Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Toby's Birthday Party

Toby's fourth birthday was a wonderful day!  Early in the afternoon we went shopping for birthday supplies and when we got home Toby asked, "Now we can build my birthday?"  And did we ever build his birthday!  

We blew up 25 balloons and they were all over the table and floor.

Toby wore a special birthday crown and got to sit at the head of the table.

We covered the table with a birthday balloon tablecloth that Toby picked out.

And the cake was Toby's requested 
chocolate with chocolate frosting and sprinkles!

He was pleased with my work.

We had party horns.  "Just horns.  Not the kind that spit out." Toby directed.
They made a very, um...celebratory noise.

We also sipped "green orange juice" (limeade) from crazy straws.

And dinner was hot dogs, potato chips, and sliced strawberries.
All Toby's choices.  Noah called Toby the best brother ever.

Then it was cake time.  But first we all went around the table
and told Toby all the things we love about him.  He was very sweet
and said, "Thank you!" without any prompting after each comment.

He was VERY excited when we "put the candles on fire"
and it only took three tries for him to blow them all out.

I think he liked it.

Yeah, he really seemed to enjoy it.

One of Geary's Toby Loves was, "I love Toby because 
of the way his eyes crinkle when he smiles."

Toby was not the only one who enjoyed the cake.

When the cake was finished, Toby asked, "Can I have a bath now?"
It was a good idea.  And it was a really fun bath because
Auntie Em had brought over a birthday present--a color changing car!
In cold water the car turned from green to orange and in bath water
the car turned yellow!

After bath time it was pajama time and Toby got to watch Tangled 
which was released on DVD on his birthday.

Here are a couple videos about how the Toby and Miles enjoyed the cake:

We loved celebrating our Toby!  And we're very excited for all the things that Toby has told us that fours to.  For example, Fours talk to their teachers and Fours don't scream in the shower.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Four Years Old

How can this cute little baby be four years old already?  It's impossible!  But there he is.  His chocolate brown eyes are as dark and lovely as ever.  But he can't be called Chubba-kneezer Fudge anymore.  That baby fat has melted away and now he has the knobby knees of a four year old.  Because he is four.

Happy Birthday, Tobin Joseph!  You bring laughter and sweetness to our family.   You are our Cuddle bug and our mr. mischief all rolled into one.  We love you!  And we are excited about four.  Four is one of our favorite ages and it sure looks good on you!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Toby Logic

Today after church...

Jeana:  Hey, Toby!  How was Sunday School?  Did you talk to your teachers?

Toby:  No.  I don't need to talk to my teachers.

Jeana:  You don't need to?  Are they mind readers?

Toby:  Yeah.  And I don't like mind readers.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Mr. Linhart

I am cleaning out my (future) craft room (for the eleventy-millionth time) and I just found a stack of thank you notes to Geary from his students.  Of course, I read them!  And my heart is swollen with love and pride for my Mr. Linhart.  I've always known that he is a good teacher.  I've always been proud of his chosen profession and encouraged him in it.  But something about reading sincere thanks from his own pupils makes me look at him from a different angle and I am more than pleased to have him as my very own.  I love you, Mr. Linhart.  Thank you for being such a great man.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Ruby Willow February and March

Hi.  Remember when I told you I had a goal to create one new item for my etsy shop every month?  Well, I have been keeping up on that goal in the creating department but not so much in the actually taking pictures and listing them online part.  Thankfully a couple of super adorable students helped me out with the photographs.  I'm so lucky to have a giant pool of cute models.  My new items are still not listed in my shop but here is a sneak peek for you!


The Ruffle Scarf

I only have them in teal right now but if you really want one in 
white, gray, tan, or chocolate brown, I can probably make it happen.
 This was a collaborative effort with my sister-friend, Emily.
I told her my idea and she said I MUST do it
and even invested in me by purchasing the initial materials.

They are thick with lots of texture but lightweight so that you won't
get overheated.  They are also super long so they can be wrapped for 
extra warmth in the winter, or loose for extra style in the spring and fall.

I love the one I made for myself and get tons of compliments on it
each time I wear it.  Emily gets endless compliments on her scarf, too.
  Let me know if you want one!  They will be $20 on etsy 
but if you pre-order by emailing me (jeanalinhart(at)gmail(dot)com)
you can have yours for $18 and free shipping!


Pretty Penny Necklaces

These are so fun!  These little pendants are made from pennies!
One side is a gloss covered pretty scrapbook paper pattern,
the other side is the actual penny.

It has been super rainy around here so I'm still working on clear
pictures of the individual necklaces but these should at least
give you an idea of what they look like.

I love this shot.  It's so "a penny for your thoughts?"  
Each penny dangles from a 16 inch
antiqued copper chain with a 4 inch extension chain, 
lobster clasp, and my signature leaf charm.

You can see the penny side here.  Abe's head is facing out and I think it would be
such a cute gift to find pennies with special years on them.
Like the year someone was born,or their anniversary,
when something big happened like a baby
or a new job or any other significant event.

They are simple and dainty and happy.  And affordable!  
I'm selling these Pretty Pennies
for $8 or two for $12.  
They've already been a big hit at a church craft fair.

I made some with the back of the penny showing 
but I think from now on I'm going to stick with Abe's head.  
I really do love that year idea.

And yes, it's perfectly legal to make jewelry out of money.
You just can't spend a Pretty Penny Necklace.
But why would you want to?

Tell me what you think!  I love your feedback and it helps me so much.  Thanks for looking at my newest creations.  I'll let you know when they are listed in my shop.  But if there's something you have your eye on let me know!  And don't forget about the Ruffle Scarf pre-order special!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

A True Oregonian

This morning I was opening all the window blinds.

Jeana: Let's get some sunlight in here!

Toby:  But what is sunlight?

Jeana (laughing):  It's light from the sun.

Toby:  But the sun went away a long time ago.  There is no sun.

Jeana:  Don't worry.  It's coming back.

Toby:  Hmm...we'll see.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Laundry Room Part 2

Thanks so much for the compliments on the first wall of my laundry room makeover!  It is so much fun to add beauty to a space.  I can't wait until this room is completed!  

Here are some more Before and Afters of the rest of the space.

Before:  The back door which has an old drafty metal window in it that didn't let in much light because of the frosted panes. We sealed off the window by gluing boards to either side of the door and caulking all the way around to seal them.  It's not the prettiest but it works and it's what we could afford.  Eventually we'd love to replace the door entirely. Notice the broom and mop organizer.

After:  All clean and painted with a draft guard at the bottom.  I'm hoping to visit the Habitat for Humanity Re-Store to get a new doorknob in brushed nickel that matches the rest of the hardware in our house.  Also, the broom and mop organizer has been moved.  The plan is to add trim around the board to make it look like a picture frame.  I made several attempts at some original art work on the board but wasn't satisfied with any of them so I covered the board with another coat of primer and decided I'd rather have a cute and happy poster in the space.  Maybe something like this:

I love the colors and how cheerful and bright this one is.  I found it here on etsy.  I think it would be perfect in our laundry room!

Before:  The door the boys' room (right) and the the door to a coat closet (left).  Um, I just realized that this is kind of boring.  Oh, well!  I took the pictures and now you are forced to look at them.  And love them.

After:  Clean and painted.  The door handle is back on the closet door and we decided that since we never wore any of the coats that we stored in this closet we should donate them and turn this old coat closet into a broom closet.  So now the organizer is in there along with our vacuum cleaner, steam mop, ironing supplies, and extra cleaning supplies.  I love having it all out of sight.

Before:  The washer and dryer area.  It usually isn't that messy but it makes for a great before picture! I hated that little cabinet above the dryer.  It didn't provide much storage and it just looked out of place to me.  See all my bottles of homemade laundry soap up there?  And I used to store all my cleaning rags and cleansers in buckets balanced on top of the washer and dryer.  Even thought it was usually not that messy, that spot did act as a sort of dumping ground for items with no home.  The washer and dryer were hand-me-downs from Geary's mom.  We've had them for ten years and I'm not sure how long she had them before she gave them to us but they both still work great! 

After:  Since I didn't like the little cabinet I decided to just take it down!  I had some long shelves that used to be in the boys' closet so I hung them up temporarily.  I'd like to get some longer boards so that the open shelving goes the whole length of the washer and dryer. I also decided to keep just two containers of laundry soap (only one is shown) because it's so fast to make up a new batch and all those bottles were really taking up space.  I already had the blue baskets and now they house cleaning rags, laundry supplies,and the cleaning supplies I use most often.

One basket holds pre-measured ingredients for the laundry soap.  My next several batches are going to be made so quickly!

We don't use paper towels so we go through a lot of wash cloths and cleaning rags in a week.  In order to avoid mildew laundry from throwing wet rags into a laundry basket, I installed this hook rack so that the cloths can dry first.  I also hung up a cute picture of a woman and her daughter at an old fashioned washing machine that Aunt Lila gave to me.  Also, I use the dryer as a diaper changing station so Miles' diaper changing supplies are stacked neatly in an Ikea Trofast bin.

I'm on the hunt at thrift stores to find a wide mouth glass cannister to hold oxy-clean.  Something like the one above.

I wanted to highlight one last thing on my laundry shelf.  Geary's cousins carved this little bowl out of one piece of wood and gave it to me for Christmas last year with a cute candle inside.  I love everything about this bowl.  The fact that it's all one piece, that beautiful grain details, it's size, how smooth it is, and especially that it was handmade with me in mind.  I'm sure this little bowl will get used for lots of purposes in my lifetime but right now it's holding change, bobby pins, and whatever else gets left in our pockets.

So, that's what I have so far!  My wish list for this room is pretty short:

  • New doorknob for the back door
  • Happy poster and trim for the board frame
  • Glass cannister
  • Longer shelves
  • Artwork for above the board and batten
  • Oh! And a dust-buster!  You know, so the kids can help by vacuuming up all their little crumb messes without having to lug out the big vacuum cleaner multiple times a day.
It's so fun for me to be able to show our house to far away friends!  Thanks for indulging me on this little house tour.  And if you're close by, I'd love for you to come see our laundry room in person!

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

The Laundry far

In the ideal world I would show you my perfectly finished laundry room down to the details with artwork hung in place and perfectly staged containers of laundry soap.  But in reality, I am only part way through my project and I've run out of money so that means I have to wait until next month's installment of my home improvement budget.  Delayed gratification is a good thing, though.  It means that I have time to really think about what will work best and research for the best prices and quality. 

In this area of the house there is zero natural light, so it's really difficult to get good pictures.  But I tried my best.  Right now we'll just focus on this one wall. Here are the "befores."

Notice the two different colors of trim.  When we moved in all the trim was that tan color and all the walls were flat white.  Room by room I've been painting all the trim white.  I am nearly done.

 Oooh, sneak peak of that the little pocket bathroom.  Before and After pictures of that room will come soon.  We just have to hang a mirror and add some other little things.

 A close up of the strange orangy-tan color.  Yuck.  So glad it's gone!

And now....ta dah!  The "afters."

We really needed some place for the boys to hang their coats so we installed Board and Batten along this wall and added hooks.  It's a pretty narrow walkway so it was important that things didn't stick out too far.  Instead of traditional coat hooks I used window sash lifts.

 We have rounded corners on all the walls of our house so we ended the board and batten on the straight side of the wall and filled the seam with caulk.

We also added a little ledge for picture frames...and starfish.  I'm still searching for the perfect artwork to display above the board and batten.  Maybe that funky mirror I found treasure hunting awhile back?

This picture shows the truest representation of the wall color--at least on my monitor.  It's called Sea Anemone by Martha Stewart.  In most of the pictures it looks minty green but in person there is a slight blue-gray tint to it, too.  I love how fresh and clean it makes the space feel.  And so much brighter!

So that's what this space looks like today.  There is still more to be done but we like where this is going.  In fact, we love the board and batten so much that we're planning to do the same wall treatment (minus the hooks) on one of the walls in our kitchen, too!

Future Gratitude

Someday I'm going to look back and laugh as I remember the day, March 1, 2011, when Miles somehow managed to open a can of white paint and get white painted fingerprints all over his outfit, hair, and face.  I'm not there yet.