Friday, December 7, 2018

Catio on the Patio

In order to explain this next home project I need to introduce you to the most stunning member of our family. This handsome fellow is Muggles. Do not let the name fool you, he is perhaps the most magical being I have ever met.
All of the beloved pets that have joined our family have come to us as their second family. Here is Muggles' story:

Muggles was a tomcat for his first year, but at some point he had adopted a young college gal. He would stop in for meals and snuggles. Then as the holidays approached and the young woman prepped to head home, she realized she would not be able to provide the care Muggles needed. So she took him to a near by veterinary clinic. It just so happened to be the clinic that my little sister was working at, at the time. My sister took one look at this gigantic cat and decided he needed to be a part of our family. Granted the fist moment my husband and I met him we decided the very same thing.

The one big problem, when Muggles joined our family, he was use to his freedom and constantly begged to go outside. At that time we lived off of two very busy streets and feared him being run over. Our solution at that home was to hook him up to a run line. He could tour the back yard but no farther. He was happy it was a very big back yard.

The next place we moved to was a much quieter neighborhood, but there was absolutely no yard. So we just let him roam free about the neighborhood. He was in good company as many of the neighborhood cats were out and about with him. Our biggest risk there was that he went missing for a few days a couple of times. One time he was gone long enough I put out missing posters.

Now, with our new home we are back to having plenty of yard but also to living off of busy streets. Muggles has come to love his freedom and breaks off any type of harness we try to put on him. So what to do? Because an unhappy Muggles is impossible to live with.
So the crazy cat driven solutions was to install a "cat" door and turn our back patio into a catio retreat. With a few 2x2 and 2x4 boards, a couple lengths of chicken wire, some nails and lots of staples we had the porch enclosed. This solution also allowed for our shy little indoor girl to also go out and enjoy a little fresh air and outdoors sunshine. Both cats seem happy with their new space and we are happy with their safety.

 However one windy October day the scary storm did chase a surprise visitor inside the catio.
Many blessings this fine furry day.--Kate

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Personalizing the Furniture

Early last spring we knew, as a family, we were soon to grow out of our living situation and began to consider going on the house hunt. One of our biggest considerations was that our only daughter would not be able to share a room with her brothers for much longer, (that is if any of them slept in their own room.) At the same time I could not completely lose my sewing room. So the family joke is that we bought our new home for our daughter.

Finally having her own space meant my girl needed her own bedroom furniture. During one of our weekend garage sale shopping sprees we found a beautiful (3 piece) white French Provincial set. The set includes a dresser, a desk and a nightstand.

Growing up, my sister and I had a French Provincial bedroom set. So this discovery definitely scored high on the nostalgia meter. Thankfully my daughter also loved it.

It took at least another month before we were able to tackle the renovation project, that was new flooring and wall color, for her room. Thankfully that is finally done and the bedroom is put together. As we were moving her furniture in though, I had a brainstorm. I asked her if she would like to have her drawers lined with a faux-velvet fabric. This was something we had seen done in several of the  girl's bedroom sets at furniture stores. A feature that she had really liked. I also just happened to have several colors of this very same type of fabric from a Christmas sewing project I did 4 years ago.

The project was fairly easy to accomplish. All I needed were some accurate measurements of the bottom of the drawers to cut the fabric to the correct size and then some Elmer's spray craft glue. I sprayed the glue onto the drawer base and then waited a couple minutes so that the final hold would be firm but the fabric would not be permanently attached to the drawer. Then I left the drawers out of the dressers for 24 hours to dry and air out. The smell of the spray glue is quite strong. I recommend good ventilation when working with it. It is also a bit of a sticky project. It is a rather like putting contact paper down in a drawer, but with the sticky part on the drawer instead of the fabric. So even done carefully there were a few times I needed to reposition the fabric to get out all of the bubbles and wrinkles. So I definitely did come away with glue on my hands.
She chose a navy blue for the top row of drawers in both the dresser and desk. A deep purple for the middle rows and a dark green for the bottom 3 drawers. The nightstand has a warm brown colored fabric. The end effect is quite pretty and it definitely adds her personal flair to the set.
Be on the lookout for more posts about home renovation projects. There are several we have completed but also many more to do.

Many blessings to you this fine frosty night.--Kate

Friday, November 30, 2018

Mommy, Daughter Crafts

Happily, as my daughter grows she has become more interested in things that I also enjoy. One of our greatest loves is crafting. (Really she was doomed, with at least 3 generations before her of crafty women.)

All three of my kiddos are great shoppers at, my favorite craft stop, JoAnn and are just as well know by the staff as I am.  A typical trip involves a chorus of voices calling out "Mama you could make me this and you could make me that." However the last few months my daughter has added in the cry of "I would like to try making that too."

About a year ago she made her first venture into the world of yarn crafting with a crochet blanket. She did not make it very far into the project before she began to be frustrated and then lost interest. This past September we found this really fun pre-looped yarn and I thought perhaps this would be a great way for her to have project success. We started her out making a scarf and once again it did not take her to long to get distracted and move on to other activities. Once I completed my scarf though she decided she really wanted to make her own.

It took a few moments for her to remember how to do it, but a couple hours later she came back out of her room with a three quarters completed scarf. By the next evening I was showing her how to finish it off and weave in all the ends. Now she wears it out and about everywhere we go. Her brother even asked her to make him one in tiger colors.

The yarns we used: The purple variegated is a Bernat Alize Blanket-EZ yarn, called Thistle and my girls is a Big Twist Loopity Loops yarn called Seafoam.

Many blessings this fine fiber filled night--Kate

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Like Sands Through the Hourglass...

So are the days of our lives.

My mind is boggled that it has been twenty months since my last entry. So much has changed and so much is just busier. I foolishly thought as my children aged and began to discover some independence, (or at least just started to do some things for themselves,) I might rediscover some time for myself. Instead we have just filled up our days with more things for them to do. Even though there have been many times I have wanted to start writing here again I just could not find (make) the time to do it.

Some highlights from the last 1.5+ years. My baby who was almost a year and a half is now 3 years old. His clever to cute ratio is way to high on both sides and he is probably on the fast track to being spoiled, but his siblings work hard to keep him in line. My middle has been doing karate for over a year now and has finally begun to look like he might actually be learning something. I suppose more importantly he has met his best friend by joining karate. My oldest is still a dancing dynamo. At this point she basically eats, sleeps and breathes dance. With classes in ballet, jazz, tap, hip hop and lyrical; as well as three competition routines we are at the dance studio more then we are anywhere else.
 The big event for our family was that we moved into what I hope is our forever home. We had seriously outgrown our old place and were faced with some serious choices. Our new home was the answer to all of them. The house is ranch-style with all of our living space on the main floor, but with a full basement, which provides room for storage and play. It was built in the late 60's and has some serious flair, including a full shuffleboard court in the basement. At a time when houses were popping on and off the market in 24 hours we could not believe that this house was still available. However, the interior looked as if a Pepto Bismol factory exploded. There were pink walls in the living and dining room and pink carpet throughout 85% of the main level. I think many had a hard time seeing past the pink, so the house was on the market for a long while before we happened upon it. It has been an absolute answer to prayer and has felt like home from the first moment we walked in. Though we have been slowly eradicating the pink. there are a few of the highlights.

I am hoping (once again) to make writing on my blog a habit, but of course no promises.

Many blessings to you this fine night--Kate

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Warning, Mama Down

Sadly, I woke Monday with an awful head cold. I am feeling a tiny bit better today, but still struggling to breathe and everything I eat gives me heartburn. As soon as I can sit up without my head pounding from the pressure, I should be able to get back to creating.

Many blessings this fine, (is it bed time yet,) night.--Kate

Sunday, April 2, 2017

A Down Town Hike

 We went on a really beautiful, but chilly and windy hike today downtown.

How was your Sunday?

Many blessings this fine, refreshing day.--Kate

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Another Dance Competition

Today my girl had another of her dance competition, this time in the next state over. It was a much smaller competition at a quite large venue. This was the third time they competed and they did amazing, earning lots of awards. Since we were farther from home and there were a lots of dances before the awards ceremony we were able to watch some of the other dances from her studio. It makes me glad we choose the school we did. The senior dancers are amazing, earning tons of top awards, and several of the choreographers also earned awards and accolades for their routines.

She still has two more competitions this season. I am excited to see how they do. Every competition they get better and better.

Many blessings this fine, boogieing  night.--Kate