Archive for January, 2012

New Year Crafting

January 26, 2012

Now that my sewing room is back in order, I’ve gathered all the craft bags that had been stashed away in the bedroom prior to the construction and brought them back into the sewing room. Most of the bags hold wannabe projects. (When I come across an item that I would like to make, I gather up the yarn and put it, along with the directions, into a bag and it becomes a wannabe project.)

Actually, I was surprised that only about half the bags I brought back into the sewing room were UFO’s. That was a pleasant surprise — until I cleaned out from under the bed the other day so I could vacuum, and pulled out many, many more bags which also contain UFO’s!

With bags of UFO’s all over the daybed, I decided that I would finish one before I started a new wannabe project. Hey, I thought, why don’t I make this my mission this year. That is, finish at least one UFO before I start a new project — which I would then finish before moving on to more UFO’s and another new project. Well, we’ll see how that works out, especially since we all know that I have that disease, Startitis!

This day is Jan. 19th, and I’m proud to announce that I’ve finished four UFO’s and a new project!! So far, so good! Only 346 days to go in this new year!

These projects should be classified as WIPs (works in progress) because they were started last year just before our construction mess and Christmas. So, technically, they just had to be put away until I had time to finish them. But they’re done now!

The stocking was started to give to my sis with her gift inside. I had issues with it so it didn’t get done in time to give away. However, I have a head-start on next Christmas, right?

The brown item in the middle is a cover for a Kindle which will also go into the gifts for Christmas 2012. At lunch with my dear friend Carolyn yesterday, I showed this to her and she said that it looked like an owl. Well, by golly, I think she’s right. I hadn’t even noticed that!

The green neck warmer I made for myself. The store I work in gets really cold sometimes, and it’s surprising how much warmer I can be with something around my neck. I like it so much, that I’ve already found some more yarn to make another one. It’s been put into a wannabe bag.

This one was started last Summer or late Spring.

Our bathroom used to be decorated in outhouses when we first moved into our second mobile home in ’85. I bought this kit sometime around that time. (Yes, I hang onto stuff!) All the rest of my outhouses are in a box in the attic. Maybe I’ll bring them down and decorate this bathroom with them. Hmmmmm. . . . .

This baby afghan is the new project I started (and finished).

Michael’s had their big balls of yarn on sale. In fact, ALL the stores are having their yarns on sale and I’ve been fighting with myself not to buy any. So I figured that if I allow myself to buy a little, maybe I’ll get it out of my system so I don’t go “hog-wild” buying yarn. (I’ve been known to go “hog-wild”!)

I bought the yarn, came home, and started this baby afghan. I was just finishing up the outhouse, so the crocheting gave me a little break from the cross-stitching. This afghan turned out pretty nice, so it’ll go into the Fair in the CMN section and be given to a new mother for her baby. Even as I was crocheting it, I was wondering what little baby would be snuggled up in this afghan one of these days. Awwwwwww, what a nice thought.

There’s another UFO cross-stitch project that I started again last night. This one is several years old and it’s about time it got finished! More about this one later. . . . .

My Aunt Leona

January 15, 2012

One of my life idols was my Aunt Leona. She was born in 1901 and died in 2001. In fact, she died the day after her 100th birthday.

She was a simple woman, but seemed to be happy with her life. She was a teacher for several years after graduating high school. In fact, she taught in a one-room schoolhouse and a couple of her students were her sisters — my mom and another aunt.

She met and married her one and only husband, Paul, when she was 25 years old. They were married for five years when he caught pneumonia and died at the age of 30. They were the same age; born in the same year, just a few months apart. They never had any children and she never married again.

Paul’s parents were “rich” if that’s what you want to call it when someone owned many, many acres of land. They were farmers, lived in the country, and lived off their land. I wish I knew more about my aunt’s in-laws. I remember Leona’s mother-in-law. She lived “up the hill” from Leona’s house and we would go with Leona when she went to visit with “Ms Acuff” as Leona called her.

When Paul and Leona got married, his parents gave them many acres of land as a wedding gift. They acquired milking cows also, but I’m not sure how they came to have them. All I remember is that my aunt milked cows two times every day for as long as I can remember until she was in her 70’s.

My Grandma, my mom and Leona’s mother, came to live with Leona. I’m not sure of the circumstances that lead her to live there, but that’s the only place I ever remembered my Grandma living.

They always had a huge garden every year, canned much of it, and gave away the rest of what they didn’t eat. Nothing went to waste.

My aunt Leona raised turkeys from hatchlings every year for many years also. I remember going out to the outhouse which was located in the middle of the pen where the turkeys were kept and hollering, “gobble, gobble, gobble” at the top of my voice just to get them all to “gobble” for me. It was such fun! Then we’d run through the bunch of them and watch them scatter!

I’ve heard rumors that she at one time had hogs or pigs as well. But this is only a rumor because I can’t remember seeing them on her farm.

This lady was a hard worker! She could haul hay, milk cows, traipse through the woods looking for lost calves, work in the garden, repair the outbuildings, doctor the animals, and I could go on and on, as good as any man. She did all this through the coldest winters and hottest summers.

She put on a dress and went to church a couple of times a week, and did her paperwork and needlework in the evenings. What a lady! Can you see why she is one of my idols?

Yes, she did needlework. She used to knit, (which I didn’t know until much later) and made some beautiful doilies, which I’m honored and proud to own a couple now. She also crocheted and TATTED! When we went to “prayer meetin'” on Wed. nights at church, the ladies would sit in a circle after the meeting and visit and do their handwork. All the kids would be outside chasing each other and playing but I would be sitting at my aunt’s feet watching her fingers run that shuttle back and forth so fast it was a blur.

Finally one day I asked her if she would teach me to tat. She didn’t take me seriously, but after I bugged and bugged her about it, she took me to town and bought me a shuttle of my very own. She said, “This shuttle is expensive and if I buy this for you, then you have to learn to tat and not give up.” I promised her that I would.

If you’ve read my blog for a while now, you might recall my story of how I would take the shuttle with me to the barn to watch her milk cows and work on my tatting. Going through her things after she passed away, we came across an old tin that had tatting thread, pieces of work, and a shuttle or two in it. Some of this thread and tatted pieces were so dirty, I’m thinking that she must have saved my earliest pieces and these must be the ones I did!

It seems that she loved doing the tatting more than any other type of handwork. As she got older and arthritis came to visit her fingers, she had to advance to a larger shuttle and bigger thread.

My sis and I got her interested in putting her tatting in the local fair to see if she could win ribbons. And she sure did! Not just blue ribbons, but Champion ribbons as well! She sold several of her big doilies for over a hundred dollars each. She tatted up until a year or so of her death.

This project is one that I’ve been putting together and working on for several years. It’s finally finished and is now hanging in my new sewing room. It’s a tribute to my Aunt Leona — my “other mom”.

WARNING! Long Blog Ahead! (a little ranting as well)

January 12, 2012

This blog will probably be very long. It’s time to update to the present time, and there’s LOTS to write about. I know you all have been on the edge of your seat waiting for the results of the sewing nook. 🙂 Well, here it is!

If you just want to skip all the dramatics and get to the bottom line, then you won’t hurt my feelings if you scroll through all of this and get to the last picture. But I’ll try to be brief with the text and include a lot of pics.

Back to the point where I was in shock because of the “nook” not being “right”. The constructions guys came the next day and got all the siding up.

The electrician came that day also, and put in two outlets on either side of the room.

The next day, 12/9, Jim came out to take the “blankets” off the patio and sidewalk.

LOVE my little sidewalk out to my little shop out back!

The roofing guys came and finished the roof. I’m not sure what this finish is, but they say it won’t leak. It’s some kind of rubber top.

A little break from construction. . . . . . .

We had another birthday. This is our oldest Grandson. He turned 21 this year! It’s still hard to believe even after we’ve let it wrap around our brain all this time. What young man wouldn’t love a plate of brownies,

and money, of course!

Our son had a birthday on the same day, but he lives in KC so he just got a card and check sent to him. I forgot to mail it though, so it was a few days late.

OK, back to construction.

Back in Sept., I was planning our Christmas party for Dec. 17th, which would work out better for everyone. So when we decided on this construction, I told George, the owner of the company, that I wanted it done by the 16th because we would be having company for Christmas and since this was our guest room, we would have to have it done by then. His response? “No problem!”

Wellllll, we had a problem! It wasn’t going to be done by then. In fact, on 12/13 the guys came to insulate and put up the drywall.

The next day, they came to do the mudding. THIS was supposed to be done in two days!?!

The guy’s son worked on this ALL day. It looked really nice, but boy howdy, he sure was slow!

I had to tear back some of the wall paper so they would have enough room to “patch” the mud into the new wall.

On 12/15, the gutter guys came to put up the soffit and guttering. They asked me if I wanted it blue to match the rest of the house or white to match the sunroom. I told them blue because it’s part of the house. DUH! I went shopping while they worked. When I got home, I found out that they had used white! Why did they even ask me if they were going to use white all along? They even already had it in their trailer!

The drywall guys came back to finish and finesse the mudding on the 15th.

They said they would be back the next morning to texture the ceiling, sand the mudding and clean up. No, that wouldn’t do. Our guests were coming that evening! My plans had to change regarding over-night guests, so the two little boys would be sleeping on their foam chair/beds on the floor in the room. I didn’t want plaster dust filling the air. I told them that they would have to come back Mon. to finish. No, they assured me that they would be able to get it sanded and clean up without making a big dust mess. Why do they even talk to me when they’ve made up their minds to do what they want anyway!!!!

Needless to say, my stress level has been rising constantly every day. WHY did we start this project in the Fall when we had similar problems last year with this same company? WHY did they wait so long to start this project in the first place? WHY are they insisting on working on this when they know I’m trying to get ready for a party? WHY? WHY? WHY?

My breaking point was at the breaking point! So unlike me, I yelled at the poor guy. I let it all out — even the fact that they didn’t build the little extension the way it was supposed to be, etc. etc. etc. The poor guy was looking at me like I was having a complete break-down right then and there. I really felt bad later, but on the other hand, surprisingly better!

Sorry, I guess I still get a little stressed when I think about it. The wounds are still fresh and tender.

George called me later to tell me that he was going to send his daughter over about 5:30 the next evening to clean the room, mop the floor, etc. so we would be able to use it. First I thought, “but that’s when our company will be getting here.” But I thanked him and told him that I would appreciate it. (At this point, I was grateful for any help I could get.) He said “That’s ok, I want to help you — you’re a good customer.” I had to laugh at the “you’re a good customer” part. It didn’t sound all that sincere. The drywall guy probably told him about my “blow up”.

The next morning, bright and early, the father and son were here again to finish. The dad got the ceiling done. He said he would try to match the existing ceiling texture as best as he could. Wow! It was awesome!

It looks dark in places because it was still wet. But after it dried, it looked just like the old ceiling.

The daughter didn’t get here until 6:30. Luckily, the son and family decided to stop for supper, so they were a little late getting here. I was in the middle of baking pumpkin pies. Meanwhile, George’s daughter broke a light bulb out of the ceiling fixture when she was trying to clean it. We had another bulb. Hubby had to use a pair of pliers to get the old one out of the socket. She left about an hour later, just minutes before the kids arrived.

We had a good day for our Christmas party. It was beautiful weather and everyone seemed to have a great time. Three members of our family didn’t get to be here. We missed them terribly! I took lots of pics, but I’ll only put a few on here. . . . .

The next day, the guests had to leave. Grandma gets hugs and Grandpa gets handshakes.

Back to the construction . . . .

We were responsible for the floor. George told us that we needed to have the flooring ready by the 19th. So we bought it but the estimates we got to install it were way out of line we thought. I’d put the flooring down in the sunroom several years ago. Since Christmas was pretty much over for us, I told Hubby that I would attempt to put the flooring down. When George found out that I would be doing it, he called a guy he knows and the guy gave us an estimate way within reason.

Now, another WHY. We were wondering why this guy was so much cheaper than the other estimates we got. Here’s my opinion. We were reaching the deadline for the construction according to the contract. I think George thought that it would probably take me a long time to get the flooring down and they wouldn’t be able to get the trim done in time for the deadline. So he either paid the difference to his guy or promised him more jobs, or something. That’s ok. It worked out pretty good for us! 🙂

So Mon. morning, 12/19, he shows up and works all day. It looked great!

George came about half-way through the job and talked to Hubby about the trim. NOW GET THIS! He said that he would have to order the trim and it wouldn’t be ready until the middle of the next week! Hubby told him that it didn’t have to exactly match, that we could use some left-over trim from the bedroom construction, that we just wanted to get it done. But George started to argue with him that “it just wouldn’t look right, etc.” This time Hubby lost it. He “yelled” (I can’t imagine my Hubby yelling at anyone), and told him that this was our house, our money, and we just wanted this project to be done!!

George called later and told Hubby that he “found” a place here in town that would make our trim to match and it could be ready tomorrow! Another WHY. Why didn’t he have this trim already “ordered” and waiting for us when we were ready for it? Why didn’t he know about this place before now? How long has he been in this business?

The flooring guy came the next day and put on the trim. He had to do a little jog where the walls didn’t quite meet. (Another “oops” done by the concrete guy.)

This finishes the work by the construction company. We paid the flooring guy his money and, per George, gave him the final check for George as well. George didn’t want to come around here anymore, I’m guessing. Another WHY! 🙂 (I think I know the answer to that one!)

Hopefully this guy is out of our lives forever!

Now the work starts for me. Yea!!!

The next week was a blur. I would walk in the sewing room and just stare at the hole — kind of numb remembering all the hassles we had to go through, and it didn’t even turn out the way I’d been dreaming of it for ten years or so.

Sis and I went out to see our other sister who’s in a nursing home now. She was pleasantly surprised to see us.

Christmas Day came. We went over to visit Hubby’s dad. Hubby’s sister was there and later his uncle showed up.

We had a nice visit. His dad has trouble bending so he showed us his contraption for putting on his socks.

He’s quite the inventor!

Finally on the 29th, I made myself start painting on the extension. The wallpaper I had put on the walls when we first moved here is pink and blue. It’s still in pretty good condition so I wanted to leave it and go with these colors. So I picked a pretty pink to paint the walls. It matches some of the pink in the wallpaper. It’s a little brighter than I’d thought it would be. But pretty! I like pink! And since this is MY sewing nook, I get to have the color of my choice, right? It looks pinker because of the paper on the floor.

There’s a lot of work to be done so I’m not going to let myself get stressed out about it. I decided to take my time. Maybe I’ll get used to the way it looks — off-center! (Sorry, I need to put my big girl panties on and get over this!)

Grandson #4 wasn’t here with us for our Christmas party, but he came down to spend Christmas break with his dad and brother. We decided to have another party in his honor on the 30th. I’d spent the day making chili and potato soup in crockpots and more goodies to munch on.

I found the neatest recipe for fudge. REALLY easy and fast! And good! Use a container of frosting and a 12 oz. pkg. of chocolate chips, (I used chocolate frosting and milk chocolate chips) melt them in a bowl in the microwave, stir them until smooth, (then I added walnuts) and smooth into an 8 x 8 pan. Stick in the fridge until firm and enjoy! Try it, you’ll like it!

After we stuffed our faces with all kinds of good stuff, we watched M. open his gifts.

Then we played some games.

We had fun! Those guys are awesome!

Parties over, painting done, New Year here, time to work on this room and get it finished! The next step was to put up the wallpaper where it had been taken down. Since I knew I would be needing it again, I hung on to the left-over paper all these years. There was just enough to do the two partial walls and the top of the extension.

The next day, I trimmed the wallpaper around the opening and put up the wallpaper trim next to the ceiling. (Just barely had enough! Whew!) (The blue tape was holding down what had been pulled up and it was curled. It came off the next day and looks great now!) OK, I’m starting to get really excited about this room!

The rest of the floor trim and the trim around the doors had been left unpainted all this time. So I started moving things into the “nook” so I could get to the trim to paint it all white to match the “nook”. Yes, that’s material all over the floor. I was moving the shelves of fabric when I took this pic. I LOVE the moving and organizing part!

The next couple of days I was busy painting and moving stuff. The painting is finally finished and it’s beginning to look pretty neat! I found some curtains that are striped white and pink. Perfect! Hubby helped me put up the mini-blinds.

Here’s a view from “the nook. . . . .

and from the doorway. . . .

I have a lot of “stuff”. It took several days to get all my “pretties” on the walls. My thimble collection. . . .

My cats and mice. . . .

and all the rest. . . .

I like my knitting chair. . . .

My sis gave this to me for Christmas. How appropriate for my new sewing room! It’s 3-D because her bonnet and booty is stuffed and stick out. How cute! I love it!

It’s now finished and I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it!

Here’s the “before” pics. . . . .

Yep, definitely better!

Happy New Year to one and all!

January 1, 2012

Wow! It’s 2012! Where did 2011 go? It’s hard for me to believe that it’s been a whole year since we celebrated the new year. Time just needs to slow down!

Resolutions? Well, it’s hard for me to make resolutions. (And keep them! :)) I’m a pretty organized person, so I don’t need to make that popular resolution. I could lose a little weight (about five pounds), but I don’t really need to make that one either. I work on the floor at Wally World so I get a LOT of exercise at work, so that would be a wasted resolution as well.

But getting caught up on my UFO projects? NOW we have a winner! Yes, this is definitely my weakness! My UFO’s change shape, become different materials, and get done eventually. But in the meantime, more UFO’s appear from nowhere to occupy my space.

It would be interesting to go through all of my projects again to see what’s not there and what replaced them during this last year. (Wait. How can I see what’s not there? Well, you know what I mean.) It would take me a week to go through them. But I will. Because I’m a gluten for punishment. Because I like to be organized. Because a lot of these UFO’s are projects that I really would like to have done.

If ONLY I could leave new projects alone! But I can’t. I have a disease. It’s called “start-itis” and it’s incurable. So I have to live with it. Forever.

So when a New Year starts? I’ll have the same resolution again. To finish my UFO’s! Oh, will it ever end? (Gosh, I hope not!)