Wednesday, August 4, 2010

So cute it's worth it.

Look, her first (on film) smile that's remotely in focus!

My baby - already six weeks old. I can't handle her cuteness - her soft baby knees and jowly cheeks. I can't believe that she actually came from inside of me. If I didn't so vividly remember my three natural labors myself, I think I could totally buy the stork brings babies story. Because they just grow so quickly - in Guinevere's case, very quickly indeed. She's already about 11 1/2 lbs and 23 inches long. My sister-in-law Aleatha made the sleep sacque that Guinevere is wearing. It's repurposed from a shirt, and it's cute, and she's going to sell them on Etsy soon. Guinevere got to be her model for sizing.
Sometimes, really cute pictures of my girls helps me forget that they are a lot of work, too. Like our sink that has been blocked for weeks, and four bottles worth of draino has gone down, and finally, today they came and fixed it, and the blockage was a princess spoon.

Monday, August 2, 2010

A New Dining Wall

At long last, my dining wall is complete - and it's much better than the old, boring, wall. This is a relatively simple house project, but seeing that I conceived it while heavy laden with Child means it took months to come together. The whole project cost about $35; this included seven mattes from Joannes, Frames all bought for 50% off from Goodwill, spray paint and primer, and of course printing the pictures. Normally I'm a fairly haphazard person, who looks at the wall, pounds in a nail willy-nilly, hangs the picture, and then see how it looks. If it's too high or low or whatnot, I pull out the nail, take another guess, and then repound it in. This high inefficency only works for me because most of the time I let the first inaccurate hole stand, regardless of the overall effects on my wall.

For this many pictures, I decided to actually utilize something called measuring - a foreign concept for myself, I know. So I first did a free hand drawing of a bunch of picture frames - which ended up being twelve, of various sizes. Then I printed off graph paper from the Internet, and cut out little picture frames to scale and saw the result. I measured my dining room wall (do you like how I call one half of my eat in kitchen my dining room? It makes me feel expansive, and designer), and it turns out my mind's eye was very confused - I then cut down the design by about a third, and planned it accordingly on the graph paper.

I bought new mattes, because I didn't want a 'DIY' look to the project, but rather a put together look. Although they cost the most of any part of the project, clocking in at $18, it was completely worth it, and much better looking than pasting the pictures to white paper in the frames, which was my first uninspired cheap idea. I laid out the mattes on the floor, but by this point (weeks from the origin of the whole project) I had lost the graph paper ideas, so I just free handed the layout until I came up with one I liked.I ended up added four extra pictures, but I didn't have any mattes for them, so I used scriptures as fill ins. I bought spray paint at Home Depot, which was my first experience with spray paint. This all happened this last spring, and here the project languished until about two weeks ago, when I felt recovered enough from Confinement to accomplish a project.

Then over two visits to Goodwill I bought the picture frames and painted them (with Avram picking up an extra can of spray paint in the process). I put my favorite photos in a separate folder, and then narrowed them down, made a collage of the finalists, and then was able to check for composition and groupings of subject matter. I ordered the pictures online and had them delivered to my door (the cheapest option, and easiest.) and finally, voila, hung them! First though I checked for the final effect by laying them all out on my floor. Avram did the actual measuring and hanging - not because I'm not capable of it (I only say this, because some woman tire me when they talk about their DIY projects they do, and then it turns out they mostly just order their husbands around while the husband slaves over the project), but because he would rather measure than be the one who stands back and says yay or nay on how the pictures are hanging. I am very happy with the finished project. The hunter green - my favorite color - adds something to the boring not-quite-white,-but-not-really-any-other-color-wall-color. And my new cabinets I bought used for $40 at the local Habitat for Humanity ReStore completes my new and improved dining room makeover. Before we had ugly open plastic shelving, with our food storage spilling out in all its canned glory. Now I have this svelte shelving, which hides food storage, and my Mortars and Pestles I love so dearly are out on display. Also, the ugly shelving went into the Utility room, where it turned pile of mess into an organized display of storage water, camping gear and cleaning supplies.My sister in law Aleatha introduced me to the ReStore - it has lots of used housing items like shelves and sinks and whatnot. I had been looking for a baker's rack for forever, but never saw one with closed shelving. This is great because it is sturdy, and short enough to fit under the ugly built in lighting unit on the wall (you can see it in the previous picture). Now I'm motivated to both learn more about Photography (to put better pictures on the wall - since I'm planning to periodically update the pictures), and to tackle my next big project - painting a bedroom chest of drawers.