Wednesday, March 30, 2011

It's curtains for me

So that aforementioned sewing bug? I've got it bad. In two weeks I've sewed curtains for five windows, a dog bed, a new bag and checkbook cover for myself, and three-quarters of a patched pillow front. Is this what they call nesting?

I think perhaps.

My craft room is really starting to come together.

Well, sort of. Somehow the curtains seem like a really big important step in the right direction. Even though they aren't hemmed yet. Ahem.

But, look, there's furniture in there! And some of it is even staying. (The fold-out couch will eventually live in the laundry room, making it part laundry room, part guest room.) I'm really looking forward to getting everything set up in here.

And also... I haven't hung curtain rods on these windows yet, so I draped these curtains over the closet doors just to get the pleasant effect of this pretty fabric in this pretty room.

Me likee. This weekend, this floor is getting stripped. I am going to continue to sew pillows and curtains and gentle, delicate things, while the reality of the new house continues to be anything but gentle and delicate.

But, oh. SOON. Soon. That is the word of the season. Closer, and soon. These are the words that define Spring 2011.

Closer. SOON.

Monday, March 28, 2011


The wainscoting has been painted.

The wainscoting has been caulked (every crack) and painted again.

The laundry room ceiling is done.

The hummus has been eaten.

The brand new washer and dryer have been delivered. For now, they live in our garage.

Two floors have been sanded.

One floor has been stripped (because it was covered with adhesive, which was gumming the sander).

The tired muscles have been soaked.

Hoo-wee. What a weekend.

Friday, March 25, 2011

You've Come a Long Way, Baby: Yard

A view of our new house, past and present. A reminder of how far we've come, and a morale-booster for the upcoming weekend of work.

We can't congratulate ourselves for this "you've come a long way." It was all the sun's doing.

But, oh my, look.

Before I know it I'll be out hanging clothes on the line, digging irises, sitting out on a summer evening and enjoying the balmy air. Sigh.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

A bed for Diesel

I had to take a break from my stack this week and sew something fun. Not that curtains aren't fun... well, the product is a lot more fun than the process, you know what I'm sayin'? I'm happiest when my sewing is partly about the creative process, not just the end result. So, I made this. As you can see, it's a bed for Diesel. He approves.

It's basically a big envelope-backed pillow with an extra piece of fabric sewn in on two sides-- a sort of semi-attached blanket for our extremely short-haired, nearly-always-shivering dog who loves to burrow. I stuffed it, for now, with a couple of folded wool blankets, but I think I may swap those out for a squishy comforter--the ruffly, pink one I grew up with-- for something a little more, well, squishy.

I'd originally planned to make some sort of stuffed cushion to fit inside the bed. I even bought cedar shavings for the purpose. And then I thought: no. Better to make the whole thing machine-washable. A long, steady agitation in the washer will handle the dog-stink. A long, steady tumble in the dryer will handle the dog-hair. That sounds just right.


1 large corduroy slipcover, bought at Salvation Army's half price day: $2
1 fat quarter Heather Ross doggy print fabric (LOVE!): $4
Stuffins: free

So pleased. Now, to make the slow and probably difficult transition from a dog who sleeps on the couch (and our bed) to a dog who sleeps on his bed. Hmm. What do they say about old dogs?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Keeping tabs

This is my work log. It's getting full.

It's getting full, and I'm getting ready to take this great empty shell of a house and make it home.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Open to possibilities

I don't know about you-all, but having that extra hour of daylight this weekend was wonderful. Regardless of the weather, daylight savings just makes everything feel so open and airy. Life seems open to possibilities, again, for the first time since fall.

Friday evening, I stood beaming and brimming in the driveway as Patrick left for a gig. Brimming with gratitude. The snow cover was finally gone, it was sixty-five degrees, and I spent a totally ecstatic half-hour walking around with my camera, gaping.

Some things I remember from last summer-- the blueberry bushes, for example-- and some things hold a full measure of mystery in each tightly sheathed bud.

I opened all the doors, and let the evening's warm air chase away the pent-up paint fumes.

And I made sure I got a real good, true-to-life, naturally-lit shot of my flower wall. I didn't make much progress on it this weekend, but that's okay. I did other things.

I spent Friday night in the stairwell, priming wainscoting and taping off trim. And smiling like a goofball.

Let the resurrection begin!

(Oh, and the shower curtain? Our house is short one door, and a shower curtain does a surprisingly good job of holding in heat, when the rest of the house is 48 degrees and you want to spend the afternoon unpacking boxes in your craft room.)

Saturday morning, Patrick and I tag-teamed the stairwell. What a lot of wall!

The color we chose is one I've had a little crush on for a few months-- Behr Baked Brie. I sure am glad we bought two gallons, because this was the scene after one coat.

Amazing, isn't it, how you can totally tell the upper stairwell was blue, and the lower stairwell was orange?

After a second coat (which I executed by myself, Sunday morning) things were looking much better.

Yes. And, I must say, my honey did a really kick-ass job patching that drywall. Oh, my goodness. Remember what it looked like before? Now, you can barely see the patch where Patrick married two pieces of drywall of different thicknesses with a whole lot of patient bracing and patching and scraping and sanding. I think he's worked on that gap part of every weekend for the past month. And now it's done.

I love how it looks with the white trim and dark doorknobs. So understated and classed-up.

Touch-ups are going to happen next weekend, along with (hopefully) at least a first coat of paint on the wainscoting.

Patrick's job of the day was some sanding in preparation for floor refinishing. It took him the entire day-- a solid five hours -- to finish one room, so the project is going to be a long time in the making. Anyone want to meet us in Gilbertsville next weekend for a "fun" day of sanding? No? Shucks.

I also slapped a second coat of paint on the laundry room.

We caught this paint on sale. It's FreshAir Tranquil Pond, which used to be carried by Home Depot. When they discontinued the line, they were selling gallons for $10 apiece. We jumped on that.

Here's the other side of the room.

Next Friday, our brand new stackable washer and dryer are being delivered. Originally, we thought we'd just employ the washer and dryer that came with the house--they're in fine shape, but unfortunately of the space-hogging, non-stackable variety. Once installed, our new stacked set will live just to the left of the cabinets here.

We did quite a bit of legwork trying to find the best deal on new appliances. We knew this was the time of year to shop-- actually, President's Day weekend, appliances were marked down everywhere we looked-- but it took awhile for the prices to come down to our level. As in, we just aren't the type to be enticed by ten or fifteen percent off. We wanted the big, fat, juicy discount, baby, and we were prepared to schmooze, canoodle, counter-offer, gently persuade, reason, remind, and research to that end. Eventually, though, the interwebs gave us what we were looking for. Viva la interwebs!

Daylight savings time, a freshly painted stairwell, a freshly painted laundry room, and a new washer and dryer to anticipate. Life is pretty okay. We're going to get through this, and it's going to be awesome.

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