I have been treading water lately in so many areas of my life… home projects, personal projects, blogging, cooking, planning and living. Now, I am no psychoanalyst, but I feel it *just might* be related to the big move from which we are not yet fully recovered (and I have also been trying to cut back on caffeine and sugar… two of my very best cheerleaders!). I am overwhelmed by the amount of work left to do to get the new house to where I feel really comfortable in it and proud of it when we have company. There are still so many boxes that need to be unpacked, tons of unpacked boxes that need to be Craigslisted, and a hearty number of home improvement projects that I have started but not actually finished for a variety of reasons. Not to complain here… I am VERY HAPPY with all the work we accomplished in a very short amount of time… but the honest truth is that I have been in a depressed funk for about 3 months now. Only now - now that we have seen some sun and teeny tiny bit of warm weather – am I feeling ready to tackle some major projects again. But there is a lingering inertia that is holding me back, and I am hoping that by sharing it with you I will feel empowered to move forward. Let’s see how it goes…
Here are some of the unfinished projects filling my brainspace, in no particular order:
- Finish and install some transition pieces I have for the hardwood floors throughout the house. We refinished 6 rooms of floors waaay back in December, and I am ready for this to be done. I think I could bang it out in two days (one for applying 3-4 coats of water-based polyurethane, and one for installing them). But I also need to paint the living room window in the photo below, and its friend in the dining room. Sadly, it needs some new trim and (really) a replacement picture window too, so it gets complicated. The wallet says no, so I’m feeling mentally stuck. Do the work now and have to redo it later? How far out is later?
- Mount the DIY design board on the wall in my new sewing room (full details to come sometime soon… I love this room!). I took this room back from chaos and planned out my long-fantasized-about sewing area about 6 weeks ago. I purged and organized and consolidated and donated and made/installed some new things to make it a small but multifunctional space. I have the design board made, but it is big and bulky and I probably need to enlist my handsome husband to help me. I have already started pinning stuff on it so that is a small complication, but it needs to happen. I need the space (did I mention the room is 10’x10’? It is currently taking up 4% of my floor space). I also need to put up a repurposed metal shelf to hold my magnetic canisters of sewing supplies. Both of those would fit into an hour if I had the supplies. The picture below doesn’t show you much, but it is my happy place. Enjoy the nerdy sketch I made whilst plotting my haven.
- Find or make a couple shelves for behind the toilet in my newly-reclaimed bathroom (the half bath), find new pocket door hardware that can fit this door, and update the grout with a coat of colorant to refresh it. I got really angsty about the cave-like windowless beige-y sponge painted room last Monday and, in a bout of hormone-fueled motivation, I started ripping down the wallpaper border in my pajamas without a real plan in mind. Now, 12 days later, it is a new room (painted walls, painted vanity, new light fixture, new potty-training-friendly toilet seat, new towel/TP holders, hung up some artwork). I am also waiting for my handsome husband to install a new faucet (the old one looks like it should be operated with your feet, see pictures below) and exhaust fan (sounds like an airplane taking off when you turn it on). He had already updated the outlet plugs and light switch to bring them up to code (and look better!). This progress is a huge morale boost, but I really want it to be done and MOVE ON with my life.
Half bath before, and still in progress:
- Finish a First Holy Communion dress for my daughter… by Easter. Our parish does first communions on Easter Sunday, so I’m running low on time here. To make matters more complex, I am using my wedding dress for the bulk of the materials in this dress. I have been amazed at how emotionally un-attached I am to the dress itself. I had no qualms cutting it up. But now I need to cut it into the new dress pieces and it’s like trying to start a sketch on a blank piece of paper. Fear that it won’t turn out, and I only have one shot at it. I have made a muslin of the bodice and altered it for extra length (my petite girl is growing taller but not wider, it seems!). Tonight (last night, since I am pre-writing this) I really need to buckle down and cut out the pieces. I am starting with Simplicity 1814 - I am basing this dress on view A since I like the sleeve details, but the dress will be longer in the bodice and the skirt, and will (hopefully) have a deep-hemmed organza overskirt in place of the multiple layers of tulle. I haven’t decided about other embellishments yet (belt/sash? flowers? beading?), nor have I finalized the tiara/crown/veil/glove questions either. It’s crunch time.
- Make window treatments for the whole house. Yep… I have a lot of work to do here. Fortunately, I have most of the fabric (gorgeous silk thrifted curtain panels) and all of the hardware to make oodles and oodles of roman shades (we have baseboard heaters, so it was either highwater curtains or some sort of shades… easy choice). I am looking forward to this but it is not scheduled to happen until after I finish the first communion dress, fix and paint all the hallways and entry, and have a plan for the Easter party we are hosting. Which is now 2 weeks away. So… this one gets relegated to the bottom of the list, though hopefully I can git-r-done before the light starts affecting everyone’s sleep. We’re currently using post-move hardware store boxes in some windows, and nothing says “well-to-do” like a flattened “ortho weed-b-gone” box in a front window. Priorities, people.
So there you go… a portion of the stuff weighing me down right now. It feels good to have laid it out there. I don’t usually rest on the laurels of my past successes –to my mental detriment, sometimes - so I am also going to show you a few things I have been working on lately, other than the house stuff mentioned above.
- I made a baby dress and diaper cover for a dear friend having her 4th munchkin this Spring. I wanted it to be “vintage modern”, and I love how it turned out. The fabric was a pre-embroidered linen and I added some vintage lace trim for the neckline and hem. AND, even though no one will ever notice, the inside is perfectly finished too. There was hand sewing involved. Secret pleasures of sewists. I took this photo with the dress pinned to my design board (and now you want one too, right?! DIY post planned!).
- I have baking some amazing bread for the past couple months in my new kitchen. This is the olive oil dough recipe from “Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day”. Not exactly helping my figure (or helping it too much?), but it keeps the people happy here. And that feels good.
- Yogurt. Another figure feeder. But I have been making gallon-sized batches of mildly sweetened whole milk vanilla yogurt every few weeks (in my electric roaster, recipe post coming soon) and I have been enjoying it thoroughly. Easy, kid-friendly, healthy, cheap! A win all around. So good with homemade strawberry jam, which I just finished. Is it strawberry season in Michigan yet? I. CANNOT. WAIT.
- And I have been unpacking and finding homes for lots of things. It’s not really notable, but it takes time and it is definitely something I have been doing in addition to feeding, clothing, and nurturing the people who call me mom. Also not notable but another very important part of my existence. Life must be lived, whether or not we are ready to do that. At this point, after the insane winter foisted upon our geographic area, plain survival feels like a real win too.
My life. But now I need to go and get down to business with that First Communion dress… time’s a wastin’!