Friday, September 19, 2008

Dining Room 95% done!

final walls 3
Originally uploaded by orangeeener
The dining room remodel is 95% done. We began 2 years ago (it could be longer) on our dining room and finally broke down and hired a painter. Boy, was it worth it. Since my flare in January, I have not had the endurance or control to do all the hand-painting required in this room. It really turned out nice, though.

I did a lot of research on period paints and paint schemes. You cannot tell from the photo but the trim is actually cream. You could not make a true white paint in the 20's because the pigment was not available so I went with a very yellow white. Also, the ceiling has a metallic glitter overglaze. A lot of Craftsman homes had pearly and metallic accents on the ceilings and in the wallpapers and I tried to stay true to that. The only place I stretched was the raspberry paint color. That color may not have been available but it was the dominant color in the original wallpaper of the room.

The doors were originally varnished in the 20's with an obscuring dark brown varnish. Then, in the 50's or 60's painted tan which has been slowly flaking and peeling off. By painting it dark brown, I am trying to restore the look the doors once had. Modern stain do not give the doors the "grain-less" look the original varnish did.

There are more pictures on my flickr site, , if you are interested in the before shots and other views.

The paints I used were all Benjamin Moore and I am pleased with the sheen and coverage of the paint. The colors are: ceiling - tucson tan, wall - cinco de mayo, trim - vanilla ice cream , doors, bittersweet chocolate

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

My Own Liquid Laundry Detergent

I finally broke down and did it.  I made my own detergent using Recipe #1 from the frugal shopper.  After analysis of the ingredients, time, and the kicker, money saved.  I decided it was time.  The article that really swayed me was an article from The Simple Dollar.

The author broke down all the costs and what his savings would be.  He also tested his detergent against Tide with bleach alternative.  My costs were more because I purchased one bar of Fels Naptha soap @ $2.39 (but use only 1/3 of it).  Also, I had to drive to 2 store to find the materials.  If you are in McKinney, save yourself the trouble and go to the Kroger on 380.  I have only used it on one load but the kids have said it smells good to them and thought it was cool I was making a mess in Dad's kitchen.   After cooling, the mixture is glutinous and slime-like and a light chartreusy yellow.

I have decided to buy a laundry soap dispenser from The Container Store to store it in.  I may need 2.  It made more than I anticipated.

I have not tested it on my hand-washables.  I was interested to know if anyone had tested it on wool or their hand-knit items.

Myths of Fantasy Football Debunked

This is my analysis of Week 1's Fantasy Football action for the Women and Children First League on ESPN:

  • You should show up for the draft: The highest scoring team was the Bowles Hole Gang who was unable to make the draft. Levi's Arrows beat Shag's Dogs. I was shocked. The Dawgs spent hours analyzing, sorting, reading, reanalyzing multiple sources of FF data to be beat by a team who did not show and did not adjust their lineup before the games. The Jerfs do not show up but have a concrete strategy (Cowboys and Giants). This year it could pay off now that Felix Jones may be replacing an injured Marion Barber. I myself developed a draft strategy, read articles, and sorted my draft order. Next year, ESPN is doing all the work. It might be more fun to be in the draft but not more fun than winning.

  • Sleepers are value picks: My sleepers should be called zombies. They are dead and therefore have no value and therefore were expensive to me (and not values) because they are taking up precious line-up space.

  • Pay attention to ESPN projections: I believe these are computer-generated and the algorithm does not look at factors like fear, stupidity, and guts. The Hats did not play Brett Favre because of his projections. Willie Parker was not played by the Arrows. I played Braylon Edwards and Joseph Addai and lost. Both were going to be blue chip.

    I have decided to trust the 4 year-olds in my class. I am taking my lineup and letting them pick who should play. . .the old faith of a child gambit. Speaking of the 'Nators and fear. . . we'll see if Peyton can get over this hurdle and Karen can take advantage of the QB/WR punch like she did last year with Tom Brady and Randy Moss.

  • Drafting a great player in the first round can carry you through the season: Two words, Tom Brady. The Ponies picked him up early and will now be consulting my class to figure out who will replace him.

  • Naming your team after an animal helps you win: Seems that having an animal name means you lost this week. The Badgers put up amazing points but the curse of the animal name struck. Ponies were ridden down. The Dogs sent to the pound. (What is a Jerf?) I'm changing the name of my team to the Rats.

  • You should make not drastic changes to your team after losing week 1: After scoring 24.8 points and losing to the Aggies (who made some unexpected draft picks that paid off), I am going to revamp my team. 

Monday, September 8, 2008

Dale Baby Ull

I started the back of Madden's Hoodie.  It's
Luvtroja Mans by Katarina Brieditis from Interweave Knits Summer 2007 made with Dale Baby Ull. I had never used it before and was looking for a wool that could actually be worn in football season in Texas. I like it so far. It splits really easily and it's tiny (very small tedious stitches) but I do not itch and my eyes are not red and itchy, woo-hoo. It's soft and does not feel wool-like to me.

I worked on it at the girl scout camp out I had with my troop this weekend. I am the intrepid leader. I taught them to crochet this weekend and I think it stuck with two of them.

The hardest part seems to be teaching the slipknot so if anyone has thoughts on an easier way to teach a slipknot, I'd love to hear it.

The camp out was a great success once the broken jar on the cabin floor, vomit episode, and the two meltdowns are backed out.
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