Tuesday, May 30, 2017

CALORIE FREE BLOG POST

No recipes, no pictures of pie and the only jelly rolls you might see will be made of fabric.
3 Things on the agenda for today are showing off a few road trip treasures, my quilty catastrophe, and another project by Mr O.

 

Last week I took my my 2 sewing machines for a ride. The shop and service man that works on my machines is 2.5 hours away. The distance is a bit inconvenient but there is a sweet deal at the end of the ride. Edmonston is a border town. It is just a short jaunt across the river to Maine and a very unique fabric store. Mardens is a discount general store with a PHENOMENAL fabric department!
Hundreds and hundreds of bolts of fabric. Wonderful designer fabric, Amy Butler, Robyn Pandolph, Denyse Schmidt; lovely Maywood Studio fabrics(I LOVE the quality of Maywood fabrics!) RJR, Free Spirit, lovely Dowton Abbey fabrics. Etc etc etc. Best of all the prices are amazing! The most expensive fabrics are $4.49 but most run from $2.29 to $3.99 AND they give a 10% guild discount or group discount. Even with the Canadian dollar against the US it is still a great bargain! 
Hobb's batting is $6.99. Great deal on pillowcase kits, $2.49-$5.25 per kit.

 

 

 

I bought 5 yds of Hobb's batting, 4 pillowcase kits, 29 yards of top quality quilting cotton, and a half yd of thermolam batting for $143.00.    START THE CAR!

This week I decided to wash several of my quilts. It was a perfect day to line dry them and really freshen them up. I believe in using my quilts and they get washed as needed. All four of the quilts had been previously washed at least 2 or 3 times. 

 Looks nice eh? Let's take a closer look
 

 



Both of these red and white quilts have been washed at least twice, but apparently not together, because what was once a lovely white backing is now a mottled pink/red. Egads!
I looked all over town for Bounce colour catchers with no luck. Thankfully I have a quilting friend who had a box of colour catchers at home and she was willing to give them to me. I rewashed this quilt 6 more times with vinegar, with Oxi clean, with colour catchers ( all 30 sheets!). I even watered down a 1/4 cup of bleach and added it to one load. The back is not white but it is better than it was and thankfully I did not ruin the front of the quilt.

 

Look how much colour came out in the colour catchers!

 

Lesson learned. I will be washing these babies alone next time!

And now the latest project for my sewing room brought to you by Mr O.

 

My new cutting table! Lots of space for cutting and mulling over colours and fabrics. Lots of storage underneath.
 

 

Mr O did all the construction and I did the staining and varnishing. I used Minwax White Oak Stain.
 

 

The plans for the table came from an online source. I found it

HERE

Mr O made a few changes in the dimensions as per my request. It was made to fit my space. The rod at the end of the table was purchased last year at IKEA and the plan was to mount it on the wall above my old cutting table but after getting a wood table it was a perfect fit for the end.

As promised all the goodies I shared were calorie free!  HOWEVER the first crop of rhubarb is ready to be harvested so I can't promise the next post will be calorie free.

 

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?

 

IT AINT OVER TIL ITS OVER

I have a post title and I am all set up to write but excuse me for a minute...I need to go back and read my last post. It has been so long s...