Office Updates Part 2

So in our last post we saw the hideous mess of my office and the prep work to get the office ready for painting and building. Friday night, I took a class on free motion quilting while the boy did the trimming around the windows and painted the ceiling. He’s really good at trimming and we figured that would give us a little bit of a head start for painting over the weekend. The paint color is Sherwin-Williams – Veiled Violet.


Saturday morning one of Chris’ friends from work came over and helped us get the first coat on the walls and build the four shelving units. We had to call it quits for the day after that since Chris and I had a pressing engagement – dinner with my parents to celebrate their birthdays!


Many moons ago – or possibly just three years ago – we painted the interior of my closet green when we built a bunch of shelves in there for fabric storage. We kept the green in the closet and here you can see where it matches up with the purple as well as the blue line we painted as a divider. haha 😉 The line once the painters’ tape was removed is quite sharp. I am pleased with myself on that one, since I hung the tape both times.

Green and purple meet

The outlets and fixtures in the room were an off white, beige-y color that I thought might not fit well with the yellow-y, off-white of the Ikea shelves. So we hunted around for new fixtures that wouldn’t break the bank and found these at Menards – I think they’re considered nickel. The neat thing is there are no visible screws so they have a seamless look to them.

New switches and outlets for the office

We were also fortunate the next weekend to have more help in the form of my niece Fia. She had a great time helping her uncle and learned how to measure inches. He made sure the nail gun was never plugged in when he wasn’t in the room and she clearly was practicing proper safety by wearing eye protection. Oh and yes, I knit the sweater she’s wearing. It’s kind of awesome to have someone show up at your house for the day wearing something you made them. 😀

Charlie's Angels - the construction episode

In the photo above you can see the trim we installed between each shelf to cover the gaps. Due to the width of the room (138.5″) and my need for symmetry the boards are all 3.5″ wide, 1/4″ thick, and 79″ tall. They don’t make boards that thin, wide and tall. So the boy used his table saw to cut 5.5″ boards down to the right width and then the router to basically tongue and groove together two shorter boards. Then we filled the seams, sanded it down, and repeated until the seams were no longer visible.

The boy’s friend from work came over again and helped figure out how to secure the side trim panels for the shelves. We didn’t want them flapping around without some support behind them to nail the trim into.

Building up the side trim

Then I ran away to Dallas for a week. haha. When I came home I saw the the lovely site below! The crown molding we purchased was attached at the top, the baseboard we cut from the wall was attached at the bottom, and the side panels were done. 🙂

Ready for shelves

Centsational Girl estimated their Billy built-ins project took about 7 hours to do. Ours took a bit longer because we had more steps to do and many more cuts. I love this project though and am very happy with how it turned out!

I got to spend that weekend filling up the shelves and clearing pathways in the guest rooms. It was nice to not feel like my office was taking over the entire house. And I was able to fit more things on the shelves than I thought I would. I was really pleased to figure out that the Rubbermaid bins that used to sit on the floor next to my filing cabinet would now fit neatly on the bottom shelves! One less thing that needs to be out on the floor causing clutter.

New Office shelving

If you look to the right in the photo above you’ll see some wires coming out. After this picture was taken we put an internet jack in the right side panel so that we could easily access the wires running down to the modem in the basement.

I took Monday off since the carpet was being installed in the morning and I wanted to spend the rest of my day reloading the office. This is the state of the office that night. Not done but looking pretty good.

Closet Wall

Filling this wall o’shelves up meant I was able to empty, a set of wire cube shelves, a 3-drawer stand, and a 3 shelf rack that we may end up using as an a/v rack in the basement. 🙂 The other now empty storage is headed to my sister’s home. I was also able to bring some of my fabric storage out of the closet so that we can use the steps in there to get up to the attic if needed.

Built -in wall

Part of my goal with this total renovation of the office is to find a home for everything. Since everything had to be taken out of the office, I am trying to not bring anything back in to the office unless it has a home. I spent a portion of this past Sunday sifting through all the magazines that used to be on my bookcase and purging many of them. I don’t mind having a lot of craft supplies, or even having specialty craft supplies that are only used once every few years but the sheer volume of things in this office that weren’t being used was weighing on me. I love the idea of getting this all back to what I am using so I can feel free to get started on a project and have the work space to run with it.

I have several sewing, quilting, and knitting projects lined up for this year and I can’t wait to dive into all of them. First things first though, I have to get the guest rooms completely cleared out of crafty bits. And that has to be done before my brother shows up next month with his roommate for Rock on the Range. 🙂 It’s good to have a deadline cause I can push myself to work a little each day. And each day this office gets a little closer to what I was imagining.

The next project in here is to hang a pegboard opposite the window wall (like this one) for all my hanging crafty bits. We have most of the supplies for that already on hand, just need to cut it to size, paint it and find some pretty trim to go around it. Once that’s up I’ll hang up my other pictures, calendars and bulletin boards. I’ll be sure to post “final” pictures once all of that is done.

Do you have any big organizational plans for your home? Do you have any favorite artists/artwork that I should consider hanging in my office?

Posted in House | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Office Updates Part 2

Office Updates Part 1

So if you follow me on Flickr you may have noticed I was very busy in March working on some updates to my office. In March we celebrated 6 years in this house. Which means the boy and I have been spending about 5.75 years figuring out the best layout for my home office. We’ve gone back and forth many times about building shelves to store everything but we continued to run into issues figuring out how to build the shelves in a most attractive way around the windows. One Saturday morning while discussing this project, again, the boy pulled up Centsational Girl’s blog post on turning Ikea Billy Bookcases into built-ins and he was excited about implementing it in my office. If there’s one thing I’ve learned after being together for 10 years it’s that if he’s excited about building something, run with it! 😀

First things, first, I remembered to take actual before photos. I always forget to take those before I embark on a large cleaning project and so you never get to see the horror of the mess that incites the need to embark on a large cleaning project. This is the mess my office usually devolves into when I am working on a million projects at a time and can’t find a home for half of my supplies where I can see them. Turns out I am a very visual person and if I can’t see my supplies I forget about them.

Before Photo - Closet Wall

Before Photo - desk wall

One of the quickest and best solutions to the office mess (suggested by my friend Rose who helped me figure out an overall layout) was to move the filing cabinet to the basement. That let us open up the whole desk wall for the Billy bookcase built-ins. It also took maybe 30 minutes to do. Hooray for quick fixes!

We got together with some friends who also needed to make an Ikea run (the closest Ikea is 3.5 hrs round trip from us) and took the first Saturday in March to run down there and pick up all of the things we needed. I also bought a Sherwin-Williams gift card so that an interior designer would come to our home and help me pick out the right shade of purple for my office (and subsequently lovely colors for the remaining rooms in the house that need to be painted). The lighter purple is the color that ended up in my office.

House Paint Colors

Because the built-ins were going to take up the whole wall I did some quick internet research on what to do with the carpet underneath where the shelves were going. The best internet carpenters say to remove the carpet because overtime it could cause issues with the stability of the shelves and well it’s the right thing to do. So I also finally! got to buy new carpet for this room. I picked out a carpet and we decided we’d do all the tear out since we planned to paint our baseboards to match the color of the new wall o’shelves. Ripping out the carpet meant EVERYTHING had to come out of the office which led my guest bedrooms to look like this:

Temporary yarn storage

I found myself playing monkey and hot lava trying to get to any of the yarn or sewing supplies I needed while this project was going on. Three cheers for working out lately giving me greater arm strength to hang from the top bunk with! haha.

We rolled up the carpet, keeping it whole, while removing it because we plan to put it in the unfinished portion of our basement to cover the cold concrete. Alas, we were not able to get it out whole and we found out that the bottom of the carpet makes for amazingly rough sandpaper on door jams. So, Chris had to cut the carpet in half. Then he was able to get it down the stairs.


The last prep step before painting the walls was four coats of paint that turned the baseboards from dark lovely wood to Ikea white. We took one of the shelf boards to Sherwin-Williams and they used their magic eye thing and ta DA! we had a can of trim paint that was the same color as the shelves.


This post is getting long so I think I’ll wrap it up here with a sneak peek of what’s to come. 🙂

Bottom left corner

Lots more work, some awesome helpers and a gorgeous office in the end! A gorgeous office that I am still sifting, sorting and purging items from.

Have you been working on any spring cleaning or larger home projects lately? 


Posted in House | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Spinning Progress

Back in January I mentioned that I’ve been using Evernote to organize all of my crafting goals and one of my target areas for this year is my fiber stash.

A few weeks ago, I went back through my goal lists to refine them a bit more, figuring out my overall goal and then outlining monthly and quarterly progress goals. My overall spinning goal is to reduce my fiber stash so that it fits inside the closet and shelves allocated to it in the basement. If I maintain a spinning rate of 12 ounces a month that should help make a reasonable dent by year’s end. This also assume a few pounds spun during the Tour de Fleece. Basically, I need to spin more than the 8 oz of fiber I receive in fiber club every month. Haha. It may be time for me to drop back to a single dose in the next round of fiber club. I just wonder if doing so will lead me to buying tons of extras again when there are colors that I love or push me to do more combo spinning. The second option is clearly the better answer for my wallet and my stash size. 😛

I am currently working on finishing off all the single bags of fiber I have, starting with fibers I haven’t spun before. I’ve been trying to determine if there are in fact fibers I don’t enjoy spinning (Wensleydale may be a contender here) and if there are then destashing them. Also, once I’ve tried all of the fiber varieties I have I’ll be more inclined to let go of the colorways that I am not in love with.

These are my latest spins – two were gifts and one has been in my “To Spin” basket next to the couch for way too long. 🙂

FatCatKnits - Merino - New Shoots

FatCatKnits – Merino – New Shoots
A Christmas gift from Martha all spun and ready for socks. 🙂


Yarnchef - Psychedelic - Superwash Merino

Yarnchef – Psychedelic – Superwash Merino
This has been hanging in my “To Spin” basket for ages. So glad I spun it, I love it!

Into the Whirled - Corriedale

Into the Whirled – Corriedale – One of a Kind colorway.
This was my secret santa gift at my first Rhinebeck.

So far I’ve spun 8 oz in January, 4 oz in February and destashed another 16 oz. I am totally counting the destashing in my spinning goals because it has the same net affect on my stash. 🙂 So I am ahead 4 oz for the year right now. haha. We’ll see if I can maintain this.

Next up, I have a lovely braid of Jacob that I got from Saz and Ys two TNNAs ago. I really need to make time to spin it. Just finishing one more thing for the Ravellenics first and then I can let spinning and sewing fight for dominance one day each weekend. 🙂

What are you working on this year?

Posted in Spinning | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Spinning Progress

s’mores dip

Since Google Reader went away I’ve replaced it with feedly but I am not as good at keeping up with blogs through it because it doesn’t have the amazing Next button. I was finally catching up on blogs over the weekend when I found this amazing s’mores dip pin from Knitted Bliss. I found the original blog post and quickly pinned it. Then I showed it to the boy while making our grocery list yesterday and his answer was basically “uh, duh! yes please!” So we added all of the ingredients to our grocery list and actually remembered to make the dip after dinner.

We made a few modifications from the original recipe, we didn’t cut the marshmallows in half, as you can see in this picture. (Although, the next time around, we might, or we may use less marshmallows.)


Instead of a 6″ cast iron skillet we used these cute little 4.5″ crême brûlée ramekins that I had on hand.

s'mores and graham crackers, ready to go

Because our marshmallows were full size they expanded a bit with the initial heat so Chris chose to just stand over the oven keeping an eye on them rather than waiting on a timer. Ours ended up only needing about 5 minutes to brown nicely.

Toasty s'mores

Two 4.5″ ramekins of marshmallow dip is a lot of sugary sweet for two people. If we were to do this again, we’d only make one and we’d use the toaster oven.

2 batches of s'mores dip

In reheating my dip toady I found the toaster oven goes up to 450F and takes way less energy to heat up than our giant oven. And it works beautifully. So, unlike my recent pinterest dessert disaster (I am looking at you 2 min cookie in a cup!!!) this was awesome and tasted just as amazing as you would think.

Oh, and while I am here talking about food and dips and such. I made this jalapeno popper dip I found on pinterest for our Olympic Opening Ceremonies party and OMG it was DELICIOUS!!! As long as you like spicy things like jalapeno poppers, you can not go wrong with this dip. I, uhh, may have had Chris pick up the ingredients for this as well yesterday so I can make it for myself again. Sooo good! I apologize for not having any pictures, I didn’t think about it. Then it got scarfed down quickly at the party with everyone exclaiming between bites how good it was. 😀

Posted in Food | Tagged , , | Comments Off on s’mores dip

Birthdays and Self Portraits

Much to the boy’s amusement I take my birthday off every year. If it falls on a weekend like it did this year, I like to take the day before or after off as well. Working a standard 40 hr work week makes it hard for me to run some errands and accomplish things at businesses that are only open during the hours I am at work. (It’s surprising how many places – especially crafty places – I can only ever visit on Saturdays – it makes the time between my visits very long since so much is left until Saturday.)

Yesterday I took the day off so I could get my hairs cut and swing by a few shops for my birthday. I haven’t cut my hair since I chopped it off to donate back in May – yeah so it’s been 9 months. Woops. It’s grown back nicely and I just needed to cut several inches back off. 🙂 I was trying out a new stylist and we decided to play some with flat iron curls (a favorite trick from my last stylist who moved away). The look is very different on me but super fun. I kind of feel like I look a bit like one of the ladies from the Bomb Girls series I am watching right now.

Haircut faces

It’s hairstyle picture time!

I decided to take a few shots of myself in the mirror instead of setting up the tripod and using the self timer. Let’s talk about how hard self portraits are and how the camera will only ever focus on your head if you’re making some kind of ridiculous face. So without further ado I give you several ridiculous pictures of me. Enjoy. Consider it my birthday gift to all of you. 🙂 Also for everyone’s sake I deleted the scariest of the pictures, haha, no one needed to see those two.

Haircut faces

Where’d my body go? Oooo nice ceiling fan!

Haircut faces

And then you pucker up your lips like this. Thanks Sebastian!

Haircut faces

Crazy eyes? I can’t unsee them. haha.

Haircut faces

No, no, a little more to the right.

Haircut faces

Hope that was fun for you! Cheers! Also what’s that lurking to the left?

Have you had fun with self portraits lately? Do you have any fun pictures to share? Or maybe tips on how I can not look ridiculous whenever I take my own photos?

Posted in Personal | Tagged , | Comments Off on Birthdays and Self Portraits