Tuesday, March 29, 2016

The Craft Room

I am a lucky lady.
Yes, I am.
I have a dedicated craft room....or will.
You see, it's been about 20 years since my daughter slept in this room.
No one has used this bed in about 18 years. So, the only one who has used the bed is, well, the dog. He thinks its for him.
But truth be told the bed is old, dirty and broken down...so it is time to get rid of it.
I wanted a table in here to use for cutting, small layouts for quilts and then a table the help hold up larger quilts when I am quilting.
So, the other evening, while Hubby was watching something awful on TV I went cruising online.
I have been looking for a table forever.
I'd dearly love an antique French looking table. But really? It would be very expensive and then you wouldn't want to work on it. Right?
So, I went to Amazon.
Yup, again.
I had originally told myself I'd get a table from Ikea which is literally just up the street. However, it didn't make me do a happy dance....event though the price was right. $69
But, instead I found a "farm" table that is pretty cute at a little over a hundred.
It's a good size too...not too big,nor too small....and because Hubby has to help put on the legs....it will get down our too narrow hall!
So, guess what?
The craft room is getting a makeover.....again.



This is the way it looks right now, today.
This bed is all stripped and on the list for the large item pick-up Thurs. This Thurs!!
I am washing the twin sheets...they are fine and will be donated to the Assistance League.
Once the bed is gone I got to thinking that maybe I will paint the lower wall....maybe not . I had just finished reading Savy Southern Style (one of my daily reads) and she is redoing a room too and she is painting. So is French Country Cottage (another daily read)...she found a perfect white paint....
In any case...I will probably move things around...again. to get the best set up for quilting.
I have a larger quilt that I am making for my niece (hope she isn't reading this) and I will need the space.
I also will need new drapes for this room....oh darn!
I just happen to have some yummy linen that will work in here.....
These little drapes were once sheets that I stamped with fleur de lis ....but I think its time....
or maybe roman blinds??
That might be better in here.....
Things will have real places to go and then in a month or two....I will clean out the closet....
In any case, stay tuned......

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Nancy's No Good, Dirty Rotten, Very Bad Day

Well, the day started loudly at 2 AM, with the sound of a rocket getting ready to blast off ....
It was coming from the water closet, just outside our bedroom!
The hot water heater was starting to fill the closet and threatening the wood floors below.
Now, in our sleep filled stupor, we must have been funny, kinda running around...."what do we do?"...
Hubby told me to get towels...which I did and stopped the flood...sort of...it was still going.
Then, he thought he'd turn off the power....all of it. Then we couldn't see...or get internet or phone calls.....
Meanwhile....I was asking the stupid SIRI for emergency plumbers....yeah, she's no good for that either.....
Then, he realized...shut off the water...which he did...and then what....
He called our friend down the street....who, happened to be awake (he goes into his shop early)...
He came down, helped shut it down.
Do you know what to do in an emergency with your hot water heater???
There was not electricity to the hot water heater....so that went back on.
Water was shut-off....and Gas was shut-off and...and this is BIG...we left a faucet on in the guest bathroom...the hot water one....this kept the pressure off of the tank...which stopped the water!
Yes, the water was shut off, but there was still at least 40 gallons of water left in that tank....
So, by leaving the faucet on, it helped keep that water in the tank...
Yeah, it sounds backwards, but when I turned it in the off position (habit) water came out of the tank again.
So.....do you know your emergency procedures?? When you are awakened at 2 in the morning....and haven't "practiced" it....maybe not.
Anyway.....
In the morning, we called our contractor, hoping he would help us out. He said he couldn't...totally booked....but he recommended...get a tankless....and make sure it's Noritiz.
Ok then.
We went to the internet and looked up plumbers who deal in tankless. It is important that they be trained in and know tankless....
So we came up with several...but one stood out. So Cal Tankless. Their YELP pages were glowing and what stood out was they come prepared to put it in! None of that "we'll have to order that and come back tomorrow stuff" (you ever hear that??)
Anyway, they said they were on a job until 12:30 and would call when they were leaving and would be here about 1:30 or so, they called at 1:30 as they were running late....closer to 2. 2 came and so did they!
Nicest young men, neat, clean and ready to do what needed to be done.
Now, for the last 25  1/2 years I have wanted to move the hot water heater and if this was the time....yay.....
But....it was gonna cost about $3,000 more to move it to the garage...which they could easily do...but if we moved it it also meant they couldn't do it then as it required extending water lines in the attic, electric lines through the attic and gas lines as well....
Hum
So I asked, is this safer water wise than the tank?? Yes, yes, it is. If it fails, it has a computerized shutoff....and there is a catch basin we attach...some water might leak, but not much. It isn't 50 gallons of water .....
Putting it in the garage would be best (or outside), but this is safe enough and ready to go as the hot water heater has been here for 56 years.
So, because putting a tankless was going to be double what a tank is....I did the math, and against what I have always said....it went back in the closet....yes, yes it did.
Long story...long day....
This is SoCal Tankless's truck...it is a workshop on wheels...
 They set up a small shop in the hall....
 They drained the tank with their hose....thank goodness it's only 25 feet to a drain outside....
 Here is the "old" 50 gallon tank. Know what? It was only 2 1/2 years old!
 This is the 56 year old exhaust pipe that came with the house....yeah, no one else ever changed it!
This shows you the cupboard....pretty darn wet in there...it will take weeks to dry....



And this is the new Noritiz tankless water heater...can we hear Angels singing??
It has gas, water and electricity....
Yes, he walked me through what to do should it ever need to be shut off.....
So Cal Tankless also likes to come out once a year and service it by running a cleaner through it (like you do for a coffee maker and new model washers)...I'm used to plumbers putting in the hot water heater and then leaving....forever....
And, when the cupboard is dry...I can store some stuff in there...though I'm not sure what I'd store in there....

Well, after a day of it....it's different. It will take some getting used to. It does take a bit, only a bit longer to get warm water. But once its' there....it's there as long as you need. I feel safer somehow, even though it's in the cupboard where I swore I'd never put water heaters again. Well, definitely not a tank water heater.
As for the terrible no good day?
Besides the hot water heater, our daughter's car got a window smashed by hoodlums (nothing stolen), Hubby had to go to the tax man (bad in itself) then came out and his battery was dead...had to buy a new one (thank goodness for AAA). And we are all fighting a terrible respiratory something or other....
Tomorrow is Easter...it will be better.
On the other hand...I have to say....
The water never got to our wood floors....
Our daughter got a hold of insurance and its being taken care of....
Hubby got the new battery....but it held him up for a while....who knows, maybe he was protected from some awful traffic something or other.....
And all in all, we were all safe at the end of the day and had hot water to boot.
I wish you and yours a safe and Happy Easter!!
Nancy

Friday, March 25, 2016

The Almost Finished Baby Shower Quilt

So, I spent all day yesterday getting the little quilt ready to quilt and then quilting it.
I had a good time. I ended up treating each square differently....
The patches of fabric with no writing got a general meandering quilting. The written/drawn squares got some quilting because one wouldn't want them to fall apart...so I ended up quilting around most written words to bring them up to focus and to secure them. The pictures I quilted around them to raise and highlight them....
The backing fabric is a darling ocean print....and it goes nicely with the new baby's room.




I think it turned out pretty sweet, what do you think?? A memento of a special day and special people!
I will try and get it bound today, but it may have to wait for next week....
Have a Happy Easter.
Nancy


Monday, March 21, 2016

The Baby Shower

So, my daughters and I with their good friend's Mother, threw a baby shower for their friend.
We started planning before Christmas!
Saturday was the day......
Each person had a component they were responsible for, so it made it go smoothly. It was one of those baby showers that had the "guys" come after the girls had their time.....so it was an all day affair.
One of the things we did was seen on Pinterest....have everyone write something on blocks of fabric and turn it into a quilt. Bet you can guess who is responsible for putting together said quilt.....ya, me.
So, I ordered months ago permanent fabric pens so everyone could make pictures or what have you.
These are the pens I ordered...designed for fabric, you let them dry and set with a dry iron ...simple!

I also ordered Bella Solids in white from Amazon.....
What started off being kinda  slow ended up being one of the most popular parts of the party...even the guys got into it! We ended up with some very creative and colorful artwork...some of which will be treasured for years!
I had cut some squares of fish and sea fabric to go with the theme, so yesterday I pieced it all together. The only thing I didn't tell anyone, was be sure to leave 1/4" or more around the edge for piecing...so some names and pictures are in the seam.....
 Here I am laying out the squares....Hubby and I had to make a couple extra squares...just a couple though....aren't they cute??
Here it is on the ironing board, there is a lot going on in the quilt what with the squares I had cut and all the squares that were made. On retrospect, when I planned it in my head I should have maybe had solids instead, but I didn't. So, what I am going to do is get some solid fabric and create a border to frame it instead. It will give the eye a place to rest and that should do the trick. I hope. I also ordered in advance a backing, but I will see if I use it....it is also "under the sea" themed. The whole shower and the baby's room is "Finding Nemo" which is actually a thing for themes....However, it is almost impossible to find fabric...I ordered some from Ebay for the quilt I made for her....
Yeah, you heard that right....she will get two quilts...
I think this one might be a favorite....it would be great with all its colors for baby....
Isn't that idea of writing on the squares cute??
Just thought I'd share it with you ...in case any of you have showers....
It could even be used at a Bridal shower....
Have a great day....
Nancy

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Dreamin.....

So, I am planning and dreaming....anyone else out there doing that??
Yeah, to start, I am planning on working on the craft room. I have a real need there....I need to get rid of the old bed that is in there. I haven't had anyone use it in years. What I really need there is a table, one that I can use to cut on and sort of layout on. I know I can't do much in there, but it would be awesome to be able to use the Accuquilt in the craft room (don't know why it's called the Craft Room all I do in there is quilt)....but it would save some wear and tear. It doesn't have to be big, but I can dream, right??

Alas, I am not a techie, I am not able to copy and paste some of the ideas I have.....
And, the ones I like a lot, are antique....can't do that...
So, I am thinking, once the bed is gone....I might get a bed from Ikea...and make it "old"...or make one from pipes and boards....

Anyone else out there done something similar?? or dreaming??

Please pipe in and give me ideas.....

Nancy

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Making Sauerkraut

Ok, I know what you are thinking. Just buy the stuff...right. No, you are thinking, why??
Well, recently, I've learned that fermented foods are very good for you, if they are done in an old fashioned manner.  You see, many of us have issues with our digestion....and a great deal of that has to do with limited probiotics in our systems.
Fermented foods carry a number of good for you strains of bacteria that you need for ultimate health.
Just look at different sites online and you will see, I am not crazy.
Besides, raw fermented kraut is just plain yummy!
We joined a group, Fermentation Farm, and have been learning about this kind of fermentation.
So, Hubby and I decided to jump on the bandwagon and learn....
The classes offered aren't until April, so we ordered some beginner kits online and followed a recipe and you know what....it isn't that hard...
We will see if we succeed...but here is what we have....so far.
Here I am shredding the cabbage. The setting for this blade is a bit too small I think, but it will do this time. Next time, I will use the food processor, or just chop it by hand. Word to the wise, be sure to use that plastic handle thingy....I found out the hard way....shredded part of my thumb.....

 Some of our supplies came from Ferment Tools online...a good source....
 I ordered two glass weights to hold down the cabbage under the brine.....
 Here are the two quart jars....you can see the weight in the jar. Also note, that there are two different air gap thingys, one is from Ferment Tools, one is from a vendor on Etsy.......
So, in about a week we will taste test, but it can take over 10 days depending on temps in the room etc....A cool dark place would be best....Since we aren't hot yet, I have now covered them with a towel to block light...which would make them not work....
I will keep ya posted.
What's next on the fermenting list?? Kombucha!
Have you heard of it??
Well, we are on board with that too....that in itself gives you many probiotics just in a glass full....and it sort of tastes like soda....basically it is soda, but natural....
Have a great day!!
Nancy

Monday, March 7, 2016

Newest Baby Quilt

We have a nephew, who's wife is pregnant with a son, after having had girls...they are thrilled.
It gave me an excuse to create!
So, I saw a design on Pinterest. I had Hubby print it for me and I created a large star from it...Then, I got to create with quilting, my favorite.....
Here is what I did. I found a quilting design on Pinterest, had Hubby print that too. He blew it up and I traced the pattern onto the fabric with a fabric pen (erasable with water).
What I got was a pattern to follow and adapt....
 This is the center of the quilt...I copied a feathered heart motif onto the center and stitched it....Remember, I do not have a Long Arm Quilting machine, just a home sewing machine, and I am no expert....but I think with free motion I did pretty darn good. Then, with the seam lines around I did freehand feathers...But, It was still missing something...just didn't know what I wanted to do.....
 I took the same motif, and switched it a bit so the name of the baby sat inside.....
 After, I did the feathered heart around the baby's name,(which is in the bottom corner) I went back and did "pebbles" around the blank area of the heart between the feathers in the center....now it makes it look more complete! And I got to practice another technique.....
In each corner of the quilt, I did a little feathered heart, and then filled the empty area with meandering quilting....it just makes it more finished.

 I used the walking foot to stitch in the ditch and create the lines of quilting....

The navy blue print got meandering quilting also...I wasn't happy with the walking foot and the way it was moving the fabric....so then I went back to just free motion...You can see here the "shells" that I created....they look more like feathers actually here, which is fine ...adds to the "feather" look.
Here is the finished quilt...the binding is on, just not finished yet...
I think it looks pretty cool and you can see more....how the feather quilting looks....I think, for a home machine in free motion, its pretty good...Hopefully our nephew will appreciate it.....
Nancy