Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Homemade "Giraffe Stopper" (draft stopper)

Well, if you've ever been here, you know that we have an AWESOME front porch. Beautiful windows, natural light, and it is also heated and cooled.... but has really neat old windows that open the whole place up in the spring and summer. We have white wicker furniture that is on the porch, but in a previous post, I talked about how for the winter, we decided to convert it into more of a play area. I have my sewing stuff out there now that we have two kids, because it was too difficult to get to the sewing room in the basement with both kids, and every time there was an issue (potty, diaper change, naptime, meal) we had to take a bunch of trips up and down the stairs with two kids who couldn't GO up and down the stairs without assistance. Logistically, it just did NOT work.

So,now that everything is up here, it works so much nicer, and I get a ton more actual sewing done. I also have a white table that folds in half and so I keep that out on the porch for impromptu projects, like our recent "popsicle stick Christmas trees":

And Marek's 8 month handprints that are "in progress":

And the three painted frames that I just made for Marek's room:

And even laying out large sewing projects like my mom's curtains, and the kids' "car blankets." Marek's is shown because I can't find the picture I took of Ardyn's, and they are both IN the van right now and it's freezing and the place is covered in snow, so no matter how much I want to show you, I am SO not going out there to get it to take another pic right now. They are David and Goliath cotton knits prints, with a core of "warm and natural" blanket batting, and a backside of beautiful minky fabric. I had to order all the fabrics online to find what I wanted.... and Ardyn's is pink and chocolate brown print with "chocolate chip cookies" that have muscles, and say "one tough cookie" and the backside is a pretty minky print of white with brown and two colored pink dots. Marek's in a black print with alarm clocks that says "you snooze, you lose" and has a bright kiwi green minky on the backside:
Anyway. It also houses things like the kids' "tree tent" and the Little Tykes Activity Garden, Ardyn's Desk, Marek's Pack n Play, and All the Little People toys.

So, the problem with our fabuous porch? It's rotting. Well, it's past rotting. It was rotting when we moved in here 9 years ago. The windows are so rotten that the wood is crumbling. The door has never been an "exterior door", it's just a metal storm door that leaks very badly. So, keeping it "heated" is pretty much impossible. We have all the windows covered with plastic, and we use a little ceramic heater out there when we want to use it. It's not efficient. The windows and door are scheduled to be replaced next spring and I can NOT WAIT. So because there is a big gap under the front door which allows a serious cold front (and snow) to come inside, I decided to sew my own "draft stopper."
I just made a tube of fabric. Inside I needed "weight" so I used a 1lb bag of Pinto beans. I put divided the beans into two ziplocs and put one ziploc inside on each end of the draft stopper, with poly stuffing in between. of course i ran OUT of poly stuffing, so I ended up using fleece remnants to stuff the last 12 inches or so. Then I just quick serged it shut (not pretty, but quick and functional!) The whole time I was making it, I was explaining to Ardyn what It was going to be, and no matter how hard I tried to get her to say "draft stopper" she would say "giraffe stopper" and I knew she didn't understand because she kept telling me that giraffes live in the jungle and that I was making a giraffe puppet. Yeah. eventually, I did get her to say "draft stopper" and then I showed her where it was going and the difference that it made in the amount of cold air "sneaking in" under the front door. Of course, while doing this, I was thinking about how I could sew a giant "front door" out of fabric and velcro it over the opening. But then I realized what a dork I was and how fabric really isn't going to provide much insulation.

So, we've been busy here. I apologize for not blogging more, but that's the way it goes. Hopefully more will come soon! We had playdates today and another today (at our house0 and we have played outside in the snow, and we have a visit with Santa this week and Evan is in the fields trying to get things finished!!

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