Sunday, September 30, 2012

Seasons of Change

Fall is a my favorite time of year.  The air is crisp, the days are filled with golden sunshine and colorful leaves, and it is finally time to pull out your knitwear and a pair of jeans!  Fall is a season of change.  Last year at this time I was celebrating the lives and mourning the loss of my grandparents.  This year we are bringing in this glorious season by making some significant changes in our home. 

As our kids are getting older (and our furniture begins to show its age) we decided it was time for a change.  A big part of the drive for this was that my husband and I were constantly competing for space in the small upstairs bedroom we were sharing for both my crafting and his music/recording equipment.  Neither of us could start a very large project without taking over the others' space.  So we agreed to do a major overhaul of the way we use the rooms, get rid of everything unnecessary and finally make the house work for us.

After giving away some old furniture, moving our piano, and cleaning out the china cabinet I was left with this:

Now that may look like a huge mess (and trust my sinuses, it was not fun to clean up) but as soon as I had this room empty I could see the potential... I finally had a room just for me.  Other than the one year I had an apartment in college I have never had a room all to myself to use as I saw fit.  Never.  I was thrilled at the prospect of arranging, decorating and utilizing a room in a way that I chose!  I spent hours and hours cleaning, moving, arranging, rearranging, moving again, planning, folding, stacking, and putting things just how I wanted them.  This was the result:

I now have a place to store my books and patterns:

organize my fabrics:

sort my yarn:

work on my finances, edit photos, or more likely, watch Netflix or Hulu while knitting a hat:

sew, cut, iron, whatever, with room to maneuver and not end up in someone's way:

and even several places to display my finished items:

Though I'm not done decorating the walls (pics of each of my kids in Knits & Knots products will be proudly hung on the wall above my sewing machine in the very near future), I have a place for my favorite pic of my husband and I (thanks Micah Bell Photography!) and even a little place for my unused, but treasured, college diploma. 

And since this room was once a dining room, its not all that private.  But one of my favorite features is that using a shower curtain rod and some inexpensive drapes from Target I can instantly turn my craft room view from this:

(crazy toy room chaos)

to this:

(aaaaah!  much better)

And in a pinch this room can even be turned into a pretty great place for a quiet date night in while the toddler is sleeping and the older two are watching Spy Kids 2 in the other room.  That's a YouTube video of a crackling fire in the background, to the soundtrack of the Love Songs station on Pandora Radio :)  Add some Chinese takeout and its pure bliss!

How are you celebrating this season of change?

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Road Trip!

Our family took a very big trip to the western part of the US this summer.  Starting in Indiana, stopping in S. Dakota and Wyoming we hit Badlands National Park, Custer State Park, Yellowstone National Park, and Glacier National park.  We had one (very large) RV, and a truck pulling a pop-up camper to house my entire side of the family.  There were 12 of us in all!  It was an amazing time and a trip none of us will ever forget.  I thought you might enjoy a little glimpse into the trip.  I'm only sharing a very very small sampling of the numerous pics I took, but it will give you a feel for our experience.  Planning for, going on, and recovering from this trip took up almost our entire summer, so its about all I have to share from the last few months!

The Badlands

The intrepid explorers ready to go, complete with personalized water bottle carriers - the only craft I did in preparation for this trip!  (And no, I did not pose them!)

The whole crew checking out the fumeroles (minus myself and my youngest son who was riding on my back) - Yellowstone National Park

Fountain Geyser - Yellowstone National Park

 Buffalo in Yellowstone

Lower Falls - Yellowstone National Park

Forest Fires outside of Custer State Park

Someone's worn out from the heat

One of the MANY amazing views in Glacier National Park

Weeping Wall - Glacier National Park

The "big" boys trying to stay upright in strong winds

My sister and I

All the kids were great hikers!
My parents were great hikers too :)

Just one of the lush areas around Glacier.  Considering the drought we were experiencing in Indiana at the time, this was such a welcome sight!

Some of the beautiful wildflowers in the park - Glacier National Park

 The Cottonwood trees in bloom

Getting up-close and personal with a mountain goat!  Such beautiful creatures.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Sandals and Headbands and Auctions, Oh My!

**warning, this post is loaded with photos**

I mentioned in my last post that I was working on a large order for a silent auction.  I finally got all of the items finished up last month and took my family over to my parents for a quick photoshoot so that my mom could include the pictures in the auction's website.  We unfortunately picked a rainy day, but with careful location choice we were able to get some nice photos of the items.

All the items together.

Striped Tote Bag

Coffee Cup Cozies

Earflap Hat

Earflap Hat and matching Flower Clip

Earflap Hat with Flower Clip

Father and Son Beard Hat set

Beard Hat without the beard :)

Mother and Daughter Swirl Hat and Scarf set

Girl's Swirl Hat and Scarf set

Along with the auction items I had a few orders of these amazing Baby Gladiator Sandals.  A friend requested a pair for a baby shower gift and as soon as I saw the pattern I was in love!  They work up very nicely and the pattern is well-written.  I worked up a little Rouched Headband and Flower Clip to round out the gift set.  That is gonna be one well-coordinated newborn :)

I was lucky to have a second order of the sandals shortly thereafter so I got to see how cute they were in other colors.  The second set was made to coordinate with a sweet little baby romper from Target and I had so much fun finding perfectly matching yarn and fabric for the sandals and little flower embellishment.

While I don't have any orders on my ticket at the moment I'm using what free time I have to build up a stock of items for a craft fair this December;

 cleaning and fixing up our new home-away-from-home;

attending photography workshops (this time for newborn photography - its a great way to learn how photo props are put into use);

and spending lots of time with my family!  I love staying busy yet still having that all-important family time.