Friday, October 30, 2015


I have been busy! Pecking away at house projects...I think I see a light at the end of this tunnel...

...then my husband mentions how close Christmas is getting...he knows I am dying to start my Christmas decorating. 

But first there is the season of autumn to consider...which is almost gone.

By the time I got around to making a couple of autumn was slim pickings at the craft stores. I had the grapevine wreath bases and the little "welcome" bucket in my stash. I didn't want a Halloween look...but something that would transition to Thanksgiving.

One wreath by the front door.

Another on a large blank wall on the front of the house. A good start...I will build on this foundation next year.

My handyman brought two pieces for me to finish up. A rack for keys and a coat rack. Both pieces are made from on large plank of reclaimed wood that was bought for our main flooring. We pulled this piece out of the pile because it was carved with "graffiti." Click on the photo and you can see a house and a scary face. The wood for our floors came from a barn in New York that was over 100 years old. 

I need to finish the wood with tung oil and stain the trim. 

And I guess I had better consider this a wedding anniversary present...because it was a pricey gift to myself...a new top for my cutting table. Here's just a look at a corner. It has a laminate top with a pattern called "slate." Love it. I will also need to stain the trim on this. So you know what I will be working on this weekend.

True confessions...I am an eBay junkie! My latest find were these adorable Malcom Moose cross stitch ornaments. There are several designs in the series.

I love designs with fun little details like these buttons...a cell phone and stethoscope.

There are also some Mandy Moose designs. 

HA! I'll get to those moose ornaments after I finish about 50 other ornament kits I have. Almost time to add the beads on this Scottish Santa.

At Breakfast Club yesterday...I worked on this project. "Nordic Gingerbread Advent Calendar." I just couldn't tackle the quilting project they were doing...very cute one but I haven't touched any of my sewing machines since the September Breakfast Club meeting.

And this is what I worked on at the September Breakfast own project. A kit I picked up on my travels around the Atlanta quilt shops. Layer cakes and strips of black and white fabrics. 

One of these days I will have to get around to telling you about my grizzly bear encounters last week. Not hurt at all but I am incredibly lucky!!!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

I'm Here!

Apparently I am in a time machine where I lose days. Still working on the quilting studio rehab so no completed photos to share just yet...I'm waiting for the final reveal...could still be several weeks. 

In the meantime...the snow melted and the moose have been visiting.
This is a corner of my house on the right...I came out of the garage and around this corner and spotted the one we call Great Scott. He let me drive by and get to my Jazzercise class.

I finished the final set of Nutcracker Santas: Denmark, Greece and Sweden.

There was some more household washing flashed a code that meant it had a drain blockage...not good! Instead of calling a repairman...I explored the option of fixing it myself. Every time I call a repairman it costs me at least $200. First...I unplugged the machine...very important when working around water. I removed the bottom front panel and spied what looked like a drain opening. The huge white knob was conveniently placed! My washer and dryer are on a raised, tiled platform. I had my bucket under the drain pipe which was good because when I opened it lots of water drained out...two buckets worth. 

And what was behind the white knob were two sheets that I recognized right away...despite their icky gray color. A dryer sheet and a color fast sheet. I have absolutely no idea how they were small enough to sneak their way into the washing machine drain.

If it happened once...I suppose it will happen again. But at least I know how to fix the problem.

And again...I spotted the moose on my way to Jazzercise...this time right by our mailbox.

I finally got my Nordic Christmas Tree Advent Calendar completed. I have not decided how I am actually going to hang this. In this photo I have it pinned to my design wall. The kit has 25 ornaments but only 24 spots for hanging them on the tree...hmmm. Trying to find a spot for #25.

The kit called for using red sequins with a bead to use as the hangars for the ornaments. That didn't seem like a good idea to me so I used tiny red buttons. 

McKinley is taking a lot of my time lately. Lots of teething going on which gets her chewing on everything...after lots of playing or a long walk...eventually I get a puppy nap time. Her head is resting on a stuffed dog that was the same size as her when I first got her. She is just shy of being 5 months old.

And once again...on my drive home from Jazzercise...I caught a moose crossing the road...

Here's the same photo cropped tighter. I always slow down when I see a cow this time of year because very often there is a bull in pursuit but that wasn't the case on this occasion.

And another pic of McKinley...she has discovered treasures in garbage cans...paper towels and kleenex are her favorites. Can't take my eyes of her when she is awake!

Hoping to get a quilt loaded on my frame. I don't currently have a cutting table so I might have to resort to using the floor to cut the batting to size...which will require putting Kinley outside and vacuuming first!

Friday, October 9, 2015

Everything but Quilting

No time for quilting...or any place to quilt. I decided five weeks ago to do a major overhaul on my studio space. Like all home improvement is much more time consuming than you anticipate! Most of my studio furniture was white...but white doesn't fit with our rustic home so I used an antique bronze spray paint to repaint all of my white basket carts. Then I followed up by painting all the white cabinets to a color that was supposed to match the antique bronze color...but once on the cabinets the paint looks more grey. It actually looks great with my tile floor so I'm happy. But...first I had to empty every basket and drawer for the painting. I have made good progress on "moving back" into my drawers...I really hope I finish at least that part of the project this weekend. 

 These six wire basket carts and four cabinet units will sit under a new table top for cutting. I am having my handyman make. It will have a Wilsonart laminate top...appropriately call "rustic slate."

If you know the book, "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie..."you know that one action inevitably leads to another situation. While cleaning up the sewing room I came across a box of old photos that need to be dealt with...mostly odd sizes like those packets of school photos, sports photos, etc....

The photo project has been sitting on my dining room table for almost two weeks now...I really need to spend some time on this too!!!!

And while running into a home improvement store to buy paint...I just had to take time to look at the latest Christmas light displays...I couldn't believe Eiffel Tower!!! I don't know why I hesitated but I really want it and I'm going back this weekend to get it! My husband doesn't understand but I think it would be just wonderful to see it twinkling in our snow covered yard this winter.

Back to work...there is a small room off my studio that my husband is going to claim for his office space. I suggested to actually make it look nice and have our handy man construct a wall unit and table. My handyman likes me to use blue table to layout what I envision on the walls so we are both very clear on the dimensions. It really helped my husband to visualize and make decisions. I also used chalk to write actual measurements and notes to remember to tell my handyman. The down side is I will have to stain and finish this cabinet...more work!!!

And I am asking my handyman to do one more major project for me...a deluxe ironing station combined with thread storage. I saw this photo on pinterest and was so thrilled...I need this!!! I made some changes in the design to suit me...can't wait. Again...another project for me because I will have to paint it before I can start using it. Not sure when my handyman will be able to get all these projects finished...soon I hope!

No quilting...but I have tried to at least spend a little time crafting. With so many brain cells spent making decisions about home projects I got stalled on my latest Bucilla project because I needed to figure out how I wanted to stuff this tree which is a wall hanging. Genius that I took me forever to think about using quilt batting. I had scraps of a polyester batting that looks like it will be perfect.

All sides pinned and ready to stitch together.

It is so relaxing to have a few cross stitch projects to work on that don't require any thinking,  This is the last set of three nutcracker international Santa's from the brochures I've been working from the last few months. The Swedish Santa just needs some final touches and the Denmark Santa is pretty close to the final stages, too.

I rolled out a new rug for the studio already...McKinley needed her space. We had a check up with the vet recently and she needed to increase her food intake...a little too thin!!! McKinley loves food so she loved that diagnosis! She is getting so tall...look at her long legs...she's like a little colt!

I need to mark it in her baby book...I think she actually understands at the age of four and half months, that potty should happen outside. She has finally started sitting by the door and waiting patiently. We are trying to teach her to ring potty bells that hang from the handle but we aren't quite there yet. But truly...I think she understands she should withhold from violating inside. I knew it would eventually happen!