Sunday, September 15, 2019

House projects begin...

Converting one of our now-empty bedrooms into DH's "study" is what's on the docket at the moment.  This is what it looked like yesterday after he taped it up to paint all the trim:



Before anyone gets excited, I will say upfront we're kind of boring when it comes to paint.  We're all in for beige.  I've actually picked out different shades of beige in different brands of paint, used in different houses, and I've ended up with the same basic beige color. Rather than fight it, I've decided to own it.  I've dubbed our basic wall (and trim) color, Beige-a-vu.  And while it may be boring, we rock it!  😉  

Husband is doing most of the painting (for which I am truly grateful).  I was involved in painting many rooms in this house over the first decade of living here (following the stripping of much wallpaper 😣).  Two decades in now, the thought of repainting them nearly does me in.  Physically, mentally, emotionally...   I was all for hiring it done this time around, but DH decided he would tackle it.  In this room, anyway.  

And without major involvement by me. 😗

In between various commitments that got me out of the house this past week, I kept myself busy picking out the carpet for the above room, shampooing the carpet in the family room (that's now drying and awaiting new furniture), and doing some general deep cleaning.  

BTW, this might be a good place to mention that I'm not really sure what "sharing these projects" here is supposed to look like.  Except for painting, I'm realizing our house "projects" are going to mainly consist of decluttering, organizing, and decorating.  

Except for some sorely needed furniture, I'm pretty committed to using what we have to decorate with, and finding frugal sources for items that are new.  While I can imagine the appeal of seeing how someone else does this, I'm suddenly realizing that sharing my decorating feels kind of vulnerable.  Funny that.  It never occurred to me until I started trying to imagine what to take pictures of.  And what might be interesting.  For example, I just deep cleaned and decorated (for fall) a little half-bath that makes me really happy at the moment, but a picture of it seems kind of...  I don't know...  weird?  Yes. Weird.  

And there's the issue of different tastes and styles. I wish I could honestly say I'm a minimalist (oh, how I wish), or that I had a "style",  but I'm mostly an eclectic life-time accumulator of stuff - most of which wasn't hand-picked by either of us.  So much of my "stuff" isn't even stuff that has great meaning to me.  Some does, but mostly... not. 

There are also rooms in our home that we are simply not going to spend the money redoing. Some rooms are so old and dated, they deserve a truly thoughtful approach to bringing them into the 21st century.  We're just not the ones who are going to do that right now.

So...  again...  I'm not sure what it may look like to share these projects here.  But I kind of hope I can give little glimpses into our home as we clean up, clear out, and make nicer - for however longer we may live here.


~~~~~


BTW, one of the activities I did this past week was go to an author talk/book signing - less than a mile from home.  The author was Susan Wiggs, and the first 100 registrants received a copy of her newest book, The Oysterville Sewing Circle.  I didn't get a free book, but it was an enjoyable way to spend an hour last Thursday evening.  I'd honestly, never before heard of this author (which, I'm sure is only an indication of how big the rock is I live under), but now I'm intrigued to check out her books.  Our county library is really good about scheduling author visits.  I've gone to a few - most of them small with local authors.  I'm thinking I might broaden my horizons and check them out more often.


~~~~~

And finally... not having worked with hook or needles all week, and suddenly feeling nearly desperate to start a small and quick doily yesterday, I set about to find my 99 Little Doilies book.  But find it, I could not.  It's not entirely my fault.  DH has temporarily dumped window valances and spare painting supplies in my "yarn room".   That's the excuse I'm using this week, anyway.  

So, what's a person to do?  If your first thought was that I picked up my Sacred Space blanket and started crocheting on it again, you would be wrong.  No... instead, I finally decided to start crocheting a scarf I've had in queue for making since April.

The stitch pattern is called Celtic Weave, and Bonnie Barker has provided a video tutorial for making this particular scarf.  This is all I've managed to do since starting it yesterday:



This is supposed to be an infinity scarf, so the wonky edge there at the bottom, I guess, gets resolved when I join the two ends.  The back side of this isn't very attractive so I don't know, for sure, how this works since wearing an infinity scarf involves twisting it around one's neck and exposing both sides.  So we'll see...


And that's pretty much it!  
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Sunday, September 8, 2019

I love finishes...

Christmas Dazzle is done!

Pattern is found in the book, A Year of Afghans, 1998

I fussed and fussed over what kind of border to make, and finally settled on a simple linen stitch border.  



The whole look kind of makes me think of a sweater.  Hmmm...   It's too late now, but maybe I should have made a faux ribbing border (with alternating front and back post stitches).    Why did I not think of that?!?  Sigh.  


☝ Next time! 


~~~~~

And I found (on Amazon) what I think is a perfect frame for my little silhouette cross stitch picture:
I couldn't be more pleased with how this turned out.  So SWEET!


And that is absolutely all I touched in the crafts department this past week.

~~~~~

I hope to soon get back to work on my Sacred Space blanket, but we're busy here working on house stuff.  So I may or may not be YOPping much for the next few weeks.  Painting - ugh.  Getting some new carpet - whee!  And cleaning some older carpeting - will be nice when that's done.  AND soon we'll be getting some new furniture for the family room - Yippee. 


Maybe I'll YOP about these things.  
They are projects - to be sure!

And I'm still going through stuff and whittling down so much that is superfluous.  That is an on-going project.

~~~~~

As summer is drawing to a close (on the calendar, anyway), I wanted to snap a picture of a planting that has made me smile for the last few months:



I bought hibiscus and wave petunia plants on clearance in the late spring/early summer and planted them together on a whim.  I really didn't know how it would look together.  I'm amazed at how it all has thrived and how great the colors work with each other.   The one in the background...  not so much.  






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Sunday, September 1, 2019

Mystery revealed...

I look forward to getting back to my Sacred Space blanket soon, but this week I found myself making (and finishing) some smaller projects.  It felt good to have some finishes.

Firstly, after rescuing some colorful Yarn Bee Sugarwheel cotton yarn from the clearance shelf at the new local Hobby Lobby, I couldn't resist making something with it right away.  This Granny Square Bottom Bag fit the bill perfectly:



While I love the bright colors, I'm not all that crazy about this yarn.  
The color changes are abrupt, and there were many knots.  😕


Then I whipped up this quick and easy eyeball washcloth:

pattern is searchable online as Mad Eye Washcloth

What Harry Potter fan wouldn't think this a fun little cloth to wash dishes with? But you don't have to be a HP fan to think an eyeball washcloth is kind of cool.  😉   A few more of these will be fun stocking stuffers for my adult sons (who enjoy HP, but also anything this odd/cool/fun).

~~~~~

And lastly...  While I haven't figured out just what frame will suit this best, my little mystery silhouette cross stitch picture got finished yesterday:



My original thought was this would be nice to save for gifting to a young girl someday, but I like it so much I think I will frame it and display it on a shelf here.  It's very small - right at about 4 x 6 inches.  Which makes it even sweeter.  😊

I will say... this sweet little picture wasn't as simple as I thought it would be, but it was worth sticking with it, which included some ripping out and restitching in a few places.  I wish I could tell you who the designer is, and what my source was, but that would be a challenge since I made a working photo copy and then filed (i.e. stacked) the magazine with dozens of others without noting which one it was published in.  I'm pretty sure it's from a vintage Just Cross Stitching magazine (possibly from the 1980's), but that's the best I can do at the moment.  

Thank you all who played along with my mystery cross stitch guessing game.  I enjoyed the guesses.  While some could see the flowers a few weeks ago, the only ones who guessed right on my last update were Liz of Highland Heffalump Sharon (of Zanna's Homemade).  Good eyes, ladies!  

With these finishes, I think it may feel really satisfying now to work on my larger projects again.  😄


I hope everyone has a good week!






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Sunday, August 18, 2019

A bit of progress...

Short and sweet today with a couple of progress pictures. 

First, Sacred Space.  I was finally (and only) able to complete Part 1 this week, but it feels like an accomplishment with 30 rounds!


Part 2 only has half as many rounds as Part 1, so here's hoping they go a little more quickly.  Although...  just looking at the pictures, Part 2 looks kind of intense.   We'll see.  Looks can be deceiving with this sort of thing.  



~~~~~

And I wonder if anyone can finally guess what this may be:



I had to do a bit of surgery on it, but the pink floss will come up against the black (on the right side) before it's finished. Depending on what life throws my way this week, I might have this finished by next Sunday.

And that's it, really.    Christmas Dazzle (blanket) is continuing to come along, and I'd say it would easily be finished by next week too, but I have a feeling the above two projects will be calling to me more.  😊


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Monday, August 12, 2019

On Retirement...


My husband's retirement that is!

Image from Wall Street Journal article


Mostly, it's going smoothly.  We both have enough (separate things) to do away from home that we are able to give each other enough space and time to just breathe and "be" by ourselves.   

This was one of my concerns.  After having freedom to order my days as they seemed to fit what I want and need to do, I couldn't imagine what it would be like to have my husband here all day, every day - observing how I spend my days.  I think hubs is actually a little surprised at all I have going on.  When I mention that tomorrow (or later in the day) I'm going to go do...  whatever it is I have scheduled on that day, he's surprised - even though he knows I've been doing these things.  I guess seeing is believing - and if his reactions are any indication, I'm thinking he didn't quite believe my life was so full when he was at work all day.  lol  


But we are also finding ways to be together that we didn't have much opportunity for before...


On Thursday of last week (after hubs and I took an hour-long walk in the cool of the morning), he trimmed some bushes while I power-washed the back of the house, the deck, and a patio area.  It's always an exhausting job, but this time I needed half of the next day to recover.  I've concluded from that that I really need to do some weight training. I thought my right arm was going to fall right off when I tried to sleep that night.  Okay...  yes, that's a little bit of an exaggeration, but exhausted as I was, sleep only came after I finally took several extra strength Ibuprofen.  

This week, I hope to make some progress culling through stuff.  Possibly craft stuff.  Possibly clothes.  Maybe books.  So many choices of things to downsize...  It's a bit of a scary thought, but I'm contemplating photographing my progress (or maybe just photographing what leaves the house).  I think that would be interesting.  Might be motivating.  Could be humiliating.  Hmmm...  We'll see...

Tomorrow hubs is helping his mother out - transporting her to two different doctors' appointments.  She lives about an hour north of us, so that's easy enough to do.  Easy, perhaps isn't the right word, but he's glad to be able to do it, I know. Various ones of us have helped out with these kinds of things in recent years, but it's so good that he can do this more easily now - without taking a day of vacation from work.    


All in all, I'm finding the blessings in hubs' retirement.  And for that perspective I am truly thankful.


I'll try to remember to post more as those blessings occur to me.   😊






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