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Spring Garden Clean Up

3.26.2012

Our garden sucked last year.

My normal “red x’s on the calendar counting down until the last frost” self gave way to well…being busy and pregnant. 

That led to weeds.  A while lot of weeds and pretty much no vegetables.  Because that would require things like watering.  And actually going out to pick them when they are ripe.

I would go on kicks where I would try to get things back on track, but it was just too overwhelming.  And let’s be honest, no one wants to see a 8 month pregnant woman weeding in the middle of summer.

And that whole bending over thing proved to be problematic.

So this year is a do over, and with the gorgeous weather we decided like there was no time like the present.

Out came 11 bags of weeds, dead plants and miscellaneous crap that had been sitting there all winter.square foot gardening

Our raspberries got some fungal disease last year that in my expert plant google knowledge, was not treatable so they had to be dug up as well.  Which was sad, but they took up a lot of room so I am trying to look on the bright side of having a lot more space.

This year we are trying the popular square foot gardening method.  It sounds easy and I am especially loving the “no weeding” part.  Obviously.

In the book, he is adamant that you make grids.  I thought this was a little extreme and almost did not do it.  Or should I say almost did not ask Derek to do it.

square foot gardening

But after he made the grids, I can see why it is important.  I already see how much more stuff I can squeeze in.  We have had great results in the past (other than last year) and I am hoping to add to that.

Now we have 72 squares all ready to grow some goodies.

square foot gardening

Seeds  have arrived and will be planted this week.  Well at least the lettuce, radishes, potatoes and asparagus.  

The others will have to wait until we get a little closer to that last frost date. Since I am back to caring about that again.

So let’s hear all the awesomeness of square foot gardening.  Any other newbies like me? I am in my spring optimistic no weeds state of mind right now.

Office Mini-Makeover

3.18.2012

The office was one the first rooms we put lipstick on when we moved in.  And since that has now been a couple of years ago and I was not happy with all my original “get in and get something on the walls and use furniture we have from the old house decisions”, it was time for some changes. 

So let’s start with the Before Before.

old office

We painted (obviously), beefed up the crown molding and added an overhead light fixture.

The In-Between-

old officeold officeold office

Not bad, but as we lived with it, not exactly what I wanted either.  So with some minor changes, here is the new After.

New art, new chair, new drapes, new light and new accessories.  And unfortunately a new printer. While it does not go with the design aesthetic it is very functional and I decided to keep it real and not move it for the picture. That and it would have involved moving a lot of cords.  Nap time is not that long around here.

office makeover

I liked the vacation photos that we had printed in black and white before, but they looked puny where they were and we needed some variety.  So they moved to the wall behind the TV.

office makeover

office makeover

All of the frames were reused and we just updated some of the pictures. 

office makeover

The bookshelves were streamlined by taking off all of the excess stuff and moving all the books forward.

office makeoveroffice makeover

I love looking at stacks of books…it is the one thing that I dislike about my kindle…no more books to stack and remind you to re-read. Oh well.

The top of the bookshelves holds our Italy maps and wine corks…

office makeover

As well as a cute Halloween dragon and Made by Girl print…office makeover

I have already shared the drapes, but let’s look at them again shall we?

office makeover

And while we are doing that, you can see the new lamp and lack of ceiling fan.

office makeover

Most of all the accessories came from everyone’s favorite…Homegoods.  Including the lovely nail head trim chair and wood lacquer box.

office makeoverIMG_7832

I wish I could add a rug in here, but between the funky diagonal spacing and the placement of the vents, everything looks ridiculous.  I have tried.

I have toyed with changing the paint color as it is the only space in our house with a warm tone and a peacock blue might be amazing.  But I also worry it would be too dark with all the black furniture.  Maybe when the basement is complete and I am itching to paint again, I will think about it.

office makeover

So what do you think of the cheap mini-makeover?

I Hate Sewing Drapes

3.13.2012

Every time we talk about revamping a room I hunt for that perfect fabric for drapes.  I enjoy finding the perfect complement to the decor and knowing that whipping up some lined panels is not difficult.  Ahhhh…

Except that I hate making curtains.  I always seem to forget this small detail in the fun part of the search but as the months pass by and the massive amounts of yardage sit collecting dust in my craft room as I remember all the crappy ironing, pinning, measuring, wrestling with large amounts of fabric and plain boringness of sewing drapes.

Over I a year ago I washed our office drapes and they shrank.  Which made them look like we were going to have a flood anytime.  Not to mention sun shone through the loops at the top of them which made them look…well cheap.  And too small for the window.

IMG_2802

This bothered me every morning as I walked down the stairs.  And it bothered me enough to find and buy fabric on my IKEA trip.  Over one year ago.

IKEA!

I could pretend that some bolt of inspiration made me get over my curtain making hating ways.  Or that I really was going to be the queen of finishing projects this year. 

Or maybe it was because I want to buy fabric for the basement drapes and I knew I could not justify that with both office and kitchen drape fabric still inhabiting my craft room.   I let you be the judge of which one sounds more like me.

Anyway no matter what the reason…they are D-O-N-E.

how to fake pinch pleat curtains

 

And I love them.

how to fake pinch pleat curtains

As you can see, they needed to be washable as our two furry friends are their constant companion.  This time I was smart and pre-washed both the drapery fabric and the lining so our shrinking problem will not repeat. 

We also moved the curtain rods to hang them higher and wider so that the windows would look larger.

But I did not just want to show you the new curtains, I also wanted to share my trick for faking pinch pleats.

how to fake pinch pleat curtains

I wanted some pleats but I also wanted to use my existing hardware.  So I sprayed the back of the top tab with starch to stiffen it up…

how to fake pinch pleat curtains

And then I pleated it and stuck the clip of the ring halfway down the top tab.how to fake pinch pleat curtains

The starch keeps it stiff and non-floppy at the top and you can’t see where the clips are attached.  And you get pleats.  Super easy and can be redone in a snap for washing.

how to fake pinch pleat curtains

With the completion of the drapes the office mini-makeover is now complete which I can’t wait to share.  Since it has only been a year since it was started. 

Mark your calendars for this time next year when I am ready to unveil the basement drapes.  Because did you really think I was really going to be finisher this year?