I started this stupid project a year ago. I got so frustrated with it that I threw everything in a bag and threw the bag in a closet. But fall crept up on us this past week—it’s damn chilly when I walk to work at 6:30 am. So I’ve had snugly, cozy things on my mind. I remembered this sweater blanket. So I dug it out, and realized that it was actually almost done.

So I powered through, and it didn’t end up too puckered—it’s way better than some (not all) I’ve seen online.

 

All the sweaters I used were ugly and oversized from local thrift stores. (Some were stained…I cut around the stains, but the photo looks a bit off. I think the white just reflected all the other colors in the room.) I originally wanted to find a bunch of wool sweaters and felt them, because Dave destroyed one of his sweaters by putting it in the dryer, and I wanted to use it for something. But wool was really hard to find! So these are all cotton (some might be a blend). No 100% acrylic. Acrylic is yucky. I washed and dried all the sweaters when I brought them home. Threw the finished blanket in the dryer for awhile to get rid of some of the fuzzies from the cut ends. So I have hopes that it’ll be relatively durable.

I don’t know if the stitching technique I used has a name, but basically I used the widest zigzag stitch setting on my machine, and sewed the pieces together with about 1/2″ of overlap. Not right sides together like for quilting, but one on top of the other. And making sure to stitch close to the edge of the one piece, then I went back and stitched close to the edge of the other piece. So each connection has 2 lines of stitching—it holds the raw edges down, and makes the seam sturdier and a bit smoother. There’s a couple crazy spots, but oh well—it’s warm!

I just realized I never posted photos of the kitchen after we painted and put in the new appliances!

It’s not quite done…I still need to caulk the crown molding, and repaint a section of wall.

Here it was before. Yikes.

I finally got some art on the walls!

Used newspaper cut to the size of my frames to help me figure out how to arrange the pictures and get the nails put in the right place.

Art (clockwise starting at top left) Yup Chagi Now – my original cross stitch. Bird on fence post – digital print by me. Trees of America – vintage book color page. Blooming Heights – from Jewels of the Prairie series by Mark Muller. Moss – vintage book color page. Sketch of St. Mark’s Square – thrifted. Vintage book pages of butterfly species. Digital print by Belinda Kemp – Indie Fixx The Free Art Project. Vintage book page of flower species.

And then I moved the furniture around. But it doesn’t really work with the room, so I moved it back. I’ll have more pictures soon!

 

I couldn’t post about this before Christmas because I was afraid certain people would read it and their Christmas surprises would be ruined. And I am not going to be responsible for ruining Christmas.

So I folded my little heart out and ended up making 10 of these folded-paper-flower-balls. I lost track of the amount of time it took, but I think I averaged about 2-3 hours for each one. Next year I’ll try to find a craft that takes a little less time.

I used scrapbooking paper, metallic cord, beads, and antique glass chandelier crystals— because I love me some bling at Christmas!

 

This kusudama is suspended on a ribbon from the tree-branch curtain rod above our bed. I made it out of leftover programs from our wedding. Every now and then I catch a glimpse of the words “Lilac Garden,” “May,” and “Blessings.” Makes me happy.

I got the idea from this excellent Folding Trees tutorial.

 

As of today we have been homeowners for one whole month. Yay! Time flies when you’re having fun painting.

I honestly tried to like the baby blue/grey paint. But no, wasn’t gunna happen. Actually, almost came to tears thinking about it a couple times. I don’t think I’m that dramatic, but it was not what I’d pictured, it was not what I wanted, and I was really ticked that I’d messed up.

So, we re-painted the bedrooms, office and living/dining room. Started out the day at Lowe’s getting the 2 remaining gallons re-tinted. They turned out a little too dark, which was not surprising. After all we were adding more pigment. So we mixed in 2 quarts of plain white. It turned out perfect.

I have to give a lot of credit to the very nice Lowe’s gal who helped us pick a good color to shoot for, and managed to get our paint pretty darn close!

Somehow 2 gallons was enough to cover everything the first time, but we were down to less than a quart going into the last bedroom, so we headed back to Lowe’s and got another gallon of the warm grey. And as a final touch on the day we painted the stairwell to the basement.

Just have to do the bathrooms and closets now.

 

 

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