Posts Tagged ‘remodeling’

my sewing goal

Since September is National Sewing Month, I’ve decided that it will be my personal challenge to sew all 30 days of September. Not all day of each day of course, but at least for a bit.   (To think that a few years ago I sewed everyday  6 to 14 hours for nearly five months with not a single day off. I was working on three shows, two tv movies, and school all at the same time.  I sure live in a different world now.)

 I feel motivated, having just finished getting the latest quilt top & back ready to go to be quilted. I’m ready to start the next one. I’ve decided to make a quilt for the other grandson, and both will recieve them for Christmas this year. Little Richard had expressed that he would like a quilt, so, there you go. I’ve combed through my stash, and found something that I think will work, but not sure that I have enough of it. Ideally I can find something to supplement it with, and make another One Block Wonder ( like the red quilt that I made in July) as that was what I was working on when he mentioned it.
Until then, I’m working on this group of fabrics:   The one on the top of the pile is the body of a summer jacket. The others will combine for trim.  I started it over the weekend, and should finish it tomorrow. So far it’s coming out well, I think.

Richard has removed the kitchen door and boarded up the wall. He’ll put the siding on tomorrow, and now my part is doing the mud & tape & texture of the drywall on the inside. Ultimately there will be a cabinet and counter there, but for now the big rolling rack will stay there. I want to get the outside painted before there is a big difference in the paint color due to fading.

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the plan

Now that the long-running house projects are nearly caught up, I can quit fretting about getting them done and move on. It feels good.   ( We do need a somewhat warm, clear day to finish the range hood/vent for cutting the roof hole, but the rest is done )  Richard can resume his work on finishing up the Falcon.

And I am looking forward to working downstairs for a while.

my plan:  
to help with my creative overload issue, I’m going to try out a new method of getting some of sewing & handmade items going. For one week, and one week at a time only, I will work on just one thing ( or several of the same type of thing ) on my ever growing list of things I want to make. (actually this is an adaptation of a method my sister has used for completing needlework )    Each week the goal will be to see how much I can finish in the allotted time frame. This should work for me because I am deadline driven – I like the pressure of having to finish something by a certain time. I think it forces me to work smarter, and pushes the creative side of my brain at the same time.  Of course, I can’t stop my brain from flitting all about during the week, but the actual doing will be on just one thing. Then the next week I’ll move on to another thing. I’ve not decided what I’ll be starting work first, but come Monday I’ll be in the sewing room working on something.      
I miss the working pressure of the studio – does that make me crazy?- which demanded that everything get done pronto. Before I went to work there, I was the queen of procrastination. I feel like I’m falling back into that old mode, and don’t want to go there.

That said, of course this will all go out the window for a day, if we make a dash into either the Portland or Seattle area to pick up the dining set. I’m stalking Craigslist, and keep just missing out. And it seems although it’s a busy world on craigslist, a lot of the people who post there are flakes. Either they post the same item twice a day ( which helps to account for over 100 dining sets a day in each of those areas ), they only give a little information, no – or worse, a lousy cell phone pic,  or don’t respond to any attempts at contact for days. And, I really don’t get it when they don’t take an ad down once the item is gone. The weekend is coming, and I might get lucky yet. You see, on the weekends, those postings spike to a couple hundred per day. Perseverance will pay off, I hope. 

Its been windy & rainy all week here; we woke to a blanket of white hail, but it melted quickly in the bright ( but cold ) sunlight. We walked on the beach for a bit, and Sunny got some good seagull chasing in. I got really spoiled for a couple of weeks thinking that spring was all but here. Reality says that it is still winter. 
Which makes it a good time to be sewing.

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then and now

   This morning I dusted the mantle.

Its finally finished. I realized that since the first time I walked into this house, when I looked over at that wall – which insisted that you look at it – I was looking at something really ugly. No more.
  This is from a couple years ago:  
and this I took yesterday:    and a closeup :

It took two tries to get the color right šŸ˜¦ but its good now. The colored area is inset from the rest of the wall by about two inches. We used the leftover wood from cutting the mantle and the upright supports to make the trim that goes on up to the ceiling, and also put a new ‘beam’ across the top. The beam is actually a 2×8, but once I stained and finished it, it matches the others in the room perfectly. And just because, here’s a shot of the whole thing in action last night ( complete with the man who made it possible )  I set a small picture on the mantle for now, but I need to figure out what to hang on the new wall space.  There is still the carpet / flooring issue to deal with, but that will come later. Little by little.

We also got the rest of the track lighting up over the kitchen counter, replacing this  with these:  the former kitchen chandelier was a match for the lovely dining one  which I replaced with .

I suppose that in thirty years or so, someone will walk through this house and think " oh, my " just as I did. Styles and tastes change over time, but I think I’ll be happy with these choices as long as we live here.

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I’ve had a lot of computer problems for the past week. First the laptop, then the desktop that I had resorted to using the past couple days. Nearly reducing me to tears several times. Lots of error messages, freezing, and moving slower than a slug.
But, I think I finally solved the whole mess. On both of them. Whooo-hooo! 

The whole thing put a serious crimp in lots of things that I’ve been trying to do. Nothing like restarting a gazillion times. Installing and uninstalling stuff. arghhhhh!
And did I mention frustrating?????

So, the fireplace project is getting farther along. Monday the tile will get grouted. We had a "make it work" moment – somehow it worked out that we were one tile short. The tile that I bought in Seattle; after the local outfit told us two weeks after ordering that it was now backordered for a month. We ended up piecing one of the ends- it will all be fine.
We did begin to paint the outside of the house before the weather turned super wet. And I am thrilled at how quiet the new dishwasher is – I think you could sleep right next to it.

Here’s something kinda funny:


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We had a nice visit to Seattle over the weekend. Funny thing about living at the beach – all of the traffic is headed here for the weekends. On the drive both to and from, we passed a gazillion motorhomes, trailers, and such going the opposite direction. No traffic for us! We stopped along the way to pick and eat blackberries – a completely new experience to Richard!

On the return trip we stopped at two Sears outlet stores, and purchased both a range and a dishwasher. Both for a steal. We need to have propane brought in, and the bonus is that I’ll be able to cook some even with the power outages that we’re prone to during winter storm months.
We also have chosen the tile for the fireplace surround and are ordering it today; the mason finally got back to us with a bid.

I went blueberry picking yesterday afternoon, as the weather was nice – a sharp contrast to last Friday’s picking only about a pound in the rain/drizzle. After an hour and a half, I came away with around four pounds. The crop is really late, so it looks like there will be plenty to pick for a couple of weeks, unless the weather turns really cold.  Richard said this morning that it feels so decadent to be eating fresh blueberry pancakes every morning. Enjoy it while it lasts.  

We still have over two weeks of summer left. I’m counting on it.

This weekend is the Rod Run to the End of the World. We will go and wander around and see, essentially, this

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 Yesterday Richard and I celebrated our fifteenth wedding anniversary.  And as of this summer we will have been together for eighteen years. Wow.  And, I still love / like / love him. Its nice.
My plan was to take a day trip to Mount Saint Helens, but a couple things foiled that. On Wednesday Richard got a 24 hour bug. Then yesterday, the weather defied all of the predictions ( there was a forecast for only partly cloudy ) and it was foggy and rainy until late afternoon. Not a good day to take a sightseeing trip. So, the first clear day next week, we’ll take the drive.  We did go out to one of the couple decent restaurants in the area and had a quiet dinner.

Today I am driving to Seattle, as tomorrow I’m going to SewExpo with my mom and sister. It should be a long day of walking, looking and a lot of fun.  There are classes and workshops throughout the weekend there, but I was too late to register for any of the ones that looked interesting. Next year.  
I spent a day or so earlier in the week doing some sewing – I made some vests for my sister who just got a job as a wine steward. It was satisfying to start and finish a project so quickly.  And odd to think that it was the first real sewing that I’ve done in quite a while. A far cry from all of the alterations that seemed to have become the norm.  It did emphisise the fact that I miss my big cutting table that I left behind. Hopefully, Richard will get the new one made soon, as I’ll need a big space to do the curtains, as well as several other projects on the list. 

The to-do list for this house just keeps growing. Its a puzzle in itself to try to figure out the order of what needs to happen in which order. All of that is for another day ( or year ).

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We now have two rooms done. Ha! 
We finished the bathroom over the weekend, and I am sooo happy with the results. Gone are the funky, head-banging cabinets directly over the sinks, goofy low light swag globes, two sinks and flocked wallpaper, along with the iron stained toilet.  In their place is pretty flooring, painted walls, only one sink, etc. Here are two pics of the result:   . The last things that need to happen is to remove the old shower doors ( replacing with a curtain ) and eventually re-tile around the tub ( the tile will be later ).  And I need to make a window curtain.  
That pretty much consumed the weekend. Friends were over yesterday to watch the Datona 500. I did my best to stay engaged, but seems like when I watch any sport on tv I continually zone out, what with all the commercials every two minutes, I have no idea how one stays focused and follows those sort of things. 

Spring must be on the way, as last night was the third night that I’ve been hearing the frogs start their song. In another few weeks, it will be what Gretchen calls the “frog chorus”, insanely loud when you step outside at night. Today is beautiful outside, and should be into the mid 50s. We plan to walk for a few miles up towards the north end of the penninsula.  This weather has me itching to get outside and begin some cleanup towards a landscaping end. But, we had vowed to take a really long walk the first clear day, so off we go.

I plan on sewing for the remainder of the week.

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 Generally I don’t get political – but I don’t know if it’s because we are watching more tv than in the past ( there’s no daily paper to sit and pour over ) so CNN is on in the mornings here.  But, I am following election stuff closer than I have in years. We’ve watched the debates on both sides, and my big complaint so far is that Edwards dropped out.  Some of the others who have dropped out seems like no surprise to me. Well, I am stunned to learn that here in Washington if you want your vote for a democrat to count, you have to go and vote at a caucus! They print the names on the mailed out absentee ballot that we got, but if you only check a box there, it wont be counted! I wonder if that’s common knowledge, but it almost seems as though they don’t really want your voice. In the local weekly paper, it said that we can go to the high school on Saturday afternoon to attend the caucus. “And though it might inconvenience some voters, it is designed to be a party building experience.”  I don’t need or want a freaking ‘party building experience’!!!     What about people who can’t get there for any number of reasons: retirement or nursing home, work, ill, etc? Their vote is simply not taken. That seems just wrong. POO!  
I don’t define myself by any one particular ‘party’ – the candidate is who is important.Maybe if there was the Common Sense Party, I would join. Probably not though.  I hate the labels of a ‘left leaning republican’ , or a ‘(wacky) independent’ . or  whatever. Maybe I really just have no understanding and should take some sort of political science course. They likely covered more of that after the point that I left school.  So, because I really feel like I want my vote to be for something, I will go on Saturday and make my mark in person. I still think it’s stupid that if your vote won’t count if you use the piece of paper that the state sent to you then why did they bother putting names on it in the first place????

moving on.

Today the new floor was laid in the bathroom, and Richard put up the new light fixture. I got all of the wallpaper off over the weekend and textured the portions of the wall that will be exposed. Yesterday I finished painting in there. 
My big news is that I have finished in our bedroom. Wallpaper – gone. Fabric on the walls that I put up unsuccessfully – gone. New paint in the whole room – done. And now the final painting is done as well. Here is a shot of the finished project:
I am happy with the results – the brighter yellow isn’t dayglow like it kind of looks there. The other three walls are a really pale yellow. Ten years from now, I may hate it, but at this point it’s just what I was after ( I modeled it after a piece of fabric that is in completely different colors).     The bathroom pics will come after it is all finished. Which should be the end of next week – we are driving to Seattle Monday to pick up the countertop and the mirror and stuff. I can also begin to work on the guest room now. I dread stripping more wallpaper, but I’ve gotta do it.  
Next week is also Valentines’ day and my surprise for Richard is a package that arrived today from www.lillebellefarms.com  . A bit of a splurge, but if you like caramels – they’re the best I’ve ever had and worth every penny. 

Ryan is driving out tomorrow to spend the weekend – it will be nice to have some company for a few days. 

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once again…….

I’ve been on ‘the hunt’  for a few days now. Fabric – specifically, the living room curtain fabric. I bought a half a yard last week when we were in Portland and brought it home to stare at for a few days before I was sure it was what I wanted. Monday I called the store to order it only to find that all but one and a half yards were gone. Gone! Just like that. You’d think I’d know better after nearly ten years of working at a fabric store, that sometimes you need to act quickly, but I thought a week was quick enough. Guess not this time.
Well, that made me want it even more. The store did call the mfg. and said it was back ordered, and it would be 12 weeks – with a minimum order of 25 yards.  No can do – I only need 10.  So, I began the hunt in earnest, calling several places, waiting for call backs; looking on the mfg. website – along with dozens of others. This morning I got a call back from Pacific Fabrics saying that they could order ( the mfg had 12 yards or so left ) and I think it is a done deal that in a few weeks I will have my ten yards.  (now I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it really is the one that I think I’m ordering and something’s not getting confused ) 
Once that arrives, then I’ll get the rest of the supplies to complete the curtains, waiting for the 40% off sale at Fabric Depot at the beginning of a month. 
I finished my client’s rack of clothes (36 items) on Saturday, and FedEx came and picked them up yesterday. Whew! I am so relieved to have them gone.
Yesterday we worked on putting up curtain rods in our room, and hung some sheer drapes in there. Also gone are the vertical blinds from the top of the stairs, the guest room and the bathroom. This makes me very happy. In the guest room we hung a cable type rod that I had used in the Santee house several years ago, and as a bonus I still had the drapes, which only took a new hem to make fit.   I have the linen for a bathroom curtain in my stash.  Richard has finished doing a mock up of the vanity top, everything looks like the right fit, and has faxed the info to two granite companies in Seattle. Now I will continue with removing the wallpaper in the bathroom and paint.  
I keep going back and forth between ‘furring out’ a new wall over top of the existing stone fireplace, and chiseling the cheesy rock off. Currently I think I will try chiseling it off. If that doesn’t work, then we’ll cover the whole thing with new wall. No matter what, it will be a messy event. 
We now have new neighbors in the little red log house next door. They arrived yesterday with a u-haul truck. Not sure if they’ll live there or if its a vacation place.  I hope that they are nicer than the other couple ones who visit periodically, and only want to talk to tell us to cut more trees down to enhance their views.  

Lastly, I saw this and was really amused:
 It was on Yahoo’s home page and is in South Carolina.

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I’ve decided that this new year will begin with my birthday this past Saturday. 

Mom returned with me, and on Saturday Ryan and Justin drove out.  We had a wonderful dinner of fresh crab & artichokes – which has got to be one of my favorite meals. For dessert Ryan made a pavlova – a light as air meringue topped with whipped cream and blueberries ( that he picked here over the summer and were in my freezer )  yum. 
On Saturday Richard hung the new light in the stairwell replacing this:    lovely seventies number, with this:     . It casts a pretty, orang-ish glow. If anyone is interested in the old fixture, speak up quick, as it is headed to the thrift store. There will be a houseful of similar ‘period’ lights there by the time we’re finished.  
The other big thing that happened while the guys were here is that Justin worked ( for way too long ) to solve my router issue, and now I am back to wireless – Yay! – no more pile of cables and cords in the corner of the living room.
When everyone left on Sunday, we took a long walk into town, (I had ice cream, while he had soup )and soaked up the rare sunny afternoon. 
It rained and blew hard for most of yesterday and all night long. We walked this afternoon, and discovered a couple more trees down on the dead end behind us. Looks like there will be no shortage of firewood this year. 
The new bathroom vanity was delivered on Friday, so today saw the beginning of the demolition of the upstairs bathroom.  I am making a vow to myself to stay patient about this project, knowing it will take three times longer to finish than I plan for it to. While Richard worked on that, I spent a second day working on stuff for the CA client. There is at least a full week’s worth of work there, and I am ready to have it gone.

I spoke with my old neighbor in Santee this afternoon, and was amazed at how dior the real estate market is there. I am sooo grateful that we were fortunate enough to get the house sold. I took a look, and oh my god, how things have gone really south. I feel for anyone who is trying to sell. Tough times.

Looks like we are in for a few clear and chilly days here – a nice break from the past few rainy weeks.

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