Thursday, September 29, 2011

It's all good

Perfect day for painting, my friend told me and paint we did! We worked on the furniture that will be in the veranda. I used up old paint and a goodly number of spray cans that I'd accumulated. I'm not too good a sprayer so I stuck to the paint brush. I was also the one wearing the most paint!

This bench was sprayed aqua inside and painted a blue green on the outside.

The highchair was sprayed with 2 different cans of yellow. The car and we gals have evidence of over spray. oops! But she's a blonde so it was her moment!

The wind came up and I had a very 'happy' sprayer of antique white in the spray chamber!

I sent her home to sing in the shower.

The man came with his machine to put the piles in at the veranda. I knew things were not going to be so very good when I overheard my Rooster telling him not to worry about the plants, they'd come back up next year. Good bye cottoneaster shrub. :O

The machine has tracks which crush kinda softly but it is the pivoting of the tracks that raise my eyebrows! One cement paver is toast. To be fair he chose the path of least resistance and so the plants/shrubs that were in jeopardy were the ones that have been not exactly thriving.

Now the Rooster will have to refigure the step and handrail as the piles are further out than he'd hoped. But we need to refigure the whole gate, walk and entrance area. This flowerbed will have to be revamped in the spring. The plants look kind of horrified at the moment as it is. But I do hope the weather holds, particularly as I found another chair we should have painted.

I'm also looking at the veranda floor. The light grey is not looking so good with all the traffic. It is showing everything. If I'm going to change it, now is the time.

But it is looking like a rain day. We were so happy to get the machine in before it delayed him again. The poor plants are probably pretty thankful for the rain. And I'm thankful I that I just may get a play day. ;^)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

small wow

Yesterday I spent the morning at the local thrift shop. A bag of knitting and crocheting material yielded some treasures. I brought home some cotton crochet thread and the heavier cotton perle. I'm thinking couching! I found 3 fat quarters as well.

But perhaps I should keep my mind on today's agenda which is painting outside while the great weather holds.

I had a senior moment yesterday afternoon. First I forgot my camera. Then while I was at the playground with the grandkids I decided to join them in their play. I loved swinging as a youngster. Could I still get to see over the cross bar? Awk? What is that funny feeling in my tummy? Slides now have bumps and dips that produce a similar feeling. :( Then my monkey girl wanted to twirl. OH, stay on your feet, Gram'elle!!!

Good thing my Nina has her feet firmly on her sewing table. I'll be making dips through a field of smooth cotton. And we can twirl with the best of them without getting dizzy!

Happy WIP Wednesday

Monday, September 26, 2011

Falling into good weather

With all the changes in weather patterns, I must say we have been perfectly delighted with the gorgeous Falls we've had these last couple of years. Just marvelous! These daisies that I brought from my parent's place always mark fall for me. They seem to come into bloom just as everything else is succumbing to the first frosts. They actually make a nice hedge, about 4-5 feet tall. They are perennials but the stems are very tough and are very hard to cut back. So I have only a couple of clumps in a few strategic places.

Our trees don't colour up too exceptionally. We get a few shrubs that are kinda red but the majority are the yellows. This year the trees seem to be keeping their leaves longer.

I figured a quick clean-up from the weekend and then some playtime before I gathered up my paint supplies. I got busy editing our bedroom of all the blue greens that were confusing my attempts at a golden rose colour scheme. I was interrupted by a call from my friend to come help edit her 'man cave'. We got a goodly bit accomplished and she will be helping me later this week to get my veranda painting all finished up. We did have a lovely coffee break out on her deck which looks out onto the river that meanders about our municipality. I should have taken my camera! I really must learn to carry it to capture momentous moments!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Getting ready to play

A busy week.

The Common Threads quilt group met for another year in town. Some new gals and it is always nice to have new inspiration. First meeting is just to get acquainted and write down all our needs, wants and desires!!! Each year is different and this year has a number of things to keep me busy. Also this year I think I'll do white bindings and kinda have a theme for some art in the 'problem' corner of the playroom.

Lots of craft stuff coming into the thrift store as people organize and plan for the fall. I scooped up some books to disperse to our group. I also have my eye on all the bits of wool. Couching???

The monthly sewing club met in the city. This is at my sewing machine dealer and I always learn lots. But I went in early specifically to get some stuff for my kiddies.

I had a drawer of 'STUFF" but another blogger's posts on including children had me rethinking some things. First, I shouldn't wait till they are old enough!!!

So the kids have 2 drawers each and Josh will have aqua blue themed supplies and Eliana will have lime green. I'll colour code the drawer fronts.

I'm very happy to share my stuff. I have LOTS of glue and crayons and paper to get us started.

Their mum was a kindergarten - grade one teacher and I grabbed her art book. If kids can learn to draw so can I! I also have some pattern books for tracing and 'ta heck' with colouring books. I'll scan, enlarge and print on the scanner. I've been saving paper for some time! But I also found a book by InkStainswithRoni at Michael's. Roni's blog is all about 'how to' so this should be most helpful as well.

Now today I have a run to see the kiddies. Josh is awaiting his new winter long johns! I hope he likes the cars on them. Although I could have got pink 'beauties' for his sister she has claimed and is only too happy to wear the old Thomas the tank ones!!!

My, the seasons are flying along and now so must I!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


With a recently reorganized and clean studio/playroom I'm anxious to start some new/different/exciting art!

But I don't have anything ready for show and tell.

So I've continued with the doodling. I need to try out the lower position for my sewing machine. Standing up works best for when I'm piecing and ironing and moving back and forth from my design wall. I really do prefer to stand whether I'm working in the kitchen, watching a workshop demonstration or even explaining something exciting. I have more room to wave my hands around. LOL

I enjoy free motion on the sewing machine but I must admit that 'use it or lose it' is very much a true saying. And I haven't been doing too much free wheeling lately. So I'm going to have to make it more of a daily exercise. Maybe a daily doodle with Nina needs to be more of priority than zentangling on paper.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

elle in da coop!

When they announce the 'chicken dance' at a wedding I am not among the participants.

But a snoopy dance for a completed quilt project... totally a different matter. ;^)

So this morning I am doing a few struts, a skip or two and a slow twirl around my playroom. I am in my happy space and it is looking good and feels clean. vbsigh

I'm sure there are more nice days ahead for outside work but it is time to be thinking about the creative opportunities that lie ahead.

What if...

Monday, September 19, 2011

Better than a B +

Not quite an A+ but I'm dealing with the B's!

BOOKS- The editing and cleaning of the playroom left a pile of books on the floor which lead to this fine mess. I decided to deal with all my books. Well, the ones necessary for my hobbies. ;^)

It makes me cringe when I see the price tags on these 'just had to have books'! Now some I've used, some I've referenced and some I've even gone through a couple of times. But I've also moved on. I've better defined what I like best. Tiny bits of layered applique which I can do and is nice is just not my style. I prefer a simpler look. Folk Art and Country has to make way for moderne! This hall closet is not too accessible so I'll give the garment making books and fabric one more year reprieve. I didn't dare take the time to refold, pat and generally get side tracked by the fashion fabric! My mum's old Elna is a nostalgic keepsake and a few other bits of memorabilia will hide out till the next purge!

The closet is inaccessible because I usually have my design wall flannel draped over it.

I sorted the unwanted books according to where they'll be going. Some to my Common Threads Quilt group which begins again for another year tonight. Some will go tomorrow to the local second hand shop where I've been helping out. Some will go to the Mennonite thrift store in the little city where I visit my kids on Fridays. I'm kinda embarrassed to dump it all in one place. LOL
Then I dispersed the 'can't bare to part with' books to appropriate parts of the play room.

I'm hoping that the remnant will be easier to remember and find for quick use.

The sewing machine cabinet/wash stand was cut down level with the cutting table. Its lower than I like for general piecing but I know it needs to be level with the larger surface for machine quilting. I put books that I'll need for quick reference to some specific sewing machine techniques behind the sliding doors.

The books weren't in the plan but I am quite tired of half done jobs. The room isn't an A+ because I still have a few piles on the floor and the small ironing station is overflowing. But the hall closet purge gives me a lighter heart because I have never had it so empty before. That good feeling will make me reduce the last few piles of clutter.

I did do the other closet which holds my roll of batting and the quilt tops that are awaiting finishing. I was so surprised to straighten them out and count the number remaining. The end is in sight! B++

I'd hoped to get to the Basement which is another area that is always amassing clutter but it'll have to wait for another day. B for bad! :(

I'm also really hoping to bee quiet at the meeting tonight because I can't afford another whole bunch of little projects. vbsigh

But now is not the time to settle for only a B. After all...

Good, better, best.

Never let them rest.

Till the good is better,

And the better is Best!

EDIT: I shoulda refolded the fashion fabric now that I see the photos! B-

Friday, September 16, 2011

Both sides against the middle

The Rooster sawed off the top shelf and with Ds's help we got it up! I'm definitely not going to be putting the thread all back where I had it as I wouldn't reach it. My guys were saying it wouldn't fit and they know all about my math skills. LOL But it did come from there! I was just a tad alarmed at how high it actually went. ;^)

Now I need to figure where to put my books. I have edited my books once already. I reduced by half. These on the floor, with no place to go, amount to about a quarter of my hobby books. I shall be doing some more editing. I think I'll only keep technique books. I'm past pretty pictures, I think.

So with the sides relatively done, I face the middle. The sewing chest, which my old timer Rooster says is a wash stand, needs to come down about 3 inches to make my sewing machine's work surface level with the cutting table.

I do luv the benefit of viewing the pictures once they are uploaded. See that far left corner. The sloped wall. It isn't right.

Better, but I need something bigger, squarer! I shall consider my options as I deal with the middle.

What if I got a fancy frame, painted it white and made it into a chalk board???

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

WOW new tools

One work surface has been cleaned off, decluttered and is almost ready for being crossed off as done.

I watched carefully as my DH raised the board on the back wall to hold tools. After 'conquering' the BIG sander I figure a drill should be easy. So I did some 'tweaking' this morning.

I mounted an IKEA bar to hold things. I thought of painting it white but I have a few things that are black. I do need serene but not sleepy. The splash of black adds some GO to my white, aqua, lime green palette.

I was thinking I'd not have time for some more of the zentangle look but I really wanted to see how the white thread would stitch out on black. The lint is a problem but I think this will work. I used Mettler silk finish 50 wt. top and bottom just because it was readily at hand.

I did try some Pearl Crown Rayon through the #39 Brenina foot.

I have run out of bobbin thread and my 'real' work table is hidden under lots of stuff so it is time to get back to cleaning. One thing I am noticing is that not working at my usual rushed and "I'm late, I'm LATE..." pace certainly has some benefits as I contemplate where I want to go and how to find the best way to get there. That is an important work in itself!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A never ending story

Tis the end of summer.

Well, we all had very red faces as we tore down the fence and threw it into a very large container to burn on Saturday. The temperature was 31 celcius and the fire burned hot. The burning ban lifted as we have had a bit of rain and we had to be vigilant but I am so glad that it is all gone. Yard clean up is never ending. The new fence will go back in spring with a few changes.

Then Sunday afternoon I tackled the veranda floor as the week ahead looks cold and rainy.

The son in law's big sander is almost more than I can handle. I pressed the trigger and was half way down the length of the veranda before I could even yell! But my, it does eat away the layers. It also ate the cord. oops! Joshua is learning about smoke. Smoke from fire, smoke from the tractor muffler and smoke from Grand Dad's ears!!!

Josh also came to see what I was doing. I was also smoking after he stepped on the door jam and then started back down the hall! The above photo is from this morning and Josh's foot prints have been removed! ;^) My muscles are sore. That sander does vibrate! I also sanded down the sills and repainted them. I'm so messy so now I'll need to touch up the walls. I really hope the touch ups can end there! lol

I got the playroom rearranged so my guys could just slip the newer chest into place.

I'd carried the drawers but the the chest is well made as there are dividers between each drawer so it is heavy. I need to use that sander again to get old paint off the drawers so they slide easier.

We had taken the base off and Josh screwed in the new metal foot pads.

It is a tad tall but I'll be okay with that. I'm going to remove that overhead shelf. It is way too cluttered and I'm learning to reduce surface areas where things collect. I think a few hooks and holders will be better. I'm sure the drawers will be crammed though. lol

These are 2 very old IKEA chests. They hold a lot and aren't deep so I CAN find things.

This is an old IKEA media cupboard. It is nice to have but a lot of space is wasted so...

Even though The Rooster has been busy with repairs...

The pump for our well, the hot water tank, the bathroom sink. He also had an argument with the grinder at work. He won but it did get a few licks in. I think Josh will have a hard time settling for those little coloured bandaids now! ;)

But now he needs to re-purpose my old media cupboard so it can sit on my two very usable and sturdy chests. Then I can begin to put stuff back. After I purge, of course. And that is really a never ending story!

Saturday, September 10, 2011


I got my parcel card in the mail that my package was in so my friend and I scooped it up and had the grand opening at my DD's. She was shocked I wasn't opening it. On a busy street??? I might lose something! The kiddies oohed and ahhed along with all of us but I think the box was the biggest hit! lol Thanks to Sew We Quilt and a generous Madame Samm!

I got the big wheeled bag for transporting a sewing machine and supplies to class. I got a cotton quilt batt, a calendar, a magazine, some self stick thimbles thimbles, 3 bunches of FQ's, and 2 kinds of Prescencia thread. The batting and threads are new to me so I'm curious to try them.

In the mail was also a book I've been waiting for. There is a lot of talk on the DIY blogs about Amy Sloan Chalk Paint and I found a Canadian supplier and I'm drooling over her book and lovely colours and techniques.

And to top things off a visit to the thrift shop got me another white pitcher with its bowl. This is very lovely.

I brought one grandchild home and we are having a work bee outside so no playing till next week!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Phooling around!

The 3 Creative Studios Technique of the Month is fascinating. What I know about photos and what you can do with them is infinitesimal. But I'd like to know.

So I am 'phooling' around with my sketch book, my scanner/printer, and my camera. Now that I've had a quick taste which has also included some lip chewing, LOL, I will go back and reread the instructions better and give this a better try. Very Fascinating. This was some stamping on paper that I scanned and then printed. The fabric and freezer paper caught a bit but it sure looks like it can be done.

I drew sketches of shapes. This one was with a Sharpie.

I scanned it into the 'puter.

I used the editing section to colour one block and that isn't as easy as it looks.

I used a photo layout to get this grid. Then I printed it out on white fabric that I backed with freezer paper.
There is ALL kinds of room for improvement but this sure opens up an whole new world of 'what if's..'!