Saturday, June 22, 2013

Playing Catch Up Again: The Guest Room (My 400th Post!)

Well, surprise surprise. My 400th blog post! And wouldn't you know it's my first one in three months? (Imagine how many there would be if I weren't the world's worst blogger. LoL) So I just went through my last three months worth of photos and was amazed at how much has happened around here in that time. It's really no wonder I don't find time to blog...

Now, to play catch up again. Or at least get started playing catch up. ;o)

So... back in January, I wrote about our youngest son moving into a new room, which we painted bright yellow. Well, in April our 18-year-old daughter decided it was time to leave the nest, freeing up the teenager-coveted big room in the basement. Of course, little brother then wanted to move -- again -- and wished for the new room to be bright yellow -- again. Deja vu...

I know, it sounds crazy. But I've been waiting a long time for the mom-coveted main floor bedroom to use as a guest room. (Yes, I know. I just set up a guest room in the basement last January, but the main floor is ever so much nicer for a guest room, don't you think?)

SO... out came the yellow paint for the big basement room. I'm pretty sure he's there to stay (for the next few years anyway!)

(Gosh, it looked so nice and clean that day. He's been in there awhile now so, you know, it has that "lived in" look these days.)

And finally, I had my guest room! It just needed... a ton of work.

First, all the baseboard trim came down, because it looked like this:

It was scraped, and scrubbed, and sanded free of layers of sloppily-applied paint, and finally varnished. What an amazing difference...

Next, the ceiling was painted:

And the closet:

And the rock star on the wall was sanded and primed:

(I'll admit, that part was a little bit sad, but necessary. Here's the post from 2008, when I first painted the mural. Memories... sigh.)

Finally, the walls were painted! (The same color as the aforementioned basement guest room. Deja vu...)

But that ratty, old blue carpet had to go! (And of course, that wasn't easy. It had been glued to the floor. Argh.)

Old carpet out, old padding scraped up:

And... at last! New carpet!

And "new" baseboards installed:

And furniture moved in!

Ta-dah! Of course, this all happened over two months time. LoL I just wish it could have gone this fast.

Befores and afters:

So that's ONE of the projects I've been working on since March. And I think that's enough for one day, but I'll be back with more. BEFORE another three months flies by.

No, really, I will. ;o)

Friday, March 15, 2013


Definite progress.

There's nothing quite like sharing embarrassing pictures of your mess to make you want to clean it up -- and fast. So before I go on to what's yet to be done, here are a couple of before and afters to show the progress made this week (click on the picture for a larger view).

In the sewing room:

And better yet, in the storage room:

Looks like the room grew!

In the sewing room, the second table is a huge improvement on my work space. Now I have room to cut at one end and quilt at the other, with the old computer set up in between, so I can use online patterns without having to print them out. The drawers beneath still need to be organized, but they will be storage for my scrap pieces and strips.

On the other side is the second sewing machine, which I use mostly for piecing. I spent a couple of hours stripping the wallpaper border off this wall, so I could hang my quilter's wall hanging there. I'm not looking forward to any more border stripping...

And this is where I ran out of time/energy. One last pile of stuff in the storage room that still needs to be put away. (That smaller pile to the left was one of those distractions that happens when you sort through your sewing stuff. In the midst of everything, I started planning a quilt. LoL Needless to say, I might have gotten the pile put away, had I not stopped to play with the fabric. But what can I say? It was fun.)

I hope to get the rest of that pile put away over the weekend, then I can get back to sewing. And now I'm actually looking forward to it!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Full Disclosure

(Or, What May Well Be the Cause of My Motivational Slump)

No to-do list for me this week, just one BIG to-do. I've had a hard time the past couple of weeks feeling capable of accomplishing anything. No motivation to start a new project, or even to work on one of my many UFOs. No inspiration to even sew a few string blocks... Whatever could be the problem? Hmm... I don't know... could it be THIS?

Yes, THIS is my sewing room. Or what used to be my sewing room. Now it's my storage room for fabric and supplies.

And just across the hallway is my actual "sewing" room:

Trust me, it's an even bigger mess than it looks here.

This is the result of transitioning quickly from one sewing room to two, followed by numerous projects one on top of the other, without cleaning up in between. I don't recommend it.

So, I'm dedicating this week to getting these rooms organized so I can start sewing again. And I suppose I could break it down into a few main areas:

  • Buy a second folding work table and find a better arrangement for the sewing room

  • Remove all non-sewing-related items from the storage room (these are the leftovers from when my son vacated his room (now my sewing room). He doesn't want it. I don't want it either!

  • Sort miscellaneous fabric and project leftovers into their appropriate bins/shelves

  • Re-stack/organize fabric bins in closets

I'm sure there's more, but I can hardly think past walking into the room right now. I would love to figure out a good working arrangement for both rooms and eventually be able to paint/decorate to better suit my needs. All in good time. Suffice it to say, I've got my work cut out for me in just getting started. Wish me luck... I'm going in!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Ever Had One of Those Weeks

where you just can't seem to accomplish anything? My lack of motivation hasn't lifted, and I almost made a huge effort today to try and catch up on all the things I didn't do all week...

...but then, I didn't.

Here's a look at my to-do list progress since Monday:

  • More string blocks (one block a day): I finished... one block. Now I have four. Still twelve more to go.

  • February's paper-pieced BOM: I actually finished this one! The Wild Goose Chase block from Quilter's Cache.

  • Flannel critter quilt: Well... here's the pattern. I haven't opened it yet.

  • Go through email: Yes! I did get that done. Hopefully I can keep it under control.

  • Bathtub caulking removal: So tedious! I'm trying to get the whole tub edge from this point:

    to this point:

    I'm about halfway around now, but I can only work on it for 20-30 minutes before I just have to get out of there. Needless to say, it's slow going. And I also have the caulking at the floor level yet to do. And then to follow up on several different suggestions for getting the remaining residue off the whole thing... bleh. I can't wait to have that bathroom done and ready to paint!

So my plan for the weekend is to finish that caulking job. And then, I have a pretty good idea what I need to do next week to pull myself out of this slump. It has to do with my very disorganized sewing room(s)...

Can you guess what it might be?

Monday, March 4, 2013

Pushing Through...

I'm feeling incredibly unmotivated today, but I did manage to scratch out a to-do list for the week. Maybe getting it down here will give me that little push I need to get GOING.

  • More string blocks Setting a block-a-day goal for these this week. Hopefully we'll see some progress.

  • February's paper-pieced BOM Considering we're well into March now, I'd really like to have this done.

  • Flannel critter quilt A new Simplicity pattern I bought this weekend. I thought it might be a good seller in the shop. We'll see...

  • Go through email I owe an apology to all of you lovely people who have left blog comments. My email inbox is a MESS. I sincerely appreciate all of your comments, and am usually much better about replying in a timely manner. It's definitely time to get this under control.

  • Bathtub caulking removal Hubby did indeed get that bathtub leveled, and has almost taken care of all of the leaking/dripping issues. I need to get in there now with a scraper, razor blade or something and get the last bits of old caulking scraped off so we can move on with that fun little project.

My enthusiasm is underwhelming, but there it is. Ready, set, go...

Friday, March 1, 2013

Hit or Miss...

... that's the sort of week this has been. I'd have given up the first day, but for the accountability I've been getting from these weekly to-do lists. Somehow, I managed to get it all done -- more or less. LoL

  • Dinosaur ragtime quilt This was to replace the quilt that my daughter purchased from my shop, and the first thing I wanted to finish this week. Well, I got it done, so cute with bright purple and lime green:

    But after it was washed and fringed up, I was picking all the fuzzies off when I noticed a flaw in the purple back:

    It looks as if the nap of the flannel just separated from the back, and I was pretty sure it wasn't like that before it was washed. Grr... Fortunately, this didn't happen on the special order I just made with the same fabric!

    And then I saw another spot on the front:

    And I know that wasn't there before. I have no idea now what I'll do with this quilt. Either try to sell it at a super deep discount, or most likely, just keep it here to use for my own grandbaby. It was discouraging, at any rate, and for now I just have to set it aside and figure it out later.


  • Make a few more scrappy string blocks Well, I made one more. That makes three total. I need to do this on a "block a day" basis if I ever plan to have all sixteen finished!

    I also finished one of my February BOM blocks:

    Still have the paper-pieced one to do.

  • Vacuum - Done! And it took almost a whole day to do it. LoL What a difference it made in how the whole house looks, though.

  • Taxes Done! Such a draining job, but so glad to have it finished!
So, all in all, not a bad week. I got some pretty major things done, and just have to move on and hope for better sewing next week! I'm spending the rest of the day today with my two darling grandsons. Good therapy!

Monday, February 25, 2013

A Weekend Finish, and To-Dos for the Week

Over the weekend, I finished the purple/lavender ragtime quilt, which was a special order. This was on my to-do list last week, so I guess technically, I did get it finished! Here are a few pictures...

It's so hard to accurately show that deep purple in photos, but it is such a pretty, rich purple. I bought a lot of it, too, so there will be more purple raggies in my future for sure!

And now for my list of to-dos this week:

  • Dinosaur ragtime quilt - My daughter purchased the dinosaur quilt from my shop this weekend, and I still have enough of the dino fabric to make another and just switch out the photos on my listing. (And that purple above would look great with the dinos...)

  • Make a few more purple/pink scrappy string blocks With all the ragtime quilts I've been making, I must say I'm missing my pieced quilts. Need to stay on top of that project so it isn't completely forgotten/buried in my sewing room!

  • Vacuum Not fun, but my whole house needs a once-over. Try as I might to contain it, these raggy quilts make a lot of fuzz. (And the giant shedding dog doesn't help, either!)

  • Taxes Sigh... need I say more?