Saturday, December 20, 2014

moving from one kind of challenge to another

it seems strange not to have a house project to do

this week we focused on some other things -- like wrapping all of the Christmas presents and stashing them somewhere that people walking through the house can't see them!

before all the heavy house projects, the DH was working on restoring the antique dining room chairs

he had gotten all of the wood work done, and then the project stalled because the house took over

this week we worked on the next step -- originally (as in over 100 years ago!) these chairs had a caned seat, but over the years they had had several renovations, so the fact that there was cane at the bottom of all that was a surprise to us!

because of those changes, we decided not to try to re-cane them, but to recover the seat with a plain black leather pad

but first some prep work must be done -- this week we've put the support strapping on all six of them

next step is some padding -- maybe this week!

I've gotten to do some work on art again!

this piece had come to a complete stop, but this week I've gotten back to work on this, and the fringing is coming right along

and the hand work on the 13th and final piece in the shed door series is done!


for the past six months or so I have just felt "off" -- first with one thing, then another, but overwhelming feeling like I just had no energy

early this week I had an appointment with my doctor where we talked about all of the issues at length

she did blood work, an EKG, referred me for a stress test and a sleep study (those latter two will be done in the next few weeks)

the blood work, however, resulted in a diagnosis of type II diabetes and a prescription for a medication to help with that issue

so begins a whole new challenge -- never a dull moment!!

Friday, December 12, 2014

and now the waiting begins

the sign went up yesterday morning

we are officially for sale

the kitchen redo looks really good -- now I just have to keep it looking this tidy

the basement has been rearranged -- the "office" section at one end -- complete with the old computer which serves as a jukebox so I can have music while I work down there

my sewing machines are set up at the other end of the room

and the ironing board is all set up too

this morning it felt really odd to get up and not have some big in the house project to do

yesterday afternoon I cut out some things that are Christmas sewing and last night I actually finished a Christmas knitting object

it feels good to get back to doing creative things --- hope I can get the Christmas stuff all done quickly so I can get back to some of the art projects --- but also hoping we'll be able to seriously look for a new house soon

today we'll be doing some Christmas shopping too

something that feels normal!

Friday, December 05, 2014

I'm still here

we took a much needed break and went to our daughter's house for Thanksgiving week

the plan was for me to rest and not do anything that would make the pain issues I'd been having any worse

while I was there I did a few projects with my daughter -- she's planning a birthday party for Mr Cute that will include 4 year olds decorating cookies, so I was the "pinning and pressing" assistant while she constructed aprons for each of the little boys that will be there

last year I made Mr Cute a pair of bright orange mittens

he recently told his mama that he needed another pair of mittens so he could have a pair to wear while the first pair was drying

I was happy to do that for him -- and he was pretty happy with these brightly colored stripped ones!

I made this Christmas wall hanging for my daughter a few years ago

when I first made it there were only two snowmen, a bird and one dog

a couple of years after that I added a second dog, and four years ago I added the third snowman

earlier this year they sadly said goodbye to that very first dog, so while I was there I made another small adjustment to the piece -- embroidering a little gold "halo" over that dog's head

since we came home we have been working hard -- the painting is all done, the kitchen and family room are nearly finished

tomorrow I will be in the basement doing organizing and rearranging in my studio area -- something that will almost feel like I'm getting do do something more creative than painting a ceiling or scrubbing a floor --- I'm actually looking forward to it

we hope to have the For Sale sign up next week

Sunday, November 23, 2014

the pain continues

all of the bedrooms and bathrooms are done and staged


very early in the week I worked on the chain for this piece -- and it's coming along, just very slowly

and the boards in the door are stitched down

but because my hands and arms are so sore I have not worked on anything but the house for most of the week

it's been a rough week all around

my mother (who had a heart attack back in June) was diagnosed with bladder cancer this week

I'm really ready to be done with this year

Saturday, November 15, 2014

life is what happens while you're making other plans

first an update on the little family I wrote about

surrounded by family members that could make it to China, he passed quietly and the group has just returned to the US

they will have a memorial service sometime soon

we continue to pray for his widow and daughter as they have big challenges still ahead of them

we have continued to work in the house this week

this picture shows the first wall in the kitchen that was put back together with the freshly repainted cabinet doors

it looks a lot brighter in there

last Friday I had a professional come and clean the carpet in the living room/dining room

it looks great

and this week we managed to get that room staged -- which means my dog is not a happy camper as I am keeping her out of there now

while we had hoped to be done by today, and I was on track to be there on Tuesday, Wednesday morning when I work up my right hand was swollen and so painful I could hardly dress myself, much less do any work

turns out I had sprained it and the ganglion cyst on my wrist had broken, causing all that pain and swelling -- wow!

the second slow down in this week was that after the DH limping about for over a month we took him to the podiatrist to have a look at his toe

the same weekend he had the encounter with the spider (which has finally healed up, thank goodness) he dropped a carpenters square on edge striking his big toe on edge right at the base of the nail

seems he crushed the nail bed, so in the doctor's office they removed that toenail for him, and he should be much better now

just taking one day at a time

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Working with a heavy heart

 it's been a tough week here

while work continues on the house and projects (more about that further down in this post), we are constantly mindful of the struggles this young family is dealing with

I have been very close friends with the grandmother of the young woman in this picture since before she was born, I consider them family

in August they went to China so she could teach English there

right now her husband is in the ICU of a hospital there in China and is not doing well, she has been told to be prepared for him not to make it

they need help
you can read the full story about what is happening here:

if you can help them in any way, I believe you will be blessed

all of the cabinet doors from the kitchen are ready and waiting to go back in

yesterday we returned all of the drawers to their places -- fresh paint, new contact paper liners -- looking good

the little blue room is ready -- the carpet has been shampooed, the glass mirror closet doors cleaned, and just these two pieces of furniture in the room -- there are no ceiling fixtures, so in order to light the rooms I'm putting a lamp in each one -- it's the best I can do 

it took me several days to finally get the edge work done on this piece -- now I'm (slowly!) working on the necklace
and work continues on this shed door -- the last one

I have a lot of other art I want to work on, but the heavy physical work in the house must get done first -- the living room/dining room carpet gets professionally cleaned tomorrow, we meet with the real estate agents on Tuesday

we hope to have the house on the market by the end of the week -- we'll need all the help we can get

Sunday, November 02, 2014

of respirators and spider bites

working right along -- I'm now at day 2 past what our original finish goal was, so there is increased urgency to get things done

ratty t shirt?  check

head phones?  check

respirator?  check

this has been the uniform for much of the week

yesterday the very last of the paint scrapping from the tile was completed and the shower has been all wiped down with vinegar

now I have only to re caulk around the door frame, the top edge of the tile and the shower pan, do a little touch up paint and mop the floor for that bathroom to be finished

and I'll be returning the kit for painting the shower to the store for a refund -- this tile is in perfect condition -- there is no way I'm covering it up after spending all that time cleaning it off!!

and under the category of more trick than treat

we spent most of Halloween evening in the ER of our local hospital

a couple of weeks ago the DH was cleaning out one of our sheds and had what we initially thought was a bruise on his left hand

turns out it actually was a spider bite -- a brown recluse being the likely culprit although we don't know for certain since he never saw it

he's got a week's worth of an oral antibiotic (and I'll spare you the rant about the hassles of obtaining those) and we'll be visiting with his doctor for a follow up this week


the beginning of the last shed door -- just a little art work this week --

after hours of scrapping tile, my hands have hurt too much to do a lot of other things -- I'm really glad to be done with that


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

House work of a different sort

the planned deadline for listing the house is fast approaching -- in fact, we've already told the agent that we need an additional week past that Nov 1 date, just because a couple of the projects we need to finish proved to be much more complex than we imagined
the downstairs bathroom is complete

it originally had a pink/blue/white wallpaper, but after a coat of wall board compound applied with a roller to give some texture, it is now painted a warm yellow tone

and I replaced all of the light bulbs in the fixture so they all match which is a little detail, but it would be one I would notice if I was the one looking at the house

meantime, the upstairs bathroom is one of the projects that is making me crazy

before we bought the house, the shower had been painted -- and while there is now an epoxy paint on the market that is designed for that purpose, we're not sure what was used to paint this with

and of course, in order to put on new paint (which was what I thought I was going to do), you have to have a clean surface, so I started at the places that were already peeling and scrapped

which revealed some truly beautiful ceramic tile

and let me tell you, getting paint off of ceramic tile is no easy job -- after several days of just scrapping, I headed off to the local hardware store and asked for some advice -- and came home with a bottle of citrus based paint stripper

it's making it easier, but I've still got several days of scrapping off the now "rumpled" paint before it's all clean

and as for the idea of putting on new paint -- unless I discover some reason to "hide" a tile somewhere in this, it's not happening -- I'll just finish the clean up and re caulk it

and while I've been doing the bathrooms, the DH has been working in the kitchen -- removing the doors, removing the hardware, scrubbing the walls and the cabinet frames, repainting the cabinet doors and the frames and presently we'll be repainting the walls

and we'll be removing everything from the shelves and putting in new contact paper as the old stuff is quite worn at this point

another time consuming process

in the evenings, when I'm too tired to do any more physical work, I'm still doing a little work on art projects

the bead embroidery on this piece is finished and I'm preparing to do the backing and the rest of the finishing on it

I'm pretty amazed by how well this design came together

and this piece is ready for the next step

it is the next to last of the shed doors -- one more to go!

and when I get to the very end of the day I do a bit of knitting

this is slowly becoming a Ninja Turtle for Mr Cute -- the one with the orange mask of course, since Mr Cute's favorite color is orange

all in a day's work!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Art Abandonment

last week was full of interesting experiences

on Tuesday I had to report for jury duty -- 150 people in a room and no one would meet your eye or let you start a conversation


I used the corner of the jury questionnaire  to do some art work -- art in public places rather they want it or not!

another shed door got completed -- and I have started the next one

when I began this series, the DH asked me if I had any plans for where I might be able to actually hang all of them together where they could be seen

Wednesday evening at my local art group meeting, I got an answer for that -- once I get them all done I have a place to hang them all together


this piece is moving along

the beads are slowly covering the surface

the Christmas knitting continues

finished the tractor hat -- it only took four tries!

that little green blob there is the head of a knitted Ninja Turtle -- I'll be doing the one with the orange mask of course, since Mr Cute's favorite color is orange

my daughter and son-in-law were here over the weekend

I have to say that my son-in-law did as much painting in one day as it would have taken me a week to do

I'm so grateful to have their help!!

this picture is one of the walls in the family room -- much better than the way it looked before!!!

while they were here my daughter and I put together this fireman's jacket for Mr Cute -- she had already found a pair of boots he can wear with this, and a fire hat that had been with us since she was little has a brand new sticker from the local fire department where they live to complete the look

he was one happy little boy!  no doubt this will be like the dinosaur costume from last year -- he'll play in it for a long time

who says dress up is only for girls!!