And sometimes progress looks like progress...or...Let there be light (in the basement)

Right now it the basement looks like progress AND a big giant mess, but the title was long enough as is.

 Anyway, there's still concrete dust everywhere, but these babies make it all worth it:

Mmmmm. Big windows. There are two 4'x3' in the family room area, one 4'x3' in the bigger bedroom, and one 3'x3' in the smaller bedroom. It's incredible how different the basement feels now. It's so bright down there! My husband and his dad are the ones that installed them. It was kind of stressful for me, because while looking at videos online and reading a million diy articles, it didn't seem like anyone had done the exact same thing we were.

 Since I don't have pictures, I won't bore you with what we came up with to secure them and fill in the hole left by the old window (in the second picture- on top of the window to the right), but I think it's going to work just fine. We made our own hybrid method that worked for our situation.

Next is window wells and trying to get the yard put together enough so that we won't have a giant muddy mess come spring.


Sometimes progress is just a big giant mess

A giant mess with holes and dust and dirt and rusty pipes EVERYWHERE.

I've mentioned before that our basement isn't finished. Well, it just might be by the end of the year!! I've been insanely excited about it. Like when I heard the plumber could move where our water line came into the house, it MADE MY DAY. I told him that about 10 times, too. And while thinking about having the basement finished just gives me happy hives, sometimes the mess does put a bit of a damper on things. Here's what the last few weeks have looked like:
{This is a plumbing mess.}
We were getting two new floor drains (the existing one is in our family room space) and the bathroom fixtures roughed in. It was an entire day full of dust and noise.

Don't worry about the giant pile of dirt that's overtaking the walk up to my front door. I don't. We (which, in this case, is pretty much just my little brother) had to dig window wells so people could come cut giant holes in the foundation of our house with giant saws. Four giant holes, four giant window wells (they had to be dug 4 feet back from the house, a foot on either side of where the cut needed to be made, and 18 inches deeper than the bottom cut).

Dirt was (still is) literally everywhere.

Oh no! The water pipe!

It's cool, just dig down 2 more feet. That's what we needed to do to have the water line entrance moved and still be good to go, code-wise. Small price to pay to have the window be where I wanted it. I could have stood at the bottom of that hole and been buried standing up.

Then they came and cut the big giant holes. You may have picked up from my tone that I was kind of nervous about this, despite the fact that they were ready to go with the steel lintels that would take the weight of the house. It's just... a big giant hole in the load-bearing concrete wall your house is built on. Right? That's scary.
Things were fine, though, and now you can stay tuned for part 2, when progress actually looks like progress.


Freezer paper stencilling

Well, I had some friend give birth not too recently, and finally got on the ball about sending them the gifts I had planned. And then I got on the ball about getting phone pictures onto the computer. (I don't know what my deal is, it's not like it's hard. But every time I think about doing I'm just like "UHG. I can't believe those pictures aren't already there. Why can't they just get on the computer automatically? This is the worst." First world problems, anyone?)

The process: I used my Silhouette to cut out shapes from freezer paper, then ironed them onto the onsies. **IMPORTANT STEP: cut out a piece of cardboard or whatever you have handy that will stop paint and put it inside the onsie to prevent paint bleeding through to the backside. Then just blot in the paint like you would with a stencil and remove the freezer paper as soon as you're done (otherwise it gets all soggy and is a pain to remove- ask my friend Ang about it). Then the paint dries and you can heat set it following whatever directions were on the paint you used.

A note about paint possibilities: I used acrylic paints mixed with textile medium for the ones in the first picture, and Tulip fabric paints for the ones in the second. Both worked well, but it's possible that the Tulip ones came out brighter. I'm not sure, since I didn't get to put the finished products side by side and there were a lot of other reasons that might explain the second picture looking somewhat more vivid (i.e. lighting conditions, the paint is maybe still wet, those are all on white backgrounds).
{These were a team effort- my college roommates and I thought these up, then the few of us who live close together got together and made it happen. I'm not going to try to explain the ones that are obviously inside jokes. That only ever ends in regret.}

{These were for my geology friend. Schist is a kind of metamorphic rock. I also made a trilobite one that's not pictured because I messed up the first one pretty bad and had to remake it later.}

Anyway, these are totally a fun and no-sew alternative to the applique onsies I've shown here and here. You should try it.

Or don't. Whatever. I'm not your mom; do what you want.

Thanks for reading!