What I’ve Been Up To

I’ve been gone for three days, and I feel a little guilty for not blogging; not to mention that I’ve been feeling like I’ve been forgetting something!  Saturdays and Sundays I waitress or hostess at THE BEST ITALIAN RISTORANTE AND PIZZERIA AROUND: Mamma Maria’s.  It’s the time of the week when I get to be with adults, have real conversation, get dressed up, and have fun!  And, it also gives me a way to support my extremely expensive sewing, knitting, and crafting habit (which, any of you who do any of those things know, it can get quite pricey very quickly) —I am not the type of woman to let her creativity be stifled in any way by something as trivial as monetary constraints ;).   

So, I worked this weekend and then went and spent all of my hard-earned money on our next, and currently being executed, DIY project: our bedroom.  Now, we have been in our house for nearly two years, and while I’ve finally resigned myself to the fact that we’re going to be here for a while, we have yet to finish everything.  So, with spring on the way and my undeniable urge to clean becoming harder and harder, we decided it was time to channel all that energy into a project to make our home more of a reflection of ourselves. 
We picked our bedroom first, over the Robug’s room and the living room and the dining room and the bathroom, because we NEED a new mattress.  After talking to my mom and doing some small calculations, the hubby and I discovered that our mattress is between 15 and 18 years old—it’s no wonder why we feel old because of our aching backs!  We wanted to upgrade to a king size (damn kids take up the whole bed!) and to get a memory foam mattress.  So, the mattress comes today—we got it from amazon.com and, because of our Prime Membership, we got free 2-day shipping.  We most likely won’t be able to sleep on it tonight because it’s not even here yet, but it’s still exciting.  It gives us tonight, though, to finish the first project we’ve had to complete for the new bed, and it’s one we didn’t intend on having to complete: a bedframe. 
We’ve already established the fact that I’m cheap in my post about redecorating The Robug’s room, so deciding on a bedframe was no different.  We were going to use the frame we currently have, expand it to the king size, throw some plywood down, and put the whole thing on risers.  Done.  Would only have cost about $20.  Well, the problem we came across was that our frame was only for twin, full, and queen—no king.  Oops.  So, we had to come up with something else; purchasing one was not an option because the cheapest one we could find was $60 on amazon.com—nope, not after I already had to buy new sheets and a new mattress protector and just spent $60 on fabric.  Being the unafraid DIYers we are, the hubby got out his calculator, pencil, and paper and we designed a cheap frame out of 2x4s. 
And that’s where we currently are—I’m hoping to post a tutorial for a “DIY Bedframe for $30.00” tomorrow once we finish tonight.  The next step, then, is to complete the headboard which was originally on the agenda.  I hate how a bed looks on just a frame, up against the wall, but I am also not willing to spend money on good furniture right now—I mean, come on, let’s be realistic: The Robug would, will, has already done, and probably will continue to color on everything.  I’d probably turn into psycho-crazy-angry-screaming mommy if she colored on something I actually spent money on, so I’m just going to prevent that all together.  Using all of the inspiration I’ve found on Pinterest, we are going to create a headboard that hangs on the wall that appears quilted with these fabulous fabrics we bought yesterday:

I will have you know that the hubby chose the dark purple for our color (the pictures were hard to take to get the colors to show well), and chose all of the fabrics (except the velvet).  I’m so proud of him; he chose well (I knew he would).  The best part, though, was the price: $60.00 total.  I bought nearly seven yards of home decor fabric and four spools of thread!  Hancock Fabric had a fantastic sale–our total savings was $40.00.  LOVE IT!!!
     We are also going to build a wood frame around the headboard and have a mantel above it for books, phones, etc…I am intending to publish that on the blog as a tutorial as well, but it will take some time to get it all done.
     We have a lot of plans for our room, so keep checking in: quilt recover, pillow shams, lamps, Scrabble Tile pillows, photo pillows, etc…
     In addition to all of this, I have a bunch of designs ready for the Spring/Summer 2012 line over at Robug Couture, so I’m drafting patterns and looking for fabrics.  I am also working on a Steampunk Bridesmaid outfit for a friend that I will be talking about on here as well, so Gingerland is quite busy!  Stay tuned!

****************As I was getting ready to post this, UPS pulled up with the mattress!  This is why I waited to post:

THIS is how a king-size memory mattress is delivered.  I cannot wait to see how this looks.  I have to wait for my hubby to get home to get it into the bedroom because it weighs over 70 pounds and I’ll hurt myself if I try to get it any further 🙂


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From Lambs to Ladybugs

My little baby will be two next month.  She is a toddler: we will make the transition from stating her age in months (why we do that after one, anyways, is unknown to me…) to stating her age in years.  She is not going to be my little baby anymore. 
Yes, I know, all mothers go through this…yes, I know, they have to grow up.  But, really?!  I cannot believe it has already been two years; it seems like she just starting sitting up by herself yesterday!  Last week I had to take her to have her hair cut for the first time (and let me specify, this was only for bangs–I would not let her touch the rest of Robug’s hair), and I was all teary-eyed and saved the clippings (yes, for bangs; it’s like a pinch of hair–I’m nuts…)Yes, I know, every mother thinks this.  Every parent tells new parents that time flies, enjoy it, it will be gone in the blink of an eye.  And here I am, rambling on with tears in my eyes, listening to the sappy background music of The Vampire Diaries, repeating everything any parent has ever told me.  Wow, when will I ever grow up and listen?
Little by little, Gingerland has been evolving to accommodate the Robug’s age: removed foam play mats, added an area rug, bungee corded gates around the bookshelves, removed the bookshelves, replaced books on one book case with storage bins for toys, removed lamps (because they were both victims of Hurricane Robug and her aftermath) and picture frames (because Robug colored all over them and/or broke them) from surfaces she can reach, gated off rooms that just can’t be baby-proofed—-you know, typical parent stuff.

The only thing in Gingerland that hasn’t changed very much and hasn’t really grown with her has been Robug’s own room. I’ve always hated to take any part of her original nursery set out of her room, and now the only things left are the super-cute lambie curtains and lampshade from the nursery set and the large wall hangings that I made, modeled after the set.


I love the lambies and they are so symbolic for me, but the Robug seems to have outgrown them.  So, I guess it’s time for all of Gingerland to reflect the new toddler and for mommy to seriously start thinking about having another baby take advantage of having another reason to go crazy at the fabric store and spend lots of money get sewing!  (I have to remember that my husband does read this…) 😉
Because I am cheap and have a tendency to be lazy about getting things done around the house thrifty, I don’t want to have to make buy too much, I don’t want to paint, and I don’t want to change too much.  So, we’re going to keep the valences I made, I’m going to get rid of the sheers all together and recover the light-filtering curtains (otherwise our little Robug is up with the sun and won’t nap).  I’m also going to get rid of wall hangings (maybe I’ll sell them if someone is interested…) and make new ones to match this:

I painted these on the wall just to have something to have behind the letters, ladybugs were easier than lambs (not to mention that red and black are better as a background) and I had gotten a really cute sheet that had a sweet little ladybug print, so I thought it was appropriate.  And, now that my little lamb is no longer, it seems as though she is now, has been, and always will be my little ladybug. 
I have cardboard circles I got from Mamma Maria’s, I have some fabric left over from the valences and lambs, and so I will only really need to get a little more fabric.  The question is, though, do I go through the work of making a duvet cover for the quilt since she’s never really used it, or do I skip that all together?  Oh, the conundrum! I know, you’re so glad it’s not your decision to make 🙂  I’d love some feedback, though–should I make it?


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Cowls and Jeans and Uggs, Oh My!

(If you don’t want to read my clever intro to my past and current projects, skip down to where it says, “My Style”)

Every time I take the Robug out people tell me how cute she looks and that she’s got her own little style—I love it, I really do.  I mean, who doesn’t love hearing how cute their kid is?  Have you seen her?  Come on, The Robug is adorable. 
Okay, now that I’m done bragging about how cute my kid is…What these other moms don’t say is that she must get her style from me, and based on how I look when I leave the house, I don’t blame them.  This is typically how I look when I leave the house (and, looking at it, I’m a little embarrassed)
I am definitely not one of those put-together mommies with nice purses and shoes and perfect make-up and hair; hell, I’m lucky if I get to shower before we leave the house.  I tend to throw on whatever is in the basket of clean laundry (why put it away?  I’m just going to wear it again…) with a pair of jeans; throw my hair into a ponytail, grab a hat, top it off with a pair of sneakers or Uggs: DONE.  I want to be able to layer: when I’m actually allowed to sit and chat, I tend to be cold; when I transform into the Mommy Jungle-gym, I want to be comfortable and cool.  Before The Robug dictated my wardrobe (because I have to run, chase, climb, crawl, sit on the floor, act as a jungle-gym and a horse occasionally—not practical in stilettos, and I would never put my Coach bags on the floor…), I looked good when I went out.   Now, quite honestly, I look like shit 🙂
So I struggle—I want to look cute like the other moms at story time and Target and the museums and the park, but I want to be comfortable and I want my clothes to be practical.  I’m also not willing to give up my jeans.  And this is what I came up with:
My Style
Skinny jeans—they stretch, so I can move, but they fit well and look more stylish
Long-sleeve cotton shirts—tons of colors, comfortable, can be layered
Boots—no heals but trendy, and I can still wear Uggs!
The only thing this outfit is missing is the Ginger Factor, what makes this me.  Then I remembered that I can both sew and knit, so I started knitting with some gorgeous yarn that I’ve had for two years, took my inspiration from this picture, and ended up with this:

Done on US 17 straight needles with Burly Spun 100% wool from Brown Sheep Company.  The tail tucks into the other end when it wraps around.


And that’s how I discovered that I am ALL ABOUT the cowl.  It’s easy, it’s practical, it’s versatile, and it’s stylish and trendy!  So, I made another one using this free pattern for a GAP-tastic Cowl:
Done on US 15 circular needles with Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick yarn I got from Joann’s (because I had coupons, I got the 3 skeins I needed for $12.00!).  I generally do not like acrylic, but this blend (80% acrylic/20% wool) actually felt nice.  I LOVE this cowl and will be making another but with better yarn.
This Herringbone Cowl is what I’m currently working on.

I have not gotten very far–I had two rows completed, but then realized it was going to be shorter than I wanted AND I had screwed up the stitch on the second row, so I frogged it and started over.  When I restarted, I cast on 236 stitches onto US 17 circular needles using Schoppel-Wolle Baby Alpaka Naturbellasen  (a.k.a. “Baby Alpaka with a K”) in a heather grey.  I only bought two skeins and I’m definitely going to need to get a third.  I cannot wait to finish it (hopefully by March 24th for The Robug’s birthday party) because the herringbone stitch is gorgeous and this yarn is AMAZING—sooooooooo soft!!!!  This site shows the yarn I’m using in the color I’m using making the cowl I’m making—this shows it almost completed.  I’ll post it again once my cowl is done.  If you’re on Ravelry and want to be friends, I’m under Gingermommy323!



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