Monday, June 29, 2015

Fixing the lights in the master shower

O.K. this spray paint project might just blow your mind.

I couldn't believe what a difference it made.

This is part of the lighting in our master bath.



Heat lamp in front and light directly over the shower farther back
Those bezels are supposed to be white.
And yes, I am in the process of painting our bathroom also.
I lost steam for that project temporarily.



This is a combination heat lamp-exhaust fan.
We tried looking for something to replace it, albeit not very hard, but we couldn't find anything similar.
And besides, it does work.
It just looks NASTY.

Heat degrades plastic, plain and simple.

So after our fireplace project I looked to see if Rustoleum had their High Heat paint in white and Hallelujah! they did.

So I took this nasty cover off, which just meant unhinging a couple springs, cleaned it up good and gave it about 3 coats of paint.



So, so, so much better!



But then it makes the back bezel look bad.
Took that down too and after cleaning that all off sprayed it.



O.K. that's better.
Much cleaner and newer looking.

I'm motivated to take down more recessed lighting and spray paint them white.

This is one of the easiest projects I've done and talk about bang for your buck!

A couple more paint projects coming up in the following days.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Fireplace Redo

This is the first of a couple projects I've done recently using Rustoleum High Heat Spray Paint.

Originally I went looking for some flat black paint to redo this chandelier in our house that I am going to change from the brown Tuscan look to black and clear glass. And I am also going to move it from over the dining room table.  Too many of us have hit out heads.  I just feel it is too big for right there.



I still haven't done that project, but I found the black flat paint!

Anyway, back to what I did do.



Here's the fireplace when we bought the house.
Fine.
Nothing too crazy awesome or horrible, but that brown paint HAS to go!



In the process of painting and random mantel display as I was unpacking boxes.
Not bad for having no real plan in mind.



Here we are with all the painting complete and the fireplace actually painted.
If you go back to the top I spray painted the brass slats on the fireplace itself to black.
The fireplace face all comes off easy.
I did two coats to make sure it was all covered.
I also cleaned the glass.
What a huge difference that made.
Without the brass we all like it better.

The mantel is sort of put back together now (not in this picture), but we are waiting on a deer mount to be finished to hang right there in its place of honor.  Can't wait to see it all done!

Notes:

Monday, June 22, 2015

Madisson's T-shirt Quilt

Although our niece Madisson received a graduation quilt from Emily last year, she also wanted a t-shirt quilt made of all her cross-county shirts.  Emily and I put together the layout on our February sewing retreat earlier this year. With such wild colored shirts two heads were definitely better than one when trying to figure out how to "coordinate" them all.  Emily had it quilted, brought it to our parents' 50th weekend and I put on the binding quick so we could give it to Madisson for an early b-day present (also thanks to her parents).

She was excited to finally get it.










Notes:
  • Cute orange dotted Swiss for the binding.
  • Black and white polka dot backing.
  • Grey Kona for sashing.
  • Lots of crazy running shirts. She had to pick out her favorites and some were left behind because of space and design.
  • My oldest daughter's t-shirt quilt for another idea.
  • Quilted by Lynn Peterson in a lovely loopy swirl pattern.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Omaha Quilt finished

Last weekend while we were in Nebraska I gave my nephew Josh his Omaha inspired quilt.

His 25th birthday is this week.  And unfortunately for him he graduated from high school a little before the time that we were into quilts.  So this'll make up for that.



At his parents' house for the big reveal.
"This feels soft and squishy."



Big smiles are always a good sign.



Lynn's quilting handiwork.






I'm now on somewhat of the lookout for another inspirational site to copy and make a quilt representation.  I actually saw a cool paved brick design at one of the local libraries. I might have to go take pics and see what I can come up with.

Details:

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

4 Pack of Snowballs Quilt Finished

We spent this past weekend in Nebraska to celebrate our parents' 50th wedding anniversary and while there I brought home 2 quilts I had sent out to Lynn to get quilted that Emily had brought with her.

This quilt was a fun one. It took me a long time from the time I actually bought the fabric, but I just love how it turned out. The layout has turned out to be one of my favorites.





I love how the backing came together and the binding is one of my favorites.  I've got extra of it!!







This quilt may head up to the master bedroom and be added to the rotation at the foot of our bed since hubby likes this one a lot.

Details:

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Omaha Inspired Nephew Quilt

Sometimes a project just takes you over.
It gets you so excited that you can't stop thinking about it.
This is one of those for me.

My nephew, Josh, is a huge architectural preservationist guy.
If you follow him on Instagram, @joshua_biggs, you will see all sorts of cool photos of buildings and building details that he finds in the Omaha, NE area.

A month or so ago he posted this picture from Midtown Omaha


credit

Our instagram convo went something like this.

Josh:  Now that's a wall! #midtownOmaha
Me: That's a quilt wall. #quiltwall
Josh: You are more than welcome to make me that quilt.
Me: That would be an AWESOME quilt for sure.

About a week or two later I was still thinking about this picture, wondering if I could pull this off, without a pattern.  His 25th birthday is coming up in June and after practicing a bit with some of my solid scraps I decided I was going to tackle this quilt wall.

This was going to be my Cherri House City Quilts or Urban Views inspired quilt design.

In progress

I didn't get the points all lined up and decided I didn't care.
This is what happens when you "wing it" on the pattern.
It still looks good and works for what I wanted.


3 columns down and 1 more to go.
Excuse the unpacking and disorganized mess in the background.
We're still working on what we are doing with the basement.

Quilt top done

My 14 yr. old son loves this design.
I am taking that as a good sign that my nephew will too.


And can I just tell you that our screen porch might be my new favorite place to take pictures.  Great natural light and no glare.  Plus there were already some nails in place to hang the quilt.  It was meant to be.

The quilt got sent off this week to Lynn to be quilted.  Emily is going to help with it too so we can get it to him in time for his birthday. All our siblings will be in NE the weekend before his birthday to celebrate early our parents 50th wedding anniversary.  Can't wait for the surprise!!

Notes:
  • I bought 1/3 yd. of various solids besides what I already had on hand.
  • I had about 18 different colors of fabric--2 shades of yellow, 2 greens, about 4 blues, a couple browns, orange, black, a couple brown shades, purple, some grey.  Pick whatever you'd like.
  • I was able to cut 8 triangles out of each 1/3 yd.
  • The triangles had a 5" base and were approximately 17 1/2" tall.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Quilt Barn Tour--Barn #1

One of the things I found here as we've moved is that we are now more rural than not. 
Moving from a city of 20K plus to a town with less than 8K is a change.
The local post office is completely closed during the lunch hour.
This reminds me of siesta time while I was living in Argentina.
The closest grocery store closes at 9 p.m. What?! Hello! 24/7 Cub Foods and Wal-Mart.
We are adjusting to the changes, and really most of them are just fine.


There are plenty of farms and farmland around as we drive between here and there.
A pleasant surprise has been to find these quilt barns in the area.


I finally stopped today and took pictures of this one. 
I drive past it every week.
It just might be my favorite.














I'll be photographing some of the others in my area as the weeks roll on.
They make me happy to look at them.


I wonder if it would be too goofy to hang one up on the empty side of my house facing the street?




Notes:
  • Barn Quilts of Carver County
  • A couple that I have seen nearby are not even on this list, including the one above.
  • This barn is located on the North side of Arboretum Blvd. West of the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum and East of Bavaria Rd. in Victoria, MN.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Regrading a small brick patio

One of hubby's first projects at this new house was to change this little landing area in the front of the house on the right.
It needed to be regraded so that the water didn't pool right there in the corner.
It bugged him.



It also didn't help that there were things growing there that shouldn't be.



So out all the brick came, pulled up the stickly things growing there, and then he added some more gravel stuff (yeah, that's my technical word for it) underneath to raise the grade and make it slope out to the walkway away from the house.

Once he did that then all the brick had to go back in.
We recruited the kids to put that puzzle back together.
Actually they had taken it out in an orderly fashion and knew right how to put it back.



They were good sports.  Although the boy teenager felt he would be most helpful by "directing" everyone else from a sitting position.  And my girls, as my sister-in-law pointed out, are wearing ballet flats to do landscape work.  Hmm...not the best footwear for this, but oh well, at least they helped.

Once they had it all back in place we added some more sand in between the grooves and we're set.
Now I get to decide what we'll do with that little space.
I'm not sure what is growing in my yard yet.
Hopefully there are some good plants and not just weeds.

Maybe I'll find a bench to place there.
Or add some potted plants.  Maybe tomatoes would grow nicely there.
Our youngest did move our dog Jasmine's memorial marker to that little rocky spot.
He wanted it front and center.



For now it can stay.



Any suggestions for what to do with this little patio space?

Thursday, April 30, 2015

First things first

While there are plenty of things I am excited about with this new house, the current paint colors are not one of them. #downwithbrown  Seriously, except for the master bedroom and bath, EVERY room in this house, on every level, is brown.  Brown.  Not tan or beige, BROWN.  Actually 3 different shades of brown. Slowly but surely I'll be working to change that.

But first things first.
I AM happy about having a white house, however, the front door wasn't that inviting.
It was just plain blah!
When we painted the front door on our previous house it made a huge difference to the feel of the house.
So painting the front door on this new house was one of my first priorities.

I don't think it had ever been changed from the original primed or whatever color.  The trim had been painted white and I did decide to leave that. But I wanted something fun and happy and welcoming. And I wanted it soon, even though there is still so much to do.



It was a toss up between a green or orange or blue.
Turquoise won out in the end.



Ignore the mess behind it and just notice the pretty door.
That mess is mostly gone now, but I wanted to paint and "accomplish" something while in the throes of unpacking and sorting things.

I LOVE this color and when, or if, we get tired of it we can just paint it again. Super easy!



Doesn't this look much more inviting?

Details:
  • Front door paint Glidden Exterior in Blue Sapphire--2 coats

Some changes

I'm working on some new posts as well as adjusting the look of the blog a bit.
Bear with me.
I'm trying.

Monday, April 6, 2015

New house craziness....

They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions....I've had plenty over the last 2 months trying to put some things down on this blog.

Really, my brain and my life couldn't handle anything else other than the move.


After spending the first week post closing "camping" at some friends so that our kids could finish the last week of the quarter, we are now in the new house.
It has been slightly over one full week.
We are so happy to be all together again.

My house is a mess...to be expected.
But, I love it.
My goal has been to go thru three boxes a day to get organized.
So far that is working for me.
But our college daughter is coming home this weekend for a week break from school and I'd like to have a little more done than I currently have.  We'll see.

The kids started their new schools this morning after having Spring Break this past week.
I was more emotional about that than I have E.V.E.R been in the last 13 years of sending kids to school every year.  I've always been that mom who consoled all the crying moms hanging outside the classroom, and then took off to go take myself out for a celebration moment. I'm chalking up this partial emotional meltdown to the craziness of our life over the last weeks.


I will try and get some house pics posted here over the next couple of days.  I've got painting projects lined up and am sorting thru fabric boxes.  There may be an Etsy sale in my future, because I feel borderline hoarder-ish as I look at all my stuff.  Until then, here is a pic I took last night as hubby and I were walking around the neighborhood.  A little full moon walk along the trails by the ponds.  Enjoy your week!




Wednesday, February 18, 2015

A dozen things I am excited about at the new house

Monday we got the gas hooked up to the new house and yesterday it was the water.
We had to de-winterize the house yesterday morning too in order to have our inspection later in the afternoon.  The inspection went well and only a few minor things to think about--mostly cosmetic.  Nothing that was a deal breaker.

We will have to undo all the utility hook-ups again later in the week or the first of next week since it is empty, only to start back up again permanently a month later.  HUD is a pain.

Whew!! This part has been a bit stressful.

But on the "fun" side of things we do have some things to look forward to.
After spending the majority of the day yesterday at the new house, I am getting excited about moving and the projects that I can do.

Here's my short list of things that make me happy about this house.
  1. Cute little front porch.
  2. Gas fireplace in living room.  We've never had one.
  3. Vaulted ceiling in living room. 15' high we figured at the top.
  4. Lots of windows for natural light.
  5. White cabinets in the kitchen.  This bypasses any argument discussion with hubby about painting oak--as you may remember he is a true WOOD guy.
  6. Kitchen island with more kitchen storage. It is about 69 x 35.
  7. Screen porch off the back deck that includes a light and ceiling fan.  I want to hang up this sign out there.  We already have a porch swing (that will get painted a fun bright color) that will go there too.
  8. Laundry on the main floor--and in a finished room too!
  9. Master bath is not a pass through for anything.  Yeah! no kids access to our bathroom.
  10. Regular height ceilings in the basement.  For us tall folk that is HUGE!
  11. More than one shower!!!
  12. Attached garage.
There will be lots of painting to do, eventually, in this house as the previous owner was obviously a big fan of the color brown.  I don't mind some brown--just not on every wall on the main floor.

In the meantime I am flying out to St.George, UT (via Vegas) tonight to hang with my sisters and my cousin for an extended girls weekend of sewing.  Can't wait!!!  It is -25 degrees or so with the windchill here in MN and about 70 degrees there.  Ahhhh!  It's going to be good.  

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

We have a House!

Well, it has taken some time and effort, but we finally have a house to move to, which is why I haven't posted lately.  My brain can really only handle so much.


We looked at this house the weekend of January 24th, which was the first weekend after we sold our house.  We hadn't been looking at all beforehand. When we got there our agent told us that they had accepted a bid on the house the day before. The selling agent hadn't bothered to let us know that little piece of information when we made our showing appointment.  RATS!!!  This was the one house I was excited to see out of all of them that day. We looked anyway, since we were there, and found that we liked the feel of this house better than the one we (or more specifically I) had been thinking about for months on end.

It is a foreclosure, through HUD, and so those bidding only had 48 hrs. to get all their paperwork in or the bid wouldn't be accepted.  So we just hoped (and maybe prayed too) that something would happen that it would be available in the following days, or that something else would come on the market that we would be happy to buy.

On the 30th this house showed back up on my email listings as active.  I got a hold of my agent and sure enough something on the buyer's end had fallen through and they were accepting new bids.  Only now it was at auction stage and we had to submit our bid by Sunday at midnight (Feb. 1).  We had no idea if anyone else was interested in the house or not.  We were told that there were a couple investors interested in the house.  Maybe that was just to get us to bid higher than the asking price, who knows, but it was slightly nerve-wracking to say the least.

We got our bid in on Saturday night and waited until Monday to hear back.  I must say I was just trying not to think about the house at all.  I didn't want to get excited about it and then end up spending an afternoon or evening crying about not getting it like I did with the previous house.  House #1, sold the week before we put our house back on the market.  It felt devastating to me.  Of course, I had been thinking about that house for months and comparing everything else we looked at to it.  This second house we had only been focusing on for a week.


Monday morning we got the word that they had accepted our bid!! and that we had until the next day to get all this HUD paperwork signed so it could be overnighted and if we didn't do it correctly they could just reject our bid and we'd have to start all over.  Talk about stress!!!

We got it all in on Tuesday and then Thursday I had to go re-sign some of the paperwork because apparently our blue ink wasn't blue enough for them and they wanted it redone.  No, seriously!  They requested we sign in blue ink, which we had, but they thought it was black and wanted us to redo it.  Honestly!  Our tax dollars hard at work.  Just shows another example of government redundancy and ridiculousness.  But hey, I drove down to the realtor's office and did it.

Our bid contract is all signed and completed and official now.
Relief!

We took our kids to see the house last Saturday for the first time (and actually only the second time for hubby and I).  We still love it!  Good thing, because nothing else has shown up for sale that interests us.  The kids were all excited and checked out their soon-to-be new rooms, etc.  We were able to talk with one of the neighbors, Tony, and he filled us in on all sorts of neighborhood info.

This house has been empty for 2 yrs.  Guy lost his job, found another one out of state, but was unable to sell the house and then just walked away and let the bank take over after a period of time.  Tony also says there has never been any water issues in this house (hallelujah!).  Considering our yard backs up to a pond, we were happy to hear about that.  Tony and another neighbor, Kevin, have been taking care of the yard during this time.  So it sounds to me like we've picked a helpful friendly neighborhood.

Next step is the inspection and if all continues to go well, we'll be moving in March right before Spring Break around here.  That will give our kids a week off in the new house to get used to everything before we start back at new schools.

I have to say after worrying for about a week after selling our house that we may end up "homeless", I am getting excited about our new adventure.  More to come in the following weeks.


Monday, January 26, 2015

New orchestra dress for the college girl

Our college daughter is certainly enjoying life on her own.
I knew she would.
It makes it so much easier than when I was a freshman in college (30 yrs ago) to have a cellphone and to be able to text whenever.  Her siblings love getting pics of her roommates and whatever other college life stuff she decides to send us.

She decided to continue with orchestra while in college and is involved with the University Orchestra at BYU-I. Although she tried out and didn't make it into the orchestra group above this one, I am so proud that she even tried out.  It was tough music and most of those kids in that orchestra are actual music majors.  She is not.  She was a bit upset about not getting in, but now that she has had a couple weeks under her belt she is happy with this orchestra group.  She is familiar in part with at least one of the pieces they will be presenting this semester and so that makes her happy.  Her best friend and roommate is also in the same orchestra group and so they are happy having at least one class together.

Now here enters the problem.
Her black orchestra dress is packed up here in MN.
We did that when she graduated last June and so it was one of the first things to go in the storage POD.
I have no clue which box it may be in.
I'm positive it is against the back wall of the POD somewhere.
We will not be digging it out.
She needs a black dress for their upcoming performance on February 11th.

I texted her (I'm new to texting and there are times I just love it) pics of a couple different pattern options for a new dress.  She picked one out and told me what adjustments she'd like and I found some fabric.

Then voila! I made a new dress.


It doesn't look like much just hanging there.


Her younger sister is modeling it for me.
She needs some pretty good heels in this picture so it won't be dragging the ground.
But since she is about 4 inches shorter than our oldest, it should be just about right.


Neckline detail


Sleeve hem and hem detail with double needle topstitching.
This sleeve hem looks a little crooked, but I assume it is because of the way I am holding it.

Another plus about this dress.  It had been folded up and ready to get sent when I realized I hadn't taken any pictures.  We pulled it out and my daughter put it on immediately--not a wrinkle in sight.

I love that kind of fabric.

Details:
  • 4 yds of jersey knit at $4.50/yd.
  • Lengthened dress to almost floor length--this equaled to about 13 additional inches.
  • 3/4 sleeves instead of full length.
  • Added ties to sides to adjust the waist fitting (similar to her HS orchestra dress)

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