Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Luke, I am your father...

I did a bit more sanding on the cabinet Saturday, making sure I had my respirator on. I only did a little before I realized another mistake: I forgot to dig out my ear protection. I was using the multi-tool, and it's quite loud, especially since it's in such close proximity to my ears.  So I decided to stop so I could dig out my ear protection (I haven't finished unpacking the tools and garden things yet).
I feel kind of like Darth Vader when I wear the respirator. If I take some deep breaths, I can even start channeling his breathing sounds  :)

Friday, July 23, 2010

Step 2 Progress

We paid off our car today!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Cabinet Rehab

I found this massive cabinet (it's 6' long) on craigslist, but the stodgy coloring wasn't doing it for me. Also, the backing had been torn out in the back (you can see it through the glass in the lower left hand cabinet).

Saturday I took off all the hardware and doors, took the glass out of the doors, and removed the backing. After all that, I did a light sanding using my palm sander. There's a lot of detail work that will need to be done with my multitool,  but I put that off for another day. This is what it looked like Saturday afternoon:
Unfortunately, I've had a chest cold all week, so haven't felt up to doing much of anything. Yesterday while I was coughing a lung up I realized why it all felt so familiar: it feels just like when I breathed in drywall dust.


Or not. I wore a white dust mask when I was sanding, but obviously it didn't keep everything out.  Today we stopped by Lowe's and bought a respirator- I'm really hoping it keeps all the irritants out of the air I breathe. I have visions of me getting the black lung or something from all the crap I've breathed in that irritates my lungs.

Cough, cough... I think I'm getting the black lung... (name that movie)

blurry photo courtesy of LMS

Attractive, right?

I'll give my lungs another day to recover, then do more sanding on Saturday. Here's hoping the respirator does its job- I want to get this cabinet finished and all my craft and sewing supplies organized.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Red chair re-do

It was in great condition, but it was oh-so-very-RED. Screaming fire engine red. For $20, though, I could deal with it.
After a lot of searching, I found some heavy weight lavender fabric (it wasn't actually upholstery fabric) on ebay. I used most of it for the chair upholstery, and I'll use what's left for the bedskirt on LMS's bed since this chair is going into her room.

Because this chair is going into LMS's room, it won't be seen by many people, so it was the ideal first-time reupholstering project  :)

There are definitely some things I'll be more aware of on the other chairs I need to do (I have 3 more waiting to be given new life), but I'm very happy with how this chair turned out.

I thought the red incarnation of the chair was very stiff and hard, so I softened the lines on the arms and didn't use as much piping. I think it looks much more suited for a little girl's room.

My favorite detail? (and LMS's too!)
Aren't these rosettes the perfect girly touch? Love them!

I read reupholstering and piping tutorials here, here, and here, took lots of pictures as I took it all apart (for reference when putting it back together), then just winged it from there. I did have to replace the foam seat cushion because the original one was all hard and petrified and crumbling to dust (sooo gross!), but other than that, it was a pretty straight forward project.

I really enjoyed the process- thinking through where to put the seams, what order to do the panels, etc. It was a creative process that was a lot of fun for me. Ten years of mental fog made it extremely difficult to be creative, so I am just loving the opportunity to be creative and to feel creative. I missed that part of me and it's so nice to have it back.

Altogether, I spent about $60 for a custom upholstered chair for LMS's room. If I'd bought a coordinating chair at PBK, I would have spent at least $300.  I'm very happy I found a fabric that coordinates with her room, and once I finish decorating her room I'll post pictures of her room. I've got the biggest project done, so it shouldn't take me too much longer to finish.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Seven Baby Steps

We're finally moving from Step 1 to Step 2!

We've got our $1000 emergency fund fully funded (finally) and are moving on to paying off all our debt. Yay us!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Frozen yogurt popsicles

Today we made some popsicles out of homemade yogurt, peaches we picked, and a splash of agave nectar. Yum!

A couple weeks ago I bought this handy doohickie:
I'd read how to make my own yogurt, but it seemed a bit involved and fiddly.
It involved towels, our cooler, and checking periodically to see if it was done.
Since I use our cooler when I go grocery shopping (it's so hot, I worry about food spoiling while I'm finishing my shopping), I didn't want to tie it up elsewhere.
After making one batch in the machine, I realized it was totally worth the $30 I spent on it. Once the milk is prepared, I pour it in the bottles, set the timer, and leave it alone. So simple!  And given the cost of yogurt, it shouldn't take too long to recover the cost of the machine.

I've recently realized that if something is too much of a hassle, I won't do it.
I may intend to do it, but there's only so much I can keep track of at one time.

After 7 hours we had yummy homemade yogurt, ready for eating, adding to smoothies, and making into popsicles. I think we'll be making a lot more popsicles to help beat the heat wave we're in.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Drive-in movies

Whenever we move to a new area, we try to find a drive-in theater. Why? Because they're fun! They're also usually cheaper than a regular movie theater.

A couple weeks ago I went online and found that we actually have two theaters that are each about an hour away, though in different directions. We were going to go last weekend to watch Toy Story 3, but then I realized if we waited till this past weekend we could watch Toy Story 3 and Eclipse. Since I would rather watch Eclipse than Prince of Persia (the second showing last weekend), it was a no-brainer to wait a week.
LMS climbing through a tunnel on the playground, not quite looking at the camera

The theater we went to was actually built just a few years ago, and was quite nice. They've worked hard to make it family friendly, and I think they succeeded. There's a playground for the kids to run around in while waiting for the movie to start
having fun on the teeter-totter

and the concession stand had really good prices (nothing over $3.50). We got huge snow cones for $1 each,
LMS spent a good 30-40 minutes working her way throught that giant snow cone!

then went back just before the movie started for a soda, M&Ms, and 2 tootsie pops (25 cents each!) and only spent $2.75 for those. $2.75 might get you a drink or a small box of candy at a regular theater, but that's it. And I don't remember the last time I saw a $1 snow cone, big or small. Oh yes, and we only paid $7 to get in. That's two movies for $7! Technically they should have charged me $3 for LMS, but the kid at the gate didn't make me pay for her. Score!

Altogether, we paid less than $12 for the whole experience. Considering the prices theaters are charging these days, we would have paid a lot more for just one movie. And we might have had to leave early because I don't think LMS has ever sat still through an entire movie (unless she's buckled in her car seat). She was able to climb around, sit on me, snuggle in her blankets, stand up, and so on, all without bothering other people.
We brought cushions, pillows, and blankets, and were nice and comfy the whole time.

Since you need to arrive early to get a decent spot, we ended up arriving around 6:10, so we had almost three hours to kill- good thing they have the playground! The only real downside was that the first movie didn't start till 9 pm (when it got dark), the second didn't start till after 11 pm, and we were driving home at 1:30 am. I hate driving in the dark. Other than that, it was a ton of fun and we'll be doing this again!
Have you ever been to a drive-in?

Thursday, July 1, 2010


In my opinion, shoes are an investment. I think it's better to have a few good ones than lots of cheap ones. Good shoes will last for years, cheap ones tend to fall apart quickly. Cheap ones tend to smell bad, too: I had roommates on my mission who wore cheap shoes, and wow, did their feet stink sooo bad!

Just because I like good shoes, doesn't mean I pay retail though. I find the shoes I want (Keen and Dansko these days) for a fraction of the original cost at places like Nordstrom Rack, Sierra Trading Post, and ebay.

On my mission I walked so much in my Doc Martens (found on sale at Ross) that I wore through the inner layer of the back of the heel of my shoes. That was when I had my first experience at a shoe repair store: I took them in and they sewed another layer of leather into my shoes, covering the painful heel seams, and making it possible for me to get a lot more use out of them.

Monday I noticed that a seam on one of the straps of my Keen sandal had come loose, compromising the integrity of the shoe. There's nothing else wrong with them and there's plenty of wear left in them (they're only a year and half old), so I got online and found a local shoe repair place.

The unfortunate thing is that I knew how to fix this problem, I just didn't have the ability- my sewing machine doesn't let me get into really tight spaces.

I took the sandal in Tuesday, and $10 and an hour later, it was as good as new. Considering that a new pair of sandals would cost at least $80 (in a different color), more if I wanted the same color, I think it was $10 well spent. For the record, I found my Keen sandals at Nordstrom Rack in the early fall for about $65- less than they're going for now.
can you tell where it was fixed?

I really like that I can continue using these sandals and don't have to buy new ones- new sandals are definitely not in the budget.

Have you had any experiences with repairing shoes?