Monday, May 29, 2017

A YELLOW CHAIR WITH ONE BLUE LEG

Bonjour! C'est moi, Wendy! (Don't mind me, I am practicing my French..I have been taking an intro to French with an audio book from the library. Before you ask, no my blog post will not be bilingual, because with what I have learned I really would not have much to say to you other than Hello, goodbye, excuse me, thank you and goodnight...oh! and, "do you speak English?")
The weather has been so dreadfully wet and cool that my walking is mostly indoors and I use my alone time to listen to audio books. I have listened to some great books this spring, The Lilac Girls by 
Martha Hall Kelly is an amazing true story that caught my attention and held it all the way through to the end. The author does an amazing job of telling the story of how the war impacted 3 women from 3 different  countries and tells how they affected each other. Highly recommended!
 
I have read/listened to some great books but my current book is a French Language course. I'm not sure how far I will go with it, or how much I will learn but it makes good use of my time in the vehicle, or time sitting knitting or hand stitching, or painting, which brings me to what I have been doing lately. 
Now I know every serious do-it-yourselfer takes before pics, but I almost always forget that step until I am well into a project, so you won't be getting many before pics.
You may have noticed that my blog format is a little different as well, and no I do not have the before pic, you will have to rely on your memory. I wanted to freshen things up a bit and I had big plans, but it can take so much time to do this kind of stuff that I ended up with a very simple header and a plain background which I hope will be easier to read.
I have been wanting to make changes here at home as well but kept putting it off, because I know how disruptive renovations can be, but it was time. I talked Mr O into adding beadboard wainscoting to the back entry and half bath. It was a lot of work for both of us, but the results are worth it. Everything has been cleaned and painted and feels so much better. I still have little finishing things to get done, but I am pleased so far. Of course I did not take Before pics but I will have some After ones when it gets totally finished. AFTERWARD: I Found a few pics from when we had our house listed for sale a couple years ago, so it will give you a bit of an idea of the before.
 

 
 


Not glamorous but keep in mind it has been almost 20 years since I had done anything to these rooms.

 Here is a little peek at the tiny bathroom with paint and wainscoting.

Nothing too exciting yet, and it will be a challenge to take photos when it is all done, but I will give it a shot. The back entry is also a small area, long and narrow, but you need a closet, a place for shoes, a coat rack, a little place to sit to put on boots and shoes or to drop packages when coming in...a tall order for a space that is only  4ft x 9.5ft. Even though it is small it was still a lot of work. 

A pet peeve of Mr O's was that the key rack was easily seen through the window of the door. After a "break in" you start to look at things differently and are more mindful of what is in view to potential "unsavoury characters".
Last summer I found a 70+ year old hand made medicine cabinet at a yard sale. I think it was made in Marchof 1941. Very modest piece all wood with a small inset mirror. Like many things from that era, it was made with what was available, and the back of my cabinet was made from the side of an apple crate...I know I know a picture would be nice but it is firmly fastened to the wall and I am not about to ask the "keeper of the tools" to remove it from the wall so I can take a picture for my blog post. He is pretty patient with me, but everyone has their limits...It was also signed and dated by the maker. The dowel under the cabinet (for a hand towel I assume)was broken and taped. I only paid 5$ for it and thought I would find use for it somewhere. I knew Mr O could perform minor surgery to repair the dowel and I could slap a little paint on it, giving it a new purpose in life. 
I originally thought it might live out the next stage of it's life at the beach property but it followed me home in the fall and before I knew it, it became part of the furniture family here. I figured it would be perfect to house all the keys and keep them out of sight of the "bad people". I slapped a little Annie Sloan Graphite paint on it and a couple coats of wax and Mr O added some hooks and "Voila!" A new home for our keys! (Did you notice the little French I threw in there to impress you?)

I warned you earlier that I tend to forget to take before pics so alas there is none available but it did clean up pretty good despite my lack of fine painting skills.


 
 
A little place on top for family pics.

 

The newly replaced dowel is a perfect place for umbrellas before heading out the door. 

 

Lots of room for keys! Oops! The little dish of baking soda and the scented candle is to try to mask the smell of "antiques" to appease Mr O. 
You can see that I left the inside of the door because it had a little history there. I can only guess that there may have been a little calendar there or maybe a little memorial card from a funeral of a loved one maybe???

 
I covered up the colour and repurposed this little cabinet but just did not have the heart to destroy the history of the family who owned it before me. I hope whoever it was is happy to know it now keeps my keys safe from curious eyes. Thank you sir!

I had so many projects lined up for Mr O this spring, it was kind of a good thing that the weather was unfavourable, because it gave him lots of rainy cold days for working inside,

Do you remember the little wooden tables and chairs we had as children? Well I found a little chair at a lovely little antique shop on our last trip and decided it needed rescuing, so it also followed me home. 
It looked like the middle one in this picture I found online.
 


I had started painting it before I got the brainwave to take a before picture, ( Have I mentioned that I almost always forget to take BEFORE pics?)
Well out came the phone and I snapped a pic of my "YELLOW CHAIR WITH ONE BLUE LEG"
 

 

It is a little sickly looking right now with the blue showing through the bright yellow, but I am hoping it will turn out ok in the end. Another coat of Annie Sloan English Yellow paint, a coat of clear wax, and light smear of dark wax and a bit of distressing and then buffing before you get to see it. The plan is to put it in the little reading room bathroom with a basket on it for reading material. That might change though because I find sometimes the very last place I would put something is exactly where it wants to go! Sort of like my quilts. This little red and yellow Schnibbles quilt from several years ago seemed happy to grace my table centre occasionally and now it has gone to live in the reading room bathroom.

 

I also painted the bench in the entry way. It is finished but I will be making a new cover/cushion for it. 
Again in yellow. I seem to be so drawn to yellow lately, maybe because I am longing to see some sunshine for longer than an hour. (Remind me of this when I start complaining of the heat in July)
 
 This is as Before as I manage to remember... but you can refer back to the Before pics of the room above.
I have been playing around with fabric choices and accessories and I kind of like this combo. I guess we will see what happens...
 

That might lead to making new curtains...oh my goodness how did such a seemingly small job turn into something so time consuming?

I have so many projects ahead of me I want to get done!
I have a quilt on the design wall right now that needs finishing...

 

I am meeting with friends later this week and we are making summer bathrobes. That should be a hoot!

 

My summery bathrobe fabrics...
Hey! I remembered to do a Before! Yay me!
I have not done much garment making in a very long time so you may not see the After in this case.
Again you see a little yellow in there...
I will leave you with a little Before and After shot for today

Before I started my post today

 

After my post

 

Hopefully tomorrow I will show you some pics of road trip treasures, a small catastrophe and other projects Mr O has done for me. Remind me please?

 

Monday, April 3, 2017

Is this a Trend?

I wonder if this is becoming a trend...I seem to blog only when I am on the road. I said that to say this...I am on the road again! We have been home 2 and 1/2 months after all. Meeting up with friends at a resort for several days and then on to spend Easter week with our son and his family. Should be a nice relaxing time. It is always so stressful getting every thing ready, and packing should be second nature by now but I think it it is getting more and more distasteful to me. Next trip I think I will look into hiring someone to do that job....yeah right!

One of our "comfort" stops along the way always makes me smile. I forget about it as soon as I leave but the next time we stop there, Mr O fills the gas tank up and I hurry in to to empty my bladder and every single time I turn the corner and go down the hallway to the restroom, it makes me smile. Have a look
 

 

Isn't that hilarious? I am noticing now that the doors could use a coat of paint, but that is not my job. I am on vacation!

Are you wondering if I took my sewing machine with me? Well yes as a matter of fact I did. On a previous trip while travelling through South Dakota I had purchased a bundle of 40 fat 1/4's along with some yardage. It is a collection from one of my favourite fabric designers... Three Sisters and the collection is Luna Notte.
 
I'm not one to use a collection as it stands. Not because it is not beautiful on it's own , but I want to make mine a little different from everyone else so I tend to add some other fabrics to add a little change to the look. Several years ago Mr O put a small fat quarter bundle(8-10 fat 1/4's) in my stocking for Christmas. I really liked it but the right project just never surfaced until now. I am thinking it will play nicely with my Luna Notte fabrics. Time will tell.
The pattern? Oh I'm glad you asked...
Evangeline, by Bonnie Blue (Red Crinoline Quilts)
 

Evangeline is a poem byHenry Wadsworth Longfellow with part of the setting so very far from home.

 

Such a tragic, romantic love story with the setting right at home in the Maritimes. I know the original pattern uses civil world reproduction fabrics but I think the 3 Sisters fabric should work, because who does "romantic fabric" better than 3 Sisters?

I mentioned that I was only home 2 1/2 months, but I am kind of pleased with how much I accomplished in the quilting department...I am working away at reducing my stash.
I was commisioned to do a very large baby quilt. The nursery had a custom paint job on one wall
 

I have not seen the room but I am hoping I hit the colours okay. Here is the quilt..

 

  

I have made a couple charity quilts, and bound a couple more. Our guild made 12 quilts as our contribution to the 1000 quilt challenge for Ronald McDonald House in honour of Canada's 150th birthday.
We also made several quilts for Victoria's Quilts Canada
I made a mystery table runner also a Canada 150 project. It is not quilted yet, but hopefully soon

 

I'm not sure why it is such a blurry photo..itis clear on my phone, but you get the right idea.
I made a quilt for our grand daughter's 21st birthday. She had her eye on my Union Jack quilt and I was afraid it might go missing if I did not make her one of her own. It is not exactly like mine but it has the same feel. The pattern is called Asterisk and it is from a free Craftsy Block of The Month class from 2012 by Amy Gibson. It is a fun and easy quilt to make. In the class she says to square the block to 12.5" but I was able to square it to 14". I assume she suggested to square it to 12.5" because it needed to match up with the rest of the sampler blocks.
 


 

 

The smile makes the late nights worth it all.

I made one more  quilt. It is my second time doing this particular pattern. Itis a Miss Rosie pattern called Hubble, but I made it like she suggests on the closing pattern pages. I was inspired by a quilt by Lisa Bongean and pulled out some creams, greys, and beiges from my stash and then appliqued an anchor to the front. I am actually pretty pleased with my anchor drawing. I was all ready to buy Lisa's pattern and when I went to the website to order it, I read that the pattern was a 24" mini or a King sized quilt. The anchor was going to be way to big for a lap quilt so I was on my own. I got out my trusty freezer paper and folded it in half and proceeded to draw half an anchor and this is what I ended up with...
 

 
 

It is not finished in this photo but it sure looks different from the first one I made 3 years ago

 

It is a gift for our son and his wife for their new boat. They have an anniversary next week so I will get a pic of the finished product and show it off later.
I have been on a roll and and I am ready to start Evangeline. I have a feeling there are a few late nights in my future, but I will try to keep you up to speed with photos along the way.
My eyes are getting heavy and we still have a bit of a drive tomorrow. 
Time for me to say night night. I leave you with this photo I found online. I would love to give credit where it is due but I have no idea who took the picture or whose quote it is, however, I agree whole heartedly.
 


Saturday, January 14, 2017

Another Trip part 2

I won't bore you with all the photos I took while we were together but we did get a couple nice family ones.  

The Old Folks





 

Four Generations

 

The Entertainment

A little more than a month before leaving I decided it would be a good idea to have a Christmas apron, better yet...one for everyone; because everyone was going to doing kitchen duty at some point, so I went through my stash and started matching up fabrics (sort of) and grabbed the rotary cutter and started cutting. No pattern but I managed to get 12 of them together in every range of sizes from the smallest to the biggest, before leaving.
 

 

Count'em! TWELVE reversible holiday aprons. No excuses not to help in the kitchen.

I made 12 holiday (Christmas on one side and Thanksgiving on the other) placemats for the table as well and everybody got to take their placemats home with them.

I made 22 zippered bags and we filled them with gifts. 

 

 

 




 
 
 

This is only a few of them but I can't say enough about the cosmetic/travel bag pattern. Very clear instructions, easily made. Probably doable in 3 hours from start to finish. It is called the Emmaline Retreat bag and comes in 2 sizes. The large one did not have handles but it was easy to add them.
The have a wire frame that inserts in a casing at the top of the bag that enables the bag to open and stay open, making it easy to use and find things. Best of all, it is a free pattern!
The hardware can be ordered at the same site as the Just go to patterns and add the free pattern to your cart like you are buying it, and follow the prompts. You will receive the pdf. pattern in your mail and it's that easy. I can't say enough about this company. Very easy to do business with and the prices are great! She carries an extensive line of purse/bag hardware in many finishes. (I am not affiliated with this company in any way and was not paid to say this.) This is the link...Free Bag Pattern

I thought it might be fun to buy everyone a pair of fun socks and get a group photo. I had no idea just how much it would be. All the socks were in a bag and we just reached in for them. One pair however look like normal socks but when the recipient put them on this is what it looked like when he showed them off...I laughed until my sides hurt. I mean seriously! How did these get by the quality control person?

 

 

 




 The last time we had a family Christmas Mr O and I made a Family Tree from a Scrabble board and tiles  and that was won by a family member and we thought it might be nice to do another scrabble
Thing this year. Here is what we did...

 

 

 

Everybody got a Christmas ornament with their name on it.

 

Our daughter brought the Christmas tree with all the trimmings so we all got to hang our ornament after she did her magic.

 
The kids got together and bought Pa and I a beautiful Thank You/Christmas gift. It is absolutely beautiful and I can hardly wait to get home a find the "perfect" place to hang it.

 

It is Large and so beautiful and all the gears move as the clock is running. I love it! Thanks kids!

 


 

 

 
 
There was time for making gingerbread houses, games, making puzzles, sight seeing, skating, snow shoeing, swimming, eating, gift giving and lots of laughs, but the best thing of all was just being together. When it was all over we continued on to Saskatchewan to spend New Years at my sister and brother in law's home.


P.S. for those of you who are wondering about the knitting picture...one of the tell tale signs that a quilter has to rip something out and resew, there are usually tiny bits of thread left from the ripping out process; with ripped out knitting, you end up with kinky,curly yarn to have to re-knit with. I had to rip back about 2" of my sock because of dropped stitches. That's what I get for knitting in the car in poor light and trying to sight-see at the same time. 
P.P.S 
We travelled home through the U.S. Yes I stopped at quilt shops. What a surprise eh!
 

A YELLOW CHAIR WITH ONE BLUE LEG

Bonjour!  C'est moi, Wendy! (Don't mind me, I am practicing my French..I have been taking an intro to French with an audio book from...