Monday, December 31, 2012

Mood Board for Our Master Bath

I've never done a mood board before.  But I've really enjoyed them on other people's blogs.  So today, I worked with my great deficiency in using Photoshop and finally figured out how to do it!

Here, then, is my very first mood board:

I found the fish and coral fabric online and fell in love with it.  I went to our local discount decorator fabric store and hoped to find something like it to sew a shade for our bathroom window.  My DH came with me, he hadn't seen the cloth I had been looking at online--but as I wandered around, he called me over to see some fabric he thought I would like.  It was the VERY FABRIC I had wished for online!  (Does he know me or what!?)

The rest of the items are things I found online that I thought might look good in our bathroom.  I probably won't use or buy the exact items, but will be figuring out something similar.  A printed copy of this mood board will be going with me when I shop!

I'll be sure to post before and after pictures when we get the bathroom done!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

What Santa brought for Charlie!

Last night we went to visit my daughter.  She and her husband and my two grandchildren live in a modest little apartment down the hill from us.  Someone at their house (Santa Claus) has been busy making Charlie a surprise for Christmas.  

What could it be?!!?

It's very large.  (Baby Henry alongside for size comparison.)

I guess you will have to unwrap it and see!

Charlie got to open his present early!

It took a lot of work to get all the wrapping off!


My son-in-law, Ches, Um.  Santa Claus...has beautifully created a fun loft bed for Charlie!  It has safe turning stairs (not a ladder) and reinforced supports and railing and everything!  They got plans for the bed online at a wonderful DIY website called Ana White.  

Charlie absolutely LOVES it!

So now he has an official "big boy" bed, complete with a spacecraft comforter (that glows in the dark!) and the moon and stars and an alien close enough to touch!  

I thought at first it would take up ALL the space in his room. But the truth is, it creates space!  All his toys now fit under his bed and he has plenty of room to play!  Genius!

And boy is someone happy!

Charlie's status as big brother didn't automatically qualify him for a big bed.  At first his parents decided to make him a toddler bed.  Before Henry was even born.  They borrowed some of our tools and in one afternoon had created this:

Can these people build things, or what?!

But when a toddler bed wasn't quite what they wanted for Charlie, they sold this one on Craigslist--but not before making a few more and selling them, too!  (Industrious parents, these!)

I'm so proud to be related to them!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

I built a HOUSE!!!

No, not this one.  But this one inspired me!

photo from "Young House Love"

I've been really enjoying a blog by a sweet young couple called "Young House Love."  They recently built this adorable dollhouse for their daughter.  Their blog gives step by step instructions on how they did it.  I think it turned out amazing!

And it got me thinking.  I have always wanted to build a dollhouse.  When my kids were little, I put one of those cheap kit dollhouses together.  But it didn't hold up well.  And it wasn't what I really wanted.  What I really wanted was this:

Photo from the Smithsonian

The fabulous dollhouse from the Smithsonian!  

"This miniature house was designed, decorated, and furnished by Faith Bradford. It is five stories tall with 23 rooms and is built on a scale of one inch to one foot. There are 1,354 miniature specimens in the model. The house contains furniture, linens, toys and other household items. Calling this small house home are Mr. and Mrs. Peter Doll, their 10 children, two visiting grandparents, five servants and 20 pets."

I used to take my children to see it when they were little and we never seemed to have enough time peering through the glass at it!  It was fabulous!  

Then, of course, there is Mouse House.  A gift from my brother when I was a little girl.  

He and my mom spent all night making it---behind closed doors.  And I just couldn't wait to open it up on Christmas morning.  My brother and I played with it for hours and hours.  

 It has been a much treasured toy ever since.  And I still get it out at Christmas time and set it all up.

So, it is only fitting that this Christmas I decided to make a dollhouse!  A BIG ONE!

It started out as a simple drawing on paper.

Lumber was bought.  And cut to size!

Pieces were glued.

And screwed.

And pretty soon, it was starting to look like a structure!

I accidentally made the last upright too tall for the backer board, so I had to cut it down a little.

Then I put the roof boards on.  They were a little tricky.

And didn't fit quite right.  

Actually, a few of my joints weren't perfect.  It turns out that lumber can be warped---even when you try your best to get the straightest pieces.  (It's also true that my measuring might have been less than perfect.)

But nothing was so off that the structure didn't come together.  A 12 bedroom dollhouse!  Now that's living!

But I wasn't done yet!  I still needed to add the base (for stability and for outside space!)  And the lean-to barn!

Some little people (thrift store finds) knew their house wasn't completed yet, but they just had to try it out.

"Yes, Gretel, I think this is a much safer house to live in that that gingerbread one!"  

And everyone knows that pet giraffes need a place to stay.

I will still be painting the house, and decorating, and finding more friends and furniture to live in it.  But the building part is done!  And it fits perfectly in my "grandkids' playroom!"

(P.S.  I made this all by myself!  I drew up the plans, bought the lumber, used the circular saw, nailed and screwed and glued, and figured out all the fixes to all the little problems that came up.  And I still have all 10 fingers!  If I can do it, so can you!)

I can't wait to show Charlie!!!  

Monday, December 10, 2012

Ho! Ho! Ho! Santa's Workshop!

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!  

The tree is up and decorated!  I LOVE flocked trees!  SO glad we found a place that still does them.  (And sells them cheaply!  Baum's Christmas Trees in Provo, UT.)

The windmill nativity is put together.  With the lovely candles I made last year!

Mr. and Mrs. 1960s Plastic Mice have come out to play.  (I used to think these were SO VERY TACKY, but now I just love them!)

My favorite Russian toys are once again ready to be played with!

And Little Tomten can be seen all over the house getting ready to play tricks on us!

But this year, something else is in the works!

Little people and little things are being collected.....

Grand plans are being made.

Lumber is bought!

Plans Revised.

And piles of sawdust are being swept up in the garage.

Tee hee hee!  Santa's Workshop is well underway.  Stay Tuned!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Oh Deer!!!

Last summer we had lots of green grass and bushes....

"What's THAT Auntie Rachael?!?"  Charlie was the one who saw something right out our front window!

Sure enough, it was one of the deer of the neighborhood....

Come to chow down on our bushes and plants...Ha ha!  This year there was no vegetable garden in the front yard for him to eat!  We put sod in where the garden had been.

It was the low hanging branches of the plum tree the deer was really after.

Reaching as high as he could...and then....

He was gone!  As quickly as he came...You can just see his back disappearing behind the little evergreen tree.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Fire on the Mountain! And Where Have I Been?!

What have I been doing all this time?!!?  It's been almost 6 months since I last blogged.  Why haven't I felt like blogging?!?

I don't know.  That's the answer.  To why.

But, I'm back in a blogging mood and will be sharing bits and pieces of our last 6 months of life interspersed with our lives now.

We went on a vacation to Southern Utah last summer.  We got to see some of the various summer wildfires up close and personal:

You really just can't imagine how fantastically large this smoke bloom is.  We could see it for miles before we could even see the mountain!

The air was just thick with the smell of smoke.  It stung our eyes and noses even inside the car.

Some mountains truly looked like they were volcanoes erupting!

Some fires were already out.  But the damage and devastation was haunting.

 And it wasn't just one mountain.  It wasn't just one fire.  The Utah Fire Information website says there have been 1453 fires so far in 2012.  849 were caused by lightning.  The rest were started by humans.  WHAT!?!?

It's true.  Even right behind our house on our very own mountain, 2 little boys playing with fireworks started a fire.  Luckily, it was caught in time and put out.  But not without the aid of 2 helicopters and numerous buckets of water dumped up the side of the rocky mountain.  And the streak of brown burned trees up the side of the mountain remains.  

By the end of the summer, we didn't even flinch at the mention of another wild fire burning acres of ground and threatening homes.  It just seemed like the norm.