Wednesday, July 29, 2009

July Bits

Last week... well, last week was so busy that I figure I only can work less for the rest of the summer. I am so tired. The good news is that I knew it was going to be a busy week so I signed my son up for day camp... and he loved it! He is now signed up for the rest of the summer at his request. They have swimming lessons 2X a week, go to the pool just for free swim, go to the beach, library, out for icecream, play mini golf, do crafts... all sorts of fun things. Plus he has tennis lessons on Tuesday. I am so happy for him that he is enjoying it... and it gives me a bit of a chance to catch up on some of my paperwork during the day.


Tonight, I actually got to sew for a little bit! I was all done in the kitchen by 9:30 so I had some time to just play with some of my on-going projects a bit.

First up... my 6 pointed star. This spring I cut a ton of diamonds and this is how that project is looking. Because I didn't strip sew it, there was alot of matching up to do on those diamonds and although not perfect, I think it looks pretty good. The segments aren't sewn together yet. And yes, I do know that I made a mistake on one of those segments - it will be redone. Missing - the final strip of the last segment... so tomorrow I will try to take a look around and see if it turns up. If not, I have more fabric! No idea how to progress after I get the segments made - probably I will turn the edges under and applique it onto a background and add a top and bottom row of stars to make a lap quilt that is long enough to tuck under your feet. I only sewed 1 strip on the last segment today, but that is still progress.
My little pile of string blocks... I have about 30 pieced so far. I am thinking I will probably need 90 plus to make a good sized snuggle quilt. Just using my pink/blue/purple strips. I sewed several of these together tonight and pressed them out. Not much, but a little bit at a time adds up.
I've actually been too tired to sit at the sewing machine and sew... when I've been on my feet all day and am tired - I like to just sit in my rocker and knit a bit here and there. Winter knitting usually hurts my hands due to the cold weather, but so far I've been fine with this project in the summer. Right now I am knitting my son a sweater for school - the back is finished and I've started on the front. The yarn is super soft so it will feel like a fleece sweatshirt, but will be a bit fancier. He likes it.
So, slow progress on everything, but at least each item is moving forward, step by step!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Laundry Room Curtains

Ta-Da! The door and window used almost 10 yards. Great green and white checkered drapery weight fabric from Marden's for $1 yard. The check looks pretty big in person, but when you hang it up - it all works out. Love it! And look how well it goes with my green AstroTurf carpet AND green linoleum walls. How could I resist? Every laundry room should have AstroTurf carpet - much cushier underfeet than cement and surprisingly long wearing - plus if there is a flood of some sort - well, it is ok. So, yes, I have a really green laundry room now. I am absolutely thrilled with these new curtains.

Before curtains... besides the fact that the sun pours into the room and makes it really hot... look - you can SEE the mop bucket just inside the door. Yuck. I like to keep the mop bucket in front of the utility sink though because it is a logical place to put it! And those other curtains on the window never fit right - partly because there is a wall right built against that far window - part of the window is actually in another room (water tank room). Weird, I know. These things happen when you live in old, funky places. The last owners put them up and this room is so low on the priority list that I just tried to ignore them. But really, enough is enough!
Here's a view from the outside with no door curtain and a crooked window curtain. Ignore my empty planter - I need to get some more mini shrubs which seem to do really well in this spot. If not this year - next year will do.

Here's a different angle of the room. My LARGE folding table which is actually fairly high because I am tall. It is just plywood with plastic table cloth material stapled on it. Makes a great cutting table and also, there is lots of storage under it - mainly I keep things under there to donate, camping supplies and my sons outdoor toys. Behind the door in the top left is my linen bookcase tower for all the sheets and towels. Behind the ruffly curtain (wish I had more of that green fabric, I would replace these curtains too) is a water tank room. 2 huge water tanks.
I bought 10 yards of this fabric (if I go back and they have more, I will get enough to make the tank room door curtain). I used almost all of it in the laundry room and had a little snippet left over - perfect for this funky bathroom window. I call it a funky window because - well, have you ever seen a 2nd story window that goes down to the floor? When we moved here my son was crawling around and I had a carpenter climb up there on the outside and nail this rick rack over the window. MY son wasn't going to fall out of that window! Oooh - see my new deck out the window? It is coming along!

There is a small bit of fabric left - I am thinking it is probably enough to make a nice little tote bag.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Made some more curtains!

A mini collage of this bedroom - which is typically mine. Except someone else will be using it next week and then I got to thinking that they might not like sheer curtains on 3 sides. I like the sheers because I need to wake up extra early. So, I made curtains - very beautiful peach drapery fabric with a subtle waffle weave - from Marden's for $1 a yard. I used every single bit of the 12 yards I bought. Maybe I should have bought extra to make matching shams, but too late now! All those windows now have curtains. I saw some really nice rope cords at the dollar store so have to go back and get those for tie-backs.

I love everything about this room. The wood floors (there is a bit of tile flooring in front of the slider), beautiful bed, the lovely leaves trim on the dresser, the old embroidered table scarf, the end tables that DH & I bought extra cheap at an auction years ago (for sure they were under $20 because that was usually the maximum we would bid on anything!) a cross stitch sampler that was a wedding gift and a little hand-colored photograph that I've had for years, the goofy slanting roof line, even the drapery rod balls - I like those too. The wall you can't see in the photos has a series of 3 tiny, skinny closets with white doors and the door into the room. I could use more closet space, but because my space is limited I tent to be ruthless with sorting clothes.
On top of DH's chest of drawers I have an old brass strainer that is full of beautiful beach stones. My try at decorating - which I just don't seem to have a knack for. It wasn't until I was taking photos that I noticed that both sides of the bed have basically the same photos! Duh.

MY end table has a laptop, but it is pretty much unusable there during daylight hours because of the glare from the window behind the bed. Maybe that will change with the new curtains? That's it really - I keep the room very simple because I have allergies and like to dust/vacuum constantly.

You might notice that I have a plain beige spread on the bed. Despite my love of making scrap quilts, I prefer plain and solid colors in my own room. It is not very often that I will actually put a quilt on this bed. I wash all my bedding at least 1X a week in hot water so I guess my quilts wouldn't fare really well on my bed anyway.


Just out the slider door - a new deck is being built. You can see a bag of nails in the new curtain photo. I am very happy about the deck because there was one out there, but it was rotting and falling apart - so gone. I have been without a deck off that door for at least 2 years now.


OK, well - there is 1 thing that I don't like - the silly wall paper trim border that has birds and a beach scene on it. But - it was there when we bought the place, and technically - nothing wrong with it and it isn't too in your face obnoxious - so it has stayed. And it's "matching" bathroom. Maybe someday I will get around to getting it painted ivory.

Anyway - another room with new curtains! Curtains are fairly easy to make, but it does seem to take just about forever to press and sew everything down. I am very pleased with how they came out! Getting the length perfect on the sliding door pair was a bit tricky because I wanted them to go down almost all the way to the floor without dragging on the floor. Interesting note: I used beige thread and you could not see it at all against the fabric. I still have more curtains to make for other rooms, but at least this room is completed.

Friday, July 10, 2009

A Small Finish?

A finish - a bit small in size (33.5" X 44"), but not small in effort. Because - I quilted it myself on the sewing machine, using my walking foot and SITD. The edges are a bit ripply, but it will probably not be so obvious once I send it through the washing machine. I almost never do my own quilting. I am glad that I used a ziggy/zaggy fabric on the back - helps hide the quilting oops. A fun quilt, all from stash. To be washed this week and put away... waiting for Christmas. Perfect for a baby in my ever growing family... my son has several new cousins this year with another expected.

I didn't use a pattern... I just sewed 4 1.5" strips together and then cut that segment into 2 matching 4 1/2" squares. Sliced those through the middle and sewed it all back together again. Set on point and alternated with solid squares, also set on point. Added a narrow border and binding.


Now that the walking foot and green thread are off my machine... I can get back to making curtains. I hate switching my machine back and forth between projects, so once I started up on this again - I made myself finish it. Phew.


After curtains - I need to get started on my fall knitting - but that is another post! I am looking forward to my knitting because after a long day on my feet I really enjoy just sitting down and relaxing with it. I've been really busy around here.

Friday, July 03, 2009

We've Been Away

We took a very quick trip to see the family - took more travel time than actually staying there, but it was worth it. One of my staff members quit while I was gone so I had to come back much earlier than expected.
Enroute we camped - despite the damp weather. Oh well, rain every day is actually pretty good for my son's allergies - he could actually breathe this trip! This is our little tent - easy enough to set- up for a late, after dark arrival. I bought it for $20 at Marden's when we crossed the border. I figured why not? Might as well make a long road trip a bit of an adventure and more fun. My son loved it! We also have a very large tent, but that one is much more challenging to set-up. The little tent is definitely a much more spur of the moment "fun" tent.
We stopped at the Desert of Maine in Freeport on the way.

Spent lots of time just hanging out at my Dad's while there - his yard is a playground for boys! That is not "junk". Dad calls all these things "Yard Ornaments"! Once some neighbors complained about his yard and the town sent him a letter requesting him to pick-up the things in his yard. He did. He hung everything from the trees. Everything. So then the town decided that he was grandfathered and can keep his stuff. It keeps Dad busy - he is always moving it here and there or spray painting it or trying to fix it. Ha! Anyway, you just never know what Dad will have in his yard next. About every 10 years my brother arranges for a scrap metal crusher to come through and get rid of huge piles of it... but the favorite pieces are always spared. My Dad has never heard very well so we just hang out together as a "visit". Although he does have new hearing aids and they actually seem to be working some.

On the way back, we stopped at LL Bean (also in Freeport). The fish tanks are in their fishing/hunting section.
It was fun. Got to grab the time you are given and make the best of it.