Monday, August 30, 2010

Lydia's New Room (in progress)

I found this fabric at JoAnn's and fell in love with the whimsical flowers. I think the purple and green will work out nicely in the blue room.
Jennifer brought over the chairs that my dad made for us when we were little. They will get cleaned up and will probably get some type of fabric cushions. There isn't enough room for them to be right next to the little kitchen, but I think it still works out.

Here is the new furniture all set up in her room. It is REALLY heavy, so it took 2 big strong guys to get it moved into the house and then 2 more to get it upstairs.
It's knotty pine and some of the knots are really visible. I may have to lighten them up with a little paint. Is that cheating? Here is the desk. Lydia got really excited that she could stash her toys in the drawers. How did that thought not occur to me? Did I really think they would remain empty until she had school work to put in the drawers? Silly mommy!

We found the set on Craigslist and got 6 matching pieces: 2 dressers, a desk, chair, hutch, night stand, and mirror. The original owner got them for their daughter, who is now in the peace corps.
Because our ceiling slopes, we can't put the hutch on top of the desk. So we are using it as a shelf set on the floor. I honestly can't believe that it all fits!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

A Walk in My Shoes

Lydia LOVES putting on my high heels and walking around. I'm too tired to stop her and, even if I wasn't, my feet hurt too bad to chase her and make her stop!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Lydia's BLUE room

I wanted sky, but not baby boy, so I leaned toward turquoise and landed on a robbin's egg. It's blue and it is beginning to look like a kid's room and not so much like my old studio/guest room/junk room/room that never really got painted anything when PJ moved in. eventually I see white fluffy clouds and such going on the walls. For now decisions are being made regarding the bed, which I love, but it is really big for the room. More sooner or later.

Thursday, August 19, 2010


Our local newspaper has a feature in the community section called "My Party." I first saw it in the paper a few days after Lydia's birthday, so I sent them this photo. They ran it in Wednesday's Knoxville New Sentinel in both the "My Party" section, but also selected it as the "top pic" photo and ran it on the front page of the community section. I linked the computer article to this post if you want to check it out. Other than that, I have been overwhelmed with teaching 3 completely different courses (2 of them being completely new courses) and am just now feeling like i am treading water instead of drowning in paper work. I hope to be caught up and "surfing" really soon.

Friday, August 13, 2010

School Days!

It's back to school time!
Lydia and I have been waking up early, getting dressed up,

and getting to work! OK, maybe I'm the only one getting to work. Lydia has been playing with Grammy this week, while I got my classroom in order. Next week she will rejoin her friends at daycare for more adventures like the ones pictured above. These are from their the daycare trip to The Oak Ridge Children's Museum earlier in the summer. They had a great time playing school and now it is time for the real thing.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Heading to the polls!

I am literally running out the door to place my vote in the Knox County Mayoral race. Family friend and somehow distant relative, Tim Burchett is favored to win. I needed a little pop of color on my outfit, so I made these pins out of scrap paper.
I have a scallop punch, so I punched 2 circles that got folded to make each outer layer. Not as difficult as I had imagined, and I was looking for a good reason to try it out. With an hour until polls close, my pins have called it......CONGRATULATIONS TIM!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Liddy LOVES "Go Dog Go!"

My mom gave me this book a while ago, before Lydia was even born I think. I had no recollection of it, but she told me that I LOVED this as a kid. It was packed away with all of the other non-board books until Lydia no longer wanted to eat the pages. With the move to her big girl room, I have been able to put ALL of her books on her dresser and at some point, Go Dog Go made it's way into the bedtime book rotation.

I was surprised at first because it doesn't rhyme like most Seuss books. What it does do is repeat the same few words over and over again, often building relationships between words through comparisons such as over, under, in and out. Lydia is right at that age where she is able to practice some of these concepts. She finds one of something and asks "where other at?" She crawls under something and says "I under!" I am hearing her use more of these in, out, above, below type words since we have been reading the book.

Boy, oh boy have we been reading the book! She asks for it EVERY night. Sometimes several times a night! She pretty much has it memorized, or at least understands the concepts the pictures are showing. So tonight, I started dropping some selective words..... "The little dog is going (IN). The big dog is going (OUT)" and she picked them right up and said them while I pointed to the word. I know she isn't really reading them, but it became a game. Hopefully enough times of me pointing to a word and her guessing it from the picture and eventually she might notice a pattern in the shapes of the letters, etc.

Maybe I am getting ahead of myself. Either way. It is a fun read with some great illustrations. Like these of the dogs sleeping (notice that one dog is awake) and the dogs waking up (notice one dog is asleep)! Finally, because it doesn't build to a climax or follow a logical progression, it doesn't matter when Lydia flips too many pages at once.

Regardless of how much we read, we always end up at a "dog party. A big dog party!" Such a great Dr. Seuss idea. Dogs in party hats in a tree. I think this would be a FABULOUS party theme... A Go Dog Go, Dog Party! Could you imagine? Dogs in party hats, Dogs in race cars, other silly Seuss touches. Hmmmmm. Sounds like a boy party to me, so I may have to hold onto it for now. For now, I just want to share this book with you if you haven't read it to your kids and to thank my mom for introducing me to it...TWICE!

Home Improvements (Garage Edition)

This is our garage. It isn't completely finished, but it is closer than it has been in the 12 years since PJ first built it. He never got around to completing the outside and there are areas that are starting to be effected by the weather. So the siding is up and just needs paint on the top, horizontal section. It is a BIG improvement, makes the garage match the house better, and should help it last a lot longer.
Fixing up the outside has inspired PJ to do some renovations on the inside of the garage. We have always had attic storage space above the garage, but it was FILLED with the carcasses of old cars AND it was only accessible by climbing a rickety pull down ladder. While I was out of town, PJ added an opening for a door and a real set of stairs. I am so excited about being able to easily store Christmas and Halloween decorations up in the attic! I am hoping a lot of items that are currently being "stored" inside the house can soon migrate over to the attic. When you climb the stairs you also get a great view of the next phase of construction at our house, the additions to the back of the house. The foundations were both laid a few months ago and now just wait on us to get finished with the garage. The small porch that is under the original roof line will be closed in to create a small guest room. I may have to keep one or two craft projects stashed in there for times when I can't leave the house to go to the new attic studio. I want LOTS of bookshelves and think this would be a great place to read or work in peace, with a small bed for work induced naps...or guests. OK, so this may not look like much right now, but I have HIGH hopes (get it.. attic!) Anyway, This used to all be attic space. We still have storage in the peaks of the roof to the right and to the left of the long room. It looks really narrow, but with 8 feet x 30 feet I am hoping to have room for at least a table, some shelves, a bulletin board, etc. We found laminate wood flooring for a really good price at Southeastern Salvage, so those should look like a nice light wood, but still be possible to clean up spills. Here is the primary inspiration image. Wood floors, white walls, we are thinking about a fake brick panel on the far wall. How do I not currently own a bulletin board? I think one would be a cheap and useful addition to the new studio space.
I love, love, LOVE the open shelves. If could see my fabric stash, I think it would help me actually remember what I have. So that's what I am thinking and dreaming about for my attic re-do. Now I just have to wait until the walls and the floors are ready.