January 26, 2011

1 Year (and a month): The Dining Room (I mean Office)

Filed under: Home — Catherine @ 4:00 pm

(First, pardon the wonky-ness of the site as I changed themes and maybe, someday, will customize it a bit.)

I thought the Dining Room was going to be the most boring post of all because this is how it looked when we moved in:

Despite the very modern light fixture, the rest of the room had the traditional colonial feel with the built-in-hutch, stenciled edgings, and blue striped wallpaper.

Sadly, this is how it looked 1 year later:

Can you even tell what the changes are??

Once upon a time we had our dining table in there (the one now in the sun room) and a tiny 2 person table in the large sun room. We since realized the dining table would get much more use (and space!) in the sun room. The plan for the dining room was to move Eric’s bar in and make it a “man room” with sports stuff and maybe a card table.

But all that changed the day after xmas when a Nor’Easter rolled in and brought us this!

Yes we got a puppy! His name is Dylan and he is a Wheaten Terrier. I will have a post dedicated to him soon so you can read his story.

Dylan (for now) is only allowed downstairs and for 2 people who work at home quite a bit, an office upstairs isn’t practical, especially when trying to house train a pup. Our dining table turned in to a work zone piled with laptops and papers and we had to keep running upstairs to grab stuff. We both missed our office a lot and could hardly eat at the table.

Naturally, it was decided the dining room would become the office!

We had neglected the room for so long because we didn’t use it much but also… *dun dun dun* it had wallpaper! We were scared to tackle it even though we picked up a heavy-duty wallpaper steamer at Home Depot (it was a rental that was being sold off). But now this room was our top priority!

Turns out, the wallpaper was easssssssy to take off. I swear I walked away and came back and Eric had the whole room done. We were on such a roll we decided to tackle part of the hallway that is wallpapered as well.

After a day, our office looked like this:

We had an interior designer help us pick colors when we moved in and she suggested that we paint the entire room (including the chair rail) one color to make it seem bigger. It sounded weird to me and how was I going to pass up a chair rail that was already installed?? We convinced ourselves beadboard was the way to go and got the pieces at Lowe’s where they thankfully cut it for us! You can see a piece of it in the bottom corner of the last picture.

Stay tuned for more updates! What color will the room be? Will we survive beadboard cutting?!

PS What is the difference between beadboard and wainscoting??


January 25, 2011

Some Knitting

Filed under: Crafts — Catherine @ 3:59 pm

I really really tried to post last week to keep my “1 post a week” goal but things have been super busy. I will soon share what we have been working on!

Until then, some knits!

I was hoping this past year (2010) was going to be the year I had handknit stockings for Eric and I. In 2009 we didn’t move in to our house until the week before xmas so that was out of the question. Unfortunately, this year I did not start knitting on Eric’s stocking until xmas eve. Needless to say it was not done in time. But I am ahead for 2011!

(click any pic to enlarge!)

I did block it but I realize it looks wonky on the right side. It also has to do with the white yarn blending in to the snow!

I wanted stockings that were similar, but different and these stockings by Annie’s Woolens fit the bill. I did consider changing up the colors but decided to stick with these. Eric chose the bear stocking for himself.

The picture above seems like it should be titled “Abandoned Sock.”

The green and white yarns are Paton’s Merino. I desperately searched for the cranberry-ish colorway of this yarn which I KNOW they make (or at least made) because I once owned it. Unfortunately I couldn’t track it down so the red is Loops and Threads Impeccable (from Michael’s). It is more lofty than the Paton’s yarns but the steam blocking really helped!

This was knit with size 6s except the bear part which I had to go up to 7s because it was pulling in too tight. Now I have 11 months to knit myself a stocking!

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Here is the other knit project that has patiently been awaiting its photo debut – my Ishbel shawl!

Knit in Socks that Rock Mediumweight in the Korppi colorway that I ran out of just 7 rows from the end.

Thankfully a fellow knitter friend sent me the extras of her yarn (from the Netherlands no less!) and I was able to finish it. The colorways were not exact but I dare ask, can you tell?

And here I have lovingly draped it over a bush. I would have rearranged it nicer if the weather were warmer.

So there we have it, some knits! I am working now on a crochet project of which has some parts I will have to make up on my own. That should be interesting.

January 11, 2011

2010 Knitting Year in Review

Filed under: Crafts — Catherine @ 11:51 am

It’s that time of year where I look back at all the items I knit or crocheted last year. Surprisingly, I hardly knit anything the first 6 months of the year while we were wedding planning. You could almost say this is a half-year in review and then my results don’t look so bad!Before I jump in, I need to share the last couple of items I finished! Between the bibs and the ornaments, I finished knitting Ishbel. It is sadly still waiting for its photo op but you will see a pic of it blocking in the photo mosaic below. Perhaps after we get our foot of snow I can take some pictures of it lying on the fluffy white stuff.

I also knit a couple more ornament covers. I found the that less knitting = more stretching = better looking ornament. When I ran out of Ikea ornaments, I picked some up at Target (dollar spot!). In total I made 8 of these and got to keep one!


I also knit a scarf for my sister in this awesome yarn called Pomp-a-Doodle.

Project name: Pomp-a-Doodle Scarf
Pattern: Pomp-a-Doodle 1 Ball Scarf
Yarn: As the pattern name states, just 1 skein of PaD yarn in Plush Plum
Needles: sz 9s
Started: Dec 11
Finished: Dec 11
Notes: I love quick projects and this was easy to knit with. The scarf comes out a little short but it’s still functional and so soft!

I couldn’t resist, I had to knit a scarf for me too.


This colorway is African Violet and took just 2 days to knit.

Now that I am all caught up, I can properly do my 2010 Knitting (Half) Year in Review.

Last year I knit 12 items. This year… 8.

– 1 pair of socks
– 1 baby hat
– 2 baby bibs
– 1 shawl
– 2 scarves
– ornaments (I only count this as one since they are so small)

So sad! I really need to pick it up for 2011. My goal is to at least get back up to 12… heck, 15! I know I can do it!

January 4, 2011

1 Year: The Guest Room

Filed under: Home — Catherine @ 3:19 pm
I had planned to show off the rest of the downstairs first but it appears I haven’t gotten around to working on those pictures so upstairs we go! 
The guest room is actually the first room we painted in the house. My mom came to visit just after we moved in and well, we couldn’t let her stay in a room like this!

Hey, more two-tone paint! Also some roughed up trim, brass doorknobs, and 2 prong outlets… original to the house I’m sure.

It was a rush job so when my mom came to visit, all Eric and my BIL had managed was a new coat of paint. The 2 prong outlets were also upgraded (by an electrician). We moved in a full-sized bed and threw on some existing bedding.

Better, but not great right? Eventually we got a frame for the bed and I got some new bedding at TJ Maxx. My uncle had some extra vinyl blinds so we hung those (our house was surprisingly lacking in window treatments).

In the summer we upgraded our queen to a king so we moved our old queen and it’s frame (from Ikea) in to the guest room. Thankfully the new duvet I got still fits!

When I painted my craft room (next door to this room), I also took the chance to paint the doors and trim in the guest room. We also upgraded the knobs and window sashes to a brushed nickel.

Almost a year after the room was first painted, we finally hung some rods and got new curtains! Just in time for my mom to visit again! I dare say the room is 90% complete!

The remaining 10% would be painting the ceiling, replacing the light fixture, and hanging some pictures. But it sure is a huge improvement over the pink and purple we inherited! Also, like our living room, this room could benefit from some crown moulding!

 //Linked up to Remodelaholic! //

January 1, 2011

1 Year: The Sun Room

Filed under: Home — Catherine @ 8:59 pm

The next room up on the 1 Year of Before and After is the Sun Room which you previously saw here and here.

I have been meaning to write this post for the past week and I had this photo all prepped to use!

Alas, I am a little late but not too late to say Happy New Year!

This is how the Sun Room looked when we moved in before we even had the floors done. Not only were we not digging the two-tone paint colors but the floors were scratched and also had the faint outline of the rug that was once there.

This is right before we started painting (10 months after moving in) but you can tell how much nicer and shinier the floors look!

Living Room Before

Then we finished painting! The color is Desert Tan by Benjamin Moore. I have read it described as a “chamois” color and I have to agree. It has some yellowish undertones but the room looks so much better all in one color! We also painted the ceiling and repaired any bad spots.

The color wraps around the wall and in to the kitchen (on the left).

We changed out the sconces, hung some shelves, and moved in a few pieces of furniture and this is how it looked 1 year after moving in!

I’d love to change the lamp over the table to a drum shade. The table and rug were hand-me-downs from our families. I hope someday we will get a chance to paint or stain the table and buffet to the same color. My mom actually already re-upholstered the chairs when it belonged to her. I think some craftiness runs in the family! I also want to change out the stools to a darker wood with a swivel seat… And we  might do curtains… I think it might “soften” up the room but there are a lot of patio doors and it might be weird. Thoughts?

So that’s the Sun Room. I wish everyone a happy and healthy New Year and I’ll be back with more!

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