Thursday, February 26, 2009


Still dust everywhere, but there is even more goodness to show for it today. The floors are done! Yesssssssss! *happy dance* I love it. The dogs love it too. (Especially of course, as right now it's just a big open playground.) It's a waterproof vinyl material they can't damage. I'd rather enjoy my large yard and active dogs than worry about a fancy floor. And it looks really nice too! It took a bit of maneuvering but I got them to sit and stay for a photo. It took about eight photos to get them looking in the same direction. Sheesh!

For most of today the dogs and I stayed out of the way in the sewing room end of the house. To distract myself I worked on month 1 of Anina's Geese in the Forest BOM. I'm going for the bright scrappy version and I'm determined not to buy a single bit of fabric for it. So far so good! :-)

Tomorrow I have to roll up my sleeves and start painting trim. Ugh.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Dust, dust and more dust. Did I mention dust?

Very little sewing has been happening here because of the renovations (read "dust"). But as of this evening, we have risen up out of the spackle and saw dust, drop cloths and paint fumes and tadaaa!!! We have a living room! No flooring yet, but wow...what a difference from two weeks ago.

I found this photo from the second day we toured the house before we made an offer on it. The addition was purpose-built as a photo studio and was perfectly suited for the purpose. The owner was busy packing up all of her equipment but there were still wonderful portraits on the walls and interesting props and equipment all around.

When we moved in we just used this big room as a dumping ground! What a mess! You can see the outside brick wall, brick steps, outdoor light and back door are in the room. The entry to the crawl space and utility room are in there too.

It was a dark room (which made sense for photography of course) and as you can see we just kept on using it for dumping....sigh.


But now we have windows! And paint! And new lighting!

We treated ourselves to a new fan. :-)

And no more broken brick stairs. Wooohooo! Didn't he do a nice job! The flooring people come tomorrow, then I can get up all the rest of the dust and dirt and paint the trim and stairs. (We won't discuss the layer of dust in the kitchen. You can see it on the floor...sigh.) I can't tell you how much I want to sit and relax in my own living room. After I beat the dust out of the couches of course.

And the main reason for no sewing is this duct in the corner of my sewing room...

which is now nicely boxed in. I just have to paint.

This evening I took all the drop cloths off my tables, fabric and sewing machines and dusted as best I could for now. (That person choking and coughing is me.)

It almost feels like normal in here again. How nice!

Saturday, February 21, 2009


(click on photo to see detail)

Today we got up at 1:30 in the morning (yes I said 1:30 AM!) to drive to Norfolk, VA to see the Sailor Son off on his first long deployment on the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower. (news item here) And it's 8:00 PM and I'm still awake! However I have to credit The Tramp for this since he did all the driving. Three and a half hours each way. I got to snooze in the back seat on the way home. :-) Love you honey. XXX

While The Tramp got a well-earned nap, Dad and I went with the Navy Wife to the Naval base at 6:00 am to wait at the pier. Boy oh boy was it COLD! We were early enough to drive right up and park facing the stern of the ship so were able to keep warm in the car until the the ship started to pull away. The Sailor Son was pleased to be one of the sailors "manning the rails" but I wonder how he felt about it when it turned out to be such a COLD morning. No coats or gloves. Just his "Cracker Jack" uniform and "Dixie Cup" hat. Brrrrrrrrrrr!!! The wind chill was well below freezing and we were frozen through down on the pier in our winter coats with hats and gloves. It's extra windy up on the decks!

We arrived at the base at dawn, worried there would be a crowd. It was ok though, the crowd and news cameras showed up a bit later. We found out we wouldn't be allowed out onto the pier itself but still had a good view. The Navy Wife said the homecoming is a big hoopla with bleachers, food stands and music and we should be sure to come back for it.

The pier was crowded with cranes and equipment.

The ship docked next to the Eisenhower was the recently commissioned USS George H.W. Bush. It sure looked brand spanking new!

The ship was supposed to leave at 8:00 and at about that time the tugs showed up and the process of getting ready began.

Then we heard the order for the sailors to "man the rails" and got out of the car to see if we could get a better position to take pictures. There are over 5,000 sailors on the ship so it's a privilege to be chosen. At first they were standing at ease. This is the stern. The sailors below were on duty. Several were manning guns, I believe some were on watch, and the rest were ready to work with the tugs or pull in the ropes from the pier.

Then they saluted for the Star Spangled Banner. When they say "manning the rails" it's kind of a misnomer. There are no rails! (except that bit of thin rail at the stern) Yikes!

While we shivered and huddled we watched the tugs slowly pull and push the ship away from the pier. The sailors stayed at attention.

The ship slowly moved away from us, around behind the Bush and out into the Chesapeake Bay. In this view you can still see the sailors manning the rails. The Sailor Son wasn't on the flight deck, he was in the center bay of the hanger deck, hopefully out of the wind. The Navy Wife is going to blow up some of my photos and see of he can tell her where he was standing. I doubt he could see us either but we had a quick phone call at 6 am and he knew we were there, which was the important thing. (click on the photos to enlarge them)

We gave chase and stopped at two other vantage points to take photos, thankful to see that the sailors were no longer on deck! Then we went home to warm up. And what could possibly be more heartwarming--than grandbabies!!!

Dirty face from breakfast, runny nose and drool from teething. What could be more precious to a grandmother?

And this angel spit up on his mom, spit up on himself, and spit up all over me. Made my day.

Hope you had a good day too!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The name game

Tonya, of wonky letters fame, has asked us to send her our names. Ages ago I printed out all the instructions but hadn't gotten around to trying it. Why not? Don't ask me! It's so much FUN! My first attempt at my name I'm not going to show, it's pretty bad. :-P But this one is good enough to share and I'm going to mail it to Tonya. I love the way the letters float in the black. I can see where I need to practice some more to come up with my own style. It's also a struggle for me to let loose and be wonky but I think I managed in the end.

So come on! Send your name to Tonya. I can't wait to see what she does with them all!

Friday, February 13, 2009

What have we been doing?

Spring is just around the corner! Buds and blooms peeking out all over. And to think it's only February. Gotta love living in the south. :-D

We've been renovating! The living room is almost a real living room. It was built as a photography studio so the room was large and dark. Very cave-like. And as of this week...

we have windows! Wooohooo!

and a new back door. (Ack! I need to work on the view from those windows.)

The downspout was rerouted and the guttering repaired.

And on the other side of the room we had the door taken out and replaced with a window.

The new window is next to the brick. The corner where the roofs meet was badly engineered so under the shingles and around the door was all rotted. Ewwwww. That's been repaired also. They even took a sledgehammer to the brick stoop and that's gone too. :-)

Next week these stairs will be covered so they look like real indoor stairs. (I can't wait!) And all the patching and painting will happen (great sighs of delight). Then I can tell the floor people it's time put the floor down (swoon).

Not much sewing happening since I've got most things covered up anticipating the dust from the next room. Ugh.

Though we managed to get Mom's Orange Crush finished just in time for The Tramp's birthday. Mom pieced the center and I put on the borders, quilted and bound it. Much gnashing of teeth over the math for the borders but in the end it came out just fine. :-) Yes that's him, the birthday boy, very carefully not getting into the picture. Get a load of that neon quilt! LOL

And the pillowcases came out ok too. :-)

The dogs approve so I guess we did good!