Get Ready, Get Set, Get Reading!

A Saturday post is rare for me but today is the first day of Summer Book Bingo 2016 and I wanted to share that information with you so that you can get started on your summer reading.

Here’s my bingo card:

BOTNS Book Bingo 2016

I’m shooting for a cover-all again this year. Who else is in? Get your Bingo card here!

Eye Candy Friday

bridal wreath for carole knits

Our bridal wreath is spectacular this year. It doesn’t last long so I made sure to get out there and take some photos. It reminds me so much of my mom and that’s a good thing.

Speaking of remembering, it’s Memorial Day Weekend here in the United States. Time to remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice to preserve our freedoms. I happen to think that it’s perfectly appropriate to have some fun in their honor, too. And that’s just what I intend to do! Hope you find some fun, too!

Bathroom Update 2016

You may recall that last month I told you I was going to cover my bathroom vanity top with concrete. Now. This would not be something I would just randomly decide to do. But. Our bathroom vanity was cracked last summer (by Hannah and I don’t believe her story for a minute) and I just didn’t want to go through the hassle of replacing the entire piece along with the medicine cabinet and other cabinet that matched. I liked what we had and didn’t want to start over. (We last did the bathroom in 2009 and you can go here if you want to see what we had prior to that and prior to this most recent update.)

So anyway. For months we lived with a big ole crack in the sink top. And I hemmed and hawed and looked at vanities and did . . . nothing. Until I saw this idea on Pinterest and I couldn’t stop thinking about it. So I decided to go for it. I mean, really, what did I have to lose? That vanity had to go one way or the other and if this didn’t work I knew I could just bite the bullet and buy a new one. So, I took a deep breath, got Dale and I a couple of cheap American beers, and just.did.it.

Here’s the very first photo I took of this project. You’ve seen it already but you just might need a refresher.

bathroom sink before for carole knits

And this one, because, really, it sums up so perfectly Dale’s concerns for my project. Trust me, I said. It will look great, I said.

bathroom sink progress with dale for carole knits

It’s a good thing he loves me, right? Because this is what it looked like after the first coat of concrete. And in case you think I came up with this idea on my own, I did not. I followed this tutorial very closely.

bathroom sink first coat for carole knits

This is after 2 or 3 coats. I think. I sort of lost track of all of this because it was a lengthy process. Easy. But it took the better part of a week. In any case, it’s looking less like a hot mess.

bathroom sink 2 coats for carole knits

And finally, the finished product. Not bad, huh?

sink after 1 for carole knits

While we were updating the sink we (and by we I mean me) decided to paint the walls, too. I loved that orange for a lot of years but I was ready for something quiet. And neutral. The new wall color is Smoked Oyster by Valspar and it’s a really soothing grayish brown. It matches the concrete nicely and I love the way the white wood pops.

sink and vanity for carole knits

We also – finally! – had a new floor installed. Since we saved so much by redoing the vanity ourselves we were able to spend that money on a new floor. Seriously, I’ve been waiting 20 years to replace that old bathroom floor. It was faded and had burn marks from back in the day when Dale smoked and it was just horrid.

bathroom floor for carole knits

I absolutely love this hexagon tile look. I especially love that it’s luxury vinyl and I don’t have to clean lots and lots of grout.

bathroom corner 2 for carole knits

We have new towels and new accessory pieces and it feels like a whole new bathroom.

bathroom corner for carole knits

With the same old shower curtain. I know, I know, but I still love it and I don’t want to change it. The good thing is, though, that with all of these neutral shades, I could easily change the shower curtain for different seasons and still put this one back up whenever I want.

shower curtain for carole knits

There’s one last glamour shot of the sink. I have to say that I’m really proud of myself for doing this. Usually, when it comes to stuff around the house, I do all the planning and Dale does all the heavy lifting. Not this time, though. This time, this sink, was my project and I took it from start to finish. Woo hoo. (I still had him do all the painting and other stuff, I’m not an idiot.)

sink after 2 for carole knits

And there you have it – our updated bathroom! And the cost, including the new floor, paint, new towels and all, less than $700.

I call that a win.

Wednesdays Are For Knitting: Summer Plans

Have you heard? As Kat Knits is hosting a Summer Knit A-Long and it’s about impossible to say no. Because, really, these are rules I can get behind:

Do you have some knitting you need or want to get done?

Is there a project you are itching to cast on?

Do you just want to meander down a lazy river, working on one single project all summer?

Do you want to challenge yourself to tackle a new skill or a project that expand your current skills?

Is your basket of WIP’s about to overtake your house?

Did you make a resolution last January to gain control of the WIP’s in your life and since then the number of them increased rather than decreased?

Do you just need a Knitting Staycation with your stash?

Do you want to have some encouragement, laughter, and crafting fun?

It’s really something for everyone and it got me thinking about what I want to knit this summer. I’ve decided that it’s time to make a shawl from one (or both although I doubt that will actually happen) of the two gradient kits I bought from Woolen Rabbit in the last year or so.

There’s this one:

singing the blues gradients for carole knits

It’s called Singing the Blues and it’s Woolen Rabbit Essence. I like the blues. I also like that it’s all ready caked and ready to go.

And then there’s this one:

sily kashmir gradients for carole knits

Silky Kashmir in a beautiful array of pinks. I like the pinks. I also like that it’s 75% cashmere and 25% silk. Hullo softness.

Two kits to choose from, though, is the least of my problem. My big problem? Picking a pattern.

I originally bought those blues to knit myself Algiers, since I gave the other one I made to my sister-in-law. So I could do that.

But.

I know that I have seen other shawls using gradient kits like this. And I know that I have lurved them. I just can’t, at this moment, remember what any of them are.

Help a knitter out, won’t you? Tell me what you would knit with one (or both) of these kits.

Thanks, guys.

Ten On Tuesday

Some of the most popular Ten On Tuesday topics are the ones about food. And so, today, let’s indulge the old sweet tooth and make a list of my 10 Favorite Desserts.

birthday cake with candles for carole knits

  1. Cheesecake. Plain is my favorite but I don’t say no to other varieties.
  2. Pie. Any kind, any time. Mostly blueberry, though.
  3. Chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. The absolute best cake combination in the world.
  4. Birthday cake. Please note that birthday cake needs to be yellow with vanilla frosting.
  5. Creme Brulee. A special treat that I don’t make at home.
  6. Cannolis. From Modern in the North End of Boston, please.
  7. Ice Cream Sundae. From Peaceful Meadows, our local ice cream spot.
  8. Brownies and Blondies. Homemade only and not from a box.
  9. Strawberry Shortcake. When local strawberries are ripe and the biscuits and whipped cream is homemade.
  10. Bread pudding. Also, rice pudding. But mostly bread pudding.

Don’t mind me but I’m off to the bakery!

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