Thursday, January 31, 2008

for sale

Did you see us on the news yesterday? I know the Today show had some video of Buffalo this morning - mega wind and snowstorm, which knocked out our cable modem. No internet for the entire day?!? You might as well say "no oxygen" because I seriously almost died. My husband found me at the end of the day in a withered heap next to my laptop, one finger repeatedly hitting "refresh" in the hope that google would appear.

So this is a slightly belated announcement.

For over 2 years now my good friend Karen and I have been discussing the idea of selling our handmade clothing online. Folks who see what I make for Daughter have been telling me to do this for a long time, and I guess it's finally gone to my head! We've decided to give it a go. Right now there are just a few things listed as we get going and figure it out, but there will be more coming soon. Nothing fancy, mind you, just the well-constructed, hard-wearing garments and accessories we make for our own children. I can personally vouch for the little dresses I am selling, as they are exactly the same as those I dress Daughter in. These jumpers hold up beautifully through wash after wash, wear after wear. They are always Daughter's first choice when she goes to her closet in the morning. I hope some of you out there will be interested in dressing your own wee ones in our creations!

Please visit us at our little shop - bon*bons: handcrafted delights!

(I'm gonna figure out how to link it in my sidebar any day now.)

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

a little confession

Is it just us, or do your children behave differently for you and your spouse? We have a bit of the "sweet for Daddy, holy terror for Mommy" going on here sometimes. Usually, probably because Daddy is around less and not the primary enforcer of rules, Daughter is generally more well-behaved for him.

But! Today I had an appointment and they both came with me, but when we found out I'd have to wait an extra 20-30 minutes for an additional test, I sent Hubs out with Daughter to get something to eat. She'd been angelic in the waiting room, so she earned herself a trip to Tim Horton's for a muffin and a milk. Off they went.

45 minutes later I walked out of the office to the car to find Daughter in her carseat with no jacket on and Hubs sitting there looking...let's say 'perturbed.'

Turns out all had gone well with the eating of the muffin and the drinking of the milk, and Daughter had even entertained all the old folks drinking coffee by dancing around to the overhead music, but when Hubs said it was time to put her coat on and go get Mommy, she began a series of high-pitched screams that just about broke the windows of the donut shop. This is Hubs' worst nightmare, so I can only imagine the scene as he threw her under one arm, grabbed her coat with the other, and removed her from the establishment (still screeching).

When I heard this story I gave Daughter what-for and told her there would be no videos or treats for the rest of the day, blah blah blah. But inside? Inside I was thinking, "HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!"

Monday, January 28, 2008


Just what I needed, something else to be hooked on. No, I'm not talking about a craft or a project. I'm talking about Jericho.

Have you seen this show? It is freaking awesome. Hubs got the whole first season and I was reluctant to didn't interest me when it premiered in 2006 and I wasn't into it now. A series about a town surviving a nuclear blast? Bleh. I don't know why, but that didn't do it for me. However, Hubs wanted to watch it and when he put on the first episode I was simply too lazy to get up off the couch and go do something else.

We watched the entire first season (22 episodes) in 3 nights. This is riveting television, people. Somewhat far-fetched in some ways, for which it gets blasted on various message boards, but it's television and it's entertainment. If "24" can get away with it for 6 seasons (or however many there are now) then Jericho should certainly get a chance.

The gist is sort of this: small town in Kansas witnesses but survives a nuclear blast. There are many of these blasts all over the country. No communications, no power, limited resources. It brings out the best and the worst in people, and we watch as the story broadens from one family to the entire USA. The viewer is kept in the dark a lot, along with the characters, so you actually care what is going to happen.

This show was cancelled at the end of spring '07, but a massive write-in campaign convinced CBS to order 7 additional episodes to wrap up the storyline. The first 3 were leaked so we've seen them and I can't figure out how on earth they're going to wrap it up in just 4 more. Luckily they were all completed before the writers strike, so at least we'll get to see them, starting next month.

I really have to recommend the show. With what looks like only 29 total episodes, it's not a huge commitment, and the storyline is deep and very interesting. Much better than the 'reality' schlock most channels are showing these days. Check it out.

If for no other reason, watch it for the scene where Skeet Ulrich gets out of the shower. Gratuitous? Oh yes. But you won't hear me complaining. If a wet, half-naked Skeet Ulrich doesn't get your motor running, I'm sorry, but you are dead inside. He's hawt. ROWR.

(Thanks to everyone who commented about preschool. More on that in the future, I am sure.)

Friday, January 25, 2008


Let's talk about preschool for a moment, yes?

Hubs and I have decided we are not going to send Daughter to a 3 year-old preschool program next fall. She will turn 3 in April and would certainly be mature enough to attend a preschool setting by September, but we straight up don't want to send her yet. It's my opinion that at 3 most children are still 'babies' in many ways and if possible they should remain home with mom (or dad). Obviously if both parents work outside the home and the child is in daycare of some kind, that's different. I'm just talking about people in my situation...stay-home moms.

At the risk of sounding braggy, I'm going to say that Daughter is really bright, quite precocious, and surprisingly social considering the lack of kids to play with in our neighborhood. She runs right into the room when we go to playgroup, shrugging off her coat and throwing down her mittens so she can join the kids already playing. She sits nicely at story time, cleans up after herself when we have snack (without being asked), and is almost always friendly and willing to share. At library story hour she's the only kid in the group who sits in her little chair and pays attention to the story, only speaking when the librarian addresses the kids/asks a question. She introduces herself to the other kids and answers adults when they speak to her. The librarian stopped me this morning to comment that "she's very bright...she's really doing quite well."

Yes, yes, of course I think she is amazing because she is my kid. I know how it sounds, and I apologize. I'm just trying to say that I don't think she NEEDS preschool right now. She's a really capable little kid and I like being around her. I set the bar high for her behavior (though I never expect her to do more than she is capable of at her age) and she rises to it. I look forward to another year together at home, doing our thing.

But that's another issue. Our "thing" is sometimes pretty lazy, and because we live in the boondocks & gas costs a fortune, we don't head out much. We aren't fortunate to have indoor playgrounds like some of you do. So we do playgroup (a bargain) and story hour (free), and this morning one of the story hour moms told me about a gymnastics place that has good tot classes plus free-play time several days a week (expensive classes, reasonable free-play charge) so we might try that. I'm also pondering swimming lessons.

The question is, how many things am I supposed to sign my 3 year-old up for? And should I be calling all the local preschools now, to observe classes and get Daughter on "the waiting list"? I overhear other moms talking about this stuff and I'm getting paranoid about it. I mean, what's wrong with letting your little one just play and learn at home until 4 years old? Am I really naive here?

I'd appreciate (gentle) feedback about this topic. This is my first time going through it and I'm concerned about doing too much or too little. How do/did you all handle these issues?

Thursday, January 24, 2008

back in the saddle...ish

Ok, my sewing machine and I have mostly made up (though my serger is still giving me the finger) and I've been able to tackle some projects over the last couple of days. More on these in a few days, but here's a preview:

(Those loose threads are from machine-stitching the buttons. Pulling them through to the back will be my handwork for TV-time this weekend.)

And I've chosen a new sweater for Daughter. It's another Starmore (hey, you can't argue with perfection), but with only 3 charts to follow this time. I'm going to try it using the Joann's Sensations 100% wool I picked up for a song back in the fall.

I really wish I had more to say, but it's been a slow week. Playgroup yesterday, story hour tomorrow, my birthday on Saturday...that's about it. We all have colds. It's freezing and gray and bleak outside, and all the days kind of feel the same. You know how it goes.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


I know I've been absent. It's just I'm really dang grumpy right now and there's nothing much to say. It's freaking freezing cold here and no matter how high I turn the thermostat my family room will not rise above 63 degrees. On the flip side of that the upstairs of my house is a sauna in which I cannot sit for more than 5 minutes without opening a window. So figure that one out.

I tried sewing yesterday but I kept frigging it up, so nothing to show/say about that.

Daughter started both playgroup and story hour last week and I want to publicly thank the parents who brought their sick, hacking, coughing, runny-nosed kids to these activities because now we are sick too. Daughter has a full-on headcold, and I have a sore throat and general run-down feeling. Tomorrow is our day to bring snack to playgroup, so I somehow have to get us both bathed, dressed, bundled up and out the door to the grocery store because wouldn't you know it, I don't even have one unopened package of goldfish crackers or animal crackers or anything that we could bring. As it is already 10:30 a.m. don't ask me how we're going to accomplish all that before lunch and naptime.

See? Grumpy.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

f.o. - killeany

After one last late-night effort, I've finished Killeany.

Here it is in all it's unblocked glory. Uncropped photo, too, because I'm in a hurry today and just wanted to get this posted fast.

The deets: Killeany from....some Alice Starmore book. Possibly The Children's Collection, though don't quote me on that one. Look, I'll be honest here: our main downtown library branch has most of Alice Starmore's knitting books. Meaning, the whole library system has exactly ONE copy of each. If I were an unscrupulous loser thief I would rip out the security tags and STEAL THEM ALL because as most of you know, they go for hundreds of dollars on amazon and ebay. So I take them out, lose my mind over the awesomeness of the designs, and photocopy the ones I want. I don't even feel bad about it, because if A.S. or the publishing companies want my money (and I am definitely willing to pay for these designs) they should put all these books back into print. Jerks.

Oh, I'm sorry, I went off the rails there for a moment.

The point is, I'm not sure which book has this design.

Anyway, it's Killeany, and it's knit from about 7 skeins of Knitpicks Wool of the Andes in the asparagus colorway, though I think that color name is a misnomer. It's more of a bluey-green. Very pretty for my fair child. I used size 7 & 8 needles, and made the smallest size. It's actually quite big and boxy when I stretch it to size, but I'm tempted to leave it unblocked because Daughter is very petite and thin, so it may be less overpowering this way.

This is a great knit, though a slow one. I was way more of a tortoise than a hare with it, which I'm not used to. Feels like I've been knitting it since about last summer, though it was started in November. As usual, the design is wonderful and the instructions flawless. I do adore the perfection of the Starmore designs I've knit. (Not that my knitting is perfect...I'm talking about the designs themselves.)

Here's a closeup of the lovely cabling up the front. The back is identical. So complex-looking, no? It really wasn't hard, just a little tricksy following 6 different charts with differing row counts. I used a pencil and paper to keep track and it was no problem. Not for a beginner, but I definitely recommend it for an experienced knitter looking for a bit of a challenge. The last thing I'll say is that the design does seem a bit masculine to me. It's shown on a girl in the book, but for some reason I think it looks boyish. Hopefully the color feminizes it a little.

Oh, and the yarn? It came from my mystery benefactor, who sent me an anonymous gift certificate to Knitpicks last summer. After some sleuthing I think I may know who you are, and if you are reading this I thank you again, from the bottom of my heart.

And finally, happy birthday to my good friend Karen, who has a really thought-provoking post up today about re-entering the workforce after many years as a stay-home mom. Go wish her a wonderful birthday, won't you?

Monday, January 14, 2008

itty bitty pretty

I'm not too foo-foo, as longtime readers here already know. I do like pretty things, but understated. I really love to be challenged in my hobbies, though, and I think with knitting and crochet that often means you're going to be heading in a fancy-ish direction. Lace, lots of cables, delicate things...and sometimes that's exactly what I need.

This is technically a Christmas ornament, but I think I like it as a tiny doily to go under one of my (very few) knick-knacks. It measures exactly 5" across after blocking, and is made with size 30 crochet thread and a size 10 steel hook. That's a hook so tiny that if I wasn't careful, I stuck it right through my fingertip while hooking the thread.

I found the pattern in this book, Romantic Crochet. It's a Better Homes & Gardens book, available super cheap at both Amazon and Barnes & Noble. If you are someone who likes thread crochet it's a nice addition to your crafty library. There are projects using all weights of crochet cotton, many Victorian-inspired, and of all sizes. Also included are several very pretty worsted and sport weight afghans (which I would love to make if we could possibly store any more blankets in this house), and some children's items but they're a little...80s, if you know what I mean. They could still be nice if the maker updated the colors a bit (what was with the peach & green in the 80s?).

I have my eye on some lovely tablecloth edgings and pillowcase edgings made with size 40 thread and a size 11 or 12 hook, but I can't find thread that fine in the craft stores. I guess I'll have to order it online. Anyway, lots of lovely gift ideas if you're a homemade gift maker.

Ah, it's a dark gray day and the snow is falling. I'm off to unload the dishwasher for the seven-thousandth time and get some chili started for dinner. Hope you're all keeping warm wherever you are!

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

stormy weather...and a tutorial

People, I am so tired today. We had an incredible storm last night that woke me, terrified, at about 4 a.m. Hubs told me today that winds reached 65 mph (in nearby Rochester they had gusts of 74 mph), and our bedroom is on the outside wall with the wind blowing directly at that side of the house. It was either raining or hailing or both, and I was quite literally afraid something was going to happen to the house. I ran to check on Daughter, my heart pounding, and found her to be sound asleep. But I was good and wide awake by then. Thunder and lightning continued for some time, and I was too tense to get back to sleep. I finally did, but it was a lousy night. Hubs had much the same experience, so I don't think we said more than 10 words to each other this morning. Mostly grunts. Sooooo tired. I haven't been outside to check the yard yet as the wind is still howling. Plus it's cold more 60 degree days. Boo.

But I have a little something for you.

Nothing is in a very good state to be photographed and blogged, so I'll do a quick mock french seam tutorial, ok? Maybe it will help someone with their sewing. Here's how it's done.

First, press the seam open as usual. I am showing a sleeve here, obviously, and I am using a sleeve press inside. It's a great tool and I highly recommend it if you sew a lot of garments.

Next, fold both halves of the seam allowance toward the center and press. These are 5/8" seam allowances, and my sewing books say to trim them down first, but I don't bother. It's easier to do it with a bit more fabric and you have less chance of scorching your fingers.

Fold both sides toward the middle and pin.

Stitch down the middle, removing pins as you sew. You'll be stitching parallel to the original seam. This process will catch the raw edges inside and make a nice finished edge.

Here's the finished seam. The original sleeve seam is the top line of stitching, and the mock french seam is the bottom line of stitching. Now this can be pressed to one side and you proceed with the garment's construction as usual.

It's a nice method and looks a bit neater than a serged seam if anyone catches a glimpse of the inside (though I still definitely use my serger a lot).

Monday, January 07, 2008

lazy weekend

I have to confess that when I was in high school I found AP Government to be just about the worst form of torture in the universe. I hated it, couldn't care less how the government works, didn't want to read about it or write about it or take tests on it. (My husband, on the other hand, was a political science major in college.)

But now I am a big ol' grownup home-owning, tax-paying, fuel-using, grocery-buying, child-rearing citizen. And I kind of care about what is going on in the government. Rest assured I'm not going to go into my politics on the blog...that's just asking for trouble...but I will tell you this: Hubs and I pretty much hunkered down on the couches this weekend and watched CNN nonstop. I am VERY interested in and fascinated by the 2008 election, as are many of you, I'm sure. So this weekend we spent an awful lot of time watching the news, building block towers with Daughter and 'eating' all the 'foods' she made for us in her play kitchen.

Oh, and knitting! Of course, there was knitting. I knit pretty fast when I'm wound up, and the debates and commentary got me good and wound. I may have shouted at the t.v. once or twice. Ahem.

Anyway, here is an almost-finished sweater I've been working on for Daughter. Truthfully, she is outgrowing almost all her sweaters - they are getting too short and her wrists are sticking out. So she does actually need some new ones, yay! This is Killeany, in pieces:

It's an Alice Starmore design, but I'm sorry I can't remember which book it's from at the moment. I'm making the size 3-4, which is 23-24 inches across the chest. I think I started it back in November, but between the complexity of the design and the holiday season it's been a slow knit.

All that's left to do is finish the second sleeve saddle, seam it up, and knit the collar. I've never made a sweater with saddles (which are those strips coming out of the top of the sleeves, for the non-knitters reading this), so I'm not sure if it would be better to lightly block the pieces before seaming or not. Anyone have experience with this? I want the saddle to fit the shoulders properly.

The yarn is Knitpicks Wool of the Andes in Asparagus. I'll give full project details when the sweater is finished, and hopefully get some shots of it on the child. Though it is a very unseasonable 55-60 degrees here just now, so it may be awhile before she wears it!

Now, the sweater was just worked on here and there, but I really did whip this up over just the last 3 days or so:

This is the first of two socks using Knitpicks Felici sock yarn, one of their newer lines. I must say I LOVE the feel of this yarn. It's soft and springy, a lot like Regia, but softer in my opinion. I was a little bummed out by the striping at first - it's a bit wider than I expected - but overall I'm pleased. Here's hoping the second one comes out looking like the first. I'll be casting on during naptime...while I watch some more CNN.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Christmas dress

I remembered to get Daughter's Christmas dress out of the closet before she fell asleep today, so voila:

How new and exciting! Har har, yes, this is the same jumper I always make. But here's the thing: I wasn't planning on making a Christmas dress because Daughter already has a plentiful wardrobe of lovely garments, and she isn't growing anywhere near as fast as she was, so I had no need to make something. Then Hubs started giving me a hard time about it and implying that it's possible this lack of a new Christmas dress means I don't love her enough or something (it was late, the logic was fuzzy, I don't know). We're talking less than a week till Christmas and now I have to prove my love for my child by whipping up something appropriate for holiday wear?!? Nevermind the fact that I swore off sewing any more garments for her before the new year.

So since I really had to bust a move, it was back to an old standby pattern. I'm pleased with how sweet it came out, except in my rush to finish I cut it with the nap going in the wrong direction on this lovely corduroy. Doh!

The great thing about making the same simple pattern eleventy-billion times is that you get a lot of opportunities to improve on it.

I did two new things with this dress. First, I sewed mock french seams on both side seams. A mock french seam is really, really easy to do and a fabulous alternative to finishing the raw edges with a serger or a zig-zag stitch, especially on a curved seam (which this is). I could show how it's done next week if anyone is interested, but the technique can be found in any basic sewing book*.

And here I chose to bind the raw edge of the facing with bias tape. This was actually somewhat due to laziness, because my serger is put away and I didn't feel like getting it out for one garment. Also, I don't have black thread for it and I don't like how white thread looks on these dark fabrics.

So that's that. There was a Christmas dress after all. Of course we never got around to taking our traditional "Daughter in front of the tree" photo...that tradition made it 2 years before dying. Hopefully we can get it going again next year!

Also, please give me a golf clap 'cause I finally got onto Flickr AND I figured out how to get the photos from there to the blog. This is a big achievement for me, due to my technological backwardness. Now I can get all the old project photos up there and my computer can stop gasping and choking on the gazillion image files I've been storing. Yay me!

*At this time I must evangelize about owning a good, basic sewing instruction book. I have two; one is by Better Homes & Gardens, one is Vogue. They're essentially the same, but I've found them both to be useful for different things. If you do not own a good, basic sewing instruction book, take that Barnes & Noble or Amazon gift card you got for Christmas and go buy one right now. Shockingly, I have found mine on the bargain shelves at B&N [I think I paid $7.99 for the Vogue one], which is criminal because I think they should be displayed on a pedestal with several spotlights, though the low price tag does mean everyone can own one. It will change your life, I promise!

Thursday, January 03, 2008

merry christmas to me

I'd intended to share Daughter's Christmas dress today, but whoops, I forgot to grab it out of her closet before naptime. Perhaps tomorrow.

Instead, I'll share what I found under the tree on Christmas morning! I'll set this up by saying two things:

1) I dream of rolling around in huge piles of yarn. My husband thinks that's really weird, but bless his heart, he indulges me.

2) I consider myself to be very "analog" and I fight technology every step of the way. Don't ask me why - I can't explain it. That said, here's what I got for Christmas:

Two sock samplers from Knitpicks (enough yarn in each to make 6 pairs of socks) plus a skein of undyed sock yarn...and an Ipod Nano! (Second generation so no video, according to my husband...this is the first thing everyone has asked me).

I never would have asked for an Ipod...listening to music in a portable way left me behind loooooooong ago. I had a portable CD player once, and I used my regular AM/FM/tape walkman up until just a couple of years ago. Plus I'm mostly home taking care of my kid, so I don't even have that many opportunities to listen to music that isn't Raffi or Sesame Street or whatever. Since I am kind of technologically backward, it has taken me many days to figure out how the thing works. Which is sad, since I am approximately the very last person in America to get one (I am well aware that there are 5 year-olds bopping around listening to their Hannah Montana tunes on an Ipod). Seriously, even my mom had one before I did (but she doesn't know how to use it at all, so I don't think that counts). So it is very cool of my husband to goose me into using modern technology, and I'm reluctantly coming around. I think I like it.

If you need me, I'll be knitting socks galore and listening to some mid-90s alternative.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

you haven't heard from me in a month and I'm showing you my bathroom...nice!

HELLO!!! Happy New Year! I'm back, peeps, and changes are afoot around here.

I've got lots going on and many things to share, but first things first. Hubs and I spent a very romantic New Year's Eve (from 9 a.m. until about 2 a.m. New Year's Day) giving our first floor bathroom a cosmetic face-lift. I know that may not be what you had in mind for my first post back here, but it is certainly foremost in my mind as we've been working on finishing touches all morning.

Quick background: our house is old (1945) and non-traditional in design (either a lake cottage or tiny postwar G.I. bill house that has been expanded several times). We do not have a 'master suite' nor even a 'master bedroom,' so there is certainly not a 'master bath.' Our house has 2 bedrooms on the first floor; we sleep in one, Daughter has the other. There are 1.5 bathrooms. Our full bath is the first floor bath, and is located at the opposite end of the house from the bedrooms, behind the family room and off the back hallway as you head for the back door. Because it is the first floor bath, whenever anyone comes over they see it (if they need to, uh, go).

Now, we forgot to take a 'before' shot because we had a lot to do and were anxious to get started, but suffice it to say the bathroom was a dingy old mess. The walls were a neutral cream. The floor is off-white linoleum with a taupe design. The shower bar was discolored and had been painted around so many times the ends were all crusty. The trim looked as though it had only been primed with white, but never actually painted. The toilet seat was oak and the hinges totally pitted and corroded. The cabinets were oak but chipped up, worn, and nasty, with pitted, corroded gold-look knobs/pulls that had cracked porcelain inserts. The oak medicine cabinet was HUGE and had semi-functional mirrored doors that drove us nuts as they never stayed closed properly. The t.p. holder and single towel bar were installed improperly and had also been painted around many times so there was crusty paint around the dirty porcelain brackets. The radiator cover was rusty and had several layers of chipped paint. And finally, the ceiling light fixture/fan looked like it was from the middle ages - filthy discolored/yellowed plastic with a bare bulb in the center, because the cover for the light was long gone (we never had it...gone before we bought the house).

Dudes, to sum up, it was a horrible bathroom. It was a large part of the reason I never, ever invite anyone to my house. I was so embarrassed by it, I cringed when even my own family members visited and used it. So last week I asked Hubs if we could, as sort of a holiday gift to ourselves, cosmetically re-do the bathroom. Obviously, if we could afford it, I would love to just gut the room, but that is not possible. Also, the main parts of the room are quite functional, so there's no real need to replace them.

We set a sort-of budget of about $200, based on some research and preliminary shopping, and ended up just slightly over that.

Prepare yourselves...the color is slightly shocking.

Valspar paint in Heirloom Red, satin finish. This paint must be used with a tinted primer, which I insisted on. (Hubs thought we'd be fine without...ha. No way.) The trim and cabinet front are also Valspar paint, in Quail Egg, semi-gloss finish. New, properly mounted 24" chrome towel bars (one single and one double) are Inspirations by Moen (as is all the new hardware). Sorry about that glare on the wall - it's from:

The new light fixture, with a new beveled-edge 30"x24" mirror mounted beneath. All the white woodwork is painted in the Quail Egg paint. The cabinet door has its shiny chrome knob in place, but the drawer pulls came with screws that were too short for the thickness of our drawer faces, so a trip to the hardware store is imminent to purchase longer screws. Special bonus: picture includes me, with ratty hair and glasses and an old sweatshirt. Mmmmmmm. Hott!

Wow, sassy new toilet seat! I can't tell you how much I hated that old oak one with the rotten hinges. Ugh. Also, new chrome t.p. holder to match the towel bars. Shiny! Things still needing to be done: replace random purple wastebasket (college leftover), and repair toilet bolt...that one is just sitting there, as it broke right off when Hubs tried to tighten them down. Ummm, scary, as that means the commode is not moored properly on one side.

And here we have my beloved Nautica plaid shower curtain, a wedding gift and the inspiration for the red paint in the first place. I really like how it sort of brings the room down a bit in feel - the red and chrome are a tad formal, but the plaid is fun. Hubs demanded a new, curved shower curtain rod, and I have to say he was right on the money with that. If you feel cramped in your tub when taking a shower (if you don't your husband probably does), I highly recommend one of these curved rods. You gain a crazy amount of space in your shower. It's a small investment ($40) for some serious comfort. This rod is also the Inspirations line - all the hardware mounts match.

All materials are from Lowe's. I'm very, very pleased with how this project came out, and am no longer embarrassed by my bathroom. Want to come over?

Two points: I don't like the Valspar paint. It seems to be the Lowe's in-house brand, but I prefer the consistency of Glidden, which we usually buy from Home Depot. Lowe's had everything else we needed, though, so we went with their paint. I won't do that again. I found it to be gloppy and drippy. Your mileage may vary. Also, a totally amazing product that I used to remove the one-half inch thick strip of caulk from around the vanity (yes, why remove the old caulk when you can just keep piling it on?!?): Painter's Pal by Goo Gone. Sorry, that listing is for a case of the stuff...I found single bottles at my local hardware store. It is the best stuff for removing just about everything, though I used it primarily for caulk and paint spills.

So that's that! One project (mostly) done. Only eleventy-billion to go.

Oh, and I hope you all had a lovely holiday season. We certainly did, and I'll be revisiting it here in coming days.

It's good to be back.