Saturday, September 29, 2012


 The weather has been cool enough this week for us to be waking up to mist on the pond.

I put the borders on the #3 memory quilt.

And finally finished #4, the wonky triangles.  What a job!  It wasn't a particularly fun process and since it was the fourth quilt I was getting heartily sick of working with the same clothing and fabrics.  We chose the royal blue (on the left) for the border and I still have to sew it on.  No matter what I think about the process I'm sure our client will be very pleased.  I hope the quilts evoke good memories.

Today it rained, rained again, and rained some more.  The pond was very full at dinnertime.

So there was no excuse not to get on with the painting.  I've got the primer on all the trim and doors (phew), and The Tramp got the first coat of white on the walls.

I'm sure it doesn't look like much in the photo, but the white is wonderful.  We can't get over how much brighter these dark spaces are!  I smile every time I see it.  :-)

I am a tad sick of the mess, but it hasn't fazed the dogs at all.  They seem to enjoy charging up and down the upstairs hallway on the noisy drop cloths.  :-)  I was hoping to do the caulking this evening but the first tube I tried to use (bought yesterday) just squirted all over the place and I couldn't get it to stop.  Yikes!  So those two caulk tubes went back to Home Depot.  I bought two of another brand, brought them home, and discovered those two were hard inside!  One was even previously opened and the seal broken inside.  SIGH.  Typical. Home Depot (and Lowes) regularly put used and broken items back on the shelf to sell to the next victim.  Even when we insist on store clerks opening boxes and checking things before we buy we still find missing, broken or nonfunctioning parts when we get home.  I don't know how these stores stay in business.  I really don't.  Or maybe it's just me?  For all I know it says, "Sucker Here!" on my forehead when I cross their threshold.  :-)

We did buy me a new book at Home Depot, called Square Foot Gardening.  It seems to have all it's pages (!), so I'm going to curl up in bed with it now and rest up for a long day of caulking (I hope!) and painting tomorrow.  Sweet dreams.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

On needing my head examined......

It's been a busy weekend, in and out of The Sandbox.  Block #2 of the wool applique BOM is almost finished.

Blocks #3 are fused and waiting to be stitched.

I'm still working on the set of four memory quilts.  Two are done and delivered to Julianne.  The blue/pink/grey one.

And the green one.

The third one, in "boy colors," just needs it's borders.

And number four is slowly coming together on the design wall.  I have to make 50 of those large wonky triangles so it's taking a while.

So it's still chaos in here with clothing draped all over.  :-)

On Friday morning at the crack of dawn we had an early appointment for our flu shots.  We also opted for the Tdap (tetanus/pertussis) vaccine which meant two sore arms each.  The rest of Friday was pleasant enough (if you don't count the sore arms!).  :-)

Saturday morning started early with a sick dog.  Poor Ngaire.  And began a day of cleaning of carpet, floor and stairs.  Ugh.  She looked so sick I was afraid to leave her alone.  So we cooked up a big batch of rice and eggs for her and hoped for the best.  I'm pleased to report that today is a sooo much better day for her, and for us!  Yesterday was also baking day and while I was mixing up g-f breads I suddenly got the hair-brained idea that right now was the time for us to paint the powder room and hallways.  To my mind, the color is a very sickly yellow and it's hugely depressing for both of us.  The Tramp, to his peril, agreed.

Apparently other family members had the same idea this week.  I wish Stardust had been here to choose our colors!  :-)

Of course deciding to paint the walls means deciding to paint the evil yellowed popcorn ceiling.  Then since we hate the orangey stained woodwork it seemed smart to just do that too.  So the simple painting of walls got much more complicated.  It's the way I roll!  (Send The Tramp a sympathy card.) 

The powder room walls (shudder) can't wait to be painted!

The dogs, due to illness, and our desire not to get black dog hair all over the new paint, were stuck hanging out with Charlie in the kitchen and on the porch.

I'm usually a pretty good painter but I just couldn't get it together yesterday.  Almost first thing, I stepped off the stool into the paint tray which flipped it and splashed paint down my leg, all over my feet and flip flops, on the baseboard and worse...a sizable puddle on the wood floor.  Yikes!  How do you get down the hall and across the kitchen to the sink with dripping painted feet?  Very quickly!  Haul each foot up into the sink to wash it and wipe the side of my jeans, all the while worrying about the floor.  Grab the closest (pink plastic popcorn) bowl for water and the closest (dish) sponge and wipe my way back to the puddle.  It took four big bowls of water but I got the paint up.  Phew!  And dragged the canvas drop cloth with it's big puddle of paint outside and lay it out to dry.  The poor Tramp.  He came home from a trip to buy more drop cloths (how ironic) and found me sitting on the front porch trying not to cry.

Today was much better.  I only spilled milk this morning at breakfast.  :-)  Painting always goes better with M&Ms.  I should have remembered that sooner!

We are painting everything white.  The ugly job of painting the popcorn ceilings is done.  Some of the first coat of wall paint and first coat of primer on the woodwork is done.  We are already excited by how much brighter the hallway is.

Still much to do.  Belatedly, I realized I have nine doors to paint.  The front door, three closet doors, three bedroom doors and two bathroom doors, one of them both sides.  Groan.  I'm so glad we had previously removed the kitchen, laundry and bonus room doors.  And I should be grateful there are no windows this time around!  :-)

We have to keep reminding ourselves the bannister is not there!

I suspect I'd really rather be in the park playing with Stardust in the woodchips.

Or even watching TV with the dogs.

C'est la vie.  :-)

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


Lookit!  Houses!  Joined!  Woot!

I have 150 more to make but Oh What Fun it is to see a row together!

We recently signed up for Netflix's streaming service which is great for company during the day while I'm sewing.  (Much cheaper than cable, which we weren't really watching anyway.)  Earlier in the summer The Tramp had made me a new table for the Bernina and I was so pleased to have a sewing "nest" in a corner of the room.  The Juki, which I use so much, was shoved in that far corner where the white cabinet is now, facing the wall.  What a crick I was getting in my neck trying to see the television.  So today we pushed and prodded some of the furniture around and came up with a better "nest."  :-)

Now I can see Charlie too!  I sat down to work on the houses at the sewing machine and the TV was on with a show about the science of music.  Charlie screeched all the way through it and then some.  We can usually distract him from his screeching, but not this time.  I just couldn't figure out what he was freaking out about.  I was about to banish him to his cage when the light dawned.  See the doll in my desk chair?  I put here there when we were shifting the sewing table.  She's always been in the room but never so close to him.  I picked her up and carried her close so he could get a good look.  Then I put her back on the chair and he just acted like nothing had ever happened.  Now why couldn't I have figured that out an hour earlier!  :-)

Now I've got a nice view of the rest of the room.  I still have the four memory quilts in progress and the clothing piled everywhere.  Number two is almost done.

Sewing the houses together is no problem.....but removing all the foundation paper is a bear.

It makes a mess too!

The weather has been cool and gorgeous.

The volunteer cherry tomatoes are growing like weeds though I suspect it's too late for much of a crop.

A few days ago we had a terrific storm and the pond overflowed.  It takes quite a while for all the brown mess to settle.

The stand pipe is waiting to be cleared.

Not pretty.

The water was up to the base of this tree at the foot of our driveway.  I don't think water ever reaches the road on our side of the pond though.  I can't imagine how bad a storm that would be!

We bought rain gutter filters at Costco and finally cleaned out the gutter over the garage doors and installed it.   This gutter I can reach.  We're going to have to hire someone to do the others.

Nice as it is, the mosquitoes are still horrendous.  Watching the world from inside is much more comfortable.  :-)

We received this wonderful pic of Magenta in her hoodie and blue jeans.

And several shots of Stardust at Land of Make Believe.  Her first carousel ride.


And clearly delighted with the train ride.

Just look at those curls!

Grand #6 is only a month away.  I can't wait!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Raindrops keep falling on my head.......

It's been rather rainy lately.  There was quite a deluge a couple of days ago.  The pond level rose very quickly but it didn't overflow this time.

Dog TV on a rainy day.

Ivy and Maisy are essentially the same sized dog, but Maisy is somewhat vertically challenged and can only just see over the windowsill.

She rests her chin for comfort.  :-)

Birds always seem to flock to the feeder during rain storms.  I had trouble getting any good pictures through the raindrops on the window.

I need to sit quietly for hummingbird pictures on a sunny day!

Upstairs, I'm continuing to work on the four memory quilts.  I've got about half of the churn dash blocks put together.  This was requested to be more pink, blue and grey.

And I've been auditioning some of the rail fence strips so I can get a feel for how it's going to look.  This one is supposed to to be more green.  I'm sure I'll have to clear the design wall to sort this one out properly.

Yesterday, as many other Sandbox days, I go downstairs periodically to grab a drink.  Charlie is usually upstairs with me, hanging out on his play stand.  When we go out of sight for a few minutes he chirps in a particular way to let us know he doesn't like being left behind, and I generally talk back to him to stay in contact.  As I stuck my head in the refrigerator I heard him calling in the usual way but this time it sounded too close!  I rushed to the bottom of the stairs and yep, there he was.  Surrounded by dogs....very cautious dogs.  :-)

This squeaky toy bites!