Saturday, July 25, 2009

Remodeling the Living Room

Adrienne is getting married in a little over a month so we thought that it would be the perfect time to tear apart our living room!

Our house is a bi-level: when you walk in the front door you can go down 6 steps to the kitchen, family room, bedroom, laundry room and a full bathroom.  Or you can go up 6 stairs to the living room, three bedrooms and another  full bath.  We live mostly downstairs and there is no basement, only a crawlspace so the living room has really become a storage area.

For the last month, I tried to get rid of and organize lots of STUFF.  Many things have gone into my spare bedroom, my sewing room (gasp!) and the garage (husband gasps!).

And this is what the living room looks like now:DSC00950

This shows part of the cabinet/book shelf that was built into the front wall.  We have never liked it (we have lived here 30 years) and now it is gone!


There are hardwood floors under the lovely orange carpeting (also here over 30 years).  So the carpeting is also going soon.  We had some leaking before the roof was replaced so we are hoping the damage is minimal and we can have the floors repaired and refinished.

DSC00948 This picture shows how the room is divided.  The back area (to the left) is where the computer is and also and a patio door leading out to our upper deck.  We are thinking about putting in interior French doors, but that is not definite. (The box on the coffee table is our new hall light)

DSC00949  Colors I was considering.  We are going with the color on the right (Mossy) which is a shade lighter than the sage.


Here is the exciting part (at least to me!).  The stairs and railing are being replaced wood!  Yay!! The hand railing, newel and bottom rails will be oak and the balustrades will be painted white.  We are getting all new wood trim (including crown for the top of the walls) and painting that white as well. Todd, who is doing the work says he will work very hard to get it done before the wedding.

And then after the wedding I will tackle the spare bedroom where I am hoping to put (I hope, I hope!) a quilt frame and sewing machine for machine quilting. Think happy thoughts!!

Friday, July 24, 2009


My kitchen, which is small, only has room for an 18” dishwasher. It has not worked well in the past few months but I have not pushed for it to be repaired or replaced because most of the time my husband and I are the only ones at home.  Lately I have been using it as an extra cupboard.  On the top I have my paper goods (foil, wraps, etc).  On the bottom I keep towels, washcloths and the cat:


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Date Night

Some of you may have noticed the Harry Potter counter on the side of my blog. I am a HUGE fan of the books. I have read all the books and listen to the books on CD frequently. (If you like Harry Potter you owe it to yourself to listen to at one of the books. Jim Dale does a phenomenal job of reading them!) I am now looking for and reading critical essays on the stories as well.

Yesterday, my husband and I went out to dinner and then went to see the latest installment, "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince". As a fan, I would not mind if the movie was 4 hours long; this movie packed lots into its 2 1/2 hours. Over all, I think the movie was well done. The producers,etc. took a lot of liberties with the story and in doing so some of the scenes were heavy handed in their exposition. A couple of scenes were fabricated just for the movie, while, in my opinion, some important scenes were left out. That being said, I will watch it again and will put the movie on my Christmas List! (My family hates it when the ABC Family channel runs its Harry Potter weekends-I watch it every time!)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Fabric Folding Tutorial

Michelle, in a comment on my blog, asked how I fold my material.  So I thought I would do a tutorial.

I went on a fat quarter buying binge over several years and have hundreds of fat quarters.  I use comic book boards that I bought locally. (Note: the price has gone up considerably at this site-I think I only paid $5.99/100 for mine) They are acid free.  The size I use are 6 3/4” x 10 1/2”.


1. Start by laying the cardboard on the fabric so that the long side of the board is laying parallel to the 18” side of the fabric:


2.  Fold the fabric below the cardboard UP:


3.  Fold the sides IN.  At this point, I press the fabric some with my hands:


4.  Starting at the bottom, fold the fabric around the cardboard:      


5.  I then fold in the edges like and envelope and then pin the fabric to secure.  A note here: I make sure to use stainless steel pins although I don’t plan to let the fabric or the pins get wet.  If you live in an area with super high humidity take this into consideration. 


And you are done!


I have used this technique for larger pieces of fabric but I normally don’t use it for pieces over one yard.  The piece below is about 3/4 of a yard.  I started by folding it in half to 22” and folded it the same way:  (In the picture, the selvedge is to the left and the fold of the fabric is to the right)


DSC00919 DSC00920 DSC00921 DSC00922 DSC00923 DSC00924

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Friday, July 10, 2009

Another Winner!

Tonight I asked Lauren (my youngest) to pick a number between one and four.  She picked…three! So the winner of the cross stitch pattern is Renee G! Congratulations Renee.  Send me your info and I will get it out into the mail for you.

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Three Projects, Two Bad Ideas, and One Dress for Ruthie

This week I tried making a few things that have been on my mind lately. With mixed results.

The first thing I tried was covering a little box that brought some goodies in the mail.  It was one of those foldable boxes that just looks cute.  Wouldn’t it look cute covered in fabric?  How hard could it be?

I’ve said before I am not crafty and this box is a perfect example.  Covering a box is hard.  Making it look good is near impossible.  Those of you that can do it are to be congratulated:


Spots where I over-ironed the fusible and the glue seepage are more noticeable in real life.

The next day I decided to recreate a gift that I sent out to a swap partner. I made a folder to hold a note pad and markers to keep when inspiration strikes.  When I made Jennie’s, I measured, made tissue pattern pieces and marked everything.  It turned out well (i.e., she like it).  Well, I figured, I made it once, I can just whip it up, right?

Wrong: It looks lumpy, the fabric is gross (why did I pick these colors?), the spots for the markers were too big and I forgot to put a closure on it.  So I found bigger markers and put a velcro closure on it:

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It will be OK for my purse…

Today, I looked at my American Girl Doll and I realized she was still wearing an outfit from winter.  She was very sad:


So I made her a dress for summer.  I also changed her under garments (!) and did her hair.  Now she is happy again:

DSC00908 And so am I!

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I recently participated in a Friends Swap.  My swap partner and I exchanged gifts that related to the letters in the word “friends”.

My package from Jennie arrived today and all I can say is WOW!  Everything is just wonderful. First of all, the package was perfectly neat:


I wish that I could pack so nicely.  I took everything out and put them in a row so I could open them in order.

F is for fabric- I mean fabulous fabric!! I love it!!


R is for recycle.  Look at these cute shopping bags Jennie made.  I can fit them right into my purse.


I is for incredibly funny.  She sent me Mark Lipinski’s latest magazine.  (I sent her a magazine too.  Great minds think alike!)


E is for embroidery.  New needles, thread and scissors.  Excellent! (Notice my use of alliteration)

N is for notecards.  Did I mention that Jennie also does paper crafts?  I may have to frame one for my sewing room:


D is for delicious.  Chocolate, of course!


S is for scarf.  I wish that computers had feel-o-vision because this scarf (oh-Jennie made this also) feels gorgeous!! It is bamboo yarn but it feels like silk.  The note says that I can wear it during our “chilly upstate NY summer evenings”.  Considering that we have barely had summer here (it has rained 25/30 days so far), she is right on the mark!


The box is cute too!

Jennie- thank you so much for the wonderful gifts.  The thought and care you put into each one really shows.  I was very lucky to get you as a partner.  I will enjoy each and every one of my gifts!

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Wednesday, July 8, 2009

This and That

For the last few days I really have not done any machine sewing.  I have worked on my EPP hexagons and my cross stitch but I have not been in the mood to “sew” sew.

When I get into these moods I like to just work in my sewing room: cleaning of tabletops, putting fabric away and reorganizing overflowing areas.  Here is a little show and tell:


This is my scrap basket.  Anything too small or odd shaped to fold gets thrown in on the basket.  I think it is time to sort through and get it somewhat under control.  I may cut it into 2 1/2” strips and 5” squares to start.  I guess I have a topic for my “What I Did On My Summer Vacation” theme.

About a month ago, I ordered some linen from Japan though Etsy:


I really love it.  The solid I bought in NY last year.  I think I am going to make some fabric boxes for my sewing room.  I wish I could find some nice linen locally.

Yesterday, I went to my LQS to match a fabric for my hexies.  I found exactly what I wanted!!  I was so excited, I bought this:


Right now I am planning a log cabin and using this fabric for the dark and some of my off white fabrics for the lights.

Last year I re-organized my sewing room and I am happy to say that I have been keeping it up.  I have added new fabrics and I am really running out of room but so far it is still working:



But here is the scary part.  Most of my fabric is wrapped onto comic book cards so that they stack nicely and are easy to pull out of stash.  I have gone through 400 so far and as you can see, not all my fabric is wrapped.  That means I have more that 400 pieces of fabric!!

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Tuesday, July 7, 2009

New Purse and Shoes

Some of you may remember that my oldest daughter, Adrienne is getting married at the end of August.  Katie and I have been shopping a few times to find me a dress.  I had bought an outfit for Katie’s wedding that I never wore.  I had thought about wearing that but it needed some alterations.

Well, Friday I went out by myself determined to buy a dress and I did! I won’t post a picture yet but the dress is blue with a glittery, silver and blue jacket.  I bought this purse to match:


I then started looking for shoes.  I have big feet (size 9.5) AND bunions so I thought this might take a while.  As a lark I went on to look at their shoes.  Besides having lots and lots of shoes, they offer free, fast shipping (both ways).  And surprise! I found a pair that I like.  I ordered them Friday night and they got here yesterday (Monday):


I love them! I know the shiny part looks gold but it really is silver.  And they are pretty comfortable.  I had to order a size 10 (reviews said that they run a half size small) and they have a 2” (!) heel but I wore them yesterday for about an hour and my feet didn’t hurt.  I plan to wear them daily until the wedding.

So if you have some time, check out Zappos.  I have bought shoes from them a couple of times and have not been disappointed. (BTW, I am not affiliated with them-I just like shoes!)

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Monday, July 6, 2009

Jane A. Stickle Quilt and A Give Away

No, I am not giving away a quilt!! I wish I could!

Several of you out in blogland are making, or completed, a version of the Jane A. Stickle quilt first recreated by Brenda Papadakis:


In fact, in this month’s Fabric Trends magazine there is a gorgeous version created in batiks and black by quilters in NY City.

Now, there is no way that I will ever make this quilt.  I think that is is beautiful and  I would love to have one but I know my limits.  I have several projects going at once because I get bored quickly am easily inspired by new ideas all around me.  However I did find a version of the quilt that I think I can complete.  It is a counted cross stitch version designed by Linda Meyers:


So far I have done this much:


I am working on 16 count aida cloth (I don’t do linen) and the needle on the side will give you an idea how big each block is.  The finished size will be about 12 “ square.

When I got the pattern I also picked up this one:


I will never make it so I have decided to have a give away.  Just comment on this post and I will draw a winner Friday night at 10 p.m. (EST).  One entry per person please! Thanks and good luck!