The Pantry Book

a notebook of homekeeping, crafts, and professional motherhood

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DIY Aquabord project

Still no baby, FYI.

I have an enormous space above the fireplace (which unfortunately we can’t figure out how to work and the landlord is incommunicado) in the living room, which to me, just screams for a huge piece of art. Now, huge pieces of art, even by unknown artists, are pretty pricey, so I decided to make something. But, golly, even huge BLANK canvases are expensive!

I was really inspired by this:


To me, this looks like a watercolor – or maybe I could get the same look with ink on stretched silk. Since I already have watercolor paint and would have to buy the inks to paint on the silk, I decided watercolor would be plan A and silk would be plan B.

Before we moved, I painted a watercolor for Adele’s gallery wall (which, foolishly, I painted on charcoal paper instead of watercolor paper) and the paper warped so badly that I couldn’t even get it to lie flat enough to tape it down without lots of ripples.

I talked to our former art teacher about it and she said with a project of this size (3′ x 5′) warping would be a major concern. She suggested a product called Aquabord, which is kind of like watercolor paper that it mounted on a board – which would prevent any warping and also give you a nice flat surface to paint on. Well, I couldn’t find any Aquabord in the gigantic size I needed and it was kind of pricey so I wasn’t confident I could afford it even if I could track down a large enough piece.

So, I decided to make my own! I bought a roll of heavy (140 lb) cold-pressed watercolor paper (I love buying things in bulk! – this was 11 yards! – so I’ll NEVER run out of watercolor paper!!) from Amazon. And I had Derm Dad pick up some MDF on one of his many trips to the hardware store. He cut a piece for over the mantle and he made me a couple of drawing boards (to use on an easel in the Schooling Room) for painting or calligraphy out of the scraps.

I used Elmer’s multipurpose spray adhesive (not sure if this is the best, it’s just what I had on hand) to attach the paper to the board – working in sections so that I could attach the paper within the 15 second window to get a permanent bond. Then I had an issue with the edges curling up (not surprising since the paper came on a roll and it’s really heavy paper), so I taped a border with painter’s tape. Even if the tape damages the paper, I figure that the edges will eventually get covered by the frame, but this way it will stay flat while I paint.

The problem with a piece this big is reaching across it to paint it! I have to keep it relatively flat so that my watercolor won’t run while it’s wet, but maybe I can bring in the sawhorses so that I can at least access it from all four sides.


Of course, Adele wanted to help me paint it. I do love my daughter, and I love her art work, but I don’t really want her help on this project. So I made her an Aquabord of her own – in a much more manageable size!


So, I want to make sure that you all know the following:

1. I haven’t used this yet, so it might not even work

2. I have never used the real Aquabord (which is clayboard and not watercolor paper) – it sounds really cool. It’s probably a great product and totally worth the price (It’s just that I’m not willing to pay it for a piece of this size)

3. I’m not a real artist, so – you know – I have no experience or official training

All that said, it could be really great!


And, we are getting closer to crown moulding going up on the bookshelves! yay!


Derm Dad can’t finish the crown moulding without a new tool (which won’t get here until Wednesday), so he said he’s going to fix our headboard (attach it so that it stops crashing down on us!) tonight! We got a babysitter for Wednesday night (we have a tradition of going out on a date to a nice dinner before each baby). And on Thursday, he’s renting a trailer to go to DC to pick up a gorgeous 4-poster bed I found on craigslist for Adele’s room. We figure spending $100 (plus $20 for the trailer) is easier than figuring out how to fix her bed. Her bed broke in several places during the move and we just can’t figure out how to fix it so that it would be structurally sound. It was actually slightly broken when we bought it and it had broken a few times after we had tried to fix it initially. So, we already tried what we thought would work and now it’s broken a whole lot more than it was then. Sorry, beautiful antique bed, but this is where we say goodbye!



No baby yet! and I painted the Schooling Room Desk (a few times)

belly shot

This is what the desk started out as – the raw wood was really pretty in my opinion, but I wanted it to look kind of greywashed.



So, I started by “staining” the wood with some acrylic craft paint (dark brown and black mixed with water) and I just wiped it down with a towel to let some of the wood grain come through.

First it looked like this:


But then I got this – soooo pretty! I could have stopped there and been happy, but I was on a mission for grey-washed!:


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I made a “graywash” by adding water to some Annie Sloan paint.


P1050609P1050602 And, I really loved how the wood came out! But, then I hated how it looked with the orange-toned wood on the floor and in the wood blinds. oops! So, then I decided to paint the desk in Chateau Grey, which is the exact color the armoire is painted. It’s a very green gray – not my favorite gray, but I thought it would be cool if the two pieces matched.

So, I painted the whole thing Chateau Grey, then I waxed it and buffed it before church on Sunday morning while Derm Dad made an amazing breakfast.

Then I hated how green everything looked, so I painted Coco on top of the Chateau Grey on the desk. I only had a test pot of Coco, so I need to buy more in order to repaint the armoire, but I will say that painting has been totally fun and not burdensome. I do love using the AS chalk paint!

Meanwhile, Derm Dad is adding baseboards to my bookcases in the living room.

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See the rest of our new house tour HERE.


Updates in the Homeschool Room/Front Room

Things are happening in the Homeschool Room! Derm Dad finished my plank desk!! I had to stand on it with some very heavy books to level out the boards while he Kreg Jigged from below. I offer you a “during” shot complete with enormous swollen feet and a crazy belly (and no shower, but I didn’t leave the house that day so it’s ok, right?).


Doesn’t my new desk look great? I just need to paint it now. I’m planning to do a graywash technique so that the wood grain stays visible. We’ll see how that goes!

The middle base unit with drawers from Ikea holds a surprising amount of stuff!! I thought all our supplies would go in the armoire, but I have a lot of craft supplies!! I think it will be nice to have certain things right there when we are sitting at the desk.


And the armoire is all set up in here storing craft supplies. It’s pretty big, but it gets kind of dwarfed with the super-high ceilings in here. I kind of wish it was taller, but then it wouldn’t have fit in our car.




Want to see the other wall with the real built-ins? This shows how the front room flows into the dining room and then the Living Room/Fireplace Room at the end — and you can see a tiny sliver of the kitchen through the doorway in the dining room. And it also shows all my piles of stuff I don’t have a home for yet (hangs head in shame!), so pretend you don’t see those, ok?


Maybe I’m the only one who likes to see the inside of drawers, so you don’t have to keep reading if you don’t really care about that stuff. But if you are like me, here are my craft supplies in the armoire:

Starting on the left we have 12×12 scrapbook paper in that cardboard box thing, then construction paper and fresh crayons, then scrapbooking paper scraps (separated by size and then more drawing paper as well as chalk and broken crayons. On the far right we have Everett’s medical records and insurance paperwork, Adele’s medical records, and some paper dolls and a craft book.


The yarn drawer. Knitting needles and crochet hooks are in that striped roll thing at the bottom right. A few needles are loose – being used for works in progress.


Next we have the markers and paper stuff (thank you notes, envelopes, etc.). We also have the paper cutter, 3-hole punch, and our embosser (with our address from two houses ago! – it also embosses our monogram, though).


This is the “embellishment drawer” – with feathers, foam hearts, mini clothespins, magnets, glass beads, greeting cards to be used for collage, glue gun, etc. . .


This is the rubber stamp drawer. I don’t really do rubber stamps, but I have four sets of alphabets in foam stamps that I do like to use with paint. And I have all my ink pads (stored upside down) in here too. I figure it’ll be fun for Adele in a year or so — when she can be trusted with non-washable crafts.



And here are the insides of the Ikea desk bases:

This one holds all the large papers and my light pad (for calligraphy). I have since found a home for the scissors and other tools in that cup in the middle drawers (with the glues). Originally, I planned to store them on a magnetic knife strip attached to the inside of the door, but for now they are in a drawer.



Here are the drawers from the middle base unit:

This one is drawing pencils, colored pencils, watercolor pencils, fancy ultra-fine tip pens for notebook-keeping, as well as a few regular pens and highlighters, some fun washi tape, etc.


calligraphy drawer



P1050543paint and glitter drawer. I also keep plastic lids in here because I use those as paint palettes or just to catch excess glitter.





watercolor drawer. My favorite palette is underneath the brushes. I also have lots of extra tubes of watercolor paint as well as gouache.



And this is Adele’s base unit on the far right:



Living Room/Family Room/Fireplace Room (with pics!!)

Once again, I struggle to know how to refer to this room. I don’t like the idea of TWO rooms with couches (i.e. having both a family room and a living room), but which name do you use when they are combined? For clarity, I can say the fireplace room and since there’s only one fireplace in the whole house at least people know which room I’m talking about. But, “fireplace room” does sound a bit silly. Any suggestions?

This room is open to the dining room (separated by French doors – to the left in the pic below) and also open to the kitchen (separated by two huge doorways and the half wall that is at the bottom of the pic below). I would have liked to have three couches and a chair like I did at our old house, but this room just wasn’t large enough. It’s plenty wide on either side of the fireplace, but not in front of the fireplace. If we owned this house, I would take down that half wall, which would give enough room to put two couches facing each other in front of the fireplace, but with the wall there it would look weird. So, even though having more seating would be great, we can always bring in the dining room chairs if we need to, and I actually love the size and shape of the room. I think it works pretty well for hosting small- to medium-sized bible studies and pot luck dinners. People usually don’t mind being a bit crowded for a party (I hope!).


This room has four bookcases with extension shelves all the way to the ceiling – did you know that I/we love books??? I put our “non-homeschooling” books in here, but I don’t really think that’s a great distinction because our “homeschool books” are real books (not textbooks or workbooks) and we would read them even if we didn’t homeshool. Similarly, I think our “non-homeschooling” books are super-relevant for homeschooling because they have to do with life. But, I just had to draw the line somewhere. In here you will find our theology books (alphabetical by author except certain authors like: Elisabeth Elliot, C. S. Lewis, George MacDonald, and J. R. R. Tolkien – who each get their own shelves) and shelves dedicated to certain topics we are interested in, for example: parenting/child-training/childbirth, womanhood/role of a wife, marriage/family, and peacemaking books. You will also find favorite family read-aloud series, homesteading books, cookbooks (arranged by color), Kent’s books, our family MyPublisher photo albums (which I am FOUR years behind on!!!), and my lovely Coralie Bickford Smith-illustrated clothbound classics (spread out among each of the four bookcases). On some of the higher shelves I put high school homeschool books (which would make more sense in the front room bookshelves, but I just ran out of space in there).


The first thing that I got for this room was the 9 x 12 wool rug (which I bought on ebay – it was a customer return, looks absolutely brand new, and I paid less than half price!!!) and I got a suuuuuper-thick (1/2 inch!!) rug pad so it’s really comfy to sit on the floor or even lay down to play with Everett – I’m just so happy with it!!! It kind of looks dirty all the time, but it’s an all-over “dirty” – which I think will be perfect for us =). I also found a slipcovered couch on craigslist (in PERFECT condition and it came with TWO slipcovers, white and linen/beige) — YAY!!!


I feel like we are just trading furniture back and forth with craigslist! I sold two Lee Industries couches, two matching linen-slipcovered settees, and the piano from the old house (all of which originally came from craigslist!) and so far for the new house I’ve bought two armoires (from CL), the new rug (from ebay), a bunch of extension shelves for the bookcases (new from Ikea), and now this couch (from CL). So I think we’re pretty even. =)

And I have some smaller furniture in here (from the old house) which I think has good bones and appropriate scale, but it all needs to be painted and/or reupholstered (green chairs, I am talking to you!) — none of which is likely to happen before the baby comes =( But, eventually, there will be no green in here, just gray, beige, white, light brown, etc. The green stripe chair is moving up to our bedroom once I find something to replace it — it’s super-duper comfortable (and Kent loves it) but the curvy legs are rubbing me the wrong way in here – so it has to go (I paid $65 for it on craigslist!). Then I need to get a few more seating options in here – I’m thinking of a simple, padded bench in front of the (non-working gas) fireplace as well as another comfy chair or two. Also, I’m keeping my eyes open for some side tables and lovely lamps. Having a place for each person to put a bible (or pens, teacup or whatever) as well as adequate lighting are my main priorities in here.


So, the bookshelves are already on 2×4 bases, so that we can use 2x8s as baseboards (just like in the Keeping Room/Homeschool Room). We also need to add all kinds of trim (and caulk and paint) to make these look more built-in. And, Derm Dad isn’t exactly on-board for this expansion of the project, but I also REAAAAALLLLYYYYY want to add four DVD shelves (not for DVDS, they are just skinny enough to fill the space perfectly) as well as shelves over the two doorways, to connect the bookshelves on either side, so that they really look built-in. Kind of like this:


My main inspiration for the fireplace room (all furniture in neutral colors, lots of textures, and that rug) has been this lovely space:


And this piece of art (for punch colors and also something lovely to put over the fireplace) — I plan to get some throw pillows in these colors, too:


And these rooms too:

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See the rest of our new house tour HERE.


Why I haven’t posted any Perone Hive Updates

My hive died back in December. Homesteading FAIL!

I didn’t post about it right away because I got busy, then I just kept putting it off because I wasn’t excited about being a failed beekeeper. Of course, posting about it or not doesn’t change that facts of what happened – and I started posting about my hive because there just isn’t a lot of information about Perone hives available. I just really wanted it to work – and it didn’t! =( And I didn’t want my hive’s failure to deter other people from using Perone hives. Please understand that I’m no expert, and I’m not trying to be one, but this type of (hands-off) hive really seems to make the most sense compared to the more popular Langstroth-style of hive. I don’t think bees should be messed with and medicated like so many managed hives are. And, we can’t forget that A LOT of managed hives die too. Well, it is what it is. My beekeeping experiment failed. One thing I guess I just glossed over in reading about Perone hives is that Oscar Perone says you should start with a “prime swarm” and not commercial bees. So that’s what we’re trying to do this time around. We are “first on the list” for a swarm from my beekeeping mentor this year and hopefully we’ll be able to start this whole thing again. And, the new batch of bees will have the added advantage of all this comb already built, so they should be able to store a lot more honey than if we just plopped them in an empty hive.

So back to last December . . .

At first, I thought the dead bees on the bottom of the hive was just the hive’s way of cutting down to essential personnel only (fewer mouths to feed) – to get through the winter in the cluster. But, then, when we didn’t see any bees flying on the first warm day after a cold snap, I knew it was a dead-out. So sad. I felt like my pet had died!


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Once we took the bottom board off of the hive, we had an opportunity to photograph the beautiful comb from the bottom. My bees worked so hard to build this stuff! We wrapped the entire hive in plastic – hoping to keep wax moths out until we can put a prime swarm in here – in the Spring. P1050212 P1050213

This will give you an idea of the temperature here. In late December, most of the recently-fallen snow had melted, but this is the remains from a snow-man, so it was still on the chilly side.



Keeping Room/Homeschool Room/Work Room

Even though we have already done A LOT of work in here, it’s still a really long way from done.

I’m still not sure what I’m calling it, but this is either the Homeschool Room or the Keeping Room. Or, maybe the Work Room – I really like Edie’s Work Room HERE but hers also has laundry, so this room might not be multi-use enough to justify that name. Anyway, this room houses (or will house) three Ikea Billy bookcases with most of our homeschool books, two smaller truly built-in bookcases (biographies on the left and history on the right), our desks/work area, and all of our arts and crafts supplies in an armoire. It’s like the “craft room” from our old house minus all the sewing stuff (which I’m keeping in the “basement sewing room” in this house). I did that because, when I’m sewing, I generally need to be alone — but I like to do arts and crafts WITH my family, so I didn’t want to keep the supplies somewhere remote with bad lighting (even though the basement in this house has surprisingly excellent lighting). And I like the supplies in an armoire because you can see everything with the doors open, yet you can easily close the doors and the room is clutter-free. I do think that art supplies are pretty and can be inspiring to look at, but I’m super sensitive to clutter and I need clean, cleared-off surfaces to concentrate/be creative.

In addition to a place to keep our homeschool books and do some arts and crafts, I wanted this room to be a place where we could work on our Charlotte Mason notebooks (Book of Centuries, nature notebook, commonplace book, etc. . . . ) — basically the concept for this room as a “Keeping Room” is inspired from one of my favorite books – The Living Page: Keeping Notebooks with Charlotte Mason by Laurie Bestvater (not an affiliate link, but I REALLY REALLY REALLY recommend the book!). I don’t really want to call this a homeschool room because my brain conjures up images of “School at Home,” i.e. a room that tries to look like a classroom with visual overload (for me – some people like it) everywhere you look (for example, alphabet letters on the wall, gaudy bulletin boards, bright colors all over, plastic and/or melamine furniture, etc.). I need a functional space that looks and feels good because we have to actually want to spend time in here.

Here’s what the room looks like now:



These are three of the bookcases from the old house, with three additional extension shelves that Kent had to cut down in order to clear the crown moulding. Now that was a project in itself because he replicated the complicated holes that he chopped off so that they connect with the same hardware are they did before (my husband is a genius!!!). It was Derm Dad’s idea to make the middle section extra tall so we’d have a place for the atlases and the globe – which I think worked out perfectly! In case anybody is interested in book organization, Starting at the bottom left hand shelf, we have the books for Year One (for the Ambleside Online Charlotte Mason curriculum), then above that we has some read-aloud books and some other books that are supposed to be good, but I haven’t read yet), then above that Year Two, then Year Three, Year Four and Year Five on the three shelves above that. Then some other great books on the skinny shelf above that and Year Six at the very top (which I can’t reach without a step-stool). In the middle, starting at the bottom, we have artist books (for Picture Study), then some field guides on the skinny shelf above that and Nature Study/Natural Science books above that. Then, with the wooden figure thing, we have the Shakespeare shelf and the poetry shelf above that. We have composer study above that and then the globe and atlases at the very top. In the bookshelf on the right, starting at the bottom, we have some random tall books (mostly picture books), then above that it’s multi-person biographies (I wish I had room to keep those with the regular biographies), then our nature shelf above that. Then, it’s Mom’s shelf, with homeschool planning books, teaching books, books with book lists, etc., and my own Charlotte Mason notebooks. Then we have handicrafts (a whole bunch of scouting books, a kids cookbook, some books on how to draw, sailing and knots, etc.), some science books (astronomy, inventions and how they work, weather, science experiments, etc.), and then some blank notebooks. Then, above that, I have foreign language (to the left) and geography (to the right). I’m still not sure what I’ll put in that short shelf, but I have books fro Year Seven and Year Eight at the very top. It’s hard to restrain myself, but I am trying not to buy any books for Ambleside Online Year Seven or older. I do like to buy the ones that I am personally interested in, though, so I have quite a few – and I’ve enjoyed reading them for my own enrichment. All the books on the Ambleside Online list are just such great books!! I want to own them all!!!  I have the high school books that I have purchased on the top shelves of the four bookshelves in the Living Room/Fireplace Room. There just wasn’t room for them in here. =(

These bookcases are bolted to a 2×4 frame as a base and then Kent is making a baseboard of sorts out of 2x8s that he’s going to miter cut and I will prime and paint. The top of the 2×8 will line up perfectly just below the bottom shelf. Then he’s going to hang crown moulding (hopefully we can find a perfect match to the moulding that’s already in the room) at the top, so the bookcases will truly look built-in. We are also going to add vertical trim so you don’t see the seams between the shelves (just like we did at the old house).  I can’t wait because I know it’s going to look soooo good!.


Now, about the desk nook. It’s 114″ long! I went back and forth about whether I wanted a plank desk built in to the window nook (one floor down from the same nook in Adele’s room, which is now a window seat) or two drafting desks that adjust from horizontal surfaces (like a regular desk) to slightly elevated (for writing and calligraphy) to vertical (to use as an easel for painting). I really liked the drafting desk option and the drafting desks from World Market are solid wood and would have fit PERFECTLY in this little nook; but, ultimately, I decided to go with a built-in flat desk and just use foldable easels on top of the regular desk for tasks that require a different angle. I think the clincher for me was that even when I want an angled workspace, I also need a flat workspace to set other things on (like supplies and a cup of tea!). And, the built-in plank desk is more minimalist in this nook (which has such a low window that the desks have to go in front of quite a bit of glass – so less stuff going on under the table means less visual noise).  I got three “base” units from Ikea (one with drawers and two with open storage inside) and Derm Dad is building me a wood plank table top from 2x10s using his kreg jig. The wood color will be something like this:



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with two DIY table-top adjustable angled work surfaces like this for calligraphy, painting, etc.:



I’m thinking about painting the white melamine Ikea bases in an oil-rubbed bronze color to make them look sort of like metal. Something like this, but only if I can figure out to make it look like metal rather than painted Ikea furniture:

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And I’m thinking of some sconces like this or this:

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Tomorrow, Derm Dad is driving an hour (I love that man!!) to pick up this armoire to replace that black shelf-o-craft-supplies:


It will go between the two windows, where there is a dresser right now. Sorry, I just realized I didn’t take a picture of that wall, but it’s the wall on the right. I think the armoire will be great because of the whole closed storage thing but also because the rest of the furniture in the room is from Ikea, so I think it needs something with a bit more depth/age/dimension (you know what I mean?) to balance it all out.

The final wall (which I also didn’t take a picture of) has the two real built-ins on either side and then the walkway to the dining room in the middle. I’ll take a picture when this room is a bit more finished.

And on the floor, I am going to use my FLOR tiles that were in the front room at the old house, and layer a light-toned hide rug on top (later, if I have the extra $$$). Then a few casual poufs or stools for sitting like this:


or this:


And, I want to hang a magnetic strip on the inside of an armoire door for scissors and other metal implements (needle-nose pliers, grommet punch, etc.). Or maybe on the inside of the door to one of the desk bases.


I don’t like how classroomy most whiteboards look, but I love the idea of writing on glass inside a frame with the back removed like this (in this room, the wreath is hung in front of the frame when it isn’t being used as a whiteboard):


And, probably the lowest priority but definitely something I want to do eventually is get a heavy-duty map roller and mount it on the ceiling in front of the wall’o’bookcases (painted white, obviously). 901a96c276cbc17d567dbd32aaa55eed


I’ve already made some big changes to this room. See them HERE and HERE.

See the rest of our new house tour HERE.

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Kids’ rooms and bathroom

Everett’s room

I have a few art/decor things I still want to do, but basically, Everett’s room is done. We have some triangular foam things under the fitted sheet because he’s now too long for the crib but he would totally wiggle off the edge of a regular bed. I thought that all the bed rail options were kind of ugly (I looked but couldn’t find any spindle bed rails to match the bed frame), so we went with these foam things. All Everett really needs are the bed rails, his sound machine, and his gloworm (it’s bright blue – on the nightstand). He really could care less about being rocked and snuggled or read to before bed, but that boy cannot do without his gloworm. (I have two, just in case!).

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We put the rug that used to be in the “couch room” in here and I think it works.

Everett’s clothes were kept in an armoire in the old house (no closet space), so I pretty much just have some stacks of “next season” things (i.e. that he should be growing into or wearing when the weather warms up) on the shelf – and then everything else gets hung up. I may put a dresser in here at some point, but this works fine for now. The rubbermaid bins are for clothes he has just grown out of or should be growing into in the next few years (I buy stuff from consignment shops when it’s a good price, even if it’s a few years away from being worn).



I have three vintage airplanes that I still need to mount  on the ceiling and I also need to figure out some art for the walls. I’d like to do some calligraphy with his name, the meaning, and his verse for over his bed. We’ll see.


Adele’s room

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Adele’s room is taking quite a bit longer than Everett’s room to get going because we are building her a window seat in this nook and also her bed sort of fell apart during the move.


We finally got all three cabinets for the base of the window seat purchased and assembled. Now all we need is trim and I need to sew the cushions for the top — I think three will look better than one super-long one. The cushion style will be something like this:


And I’m thinking about this hugie red stripe fabric (actually a duvet cover from West Elm – on ebay):


Or, I might go with an upholstery fabric by Anna Maria Horner. It’s a larger-scale version of one of the lavender prints I used in the quilt.  I already have a few yards, but I don’t think it will be enough.

Once I hung the gallery wall and put her crazy rug down, her room started to feel a bit more cozy.

P1050518I need Kent to drill a screw for that pink oval frame (it’s surprisingly heavy) and the lavender frame too, but I was able to get the rest up by myself with just command strips and nails. And fixing Adele’s bed hasn’t happened yet because we aren’t exactly sure how to do it, so it’s still just piled up in pieces in the corner. And, the wool rug is still rolled up in the other corner with the bed slats because we planned to put it down when we put her bed together. You know how it goes! Pretty soon we won’t even notice that junk in the corner and we will have lived with it like this for a year!!!!  NONONONO!!

Adele said she actually prefers her mattress on the floor because she can just fall into her bed from standing up. Humph!!! Some people just do not appreciate antique furniture and the lengths that their mothers go to in furnishing their daughter’s bedrooms!!!

My new rule is that if you can’t keep your room clean (drawers closed neatly, clear floors, and clear surfaces) then we take away whatever is on the floor or not put away and donate it to Goodwill. We keep taking stuff away until we get to a manageable amount of “stuff.” That way, we can be good stewards of what God has given to us. I think Adele is starting to get the picture. And her room has been extremely neat lately.


Seriously, I’m hoping to have her rug down and bed put together in the next week or so. After that, I’m planning to paint Adele’s dresser and bed pale lavender (I’m dying to try Annie Sloan chalk paint). I want to unify her furniture and calm things down since her bedding, rug and gallery wall are so bold. And I can’t forget the trim and cushions for the window seat. And maybe get some baskets to help keep things a bit more organized underneath — it’s hard to keep the books from falling down because the shelf openings are so long/wide.

P.S. Mrs. Friedman, do you see the little doll you gave Adele up there in the white box on the gallery wall? She loves it!


Kids’ bathroom & changing area

I can’t tell you how nice it is to have a counter surface in the bathroom. I’ve never had space to do this, but I read a long time ago about how wonderful it is to have a changing station in the bathroom (conveniently located next to a sink (for getting wipes wet and washing hands) and toilet (for dumping dirties out of the diaper). And the laundry chute is right outside the bathroom too.



I store all the cloth diapers, covers, wipes, etc. in the cupboard to the left – I love it! Accessible and also out of sight. I also have our newborn diapers in there too – all ready to go for whenever this new baby decides to join us!


See the rest of our new house tour HERE.





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