Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Slowly Making Progress...

The new house has been keeping us so busy.  The original house was built in the 1890s and then updated in the 1990s.  Here is a picture of the what was the front of the house.

This is the north side of the house and the "new" front (seen here) is on the west side of the house. 

The very first thing we need to do is replace the roof.  And while we are reroofing we plan to bump out the area between the two dormer windows to put a shower in the Jack & Jill bath upstairs.  Lately we have been meeting with contractors and reviewing bids. 

I also have picked out and purchased appliances for the kitchen.  After reviewing roof bids I scaled back a little and went with KithchenAid.  I think they will be perfect for our needs.

I have also been keeping our current home ready to show so we can get it sold.  Between that, my part time job, and a little knitting there is little time for anything else.

I did finish listening to Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn and I've almost finished The Shape of Mercy, by Susan Meissner.  I'd recommend both books but I had slight book hangover with Gone Girl.  I needed better closure.  Still, I would highly recommend it.

My ten thousand steps a day plan has gone out the window.  My goal this week is to get out there again.  Fall has arrived in central Indiana and I am loving it.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A Few Before Pictures...

September has been busy, busy but today am I going to try and slow down and recount where the month has gone.

We have our home on the market and that means keeping the house very tidy. I don't mind it too much. We are clutter bugs {read slobs} and it is so nice to have a clean AND tidy home. Wouldn't it be great if I could keep this up in the new house? A girl can dream, right?

Mom was here last week and we had lots of fun shopping and making plans for the new house.   Let me start out by saying we must replace the roof... and this is our #1 priority.  But when we replace the roof we are going to do a bump out to accommodate a shower in the guest bath.  Here is the guest bath now.  It is a Jack & Jill with no shower.

And Mom's rooms are a priority too.  We ripped up the carpet in her rooms and our sewing room.  Here is a before picture of our sewing room.

Yes... our sewing room was an exercise room.  It will get a lot more use as a sewing room!  And the mirrors will come down.  The 1990's Berber carpet was nasty... complete with pet stains.

Mom's room had the same dirty carpet. But the good news is that we found this under the carpet...

the original wood floors from the 1890s!  These should clean up very nicely.

We shopped for kitchen appliances.  Here is a sneak peak of the kitchen from the stairs.  The cabinets were made from trees on the property when the addition was added in the 1990s.

This built in refrigerator has to be replaced.  Even though it was plugged in, it hasn't worked for over a year.  Remember... we bought this home "as is" just before the home went into foreclosure.  The former owners said when this refrigerator broke, they just started using the one in the garage. 

I am hoping to replace this with a stainless counter depth model and have a carpenter add a little moulding or something.  I have been looking at a Viking model that has a water dispenser inside.  Built in refrigerators are about 3 times as expensive as regular refrigerators.

Here is a shot of the wall oven and 2 cutouts that hold a microwave and a convection oven.  I would like to raise the wall oven and add a built in microwave.  I am considering a GE Monogram wall oven and Advantium microwave.  If you  have any experience with these appliances I would love to hear your thoughts.

I'd also like to replace the sink with a stainless under mount.

And I'd like to replace the back splash tile, paint, and refinish the maple floors.  The cabinets need waxing or finishing or something.  I wanted to paint them but all the men I mentiond this idea to freak out.  I am not sure if the husb had bought off on all these upgrades... but I will continue to work on him. {wink}

I have started working more hours at the yarn shop and have considered going back to work full time.  But for now there is a lot to keep me busy at both houses.  Which reminds me, I need to dust and vacuum so I'd better get busy.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The House...

More than a year ago my husband decided it was time to buy some property with land.  He grew up on a farm and I don't think subdivision living was ever his thing.  We looked and looked, wanting to stay very close to the friendly little town we live in.  We also wanted to find a house that would accomodate us and my Mom. We lost out on a beautiful property with a crummy little house.  Then we fought one another over a piece of odd property with 10 acres of woods.  I hated that house (clearly in a flood zone) and finally had to tell the husb if he wanted it, then buy it, but I had no intention of moving into that house.  He is soooo seduced by a piece of land with trees.

In January I found a piece of property with a house on a hill and nearly 10 acres of trees.  The price on the property had just dropped so I took my friend Mary and we went to take a look.  I was happy to see that this was a house that could work with a little love.  Plus it had a bedroom, sitting room and bathroom on the first floor, perfect for my Mom.     

In February we made an offer on the property.  By doing so we had entered a Short Sale process.  "Short" has nothing to do with the time it takes to make an agreement.  Finally, at the end of July we heard that the offer was approved by the bank.  We closed on the property a week ago.  Now we are to proud owners of 2 homes.  YIKES! 

Time to sell our current home and hire a contractor to work on the new house.  This is going to be an adventure! (That is me trying not to be stressed and looking for the silver lining.)  Honestly the house will take more than a little love.

Here is a "before" picture.

We have to start with a new roof and a bump out in the guest bathroom upstairs to allow a shower.  I will have more to show you during the process, plus this house has a very interesting history.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Books on my IPod...

I went to the doctor last week for a physical and she said "What are we going to do about your weight?"  {No, you are not reading an old post of mine, this is a common theme that pops up at least once a year.  I then get in a schedule of walking and dieting, lose 25 lbs, and then when life or holidays get in the way, gain it back.}

Anyhoo, I love how she asks the question like WE can work on it together.  It makes me feel like I have her support.  A previous doctor blurted out "You need to eat less and exercise more."  Really?  I have never considered that!

So, back to the blog topic, I am walking about 5 miles at least 5 times a week, eating very few carbs, and listening to books on my Ipod while I walk.  The weather has been exceptional in central Indiana making walking very enjoyable. 

In July, I finished Defending Jacob by William Landay.

In this book, assistant district attorney Andy Barber, his wife Laurie and their son Jacob are very much a normal family until one of Jacob’s classmates, 14-year-old Ben Rifkin, is murdered. Andy takes on the case until the time that evidence is found that shows his son may have been involved. From that point, the Barbers world comes undone. 

Defending Jacob is a page turner {or in my case a compelling reason to get out and walk}.  I was continually drawing parallels to my life and wondering what choices I would make if in the same situation.  Landay expertly plants the seeds of doubt—is Jacob the villain that all are painting him to be or is he being unjustly accused?   In addition to an expert rendering of the family dynamics in a terrible situation, the author has created an unforgettable and suspenseful story with a powerful twist {GASP!} at its conclusion.  The book was very good, but very unsettling as I listened completely invested, to the end.

Next I listened to A Secret Kept, by Tatiana de Rosnay.

Set in present day France and in 1974, A Secret Kept begins when Antoine Rey, a divorcee in his mid-forties, takes his sister, Mélanie, to their childhood vacation spot, Noirmoutier Island, for her 40th birthday. Passage to the island is made on a causeway called Le Gois, a road that is only passable at low tide and which becomes treacherous in moments once the water rises. They make the trek and spend a picture-perfect time on the island, but the devastating events following their holiday set in motion a search for clues surrounding the untimely death of their mother when they were children.

Tatiana de Rosnay, author of the New York Times bestseller Sarah's Key, examines the depths of complex family relationships and the power of a past secret to change everything in the present.  I found the book enjoyable and hard to pause as the secret unfolded.

I am now listening to Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn so I will end here and head out for my highly anticipated walk.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Not my UFO...

A while back {ok... a year ago} my BFF Pam asked me if I could finish a project for her.  It wasn't her UFO, but an unfinished quilt given to her as a wedding gift from her mother-in-law.  The top was completed and some hand quilting was even done.  With Pam's blessing I gave the quilt to my favorite longarm quilter.  When the quilting was complete I {let it sit in my sewing room long while and then} added the binding to finish the project.

Last night I took the quilt to Pam.  She was sooo happy to have it done.

As you can see, the quilt was country blue and rose.  Pam and Brian will celebrate their 27th anniversary next month.  It took more than a quarter of a century to finish this project.  I feel like I have participated in something monumental! 

Happy Anniversary Brian & Pam!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Sew Happy...

I went to JoAnn twice over the weekend with a coupon for 25% off my entire order.  I bought a yard of outdoor fabric and turned two of these

into these.

My porch is sew happy now.  And so am I because...

1 yard of outdoor fabric for 2 pillows = $24.99 - 60% off - 25% off = $7.50

I also purchased this OttLite table lamp to replace the table lamp and my flip OttLite I have by my nest in the family room.
 Sew Happy! 

OttLite Table Lamp = $119.99 - 50% off - 25% off = $45.00

I also picked up this frame for a project I will show at a later date.

frame on clearance = $7.97 - 25% off = $5.98

I really went looking for a little more Denyse Schmidt fabric.  Her new Richmond line came out and I wanted a couple of the patterns for my Great Granny quilt.

New DSQ fabric = $12.99(per yard) - 30% off - 25% off = $6.82(per yard)

As a bonus I found a few bolts from her older line that I love and bought enough for the back of my quilt.
Quilt back = 9.99(per yard) - 30% off - 25% off = $5.25(per yard)  x 4 = $21.00


Monday, August 6, 2012

What a Week...

A couple weeks ago we traveled to Iowa for the Register's Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa.  RAGBRAI is an annual seven-day bicycle ride across the state.  It is the oldest, largest and longest bicycle touring event in the world, celebating it's 40th year this summer. Des Moines Register Media has been the title sponsor of RAGBRAI since 1973. 

The route changes every year.  This year the route began in Sioux Center and ended in Clinton.
Route Map source RAGBRAI.com

My husband  has participated in RAGBRAI for the last 15 consecutive years.  He rides with Team Spare Tire, a group of friends from Iowa.  My son has participated for the last 6 years.  I stay with friends and have a week of sewing, shopping, eating and chatting... but these details are worthy of another post.

This year some 15,000 (yes... fifteen thousand) riders participated in RAGBRAI.

Mary Chind/The Des Moines Register

And isn't this picture great with the barn quilt in the background.

Justin Hayworth/The Des Moines Register

 This year the ride went past the farm where my husband grew up in Aurelia, IA.

Christopher Gannon/The Des Moines Register

On Wednesday, on the fourth day of the ride, in 100+ degree heat, with strong headwinds, while drafting with his team members, my husband had a terrible crash.  His tire met the tire of a team member ahead of him and he went down... hard.  I received a call that he was okay but going by ambulance to Marshalltown.  Thankfully Jess, the sole female on the team, rode along. 

I was in Coralville, about an hour and forty minutes away.  I hurried off to Marshalltown, not too worried... afterall, they said he was okay.  I entered the ER, it was overrun people clad in biking wear.  Most were sufferring from dehydration, in fact Jess's husband Josh was there receiving IV fluids.  I  found Brad in room 10 with six ribs with multiple fractures, a shattered collar bone, and a punctured lung.  Poor guy, he had a similar accident in September of 2009.  He had to stay in the hospital for two and a half days due to the punctured lung.  He had a very hard time breathing.

As bad as it is, he is very lucky.  He landed on his head and shoulder on his left side.  His helmet  
has 6 cracks on the inside, proving it did it's job. 

We traveled 6 hours from Iowa home to Indiana.  The husb never complained.  He contacted the doctor that helped him after his last accident and now has a catheter placed in his back, to the left of his spine that works like a sprinkler hose delivering a novacaine like product to the rib area.  He wears a sling to protect his collarbone. We have a lovely hospital bed in our bedroom.   Now it is a waiting game.  Everything has to heal on it's own.

Today, not quite two weeks later, he is attempting a short day at work.  Up until this weekend he did not drive.  We went out yesterday and bought a new helmet.  He is ever the optimist.  After 26 years of marriage you'd think some of that would rub off on me.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

More Time in my Sewing Room...

When I visited my Skinny Sister at the beginning of the summer she picked out some fabrics from the Lucy's Crab Shack line for a table runner.  I hope to see her again next week and I have her table runner ready.  I love these fabrics from Moda by Sweetwater.  I purchased additional fabric for a t-shirt quilt I am working on.

My sister recently asked if I would make a quilt for a couple of friends celebrating their 25th anniversary... in August.  She wanted red and brown.  I am giving her this quilt from my stash.

Here are additional blocks for the Great Granny Along.  I went to our small JoAnn fabrics yesterday.  They are moving to a larger space next door to their current location and were having a close out sale.  I grabbed up a few DSQ bolts and they rang up at an additional 33% off. 

I am getting ready for Quilt Camp with my Iowa friends.  I think I will take my Grannies to work on.  I can't wait to see all the girls!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Did you get the Memo?...

I am running to JoAnn Fabrics this morning because I just discovered "Premium Quilting Fabrics" are 40% off.  {EDIT:  Premium Quilting fabrics are not on sale in-store until July 22, however they are on sale on-line.}This includes Denyse Schmidt Quilts fabrics, and as you know I am loving them.  If you do not have a local JoAnn you can shop on-line.  Use promotion code PAI228 and get free shipping with a minimum $35 purchase.

Here is Great Granny Block #3.  I am hooked!

It is going to be HOT in central Indiana.  It is a good day to stay in my sewing room!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Great Granny Along...

I managed to find some time this morning to work on my first two blocks for the Great Granny Along.

I love the Denyse Schmidt Quarters I ordered from JoAnn Fabrics.

And here are some Denyse Schmidt scraps rescued from my scrap bin.

Want to be inspired?  Check out this flickr group.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Friday the 13th...

Friday the 13th is shaping up to be a pretty good day. 

The Denyse Schmidt fabric I mentioned in this post arrived from JoAnn - OH HAPPY DAY.  I can't wait to cut into this fabric.  I have decided to participate in Lori & Jodi's Great Granny Along.  It should be fun.  You can find details here.

I got in a very nice 5 mile walk this morning.  You see, yesterday I had my annual physical and my blood pressure is up and so is my weight {like I didn't know that}.  Once again, I am eating less and exercising more.  I have to go back to the Dr in 6 weeks and I am working on a notable difference. 

On my walk I finished Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay.  I loved this book and did not want it to end.   I would definitely recommend this book if you have not read it.

Lastly, somehow Kate Spain found my little blog post about Chopsticks quilt I made from her Terrain line... and commented.  The fact that she took time to leave me a note brings a big ol' smile to my face.  How nice of her!

I may find joy in very  simple things, but today seems to be going my way, and it is still early in the afternoon!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Another Chopsticks...

I had so much fun making Julie Herman's {Jaybird Quilts} Chopsticks pattern the first time around... so I made another.  It is pieced together and it is ready for the quilter.  Here is a quick shot.  {I could work on my pressing skills... as well as my photography skills!}

The fabric is Terrain by Kate Spain in fun, funky colors I don't usually choose. 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Want to Share my Love Affair...

Based on my recent posts, you know I am in love with Denyse Schmidt Quilts Collection fabric.  Well today I found a great deal for all who feel the same.  Currently, at JoAnn Fabrics, Premium Quilting fabric is 30% off.  And as an added bonus, you can get 15% off your total purchase by using the code DNJ189.  {This offer is good until July 7.} 

So, like me, you could have these new 4 great prints in one yard to add to your collection.  I ordered this one...
and this one...
and this one!
OH HAPPY DAY!  And there are several other DSQ fabrics to choose from!

Regularly $12.99, with 30% off they are on sale for $9.09 and with the additional 15% off they will cost you about $7.73 each.  I ordered my fabrics on-line. {It is sooo stinkin' hot, I am refusing to go out.}  I have not seen them at our super JoAnn store.  This means I have not touched the fabric.  I am hoping it will be as nice as other DSQ fabrics I have purchased at this big box store. 

Thursday, June 28, 2012

My Scrappy String Quilt...

After seeing some fantastic string quilts in blogland, I was inspired to make one of my own.  I was so excited to share my quilt top... I photographed it before I ironed it!

I really love Denyse Schmidt's fabrics and on a particularly bad day I ran to JoAnne Fabrics for a little retail therapy... and paid full price. 

BUT, while I was there I qualified for a coupon that gave me 30% off my total instore purchase... a week later.  My day was looking better!  Great news, during the second visit the DSQ fabric was on sale, PLUS I got the 30% off.  I bought a few more quarter yards and a back for my quilt.  I picked the orange because I wouldn't usually pick orange... I am running with scissors here!

There are plenty of tutorials on the web on how to make a string quilt.  I made my blocks based on the tutorial found here by Ashley at Film in the Fridge.  I have pictured below how I constructed my blocks and quilt.

I pulled many strips from my scrap basket and I added my new DSQ fabrics.  I cut strips 1 to 2 inches in varying widths.  For the center of each block, I cut 1 " x WOF strips out of white Moda Bella Solid. 

I used pages from a phone book {it felt so good to recycle in this way!} and cut them 8" x 8".  Next I drew a diagonal line one 1/2" to the right of the center of the block.

 I used this line to line up my center strip.

I placed my next strip right side down on the white strip and use the pencil line as a guide for my fabric and quarter inch foot. I adjusted my stitch length to 1.5 to make tearing the foundation paper off easier.

And here we have it.

I pressed each time I sewed a strip.
Line up your next strip... sew... press.
I liked having a fabric with good contrast against the white to make the white pop.

Keep adding strips and soon you will have a block that looks like this...

Flip the block over and trim to the original size using your foundation as a guide.

Here we are... a perfect block. 

I loved how the red polka dot fabric looked and ran out to my LQS to get more!  So I guess this is my Not Totally Scrappy String Quilt. 

I made 80 blocks in total.   I sewed 4 blocks into one 2 x 2 block and then assembled those 4 x 5 in the quilt.   

I finished the top, removed the foundation paper, and I must say... I. LOVE. IT.

Rarely do I sit down and work a quilt from beginning to end.  It was nice to prove to myself that I could do it before my self diagnosed adult onset ADD kicked in. 

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