Monday, October 28, 2013

What I did in October

Besides being my favorite month weather-wise, I feel like we've had a very productive month, getting a lot of things marked off our lists.  Mike's list is actually written down and taped to the kitchen counter - not the ideal place, according to me - but better than not having one at all. 

My list is swirling around in my head with all the 500 other things I'm thinking about, so it's a wonder anything gets accomplished.

So what have we done?

Mike has set up a carpenter's shop in the garage and constantly busy.  He hates it when I call it puttering.

I can't even remember everything he's done this fall.  He has pressure-washed every surface that doesn't move and some that do (my car).   Every paintable exterior surface has been caulked and painted and caulked again.   The storage house has been completely repainted.

He has waged war on water damage and replaced wood with non-wood that is impossible to tell the difference.  Every window has been caulked and all the metal and woodwork around them have been painted.   Door thresholds are next as well as new doorknobs on the back and side doors. 

It's hard to remember a whole month of activities when I can't even remember what I did yesterday. 

I go to help make turbans for cancer patients on Wednesday morning with a wonderful group of ladies.  We have a lot of fun and hopefully turn out something that will help someone.

We laugh a lot, share our problems, and pray for the ones receiving the turbans as well as our friends and family members.

We made baby blankets for the daycare on the other hall, and they rewarded us with a wonderful platter of pastries last week.

A little bit more active is my Friday morning babysitting for a young mothers' Bible study.  I think I've already included some of the pictures, but I always have some new ones.  It's hard to take a picture because one of the 1-year-olds has an uncanny way of hearing the click and buzz of my camera every time.  This causes him to come crawling over to try to find buttons to push.

I love to see this sweet view.

I noticed these on the front porch this morning.  Just a few weeks before gloomy weather.

I've sewed another stack of jerseys.

Finished Sarah's cross.

Participated in a sew along.

It helps to have pictures for every step of the instructions.

These are the 6 dresses in progress plus the instructors.  Which one is mine?

How about this one?

Sherry brought me these two soft book panels to make for Graysen.  I've cut them out and just need to cut the batting to size and sew them up.  She did the same ones for her Emma.

The big project for Graysen for Christmas - a smocked dress.  I have the fabric, the smocking plate, the pattern, the thread, and the tiny little pearls.  All that remains is for me to get in there and get started. 

I'm so impressed with Emily's talent.  She had the idea to make an owl costume for Graysen for Halloween.  She emailed me one day and asked a question or two about the instructions.  I didn't think much more about it until I saw these pictures on Facebook.  Not only did she make a perfect little owl costume for Graysen, she made Mother Owl wings and a mask for herself. 

This will be it for October, I think.  We have 6 weeks before our (hoped for) Christmas gathering in WA.  I need to get on the ball and get some things done.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

I took a little time off, it seems

I haven't been just sitting around admiring my neat sewing room.  There's too much more to do to enjoy it yet, but it is a big improvement.  I've actually moved those stacks of cloth around and used some of them.

Besides the jersey-making, I've done some embroidery this week.  Sharon, a mother of 5-month-old twins asked if I could make some bibs more exciting.  They were nicely bound in striped fabric and just begging for designs.

Two of them got owls.
A chick and a hippopotamus.
And 2 monograms.  I love how these turned out.  One for Hannah and one for Nate.
I have 2 turkeys to do for my favorite boys, but I decided to try out the fabrics Amanda and I had talked about.  This may not be the exact combination she picked, but this is a shirt I did for Graysen.
Except for turning the back fabric sideways (because I cut it too narrow), I think this is a pretty combination.  Turkeys are not the most beautiful of creatures, and I don't like a lot of the patterns I see, but this one makes me happy.  A plump little turkey who wishes he were a peacock.
Or she.
I needed a bright orange polka-dot bow, but I needed to get a package mailed, so this was as close as I could come.
Mike has been busier than I have the past 2 weeks.  I mentioned that I thought the white wicker chairs on the porch would look good black - to match the front door - and he agreed, and over the course of about a week, this is what we have now.

Luckily the cushions look better with black than with white.
He even painted the table, and the coleus is now living there.  A nice place to sit and drink a cup of coffee if we would ever take the time to do it.
 This is small potatoes to the other stuff he's been up to.  The new pressure washer has gotten a workout.  Not only have the porch, patio, driveway, and all walks been cleaned - he's pressure-washed the woodwork on the whole house.

That led to painting all the woodwork - a huge job.  But with this magic tool, he's been able to stay off the ladder for all but the last touch ups.  It's his favorite toy of all time, I think, and he was glad to demonstrate all the positions and all the areas it will paint.

So no ladder mishaps, but there was the painful attack from an "Africanized killer hornet," that took offense to his white painter's turban/doo-rag.  The stinger is still in his forehead.  He has confirmation from our pastor that he saw a nest of them in his lawn mower when he opened it; they didn't swarm, but they all "turned around and looked at him."
It's time for lunch, so I'll come back and post pictures of our Turban Ministry at work and a few more of the Friday morning Bible study kids.
The sweetest picture lately of sweet Graysen.  She turned 8 months old Sunday.  How can that be?!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Sewing Room Progress

I've been lucky enough to have had 2 whole days at home without having to go anywhere.  Mike has pretty much been the same.  He's painting the woodwork on the house, and I'm doing a lot of standing in the sewing room with a stack of something in my hands and wondering what to do with it.  I did actually sew some today. 

So that room!  It's a former back porch, so 3 walls are brick, and it has very little insulation.  The heating and cooling ducts were added on so have to struggle to keep the room comfortable.  It also happens to have been the dumping place for spare furniture that I couldn't bear to part with and thus the haphazard look.  Plus it's where Stella/Molly and Darby sleep at night and stay in rainy weather or just when it gets too hot or cold for them to stay outside.

It was up until yesterday the repository for one of Mama's 2 green recliners.  She brought one when she moved but then bought a new Lazy Boy.  She uses one for several months and then decides it's the sole cause of her back problems/sleeplessness/leg pains/whatever.  So we go through the ordeal of dragging them in and out - big puffy recliners through halls with right angles and narrow doors.  It was a happy moment when I realized the backs would lift off.  The one that's currently out of favor has been resting in my sewing room - just a random recliner taking up space.  But this time Mike hauled it to the storage unit to wait for it's next call.

Still a lot of work to do, and it needs cleaning and dusting, but I'm getting there. 


 This has been a job, folding all this fabric to fit the cubes.  Most of mine is in small pieces for quilting or embroidery - lots of fat quarters and half yards, etc, -  and that was hard to do, but it's fairly well organized now.  And room for more!

This corner where the hutch is always looks messy.  I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it.  The drawers and cabinets are handy, but those glass shelves just aren't attractive with plastic boxes.  Oh, well.

I sure don't need plates and cups and vases and stuff on it.  Now it holds my embroidery supplies on the bottom shelf, smocking pleater and supplies plus buttons on the second, and things I'm keeping but don't know why on the top one - cross-stitch half-finished projects, craft things, old patterns.

But I can mostly see my cutting table now.

Mike hates it and would love to take it out and chop it into small pieces.  It's missing one wheel (caster?), and that leg is on a block of Styrofoam.  It's just overall kind of shaky, but it's big and pretty reliable, so I don't see any reason to replace it. 

This once held my little TV in Meridian and now has patterns and tracing paper, interfacing, etc. Still thinking about it.
So this is what I see while I'm sewing.  I think it's beautiful - just because I know where everything is now, and nothing is stuffed into plastic bins or in dresser drawers - well some drawers are still being used in the bedrooms.
That big "entertainment center" served it's purpose in several houses for holding TVs and VCRs.  I've threatened to get rid of it, but it holds a huge amount of stuff that wouldn't fit anywhere else and is better off hidden - like batting and bulky fabrics, half-finished projects, and other boxes I haven't looked at in awhile.
Another few days, and I think I'll be thrilled with it.  Another few weeks, and it'll be messy again.  But maybe not as much as before.