Pregnancy Socks for my Big Fat Foot

So, obviously I made these socks a while ago because I have a child tumbling around my house somewhere these days. A big hearty baby. That baby is also my excuse for not making more stuff and not blogging recently. But you guys know, I’m always full of excuses. I’m just hoping a baby is a good enough excuse that you might buy it this time? Maybe? Naww, you know me too well.

Yikes! I bet you didn’t expect to see a scary picture of some swollen feet but well, I tried to warn you with the title. I had one big fat foot when I was pregnant. The other one was just kind of squishy. But the right one got out of control. My OB actually poked it at one point and said, “is this thing alright?”

It had gotten to the point of being a thing and was no longer a foot.

Also, I was freezing all winter! It was really kind of irritating when we would take the hospital tours and the tour guides would make jokes about how all pregnant women want to live in ice chests because of how hot they got. They just loved painting these pictures of women only being happy giving birth in snow banks.

I made this ridiculous decision to knit myself some socks. Even though it takes me forever to knit anything, I went ahead and knit these and even made one bigger in the foot to compensate for the swelling. The pattern is Wedge by Cookie A and even just in the medium, the pattern makes one huge sock! For the second sock, I actually stopped doing the wedge pattern in the foot and decreased a bunch of stitches. I did this for two reasons:

  1. A more snug fit for my foot that wasn’t out of control huge. It made that regular foot feel like the real winner.
  2. I’m always knitting these socks and having a ton of yarn left over. So for once I was like, I’ll knit the longer sock and win! Only I was sweating bullets on the second sock because it was clear I wasn’t going to have enough yarn. I ended up with the tiniest bit left when I was done.

I knit this in Abstract Fiber, in the Portland colorway, which a friend convinced me to branch out and try something that wasn’t in my usual color palette. I’m glad that I did! But they really aren’t ‘me’. So, it was a good experiment because being pregnant wasn’t really ‘me’ either. I didn’t feel like myself. I still don’t, I’m trying to get used to being a mom.

At first I was like, what am I going to do with one huge sock? But I figure that foot will end up being extra toasty when I wear two socks under it next winter.

Sometimes, it really helps to do the stuff that you did before, that made you feel normal, you know? Like neglecting my blog. Or doing a kickass podcast with a friend.

Then there’s reading books about impotent 30-something dudes who suck but you’re kind of rooting for…? Is anyone else tired of that trope in media lately? If I have to hear about one more dissatisfied white dude who feels out of it, I may snap. (Obviously, I wasn’t a huge fan of Gone Girl.)

Missed you!

2012 Project: Mittens (for Miranda)

Apparently I like making things that start with M for the M people in my life. :)

Well, if you’ve been here before you’ve heard tell of Miranda. She’s a great friend and amazing housemate. While we’ve been friends for years, I haven’t knit her anything and I think there were a few weird reasons why kicking around in my subconscious.

1. Knitting stuff for loved ones is tough. What if they don’t like it? What if it makes things weird and you break up? This is also the reason why I stopped making individual folders for friends in gmail- I was doing that but I don’t see those people anymore. So now everyone goes in the ‘friends’ folder. (Is there a job opening for a superstition creator? Because I would rock at that job.)

2. Miranda has a definite sense of style all her own… and while I admire and appreciate it, I still don’t understand style enough to figure out what hers is or how to buy/make something to fit it. Does that make sense? Like, I don’t want to be the weird aunt that sends a sweater every year that you only wear around that same weird aunt just to make her happy.

3. Nothing seemed cool enough. Also, most people that I’ve knit for have said, hey, I saw this cool thing in a book! EASY, DONE. But you guys have been to this blog so you know- I don’t think anything is cool. Because I am a troll who hates everything. Except–

CATS!

Cats are awesome. Especially in that way where when you think about their drawbacks (barfing everywhere, sticking their butts in your face, banging on the door in the middle of the night) you’re like, wait, maybe cats aren’t- then they chase a string or something and it’s like, oh you!

Look! There are even extra cats on the thumb. I call these… bonus cats. I would say these mittens are packed to the brim with cats. Anymore would be gaudy and overwhelming. Any less would be disappointing.

I actually had a hard time making these mittens. The surprising part was that it wasn’t the yarn that gave me a hard time, which is what I was expecting. When meeting with the same friends who inspired me to knit that shawl, they also told me that holding two strands of lace yarn together to make these mittens was more similar to the idea of shooting yourself in the face than not. But lace yarn is what I have. In abundance. So lace yarn was what it was going to be.

They had a point though. If I had just wound up some lace yarn and tried to hold it together from the outside and inside, I probably would have gone into complete madness. What I did instead was I wound one ball, then two… somewhat equal in size balls (I sort of eyeballed that one and that’s something I should have just invested in a scale on) and then wound those two balls together.

The hard part was the stupid pattern. Which wasn’t very well written, so I got very frustrated trying to figure it out. To preface, there were some things already not working out for me. Like, basic instructions for anything lately make me cry. Oh man, so do random commercials, like this one:

But there were also things in this pattern that were just weird. Like instead of the standard K1, it would be written 1 K. I got the vibe the person who wrote it didn’t speak English. There was a random small error on one of the charts and while that’s not usually a big deal to me, it was here. Probably because they charged a price like it was going to be a thorough and well written pattern and what I got was not that.

Still, despite my grumping and griping, they turned out better than I could have imagined. People who have seen them remarked on the color combo- well that was all Miranda. I was trying to be sneaky and asked her which colors she liked together from the yarn that I had and she paired the navy with the green. In the end, despite all the worrying and sweating over minor details, these mittens are probably my favorite thing I knit in 2012.

2012 Project: Marin (for Mom)

I had this idea today- I’ll do a year in review post for my blog! Even though it’s pretty obvious that 2012 was the year I did the least amount of knitting in. That’s when I realized, I have like three projects I haven’t even shared with you yet. So, a year in review seems kind of… stupid. Especially since I had a major holiday push to make stuff and knit more in the last two months of the year than I had the previous eight.

When I got together with a group of fabulous knitting ladies, they were all knitting shawls. I don’t know what it is about mother effing shawls that just the mention of them is so intoxicating to me. I don’t wear shawls. They’re like bigger scarves and you all know how I feel about scarves… There’s just something about them that when people mention these awesome shawls they’re knitting, I feel like I need to knit one too. So, I decided to knit Marin.

I think it came out pretty nice! I really enjoyed the yarn that I knit it in: Rowan Baby Merino Silk DK. Although to be honest, when I finished, it wasn’t much to look at. This is definitely a pattern where the blocking is key. Without it being blocked, it was just kind of unimpressive. Especially the ribbed scallop deals that make it actually look interesting. When they aren’t open, it’s just really bland looking. I finished this in like October… but didn’t take any pictures or anything because I didn’t feel like blocking it. Crawling around on the floor and pinning stuff to the ground just hasn’t been as doable for me lately. I started to and it made me feel really barfy, so John helped me, because he’s awesome.

Here we are at Christmas!

Yep, me and John are having a baby! And that baby is actually due pretty soon, like in about a month, give or take a few weeks. I haven’t really posted about the baby online too much for a few reasons. It’s kind of interesting because people are both ways. They’re constantly like, “people post too much about their babies!” But when I didn’t make some big announcement quite a few people were almost accusatory and hostile, like, “why aren’t you constantly posting about this baby?” As if I’m ashamed or something. It’s not anything like that and I love that people are interested in my life. It’s just, when it comes to important stuff, I keep it for myself. Because I’m selfish and also because when you put something out there, everyone takes away something different and most of the time you have no say in it (and never hear their response or even know who saw what you posted when). Which happened eventually anyways, so hey!

Honestly, my facebook and twitter friends should be grateful because if I had gone the other route it would’ve been all about throwing up, being tired and feeling like general crap for the first two trimesters. (Did you know your armpits can be itchy from your expanding mammary glands in pregnancy? Yeah, you’re welcome.)

Even though I’ve been an on again/off again lameosaur, I still managed to do some fun holiday things. One of which was a walking tour of the downtown Christmas lights with some fun ladies. It ended up being a really nice night, with some random rain. This winter has seemed a little wacky to me, like it can’t make up its’ mind. One second, rain and it’s fifty degrees out.

The next second, there’s ice, all kinds of snow and my husband and father are like, let’s tear off a roof and put a new one on the porch! So over his holiday vacation, John decided to get up on the porch roof and make things happen. I don’t know how they did it- because the weather was pretty gross, but they did and I’m impressed.

Even now, as I’m writing this he’s in the nursery sanding the floor. If we had stuck to the original room that we were planning on making a nursery it would be done by now… but I had a whim and we switched rooms. So now one room is half finished and there’s a new room having work done on it. I’m hoping to post some pictures but who knows- I promise nothing!

So yeah, that’s a blog post for you. 2012 was a pretty eventful year but I’m really excited for 2013. I didn’t even bother making resolutions this year because I honestly have no idea what to expect, so why try and shape something you can’t understand?

Pictures, why are they suddenly hard?

I keep thinking about you sweet blog and you know why? Because I have all kinds of stuff to post on you. But I don’t have any pictures! A blog post without pictures? Why the hell did you even show up to class/the Internet today without doing the reading?

But I have been busy! Kind of. Well there were a few months there where I wasn’t busy. I was actually very incredibly lame. Nobody comes here for excuses though, right? (Or maybe that’s all you come here for? Sometimes I get pretty creative on the excuses.)

Maybe what I need to do is make more stuff for other people. Because when I know the project is going to be walking out the door I’m like, crap! I better take a picture of that before it’s gone forever.

I started this baby toy a while back and felt really good because I’d done the base in a night. Then it sat in a bag next to the steps for a few months and suddenly the baby it was intended for decided to show up. So, of course, I had to do a last minute all-nighter (it’s okay, I had a lot of Pretty Little Liars to watch) to finish it up and take it to the new parents.

Honestly, I need to figure out why, in my brain I keep thinking- baby? Crochet! Because I’m a knitter and these crochet things are actually kind of cool… although also out of my league. Like I had to ask my friend Miranda how to sew because every now and then I think, I can sew! Then I look at the sewing machine and I’m like, no brain, that was a lie.

Also- that green pole? That was the most uncomfortable experience of my crafting career. I kept stuffing it and trying to make it firm and having to smooth out the weird overstuffed parts. The whole time I was like:

This makes me feel kinda funny, like when we used to climb the rope in gym class.

Thanks, Garth

I think the recipient is still a little young for the toy but maybe someday she’ll want to slobber on it. Hopefully. One thing is for certain, she’s super cute:

 

The pattern is the pond friends stacking toy but I couldn’t make the rings look like pond friends. One, there were a lot of instructions and I can’t think straight lately (also: crochet). Two, I have a bunch of yarn laying around but not all the same colors, so I was like, let’s just go in this pink/purple direction and use up some stash. Those aren’t excuses, right?

Hey, here’s a hat!

 

A year ago we went to California and I bought some yarn… even though I ::technically:: wasn’t buying yarn last year. I gave it to John as a Christmas present and wrote ‘future hat’ on the side. I felt pretty clever because, any time in the future is the future. I mean, it could be a five years down the road hat. But I kept seeing it (he kept it by the bed, smart dude) and feeling bad so I made him this hat!

Okay, somebody come over here and make me take pictures of the two other projects I’ve finished and we’ll be good to go.

 

back from summer vacation- yay!

Summer swept me away! I was carried away on a rip tide of popsicles and lemon shake ups. Somewhere in the back of my mind though I was like, but Lindsey- the blog! I thought of you guys being disappointed in me because I wasn’t taking pictures. There was even a two month period where I didn’t knit a single stitch.

Does that ever confuse anyone else? I mean, how can we go from doing something that means so much to us, something that might even define us in a way to just not doing it? In one way you’re like, this is something I could never live without! I’d die without ______ in my life. Then it’s not in your life and you don’t die. You just do something else. Maybe you eventually remember, wait, I liked that thing, why did I ever quit doing it? (Or you don’t and you never do it again. Yeesh. Uplifting.)

That’s what I’m here for folks! Or not really. That’s what I’m occasionally here for, like an absentee relative. You know, the kind that if they do give you a present it’s usually shitty…? No?

Terrariums!

People came over to my house and we made terrariums. It was a fun group project to do. I was tired of seeing them on Pinterest and at craft shows and thinking, I could do that. Yeah, well, then do that.

 

What a fun loving group of terrarium makers.

Here’s one that I made with Iron Man fighting a dinosaur. All of those plants are dead now except the cactus. Win?

I went to a few things/places this summer. One of them was the Ohio State Fair. Since it’s Columbus’ 200th birthday, the butter cow got a special birthday hat this year. We do it up fancy here.

 

Oh butter cow, so majestic.

This year John and I celebrated five years of being married! :D We decided to do this by going to Tennessee. I tried figuring out the exact mentality that got us to Tennessee. There aren’t any charts online to point to saying the fifth anniversary is the one you celebrate by going to the South, however I can’t wait for the Quebec anniversary. I hear that place is off the hook.

 

Whatever the mentality that got us there, I’m glad it did. Otherwise I never would have met Mrs. Claus. There are some events in your personal timeline that really shape and define you. This was probably one of them, so thank you magical Universe fairy for getting me to the Christmas themed hotel we stayed at so I could make destiny happen.

Are you sick of seeing pictures of my face yet? Here’s one of John dominating at mini-golf. He’s kind of a big deal in the miniature golf world.

 

There are more pictures of our Tennessee trip here if you’re interested.

So yeah, in the very little knitting news of my life lately. I did try spinning for the first time at a craft show and it was cool. Every now and then I’m like, spinning! That’s a thing I should do! Then I’m like… … knit the yarn you already have before making some of your own. That’s the kind of mentality that never gets you anywhere fun though.

 

I also made this praying mantis for my friend Jen’s birthday. It was a tough friggin toy to knit. That Hansi Singh is like whoa you guys.

 

She seemed like she really appreciated my hard work though. Some people are totally knit worthy! (I guess. I’m still a pretty selfish knitter.)

 

 

OPP

Julie is almost done with her amazing Swirl sweater. She just has a sleeve left and then the seaming to do. Well, she also had some ends to tie up…

Kind of disheartening. I’m pretty sure these sweaters are made specifically with old school knitting circles in mind. There are stronger women than me out there but if I had this many ends to weave in on my own I think I would just break down and cry.

They’re pretty ends but there’s a ton of them nonetheless. Plus the goal once you have a beautiful sweater is to hide them seamlessly. Because after all that hard work (it’s a friggin’ sock yarn sweater!) the last thing you want is:

1. All of that work to unravel because a crappy end gets loose and

2. To have some crappy end breaking up the beautiful colors in the sweater because it was woven in all wrong, oh and don’t forget

3. Washing this thing once and having every end in existence magically popping out and saying here I am! Now go get the scissors.

She brought her sweater over and I turned on last.fm and we got to work. Every so often though I had to get up to change a song because somehow my regular radio station kept being infiltrated by my Christmas radio station. Thank goodness Julie is one of the cool kids and likes Christmas music! :D

She had an errand to run before we could finish but these are all that’s left to weave in now! It was a lot of fun– more fun than I’ve ever had hiding ends in my whole life. Plus I really like sewing in ends when it’s not my shitty project that I’ve been staring at nonstop. It helps break up things and gets me enthusiastic about projects that I should be working on or want to work on.

I mean, look at how beautiful her sweater is. I can’t wait to see her wearing the finished deal:

She knows it too, look at that protective Mama Bear pet she’s doing.

What project have you done that has had the most ends you’ve had to weave in? I’ve never done something as intense as this- have you?

Baby wookiee

Well there have been all kinds of present giving and getting events around these parts since I last updated. I’m just super excited that nerdy people that I know and love are bumping together and producing babies. Because that means that I get to make them toys. Which means– nerdy toys for the whole family! So I made a generic wookiee for Brian and Jen’s future bebe Penny.

He just wants to be friends with those helicopters!

Actually, I started out thinking I’d make Chewbacca. But I had those clear eyes that you can make any color and for some reason I thought he looked more like a green eyed than a blue eyed dude, so he can be Lowbacca… or not. Since I just looked it up and Lowbacca has ‘ginger’ eyes. Whatever. He’s a wookiee. Just a regular wookiee who wants some love. Why do the tiny people attack him so much when he just want to love them?? :(

Here’s Jen at her baby shower opening him up. He seems happy to be out of that box. She had a pretty kickass baby shower too. It seemed like she knew a lot of women experienced in baby rearing that they all gave her really helpful gifts. Except for me, I gave her a wookiee.

In other news, I got pretty much everything my heart desired for my birthday. I got a kickass wolf shirt, an ice cream cake and I went to the midnight release of the Hunger Games with some pretty stellar ladies.

All kinds of neat things happened on/around my birthday. I’m super lucky to have wonderful people in my life. That means you too, dear reader. :D

As is evidenced by the wookiee up top, I have been working on some fibery things. Even though that was crocheted, I’ve been working on some socks because it’ll be my husbands birthday soon and all he seems to ever want is socks. We’re pretty different in that respect. It’s like, what do you want for your birthday Lindsey? A WOLF SHIRT! ICE CREAM CAKE!

What do you want John? Socks.

Plus I’ve had this yarn in my stash that I bought forever ago, like back when I first started knitting that I had gotten and planned to make him socks out of. So, everyone wins. Kind of. You’ll see. Maybe, if I ever finish them. Even though I’m still working down yarn that I already have, that didn’t stop me from going to the Yarnmarket with Ro. Where she was just as WTF about the Vicuna yarn as I was a few years ago.

Yes, $300 for a tiny ball of yarn. I feel like Cruella DeVille should check into that.

I’ve also been into digital drawing lately. I did these drawings of the main characters from Making Fiends, which is a show that I used to be really into. This all happened because of Draw Something, which I talked about on my podcast that you should totally be listening to!!! Double Jump Spirit. If you want to play me in Draw Something, go to town, I’m apocaknits. I only play every couple of days now so I don’t keep getting super burnt out on it. Here is my favorite drawing that I’ve done so far for it:

…and here is John and his dad being adorable!

Until next time!

Payback

Last year my internet buddy longklaw, or Will if you’re being formal, was getting ready to go to the San Diego Comic Con and I was jealous. I kept sending him tweets about the stuff I would check out and luckily he’s a nice enough person to not tell me to shut the hell up.

Then I got this kickass package in the mail!

Not pictured is a mockingjay pin that got wedged at the bottom of the tube he shipped the poster in. Anyways- pretty amazing of him, right?

Then I felt guilty because that was way above and beyond being a cool dude. So I started watching his tweets. I knew that he was a HUGE Game of Thrones fan. Originally I was thinking of making him something themed around House Stark because he seemed to like them but upon further annoying prodding, I found out that he wanted more House Lannister stuff.

Again, I creepily waited in the shadows, biding my time to see if he would decide on an iPad or a kindle. Maybe you’re getting creeped out at this point by my thought process and I don’t blame you but there was reasoning behind my madness. I wanted him to pick an iPad because if he had, I would have been able to pick a much bigger yarn and used bigger needles. Honestly, I even tried to sway him toward an iPad just because I’m that freaking lazy. (Plus, iPads are cool.)

Nope, he picked Kindle. Good for him with that sweet reading habit.

The Lannister’s sigil is a gold lion on a maroon background and their house words are “Hear Me Roar!” However, most of the people in Westeros mistake their unofficial words for their house words, which are: A Lannister Always Pays His Debts.

I think that’s a pretty badass promise/threat. So yeah, I ended up making this out of sock yarn on size 0 double points. I found an English lion chart and then improvised the back. It had snap clasps inside, which I had never done before so I’d say those are the weakest links of the whole project. Hopefully it will cover/protect something, because it did block out a little big to just fit a Kindle. It was like night and day between how it looked before and how it looked after blocking. Since I took pictures, you can see what I’m talking about:

Before. All roly poly.

During. Half way through I decided I wanted to steam block it. So I threw it under a towel to dry and then used the iron. My cat, Sax, wanted to make sure it stayed really warm and secure.

So there you have it. A Game of Thrones kindle case and all the creepy steps it took to get me there. Have you guys read the books? I got part way through the second one, I need to get back into them. I need to finish a book period. I’ve been too scatterbrained lately. Let me know what you think! Because I’m like, I think most people will see this and think GRYFFINDOR WINS!

Stalled

I’ve hit my ‘getting to the end of February’ block. You know, that- I hate February but what I really hate is March type mentality? Honestly I’ve just been stalled.

So you know how I keep bringing up last years failed sock plan? Well what I didn’t tell you is that at one point, right after my Granma left, she had inspired me to get back into the sock/crafting/general life habit and I totally did knit a pair of socks!

Which I didn’t post. Why? Why didn’t I post these socks? As you can see, they’re quite nice and this is after I’ve been wearing them nonstop. (Even though it’s a mild and super nice! winter, my feet get cold easily so I’m in love with these.)

(Uhh, I’m going to say that it’s because I’m wearing two pairs of socks here and that is the reason why I look like I have serious cankles.)

Usually when I post pictures of my socks it’s right after they’re off the needles and I’m trying to take pictures right away before they get floppy or weird. So you see them in their infant stages. That’s something I feel like most knitting bloggers do. You get the fresh faced and beautiful pics of socks that haven’t been tarnished by the cold unfeeling world of misery, etc., etc.- you know, cheery uplifting stuff.

But this is the real life of a sock. These socks have seen things. They’ve… done things, things they’d rather not talk about. They’re real and hardened.

Still, I think they look pretty good. Even with the random fuzz and things that inevitably happen because I don’t take care of things and my Dad’s like, if you don’t get your oil changed at precisely the right time you might as well just throw your car up on cinder blocks in the front yard, you hear me Linds?!

Yeah Dad, we all hear you on that one.

So those were my last-ditch-attempt-at-glory socks from last year. I have had them done for like, four months? Anyways, the pattern is Charade and I can’t recommend them enough. The yarn is perfect too. It’s the koigu that I got when we went to Seattle. You can get koigu close to you but I just like looking at yarn and being like, aw, I got that on that one trip. It’s transcontinental yarn. How sweet.

Speaking of seeing socks after time and the cold unfeeling world has had its’ way with them. I want to show you something that really gets me mad. Well, mad in the puff out my cheeks and say “goll darn it” sort of way.

Does anyone know what the crap is going on here? Has anyone had these loops happen? I’ve washed these socks twice! The first time I saw one loop but was like… oh, well maybe washing them again will get it to even out and pull back in. (Don’t question my logic. Just go with me here.) So, of course, that happened.

I was so irritated. I mean, that’s not some cheap crappy yarn. That’s Lorna’s and I love that pattern! But I’m afraid to wear these again because there’s no good place it can go from here. Unless you’re going to tell me to hand was them. But even then, hand washing them won’t get those loops to magically… unloop(?) will it?

HELP! 

I guess I just didn’t want to admit to the internet that I have knitting problems that have been getting me down. But now I’m on a roll so, here’s the real problem. I’ve been working on and off on this sock yarn sweater, right? And I was making really good progess, like just a few inches from separating off for the arms type progress when I pulled it out of my bag while out with some friends and noticed:

Ahhhhh- what the fuck is that? Where did that giant hole come from? So I started looking at the whole sweater and noticed a bunch of loops from where it had been pulled apart. I’m blaming a certain cat who has her claws at this point.

But… I couldn’t blame my cat for the partially melted tiny chocolate bar that I found in it. I blame Halloween for that one.

Ugh, that hole. But isn’t the yarn so beautiful? Also, aren’t the random cat hairs on it even more beautiful? This is a lot of ammunition for judgement. I accept that.

Secret Project Revealed: John’s Room

I disappeared again.

Let’s take a minute or two to talk about old houses, shall we?

Old houses have been around long enough to have their own personalities. The initial phrase people use is usually ‘charming’. As in, what a charming old house this is! You have to focus on the charming to get past the fact that nothing is going to go right when you’re working on an old house. Or at least, it’s never going to be perfect- but what house is? They’re like people that way, kind of wonderful. (Often frustrating.)

This is John’s room.

I love John, he’s a wonderful husband and friend. He’s also a dictator of a big brother and a very devoted son. He does a lot for the people in his life that he feels deserve the best. He’s always going out of his way to make my life as perfect as possible and sometimes I get teary just thinking about how great he is because I’m that kind of sap. Honestly, words will never express how much he means to me, so I’m not going to bore you trying. You get the point: John does a lot for others but he’s never really focused on himself or what he wants.

That’s my job.

So while John was planning a trip for his job, I was trying to come up with ideas for what to do for him. Originally he was planning on being out of town for two weeks. (Two weeks at the beginning of February, in Des Moines. All of that sounds like a fantasy work trip, right?) With two weeks, I could do it all right?!

Or maybe I could just… clean.

That corner confused me the most. It reminded me of Toom’s from the X-files. Only instead of bile and newspaper, I thought John might be making a nest out of old socks and clothes.

Let me show you a few problem areas that John had been looking at every day.

The people before the last owner were big fans of starting projects but not finishing them. (The last owner didn’t do anything to the house except cover it in bird seed and glitter.) So as you can see here, they painted the ceiling but let it come down onto the wall. Maybe they were planning on painting the wall eventually… None of the walls have been painted in the house though. Half of them are in various stages of (bad) repair, with a lot of drywall tape making appearances in weird places.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The doors all looked like this at the top of their frames.

Plus his room had the worst corner in the whole house. Which also happened to be right next to his computer. He told me that he hated seeing that corner because it just reminded him of how much work needed to be done.

Before we get to the in progress shots: there was one wall next to a chimney that runs through his room that was the worst as far as the walls go. Any wall next to a chimney- especially a plaster wall, is going to have cracks. If it gets to the point that you can see it, that means that there’s even more going on beneath the surface. You should actually do some wall repair so that you don’t just paint it and it shows up ten times worse a week after you’ve painted it.

Now you can actually see what I was working against. Every crack had to be caulked, taped and then mudded over with drywall mud. Sanded and then mudded again until it was smooth and blended with the wall.

That’s a lot of work. Which wouldn’t have been so bad if I’d had the right tools. When I finally got around to sanding, I only had 200 grit sandpaper. Which made me want to die. (I needed more like 80.) My dad got a bunch of tearful messages that week and he decided to show up and see what was going on. When he saw the sandpaper I was using her was like, “that’s like bringing a knife to a gun fight, Linds- no wonder you’re having problems.” Then he showed me how to use a power sander. All that I worried about after that was choking to death on drywall dust in the frenzied tornado it caused.

Well, okay, maybe that didn’t get rid of all my worries.

There were some major problems near the window. Problems I didn’t even know how to begin addressing. Once I pulled that big piece of plaster out of there that was just floating around, I found I had more questions than solutions. So I decided to just ‘throw some mud at it.’ A phrase my dad was fond of using this past summer when we were working on the upstairs. (Which I still haven’t gotten around to posting pictures of, sorry!)

My Dad knows he’s awesome. Also- see that corner? That’s the same one that had the hole.

John’s Dad and brother came over and helped us move the big book case so we could paint the wall behind it. If they hadn’t, it would have stayed how it was originally and that would have been fine. But I was glad that they helped us because the room looks so much more put together with every wall painted.

John also had his work trip cut short to a week. Meaning all of the things that I wanted to do also got cut short. I had plans for this and that, but here’s where we were after a week:

Can you tell that he’s a fan of maps?

It definitely looks different. What do you guys think? Have you ever tried to surprise someone while they were out of town? How did it go over? I still have plans to get a rug and a few other things to bring the room together but now all of the big stuff is out of the way. Plus, he was genuinely surprised by the whole thing. I thought for sure he knew what was going on because I’m terrible at keeping secrets but he had no idea what was up.   [<- that link takes you to a movie of his reaction.]

Seriously though- tell me what you think in the comments!