Friday, October 25, 2013

Haunted Halloween Doll House

A week or two ago I saw this Haunted Dolls House on the Mr. Printables website & knew that Grady would love it.  I also knew that I wanted to make one & had a ton of ideas on how to tweak & personalize it!

Mr. Printables has a printable (obviously) template to help you cut out the walls & floors, as well as some paper pieces to use in decorating your house.  (I didn't use the paper pieces on mine.)  They also give you some tips on creating spooky peg dolls.  I found inspiration for the rest of the peg dolls by searching on Pinterest, Google, & Etsy.

Meet this motley crew of spooks & ghouls!  Grady & I both love the kitty best.

I even painted a Grady peg doll dressed up in his Lone Ranger Halloween costume & surprised him with it this morning!  He just giggled when he saw it & asked where I got the pumpkin halloween bucket.  (I have a jar of pumpkin potpourri that I painted & glued a felt handle on.)  He's all ready to go trick-or-treating at the haunted house - if he dares!  Good thing he's got his 6-shooter along!

Some creepy monsters waiting by the rope ladder.

I love the ghost peeking through the window!

The pieces of the house slide easily together so you can take it apart making it simple to store!

A few close-up shots of our motley crew!

Some of the things I tweaked:
  • I painted the house with chalkboard paint.  (I thought it would be fun to draw different things on the walls & floors & be able to erase them!)
  • We made a whole fireplace instead of just a chimney.
  • Added a fence around the porch.
  • Added a crooked ladder to get upstairs.
  • Added a rope from the 1st to 2nd story (Grady's brilliant idea!).
If any of you have created a Halloween haunted doll house or peg dolls, please share them!  I think I've found a new addiction.  I'm just imagining how fun a "Night before Christmas" house would be...or maybe Santa's workshop???

Friday, October 18, 2013

Bed Time

I know that people say that developing a set routine at bedtime is key.  While that makes perfect sense, sometimes it's just plain fun to goof around a little bit before bed!  The sound of little giggles is the perfect way to end the day if you ask me.

Last night, right before I turned out the lights & Grady & I were talking about random things: turning into toads, transformers, etc. I grabbed my camera. 

I'm so glad I did.  Now I'll always have pictures to remind me of OUR bedtime routine: tickles, secrets, his random questions, our "10 kisses" game, & a lot of silliness.  :)


How can you say that your day ended badly when you get a hug & kiss (more than one if you're lucky) from a kid like this?

Monday, October 14, 2013

The "Pumpkin Patch" errrr, gas station parking lot....

Yesterday, while Eli was catching up on sleep after our weekend with his parents, Grady & I decided to go searching for a pumpkin patch we found online.  A half hour later, we found the location of the supposed pumpkin patch, but there wasn't a single pumpkin, or person, in sight.  Fail.

The next best thing?  The self-serve truck/trailer at the gas station.  Good thing Grady is only four & still easily impressed!  He thought it was fantastic!  They actually had a pretty nice display of pumpkins, squash, Indian corn, etc.

He found a keeper!  Our rule is that you can get any pumpkin you want...but you have to be able to carry it yourself.  This year, for the first time, he didn't go for the largest one.

He's so funny.  He took 5 minutes to decide between red/orange Indian corn or red/purple & had to take 10 or so laps around the truck to find the perfect pumpkin for dad.  I wish I could go back to "What color corn should I choose?" being the hardest decision I had to make for the day.  Oh, to be a kid again...

He was such a helper getting everything carried back to the car & wanted to do it all by himself of course!  He's in a stage lately where he's acting like a little man.  Yesterday he walked ahead of me at church & held the door open for me & a friend to walk in.  Also, last night after he laid down for bed I heard him call out to me, "Mom, you know I'll always protect you, right?".  This is the same kid who crawls into bed with me in the morning & gives me a kiss when he thinks I'm still sleeping.  Such a sweetheart.  I can't believe he's mine.  :)  I always tell him that I wish I had a son like him.  He always says with a giggle, "Mom, I AM your son!".

I can't believe that Halloween is right around the corner! 

In attic news, we weren't able to start drywall this weekend (boo).  It rained off and on all day on Saturday, so the sheets would have gotten soaked in transport.  Wet Sheetrock = not good.  Plus, Eli's parents (my in-laws) were in town visiting, so we were pretty busy!  Dad & I did hook up the trailer last night & brought home enough Sheetrock for the ceilings though.  Hopefully we'll be able to get started on that tonight!  If not, I'm sure we'll be able to begin sometime this week.  I can't wait to start walling everything in & getting a glimpse of what the attic will look like when it's complete!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Attic Update 10: WINDOW!!!

Oh my gosh you guys...we FINALLY got that last attic window in.  It's been over 4 years that it's been sitting in the garage waiting for its day to shine!

After work yesterday we rented an extension ladder (dad's wasn't quite tall enough).  We started by removing the old window & storm window (5:30), framed out the new window opening (5:50), trimmed off a couple of pieces of siding that were in the way (6:15), stuck down some self-adhesive flashing, made a run back to my parents' house to rip some boards that were mis-measured, & finally slipped the window in & nailed it down (7:15).  When it was DARK.  Then we stuck some more flashing up around the window (8:00) & called her good (8:15)!  Well, until we start re-siding the house next summer.  But that's another story for another day.  Right now I'm going to enjoy the nice cross breeze I can now get through the more painted shut windows!

Here's a short timeline of crappy iphone pictures.  It was just easier than juggling my big camera.

Next step = drywall!  The plan is to get the whole ceiling hung this weekend...but a lot of that depends on if it rains tomorrow.  We don't have a covered trailer, so if it rains we don't have a way to get the sheetrock home from the lumber yard.  Let's think sunny skies!

Attic Checklist:
insulation: between rafters, loose in walls, foamboard on ceiling
frame up walls & closets
level out ceiling & jack up sagging roof
new electrical throughout attic

new window
planks in bunk & on upper portion of end walls
move vent from closet to bedroom
drywall (hang, tape, mud, sand)
build, paint, hang French doors
prime, paint (one more coat), stain, varnish steps
remove door to attic & open up
prime & paint walls & ceiling
spray, make, & hang lights
finish floors (stain, paint, just varnish?)
paint & install stair railings
paint & install baseboard trim
paint & install board & batten trim
closet systems
storage doors for under eave access

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Attic Update 9: French Doors {painted}!

Hi all!

Just a quick post today.  We STILL haven't gotten that darn window replaced in the attic.  It rained ALL weekend.  Don't worry...we still found something to work on!

Last weekend, dad & I hung the French doors.  They looked like this:

This weekend, dad brought over his router & we took a little bit of the width off (they were rubbing when opened/shut).  Then we hung them back up & I took over priming & painting.

I flip-flopped over a paint color for the longest time.  I ultimately decided on the same yellow I used in the Ikat mural in my entryway.  It's bright...& I'm still flip-flopping about whether I like it or not!  I'm about 90% sure I'll keep it yellow, but I might do a little distressing, or a glaze or something over it.  Whatever I choose to do, I know that I'm for sure going to wait until the rest of the space is complete.  At this stage it's hard to tell if it's going to work as-is or not.

And because no post is complete without pictures!

Oh, & big bummer alert: the perfect glass doorknobs I purchased on Etsy aren't going to work.  Boohoo.  The space I have for a knob is too narrow & the knobs knock into the opposite door when it's opened.  I picked up some black gate pulls at the hardware store to use instead.  (Or until I find something I like better.)

This week/weekend actually looks like sun (hooray!), so we're planning on tackling the window & perhaps even starting to get some drywall hung!  Cross your fingers!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Fall Family Photos

It's been almost a year since we've had our family photos taken, & my friend Lindsey had a slot open this week, so I jumped on it!  It was a misty, gloomy morning, & Grady was acting INSANE, but she somehow made it look bright & happy & managed to snap some great pics of him!  The kid always looks cute in pictures...I don't know where he got it from as both of his parents feel incredibly awkward when in front of the camera.  I don't know what his deal is.  He's typically a great kid, but once he gets in front of the camera he goes crazy.  Please tell me I'm not the only one who has a kid that does this?!?  Please???

Anyway, this post is mostly for me to remember the day & also so far-away family could see the's nothing too exciting, & the pictures are just a few proofs that she posted on Facebook, but thought I'd share them here anyway!

Our first stop was a random field a few miles out of town.  The grass was soaked & within 2 minutes of being there, Grady was running wild, fell in the ditch & got grass & mud stains down both of his pant legs, & my hair was windblown, damp, & frizzy.  We just rolled with it.  :)

Afterwards, we went back into town, & took a few shots at an old, rusted building.

My favorite of all of us below...

I can't believe how old he looks in the picture below.  The kid just turned 4 & looks like he's in second grade.  How did this happen?!  He kills me.

Lindsey does such a great job & I'm lucky to have such a talented friend!  I can't wait to see the rest of the pictures from our session in a couple of weeks.

Basement Guest Room {progress} Reveal

I totally meant to do an update post on the guest room...weeks ago.  Then, I didn't get as much done as I had planned, & sort of forgot about it...

So, here's where we're at right now.  The pictures aren't great...but the room is very dark, and I cannot for the life of me figure out how to shoot it with the mix of natural light from the window & artificial light from the ceiling.  You'll just have to deal with it while I cringe over here.  Ha.

The whole thing began with some pallets that I snagged from my mom's work.  I had no clue where I was going with it, but I knew I wanted to build a headboard.  In one night.  This is what I came up with & these are the only two pictures I have. 

Ignore the garage door in the background...this was while we were in the process of stripping & sanding it...I'll post pictures of it before & after once it quits raining around here.  :)

Then, I whitewashed the yellow-y wood & mom & I hauled it downstairs & attached it to the bed frame.

Trimmed out the windows & hung bamboo blinds.

Created some wall art & temporarily hung it with washi tape.

And voila!  A semi-finished place for our guests to rest their heads!  When I get some free time to do some tweaking, I'll post pictures of the other side of the room (dresser, mirror, etc.).  I also need to get a new lamp for that side table...& get rid of that old Ikea just doesn't work in the space.

Not too bad for starting out like this a few days earlier...right?

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