Mar 27, 2012

Just a quick note

Hello everyone.  Nothing to show, no progress, no decisions. 

 Another very quick and unexpected death in our family of my cousin at the young age of 65.  If I'm not commenting on your wonderful blogs for a few days, I will eventually catch up.  Maybe by Sunday I will have Lucy progress to report.  Have a great week, talk to you soon.

Mar 24, 2012

How do you demand nicely?

Hello to all!  First off, I'm still at it, and it's a good thing linen is such a strong fiber.  It's been taped, pinned, stretched, pulled off, pressed, rolled, and pinched.   Your kind comments have used the word "creative" but I think it's more "restless"!  RFS.  Restless finish syndrome.
I wasted my time going to the antique place to pick up that box, because once the vendor heard that I wanted it, she brought it back in with a higher price tag.  I  didn't bring it home and will not buy from her again.
Then the contractor came for a look, and I was steaming when he left.  Not from a flash either.  Thank God I didn't have one while he was here or there would be a lawsuit for sure.  He was much shorter and thinner than I, and I know I could have taken him.  But he was so nice!!  So how do you nicely convey your demands to someone that is very pleasant and polite, when you want to rip his face off?  Not easy.  For me anyway.  But you can't burn bridges with contractors or no one will ever come out to do work.  A friend recommended this gentleman highly because he removed a load bearing stone wall with fireplace, moved everything that was within that wall, rebraced, and installed a new kitchen - whatever she wanted!  So I started the work list.  I said I wanted a smooth cooktop and a wall oven built in beneath it.  WHY?  It's cheaper to just get a regular stove.  I don't want a regular stove.  I want the door opening made wider with trim added.  WHY?  You're only gaining a few inches and you could buy plastic strips to put on edges instead of trim.  This 9" end cabinet needs removed for the wider opening with an end filler panel instead. That's a nice cabinet and you can't have just an end support there for the oven.   Isn't the oven supported by sitting on the cabinet and not HANGing on the side????  Technically yes.  Moving on, I want this base end cabinet 1 1/2" higher with a wood top, and the upper cabinet extending down to the wood to create the look of a hutch.  WHY?  You want as much counter space as you can get and all cabinets should be the same height.   You can't use wood for a counter top unless it's butcher block.  OK.  I want a cabinet built to accommodate the fridge so it looks like a large furniture piece.  REALLY?  I never saw that and don't think it will work.  I want this wall moved back to make this area larger for dining.  WHY?  It's a nice layout as is and you'll end up with a very small space there.  Have you ever heard of a hall, with a desk and computer?  Hey. If that's what you want.  The cabinet maker will ship the doors so the additional cabinets match but I need the cabinet boxes built.  I can't build the box. 
Here's what my hard-of-hearing husband heard loud and clear-
 I can build the box!!!  He's a contractor - why can't HE build the box!   I'm paying him.  He's not supposed to question my plan unless it's improper to code.  Don't question my style especially since you have NO idea of what colonial or shaker design entails.  Do not tell me what kind of stove I should purchase, or that something can't be done when I have an entire DVD of kitchen photos, and one state over there is a man named David T. Smith that does this!!!  He took down a stone fireplace load bearing wall for my friend but THIS can't be done????
And believe me when I say that I sanitized the language for you.
 I will start calling a few others and see what they say.   There is a custom cabinetry business out of town that is extremely pricey, and the last time we spoke, he didn't get it either.  Maybe I will take the DVD with me, and see if he would consider putting me into bankruptcy, or if the job is too small for them.  I'm done and I'm sorry for the ranting.  I thought if I wrote it out it would help let it go. 
I'm afraid to pick up Lucy right now because I have had more errors on her than any other piece and that includes that little BBD bird from hell.  I had to remove the first part of the last line of the verse and when I did, I used the blue that is charted.  Several times.  The eyelet is going very slowly. 
I would like to sit outside and rock away the anger, but someone else has that idea.  As I'm closing, the Flicker is drilling on the stainless steel chimney stack, vibrating in my head like a jackhammer.
Again, sorry for the rant!
Have a safe and enjoyable weekend.
Thank you for listening!

Mar 23, 2012

If you're running out of wall space...

check this out!!  Hello people.  I've been playing again.  When I was measuring the Hinckley/Bliss small samplers for mounting, the numbers sounded familiar. 

 Aha!  A real sampler box!  You know I couldn't stop there.  My favorite of all the other ways of displaying samplers is my sliding box.  LOVE.
So I continued....

I'm liking this.  Warning....this post may be photo heavy!
The nice thing about this?  My fabric is still intact, just folded back.  If I ever want to frame it, there is plenty to mount.  A good way to display your finishes that are out of sight, waiting for a frame!  The smaller Hinckley sampler also fit perfectly on the little 4" round box, but I'm tired of them.   So here we go..

I still have it in my head to try a tall glass cylinder with ornaments (or a single sampler), filled with dried fruits or greens for Christmas but this is a small jar from a candle.  We all know to slice the remaining wax and stick the entire jar in the freezer to make it easy to remove what's left.  I usually let it melt down and pour it out before freezing - pops out easier.  I love these jars with the lids.  Too short though, so I moved it to the outside of this one, and like it.  Again, extra fabric is pressed to the back.  This is easy for small projects, but my larger pieces waiting for a decision are pressed and draped across the back of a chair, hung over a basket, taped to a cupboard door.
I keep standing up, putting down, standing up, putting down, but I like how this injects stitched pieces that don't need to be put into something, hung, or lost in the display. 
 And can anyone tell me what this is?
It's scratchy and I found it with some wool.  I checked samplerfarmer's Webshots and saw her Pineberry Lane Wool finish and remembered that I have a little bag of raw wool. Now I know what to do with it!  She also finished the Catherine Metcalf sampler and in case you didn't see it on Pinterest, you can see it here.  I think I'm missing a lot by not viewing Pinterest but when I entered Catherine Metcalf, Metcalf sampler, samplerfarmer, yadda yadda, I got zippo.  I'll learn eventually but don't need to be engrossed in more photos until I get things completed around here.

I'm on my way to the local antique store for a box they are holding.  It's so ugly.  Brass straps, goofy legs, modern handles.  But I can see all that removed, holes filled, painted, distressed, possibly stenciled, little bun feet attached, and the solid cedar box will be a looker. 
Another beautiful day here, hope yours goes well, have a great weekend, thank you thank you for visiting!!

Mar 21, 2012

Decisions.....for now

Greetings to you all.  This weather has been so beautiful!  I've been busy planning but I did manage to get some X's in Lucy Redd.


The next part calls for a border and large alphabet in eyelet and I'm happy with my progress.  Well, I'm never really happy but you know what I mean.  I changed the verse color to a darker shade and the opposite side of this will be blue so it will be fine.  Many many errors have been made but this design hides them well, no need to remove.  I love the samplers I see on your blogs with vivid borders and motifs, pastels, lighter linens, all magnificent.  I study them and they fascinate me!  But I just can't bring myself to do something so .....formal?  Is that the word I'm searching for?  First off, I have always preferred marking samplers.  Why?  Not much to them, and throw in a house and I'm hooked.   The others, like the spectacular Ann Grant, aren't technically formal, but maybe not as naive.  And why is naive spelled that way?  It should be nieve shouldn't it?   Maybe my preference is more toward the darker linens and this is what's throwing me.  I can't imagine something like Ann Grant on a darker tone but maybe something in between like a golden tan?  Well Lucy is doing just fine and I'm enjoying her.  I think Lora Turner is vying for position with the Plantation for next project. 
And here's what I saw in the yard today - the Flicker.  This is the guy that has done the most damage to the house and take a look at that beak. 
And mama cat who is now named Missy having a stretch...
As for my kitchen, what a process.  I've tried using the primitive online programs for new layouts but until you go to a kitchen center it's hard to visualize the size.
This is the area that was going to be moved to the opposite wall and a doorway created, and the back side of it in the other room. 
By moving the door opening, I am creating a short wall with an opening and continuing into a long expanse. If I wanted to put a chair in front of that window, it would be in the way of entering the kitchen. 
 I planned to move the fridge to the sink wall and the space I have is the same as this photo....
but this fridge is the price of a used car and specifically made to be installed in a custom cabinet as shown here.  Way too much money for the look.  I could do the cabinet and add the doors to my current fridge, but I think it would overpower that area of my small kitchen unless I give up driving and purchase this fridge.  The other side would have been like this..

After much wasted time, I decided with all the things that need done to the house, and furniture and accessories I would like to purchase, the extra expense of moving the opening would be prohibitive.  So for now, I am keeping the layout, adding/changing some cupboards, splurging on a few rat tail hinges, getting a new cooktop and oven, and picking a new color.  
 I just wish I was able to make decisions and stick with them instead of this constant back and forth. 
Soapstone and wood will be the countertops with hopefully a stone or copper sink.  As my husband says - that's the plan TODAY.
Don't even get me started on the bath.

That's it!  I'm headed for the shower and then picking up the needle again.  Enjoy your week,
thank you for visiting!

Mar 17, 2012

Happy St Patrick's Day

Hiya!  The sun is shining and it will be so warm today that I plan on sitting in my swing most of the afternoon, graph paper in hand, planning the kitchen.   My hub is out fishing with my cousin and thrilled!  He loves to fish and this is the first time for 2012.  He was golfing twice this week.  He's getting close to retirement so I told him to start making more friends cause he ain't hanging around with me all day!! 

I got the Plantation Sampler from the wonderful Attic and couldn't wait to try some changes.  This beauty graced a friend's dining room wall which was a pale peach, and deep teal carpet.  Stunning.  Perfect.  I loved this sampler for years, but sold it once because I wasn't stitching much, bought it again when I visited her, sold it again a few years ago because I couldn't take the pink flowers.  How strange to love something, and then have it become almost offensive, and then love it again.  Pink.  I couldn't stand it for years after loving it my whole life.  Ch-ch-ch-changes!   Like the neon car that I made fun of at the dealership and then purchased two weeks later at my husband's lament.   So now it's Plantation Sampler Revisited.  The colors required are shown in the upper right of the first photo, and my choices are all the others.  I don't mind pastel as much as the brightness so I chose toned down shades, and I think it will be wonderful with these colors.  I could very well be wrong so I'll stitch the border first.  But let's face it...I could be loving pink in another month and it will be stitched as it should be.  At least until a sweat bomb.
And since it's the day of the green, I'll leave you with four green kitchens!!!

Now we're all probably green!
Have a great weekend, stay safe, and a big thank you to new followers and everyone else that continues to visit.  I've reached the 300 mark and thought I should do something but what???  I've given away everything I could think of including a gift certificate!  Aren't you tired of box giveaways????

Mar 15, 2012

Back to Lucy

Hi everyone.  I found Lucy and discovered several counting errors when starting the next row.  I had to tear out the dark blue horizontal border and some of the upper border also.  It all started with the I on the left edge.  In the cover photo, the bottom is three stitches wide, but on the actual chart it is five. 
I looked at the photo and unfortunately didn't catch the error until I started the vertical border and it was running into the design.  The good news - the right edge is irregular and you won't see the errors.  I won't tear out the whole line but may move a few items on the left.  
For now, I found a spot for the Overshot Heart.  The Craft Fuse is so stiff that it actually can stand on its point!  Love that stuff.  I plan on cutting a piece of tin to fit this sleeve board and nailing the edges, adding a candle holder on the little ledge.  I saw an old wood sconce made that way - the tin protecting the wood from the candle flame.

We ran into a snag on the kitchen project.  I have Schmidt cabinets and the center that carried them here, closed.  I need to order a few more so I wrote the company to find the nearest supplier.   More kitchen photos!!  These are from the Caromal Colours site showing the transformation on an oak kitchen.  This paint needs no priming and can be used on laminate cabinets too.  It's not the smooth glossy finish - more primitive, rough, aged, and needs sealed.  They also have another type that is smoother with a satin finish.
And this one shows how ordinary cabinets can be made to look like a furniture piece.  See the bottom toe kick recessed behind the bottom trim?  And the curved pieces connecting top cupboards to bottoms give the look of a hutch.  Add top moulding and you're done.  This was painted a different color than the peppercorn on the other cabinets.

And these are my brussel sprouts.  Not my favorite vegetable.  But cut them in half, put the cut side down on a non-stick cookie sheet in a 450 oven for 15-20 minutes and they brown beautifully.  Throw them in a pan with some golden raisins, a little chicken broth and these babies are good!  Sometimes I add a little sprinkle of sugar.  Of course I do.

I'm closing with this post from Sherry. She lists her favorite verse from samplers and I thought it was a great idea. Recently I read a verse that I loved, but can't remember the name, designer, or the verse!  I'm really hoping these statins are to blame and I read a current report about the new labels having to mention the fact that they CAN in fact cause a memory problem along with a high risk for developing diabetes. Of course, they say the benefits outweigh the risks.
Our weather has been wonderful and so warm.  My swings are hung and the brat cats think they're a jungle gym.  I remember writing about Lucy being too large and cumbersome to work on outside so it's been that long ago that I started her!   I do plan on a push to finish but may also start a small for outside stitching.
So have a wonderful weekend everyone, stay safe, and thank you for visiting with me!!

Mar 13, 2012

The BOAF boys

Hi all!!  One more to go - Gold Santa.   These designs call for white stitches of snow throughout the background which I left out - not sure if I will change my mind and add them.  Another great thing about the envelope method - I can easily open the pillow if I want to make a change.  What?  Me?  Change my mind?  I'll do the finishing when I have a few more pieces instead of pulling everything out for only one.  What a great job Carol did on her St. Patrick's Day finishes, and Irene on her Thistlewood project.  I plan on sticking with Lucy (as soon as I can find her) for a while.  I tried having several projects going at one time and it doesn't work for me.  I always pick the smallest and easiest which is why Lucy hasn't had much progress.  I'm anxious to get my Plantation Sampler and was thinking of starting that instead, or Margaret Logan, or Sally Fiske, or Rachel Hyde!  No.  I will stick with Lucy.
It's very warm here and will stay that way for a few days so I'm cleaning the garage today and meeting with contractors this week.  I just found out the cedar cost for the siding and my word!!!  We may end up with James Hardie boards.  I think they look great, but the house will have to have paint instead of the weathered look that we are used to.  Oh no.  I would have to pick a paint color, which isn't good, since I've been trying to do that for my interior for four years.  My husband will tell the painter - better start with just one gallon... she will have a flash and change her mind.  Count on it.  If you see her fanning herself, might as well just get down off the ladder, clean your brush, and close the paint can.

After putting the corn and bread out for the herd yesterday, we found that someone else enjoys a slice!  That's all for now.  Hope you have a great week!  Thank you for visiting and welcome to new followers!

Mar 11, 2012

Somebody..........stop me!

That's it.  I have a lot of work to do and contractors to line up and I'm screwing around with the computer.    I haven't even opened the box of my new one yet.  I'm done playing for a while, at least until I make some progress on Lucy or the house.  Better both!  I'm putting all the paint and boxes away.  There's one set left and if it doesn't sell I will change the labels!  There may be another one also - if I don't hear anything by Wednesday, it will list again.
Many of you emailed about the bat and I want to thank you for your concern, and post the outcome of the sad situation.  
  Unfortunately, he died by the time Mark got home.  He checked his nose and didn't see any white at all so I don't know what sent him out of hibernation.  He was the smallest we ever saw, only about 2 inches.  I wonder how many others in his colony are gone.   I wish they could hit on a remedy for this disease or the cause to prevent the decimation of a creature so necessary to the environment.
Hopefully I will have time tonight to check out all the blogs I'm missing.  My list has become so long that I can't even visit them all at one sitting!  Some iced tea, my bottle of Advil, and seeing how much others are accomplishing while I screw around with boxes, is on my agenda tonight.  Hope you've had a great weekend.
Thanks for visiting!

Mar 10, 2012

Thank you Faye!

Hi everyone.  Santa is coming along and I'm going through charts for another project.  I should concentrate on Lucy for a while before starting anything else and just may do that. 

 I mentioned that I was the lucky recipient of Faye's generosity.  And what a perfect win for me - I had this fabric and tried making a large sewing bag, burned it, but saved from the flames were the two strawberries that matched.  So I now have my bag in that fabric along with the berries!!  Thank you again Faye!  I'm thrilled!

Just a few other things. 
I went to my local antique store and purchased this bench with dried paint drips!  I can easily make these but even though I have a new and wonderful saw, I don't.  So I bought it instead.  A lot easier!  Not an antique, just beat up, and that's OK with me.  It will look great outside with pots on it this summer.
That made me happy, until I got home.  When backing into the garage I noticed a dark object on the front siding and thought it was a huge moth.  I went to check it out and found that it was a tiny bat, clinging to the siding upside down and not moving.  So I grabbed a box, gloves, and used a container to gently remove him from the siding, and emptied that into the box.  He was motionless and I'm sure very ill.  When he slid into the box he made a little squeak.  This stuff tears me up.  I can't stand for anything to suffer and I know most of you want nothing to do with saving a bat, but it's a creature and that's all that matters to me.  I believe we are judged by how we treat His creatures.  All of them.  I should have extra points for that *#%! woodpecker.  I called Mark to tell him and he said it probably has that white nose disease that is killing off the bat population.  A travesty to the ecosystem and nature.  They are awakened from hibernation and try to look for food.  It is too cold for them and they eventually die a slow death.  He's in his box in the garage and I have never been able to put an animal out of its misery, so I have to wait for Mark to come home.  He's not happy with me, but I took precautions and there was no way I could have been bitten, and I was afraid the brat cats would see him and start torturing him like they recently did to a poor chipmunk.  But he will have to end his suffering.
Moving on - my kitchen.  I obviously misled everyone about my cabinet painting.  They were painted a few years ago and the kitchen was never completely finished.  Now I will be picking another color and rearranging the cabinets and layout.  The stove area will be a different color and further out than the base cabinets, and the fridge will be behind a cabinet made to look like a cupboard, also a different color.  My husband is an oak lover and it was a process of gathering photos to show and kitchen showrooms that finally convinced him.  Now he agrees totally and sees that the darkness and especially the grain, cluttered the look in a small kitchen.  Much neater, cleaner, crisp, and soothing now.  Oak is a beautiful wood and unpainted kitchens are best sellers, but not for me. I wanted to show the difference painting made and how it saved me from considering $$$$$$ for a new kitchen.   Most older cabinets are worth the effort.   I'll leave you with a few more photos, the first is Bryce Ritter's. 

Last night we ate the final dozen of my sweet cottage cheese pierogis from the freezer.  No one around here carries dry cottage cheese anymore so I haven't made them and probably won't ever again.  I may try using the regular cottage cheese recipe as in the cheese blintzes but it won't be the same at all.  I finally found a fabulous dough recipe that includes sour cream and the pierogis were so much easier to wrap and pinch with it.   Beautiful satin dough!   Oh well.  I guess the sweet cheese crepes/blintzes will have to do. 
Mark will be home soon and I'm getting nervous about what will happen so I will close.
Enjoy your weekend everyone.  Thank you for visiting!

Mar 8, 2012

Paint transformation

Hello to all.  Between the boxes and my fumbling with needles because of my tingling arms, I haven't done much stitching. 

The BOAF Black Santa that I'm working on has been started over on another piece of linen.  That creep's head was a constant pain.  I have no idea what my problem was but there was error after error, even though I double checked my stitches, which threw everything else off.  It's just a freaking round face - what the heck was the problem???  So I grabbed another piece of linen and started over.  This time I made another face error but I just made the other cheek the same and it's good enough!  I decided to do all the buttons and extras so I can just speed along with the black coat.  I know.  Not a good idea.  

 And I finally snagged this chart - The Plantation Sampler!  It's one of the many that I sold years ago for 99¢, along with Hannah Lancaster and all of her friends.  I love it but just couldn't get past the pink flowers.  Easily remedied.  I'm changing them to a dark shade, something like 632 with the lighter parts a dusty shade of rust.  You can see Tanya's magnificent finish here.  I kept missing it on EBay and finally called The Attic in AZ and they came through for me once again!  It's mine!!   I will be listing And They Sinned along with Mary Slatter on EBay soon.  I know I will never do them - of course I said that about all the others I regret selling - but this time I'm sure - like I was then - when I was younger and knew it all - but I didn't realize how much more I would know as I aged grew older obtained my honorary degree as hormonal weisenheimer.

On to the paint.  A few shots of the little kitchen, but first the difference paint can make.  This is the original oak cabinet and the same cabinet with filler and paint.  I use Benjamin Moore's oil base because it is the best for self-leveling.  I had too much trouble with brush and roller strokes with acrylic.  These same cabinets were used throughout the bathrooms and here is one unfinished - and one painted.

I also like to finish off the bottoms.  Instead of the standard recessed toe kick, we cut 3/4" boards for a leg effect, attached to the outside of the cabinet, and added quarter round moulding to the top of the board for a finished appearance.  I plan on doing this to the kitchen cabinets once there are in place.  It's a small kitchen open to the family room with two walls having door openings so there isn't much I can do with it.   The room beyond used to be our garage but was turned into a little apartment for mom.  The cabinet alcove was for her dishes, coffee, and snacks.  Beyond that was her TV room and the bedroom/bath to the right which will stay as is, but the TV room wall and alcove will come down making the dining area much larger. 

The cooking area is changing.  It will either be floor to ceiling pantry storage, with the door opening and stove switched, or the stove area against the fridge wall, and just the cabinets and countertop moved up to the other side.  Either way, the door will be moved and the fridge wall will be flush with that opening.  Here's a few pics of kitchens that motivate me.
These two are from David T Smith. 

These are from Sunderland.

This last one is Kennebec.  I have been collecting kitchen and bath photos for several years and it's a good thing I don't have the room for some of these kitchens!  I really prefer the painted finishes and as much closed cabinetry as possible.  Behind most of these doors are refrigerators, ovens and dishwashers.
I'll probably be flooding posts with some of the pictures I've collected as I move along with redecorating.  I would love to list them all on Pinterest but I'm not sure of their origin and really don't understand all this copyright stuff.  How can all these copyrighted photos appear on Pinterest as long as credit is given?  I'm also afraid to go there for fear I will never return. 
I'm done.  I want to thank everyone for purchasing the boxes.  I sure hope you will like them.   I'll be showing off a win from Faye soon.  I can't believe it but I won one of her bags.  YAY!!  Until then, stay safe, be good, and thank you for visiting!!
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