The living room "makeover" and some questions answered

In case you wanted to see my little living room makeover:
I can’t remember if I have posted any real whole room shots of this side of our living area before.  Typically I am taking close up photos, you know, to crop out the messes.  But here it is with the couch, chair, and ottoman that my mom gave us.  The ottoman is really huge and wonderful.  The couch and chair make me nervous because they aren’t slipcovered, but we always drape blankets or quilts over our furniture anyway.  I had just cleaned up a bit in here to take these pictures and as soon as I started snapping of course chaos came running in!
You can kind of see the mess on our front porch through the windows here.  Someday it will be finished.  Someday soon I hope!
Trudy is not allowed on the new couch.  I know that’s really mean of us, but again, it’s not slipcovered!
I think it will take awhile for us to teach her not to jump on it.
Jonny thinks that part of the problem is that I use a sweet voice and good manners when I politely ask her to please get off the couch.  She does what I ask, but isn’t afraid to try and hop back up a few minutes later.
The real problem is that we have always allowed her on the furniture.  It was old and kind of yuck, and it was slipcovered, so I didn’t care.
It’s hard to tell that cute little baby dog no!  I am not such a sucker when it comes to my kids in case you are wondering.  They can’t get away with quite so much.
In case you wanted to see my view from the living room.  That’s a nice pallet of flagstone there.  It’s for the front porch.  I wonder how long I will be looking at it outside my window??
The garden is in the background.  That’s a really nice view in the spring and summer!
This photo is to give some perspective.  When you walk in my front door there is a chimney a few feet in front of you and then a room to the right (this one) and another to the left (my currently messy crafting area and the place where laundry waits to be folded.)
The woodstove is in the living room, there behind the couch.  We use it to heat our whole house.
I brought that little needlepoint on the wall behind the chair home from this trip as well.  My sister Angie had inherited a pair of them, made by our great grandmother, and she was sweet enough to share one with me!  The little stable on the table on the right will house our nativity set, and tonight I added our living Jesse tree next to it (I still haven’t made any ornaments though!  I am so behind!)  We don’t have enough nativity pieces to set one out every day of Advent, so I will wait to start slowly bringing it out until later.
And here’s the rocking chair on the little wool rug that my mom gave us as well.  We weren’t sure where we would put the rug until we got home and realized that it created the perfect place for the rocking chair to sit.
So that’s it!  I am so busy right now trying to clean up the rest of the house right now, all that organizing and cleaning of cluttered spots that has to be done from time to time.  I like things to be really neat and organized for Christmas.  I am making good progress and things are finally starting to settle down a bit after our trip.
I’ve had a couple of people ask the same questions recently, so I thought I would just answer them here:
1. Where did you get the little car in your wee wooden folk post?

I think we bought that from Rosie Hippo, but I don’t see them there anymore.  Oh, wait, Jonny just found something similar on Etsy.
Someone asked about making one herself and I think if you are a bit handy you could.  I myself am not handy when it comes to power tools, but I asked Jonny how you would make one of these and here is a quick summary of what he says:
Start with a block of wood the size you want.  The wheels can be purchased at a craft store.  I think I have seen them at Michael’s.  To drill the holes for the wooden people to ride in, you need a 15/16″ paddle bit to drill holes about 3/4″ inch deep.  This particular car has 10 holes and they are spaced about 1 3/8″ apart on center.  You would want to sand and finish the car at this point and then attach the wheels.
Quarter inch dowels are run through holes drilled at the base of the car and then glued into the wheels.  He says it’s simple…
Again, if you are handy, I guess this stuff will make sense.  If not, sorry!  This is the best I can do.

2.  Can you recommend a good knitting book for a beginner?
The book that I used to reteach myself after having a friend show me the basics, and then forgetting, was an older version of Teach Yourself VISUALLY Knitting .  Since then I have purchased Vogue Knitting: The Ultimate Knitting Book and use it to look things up periodically.  I also like Knitting for Baby: 30 Heirloom Projects with Complete How-to-Knit Instructions as it has good instructions and a great baby bootie pattern.  The last knitting book that I recommend would be Knitting Without Tears: Basic Techniques and Easy-to-Follow Directions for Garments to Fit All Sizes although I think you would want this in addition to the teach yourself visually book, I don’t think it would stand alone as well for a beginner.
Also, don’t forget YouTube.  There are so many tutorials there from casting on, to advanced techniques.  That is typically where I go when I need to learn a new knitting technique.  Knitting also has lots of free learn how to knit videos.

Now I am forgetting the other questions…were there any others?  If so, just ask here on this post, and I will edit it to add the answers.  Thanks!

I love to hear from you!