Sunday, January 27, 2019

well - that sucks!

I consider myself to be fairly low-maintenance
as women go.

I'm not terribly needy...

Or even wanty,
as a general rule.

And as we've made house building decisions
I've tried to make mostly modest choices
in keeping with the 
'Simply Gracious. Graciously Simple'
theme that we chose.

I reeally wanted a central vac.

I didn't push and beg;
I just made my wishes known
and left it up to Tyler to decide.

He decided he really didn't want to
bother with one. more. thing.

But then,
he decided that
I really don't ask for much,
and it wouldn't be terribly expensive,
or too much work...
So one day,
waay back before the drywall went in,
he asked me to come out to the house and help him with something.

He unwound the hundred foot tape measure
to 30 feet
and had me hold it in the coat closet,
then he took the other end
and went all through the house
making vacuuming motions
(testing what size hose we'd need
 and where all we'd need outlets)
until I finally realized I was getting my vacuum after all!!

He and (I think) Josiah ran most of the pipe,
and that was that for awhile.

A few weeks ago,
he ordered the vacuum,
and installed it over the course of a weekend.
(He's been soo busy,
I honestly expected it to sit in the box for a few months
before he'd get to it)

And now,
I have a simply gracious central vac.
And I love it so much!

As added bonus,
it's Canadian made,
so I get a nice little reminder of my dear friend
(also Canadian 😊)
every time I use it.

Friday, January 25, 2019

in January

It's cold!!
But at least the sun is shining.


Tony and Andrina came to visit for a week!

We celebrated Andrina's birthday,

and Lexi's, too.
 No more single digit kiddos!!

Tony and Tyler braved the frigid temperatures
and worked on the back porch railing.

I didn't pull out the camera,
but TJ and one of his boys came down on Sunday afternoon,
and brought Matt, Marin, and Milo with them.


I didn't work on it while people were here, 
of course,
but here's a picture
(taken on one of the many not sunny days...)
of where I currently am

It's going to be pretty dang amazing
if I say so myself.
I'm considering entering it in a quilt show in NWA,
but I'll need to discuss it with my client
before I make any decisions.


Brandon started a new internship on Monday.
It's pretty cool
and pretty top secret,
so I'm not sure if I can tell you where...

We're excited for the opportunity for him!

And thankful he got to spend a good bit of time here, too,
while Ton' was visiting.
It was so nice to have all of my boys in the house
at the same time!


Work continues to be absolutely crazy and rough
for Tyler
and we are sooo ready for this season to be over.
(Basically, he's been working 2 jobs
(for the price of 1)
for almost a year now)


I started a new crochet project.

This one will be much faster than the last one for sure!

I'd rather be English paper piecing,
but I just don't have the gumption
(or the space)
to collect fabrics for a new project just yet...


The males in the household
all have wild hair.

will be remedied

Friday, January 18, 2019

Star Bright, a finished quilt

When I started this one
I thought I could maybe piece the top
in a day.

It's only about 50 x 60 or so,
so it seemed doable.

It wasn't.
(at least for me....)

ah well.

I basically copied a quilt that 
Melissa of Sew Shabby Quilting posted about a year ago,
except I added in feathers and onion peels and ribbon candy,
because I could.
(It wasn't all that long ago 
that I couldn't quilt any of those!)

The colored fabrics are all Kaleidoscope
by Allison Glass -
woven fabric
with different colored threads for the weft and weave.

To be honest,
I wasn't all that impressed.

I was expecting a much more shimmery and iridescent look,
but the two colors are only evident 
in a couple of them.

They'd probably be nice for bags,
but not worth the price for quilting.

Even though I'm not thrilled with the Kaleidoscope fabrics,
I'm quite thrilled with the quilt.

I think the quilting turned out pretty amazing,
if I do say so myself,

and it washed up quite nicely.
(I was pretty amazed when I pulled it out of the dryer.
I was like - I did this?!)

The wool batting 
with minky backing
(a throw size blanket that I bought on clearance 
for $5 a couple of years ago
for just this purpose)
make it extra scrumptious.

plus - the minky shows the quilting really well 

My friend Karen
always says that thread matters,
and I repeated that to myself many times as I was quilting;
I really prefer a thread with a bit of shine to it.

I used a spool of Coats and Cotton quilting cotton thread
that I bought back when I started quilting,
and it's just dull.

 When I got to the border,
I switched to Aurifil 
 - still 100% cotton, 
but it has a tiny bit of sheen -
and I liked it much better.

I think I like a 40 wt poly best.
But if I had a 50 wt poly,
that might be the very best.
It'd be thick enough to see,
but thin enough for travelling.
(do they make a 50 wt poly?)

Even with
dull thread 
and my displeasure with  kaleidoscope fabrics,
this one's a favorite.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

calling all the messengers

We got this fun message board for Christmas.

(and the little felt box of letters and words)
 sits on the bar
and every day
(or even more often)
the 'message' changes.

We are a big awesome family.

I get so weary I forget

Friday, January 4, 2019

the sun will come out tomorrow

It finally stopped raining this afternoon.

And the sun came out!

And I feel ever so much better.

I've toyed around with the idea of buying one of those lights
that are supposed to help with SAD
but I hate the thought of wasting money, you know?

I probably don't have actual
Seasonal Affective Disorder,
but man do I crave the light.

The instant,
and I mean
I walked through the kitchen 
and caught sight of the sunlight in my flowers on the table,
I could fully breathe again.
Or maybe I could let my breath out all of the way.
I don't know which;
all I know is
 I could feel the benefit of the sunshine in my chest....

In other light news - the tree is still up
and so far, 
I am in no hurry to take it down.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

and --- that's a wrap


That's that.

Another year down.

Can't say I'm sad to see 2018 end,


It's been gloomy and rainy for days,
so it's sort of hard to even think straight.

I have made no plans for the new year.
No 'word', or 'intention', either.

I can tell you though,
I'd really like to do more than just survive.

I've already had plenty of years of that.


 Looking back over December:

I sold the Razorback Quilt,

I'm so tickled with where it went, who bought it, and how the purchase came about.
And I am continually humbled that it isn't the wealthy
who partner with me, but ordinary people - with hearts bigger than their wallets 💝

made excellent progress on my current commissioned project


I'm pretty proud of myself - learning something new,
and having it turn out so beautifully.

But then I remember that I am 50
and I feel a bit silly about being proud 
that I learned a little bit of crochet.



We finally hung a mirror in the upstairs bathroom
(which sounds way easier than it was...)

but the island/bar received most of the attention.

It was a multi-phase project, and still not complete,
but it's completely usable already :-)

Some day, we'll put black walnut on the bar top,
but this pine should serve us well for many years.

One of the benefits of the bar
that came as a complete surprise,
is that it invites people
(my man, guests....)
to sit and visit with me as I work.

That makes me so happy!!

And, of course, 
I love working in the kitchen

while people I love
play games at the table
across the bar.


We also spent a bit of time
adding just a few things to the mudroom 
to help it function properly.

We did okay without a bench and coat hooks
spring thru fall,
but they became more important as the temperature dropped.

I know.
Y'all are so envious of both my 'styling'
and my photography skills.
When I tell you the picture of the other coat rack was too bad to post,
you know it's really bad.

We hosted (most of) Tyler's family 
a few days before Christmas
and it thrilled my heart to look in there
and see the coat racks loaded down
and 25+ pairs of shoes in a jumbled heap.


there was exactly the same number of people
at my sister's house the next day,
when she hosted our side of the family.

I"m not going to do an end of the year round up post; 
there's just not enough energy for that.
But in scrolling through my blog and Instagram feed
I am reminded of just how much we accomplished this year,
in spite of what a long, and challenging year it's been.

I would've liked for the end of 2018
 to have felt more celebratory,
as there really was a lot to celebrate.

I mean -
we hadn't even moved into the house a year ago!
And when we did (all) get moved in
in February,
it was another couple of  months
 before we had a kitchen...

I just feel worn out and weary.
The loss of my dad has just sort of made everything 

Don't misunderstand - I *do* feel blessed,
I just also feel very flat 
(it's really the only way I can describe it)

I find that, 
after almost 11 years
(can you even believe I've had the blog this long?!!)
I am still
pursuing joy.