Saturday, January 29, 2011


Still enjoying the challenge and I love how my place is coming together more quickly! But as you can see from the post below I'm too busy to say much more. :)

At least I finished the sweater and their hooded towels!

This is the most challenging thing I've completed (not the most challenging thing I've started). The challenge was that I did not have a pattern. I started it with a Chilean, she I then I was getting guidance from a master knitter (it is an official title), I then I was on my own. I'm so glad I buckled down and forced myself to get through it! Simon has told me several times that he really likes the "different color sweater" but it is pretty big on him. I did that on purpose because I didn't want it to be too small when I finally finished. I'm touched that he likes it considering there are no animals on it. I was going to look for animal buttons, but I turned to Cami's stash instead.

Simon insisted on holding that "fire gun." For the ears I cut 2 pieces shaped like ears and sewed them together. Then I made a seam in the middle of the hood and sewed them in. I'm so glad it worked out cause I was winging it. If you want more specific instructions I can take closer pictures.

Time to get busy!

help me decorate

Hi everyone. I am looking for some input on what to do on this big white wall I have...and also the trunk next to the couch (thank you MLK 50% off day at Unique!) So here is a full view of the room just for reference.

So here is the entry:

the living to be dressed soon in a black fabric with bright colored trees branches and flowers, big gold (and perhaps small magenta) pillows for the couch

and here is the big white wall in question...
We will be putting a 7" deep shelf across the whole wall which will hold small paperback books with perhaps a few cool bookends. These windows will hang directly above where they sit and will be filled with various pictures and art. (Thanks to Cami for snagging up 5 off the curb and sharing!) I am envisioning something like this one I found on etsy minus the jar and hooks.

So here are the options...keep in mind that I want more color...I like the colors I have, but I want some pops of color somewhere in this room. But it can't compete with the green chair.

The options for the wall, shelf and windows:
1. paint more yellow stripes and paint shelf and windows white
2. leave the wall white paint the windows and/or shelf a color (options below)
3. wall white, shelf and windows neutral or white
4. wall white and upholster the shelf with a print
5. any other combination of the above
Another option for color might be the trunk, but it might be too big and thus compete with the is my design idea for the trunk...a combination of these 2 designs. But I can't decide...white or color (use color selection above for reference).

This is from Three Men and a Lady. She is also the inspiration for my striped wall and the stump. I would find a tree that is more branchy.

etsy...sorry no link...I'm too lazy to search for it...

So now that I've processed while posting I think I know what I'm going to do, but I'm not going to say until I hear your input.

Saturday, January 22, 2011


I am going to keep this brief because I would rather be finishing that sweater. Why do I knit?

Anyway...this was another fantastic week for thrift shopping. Turns out this challenge isn't addressing any compulsive shopping tendencies I have. I've managed to spend as much as I normally do on household things, but instead of getting one or 2 things I've gotten several. I like seeing my home come together more quickly. I bought a nice trunk this week at Unique. I love Unique. I think this kind of thrift store makes this challenge possible and enjoyable. This challenge would be much more difficult in a small town.

I'm still kind of hung up on second hand clothes though. I don't like the search through all the random things at the thrift store. In the past I haven't loved the idea of wearing 2nd hand clothes...they seem dirty...but I think I can get over that. I wouldn't buy a t-shirt, but skirts and sweaters are fine. I think I might try out some consignment stores where they are more selective with what they sell. These things are more expensive, but will save me time.

However, for February I am doing a spending fast which means I only buy things we need to food and that will even be on a budget. This is something I plan to do every February for the rest of my life.

So March will be the month to boost my 2nd hand wardrobe. Happy Trails!

p.s. See Cami's post about jeans! Some good tips for making them last and food for thought.

Saturday, January 15, 2011


Good week. Still working on that sweater! Why do I knit? Why do I knit without a pattern? I have reknit the sleeve about 5 times. Oh ya, because I love it and I'd rather reknit a sleeve 5 times than my creativity be confined by a pattern.

Thus far I haven't felt deprived by this challenge. I spent a fabulous $5 on these great outlet covers at a consignment store this week. I saw them a few months ago and I thought about them after I went home. I was glad they were still there when I went this week...and cheaper because price decreases over time at this consignment store. $2.50 for 4 of them...although I'm not sure what I'll do with 4. Simon, of course, loves them since they are an animal. I saw that stump as I was walking home from the park a few months ago and threw it in the stroller and made Simon walk. Don't the stump and the coyote go great together? Now I just need a hanging light...since table and floor lamps and don't dwell well with kids.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

nnw1 report

Oh, what a week!

Here is a tally of what I sold/passed on:
  • Macbook: sold on ebay for $1150 YEAH!
  • Macbook power cord: $40
  • way old ibook G4: $50
  • table from this side of the road: $50+$10 for delivery
The grand total around $1300! So part of the deal was that I can buy new things with money sold, but I think we're just going to stash most of this in the bank for a rainy day...or an iPad hee hee.

Here is the table...I think it is adorable and the couple that purchased this had a style that fit it perfectly.

I also donated about 5 baby toys and some old electronics to Unique. I decided to hold on to my dress and camera. Worth more to me than what I'd get.

I also went on my first thrift shopping trip to Unique Thrift Store. Those of you in the west probably are not familiar with Unique, but it is a thrift shoppers paradise! The biggest thrift store I've ever seen in my life and everything is neatly organized. I hear it originated in Chicago...which makes sense since all good things some how tie back to Chicago.
  • Pottery Barn King quilt with 2 euro shams $40
  • nice collection of K'nex $5
  • Valentines for my boys $1 each (these might look cheesy, but my tender boys will adore these...I ran them through the washing machine)
  • 1/2 a roll of wrapping paper $.50
  • Spiderman umbrella $3 (forgot to put it in the picture)
  • turtle sandbox with lid $5 (also not pictured)

So far I am loving this challenge! It has been so much fun. I really think I'm going to find things for my home that I will love so much more than something from Ikea or somewhere.

And I tapped into my mad money...$8. I had a $40 credit at an online shoe store and intended to use it by January 1, but spaced it. I went over the credit by $8. Mad money balance: $17.

Focus for week 2: Finish the sweater I am knitting for Simon! I will, I will!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

nothing new begins!

I am excited to begin this challenge! I confess, I've been doing some shopping in December to prepare...mainly clothes and household items I really wanted new. But 2011 has begun and enough of that. I looking forward to focusing more on what I have and less on what I want. It gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling. I admit at times the challenge sounded downright depressing, but pondering the challenge has led to excitement. About a week ago I was moved to tears as I thought of all that I had. I have everything I need. Everything. I'd like to say that I have everything because I have my husband and children, but quite honestly they are a bonus (a very big one I admit). However, not everyone has a husband and children and I don't believe this has to limit a person from self-actualizing. It helps, but something could happen to one of them and I'd still have to be somebody.

Take a look at Maslow's hierarchy of needs.

See, I have everything. I bet many of you have it all, too!

Each week I want to have a focus. Otherwise I'll wander aimlessly through thift stores and projects.

Week 1: Get rid of 10 things I don't need that could be of use to someone else. Take them to the Salvation Army, consign or post on craigslist or ebay.

I can think of a few already
1. the vintage table I picked up off the street for my sewing table, but it didn't work out
2. random toys that no one plays with, but end up on the floor
3. a computer...seriously, I have a newish MacBook Pro and a Mac desktop. Mac replaced Jeff's laptop 1 month shy of the expiration of Apple Care and we had just purchased a desktop less than a year before. We've been sitting on this decision and it is time to do something about it. I love my laptop, but does a stay-at-home mom really need 2 computers?
4. my black-tie black dress that I wore once...bought it thinking Jeff would be working for a firm and I'd need one occasionally...I have no need for a black-tie dress at least for the foreseeable future and if I do I'll want a new one
5. our old old macbook
6. old 35 mm SLR