Thursday, May 31, 2018

time marches on



My mom and Bill are moving Gramma Joyce
into a swanky nursing home tomorrow.

It's time.

It's actually past time;
she probably should've moved a year and a half ago.

Even so,
I feel quite sad about it.

For Mom. 
For Gramma.
For me.
For all of us.

I didn't expect that.


Sunday, May 27, 2018

Razorback Fan



Immediately upon finishing
I sat down and drew up a quilt 
that's been in my head for quite some time.


Then I went on a fabric collecting spree.
digging through every box, shelf, bag, and tub
that even might contain a red, black, or gray fabric.


I amassed a ridiculously large pile boxful,
having previously made
and, oh, another quilt that heavily featured gray.


I've made a block here 

That churndash in the upper right didn't make the cut. Not enough contrast.

and a block there,

yes! I found the perfect spot for a bit of Jenean Morrison's fabric :-)

and cut background strips
 when I had a couple of decent chunks of time
(I spent 4 hours just cutting all those suckers!)


Once I had my little design wall filled up,
I made a real (expandable!) design wall
and threw everything up on it,
very neatly arranged the blocks on it
and realized - 
I still had a (very) long way to go!


 I made more blocks every chance I got,
and sewed some together with their background strips.


Sometimes I only had 5 minutes at a time,
sometimes an hour or more.


Then I sewed some more blocks,
and some more pieces together,
and here we are,
3 weeks later,
with a finished
one of a kind
Razorback Fan quilt top!!


There are 122 fabrics
and 52 hours (and 46 minutes) represented
in this 66" x 78" top.
That 52:46 doesn't count any of the hours spent 
designing the quilt
(or any of the blocks that I drew up  myself).
It doesn't include the hours spent gathering fabric,
or driving out to Mulberry in search of actual  Razorback fabric.
(which, incidentally, is rather ugly until you chop it up)

that embroidered white patch was commissioned from a friend :-) and the pink razorback fabric is from Stars for a Star :-)

It doesn't include the time spent
prewashing any fabrics that might bleed
(I'm looking at you, ugly razorback fabric!)
or choosing fabrics for each individual block
(it takes longer than you might think)

That big block is an 'Arkansas Star' - I couldn't find one the size I needed,
and didn't trust my maths to enlarge it and get it just right, so I drafted it myself.
It's paper pieced. Foundation Paper Pieced. Y'all know how much I love that 😏

or re-folding the fabric
after I've cut what I need from it
(when you use over 100 fabrics,
and cut fabric for each block as you make it
 that adds up to a lot of folding)
and it definitely doesn't include time spent
standing in front of the design wall,
pondering.


I will say,
I like it better when I don't know
quite how much time I spend on a project 😉
but
Razorback Fan
 will be for sale as soon as I get it finished
so it seemed prudent to keep track.


I'm eager to get to the quilting;
I've already got a pretty good idea
of what I'm wanting to do.


joining Amanda Jean and the other finishers

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

life, lately




Wow
life is just zooming by, isn't it?!

I admit I rarely feel like blogging lately.

Unless it's a super quick note,
writing a post
and adding pictures
(especially when one's camera isn't working properly
so all photos have to be taken with the phone,
and then sent via FB messenger
to oneself,
and then saved to computer
before being added to blog...)
takes a lot longer than you might think.

It does for me, anyways....

~

I think I'll just go through phone pictures,
and work my way backwards.


Hadley was here on Sunday!


She is getting so big,
and she talks
pretty much non-stop.
We can interpret maybe 20% of what she's saying.

She's a little bit sassy
and a lotta bit sweet.



Friday and Saturday,
we built the butcherblock style countertop 
out of the black walnut flooring we bought





It's so pretty!!



A few weeks ago,
the kids wanted to surprise Dad,
and cleaned out the pool
all by themselves!!

They worked together so nicely,
for several hours,
motivated by the knowledge
 that they were blessing their Papa
who has been soooo busy with work.

They already had it filling up,
when he went out to start cleaning it.

I was so proud of them!

With the new pipes,
 our water pressure is amazing
and we had the pool refilled in record time.


Seeing that we skipped Spring
 and went straight to Summer,
it's already gotten tons of use.

~


I got a clothesline for Mother's Day!!!

And Tyler even added a little flower garden to each post!!

It makes me happy.


~


Our property hasn't gotten much any attention
the past two years,
and it's getting a bit wild,
but man, 
I love it!!
And I feel so thankful for it,
and this beautiful house
and these people
several times a day.




Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Inside Out, a finished quilt top


So.
You remember how I up and decided
(a month ago today, actually)

Well,
I kept up with the 30 blocks
(of course, 
the blocks were all super simple,
so it wasn't too hard)
and then immediately sewed them into a quilt top
after adding in a 3 inch strip of background fabric(2)
to each row.


When Lexi saw it all together,
she said she wanted it.


Considering I'd just posted on Instagram
that the poor girl had outgrown both of her quilts,
and I really had no reason for making it,
except that I needed to sew,
I figured I should let her have it.


Except that at 52.5 x 60,
it wasn't much bigger than the last quilt I made her.


So,
I quickly drew up another 5 blocks
that would go with the other 30,
then dug around for 5 more fabrics
and sewed those blocks up too
and added the row to the quilt.


Then I added three borders,
(making the width of the horizontal borders
just a smidge wider than the vertical borders)


and now,
I've got a  71 x 90 quilt top
for my baby girl



linking up with amanda jean again,
and DrEAMi Sandra :-)

Friday, April 27, 2018

the upstairs bath


 the upstairs bathroom
became the most urgent thing on the list.


We've only had one bathroom for all but < 3 years
of our married lives 
(almost 31 years!)
so
it wasn't so much that we needed the second bathroom
right away,
as much as
I wanted my kiddos to not be 
going up and down stairs
half asleep
in the middle of the night.

I breathed a huge sigh of relief when the toilet went in,
let me tell you!

This part wasn't  included in the plan; we put a doorway in the side of the bathroom, and went into the attic.

(Oh. you know what.
that's not exactly true.

When we lived in Fort Smith,
we did have a second toilet.

I don't really count that,
as it was back by the water heater
and the fuse box
in a stall,
in the laundry room/back porch,
and it was only used for emergencies.
and the resident take-for-e-ver-pooper.

Anyways.
back to a real second bathroom.....)

The tub was installed ages ago,
so once we turned on the water
(That was a happy day!)
we could use it,
and use it we have!

I have taken more baths in the past 3 months
than I've taken in the past 12 years combined!


You might remember that I bought the 'vanity'
and it sat patiently in the attic,
waiting for its turn
at the top of the list.

By the time it hit 
'top of the list'
I was pretty well exhausted.
As I mentioned,
we'd just finished the kitchen enough to be usable,
which also means,
we'd just made 
and finished 
the concrete countertops
(which I have yet to post about. sigh.)

So when Tyler asked me about paint for the vanity,
I said,
"I don't know. I'm thinking about using it as is."


I'll wait while you laugh.


From the photo I sent to Tyler when I found the crendza-vanity
(which is the only real before picture we have
because I can not seem to remember to snap pictures
before we start taking things apart!)
you might think that was a plausible idea.

But that was a glamour shot.

(This is going to be long.
You might want to grab a drink.
and go pee....)
(I have to tell the whole story,
because I got in trouble for leaving out all the good parts
when I shared Jeremiah's bed re-make,
but Tyler will be thrilled to tell you them in person)

In addition 
- and more importantly -
to the piece being a bit beat up
the credenza wasn't the right size.

We could have made it work,
except that,
instead of buying a sink,
we bought a one piece custom counter-top with an integrated sink.

Only,
it wasn't custom for us.
It was custom for somebody else,
and they didn't want it.


Which is how we ended up with a $600 sink and countertop
for the low low price
of not much more 
than the price



We knew when we purchased this countertop /sink
that it was both too long
and too deep.

But we'd done some quick research in the store,
and determined the material could be cut
by an experienced do-it-your-selfer.

We are very experienced do it your selfers,
so we bought it.


It, too, sat in the attic
awaiting its day in the sun.

Because I was 
too tired to work on yet another project
thinking of leaving it ugly,
I suggested that we bring both the cabinet
and the countertop/sink into the bathroom
and see exactly what we had to work with
and hopefully discover that 
the vanity was fabulous as is.


We did not discover that the vanity was fabulous
as is.


We discovered that it was 
at minimum
an inch too narrow.

It also stunk.

And pretty much everything inside of it
was crap.

So we drug everything down the stairs,
and outside.


I think this was the point where Brandon suggested
that we should have a youtube channel,
because we could get rich off of our re-making escapades,
and people could learn how to turn their vintage finds
into modern usable works of art.
(I may have added that last little bit.
what he actually said was
something along the lines of
"it's a waste of all of our efforts 
for us to be the only one to benefit
from them.")


Mercy this is getting long.
And I haven't even really started yet.


We ended up having to take the back off,
remove a portion of the frame,
and add thicker partial back pieces
along with supports for the counterop
because the back 'bones' of the cabinet
were smack under the faucet holes
(which were not perfectly lined up,
and were maybe why the client didn't want the countertop??)


We had to extend the depth 1 1/8 inches,
which meant adding a new left side,
and borrowing part of the right side's leg and trim
to extend the left side's.


We added a new bottom to the cabinet,
removed the half shelf,


and removed the drawer from the face of the center drawer
and nailed the face back in place.


(I say we,
but it was actually mostly Tyler and Brandon doing the work 
on this one,
with me playing a supporting
(and bossing)
role.)



We cut the back and both sides of the countertop,
(which did not go smoothly at all!)


Once all that was finished
and we knew it all fit properly,
and we'd thoroughly sanded everything


Tyler sprayed primer on it
and we left it to dry for the night.


The 1/4 inch oak plywood that we used on the side
still showed all that oak texture,
so Tyler smeared wood filler all over the whole side,
and made it nice and smooth.


When that was dry and lightly sanded
he painted with two coats of





I liked the knobs and pulls just fine,
so instead of replacing them,
I scratched 'em up with sandpaper
then spray painted with Rustoleum oil rubbed bronze
before screwing them all back in.



I let the guys handle installing everything else.


After the vanity and associated plumbing went in,
Tyler added the door and floor trim,
and then the toilet
(a dual flush jobbie,
because, with 4 kids using it,
we'll save a lot of water with the only pee option!!)


We still need to add a backsplash,
and of course a mirror.


(and some switch and receptacle covers!!)
At some point, we'll add the sliding barn door
to separate the toilet from the rest of the bath,
but 
we've got a second bathroom!!
(With a gorgeous custom vanity....)



(bathrooms are quite difficult to photograph!)