Mr. Gorbachev, Tear Down This Wall!

January 29, 2013

in Family & Friends

1. We are about to embark on a huge-ginormous remodel of a lifetime! 

We’ll be adding an entry way, a mudroom, a laundry room, an office, a better downstairs bathroom (better than our existing porch bathroom – don’t ask), a (small) pantry in the kitchen, a larger-than-life American-dream island, and a bay dining area among other things.

And here’s what I’m especially looking forward to:

Mr. Gorbachev, tear down that wall! Big remodel starts in a month! #homeimprovement #bourgeois


The horrific obstruction between our kitchen and our future living area.


I plan to paint “Out, damn spot!” on the wall of my new laundry room. Removing stains from our good clothing is one of my more meaningful existential battles.

We’ll be moving into a house around the corner for the duration of this project, which is perfect because my girl can still ride the same school bus, among other things.

2. I am helping with the costumes for the first-grade play.

Mainly, it included going through the school’s stash and plucking out the pieces that would work for this particular storyline. I will only have to sew a couple of elementary pieces and crochet eight red balls to represent apples. I decided it’s easier than sewing them.

3. And speaking of crocheting:

This makes me feel like a supermom...

Lookie what I made for my girl! I didn’t use a pattern – the whole thing is just a doily down below and a tube up above – just some basic stitches and the constant adding and decreasing after trying it repeatedly on my little model. I’ve learned basic crocheting at the age of 6 and continued doing it on and off for nearly three decades, so yes, it is the easiest (and the most enjoyable) form of handwork for me.

This skirt fits – and twirls – perfectly, if I do say so myself.

4. My husband says that crocheting an entire garment is not like the miracle of Hanukkah.

It is too!

5. Unlike crocheting, knitting is relatively new to me, and I would say it’s getting better. 

Cute knitting pattern - nice and tight. I like. A scarf for Cy.

This scarf is for my little son – I lurve this tight little pattern – and it’s super easy for a beginner like myself.

I gotta keep churning these out because the kids fight over my hand-knits. Isn’t that sweet?

It’s like I always say – it ain’t done right if it’s not worth going to war for.

6. Quilting is addictive!

The first half, sewn together to my satisfaction.

Meet my first quilt, made entirely out of “Gypsy Girl” charm squares by Moda (I used two packs). This tiny one is for my baby – it’s a little less than halfway done in this picture. Doesn’t it scream “East of the Balkans?” It most certainly does. I couldn’t imagine starting out with any other fabric. I plan to quilt it relatively intricately on my home machine using wavy lines. Delicious!

Although this quilt is not yet finished, I am already plotting my next one – a rainbow quilt!

Quilt 2 material is here! For Josie's bed.


Send help now.

Also, Fancy Nancy has a fancy new shirt. With velcro closure in the back. Don’t you love velcro?

Fancy Nancy has a new fancy shirt. Love the ruffled straps (I pulled on the bobbin thread). Scraps from Cy's satin (I think) cape project. I also made a nice hair rosette with another piece.

I can’t stop sewing, man.

7. Ya gotta be a particular kind of crazy to make a “practice” birthday  cake.

The red-sail boat cake - needs a different frosting for the bottom and some additional components to make it recognizable as such - a licorice mast and the round windows. But not this time.

In general, I feel like homemade themed cakes are a little over the top, especially if they feature such anathema as fondant.

That said, this sailboat cake, although it misses a few elements and needs a different bottom frosting (lighter-colored and more spreadable), seemed simple enough to make for my boy’s upcoming fourth birthday.

Why hot-pink sails, you ask? Two reasons – my boy loves pink, and a scarlet-sailed ship represents a Russian literary reference. Am I not an English major?

He's good. No gender stereotypes at my house.

Here he is. No gender stereotypes in this house!


1 Stephen January 29, 2013 at 12:13 pm


2 Stephanie January 29, 2013 at 3:10 pm

You’re remodeling?? How fun! That’s nice you get to stay in another house until your remodel is completed. Renovating while living in the place is a huge pain. Are you guys doing the work yourselves? Have you picked out any paint colors??

I can’t wait to see pictures! Congrats!

Oh, and Cyrus is a such a doll.
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3 Sofya January 29, 2013 at 7:25 pm

We are renting a separate home for three months, yes. We are not doing most of it – we’ve hired a highly regarded local contractor team which includes my brother-in-law. We will however be doing all our painting. Not picked out the colors yet – I actually don’t think about the looks of things that much, but thinking off white everywhere halfway up and halfway down chalkboard paint for kids. Jacob will be taking off the siding himself and someone else will reside. We have remodeled once before while living here – husband did the floors in the kitchen and dining, took him a month and it was hell. I had a single one-year old then, now have a one, four, and seven year old. This is major though – an entire side of the house will be removed, staircases created, it will be unlivable.

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