Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Projects for the New Year

Do you have a list of projects for the New Year?
I certainly do. I already have a quilt in the works, thanks to Hubby, who gave me an Accuquilt Cube.
If you haven't looked into Accuquilt...do, these cubes are amazing. There is a 6", 8", 9" and 12" cube. That means that the finished quilt design will be that size.
Hubby gave me a 12" cube (said the others were sold out...) and I am in awe. There are are so many different patterns that one can do with the cubes, I find it dizzying ! You familiar with "samplers?" yeah, each pattern can easily be sewn to the next.....very cool.
So, yeah, I have that going.....
But I also have organizing on the list....and there is a multitude of that to do.
We started with the side yard when we put the new potting bench in its place. There was a cute little wash basin that I put on Craigslist.... and the next day it was sold.
Then, you saw the bed skirt, right? Well, I made drapes in the master to match, beautiful fabric.....
So I have ordered some of the same fabric to make slipcovers for the couch in the living room....
Yes, here is the fabric I ordered...


Here is the bedskirt...and the rug....in the Master.
Here is a question for you...
I am thinking that the rug is a bit busy....would love a grey tone sisal...but Hubby hates sisal...
So, what (low pile) rug would you use....?? Changing out a rug is on the list of things I think I might do.....
(Sorry the bottom picture is fuzzy...)
What are some of your resolutions/projects???
Have a great day...Nancy

Sunday, December 27, 2015

The Potting Bench

On Christmas my kids gave me a potting bench...in a box, within a box....with lots of pieces.
I wanted a real potting bench, have for years...as I had created one from old scraps here and there...and this year it was leaning, leaning a great deal.....
So, we pulled out all the pieces and started following the directions...which were pretty good...but it was still a challenge...
We did it!
Here it is in its place....
Now, the window you see attached is a window with reverse painting that I did years ago and was on my old potting bench, it just fits on the shelf of the new potting bench and it really at a better height to enjoy....
Ah, now just have to wait for growing season....
Hope you are having a great weekend...
Nancy

Sunday, December 20, 2015

A New Dust Ruffle

Remember I told you yesterday about the linen I bought to make a dust ruffle??
Yeah, I did it!
Because our bed is so large and heavy, I have learned that we can just tuck in fabric and it will stay and that makes it way easier to clean when it needs to be cleaned!
From another blogger who did a dust ruffle, she used T pins to help hold it in place .....genius!
So, today, I lightly pressed the center seam of the fabric so it could be cut in half, lengthwise. The fabric was a little over 54" wide...perfect as I need a minimum of a 22" drop, plus extra to tuck it in.
So, once cut in half, I had 5 yards of fabric for each side plus a wrap around to the foot that went halfway.
Now, I am actually a lazy person. You can go about it anyway you want, but simple done is my speed...so I wrapped it, with a snip for the turn for the foot board area and went to the middle, that means my foot board is segmented....but with ruffles...it doesn't show, plus, my bed doesn't show the foot board where it is (and will being staying I might add, but that is another story).
So, I took and ran the cut edge through my Picot foot to finish it off....much more polished I think.
Then, when that was done, I ran the other side, with the selvage, through the ruffler...
The ruffler has many settings, I used the 6 setting, which means every 6th stitch it makes a ruffle.
Now, because it is such a big piece of fabric, the ruffle at the other end isn't terribly apparent, but, it made such a lovely soft drape.
Then, when stuffing it under the mattress, I could make a few extra gathers, for just a touch more "ruffle" and therefore get an even more soft and delightful drape. I was tired of the white straight look.....

 This pin isn't all the way in yet, I just wanted to show you in case you didn't know what they are.

So, here is the finished product! Ta Da!! Finished in about 2 hours tops. (not counting the washing and drying first, which is so so so important with new linen....)
Over all I am in love with the color. It has a bit of white, beige or natural, and some gray. It is perfect for almost every room in our house. Hmmmmm, what shall I make next?? Oh, I know, I will make matching drapes! Then, I might make a slipcover for the sofa in the living room......
At the price, $8.40 a yard, it is cheaper than buying fabric elsewhere or someone else's drapes...especially if the color is right on....(Fabrics-com)
Hope you have a great day!!
Nancy

Saturday, December 19, 2015

In the New Year.....

I know, it's still not even Christmas!
After all we have a week left, well, 6 days to be exact.
But, I am a planner...and we are talking about creating a small walk-in closet by stealing space from our garage....yeah, really!
We would take out the existing closet and get two feet more in the room and then have a walk-in!
Which, then means we can change the orientation of our bed...which means the dust ruffle really needs an update...and then the drapes will no longer go with the paint (because we will have to paint, yet again) and so on and so forth....'
Yeah, so planning a newer look for the New Year!
I ordered 5 yards of the this yummy fabric for the dust ruffle...


This is 4C22 from Fabrics-com....in case you're interested. It is considered a rustic/ heavy linen....but it is still not heavy...It is a perfect linen for both applications....in fact...it looks really yummy on the sofa in the living room!
The color in the living room is "stone" from Restoration Hardware (though our painter gets it mixed elsewhere)....It is a taupey color, a bit of beige and bit of gray...in some lights it gray...others its totally beige. Once upon a time, the store Vista had a color called "Bamboo Beach"...but they were bought out and now the color has gotten too tan...which is what is in our bedroom and bathroom right now....
Hubby says, if we do the closet we have to paint! How fun is that???
Anyway...I'll keep you posted.
The undertaking is HUGE. It causes a chain reaction that I'm not sure I'm really ready for.
Why you say?? Well, it means de-constructing the present closet which means tearing out and redoing walls, ceiling and then patching existing wood floors and then paint. Then the actual space taken from the garage...well, that means 26 years of "stuff" needs to go away or something. The whole old workbench from the previous owners and all our stuff needs to be removed....and that will change parking in the garage too....
I'm actually more dubious than excited....need to think this out....
Can you believe Hubby is more into it than I am??? I think its because I can visualize the whole thing better than he....yikes!!
Anyway, the contractor would like to do this after Christmas between the 30th and the 4th! Yeah......Im gonna have to go away or take tranquilizers......
Well, we will see.
Benefits?? Being able to organize the closet and have a slighter larger room.....
Talking to the contractor again soon...hoping to show him the neighbor's closet that was done...which is where we got the idea in the first place.....
We still need to get two large cars into the garage...
Have a great weekend....
Nancy

Friday, December 18, 2015

The Hole Under the Christmas Tree....a Space/Time Dimensional Hole

I was going to just talk about my wonderful day canning marmalades made from our oranges and our daughter's....and about the Lime marmalade which came out the most delicious shade of amber.





I made 16 jars of marmalade....a wonderful day that made me love my kitchen the way it is laid out, for me, to make a mess in.....
However, I've discovered as I have put things under the tree, that there is some kind of space/time hole and have lost two presents that were put there.
I know, it's crazy....but it seems that I have lost my mind, or there is a hole....
You see...in July, I ordered fabric for gifts I wanted to make. The first gifts I made were some delightful kitchen towels from the most scrumptious fabric that is most like a grain sack, but manufactured today. It is a lovely shade of natural linen with woven stripes through it. After a couple of washings, it was perfect and softer and with a good ironing, ready for monogramming!
So I set off doing so, one for each daughter and one for my friend who would thoroughly enjoy the fabric as much as I.
Finished by October with said projects I actually wrapped them and set them aside on the bed in the craft room and proceeded on with the other projects on my list. After all, it appeared that this was going to be a predominately handmade Christmas.....
So, After Thanksgiving, we brought home a tree....and I did my wrapping and placed gifts under the tree....
I rounded the gifts up like cattle from the guest room and the craft room....and place under the tree.
But, my friend's was not there.
Surely, I have not done it again....lost a gift. (I have to say, I am known for this....)
I searched everywhere....including unwrapping and re wrapping gifts that were already under the tree to double check my sanity....
It was no where to be seen....and still hasn't turned up. If you follow me, you know that I have torn up the craft room looking...to the extent it isn't the same as it used to be...
Well, I had made peace of a sort with the lost gift and have found another that will suffice...until this morning.
I went under the tree to find my daughter's in-laws gifts ( I wanted to add another jar of marmalade) and that gift, that I so carefully placed under the tree is now also missing!
Seriously?? Really?? I put it there...just like my friend's, I know I did...and yet, it is not there.
I looked on the piano where gifts for another gift exchange have been placed and by the door for a gift exchange (the one with my friend) that happens today....nope not there.....
What is happening?
Do you have this kind of hole?? Or is it me??
I seem to lose a gift each year....usually in the closet where some of my stash is put....or under the bed. But those gifts are not wrapped....


The gifts are now scattered around the room....not just under the tree...in part because some are quite large...and in part because I needed to make sure that each person had a fair share...and in part because I can't find those two gifts....that had been put under the tree.
I know I will find them and laugh at myself. Maybe it is "Christmas Alzheimer's", where in the hustle and bustle you do lose a bit of your mind. But we will see....I know I can't be the only person who does this...shops all year, or sews early for those precious gifts for special people and then loses them in the Christmas crunch.
My advice to those who are like me....don't stress too much...have back-up gifts you can get and give those to your peeps...the gifts seem to filter back up (unlike socks that disappear into a different void), after the fact to give us quite a giggle, and you can give those to them later.
So, as you wrap today and the rest of the week in preparation for the Christmas coming...take heart in knowing...if you lose a gift...you are not alone....I am right there with you.
Nancy

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The Craft Room

So, it all started when I couldn't find my friend's Christmas gift that I worked on so hard....it isn't anywhere!
I first checked all the gifts beneath the tree, even unwrapped and re-wrapped several....just in case.
Then, I went to the guest room, where I have been wrapping....its not there either.
It had to be in the craft room!
So, before I knew it I was attacking the craft room and "re-doing" it.....by moving furniture around...So, the corner cabinet that I bought like 20 years ago at a garage sale, that has been in almost all the rooms at some point and was pine colored a few years ago and is no French Linen and Duck Egg Blue....is now on the market with Craigslist and hopefully finding a new home on Wednesday.....I moved it out and over , moved the armoire that stores more stuff and moved the sewing table to the other wall where the armoire was....
Yes, there is a twin bed in here, and yes, I am thinking of getting rid of it. It hasn't been used by anyone in at least 15 years....so its time....then my sewing table can be under the window....
Wanna see the real life pictures of a very used and busy and messy craft room??
So, here is the corner cabinet...with junk....
 Here is the cabinet empty...its pretty cute....
 Here it is over to the side of the room....it will be hopefully be leaving Weds...
See the messy closet?? Yeah, its all fabrics and sewing stuff....hey, this not staged its real life....
 So, in the corner is the armoire...and you see the bed. There is a wall of stuff....my project bags....

Here is the sewing table now....still a mess, I know, but now you don't walk right into the sewing table when you enter the room. If the bed left, there would be more open space and the Junk might stay in the closet...This room needs some attention...
So, that is my real life messy, chaotic craft room...
Ok, I fessed up....anyone else have a room like this??
Sorry if this offends anyone....but it is a work in progress.....
Nancy

The Open House

I don't know about you, but when an open house happens in the neighborhood, I have to go see it. Guess it's the "look-lou" in me....but it is cool to get ideas for your own home and all.
This Sunday, a house we had watched be re-done was finished and open.
Oh my gosh, I'm in trouble now. Hubby agreed. It is the BEST redo in the neighborhood we have seen....and the fact that it is our floorpan made it even more interesting.
Now, I snapped a few pictures for you, but unfortunately for me, there were so many people at the open house, it was impossible to take many.
My main attention was grabbed by the kitchen and master bedroom....walk-in closet.
First...the kitchen....


The kitchen in the pictures, I didn't do it justice. The floors from the front throughout main living and traffic areas are beautiful tile that looks like wood....
The counters throughout (in bathrooms too) are marble with a hexagon backsplash of marble. The cabinets are wonderful shaker style with self-close. Stainless steel appliances and farm sink.
I apologize to the lady who walked into the picture here...but I wanted to show you this stove oven. It is an Italian company...very lovely, and its matching hood with the backsplash behind....awesome. They re-created space and useable counters in this kitchen that had me feeling like our kitchen is now very dated....(how did that happen in 12 years???)
This oven/stove top makes a total of two ovens in this kitchen!
Ok, so if the kitchen didn't get you, the master, though it might be a bit small, is one of four bedrooms. My biggest gripe about our house is the lack of closet space. We've been here for 26 years....and when I went into this one, I couldn't believe we hadn't figured this out before....
So, here is the new door into the walk-in. IN our house, there is no door....the wall is a closet, you know with mirrored closet doors.....


This is where the space came from....the garage!
Now, it just so happened that Hubby was working with our contractor on business property....and asked him about this...was it code?? Could it be done at our house and still be a two car garage?? you know the rest....
So, My mind is a whirl with ideas and excitement. I woke up at 3 am this morning, and the brain started going....the what-ifs etc....
And of course....how much, how much time, mess.....
So, in any case, I hope you enjoyed the mini tour of the open house.
We are excited because there hasn't been this kind of re-do in the neighborhood and the price??? It is on the market for $899,000.
I'll keep you posted....
Nancy

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Baby "Orange Peel" Quilt...finished

At last, well, minus binding....I have finished the "orange peel" quilt (also known as a "football").
It is an interesting quilt to do, with many steps...not hard really, just lots per square to do. And a bit thicker than most.
Yes, I'll do it again....having learned the ins and outs....and having extra squares begun.
I decided to make it smaller than I originally was going to...a good square works.
So, today, I put aside wrapping and cleaning to work on this quilt. I just needed to quilt!
So, I started and loved the idea of feathers in the centers of the "circles" that the orange peel shapes created....I rather like the way it turned out...





So, what do you think?? I think it looks pretty good from the back too....
The binding will be the backing material done in strips (as usual) .....
Have a great day...maybe now I can go get dressed! I'm still in PJs!
Nancy

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas!

Well, this weekend we got a tree and Hubby said we had to put up the "village" for Royce our Grandson. (Personally, I think at 13 months he wouldn't really notice, but cute that Grampy thought it was important!)
So, the two of us, Grampy and I, went to get our tree. We wanted a Noble Fir this year...and we looked through so many...picked one and when we got it home discovered it had a huge "hole". Noble Firs are kinda known for holes...its the way they grow....so, I filled the hole with a Father Christmas.....
It worked....well, kinda...its cute though...
Do you see him?? Father Christmas is literally tied to the trunk of the tree.....
We went with an all silver and white theme this year....I rather like the simplicity of it....
Then, on to the Village....
 Most of the these houses were painted by my girls for gifts in the past...and when I talked about getting rid of the village they were mortified! So, I guess, it is something that will stay around....
The rest are Dept.56 houses we inherited from the neighbors...and a couple were again gifts....back in the day...But it is kinda cute....We simplified the whole thing by only plugging in the Dept. 56 houses and not running a string of lights to houses without light....Hubby put them on a timer so they go on at a certain time and then off....very handy.
I managed to get a few packages wrapped yesterday so I felt like I was getting things under control...Still lots to wrap and a few things still to receive in the mail....but otherwise I think I'm done shopping!
That is a good feeling....
Have a great day!
Nancy

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Swedish Pancakes

Today, when I woke up, the first thing that Hubby said was to show me a picture of Swedish Pancakes that I made a year ago...(thanks FB)......I hadn't even had coffee yet....
Well, after a cup of coffee...I thought, sure why not??
So, I got out the recipe from my very old beat-up Better Homes and Gardens cookbook that I got when I was a little girl. (by the way the recipes for pancakes isn't in the newer edition).
However, with a gluten intolerance, I wanted to make it a bit friendlier.....
So, I used eggs, and in place of flour, I used Pamela's Pancake flour...well....it works for most things I've told you that before.....
and in place of sugar I used coconut palm sugar, which is supposed to be a lower glycemic index.....
It certainly doesn't look like much, I know. But, it is supposed to be a very thin batter...it is basically crepes.....
Then, I got crazy and made a very rich creamy filling....
I mixed together cream cheese (a no no for me....), the coconut palm sugar, a bit of orange juice and zest and fresh blackberries (isn't it amazing to get blackberries at this time of year??)
When the "pancakes" were mostly cooked on one side, I put the filling in, then closed the pancake over the filling and voila! Breakfast.....



It was very rich...but yummy....
Think he might go get a Christmas tree with me????
Probably not....
Anyway....
Have a great weekend!