Monday, February 4, 2013

New Business!

Something new and exciting has happened…. my husband bought a  psychology business.  He’s had his Ph.D. for less than two years and spent most of his working life in law enforcement so it is a big change for him to own a business.  I’ve been busy putting together his office.  What fun it has been for me! 

When he bought this business  we both knew immediately what part of the name of this business would be…. PPI.   My husband came up with what the letters stand for....instead of coming up with a business name and shortening it to initials, he started with the initials and found words that worked with PPI.  The name of the business is really special to me because it is in remembrance of  my dad.   Our last name is long and ends with the letters ppi.   Whenever my family would visit my parents, my dad would exclaim “The PPIs are here!”  My dad passed away over nine years ago but in my mind I can hear the happiness in his voice as he said “The PPIs are here!”  It’s funny how certain things stick with you.
The office that my husband rented is small but functional.   It was a long path for my husband to get his doctorate;  I wanted his office to look professional and work well for him.   And because I’m cheap fiscally responsible, I was determined to furnish his office without hawking the silver (just kidding – I don’t have silver – nor do I have boatloads of money laying around.)

This is a small two room office.  This is the front room “before.”  He’ll have people complete assessment testing in this room.

This is the back room “before.”  This is where he will interview people.  The view of the trees is one reason he so liked this office space.

This is a “before” chair.   We purchased three of these at a consignment store.  They are incredibly sturdy!  I also found that maple is really nice to paint because the grain is so fine. 

One issue we had is that we needed to get the office put together in about a week.   That may sound like plenty of time but it’s really not a lot of time when you are looking for bargains.

The after… 
Entry in front room.  I think the mirror frame doesn’t go well because it’s too fancy but it was sitting in our basement so it works for now.  Probably nobody but me will be bothered by a too fancy mirror frame.  If they are they will just have to get over it.

This is the opposite side of the room and is the area where clients will do testing.   Look at those consignment store chairs; they look great with new fabric and paint.    The countertop is mounted to the wall.  

The interview area is so beautiful.   We found a fabulous deal on an ultra small leather loveseat.  It was the first thing we bought.   We purchased the chairs on-line.   The glass tables are from a consignment store.  The curtains were ordered from JC Penney on-line.  They had to be extra long.  They were on clearance – I looked for fabric to make curtains but there was no way I could buy fabric for the price of these panels.   My husband made the curtain rods from electrical conduit and we put a fancy knob in the end for a finial.  My wine drinking came in handy because a cork was pushed into the end of the conduit and we screwed the knob into the cork for the finial.   Curtain rods and hardware are so expensive – these were not – and they look great.

Looking back toward the front room there is a  a desk and cabinet for coffee and supplies.   My husband picked up the silver wallpaper with black and white birch trees on clearance at Lowes.  It was the second thing we bought and it really defined the office theme.   I had not put up wall paper for over twenty years… sticky job for an amateur.

The “desk” is a small table we picked up at a consignment store.  It was already black so I didn’t have to paint it. 

We stuck with the black, grey and silver theme, metal accents, and repeated the tree branch motif a number of times. 

I think it looks great.  It’s very different from anything in our home.  My husband says it feels masculine.  It feels really comfortable to me.     My job with the new business is done.  I’ll let him take it from here.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Sewing Room Organization

I’ve been meaning to get my sewing room organized  for a while now…..   My sewing room is a 9x7 walk-in closet off a room that is technically a bedroom on our main floor.   When we built the house I had extra outlets and a window put into this closet because I knew I would use the room for sewing.   I like being able to close the door if I am in the middle of a project so my chaos is hidden.   The attached bedroom has always been used as a library or office. 

In late 2011,  my husband’s uncle, Bob, came to live with us during his final months.    For the first time since we built this house in 2001, the main floor room was used as bedroom and we cleared out my sewing supplies so Bob could use it as an art studio and office.    Bob was an artist and spent many days in the room drawing and painting,  he enjoyed having a spot for his art right off of his bedroom.   After Bob passed away,  I left most of my sewing supplies in the basement, occasionally bringing up something when I wanted to work on a project.

This month, I finally got my sewing room back together.    I wish I had before pictures!  Prior to moving my sewing supplies out of this room for Bob, the only storage I had was an ugly  metal cabinet and huge plastic bins with fabric piled in them.  

I painted the walls a light cheery blue.   I think I hum every time I walk into this room….. blue skies smiling at me nothing but blue skies do I see…. 

My  husband and I built a wall of shelves along the entire back wall.  Everything I have fits on these shelves, there is even room to spare.   The area where the cutting mats and rulers are hanging is behind the door when it is open.


Seeing these mini bolts of fabric make me happy.   All of my yardages of cotton are wrapped around comic book backer boards so I can see them easily.   My upholstery fabric and flannel are stacked on the shelves.  Fat quarters and smaller pieces are rolled or folded and stored in plastic bins.    The big wicker container holds small scraps which I may or may not organize someday.   I sort of like dumping out the basket and having inspiration hit me.   Batting and projects in progress are stacked where I can see them too.


This consignment store dresser  is on the wall that you see when you walk into the room.    I made the star on the wall out of yard sticks -  I wasn’t planning on putting it there but we put a gash in the sheetrock getting the shelves in.   The star is there until it’s fixed.  Maybe longer.  I like it.


I wrapped a board with heat resistant batting and covered it with cloth for the top of the dresser.  It’s my ironing board. It works so perfectly. The drawers hold sewing supplies.


I don’t like things cluttering my sewing area.  The only thing I have on the countertop with my machine  is my “bouquet” of thread.    The fabric on the window is the same as the fabric on the attached office window so it looks nice if I leave the door open. 


I’ve been having fun making things…. finishing projects and starting new.    I’ve made some pretty potholders and pillows,  worked on a quilt my son started a few years ago, made a couple beautiful scarves (that orange fabric  on the dresser in one of the pictures above was some that my mom picked up for $1.50 for 1 1/2 yards – from it my mom, my sister and I  each got enough to make an infinity scarf.  So cute for 50 cents!) 

Today I made a mug rug from bright scraps.    A mug rug is a cross between a coaster and a placemat – big enough for a mug of coffee or tea and a snack.   I’m taking this mug rug to my office to brighten up my winter days.  


I’m so happy to have my sewing room back together and organized.    There are many photos on the internet of sewing and craft rooms that are much larger and  more beautiful but I’m completely content with my small sewing closet.   It fits my needs perfectly.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Screaming Monkey Christmas

Christmas at my mom’s house is never quiet…but as the grandchildren have grown up there is less screaming, less crying and less general noise than in past years.  I was chatting on the phone with my sister Cindy, who lives in Anchorage, discussing that very point on Friday afternoon.    Little did I know that she was silently giggling….
She’d sent screaming flying monkey slingshots for Christmas.
You put your fingers in their mittens, pull back their body on their stretchy little arms and let the monkey fly…
When the monkey reaches its screams…. like a monkey.
Imagine twenty screaming monkeys being slingshot across the living room.   There were a couple minor injuries to boy parts.  My brother has his own high-pitched scream.   My brother-in-law barricaded himself behind presents to prevent monkey damage. 
We repeated inappropriate monkey sayings and jokes.
I laughed and laughed.  My sister got a migraine.
My mother confiscated the monkeys. 
That woman is a saint.
So, perhaps now I will go on to facebook to post pictures of the Weaver family Christmas…  
Beautiful daughter and  Beautiful sister.  Cousins giggling together.   A baby and a brother taking a nap.  Presents.  A walk in the woods with my sister.  The kids on the sledding hill.   Brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews. My sister sang a Christmas song.  There were beautiful handmade wool mittens.  My mom prepared a fabulous meal.   Another perfect proper Christmas.
I love this family… just enough dysfunction to be fun and I loved The Christmas of Screaming Monkey Slingshots.   Everyone agreed it was better than the Christmas of  the Repeating Parrots.    And even though she had to confiscate the monkeys,   I think my mom preferred the monkeys to the Christmas of Glitter… she still seems a bit annoyed with that one as she pointed out some glitter on the wall.   I know Jay enjoyed the monkey Christmas more than the Trip to the ER Christmas (thank you girls for not building a huge ice jump on the sledding hill this year – fun for kids but lethal for adults!)
Merry Christmas 2012.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Before and After...Daughter's Apartment

My daughter recently graduated from college and has her own apartment for the first time. One thing she did not have was furnishings so for the last few weeks I have been scouring my basement, garage sales and consignment shops to help her furnish it.   My sewing machine has been busy too.  She was shocked when her dad and I showed up with trailer FULL of furniture and furnishings.

I had been on face time with her and seen the apartment that way and had her measure everything so I knew where to put everything as it was being moved in.   She was quite surprised because she thought we would be bringing a cabinet from her old bedroom and her grandma's old ugly love seat, curtains and potholders I'd sewed....

This is her entryway when we came...

Minutes later....

Her wish was to have a bright, welcoming entry so I painted a mirror that came off a consignment dresser with bright colors, made a orange pad for a bench that she'd had in her room growing up, and sewed a bright pillow.   You can't tell in the photo but I made a window valance for the front door that matches the pillow.   

Her living area when we came....  She made delicious pork barbeque sandwiches with coleslaw and we ate before we got to work hauling stuff inside.    We had to sit on the floor because she had absolutely nothing in this room...


In a short time, it looked like this...
(bad lighting...sorry)

Now she has a place to sit and watch the TV we brought her, a place to eat meals and to relax.   She is thrilled.    She painted the dresser green after we left... it was a project I didn't get to complete but I left her the paint and paintbrush and she was happy to finish it.  Everything in the room except for the counter height table came from our basement, garage sales and consignment stores.   The love seat was her grandmothers, from probably the 1970's.  I painted it and made slipcovers out of drop cloths.   They aren't perfect but when you don't have anything, they are good enough.    As my sister says ... you get what you get and you don't throw a fit.

She had a cute little nook that we furnished as well.

Before (this is all the furniture, except her bed, that she had):

And After
 again, repurposed, repainted  stuff...   looks very cute...

Her little bitty kitchen just needed a bit of organization and a few decorative and practical things and it looks much neater....    My sweet sister Tonja bought her that microwave at a garage sale... I come from a family of thrifters...

Her bedroom and bathroom got a few updates too but I don't have any pictures.  

I had asked her to repaint before I came and  I'm so glad she did; everything was bright white and clean.  She was thrilled, surprised and grateful.   

I, of course, was beyond thrilled with what could be accomplished from hours away on the cheap with what was in my basement, garage and consignment sale finds, paint, and a sewing machine. 

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Polar Plunge

A few weeks ago in Duluth, my daughter did a Polar Plunge with some sorority sisters to raise money for Special Olympics.     When she told me she was doing this,  I had no idea it was such a big deal.


There were many interesting people.   Notice the spectator with the fur hat…  He was nothing compared to the plungers.


This man walked around dancing and yelling that it was his seventh year in a row to do the plunge.  Woo Hoo!  

DSC_0448DSC_0435I’m clueless about where to buy shiny pants like these guys were wearing.  DSC_0471

There were also some rescuers in the water ready to save the plungers.    No one needed saving.    Sometimes there is ice on the water but there was not this afternoon.  There was ice on the water the next morning.


There were 1,400 plungers. 


A lot of money was raised this day.   Great job polar plungers!