August 24, 2009

Project Baby Blanket

One of my friends, Erin, is having a baby! She and her husband are expecting their first little bundle of joy in November and I'm so excited for her!

They found out at their ultrasound appointment that they are expecting a girl, and Erin has already set a theme for the nursery. (Ladybugs!)

I've decided that, aside from what I'll purchase for the baby from the registry, I would knit a baby blanket for her. The shower will be in October (I'm also making the cake) and I wanted to get started on it now while I had some extra time. With most of the projects Chris and I can tackle for the house currently on hold until we have some work done to the walls and plumbing, I figured now would be a great time to get started.

When my sister was expecting my niece, I whipped up an acrylic yarn version of the Big Bad Baby Blanket, a pattern featured in the first Stitch'n'Bitch Book by Debbie Stoller. I used a pink yarn with specks of blue, purple and yellow and the end result was a cute blanket with a tweed look!

I've decided to use the same pattern because I love how the pink one turned out and I wanted something easy enough to work on while watching TV.

For Erin's baby's blanket, I purchased Lion Brand's Baby Soft in Cream:

The project calls for knitting with two skeins at the same time, so I picked up four skeins at Michael's yesterday while they were on sale. (2/$7.00) I also bought a pair of size 9 bamboo circular knitting needles for the project.

Even though the pattern calls for wool, I chose the acrylic yarn because I want the blanket to be easy to clean. I would hate to invest all of my time (and money!) on a wool blanket and have the parents-to-be accidentally wash it the wrong way and ruin it. I used acrylic on the first one I made and it's still going strong and looks great.

After working on it last night for about 30 minutes and during my lunch break today, I've only finished 12 rows of seed stitch. (126 stitches across) I have to complete 20 rows before I can move on to the much easier stockinette stitch pattern that makes up the bulk of the blanket. I'm hoping to finish the last 8 rows of seed stitch tonight. The seed stitch serves as the border in this adorable baby blanket.

Here's my progress so far:

So, that 1,512 stitches finished so far and about 18,648 to go!

August 10, 2009

A little tour

As promised, here are some photos of the inside of our house. These were taken on my iPhone during the home inspection, so I apologize if they aren't very good.

First up: The kitchen.

The kitchen has old, birch base cabinets and metal wall cabinets. All of them are in terrible condition. This will be one of the first things to go when we get our hands on the place. The drawers stick, the metal is rusting and there isn't much cabinet space.

Carpet in the kitchen...lovely, huh?

The living room:

This room is right off the kitchen and is the biggest room in the house. We can't wait to rip up the carpet and see if there are hardwood floors underneath.

Yes, that is a hunter orange accent wall.

The dining room:

This room is small, but should be just fine for Chris and I. We really don't have lots of space for entertaining, so I'm sure it will be a rare occasion to have his and my family there all at once. We will tear up the carpet from this room, too. The paneling on two of the walls will also go. The built-in cabinet was put in to fill a window opening when the addition was added. I kind of like it.

The downstairs bedroom:

I'm not sure if we will ever use this for a bedroom. Most likely, it will serve as an office/TV room. We're not sure what color we will paint it, but I can promise you it won't be this shade of blue! The seller had a love for bright colors. (more examples to come later!)

The upstairs has three bedrooms and one bath.

The master bedroom:

The walls are covered in a yellowish wallpaper, which I'm hoping will be easy to tear down. The hardwood in here is in decent shape, too. There isn't a whole lot of work needed in this room. Patching holes and cracks, painting and having additional electrical outlets are in the plans.

Bedroom #2:

Yikes! This one is scary!

The yellow paint is so bright and the pink-painted trim is a disaster! This was also a very messy paint job. They must not have ever heard of painter's tape since they painted the trim color on the walls and on the vinyl windows. What a mess! We'll have to scrap most of the trim off before we can start painting since it's flaking off. This room is so bright, I think the light is on every time I walk by it.

Bedroom #3:

This is such a small little room. (probably 8'x9'?) It's very hard to get a picture of the whole thing because there isn't much room to move around in there. I'm pretty sure this will serve as extra closet space for us. It might be a good size for a nursery, but there aren't any babies in the works for the two of us right now. The hardwood floor has some damage from the previous owner's pets. This room will also need some electrical work to replace a bad switch and outlet.


There are two in this house and both of them could use some updates. The upstairs bathroom is ripe for gutting. We'll need to replace the plumbing , so the fixtures will have to be removed.

In the downstairs bath, (part of the addition) we will probably just need to re-do the floor and replace the storage unit above the toilet.

So, that's the tour!

Lot's of work, huh? But we see a lot of potential here and through a lot of DIY, we hope to keep the renovations at a reasonable cost.

I can't wait to get started so I can start showing some "after" pictures! We are really looking forward to making this place ours! :-)

August 8, 2009

The good news and the bad news

The ink was barely dry on our mortgage papers, but we couldn't wait to find out what was under the carpet in our new home.

The good news?  It's looking like the entire house has hard wood floors!

The bad news?  They aren't in the best shape.  :-(  In the dining room area, we found this:

That would be tiled floor on top of the wood and under the carpet.  The tar used to adhere the tile is very difficult to remove. 

But, one day, this will look good.  I promise!  We are a little disappointed, though, that we will have to invest a lot of sweat equity to get it that way.

August 7, 2009

Closing Day!

We are officially homeowners! We closed today on our little house!

We made a quick stop at Lowe's for some cleaning and painting supplies and then met my parents at the house so they could check it out.

I'll be sure to share pictures soon so you can see what kind of mess we got ourselves into!

August 4, 2009

I bought a kitchen...

...on Ebay!

Yep, I did it! Knowing that we needed to replace the existing kitchen cabinets in the new house, I stalked Ebay and Craigslist until I found something suitable. And, wouldn't you know it? I found a lovely, gently-used set that was up for bid in Cleveland, OH.

The bidding on that auction came down to the wire! I took my mom's very wise advice and entered some extra pennies to the end of my bid. And, when the seconds were winding down, I ended up winning the bid by three cents! $0.03! Talk about close! I promptly made arrangements with the seller to pick them up. (and also with my dad, who had the means of transportation to deliver 11 kitchen cabinets.)

Here they are: (from the Ebay listing)

The sale included the sink, garbage disposal and countertops. We also purchased their dishwasher. It's old, but I'm hoping it will last us a year or two until the house renovation costs go down and we can get a new one.

So, why Ebay? And why used cabinets?

The expense! We took our measurments to Lowe's to see what a new kitchen would cost and the total was $4,000! And this didn't include hardware, countertops, sink or appliances. This was JUST the cabinets. Sure, they would have been custom fit for our tiny kitchen. (extra empasis on the tiny!) But, we really didn't want to spend that much money on just the kitchen.

With the Ebay purchase, we were able to get the bulk of the cabinets we need (we will probably have to buy a couple more to complete the kitchen) and not spend a fortune. The grand total for the Ebay kitchen was $555.03!

We will have to spend additional money on the counter, new faucet, flooring, some appliances and trims & molding, but overall, we will come in way lower at a price that is good for our pocketbooks and our sanity.

My ultimate goal is to paint these babies white or some other light shade to brighten them up and help them match the extras we need to buy. The Mr. is not convinced it's a good idea, so we'll see what happens once we get them all in place and see how they look.

I think painting them will help to make the tiny kitchen (remember, extra emphasis on the tiny) seem a little more open and larger.

Regardless, anything we put in that kitchen will be an improvement. Trust me! I promise to share some photos of the current mess of a kitchen soon.

August 1, 2009

The Run Down

So here's the deal:

I'm Jody and he's Chris.

We got married on May 24th.

We bought a house shortly after.

After spending most of the past year blogging about our wedding, I'm hoping this blog will document our journey as newlyweds in a new house. The house needs a bit of work---new kitchen, new bathrooms, refinished hardwood floors and lots of paint for starters. So, follow along as I share some of my creative endeavors and kitchen adventures while we work to make this little house our home!


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