my “new” sewing chair

I finished my upholstery class at modhomeec and my teacher featured me on her blog!!  So here is my finished chair

Taking the class has inspired me to look for some vintage chairs to re-upholster to complete my sitting area.  I did find a computer cabinet on craigslist to use as my sewing cabinet

I got the idea from Heather Ross in her book Weekend Sewing to use a computer cabinet for sewing:

We have been loving this Indian Summer we have been having.  Yesterday Bridget and her friend from next door played “ninja” with shields and swords. . .


a new kitchen, but first the old

When we bought our home we purchased it with the intent to replace the kitchen.  We looked at several homes with beautiful expensive kitchens, but they were not what we would have done.  We had the kitchen designer out during our home inspection last August to begin to draw up plans, but it took many months to finalize plans, determine budget,  purchase appliances, and select light fixtures, flooring, paint, granite, etc.

We began demolition on June 1st.  Below are the before pictures and the many reasons, why the kitchen had to go. . .

  • The cabinets are hung low (notice the lovely bulkhead above them) so that my kitchen aid mixer and coffee maker do not fit underneath.
  • There are only two ugly pendant lights to light the entire kitchen
  • The entire kitchen ran on two electric circuits, so that every time I used the microwave and something else the fuse would blow!
  • There were only three outlets in the entire kitchen, one of them looked like it was in the movie, “A Christmas Story.”
  • Notice the lovely electric (I prefer gas) Hot Point range that does not even have a window in it.
  • The cabinets were at least 50 years old and did not work that well
  • There were two different wood floors in the kitchen, neither in great shape
  • The walls were plaster and had no insulation. My dishes were well chilled in the winter!
  • The only redeeming factor were these beatufiul lead glass built-ins (we saved  glass), but they made the entire kitchen awkward and stuck out too far. 
  • The area under the built ins, was also low and had no outlet, making it a junk collecting space because it could not be effectively used as kitchen work space.

  • There is an eat in space, that we are keeping, but building a bench seat by the window, ditching the mini-blinds and putting in a large TV where the artwork is.
  • There was an awkward “L” shaped counter that stuck out and carved up the entire space, complete with bulk head above (that served no function!)

So far we are surviving the experience of not having a kitchen for a month well.  We have the microwave, fridge and toaster oven in the dining room and we are eating at my mom’s for dinner most nights.  I feel a little off kilter because the kitchen is the hub of the home and where we hang out the most, but  I am thankful for this problem of luxury.  New pictures of the finished kitchen should hopefully be coming at the end of next week. . .

Plant it!

I started to write this post on May 3, now it is the 23rd and I have decided to finally finish it.

We have been spending a large part of our time outdoors, and is has been really lovely except I find it difficult to get any housework done as we are always outside. . .

I love to plant things and watch them grow.  My parents own a tree/landscaping business and I used to work for them in the summers during college.  I think my love for digging in the dirt really formed then.  Bridget has already solidified her love for dirt and especially worms.

“Gardening” sometimes implies a real garden that produces something of substance, and while that is great, with children, I find that just the process can be satisfying.   We don’t have a large yard, but we do have a perineal bed in the front of our house which we plan on turning into a patio next year, so this year we transplanted most of what is in it and turned it into a vegetable garden.

Gardening is also a great activity that works for boys or girls. Bridget along with two 4-year old neighbors helped me plant the pea plant seeds, and anytime I come out to check on their growth or pull a few weeds, all the children get out their little rakes or shovels to help (but usually just end up digging for worms, something we do almost daily!)

Something we were “famous” for in Oak Park among our friends with toddlers were our two pink flamingos, and I am happy to report that several Indianapolis toddlers are fans as well.  They live in our garden and help us feel at home here.

Have I mentioned watering?  My children’s other favorite play thing besides dirt is water.  I have had up to six children watering my plants with various plastic watering cans.  Good not so clean fun. A garden truly provides daily acitivities throughout the entire summer.

We have not always had the luxury of living in a home with a yard, so don’t let that stop you – you can do amazing things with potted gardens on a deck or patio or even a window sill!

A great simple book that does a nice job of outlining the growing process from a seed and other various natural processes is Usborne First Picture Nature book.

Another favorite nature project that we have done two springs in a row is to order caterpillars from insect lore and watch them turn into butterflies.

This is what my children are likely doing if not digging for worms, making mud pies or running in the sprinkler

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