Thursday, January 13, 2011

House progress

I've been busy around these here parts. I don't know that there's a lot to show for it exactly, but I do feel that some progress has been made. Recently, we had to replace our toilet because it wasn't flushing about half of the time. I think it was in rebellion to all the use. I think it was the original one from when the house was built and probably it has gotten more use in the last year than in the 46 years prior to us moving in. :) We went to Lowe's and though we wanted to consider energy efficiency, we were way more interested in flushing power. After Sam got it installed, he noticed that it was considered water efficient according to the sticker on the tank, so that was a bonus! We were also pondering potty seats and lids while we were there pondering potties. I really hate it when the plastic screws start getting loose on the seat/lid combo and you go to sit on it and it slides sideways and a cheek makes contact with the bowl rim. Not only is that a surprising jolt at an inopportune moment, but ew. Especially, with still-learning-to-be-accurate boys leave remnants on said rim. Again I say, EW!

Because we didn't know what the seat that comes with the potty would be like, I suggested we hold off until further investigation. Well, we once again have the plastic screw issue, though its not quite as bad as before. No unintentional cheek and bowl meetings as of yet, but we are now convinced that a seat with metal hinges and metal screws would be of the utmost benefit to us.

**Since writing the above, we did get a new potty seat. Its really neat. It has a training potty seat that folds out of the lid and sits on top of the adult sized seat. An all-in-one! Love that kind of thing! The only problem is that the bolts that connect it to the bowl are way smaller than the holes they fit into, so now we have the seat slipping issue again. :( I found this online and intend to see if Lowe's has any in stock. Hopefully, then we will be finished dealing with the potty. :)

Also, in the land of home improvement, I decided that I could no longer abide my couch in its normal state. That is, the stretchy couch cover that I bought to cover the color that is not going to be anywhere in my color scheme for the living room looking like panty hose slouched down around your ankle after they have lost their will to stay up half-way through the day. Or you could picture the saggy baggy skin around an elephant's ankle. Whichever. My kids are pros at disheveling the couch cover in under a minute. So! I had to do something. Alright to me! Yep, I started googling how to modify an existing couch cover to be more custom fit to your couch. In case you are interested, this is what I finally found that worked out for me. I also came across another suggestion on another site that said to use upholstery twist pins. Hillman Fasteners 16Pk Uphol Twist Pin 122264 Thumb & Furniture Tacks These little beauties just screw into the upholstery through the cover and just hold it in place. I got mine for half off at Hancock Fabric. Now all I have to do is take all the seat cushions out of their covers, glue the foam together and tailor the seat cover to fit over the entire length without sagging and bagging, too. The couch cover itself was time consuming and a lot of work and I was only altering! One step at a time....

**I've finished the couch alterations and it looks pretty good. The foam was pretty easy to glue together, although its a bit lumpy at the seams. I'm going to try and get a sheet and wrap the whole cushion in it and then put the cushion cover over that. Might help to diminish the lumps. :)

I also decided that I am going to attempt to make quilts for the kids' beds. I watched several youtube videos on how to do the actual quilting. I wanted to do more of an applique style, so I also watched some videos on how to do that correctly. While at Hancock, I got a few things to begin my "little" quilting journey. I have already designed Ailey's and am in process with the boys' designs. I also found that I am able to quilt on the sewing machine I have as long as I get a cover to go over the feed dogs. It already came in the mail. Yay! I still need some fabric and I'll need to get more batting, but I'll just get that a little at a time. Actually, I just need to pray more about it and see what God provides. :)

In the process of investigating quilting, I also pondered the state of our curtains. Originally, I was going to make roman shades out of our current curtains for every room, but the light that penetrates through the closed curtains as well as the evidence that much thicker curtains will help save on our energy bill convinced me to go in a different direction. In the motor home, I got a set of black out curtains because the boys would sleep longer with them in place. After this last time change, I have once again begun to revisit that concept. The problem is that they are expensive and I don't want to go that route, exactly. I'm trying to use what I've got because I have a lot of stuff that needs to be used and I am resolved not to go and buy anything else if I've got something already that can be used. So, I again turned to Google for inspiration. I found a site that showed how to turn an old comforter into a quilted curtain panel. I didn't save the site and I can't seem to find it again, so I can't link to it. Basically, I just took that idea and tweaked it to my situation. I have dark green silk curtains for our bedroom and I have a queen size green and burnt orange striped flat sheet from a set that is now without the fitted sheet due to a run in with a laundromat washing machine. I decided to put some batting between the two and quilt it to fit the windows with a couple of inches on all sides to help with heat and cold seeping through.

Well, I thought I measured correctly, but alas I did not compensate for the length enough. Instead of using a curtain rod, you use cup hooks and put loops at the top of your curtain to hang it. Then you attach a ribbon or length of fabric at the back so that when you roll the curtain up you can secure it with that length and a button. (I'll post pics when I'm done so that my explanation will hopefully make sense.) Anyway, the panel is WAY short and I was rather irritated for a while. Then, I started working on a solution. I had to go get some stuff at Hobby Lobby and they just so happened to have their ribbons by the roll half off. I went into the bridal area and got the widest ivory ribbon I could find and in addition to making a border out of either the sheet or leftovers from the bottoms of the curtains, I'm going to also add on the ivory ribbon as a sort of border and then bind that with dark brown ribbon. This in theory should solve my little oopsy. The only thing then is to attempt to recreate it with the other panel and window. Ugh! This is just one of my many try, try agains! Oh, and the actual quilting is all kinds of crooked and bunched. :)

When I am done with that, I will hopefully be much better at measuring and then I may possibly get the other rooms done with little to no hassle. This is me I am talking about, however, so I should just expect some kerfuffles!

Waiting in the wings will be a makeshift headboard for our room using the leftover curtain scraps, some batting/foam and one of a set of curtain rods that I've had for a very long time. Something along these lines, but more streamlined and only one panel.

I also want to make a quilt out of the remnants and other fabrics in a modern asian design. However that turns out. I may not have enough remnants and might need to just add to it as I go along. :)

In addition to the couch, there are two chairs that need to be reupholstered and I came across yet another website that suggested using drop cloth. I really like that idea! I also came across a very simple and pleasing asian design on a rug off of a website that I want to paint onto the drop cloth covered chairs. We'll see. I have a super long list of things I want to do, but we also still have walls to paint and floors to redo and we want to put a pedestal sink in the bathroom to make more space which will in turn require that we take up the tile because the tile is around the current bathroom cabinet not under it. The kitchen, too, has its fair share of things and we've also talked about enclosing the garage. Oh, and I haven't even put stuff on the walls yet. I'm going to cut a mirror that came with the house so that it will fit in a frame I already have for the living room. Got the glass cutter and watched some videos and did some reading. Plus, I have prior experience, you know, thanks to 8th grade science class and cutting glass tubing. ;) Oh, yeah! I'm ready! I'm thinking we've got enough projects to last us the next five years, easily!


mzzterry said...

girlie, you have more energy than most, i hope you realize that!! sounds great!! i love to do stuff, i just am not big into planning, i just fly by the seat of my pants! ;)

Nessa and Jeebs said...

kerfuffles heheehee- I did the same thing with the curtains in my room. i wanted to make 2 curtain panels with horizontal layers of ruffles all the way down- they turned into little 3 tiered ruffled valances. They're ok for now :)

DyessFam said...

Man, I am late responding to this! MzTerry, I do fly by the seat of my pants most of the time because I get busy doing one thing and then my eye catches something else and its just a downward spiral from there!

Nersa, that's what ends up happening with lots of my projects. The end result is not the picture I had in my head, but I get so tired of messing with it by the end that it ends up in the good enough category...ah, yeah.