curves…oh the curves

One hot day in July when the upper level of the house was unbearable, I moved down stairs the sewing machine and all the ambitious little parts of a pieced wall-hanging.  And over the course of several days pinned and sewed and pinned and sewed.

A typical Saturday morning: Circle of Life quilt pieces on top of 3 different art projects, Pinterest, Pioneer Woman making freezer meals (love her!), coffee in my favorite mug, kids playing video games upstairs.

lots and lots of pins!

All the inside flowers done, now to add the outside circles

all pieced together! I hate sewing on curves!

  With guests arriving and a deadline to clear out the sewing/guest room, the finished body of the top is pinned to a sheet. I’m not really sure yet how I’m going to finish off the edges and quilt it.  The colors match our duvet perfectly and it may just stay pinned there for a while!

Welcome to Fenway…sort of

I figured it was time for a little update.

Since I haven’t shown any pictures of the new house on the blog, here’s a little peek at one of the projects I finished.  (Finished being the key word here…there are many, many projects in various phases of pre-finished.)

Our boring stairway to the lower level.

And here it is after I was done .

The family room downstairs is on it’s way to being the Fan Cave decorated with our boxes and boxes of baseball stuff.  What better way to make an entrance than through the Boston subway system!

I hand painted the signs and subway map on wood scraps, and purchased a sheet of brick paneling for the wall downstairs. It’s fun to walk down the stairs now because it reminds us of some of our favorite places, Boston and Fenway Park.

a realization

I can go for months and months without blogging, and it’s no big deal. But as soon as I verbalize that I’m going to stop blogging for a while, I get all kinds of feedback.  And of course as soon as I commit myself to a formal break, there’s all kinds of things I want to blog about.

The reason for my short-lived official break is this: I have no idea what I’m doing.  I have no plan or direction for this website at the moment, and I’m not sure it even needs a plan.   I do not have a blogging schedule, advertisers or sponsors, or tons of followers. Nor do I want them. I don’t want to commit to having a Mommy Blog or a DIY Home Project Blog or even a Craft Blog.   The very name of this thing is Multiple Project Syndrome…which is really more like a debilitating disease.

I guess I am feeling a little bit inadequate in the blogging world, because lately I’ve just had too much computer time looking at other people’s websites.  Let’s face it people, it is very easy to get sucked into what other people are doing and wondering why you aren’t doing that too.  I think back to life before blogging and Facebook and Pinterest, and it was so much simpler. happier.  I just did projects that I came up with on my own, and felt proud of how they turned out without having to measure up to someone else.  I know I was a much better Mother before I got sucked into all of this as well. So in honor of Mothers Day, I created this little graphic to remind me that Motherhood is not a competition, especially a virtual one.


And I recently read an article that Pinterest Stress afflicts nearly half of moms.   And as a person suffering from Multiple Project Syndrome, I can tell you that Pinterest is the most evil of all internet time-sucking evils, enabling addicts like me to stare for hours and hours at the computer while manically decorating and baking in their minds.

Now, I’m not giving up on my addiction, I’m just verbalizing that it’s a problem. That’s the first step right?

And please bare with me while I figure out what this blog is really going to be about. Thanks!

to blog or not to blog

That is the Question.

Anyone out there still want to see crappy cell phone pictures of projects I did with ideas I got from someone else’s blog via Pinterest?

I didn’t think so.

Signing off for a little while to focus on other stuff.


a little of this, a little of that

In this episode of Living with Multiple Project Syndrome, I’ll tell you what I’ve been up to for the last 2 months.

Project 1: Operation Employ Husband finally ended with a job offer the second week of January. Whew!  As acting secretary of OEH, I was the fact finder-researcher-cover letter writer-resume submitter and moral supporter.  That kept me pretty busy.  Andy’s new club is in St. Paul, so off to the big city we go!

Project 2: Operation Find a Rental Today.  As president of FART, I made several trips to the cities, looked at multiple housing options (including one with olive green appliances), researched towns, neighborhoods, schools and ultimately decided not to throw away anymore money renting.  Operation FART failed when we bought a house instead. (more on that later)

Project 3: Operation Get Rid of Seventies Situation.  GROSS commenced the day Andy left with the tedious removal of hideous bathroom wallpaper.  Why is wallpaper in a bathroom way more stuck on than other rooms? 3 days of wall paper removal, 4 days recovery. 1 long day of itty bitty floor tile removal, 7 days recovery.  2 days wall prep, 2 days rewiring light fixture, 2 days painting, 2 days rehanging cabinets, mirrors, towel bars.  A finished project in just 3 weeks. Yay.

Project 4: Paperwork, Paperwork and more Paperwork.  I’d forgotten just how much paperwork has to be done when you buy a house.  In the offer alone we signed our names over 20 times.  Andy and I considered making a drinking game out of it until we realized we wouldn’t get past the first page.  Then there’s loan paperwork and submission of your entire financial life…in triplicate.  Thankfully I put the contents of our filing cabinet in plastic crates in the car when we left Massachusetts, or we’d be in trouble. (Remember all our stuff? It’s still on a moving truck. I miss things.) And with that loan paperwork, they want this years taxes…and it’s not even March 1st yet. For some reason I’m just not even mentally ready to do taxes until April, but this year I might get my refund just in time to buy MN license plates.

Project 5: Learn to Knit (aka: I’m going to stab myself in the eye with this thingy).  I have taken the plunge outside my comfort zone and decided to try knitting without a knifty knitter.  I watched multiple videos on the subject, bought some fluffy pom-pom yarn and went to town.  I finally figured out that I’m better at it using the method of one Australian accented woman who knits with the left hand over the needle and the right hand under (like when holding a pencil). What do you know, I can do it!  I’m half way done with a scarf. Yay me.

Project 6: Operation Waterproof Dry Storage:  Last summer mom’s cold dry storage was not so dry.  Things started growing in there. So I took out all the shelves, etched the masonry walls, cement grouted all the joints and painted it with white sealant. With new shelves on the way, it’ll be a bright, dry place for all mom’s canning jars and such. What a stinky project though. I had a mask, but still lost quite a few brain cells.

So along with normal mom stuff, homework and scraping ice off the driveway, I’m managing to stay busy.  I’ve been on Facebook and Pinterest entirely too much, but when we move in two weeks, I’ll have tons of ideas to implement into our place.  Stay tuned…

Goodbye 2012

whew! A lot has happened since my last post.

Let’s see…I went to Grandma’s funeral in Montana, which was lovely.  And it was the first time all of my cousins had been together since 2003.

Then…30 seconds after exiting the airplane back in Boston I found out that Andy had lost his job. Oh fun. (although, I may have used a different F word).  Restructuring: A side effect of being a middle manager at a country club in a down turned economy.  And in the hour it took me to get home, I had gone from being angry to being worried to being downright excited.  Because this was a really clear message that we were supposed to leave Massachusetts.

So that’s what we did.

2 weeks later the kids flew to Bemidji to hang out with Grandma & Grandpa.  We’d planned to go there for Christmas anyway, so we just moved up the date.  Andy and I packed a moving truck and then drove our cars across the northern US.

We made a quick stop in Hudson Ohio, the hometown of Andy’s dad.  It is such a cute place!  We had a wonderful lunch with relatives Jenny and La Wilson, and toured around taking pictures of historical family places.

The Grey Colt, where Andy’s mom and aunt worked

We arrived in Bemidji just in time for all the pre-Christmas festivities which included cosmic bowling, BSU hockey, ice fishing, baking, baking and more baking.

Go Beavers!

Then Kevin and Carter arrived. Then Denis, Laura and Lily arrived. And there was sight-seeing, snow tubing, more ice fishing, card games, laughing, eating, eating and more eating.

on the slopes of Buena Vista

And if there ever was a family picture to describe what our life is like, it might be this one.

Merry Christmas from the Richardsons!

If you would have told me last new year’s eve that in 2012 we’d end up selling our dream home in Maine, struggling to survive in Massachusetts, and then moving in with my parents in Bemidji Minnesota, I would have said you were out of your mind.  But we are so thankful to have the support of all our family and we look forward to all the possibilities of the new year.  We know it will include new jobs, a new town, a new house, new schools, new friends and new experiences and we’re excited for this next chapter!



with Grandma in February 2012

My grandmother Evelyn has passed away.

And though the suddenness of her passing still stings, the sadness is just settling in.

I realized last night that I won’t be making her a birthday present anymore.
Or sending the kids’ school pictures.
She won’t be reading my blog posts or commenting on my photos on Facebook.
(she was pretty tech savvy for an 87 year old!)

I find joy in knowing she’s in Heaven with Grandpa, who went just 8 months before her.
I’m thankful I talked to her just hours before she left.

Goodbye Grandma, we will miss you!

Spicing it up a bit

I bought this great sweatshirt on Martha’s Vineyard this summer.  I saw a ton of them with Martha’s Vineyard or The Vineyard on them, but really wanted one that just said “Vineyard”.   And $10 was totally my speed for a souvenir sweatshirt.   I put it on right away once out of the store, and then it started to rain, and I thought,”oh I wish this had a hood.”  Then my hands kept scraping the front looking for the front pocket that so many of my sweatshirts have. Nothing.

And an idea was born.

So I took some preppy madras that I already had in the stash and made a hood.
The inside is the back of an old blue t-shirt that was in the Goodwill pile .

Same thing with the pocket.

And I cut off the artery constricting sleeve cuffs and added a loose band that can be rolled up or curled around my fingers on cold days.

Next I took one of Amanda’s old shirts which she loves and won’t let me throw away, and did a little applique magic.

And since I was on a roll, I took a bag that showed up this summer and spiced it up a bit.
I took the heavy duty canvas bag with the Hobart MN Rotary logo and covered it with a pocket. I happened to have some fabric with the same color tones, which happens to promote chocoholism so it was perfect!
Yay for re-purposing :-)

a lovely day to paint by the sea

There’s been so much DIY on here lately…you must think that’s all I do!

Nope, I build websites too, and launched this one, and this one and worked on 4 more over the summer.  I also took some time to relax with some good books, including Maine, Let’s Pretend this Never Happened, The Secret Life of Bees, and now am working my way through Princes of Ireland…all 700 pages of it!

I also took a day and painted, and it wasn’t a wall.  I bought some cheap little water colors from Michaels and some watercolor paper.  Just enough to keep the kids busy for a couple of days. We are all starting to get on each others nerves and feeling the effects of our shrunken living quarters. Anyhoo… We took the sets to Maine last weekend, and became artists for the day.

 First painting location: The banks of the Damriscotta

Amanda kept saying that her’s wasn’t perfect, but I kept reminding her that it was her interpretation, and there was no right or wrong in how she wanted to paint the scene.

Our finished products!

Next we added foliage…and chairs to sit in :-)

On the front lawn of Cavis Farm, South Bristol, Maine

You can tell Amanda was getting antsy, her sky was an after thought.

The whole time I was painting this, I kept repeating “happy little clouds” and “there’s a tree in my world”  For those of you who remember Bob Ross, this will totally make sense.

Anyway, we’re going to hang them in our office/craft room so Amanda “won’t forget what Maine looks like”! I’ve also put all the paints and paper in a transportable bag for the car, so on days when we can’t stand the confines of the house,
we’ll escape to the sea and paint.

Laundry day!

I am almost done with the laundry room make-over. I just have a few little touches here and there left, but wanted to get these pictures up before I forget.

We went for 3 months without a washer and dryer.  I didn’t even think it was a possibility until we cleaned out the room and painted it.  White does amazing things for spacial perception. And doing laundry at the laundr-o-mat does amazing things for life perception.

Our old nasty space, that housed random stuff.

See the wrapping paper back there?  Annoying…I know.
The empty space: behind the wood paneling is nicotine soaked 1960′s wallpaper. yum.
You’ll notice the water and drain for washer are on the left wall, the dryer vent and plug are on the back wall. hmmm.

Painted white: SO MUCH BETTER!

Now comes the tricky part. The w/d  don’t exactly fit. (and we’re thinking maybe a stack-able would have been a better idea…except we can’t stand them)

So by building a platform for the dryer at the same level of existing ledge and twisting it sideways, we gained 8 inches of additional space.
All the difference between opening and not opening the dryer door.

I spent $10 on 2 x 4′s and built a really sturdy platform. Underneath is the cat liter box, storage and paper recycling.

I still have to figure out how I want to cover the nasty pipes/holes in the wall/dryer vent.  I’m thinking a plain white piece of fabric, as I don’t want to detract from my AWESOME lime green shelves! (there’s a theme here)
Our food fortress, dog food and cat food all stack neatly in there too.

I  bought Dollar Tree white bins for all the shelf junk and it works great.

The nasty wall is currently being covered up by our over-flowing recycling bin.

And yes, we have to use the stool to turn on the dryer. But it totally works and I rather stand on a stool to turn it on than bend over to take the laundry out. :-)