece of plywood plus some trim can turn into this?

For one thing, the photo from our garage is less than stellar, for another, it's a very quick coat of stain slapped on there. I merely needed a base before I get to the real fun: the milk paint.

So that's where we're at tonight. It's nearly time to start mudding all the new drywall, and tomorrow I am going to paint a few projects with my new paint, including my vanity. I've done some samples to test my chipping factor (which is what I'm going for), and I am excited to see it put to work on my little masterpiece.

And for the record - I *am* quite pleased with myself for accomplishing this. Again, my husband helped a lot, so it is definitely a joint project. But this was something pretty new for me, and I am so happy with how it all turned out!

I will include all of the details and nitty gritty when I do a reveal post, when I show you our finished bathroom!

Alright - check back with me in the next day or two for a Christmas card!

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Ruth S, said...

Lovely cards Meredith, those pretty papers are so gorgeous combined - happy Valentine's Day to you all ;)
And it's fab to see you all making such great progress on the DIY! Rx

Geri said...

Looks like you're making all kinds of progress!!! And it ALMOST looks like fun!;) Glad the shop is going well, too! Loved the sweet cards!


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