Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Calendar journal -- November

I used Sharpies to outline the squares and the pumpkins, and colored pencils to color everything in. The attempt to make the squares look transparent was inspired by TracyU's August and September layouts. I tried to make them look like vellum by coloring them in lighter. Next time I will try different colors instead ... and maybe paints instead of colored pencils. The pumpkins look too flat and boring. Oh, well, better luck next time LOL!

I left plenty of room for bits and pieces to add in, but then the month ended up being one of the worst ... my girls were sick quite a bit, back and forth, during the month, and dh even got sick with food poisoning one weekend ... ugh! And then towards the end, we were in a hurry to re-shingle the back half of the house and I actually spent a lot of time up on the roof (never would have dreamed of that!) What a month! So I never found much time to embellish ... I'm hoping December will be more laid back ... but with the holidays and all, ha! If I can just hang on until January ....

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Booking through Thursday 11/09/06

Booking Through Thursday
Mary wants to know...

  1. Do you keep a list of books to read? Yes.

  2. Where do you keep your list (computer, PDA, paper, etc.)? I made a small book to hold my lists of books to read and videos to see (you can see it here). I keep it in my purse.

  3. How often do you refer to your list? Every time you go for a new book to read? When book shopping? Or? I refer to it whenever I'm at the library (which is about once a week).

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Calendar journal -- October

Acrylic paint around the squares, a touch of colored pencil on the background and Sharpie markers for the writing.

Monday, October 30, 2006

My new sewing table!

Well, I haven't posted any progress on my updated sewing room since August. The next step was to start on the sewing table, but it took a little while for my husband to decide just how he was going to make it. He's used to working with iron, not wood, so he really wanted to do some research and to think it through before starting. And I'm so glad he took his time ... it turned out fabulous! He found a piece of wood that has the most amazing grain ... it looks like a topographical map ... love it! First, he cut it to size and then worked on the hole for the machine (that took some time to plan right ... darn machine has sloped sides and he wanted it to fit as close as possible ... thank goodness for scrap wood LOL!) Then it was time for the fun part ... color! We tried a water-based stain (in my favorite color, green, of course!) that did not work very well the way the instructions said to do it. After a couple layers of the stain and then a layer of the polyacrylic, my husband did not like it and actually took it back outside and sanded it down again to start over. Yikes! Talk about a happy camper ... NOT! The second time around, we did it our own way and it turned out much better.

Then came the crucial part ... making an acrylic piece to fit. It was a bit tricky since the machine has areas that slant in a bit. But he did such a wonderful job there, too ... after much walking up and down the stairs for fittings and trimmings, it's done! We're both so pleased with how it turned out ... we keep catching the other taking another peek at it LOL!

Now to find time to actually sew!!!

Friday, October 27, 2006

Booking through Thursday 10/26/06

Booking Through Thursday
Christine wants to know...
  1. Do you make notes in books as you read them? Very rarely.

  2. Why or why not? Most often, the books I read are library books, so they're not mine to write in. Also, most of them are fiction which I read for pleasure and not for note-taking. If I ever want do find myself wanting to take notes, I usually jot them down in a spiral notebook instead.

  3. If you do, do you make notes only in certain kinds of books or all of them? The few times that I have taken notes in a book, it was making notations on recipes in cookbooks ... if I change ingredients and like the results, I'll jot it down so I won't forget. The only other time in recent history that I've written in a book was when I was going through one of my homeschool books and the author mentioned various resources to use in planning unit studies ... I went through the library catalog and jotted down the call numbers for those books so that I can find them easily without having to look them up every time.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Booking through Thursday 10/19/06

Booking Through Thursday
  1. Do you read in bed? For how long? Do you fall asleep reading? Will a good book keep you up all night? Occasionally, but not too often because usually my husband is in bed first since he gets up very early for work. As for how long, it's hard to say, but it's usually longer than I tell myself I will LOL! I rarely fall asleep reading ... usually only when I'm not feeling well. And, yes, a good book has kept me up until the wee hours of the morning.

  2. Where do you keep your nighttime reading? Do you have a special table next to the bed? Are there many books there? Do you keep books there that you aren't reading (finished or unread)? My nighttime reading is usually the same book I'm reading off and on during the day, in which case I grab it from it's last location and bring it in to read. Then I just leave it on my nightstand until sometime the next day when I've got time to read some more (usually while the kids are playing outside after our schoolwork is done). As for other books on my nightstand, I don't keep any unread or finished books there ... they go back on the shelf when done.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Booking through Thursday 10/12/06

Booking Through Thursday
  1. Do you read short stories? Yes.

  2. Why or why not? Like I said in an earlier BTT post, I read just about anything so if I come across some short stories, I'll read them, too!

  3. What do you like and dislike about short stories? I like being able to read through the whole thing quickly to find out how it ends, but if I enjoy the characters very much, I sometimes don't like that it ended so soon. Hmmm ... does that make sense?

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Calendar journal -- September

Oops, almost forgot to upload my September calendar:For this spread, after putting down the post-it notes, I pounced a brown ink pad all over, then used a spiral rubber stamp randomly in a dark green. I used a metallic gold pen for the lettering and also added little dots around the page for a little added something.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Booking through Thursday 10/5/06

Oh, dear, I'm late LOL!

Booking Through Thursday
  1. Tell us about a book that you had to read, but didn't want to, but that you ended up liking. Something for school, perhaps? A book from your Mom for Christmas that she insisted on you reading? Something from a bookclub? But ultimately, a book that--against all expectation--you ended up liking, respecting, loving.... And, of course, why? What made this book resonate with you? Hmmm ... that's a tough one ... I can't think of any books that I didn't want to read but ended up enjoying ... I'm sure that must have happened to me at least once, but I just can't think of one. But ... I sure can think of several I was dying to read and ended up hating LOL!

Monday, October 02, 2006

Quilt show results

Well, my guild's quilt show was this weekend and the quilts were fabulous! Unfortunately, I forgot my camera!!! Ooh, I was so mad at myself for that ... especially because I got 2 ribbons and couldn't take pictures of the quilts hanging with their ribbons ... aaargh! But I took a pic of one of the ribbons as soon as I got home. I got two of these 2nd place ribbons for the first two quilts pictured in this previous post. It was wonderful to find the ribbons attached to the quilts ... of all the quilts I entered, these two are the most special to me personally. Actually, my 8yo daughter found them first and came running, saying, "Mom, Mom, you got ribbons!!" Made it even more exciting LOL!!

As soon as I got home, I pulled out all the comments I got from the judges ... this was the first time I'd had my quilts judged in any way, so I was very curious as to what kinds of comments my quilts would receive. Overall, the comments were very positive. The only "areas of improvement" were that I need to work on my machine quilting stitch length and on thread tension. Stuff I already knew LOL! But it was nice to see that those were the only problems. I got nice comments on color, quilting designs and overall workmanship. Yay!!

I saw so many wonderful things at the show and now I'm inspired to go make something. I can't wait for my husband to finish my sewing table so that I can get my sewing machine out again. I miss it!!

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Bobbin Magic

Oh, my! Other than some Booking through Thursday posts, I haven't posted about any creative ventures in 3 weeks ... need to change that right now! Earlier this week I was able to take a workshop with Pat Nelson called Bobbin Magic. She taught us how to fiddle with the bobbin cases on our sewing machines so that we could make really neat stitches with wonderful threads. This is the sample I made in the class. The trunk is a whipstitch and the flowers and leaves are done with 2 variations of a feather stitch. I really enjoyed the class and look forward to playing more with these techniques. As for the tree, not sure what I'm going to do with it ... I'm thinking of adding a few more flowers around the base of the tree and then maybe using it for a pocket on a tote or something. Or maybe I'll just trim it and tack it to the design wall for a little inspiration ....

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Booking through Thursday 9/28/06

Booking Through Thursday
  1. Do you own any bookends? If so, how many sets? If not, do you need or want any? I don't have any actual bookends on my shelves ... instead I use other things as bookends, like interesting, large knick-knacks or sturdy vases. And sometimes I arrange a stack of books as a bookend.

  2. Which are your favorites? How long have you had them? My favorite is this large iron jack. It used to be on my mom's bookshelf and now it's been on one of my shelves for over 15 years.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Booking through Thursday 9/21/06

Booking Through Thursday

But, enough about books. . . what else do you read?? Magazines? Newspapers? Professional journals? Cereal boxes? Phone books? Purchase invoices? Homework? (Please be specific. There may be a test later.) I read just about anything ... if it has words on it, I read it. And sometimes I read things 2-3 times! Seriously, though, I read magazines (quilt mags that I subscribe to and other mags that my mil gives me from time to time), our curriculum stuff (and I'm also currently rereading my personal library of homeschool help books), lots of internet sites (mostly about homeschooling, lapbooking and notebooking at this time, with a little art thrown in), and just about any stray papers that I come across. On top of all that, I read lots of kids' books to my girls ... at least 2 (and often 3-4) each night before bed. Whew!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Booking through Thursday 9/14/06

Booking Through Thursday
  1. Do you tend to read more books written by one gender over the other?

  2. If so, which one? Men? Or women? Is this a deliberate choice? Or just something that kind of happened?

  3. And (without wanting to get too personal), is this your gender?

I don't prefer one gender over the other when it comes to authors ... if they write well, I'll read their books, that's the bottom line. However, these questions made me notice that most of the darker, more mysterious stuff I read is written by men, and most of the lighter, funnier stuff is written by women. Not sure if that's because of them or because of me!

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Reading journal

Another reading journal entry, for the book Sequence by Lori Andrews.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Booking through Thursday 9/7/06

Booking Through Thursday
  1. We asked last week about what draws you to your favorite kind/genre of book. This week, we want to know--how often do you depart from that comfort zone? If you love mysteries, do you ever read fantasy? If you primarily read cookbooks, do you ever read a good romance? I love murder mysteries, most, I guess, but I do often read other things, too ... most genres and also some nonfiction (mostly about quilting, altered art and homeschooling at this time) catch my eye often. I'll basically read just about anything if it gets a good review from a friend or other reliable source/book list. The only fiction I don't like is sappy romance novels LOL!

  2. How MUCH variety is there in your reading? Do you mostly stick to one type, with just the occasional toe-dip into a different style? Or do you generally read a variety of things, just, maybe more of your favorite style than anything else? I read quite a variety of things, really. I'd have to say that murder mysteries is more than 1/2, but probably less than 3/4 of what I read. The rest is a mixture of everything else I like.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

First reading journal entry

Remember the reading journal I created? Well, I finally made my first entry in it last night. I couldn't decide what book to do first, but then I finished a book (Echo Burning by Lee Child) over the weekend and decided to start there.

Art journal page

Over the weekend I did another page in my art journal. The egg, birds and quote on the right page are packing tape transfers ... very cool technique!

Friday, September 01, 2006

Art journal pages

I did two more gluebook-style pages ... one yesterday and one today. The first one is in response to the challenge to portray the group's mascot, the glue monkey ... too fun! The second one is one that I put together after I found the question that I glued to the right page ... "what makes you comfortable?"

Calendar journal -- August 2006

Here's my August 2006 page. The background was done with chalks.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Art journal page

The most recent assignment in the class is to try a gluebook-style page. Gluebooks are where you glue down various bits of papers, magazine clippings, etc. Some use it to glue down bits of receipts and other papers that they come across during the day (basically a visual record of their day), others take random bits of paper and turn them into an art piece, and many do a mixture of both. After browsing the links the instructor provided, I ended up joining a Yahoo group that focuses on gluebooks ... looks really interesting! They provide challenges and daily prompts for members to use if they want. I used one of their challenges to make this first gluebook page in my art journal.
The challenge is to take a magazine and, while keeping your eyes closed, fan through and rip out 3 random pages ... no peeking! Then make a page using only elements from those 3 pages ... you can open your eyes for that part LOL! I got the pages out of a copy of Oprah's magazine that my mil had given me awhile back. It's interesting how this spread ended up accurately representing my feelings about our homeschool curriculum decisions for this year. I glued the elements on a previously painted black background that I first doodled on with a white pencil to make it look like a school chalkboard.

Booking through Thursday 8/31/06

Booking Through Thursday
  1. What is your favorite kind of reading? Novels? Biographies? Mathematical textbooks? Fiction novels are my favorite ... and within the genre, I like various kinds. Christian fiction, murder mysteries, stories about the Amish are the current biggies.

  2. What do you like best about your favorite kind of reading? What keeps you coming back to that kind of book? Following a gripping story? Watching characters develop? Being educated about things and places you didn't know about? Letting your mind relax into someplace completely different? For Christian fiction, I enjoy reading about others who are struggling with life, just like me, and are overcoming their struggles with God's love. For murder mysteries, I love trying to figure out whodunit. And for Amish fiction, I love peeking into their simple, yet also complex, lives and relationships. In all cases, though, I love series best ... when I find a character or group of characters that I really like, I love the continued chance to read more about them and really get to know them.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Art journal page and new reading journal

I completed another art journal page today ... this one is about food and it's unhealthy tie to feelings of love and security in my life.

And, inspired by the reading journals of Eliece and Linda, I decorated the cover of a new journal for recording books as I read them. I'm looking forward to filling it up so that I can remember what I've read ... much more fun than just a simple list, don't you think?

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Booking through Thursday 8/24/06

Booking Through Thursday
  1. Have you ever wanted to travel to a place described in a book? All the time! I'd love to see Anne's Green Gables or see the places that the Sisterchicks have visited or wander through Narnia (though I don't think that's going to happen in this lifetime LOL!) and many more.

  2. Have you ever ACTUALLY travelled to a place because of the way it was described in a book? No, but maybe someday ....

  3. And if so, did it live up to the expectations, feelings, emotions you expected from the book? Did you feel like Anne was going to come romping around the corner of Green Gables? Was it as if Jo was upstairs at Orchard House, scribbling on a story? Or was it just a museum, or just a city street? Like Abbey Road without the Beatles? As you can see from question 2, I've never had the chance yet, but I sure hope that if I ever do visit some of these places, they live up to the vision I have in my mind! But I would say it's important to travel to these destinations with an open mind and not base all my expectations on the author's depiction of the location ... remind myself that the author was, after all, writing a piece of fiction LOL!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Art journal pages

A couple more pages I made to remember some good journaling ideas given in the art journaling class. This is so fun!

Monday, August 21, 2006

Another clipboard

I just had to make one more for the birthday party ... too fun!! Love the almost instant gratification of this project. Hope they all like them as much as I enjoyed making them! I'm off to wrap ...

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Happy Birthday to Me!

Friday was my 38th birthday (mmm ... cake and ice cream ...) I can still remember when I thought 40 was sooo old, and now here I am pushing it LOL! Thank goodness I don't feel as old as I thought it was.

I got a little birthday money from my parents (hey, it's not just for little kids, you know!) and I found just the perfect way to spend some of it. I signed up for an online class called Fun Art Journaling. Over the past couple days I have had so much fun ... and I still have about 10 weeks to go! Our first assignment was to grab a journal and create a title page, then journal a couple pages about how and why we want to journal and what we hoped to get out of this class. I decorated the cover of a composition notebook for the title page, then did a 2-page spread for the rest. Here are the results:

Definitely fun!! For the cover, I glued on a black and white scrapbook paper and then doodled in the white spaces with various markers. For the 2-page spread, I wrote over an acrylic wash (that I'd already done a couple months ago) with more markers.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Scavenger Hunt art

On the artexplorations group, we recently did a 2-part scavenger hunt. For the first part, we swapped a bag of stuff (pictures, trim, papers, etc.) with our assigned partner. Then for the second part, we were assigned a second partner to make a piece of artwork using the stuff we received from the first partner. My first partner was Gina in OR. I sent her this bag of goodies and she sent me an envelope stuffed with some really interesting things, including waxy milk bottle tops, cool papers that I think are mulberry papers(?) and some neat pictures. My second partner is Linda in MD, who in turn made me a beautiful piece of artwork using stuff she received from Lois in IL (which is too funny because Lois lives less than 20 miles from me LOL!) Here's the piece Linda sent me last month.
In turn, I needed to make something for Linda. While Gina sent me some really neat stuff, I was having a hard time grouping things together ... so many different styles and colors. I knew I would need to add some of my own stuff in order to make a complete piece, but it was all in boxes from the studio redo ... yikes! But I finally got some stuff uncovered and found some things that would work ... and this morning I buckled down and put them together. I'm so pleased with how it turned out! What do you think? The picture shows yellows that are brighter than in person ... they're more rusty orange in real life.The background papers, phrase, picture of the 3 miners and the neat green ring (which is the outside edge of one of the waxy milk bottle tops ... so cool!) came from Gina's package. I just added some PO stamps, a little piece off a tea bag package and an interesting picture from a cereal box. A little rubbing with a sepia stamp pad over the top of the papers before adding the ring helped blend all the edges. I love the leathery feel the piece has ... let's hope Linda likes it as much as I do!

Creative Organizing

I recently stumbled upon this fun blog called Creative Organizing and liked it so much, I put it on my list of daily blog reads. In this blog, personal organizer Aby Garvey shares fun ways to organize your life, and includes little challenge projects for making organizational tools fun and pretty so that they'll actually get used ... love it! A couple of her projects included making over clipboards and magnet clips. I just had to do these! I already had a clip that I'd received from my local library, so I turned it into my own menu holder. Maybe I'll actually start making weekly menus again ... it is really nice to know what's for dinner *before* 5:30 p.m.!

Then I just *had* to make some clipboards. I got some boring old brown clipboards from Wal-Mart (for only 97 cents!) and made the green one for myself (using the side of a gift bag) and the bee and ladybug ones for my girls (using scrapbooking papers) ... I'm not sure yet what my clipboard will be for, but I plan to use the girls' boards for their daily to-do lists. I think they'll have fun checking off their chores and stuff with these pretty things!

While I was making them, I realized they'd make great gifts for an upcoming birthday party we're attending. So, after another trip to Wal-Mart yesterday for more clipboards (I only needed 2, but I went ahead and bought the last 8 LOL!), I made these two boards for the special birthday girls. I hope they like them!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Booking through Thursday 8/17/06

Booking Through Thursday

This week's questions were inspired by Caroline. She can't read The Joy Luck Club without thinking of potstickers and wontons... And no, we're not talking about cookbooks here. Please leave those out of this discussion. ;-)

  1. Do you enjoy books that have cooking or eating scenes in them? I love food, so, yes, I do love cooking and eating scenes in a book! Reading about someone cooking wonderful sounding food makes me wish I was there watching and ready to perform taste tester duty. Can you guess I love watching cooking shows, too?

  2. Have you made or eaten anything that was inspired by a recipe or scene in a non-cooking book? I can't think of anything I made myself, but I have tried several dishes at restaurants that were similar to something I'd read because the author made it sound so good. If I wasn't surrounded by a family of picky eaters, maybe I'd be more willing to try making something myself LOL!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Booking through Thursday Meme

I discovered this meme blog on books and reading while browsing through some blogs and just had to play ... as an avid reader, I love to talk books! The meme blog posts a few questions every Thursday about, you guessed it, books and reading, and others post their answers on their blog. Even though a new set of questions will be posted tomorrow, I decided to go ahead and answer last Thursday's questions today to get the ball rolling.

Booking Through Thursday

  • Do you plan ahead for your reading? Work off of a to-be-read pile? A reading list? Or do you wing it, choose whatever you're in the mood for? I don't really plan ahead too much, but I do keep a running list of books I want to eventually read. And I almost always have a pile of books to work through at any given time. I take my kids to the library every Friday and I usually pick up a few for myself at that time (depends on how many I still have waiting at home). We keep our library books on 2 shelves in the playroom (one for their books and one for mine). When I finish a book, I take it back to the shelf and pick out another one. If I'm reading something in a series and have the next one on the shelf, I'll usually pick that one next. Otherwise, I just pick whatever interests me, or sometimes I might pick a book that has to go back to the library soon LOL! I don't follow any current reading lists, but I occasionally read them looking for books that sound good, and I also check out books that are recommended by people on my various Yahoo groups.

  • If you do plan ahead, how far ahead? Do you have two or three books waiting in queue? Or are you backed up by dozens of volumes waiting their turn? I don't plan too far ahead ... with kids, and with homeschooling, I don't have alot of time for personal reading. I usually have about 6-7 books on the shelf waiting to be read (though currently I have about 20 books waiting because so many books became available through the library's reservation process in the last 3 weeks ... yikes! I better get moving if I'm going to finish them before they're due!) I also listen to books on tape, usually while cleaning the house and cooking dinner, and have 3 in the queue right now.

  • If you do not plan ahead . . . well, *never*? What about if you're reading a series? Or someone gives you a book for a present? I guess I do sort of plan ahead ... I like to read series in order if I can. And if I have more than one book by the same author on the shelf, I usually read them all in a row, by publication date. But otherwise, I just grab the next book that looks interesting.
  • Thursday, August 10, 2006

    More quilts for the show

    Well, I'm finally getting around to filling out entry forms for the upcoming quilt show. I wanted to do this over a week ago, but I couldn't get the darn form to print out! Had to wait until the next guild meeting to pick up a handful. Since I need to have these turned in by the 15th (only 5 days away ... yikes!), I decided I better get cracking LOL! It was like strolling down memory lane to jot down info about why I made each quilt and all the details about how it was pieced, appliqued and quilted ... *sigh* ....

    In addition to the seven quilts I mentioned in a previous post, I'm also including the Burning Bush quilt and this cute little wool bunny. This is the second time I've entered quilts in the guild show, but my first experience with judging. For the last show, the organizer opted to not have the quilts judged in order to encourage everyone (even those who didn't think their quilts were "worthy") to enter at least one quilt. The organizer for this year's show has included judging, but has given us the option to determine whether a quilt is part of the judging or not. I'm a little nervous, but also anxious to hear what the judges will say about my quilts. I'm looking forward to reading the critiques ... maybe I'll get some tips on how to improve! Now if I can just figure out how I'm going to print out the pics ....

    Wednesday, August 09, 2006

    Calendar journal -- July 2006

    I love art journaling, though I don't get to do it every day. A couple months ago, I stumbled onto TracyU's flicker pages, where she shows her amazing calendar journal pages, and realized this was the perfect way to jot down the highlights of each day, even if I didn't have time to do more elaborate pages. I started with June, but I only have about 1/3 of it filled in (mostly on the weekends) ... I found I really need to keep the journal open and accessible so that I can write in it each night or at least the next morning. But I didn't beat myself up about it ... just moved on to July. I did much better ... not always remembering to journal immediately, but usually at least within 3 days or so (though there is one day that I can't remember what we did, hence the question mark LOL!) Now that my studio is getting put back together, I have room to leave it out all the time, so hopefully for August and future months, I'll do better. I don't know what's more fun ... decorating the page or filling in the journaling!
    July's page done with Sharpie markers.

    Sunday, August 06, 2006

    Baseboards and beyond

    Alright! The baseboards are installed and look much better than the old ones, don't you think? I love 'em!

    <--Out with the old

    In with the new-->

    Now for the really fun (and also really hard) part ... finding room for all the stuff LOL! For the last few days, I've been moving stuff from the pile in front of the fireplace bit by bit and trying to find places for it. I found that I need more and better storage containers to help sort stuff like rubber stamps, beads, threads, etc., so today I stopped at JoAnn's and bought some colorful baskets and plastic containers in various sizes ... all 50% off, love it! This week I hope to do a better job of sorting these things and getting them into the containers. Once I start doing that, I should be able to see if I need any more containers. The only thing I haven't been able to find is the perfect storage system for under the cutting/pressing table. I was looking at those plastic rolling carts, but I don't think they'll be sturdy enough. The search is on!

    Saturday, July 29, 2006

    Studio stuff and a quilt show

    We finished the floor Thursday night, before dinner even! It looks great, especially now that all the bits of paper backing are picked up and the floor is cleared of tools and such. I love it! As for the baseboards, I looked all around the garage and couldn't find the sander ... aw, darn .... But the great thing is, when my husband stopped by the store after work Friday to buy a new piece of baseboard to match the old (to go by the closet area), he found some nice baseboards that were already primed and ready for paint, so he bought 2 16' lengths and a pint of bright white paint instead ... when I drove into the garage Friday afternoon and saw them straddled across the garbage cans, I actually squealed LOL! It was too hot to paint them last night, so I got up early today and have already given them 2 coats. They look so nice ... I'm so happy! Now I just have to wait for my husband to get home from work so we can install them. My goal is to have them in by Wednesday in time for my stepmom's afternoon visit. We'll have so much fun organizing all my "stuff"!

    Since I can't do anything else with the baseboards until he gets home, my goal for today is to fill out quilt show entry forms. My local quilt guild, the Prairie Star Quilters Guild, is having their biannual quilt show at the end of September, and entry forms must be turned in by August 15th. I need to measure all the quilts I plan to enter and try to remember all the details ... I really need to write this stuff down when I'm actually working on them LOL! Here are the quilts I plan to enter so far:

    Thursday, July 27, 2006

    The floor is almost done!

    Monday night, just before bedtime, my husband started laying the tiles ... he only wanted to lay about 5 or 6 so that I could keep going the next day, but he got on a roll and laid about 15 before finally saying he really had to get to sleep LOL! Each day since, he's come home and laid more and now it's almost done ... yay! We've got one area of old parquet tiles that needs to be patched before we can lay the new tiles there and then the rest should be done by tonight or tomorrow (depending on how long it takes for the patch to dry/cure/whatever ... I'm not sure what he's going to do there). Then we can tackle the baseboards. We've decided to go ahead and sand the old baseboards and paint them white. So my job for today is to unearth the sander and get started.

    Friday, July 21, 2006

    Are we there yet?

    This studio redo is taking longer than I hoped ... I know, surprise, surprise ....

    The painting is done and the painting stuff is all put away. Now we are tackling the floor and baseboards. I spent all my free time yesterday scouring the parquet tiles with steel wool ... my wrists are so sore! I just need to damp mop it and let it dry and it'll be ready for the tiles. However, my husband has decided that I need to buy better floor tiles than what I settled on before. Something more durable ... the tiles I bought are low end stuff that might not stand up to constant rolling on from my chair and could rip from moving the shelving units. Well, who am I to question getting something better? LOL! So I'm off to Home Depot to see what they have. Hopefully, they'll have something I really like ... and I'd really like it if they were on sale! Don't know how I could beat $66 though ... oh, yeah, I originally spent $80 on the flooring, but then 3 days later we were at Menards again and I saw they were on sale. So I marched right up to the front desk for a price adjustment and saved another $14. I was so happy about that, and now I'll probably end up spending about $200 for something better LOL! Oh, well ....

    Update: I'm back! Found something I really like, and the price wasn't too bad either. For about $160, I got these reddish brown tiles. At first I was going to get it in the green colorway, but decided that'd be too much and that these were a little more neutral. And they do have some green splashes blended in that look really pretty. They're darker than I originally thought I wanted, but I think they're going to look really nice in the room ... and they'll hide scuff marks and dirt better than the other ones would've done, so that's definitely a plus LOL! Only problem ... I have to let them sit in the room for 48 hours before installation. It's always something, isn't it?

    Monday, July 17, 2006

    Ceiling and walls and flooring, oh my!

    Well, it's Monday and the studio isn't quite as far as I'd hoped. But it's close! Got the second coat on the ceiling on Friday. On Saturday Warren finished the patch of the crack on the east wall and gave the north and west walls 2 coats of the green. Yesterday I primed the east wall and the closet wall. Then while I was putting the girls to bed last night, Warren painted the first coat of green on those walls. I still need to sand the spackle on the inside edge of the closet opening so that it can be painted, too and then these 2 walls can get their second coat. Warren also changed out the outlets to new white ones, and they look so pretty against the green (never thought I'd get so excited about outlets LOL!)

    But the floor and baseboards, oh my! The flooring is wood parquet tiles, which wouldn't be too bad except the previous owner who installed them didn't take good care of them. I think they let their kids paint the walls because there is paint splattered all over the floor and the baseboards, too. Even the outlets had paint all over them ... anyone ever hear of using a damp rag while painting?! Sheesh! So anyway, we had to decide whether it was worth trying to clean the paint off or to cover it with something else. We decided that if we could find some nice stick-down tiles, we'd go with that. So on Saturday, while Warren painted, I went to Menards and found (after much deliberation) some pretty tiles that have light green vines/leaves in the center. For only about $80, I'll have a new floor ... love it! It's really going to lighten up the space, too, since the current floor is kind of dark. As for the baseboards, Warren is going to see if he can find something tall enough to cover the original boards' marks. If we can't find anything we like or that fits our budget, we'll just paint the old ones white and put them back up. But I'm really hoping we find something else ... the old ones are sooo boring!

    Since we still need to finish painting and now have to tackle the floor, looks like it's not quite ready for my stepmom's visit this afternoon. Oh, well ... the pantry really does need some straightening ....

    Wednesday, July 12, 2006

    My studio

    I'm getting antsy ... I haven't been able to work on any projects in the past week or so. But that's okay because we are finally getting around to redecorating and reorganizing my studio ... yay! My husband called me one day last week and said, "If you start emptying the room, I'll start working on it." Hey, when that happens, I get moving LOL! My studio is one end of a long, narrow room that's roughly 28' x 10', with part of my side of the room jutting out towards the garage about 3 feet, making a long, skinny L shaped room. My area is roughly 9'x13' and the rest of the room is the girls' playroom (so I guess the whole room is really a playroom LOL!) Here's before pics of the west and north walls. The west wall was my sewing area, complete with pegboard and wire basket units. The north wall was the cutting and pressing area (I used the small wallhanging above the table as a little design wall).

    We actually started working on the studio a couple months ago. As you can see from the bottom right picture, all my fabrics were hiding in cubes under the cutting/pressing table ... not the best solution (oh, my aching back!). But a couple months ago, my husband revamped the closet that's on the south wall. It went from a boring old one-shelf and hanging rod clothes closet to a multi-shelf artist's dream closet with just a few days' worth of effort. He installed rope lights around the sides and top of the opening, and even installed a motion sensor so that all I have to do is reach in and they turn on. Love it!! What's more, he installed more of the rope lights along the edge of the 2 shelves that hold my fabric so I can see it better ... that was such a great idea ... thanks, honey! Here's what the closet used to look like (I'll have to show you the after pic later ... right now it's crammed full of stuff that will eventually end up on the shelving units or back on the pegboard ... and, besides, it's currently covered with a tarp to keep dust and paint off the contents):

    After the closet got done, the rest of the room got put on hold again ... that is, until that wonderful call last week LOL! Since then, I've pulled everything out that I could move (it's all in a relatively tidy pile in front of the fireplace ... thank goodness it's summer) and moved the tables and shelving units to the middle of the room. The only thing we didn't touch is the pegboard ... that's bolted to the wall so it ain't budging! So far we've washed the walls, spackled the holes, mudded a huge crack in one wall, primed the remaining 3 walls and primed and painted the ceiling. Next we need to finish the cracked wall and get it primed so that we can paint. Last year we painted the girls' playroom area a soft green, so we'll paint my side the same, of course. Can't wait! I'm hoping that we can keep up the pace we've set so far and can have the room completely painted by the weekend. My stepmom is coming over Monday afternoon and since she's an organization consultant, it'd be the perfect time to start moving the stuff back into place ... she'll keep me from adding stuff I don't need in there LOL! But if it's not ready for that, I'm sure we'll find something to organize (that pantry is looking mighty messy ....)

    I've planned a totally new layout, including space for a proper design wall ... can't wait for that, for sure ... before, things were pinned on top of each other on the little wallhanging about 6 layers deep! Besides the new design wall, the only thing I will need to add is a new sewing table. The old table was simply an old door laid on top of the wire basket units. It worked okay, but I didn't like that it was so narrow ... left hardly any room behind the sewing machine when I was trying to quilt anything bigger than a fabric postcard! I plan to use the wire units to hold up one end of the new table, and for the other end and back of the table, I will use two low shelf units that I bought a year ago just for this purpose ... found them on clearance for $13 each ... love it! I can't wait to see what my husband comes up with for the tabletop ... I just know it's going to be wonderful! Of course, all this is subject to change ... a woman's prerogative and all that LOL!

    Hope I've got lots of new pics to share in a few days!
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