Sunday, November 4, 2012

Trick or Treat?

Ok.  Now I've said that....on to other things.  I've had my nose to the grindstone in The Sandbox.  Six quilt tops done in two weeks.  The first one is a scrappy log cabin with family photos in the centers of the blocks.  Ordered by a brother for his sister for Christmas.  How nice is that!

This is one side of a two sided quilt.  Somehow I missed taking a photo of the other side.  It's just as bright and cheerful.

Another two-sided quilt in fun colors.

And a larger one for the same client.  These five were a challenge as the t-shirts had been pre-cut by the client and I had to do a lot of fixing and fudging and adding of extra fabric to make all the blocks a uniform size. I think the end results are just fine.

Here in central North Carolina we watched as Frankenstorm Sandy swirled up the coast east of us damaging the shoreline and then the back side of the storm come around and dump piles of snow in the mountains to the west of us.  Having so many friends and family back in New Jersey we are very very aware of how lucky we are.  All are safe, some had very close calls, and all are waiting patiently and impatiently for life to get back to normal.  Some will never have the same kind of normal they had before and we can only hope good things will come their way soon.

Though we were safe from the storm, it was dismal and dark with a stiff breeze here for a few days.  One of those days we spotted something going on in our corner of the pond.

We crept down the driveway and yep.  It was the koi!  I'm not sure why they were congregating in this spot but it was great to see them and know they've survived.

Evil Step-Daughter sent us some delightful photos of Rocky with a new hat she made for him to wear to preschool.  She also helped him make a pillow.  He drew on and painted the fabric and then stuffed  it.  Gotta start 'em young!  :-)

Our nod to Halloween was pumpkins in the upstairs windows and some hastily strung lights on the day.  We enjoyed the trick or treaters but now have a bag of leftover candy we will of course feel obliged to finish.  :-p

Last week The Tramp and I sat down and had a serious discussion about how we use the space we have in this house.  We realize we spend most of our time in the kitchen, master bedroom and the bonus room, but we actually own much more than that.  We took a floor plan of the house and wrote all over it, and got a better handle on how we use our rooms and what wishes we have that aren't currently being met.  What an eye-opener.  The list of projects is long but it's nice to have some goals.

Some things on the list are pretty straightforward.  The first thing to go on the chopping block were these (rather fabulous actually) twin beds and a couple of vintage sewing machine cabinets.  The selling of the beds and removing the small dresser left us with a wonderful empty room!

But.  We do need a space for the grands to sleep.  So last weekend we bought some bunk beds on Craigslist.  Since the previous owners have cats, the furniture has been sitting in our garage all week.  Today we dragged it all out and I got busy washing it all down while The Tramp ripped the covers off the bunky boards.

He replaced the ripped cardboard with pegboard and we started recovering them.  One done and starting on the second.....

and the staple gun gave up the ghost.  We weren't sad as it never worked well anyway.  But it meant another trip out to the store for a replacement.  And yet another trip to the store to return the replacement.  *sigh*

It was getting dark when we finally finished.  Then we moved into the garage and went over the mattresses with the Little Green Machine.

After one more trip out for missing dowel pegs we've finally got the whole thing upstairs and put together.  Whew!  The mattresses can go up tomorrow after they dry.

We had (well, I had) fun choosing a fun fabric for the underside of the top bunky board.  A cute print featuring Snoopy swiping Linus' blanket.  The tops are blue cotton duck.

To prepare for all this, last weekend we moved furniture (again) around the upstairs to make better use of the underutilized guest rooms.  I also did a whirlwind job of painting the smaller guest room.  We took all the white cabinets of fabric, craft supplies and etc out of the bonus room.  The four that hold fabric are now in the larger guest room with the queen bed.  And all we had to do was remove one sewing machine cabinet and move the bureau to a different wall to make it possible!  So cool!  The room is larger than I realized.  :-)

We've also moved my design wall from behind The Tramp's desk to where the wall of cabinets was.  A much more sensible spot.  It was also a great opportunity to re-stretch the covering on the design wall as it was sagging badly.  The new cabinets in the corner hold the electronics and all of our DVDs (out of sight.  Yay!).  It's still a mess of cables and I'm trying to think up a creative solution.  No rush for that though.  :-)  The room has opened up quite a bit and is much more pleasant.  With a bit more tweaking The Tramp will gain a larger percentage of the room for himself as well.  His current "corner" is way cramped.

The bookcases have been shifted too.  This corner by the sewing machines is a much better spot for sewing books.

In the small guest room, next to the bunk beds, I now have two cabinets full of non-sewing craft supplies and the other bookcase.  I'm looking forward to re-sorting my books and store the appropriate ones in each room.

And the best part (for me) is this.  A dedicated place to mess with paints and clay and beads and what-have-you.  I have all the tools and supplies and never touch them because I can't afford to take the space away from the already hard working surfaces in my sewing area.

And to celebrate, the first thing I'm going to be doing is this online class at A for Artistic.  I can't wait!

As per usual, the dogs are very unsettled by all the activity.  They don't like change.  But there are compensations.  "Rinsing" the dishes before they go into the dishwasher is one.  Curry anyone?


Patchwork Penguin said...

I'm exhausted just reading this..... it is looking really great. Congratulations!

Kath said...

hello Katie, I'm so pleased you left your sweet comment on my blog, it meant I was able to come and visit you and meet your lovely dogs.
I am very envious of your beautiful gran children, I cannot wait for my son to make me a Granma.
I see you are making a little houses quilt, it look slike it is going to be a lot bigger than mine!
It was lovely to meet you and I look forward to following.

Raewyn said...

You sure have been busy! Great idea to re-plan your house like that - it's amazing how much room you can find by reorganising furniture, etc. I'm surprised you had time to sew those quilts! Well done! And love the class you'll be doing - is it a porcelain body?

Stephanie D said...

Wow, you've been busy! Nice to have all that hobby and crafting space, isn't it? Bet you feel you can breathe, now.

Jenny said...

Whew - I'm tired just reading all the things you have been doing! You certainly have had a busy old time lately.