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Archive for the ‘52 Projects’ Category

I’ve been negligent of my blog & I apologize. Life has been crazy here lately & I must admit to feeling a little overwelmed almost daily.

And I’m realizing that my 52 project goal is waaaaay behind. To be fair to myself I do have several projects half done & several others with the photos taken ready to be posted – now to get around to posting.

So, my mother-in-law’s house is on the market but as luck would have it her dishwasher died a couple weeks ago. It was old & beyond repair (repair was attempted) & needed to be replaced. Apparently a big gaping space in the cupboards is not a big selling feature.

Last night I went over & read the directions, wrote down the parts I needed & reminded myself to put my plumbing kit in the trunk of the car (yes, I do have my very own plumbing kit – it was a Christmas gift last year!).

This afternoon (after a truly fabulous La Leche League meeting in the morning) I hit the hardware store & then headed over for the installation.

So I now proudly announce that I completed the installation in one neat little session. No runs to the hardware store, no readjusting of plumbing joints that turned out to leak, no fiddling with electrical connections. Everything went smoothly & it is now sitting shiny & new ready for action!

Hmmm….how fabulous would it be if all my projects went so smoothly?!

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Any future house we live in will not have the family entrance directly into the kitchen, because what this set up has meant for us is that there is constantly non-kitchen stuff piled in our kitchen.

This morning for the first time we had a babysitter come to watch Diaperbutt for a few hours so I could have some time to do projects without his “help”.

So after 3.5 hours of hard work our kitchen no longer has tools in it, or dirty laundry, or a camp stove, or…. well, you get the idea.

I even had time to wipe down all the cupboard doors, sweep, vacuum, mop, wash the windows & for the first time in quite some time get us to a point of having no dirty dishes (although that lasted about 5 minutes).

And I finally sorted through the pile of first-aid supplies & put together a proper kit for the house & one for our second car.

We may be cute "washing" the dishes but he's less help than you might think.

Sorry no new pictures – it was too embarassing to take the before photos.

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This morning started out with a long call from my mother-in-law, truthfully a short call with her is not possible. She went on about how she needed more aprons for her work at the fruit stand ’cause she gets so dirty.

We decided to head over for the day to visit & on our way out the door I grabbed a pattern & some fabric out of my bag of extras.

Turns out that what I grabbed was an old table cloth that someone had hand crochetted an edging for.

Sitting out at the picnic table while Diaperbutt played in the baby pool I cut up the fabric, carefully salvaging the crochetted trim.

After carefully removing the trim I reattached it to the apron edges.

Once I got Diaperbutt down for his nap I settled in at the sewing machine & was able to get most of the sewing & ironing done before he woke up. My mother-in-law entertained him when he woke up so I could finish them up.

Two of the three finished aprons. Guess I should have pressed them when I finished.

My mother-in-law plans to add white pockets to the aprons to make them more functional (we were out of the red fabric to make the pockets).

For fun my mother-in-law put the first apron on Diaperbutt & he refused to let us take it off.

How cute is he?!

The highlight of my day had to be after we went home & I went to the gym. Besides a good workout I unexpectedly found a workout partner AND found out about an intermediate level powerlifting competition in November that I may very well sign up for.

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I have been terrible about posting lately – I just don’t seem to get enough time alone at the computer & Diaperbutt is everything but helpful when I try to open up my computer.

When Diaperbutt was really little I LOVED my ring sling. I made one for me & one for Grumpy Bear. He still uses his pretty regularly for hip carriers.

Here we are visiting La Paz Waterfall Gardens when my Mom came to visit us in Costa Rica.

It was so nice to always have his warm little body against me, we joked it was our magic sleep-maker as Diaperbutt could rarely stay awake for long in it. I had pockets in the tail so there was a spot for my wallet, keys & an extra diaper. The sling itself gave me a clean place to lie Diaperbutt down no matter where we were & more than once it provided the discreet space we needed to breastfeed.

Of course, when you find something that works well for you you want to share it with everyone!

I made this sling back in the winter for a friend. I tried a different shoulder type than I had used on our slings & liked it much better.

There are lots of great babywearing websites around & even some very informative youtube videos showing step-by-step instructions for every kind of babywearing device around. I realize now I probably wore Diaperbutt too low most of the time but it was comfortable for us & worked – with the next one I’ll have to play around with it more.

Pockets! Again a little different than what I had done with ours but I think this looks much nicer.

The hardest part about making the slings was finding the rings. Supposedly they can be found at “any local hardware store” but this proved to in fact be false. I try EVERY local (& not so local) hardware store & some specialty stores – no one had appropriate rings.

I sent this sling to close friends who just had a baby boy out east. Hopefully they've received it!

My Mom’s neighbour does some metal work & made these rings up for me at an incredible price. I’m a little bit worried they are too heavy but Grumpy Bear says I’m worrying for nothing.I’m planning on replacing the flimsier rings on our slings with these ones.

I like using woven fabric that’s not too heavy, although I recently saw someone else’s sling that was made from a slightly stretchy knit fabric. She said it was really comfortable so maybe it’s something I’ll try in the future.

Again with the pockets!

I’ve got another one planned for my¬† mother-in-law to bring to a baby shower she has been invited to. I don’t know the mother & I think I need to put together some sort of an information card on use. I’ll have to think some more on that.

I absolutely LOVE this fabric & can't wait to find another project to use up what I have left of it. Unfortunately I don't have enough for another sling.

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We finally have air conditioning. Well, ok, we finally have air conditioning in our bedroom. The rest of the house… still hot.

Originally we had been planning on putting in central air figuring it was a good selling feature & didn’t block up the few windows we have in this house. But the more we thought about it the more it didn’t make sense.

You see, we only have two registers upstairs, one in our bedroom which is pretty ineffective due to the long duct run & one in the hallway which is also pretty ineffective due to our habit of closing all the doors to keep the critters out of the rooms. Even if we did keep the doors open it would still take an awful lot of energy to cool upstairs (where we most want it cool) & in the meantime it would be FREEZING down here.

So, we’ve settled on window air conditioners. Of course, all the windows are different sizes so we’ve purchased the smallest ones we’ve found for our room & the office but haven’t found one small enough for Diaperbutt’s room yet.

On Saturday we spent the better part of the morning getting the one for our room installed – this was after our installation fail of Thursday night. We don’t have sliding windows & so had to make our own installation plan.

But it’s in & it’s lovely.

Hopefully the next two are quicker to install.

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Ok – first off this is waaaay overdue – I tend to be bad about taking my pictures off of my camera sometimes. Sorry.

A friend’s little girl was turning two, we couldn’t make it to her birthday party but I still wanted to give her something special. I had seen these neat bags a couple years ago & was excited to finally get to make one.

The finished product - an eye spy bag!

It was harder than I anticipated to find a bunch of small items to fill it & I’m not sure that the beans were the best call – they made the bag much heavier than I had intended.

After getting my picture collage all set-up it turned out to be tricky to print. Next time I will size it properly so it prints perfectly on a 4x6 card.

It only took her a few minutes to figure out the game. Diaperbutt was very curious about it as well. Hopefully they’ll find it to be a useful distraction in the car (or wherever!).

She found the green soldier!

It is so much fun to watch little ones play together.

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Our stove came with our house & was in rough condition then. As a result I have always disliked it. It’s pretty rough looking & a bit battered but I just could not justify replacing it when really all it’s faults were cosmetic – the darn thing works perfectly.

This stove top has seen better days - unfortunately they were before I owned it.

Ok – yeah, part of the problem was just built up grime – oh how I hate to clean the oven!

OY! I swear we have cleaned it before! To be fair a good chunk of this was from our renters who did not clean the oven before they moved out. Oh how oven cleaner makes me lungs burn - next time I am definitely going to try something different.

But the rings around/under the burners were beyond cleaning – I did try, several times, to wash them by hand & in the dishwasher but the finish on them was just destroyed. Plain & simple they needed to replaced – unfortunately it took about 4 different stores before I found one that carried four of the same variety – everywhere seemed to only have 2 or 3 in stock.

I don't know that wrapping the ruined metal in tinfoil helped the overall appearance or functionality.

Oh - shiny! Unfortunately I haven't been able to find new buttons for the center of the burner - the old ones were so blackened I figured it looked better without them at all.

I gambled when standing in Canadian Tire & bought the one piece ring/bowl but they don't sit flush with the stove like the old two piece ones did. As I didn't realize this until after I had destroyed the packaging removing it we will now live with this slight imperfection.

Then there were all the little repairs that needed to be done that had been bothering me for so long. Replacing the light bulb in the oven, levelling the darn thing (the levelling foot is missing so I used a folded up piece of cardboard under the back foot), reattaching the drawer slide to the drawer front (ok – I actually did some damage to the finish in doing this repair but the drawer is finally functional again!) & putting a dial thermometer inside so I could verify the temperature is correct (shockingly it seems to be right on every time). Unfortunately there is nothing I can do about the tear on the control panel cover (how the heck did that even happen?!) & one day this summer I am going to take the drawer outside & spray paint the inside of it as the metal is rusting some so despite my thorough cleaning it looks rather dingy.

After all the scrubbing involved to get this so clean I vowed not only to be more careful with messy dishes in the future I also put in place a disposable oven tray in the bottom to hopefully catch the worst of future messes.

Best things I discovered while cleaning the stove - the oven racks fit in the dishwasher & the whole top of the stove lifts up making cleaning underneath much easier.

So, just like the toilet refurbishment, with a little bit of money (I spent under $40), some elbow grease & a chunk of time (about 2 hours in total – that oven was DIRTY) we have a stove that is pretty much like new. Makes it much easier to tolerate the scratches in the finish when it’s all shiny & working perfectly!

Shiny & (almost like) new!

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