Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Him vs Me

Not that productivity is a competition at all! In fact, we've been working together upstairs in that he tore everything up and last Sunday I cleaned it, LOL!! But since then, this is what we've been up to:

Upstairs, before you get to our coming-along bedroom, there is a nice little bookshelve/reading area. I have books and decorations up there and everything had gotten mighty dirty when we put up the outside wall of the bedroom so Sunday night I cleaned it. This is before, and then after. I'm pretty happy with after though the chair isn't staying (I have a nice arm chair awaiting reapholstering at Mom's) and it's being covered with destruction/construction dust again as I type this.

The next day, he laid pavers and count them--26--bags of white rock in front of his shed building. The shed honest to God had a 4 feet by 10 feet section of mud in front of it, every time it rained even the tiniest bit. He couldn't even get into it because the mud was so bad. We found these pavers at Knox Rail Salvage and laid them out (with me very neurotically overseeing the layout process) and then he and Artemas filled the inner area with rock, creating not only curb appeal but making the building functional once more no matter what the weather.

Then to one-up me just a little, he put in the new kitchen sink faucet we'd bought on Sunday. It's nothing really fancy, just a bigger arch and an "uber-sprayer" LoL! But I am so thrilled with it!

Monday we also purchased windows for the bedroom at the Rail Salvage place and ordered the rest of the supplies (sans drywall, next week!) for the new addition. Yesterday we got a call at quarter to 8 that the supplies were being delivered, which was a Godsend because they had told us they weren't sure they could make it by Wed (today) and we needed them ASAP but that also put us 3 hours late leaving the house for Dalton Georgia where we were going to purchase carpet. We ended up getting a nice berber carpet for the stairway for $5/yd and a nice regular carpet for our room (about 40 linear yards!) for $8/yd, plus the padding at half what it costs here in Knoxville so a long day but in no way a wasted trip! We'd left the kids at Mom's house and took Tony's truck with a borroned 14" trailer attached at the back.

This morning he begin cutting the hole in the roof, for the section we thought was coming out, that the new dormer-roof would attach on to. I took some before and then right after pics, of Tony cutting nice little neat holes in the roof. He said when our friend/contractor George came over, they began just bashing the roof out and it came down in a matter of minutes compaired to what he'd gotten done all day! I told him George is sort of goal driven and gets things done with the quickness, LOL! A male/contractor version of me that I can truly appreciate! ;-)

Today, I made Hannah another dress. Oh, I know. I said I was done, that she had enough dresses to get her through a week for this summer. But then I saw this so totally adorable mushroom fabric by Alexander Henry. I bought a 1/2yd of the mushroom fabric and a FQ of the gold fabric. I actually cut the mushroom to 14.5" by the width of the fabric (roughly 44") so this dress would be a little shorter than the others. I belive it falls to about her knees. I made it while she was napping and when she woke she carried it all over the house telling us about her "pretty dress!" I love the buttons, though the dress is crooked as everything in this pic.

I had to work in childcare at church tonight and when I left there was a nice little hold developing on the roof. In fact I took a pic from the yard of Tony sticking out of the roof, and then some pictures from the roof of the view standing up through the hole. See the pretty view?

This is what I came home to. Once George got here, apparently the "plan" changed to take-out-the-low-ceiling-and-"just"-do-vaulted-ceilings. Ei, plan 6.5. This is like the ever evolving remodling job. It started with simply moving the doorway back 3 feet and taking out the existing and un-needed 2nd closet. Then it morphed into take out the side wall and build a dormer roof over the eaves to make the room 8 feet wider. Now it's tear out the ceiling too. I am having a hard time staying off a panic attack. In fact, I had a small one complete with crying, at church in front of 5 strange children but it's okay, it only lasted about 2 minutes. I just needed some time to adjust. Honest. I'm good. It's gonna be great. In 2 weeks...

Saturday, March 20, 2010

National Quilting Day

Today, March 20th is National Quilting Day!
In honor of this momentous occasion I am running a FREE SHIPPING special on all quilts listed in my etsy shop! Now through Sunday night you any of the quilts I have listed will ship to you, or to a loved one, for free!

I have a recent new quilt listing, one I call "Eventually...Spring".
I also have recently listed a few new bags so be sure to check out the "Shop Home" link on my etsy page.
Tell your friends, and have a very happy National Quilting Day!!

Friday, March 19, 2010

A Long Day

Today started out with a quick trip to Oak Ridge, where we got pulled over by 2 K-9 cops who followed us for over a mile and then ticketted us for the window tint on my car being too dark. Their reason? After discovering me & Tony up front with 3 kids (in car seats and seat belts), they couldn't see into the car at all or tell how many people were in it. Maybe because the 3 in the back seat's heads don't come up ABOVE the back seat? And how is it I can see through my car, with all the windows up and read signs posted in buildings behind it but they couldn't? Whatever, I am paying the fine and not removing the tint I've had on the car for *2* years.

After that majorly crappy start we hit the butchers and spent $60 on about $100 worth of meat for our chest freezer. Pretty excited about it.

On the way home I talked Tony into running back out before work and renting me a tiller for the weekend since today & tomorrow were supposed to be beautiful and sunny. We have an old stump between our driveway & mailbox that had these scrub grass like bushes planted around it (like these trees in our side yard) and I wanted to dug a flower bed on each side of our porch across the front of the house.

It took me 4 hours to tear out the bushes around the stump, and then I still had to move pavers around another bush and plant bulbs and pansies I'd picked up in a quick run to Kmart. Artemas helped me by tilling in front of the porch because after Tony left I couldn't get the tiller to start. And then the tiller "broke." We have no idea what happened and since it's a rental, I am a little worried. Did I mention that Tony, who didn't really want to go get it today, ripped his fairly new and very good blue jeans taking it out of the truck? Well he did. Oops.

I alternated pansies with daffodil and tulip bulbs that may not come up this year because it may be too late for me to have planted them. I want to pick up some more pansies or maybe even some marrigolds or mums to plan to add more color. It's looking a little bare outthere.

Mom and the kids came over and played for a while, Betsy had her hair up in a curly little pony tail that was SO adorable!! They got some pictures of me sitting in the dirt, and who cares if I plant flowers with a serving spoon like a redneck? I forgot to buy a spade!

Hannah had fun dancing on the stump, Mr Strong aka Jeremiah helped me by picking up sticks and piling them up out by the curb for the city to remove. Mom and I made a big stack of the pavers out by the mailbox which I'm sure my maillady will LOVE. I wasn't about to carry them all around to the back yard to put with the other things Tony needs to take to the dump. They can sit there til Monday. All the little bush pieces you see on this tarp were around the stump. Incredible huh?

Now I am sore, sunburned, I have a wrist is hurting me so badly I think I may die but I am happy to have accomplished something that wasn't sweeping the floor, showering the kids or sewing. It was nice to get out there in the sun and do some manual labor to add to the curb appeal of the house! Tomorrow, I may try to tackle the hutch in the basement. :-D

Monday, March 15, 2010

Soooo crafty

I got 2 more dresses for Hannah made this morning and this evening. The last dress made was actually the first fabric I bought, LoL! The 2nd dress she liked so well she wore today to run errands. It was of course miserably cold outside today so she wore a white turtle neck and white leggings underneath and was very stylish.

Her favorite color is purple (I've probably mentioned that before though) so the final dress is a pretty little purple and blue floral pattern with metalic gold edges. I am in LOVE with the buttons!!! They are some of those 1860s repros buttons JoAnn's carries now and I originally bought them to use on a bag for my shop but I just had to put these special buttons on my special girl's pretty dress.

I also finished squaring pieces for my Weird & Ugly Fabric challenge quilt and sewed the first 3 rows together! Kickin' butt and takin' names today, I tell ya!

See yesterday's cheery dress here.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Another one bites the dust

And I do mean dust. LOTS and LOTS of dust!

While Tony was off day we (and I mean "he") pressed on with our demolition of the master bedroom upstairs. The weather is getting more pleasant (sort of), we have the money for the re-construction sitting in the bank, and he had time off so... another wall came down.

With the help of a sledge hammer, lots of muscle, Diantha, Dad, a shovel, and an old trashcan one long wall and part of the ceiling was torn out and toted outside to the back of Tony's truck where it will be hauled away to the dump!!

There is dust and dirt everywhere but we are one step closer to completion! You can see in the last pick the area behind where the wall was that will soon become just another area of the bedroom. The roof will come off and be moved up to a less sharp angle by way of a dormer, as well as some windows being added into the new wall that will go on the back of the house.

We're all tired now, Tony from banging on a concrete wall and me from cooking all day and keeping kids from going upstairs. Now we will shower and watch reruns of That 70s Show and all will be as it should. Life is good.

Instant Gratification Sewing

I am not a seamstress by any means. I've made the occasional item of clothing, but probably not very well. I quilt, that's my sewing. Usually straight lines, 1/4" seam allowance... I'm good with that. However I saw some fabric at JoAnn's a couple weeks ago that I (and Hannah) just loved and I thought would make her the cutest little summer dress. Then a few days ago I found some more, haha!

My family came over tonight. Tony was off and beating down a few more walls upstairs with a sledge hammer, Dad was off and came with them. Allen brought over his new girlfriend; it was a regular party! We made chili, devil's food cupcakes with fudge icing, apple pie and salsa. We ate...a lot.

My Mom is Madame Seamstress Extraordinaire, winner of awards, zen master of patience with curved seams that need snipping, maker of all my childhood play outfits. I said, Hey's about you help me cut out these 2 sundresses? Without a pattern, she laid my fabric (prewashed and ironed) on the table and cut out 2 bodices for dresses that fit Hannah perfectly. I was inspired and pulled 2 more fabrics out of my stash for the bodice and skirt for a 3rd dress.

It took me about a half hour, including having to rip out the final seam around the chest, to sew the first dress together!! Hem, buttons, buttonholes and everything! INSTANT gratification sewing for sure! Of course, sleepy and grumpy little girls don't make the best models but she told me her dress was pretty and so I'm leaving it at that for the night. I will work on one of the other 2 tomorrow, it's too late tonight and I am tired after all that cooking (and cleaning I did the last two days, which now has to be done again due to the removing of the wall about it later.)

Summer is on its way and my Hannah will be SO cute and very cool in the heat wearing her little sundress. I'm so proud of it!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Hannah's Sweater

This week I've finally finished Hannah's sweater! It's the one I'd been working on that I was designing as I went. I knit in the round, from the top down. Now that it's done, and a little large on her, I've discovered it will probably fit her better next year but she's wearing it anyway because she loves it.

I used 2.5 skeins of NaturallyCaron.Com's "Country" yarn, which you can get at Michael's and JoAnn's. It's a microfiber-acrylic/wool blend, which I wanted for the machine washability and so the slight wool content would help it block and hold it's shape.

I cast on 96 stitches. I have no idea how many I had when I put the sleeve stitches on waste yarn and continued in the round on the body. I do know that I got the chest and a sleeve from one skein, the other sleeve and the remaining solid part of the body out of the 2nd and started the 3rd for the lace around the bottom (as well as switching to a larger needle.)

The first time she wore it she broke an egg and rubbed it on it. Thank GOD it's washable!!

A Date with Jeremiah

Monday it was gorgeous here! Sunny and almost 70 degrees, a very welcome change from the cold and the rain we've been having. My Mother-in-Law called and said she wanted to take Hannah shopping, so Jeremiah and I got dressed up and went out to have us a "date."

First we drove over to the little park behind our house (in fact, in the picture he took of me swinging you can see the brick of our house behind me!). I took lots of pictures of my cheery little boy, who was SO thrilled to be out with me on a "date" he kept telling everyone he saw. I of course took some knitting with me (and a book, just in case) but spent my time following him around with the camera, take pictures and pushing swings. A much better use of my time for the moment!

We had an itinerary of park, ice cream, then Books a Million because they have an *awesome* Thomas the Tank Engine table covered with wooden train pieces and a nice little chair and footstool nearby for Mama to sit on while little boys play.

We always just get a Frosty from Wendy's or a "sundae" from McDonald's if we go out for ice cream at all so I thought it would be a nice treat to take him to a "real" ice cream parlor, Baskin Robbins. We got done at the park, drove to town and discovered a handwritten note on the door saying "Closed Due to Expected Bad Weather." In other words, the manager wanted to go fishing. Something that happens a lot here, but without the charm and sense of national tradition tradition places like Italy have.

Jeremiah opted to go straight to Books a Million where we played until Nana and Hannah showed up to meet us, then the 3 of us (Jeremiah, Hannah and I) headed off to Knoxville to a lovely Baskin Robbins which was open, where we got ice cream and ate it outside on the patio in the sun.

It was a beautiful, simple day and I was so happy to get to spend most of it with just my son. He was so thrilled to spend it with me too, saying we didn't get to do things together much since Hannah was born but then he was excited to have his baby sister back and share his trip for ice cream with her.