Friday, March 4, 2011

Egg Carton Crafts

My kids have cabin fever.  Actually, I do too.  So I set off on a virtual hunt for an idea on what we could craft now that my craft stuff has finally made it out of it’s boxes.  (YAY!)

I found these great egg carton caterpillars, and having no shortage of empty egg cartons in our possession, I thought this would be a great activity.


It required quite a bit of help from me, but they loved it.  Then I started chopping an egg carton apart and let Monkey have at it with paint.  Some pipe cleaner stems and we got some adorable roses to add a touch of spring to the playroom.


Having not had enough messy play, Monkey wanted to make pictures while Little Man had his nap.  I also have a large collection of mulberry scraps for scrapbooking (because I do so much scrapbooking nowadays – note the dripping sarcasm). 

I think I’m framing them for the playroom.


I really channeled my inner Picasso – except with paper and glue.


What messy fun have you been having with your kids? 

I’m currently hunting for more ideas along the lines of the egg cartons.  I have a few to pull out for next week…  and Monkey wants roses for her bedroom too.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

World Cup Biathlon 2011

Fort Kent was dubbed years ago as The Little Town that Could. 

Boy, can they ever.

A few weeks ago, Fort Kent hosted World Cup Biathlon competitions.  There were so many activities in town for the events.  We didn’t do nearly as much as town was offering.

We did very much enjoy the International Light Parade.  Our favorite float, by far, was roasting marshmallows and handing them out to the crowd. 


So much awesome.IMG_4889

An ice castle was built in the middle of Down Town.


Inside was a bar – also made of ice.


Then, of course, there were the actual races.  It was really cool to watch.


We did need to entertain ourselves (the children) a little while they were actually out on the course. 


If you’re in the area this Saturday, be sure to check out the Can Am Sled Dog Races.  There aren’t nearly as many activities, but it’s just as fun! 

This time, I’m packing a thermos of hot chocolate in the back pack. 

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Our new OLD house

WHEW!  What a whirlwind this past month has been.  We closed on our new house on Friday and were moved in by Sunday thanks to a lot of help from a few family members. 

A month later, we’re all settled in.  All boxes, save a few, have been unpacked as of 2 weeks ago.  The few in question are either craft boxes (I’m not ready to deal with my craft room) and paintings or curtains and the like that I’ll take out after we’re done all of the painting we’re working on.  There is a ton of painting.

One of T’s new coworkers is a local historian.  While we aren’t sure and will probably never know for certain, he estimates the house was built around 1850.  How cool is that?

Without further ado – Welcome!  (LOTS of pictures ahead – all from before we did a thing to it – with a summary of what we’re working on)

The front of our wonderful new home.  I think I’m taking the bush out this summer and putting a perennial bed along the front of the house.

IMG_4755 While I always wanted an old farmhouse, I’ve always imagined it with a rather large covered porch for rocking chairs.  That’s the only thing this house is missing – and believe me, I’m not going complaining.  We do  have a great sun porch and rather large deck to make up for it.


We have more land than our old property but the back yard size seems to be about the same (the property line runs into the woods and down a bank whereas our old place was 100% lawn).  We also have a detached single bay garage T is going to turn into his work shop.  (Canoe Making 101 may be our theme next winter!)


This is the sight that greets you when you walk in the door.  This great little pot belly stove has been taken out temporarily.  It was replaced with a fully functioning large wood stove which we’ve been using to heat the house this year.  We’re planning on putting in one of those fancy schmancy dual box furnaces this summer for both oil and wood and putting the pot belly back in – just for looks. 


Here is where all of the food magic happens.  The cabinets are getting a makeover to a cream color soon.  The walls are going to be blue (the same blue I just painted in the old house.  Shush.  I liked that blue!) 

My only complaints about the house are in this room, though. 

  1. There is no range hood.  I managed to burn supper for the first time ever because I was opening a door/window to get the stir fry steam out of my face and stepped away too long to do so.  I’ve been informed there are stoves that have them built into them (from beneath) and will be looking into these when we’re ready to buy new appliances – in 5 or so years. 
  2. There is no work space near the oven.  I have a solution figured out and once my dad is on mud season layoff, he and I have a date in his workshop.  Let’s just say it involves a really old meat counter from my grandfathers old store. 


Great backsplash.  I don’t mind the black counters but the black does show EVERY.SINGLE.PIECE of dust and toast crumb.  When we’re ready to deal with the kitchen (ie, buy new appliances), I can see us probably changing it.


We have a dining room.  Here is your first good look at the gorgeous floors here.  They are gorgeous.  Absolutely gorgeous.  This room will be getting the same blue on the walls and a fresh coat of white on the trim.  We have forced hot air here and have grates throughout the house.  Some of them are fabulous old grates with intricate details.  Others, like the brown one in this room, are more modern – and plain and boring.  I’d like to find more period appropriate grates to replace the modern, plain and boring.


We also have a powder room.  Having always been in a one bathroom home, I never realized how great having two toilets in a house was.  Yes.  It’s awesome.  It is going to get a pale green wall treatment as soon as the wallpaper has been dealt with.  It will also eventually get new flooring.


This is our playroom.  It has since received blue on the walls and white on the trims while the built in shelf is cream.  While I’m not a fan of carpets, I like this one. 


One wall did have wall paper on it.  We’ve peeled off the top layer but still need to attack the glue portion before we can paint it.  It’s the same wallpaper as in the powder room. 


Our living room is massive.  The walls are now blue and half of the trim is white.  We’re working on it in small sections. 


Here is the other half of the living room.  That’s right.  Other half.  When I said massive, I wasn’t joking.  LOVE the built-in.  It’s going to get a fresh coat (or 10) of cream color also.  T has already modified it to fit a new tv.  The shelving unit isn’t deep enough to fit our old mammoth.  Though, the tv will only serve the purpose of movies, dvds, games and some random online streaming.  Having no cable/satellite service has been a very welcome thing in our home.


Our very narrow staircase proved interesting when we tried getting our bed upstairs.  Let’s just say our Queen box spring didn’t make it.  (We discovered the beauty of split box springs after a week with our mattress on the floor).  I’ll be giving the stairs a new paint treatment and adding some sand to the final coat on the treads.  I worry with the kids and socked feet about slipping.


I had one requirement before we moved in.  This rail HAD to be changed.  It was wobbly and I had no way to even put in a portable baby gate to keep the kids safe near the top of the stairs.  My dad built in a great new rail and gate.


Monkey picked her own bedroom.  She picked the bedroom that has no closet.  She’ll regret that as a teenager.  haha  She also picked her wall color – pink like Minnie’s [Mouse] bow.  I’m still working on painting the trim white and need to add white polka dots to one wall.  Then I can put in curtains/shades and wall hangings.


That left Little Man with this room.  It’s basically the same as Monkey’s – but he has a little closet.  His walls are now a blue similar to what he had at the old house.  I’m also still working on painting the trim white.  Then I can put in curtains/shade and wall hangings for him as well. 


Eventually, some day, way way way way in the future, I might consider taking down the paneling to see what’s underneath.  Not any time soon.  I’m really not ready to deal with whatever surprises I’m sure to find (I actually know what’s in Little Man’s room because his closet was built in and the back wall has a very lovely OLD pink wall paper.  We know how I feel about wall paper.  haha)

Our room is pretty big, also.  I have no idea what I’m doing in here other than the fact the walls will get a color – someday – and the trim will become white – also someday.


I’ll have room for a sitting area if I feel like getting fancy, even.


We also have a fourth bedroom that is slowly becoming my office and crafting space.  No, there hasn’t been any crafting in here for a while (I’m in need of a fix, too).  The only thing I’ve managed to make is a couple of draft stoppers.  That’s not very fun. 

This room will be getting a pale green on the walls and white trim.  I also may have discovered a surprise under the carpeting (the only carpet in the house that could stand to be replaced but it actually won’t look bad with the new wall color, so it’s staying for now).  There MAY be an old barn floor type wood floor under that carpet.  I’m going by what I’ve seen in a closet and hoping to have a great surprise when I’m ready to peek under a corner in the room. 


The chimney at the end of the room had chipping and flaking paint.  I attacked it with a putty knife and have since scraped away about 1/4-1/3 of the paint.  I’m kind of liking the half scraped look, but knowing myself as I do, I’m sure I’ll keep scraping away a little at a time until I see all of the brick underneath. 


Last but not least, the full bathroom.  In a few years, I’m getting a new one.  I’m not painting or anything in here until we’re ready to rip everything out.  I’m hoping to talk T into a claw foot tub with a shower kit set up.  He’s currently not sold on the idea.  I have time to sell him on it.


I’ll leave the general layout of the room as is so we don’t need to play with moving plumbing.  In a house this old, that’s not really something we want to mess with. 

The double vanity has rustic charm.  It’s not the kind of rustic charm I’m aiming for though.  T is on board with pulling this out. 


We may put a new water efficient toilet in sooner rather than later because the green beast is a water hog.  If I get my claw foot tub set up, the current stand up shower (not seen in the pictures) will be converted to a closet as we don’t have one.  There is one in the hallway being shared by Monkey and extra linens, but bath stuff is currently on a large wire shelving unit in the bathroom.  It’s not very nice to look at – but it gets the job done!

So, there you have it.  This is what has been taking all of my time.  I fear I’ll be painting for the rest of my life at the rate we’ve been getting the painting done.  I just keep reminding myself one little section at a time and it will get done.  (And primer is my best friend as far as turning the trim white.  Yes…  yes it is.)

The kids had no problems adjusting to the new house.  There really was no adjustment period whatsoever, which surprised me.  I expected a few rough nights or a tantrum or two.  Nothing.  They moved in and took over like they owned the place. 

More updates to come soon!  I’ve got a few new recipes to share as well. 

I hope winter has been treating you well!

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