Friday, August 14, 2009

A Baby Girl Giveaway

I'm not actually giving away a baby girl. What kind of barbarian do you think I am? You don't just give away babies! Maybe if you have an extra, you sell it. But giving them away is just plain wasteful.

But you do give away baby girl stuff! And that's what this post is all about.

So here's the deal: I'm having a baby boy in a couple months. This will mean lots of changes for our little family, not the least of which is that Baby's two big siblings (Sam and Grace) will share the room that is now Grace's girly girly girly pink and green abode. So I'm giving away some girly stuff to make room for more unisex decor.* (Sam's idea: "A big blanket that's pink on one side and blue on the other. I'll sleep under the blue side, and Grace will sleep under the pink.")

I realize as far as giveaways go, this is pretty lame. All the big crafty blogs do giveaways with fancy NEW stuff. Stuff made by professionals, who know what they're doing. Stuff people (who aren't as cheap as I am) might go out and buy. So let me be clear: This giveaway features USED stuff. Stuff that I made myself. Stuff with crooked seams and unfinished edges. But stuff that is still pretty cute (if I may be so bold), and in good condition, despite its amateurish construction. Stuff that I spent way too much time on to just drop off anonymously at Goodwill. And stuff that I don't want to pack away and cart across the country in another move (sometime), on just the possibility that I might have another girl (someday). I'd rather have someone else use it and love it. (Please love it.)

So here's the stuff.

A crib skirt:

I didn't get a good shot of the short side, but it's the same pink gingham I used on the inset panels and the blanket.

Speaking of the blanket, I might throw that in too. I made it to be Grace's special baby blanket, but she has lots of blankets, and she's never been particularly attached to this one. I should warn you though, I tied it with that fuzzy yarn, which looks great but sheds little pink hairs.

There's also a set of vintage Strawberry Shortcake flannel crib sheets made from the sheet set I used as a little girl. (I freakin loved those sheets, and my sisters were jealous because they had lame Care Bear and Rainbow Bright sheets. Neener.)

(What I'm not giving away: The amazing quilt hanging on the wall. My sister Peanut made it. And it's definitely staying, even if never matches another room in our house. Sorry.)

But wait! There's still more that is up for grabs: cafe curtains for two windows (two pieces each):

You'd never know it from the dark picture, but these curtains actually let in a lot of light. So much light, in fact, that I often stop in Grace's doorway to turn off the overhead light, only to discover it's just sunlight in there. But they're still opaque enough for privacy, which is important in my neighborhood where the houses are 12 feet apart.

Finally, and I hesitate to even throw this in because I didn't make it and, well it's used. But do you want the cover for the diaper changing pad? It's clean, but, uh ... you know ... shows signs of use. Also the flower clock. It doesn't work, and my plan has always been to get a clock kit and fix it. But I guess I got used to it always reading 7:35, because it's been two years and I've never gotten around to doing anything with it. So you can have it if you want it.

I think that's it for now. But stay tuned for more. I'm totally in nesting mode, and I really like the idea of de-cluttering my house by junking up yours. You're welcome.

On the off chance that there are multiple people interested, I'll use a random number generator to select a winner. Or just pick my favorite commenter. (Cause how are you gonna know? That's how all these giveaways are really run, I bet.) Or should I split up the set so lots of people win? I don't know! It's so complicated! OK, I'll split up the set if people are interested in individual items. So let me know.

Contest closes when I feel like it.

Good luck!

*I'm kind of drawing a blank here, so if you have ideas about shared space decor that's suitable and appealing for both boys and girls, please share. Who knows? Maybe it will even increase your chance of winning!
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Sunday, August 09, 2009

Kitchen cabinets

Several weeks ago we painted our kitchen. We went from a hideous orange to a deliciously creamy brown aptly named "cup of cocoa." And you know how these things go: one project always leads to another. In prepping the room for painting, I removed a desk we kept in the kitchen to hold cookbooks and office supplies. It opened up the space so much that I decided not to return it to the kitchen. But that meant finding a new home for all the cookbooks and office supplies (plus all the other junk that always sat on top the desk).

So one afternoon I decided to haul up a dusty file cabinet from the basement, a monstrosity that has been there since before we moved in -- and, judging from the paint splatters and debris around it, probably before our home's previous owner moved in too. The files and labels indicated that it had been used by a law office, and I'll admit that I hoped to find something valuable inside. Maybe the deed to a diamond mine, or something?

Alas, all I found were some giant envelopes and three two-hole paper punches. So I had to make myself content in seeing the cabinet itself as a treasure.

The huge drawers were definitely a plus.

But on the other hand, the hugeness of the whole thing made it pretty difficult to drag up from the basement. I should have waited for my husband to come home from work, but you know how these things go. It had to come up, and it had to be then.

Also, have I mentioned I'm six months pregnant?

Noticing I was struggling a bit, Sam offered his services. "I have big muscles." He said. "See?"

And how could I argue with proof like that? So I let Sam and Grace each carry one of the (lightweight) metal supports from inside the drawers. And somehow, we managed to get it all outside.

I thought it would be a quick job; just a quick scrub and sand, and then prime and paint. I had everything I needed in the garage, so I planned to be done in a couple hours. And then, you know how things go (you do know, don't you?), I ran out of spray paint after a single drawer front. And even worse, that paint didn't stick. So when my sweet husband got home, he lugged the whole thing into the garage so it wouldn't get rained on while I figured out my next step.

In the end, what was supposed to be an afternoon project ended up taking two trips to the hardware store and an additional week to complete. I sanded and sprayed and sanded again. Then I ditched the idea of spray paint altogether and used high gloss latex and a roller.

The finished piece turned out pretty well, I guess. Except that it's boring. I didn't think of this until after I was done, but if I was going to go to the trouble to repaint a giant file cabinet, I should have done something that didn't look exactly like what you'd find at Office Max. I should have done something pretty and interesting.

But oh well. It's done. And it's huge. And it holds everything I wanted it to, plus some. One drawer is for cookbooks, one is for canned food, one holds a giant crate of dog food, and one is for recyclable trash. I love being able to have all that stuff handy, but not out in the open. And function is nearly as important as cuteness, right?

Fortunately, the project I tackled between coats on the file cabinet went much more smoothly. And cutely.

I bought this little green cabinet for $4 at a thrift store many months ago. I feel like my house is in constant need of more storage, so I grabbed it up, even though I didn't have a real plan for it. It stayed in our front entry, empty, for several months.

I wasn't wild about the color (although it did match strangely well with the old green paint inside some of our closets!), but I liked the hand-crafted-by-grandpa feel of it. It's sturdy, and well-made, but not fancy. I decided to decorate it like a grandma might, like a giant doily. First I gave the whole thing a coat of cup-of-cocoa, and then I draped it in lace and shot it with white spray paint.

There are sections where the lacy pattern is blurry, and some where the pattern is crisp -- an accidental effect that I really like a lot. I'm very pleased with how it turned out, in part because it just came together so quickly and easily. I spent probably half an hour on minor drawer repairs, and then another half hour painting. AND THAT'S IT! It was loaded and in my kitchen within hours.

Eventually I'll get curtains up and windows washed and show you the whole kitchen--with these fancy new cabinets!--in context. That is, if I can ever manage to get the floor mopped and the dishes done at the same time. But at least, with all this new storage, I can finally keep my counters clear.

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A Purse for Peanut

So Peanut came to visit a few weeks ago, and we managed to squeeze in some craft time. She liked the toddler purses I made for my little friends a couple months ago, and wanted one of her own for carrying her tiny scriptures. So we went through the fabric stash, found some cute prints, and whipped one up.

Only, it wasn't really as simple as that, because this time I ironed in heavy-duty interfacing (I usually use lightweight), and the fabric became so stiff it was impossible to work with. What should have been a quick little project ended up taking hours. And I'm sorry to say, the purse had some serious flaws too, not the least of which is that it ended up being too small for her tiny scriptures. I should have made her another one, but the first one took up all the crafting time and energy we had. We were so sick of it we didn't even take a picture.

Lucky for me, Peanut had a birthday last week, so I had a chance to rectify the tiny purse tragedy. Here's the scripture tote: take two.


I used another material she'd selected while she was here, and NO heavy-duty interfacing. So this one turned out a little better, and I'm pretty sure will fit her scriptures, PLUS a pair of sunglasses, an i-phone and a tube of chapstick.

It was supposed to be a surprise, but Sam gave it away when he talked to Peanut on her birthday. He described it in complete detail, right down to the blue flowers and "golden dots" (buttons). So I'm pretty sure she knew what she was getting when she opened her mail a couple days ago. Still, I hope she likes it. And that all her other birthday tote dreams come true.

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