@rockyknits New crafting Instagram account

So… I made an Instagram account just for my crafting/maker projects. I created it so that I could separate my personal posts from my maker posts and create more of a social media identity that I can use for interacting with the fabulous maker community. I’m hoping to keep it updated with my current projects, but I’ll continue to update on here too! My new account is @rockyknits.

Another bathroom project

After
Before

The grout looked very outdated and no longer matched the bathroom changes that I had done in our hall bathroom back in February. The new color scheme is gray, creams and blue, but the old grout was brown. I found this product called grout refresh and after reading some great reviews, I decided to give it a try. It took me 2 coats, and a 3rd for some touch up to fully cover the brown.

It definitely isn’t the bathroom of my dreams, but this project has definitely given the bathroom a much needed update. I used Grout Refresh by Mapei in the white color.

Hall bathroom redo

When we moved into our house in December one of the things called out by the inspector was the bathroom flooring in the hall. Next to the bathtub, it was peeling up and there had been some water damage. This is the bathroom we plan on using for the kids so it was important for us to repair it right away. In addition, the bathroom linoleum and paint was very worn and outdated. We hope in the future to redo the countertops and bathtub especially when the kids get older, but for now, this is a nice little update.

I started by pulling up in the linoleum which is easier than it sounds. In many places the paper and glue were sticking to the floorboards. I had to lay wet towels on them overnight in many cases and then come back with my chisel edge scraper to remove it all from the floor. I planned to put in peel and stick tiles so I knew the floor needed to be as smooth as possible. when I pulled up the linoleum near the bathtub there was limited water damage. I was afraid I might have to redo some of the floorboards and I was very fortunate that I didn’t have to.

I made a giant mess!

Once I had all of the linoleum pulled up I decided to paint the walls. the previous paint was a very glossy white which was actually hurting my eyes when I walked into the room. On top of that, the previous owners had painted over a dark brown wall but the brown wasn’t completely covered. overall it was just a pretty bad paint job that needed an update. I found a really pretty grey blue color from Benjamin Moore. I decided to go with a flat sheen and I had an additive put in the paint to make it mold and mildew resistant. We took down the mirror and took out the toilet while we painted so that I could cover everything.

Next I sanded the floors vacuumed and cleaned everything extremely well then began with the peel and stick tiles. I chose some Kiko peel and stick floor pops from home Depot. In some of the areas where there had been some water damage I sealed it up with a primer prior to installing the floor tiles. 90% of the peel and stick tile stuck on securely however there were a few that didn’t seem to take very well. since I needed this room to be absolutely waterproof seeing as how it’s going to be the children’s bathroom, I did a little bit of YouTube contractor research and found a product called a Loctite all purpose caulk. for any of the peel and stick tiles that didn’t stick all the way, I just applied a little bit of it underneath to completely seal them up.

And when I was done putting the tiles in and sealing them up I went through and I added my baseboard. I was able to reuse and restore part of the old baseboard by sanding, repriming and painting it. I used Benjamin Moore paint and it was a color called snow on the mountain. After reinstalling the baseboards I went through and added my caulk. I generously applied white flex shot all purpose. One of the finishing touches was to redo the outdated handles on the bathroom cabinets. I chose some cute bronze ones that I found at Target.

I still plan on making some wall hooks for the towels. I think we’re also going to make some cute bathroom children’s art, but for now this is our finished and updated bathroom.

Interior door project

We’ve been doing so many home improvement projects during the shelter in place. This is one I had earmarked to do in the summer but we’ve had enough time to get started on it. I used a tutorial from With Love and Lola that I found on Pinterest. We didn’t really like the look of the wooden doors because it was a bit of an outdated look. The hollow core doors also felt and looked really cheap. First I removed the knobs and all of the hardware. I primed and painted the door trim using Benjamin Moore “snow on the mountain”. For the doors, I added moulding, a few coats of primer, caulking and paint to the doors. The paint color I selected is called “nightfall” by Benjamin Moore and it is a satin finish. I still have a few more to finish in the hallway but they’re coming along very well so far. Here’s some before and after pictures.

Demeter Dress

I’m so proud of myself! I finished a garment and I actually like it! Back in September I decided to purchase a pattern that I saw on Instagram called the Demeter dress by Anna Allen clothing. All of the pictures of finished items on the #demeterdress tag on instagram looked great. After learning that the pattern had no closures, I decided to give it a try. It’s been a while since I’ve attempted a garment for myself and I was a bit wary of using my precious time to make something, but at the same time I was determined to do my best.

I do realize that being intentional about choosing a fabric and a pattern that works for me has probably been the missing link in the past. This seems like a no-brainer, but being more intentional about planning the projects that I make is a newer concept for me. I tend to be spontaneous and into making something that’s more of a wow item. When I pause and look at the clothes that I want to wear, not too many of them are wow pieces. The theme for this project, for me, was making a neutral piece that I would love to wear regularly. I wanted something well constructed, comfortable and usable. This pattern was so wonderfully written. It took me two months between printing up the almost 40 pages of pattern pieces assembling them, making a test item to get my size and then finally making a dress.

I went to Hart’s fabrics in Santa Cruz to purchase my 100% linen fabric. I was careful to follow all of the steps of the pattern as best I could. The most challenging part for me was getting the neck facing looking even. I ended up using some seam tape that they had told me about at Hart’s fabrics that was very useful. My measurements were a little different than my typical measurements because I had just had a baby 2 months before. I ended up sizing up the dress a little bit too much as this dress has quite a bit of ease. In the end, I sized down the dress just a little bit by pulling in the bodice and removing some of the bulk from the skirt. I’m very happy with the way this dress came out!

Baby Maple Crafting

So Maple was born in September and there’s been lots of cool things that I’ve made for her. It’s kind of fun to see her in so many handmade items whether they are hand-me-down handmade items that I made for her sister or brother, or new items made for her. This post is about some of the cool things that I’ve had the opportunity to make specific for her.Since she came a little bit later than expected I was able to knit her an adorable sweater called the Top Down Garter Stitch Sweater by Nancy Munroe and she’s been wearing it quite often. For some reason I thought a garter stitch card again would make a nice thick knit fabric that would keep her warm. This pattern has been a very practical make. It was easy (and seamless!) to construct and it is a very useful item for a young baby because it’s super easy to take on and off.I absolutely love the book Vintage Knits for Modern Babies by Hadley Fierlinger. I’ve made many things for my older kids out of that book and I continue to be in love with just about every single pattern in it. I made Maple some booties and a little hat out of some beautiful rainbow colored malabrigo yarn rios that I had in my stash. I purchased it at Santa Cruz yarn shop and the colorway is chameleon. The yarn was also used in the top down garter stitch jacket but I mixed it with just a plain worsted ivory colored wool because I liked the idea of toning down the colors. I’m happy with the result.I used some gorgeous stash yarn to make maple some super cute pink booties. She’s been wearing those frequently. The pattern is called baby hug boots and it’s free on ravelry.For Maple’s monthly milestone photos, I made her a cute little whale. We were thinking about what kind of animal to make her and my husband suggested a whale because he loves whales so much and we live close to them. The pattern I ended up using is called Lasse the Little Blue Whale by Alexis Hamann-Nazaroff. I made it with jingle bells on the inside to make it rattle. Her little whale was there to meet her in the hospital when she was born and the older kids have had a lot of fun playing with it and rattling it at her as well.I was able to make her a Hosenmatz out of some stashed yarn that I bought long ago in Monterey. The yarn is by frog tree and it’s a sock yarn that’s made out of bamboo. I thought it would be nice for some baby pants because I really liked the color and I didn’t have any other plans for the yarn. I used some other stash yarn for the top and the cuffs of he pants. It is knitpicks sock yarn and I remember that the colorway is called evil stepmother. I made the four to seven month old size and so far they’re too big for her but at her growth rate I get to feeling in the next month or so she’ll be in them.As far as sewing, I had a chance to make her a side snap shirt which she’s been wearing quite often. When shopping I had a lot of trouble finding side snap shirts other than white ones. when I can’t find something to purchase to me that means it’s time to start making something. So… I found some really cute cotton jersey fruit fabric that was very busy. There’s a few hidden flamingos on it as well. It’s turned out to be a pretty fun shirt that she seems to be comfy and cozy in. It was fun using a hammer to put in the snaps! I bought some extra fabric to make her a pair of matching pants which are currently cut out and ready to be sewn.

Truth?

I’m just getting around to reading the July 2019 issue of the ASHA Leader and there is a really interesting article that I’m loving about pseudoscience versus truth and how to defend scientific and evidence-based practices and our growing culture of social media. The article is titled “Does Truth have a Future” and it’s written by Nancy Volkers. The article is speaking to me a lot as a professional with regards to the populations that I serve as well as as a parent in regards to my own children and how I parent them and teach them to digest media and information.

It’s so important to remember that effective and evidence-based practices are usually never a quick fix. It’s especially important to defend science and the process of science. This is something that I think about it my parenting quite often and I find myself having more conversations with my older child about thinking things through and really questioning results that are found too easily. I find myself encouraging her to discuss that she is learning something versus she’s learned it as well as avoid using terms like I’ve mastered this or I’m an expert. This mentality of a continual learner versus someone who has mastered something is really important in the discussion of science versus pseudoscience.

It seems to me that many pseudoscience treatment procedures appear to not only dennounce scientific practices, they claimed to have found the answer. On the other hand, scientific evidence based practices are a continual spectrum of knowledge that slowly build upon each other. I remember when learning about research in college and graduate school we began to understand what a slow process research really is. This scientific process is essential to understanding how things work. I know I’ll always be open to new and evolving ideas as a professional and I’ll always be open to understanding new research. There’s never a one-size-fits-all solution. A career as a speech language pathologist is a commitment to endorsing the scientific process. We must make continual effort to fine-tune our skills in line with what research is indicating is appropriate.

Pajama pants

I finished sewing some pajama pants and matching doll dress for the kiddos. It always feels good to make something that they use and love. They picked out their own fabric and were super excited to wear them.

Weekend in Yosemite

Bathrobes for the family

For some reason Aleksa wanted a bathrobe just like mine. This translated to me modifying an adult bathrobe pattern that I already had into a cute kimono robe to fit her. As I was making it, little guy decided he HAD to have one too and my husband jumped on the bandwagon as well. A few months later, the whole family has some homemade cozy flannel bathrobe s (just in time for winter). I’m pretty proud of myself for how nicely they fit. Maybe one of these days I’ll attempt a garment again.😁