Monday, April 30, 2012

Design Wall Monday

Judy Laquidara reminds us that today is when we need to post what's on our design walls, so here's a shot of what I've worked on this past week or so. Not sure why the pic looks like it was taken through fog, maybe it'll show better once I post the blog entry. The framing blues are navy along with some of the corner triangles. While I was piecing the blocks, I wasn't sure I was liking this so much. Older fabrics of this vintage do that to me. Some of the fabrics I really, really like, others, ummm not-so-much. But with just this section pinned to the wall, wow, I really like how it's looking. Every fabric is a "floral" of some sort or has floral aspects within it. It is purely scrappy from a specific number of fabrics and I did very little to manipulate which fabric went where.

When all the blocks have had their sashing attached, and I've made the sashing rows for in-between, I will pin all the blocks to the design wall and then be a little more selective as to which block goes next to which other block. This is my April UFO....and depending on what number is selected in May, I'll either continue with this one, or set it aside again to work on the May selection. My goal this year is to progress, not necessarily to finish, although to finish would sure be nice!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Stash Report, Week 18, 2012

I see I haven't posted a Stash Report since Week 12...when nothing changes, it seems there's no point in posting. Again, at Week 18, nothing has changed but I did work on a quilt this week. I was working on the current UFO selection. I'm not counting yardage out until a quilt is actually DONE, so you can see by my tallies that I haven't accomplished any finishes yet this year. And Tuesday is the beginning of a new month with a new UFO Challenge selection. I spent 11.8 hours in April on piecing, cutting, trimming, pressing. That was enough to make my wrist say "enough" for now. So it's been break time since Friday. (I track my time spent on all my quilt projects.)

Used this Week: 0 yards
Used year to Date: 0 yards
Added this Week: 2 yards
Added Year to Date: 2 yards
Net Used for 2012: -2 yards

I went to a yard sale that advertised "vintage fabric" but was very disappointed. In a very dirty box was a tangle of assorted fabrics from no more than the past 20 - 30 years and of those only about three pieces were cotton (VIP) and none were of interest to me. So much for "vintage" more along the lines of Edsel than fine wine. The good news is that I didn't increase my stash :)

Thanks to Judy for hosting our stash reports.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

"Boys and Girls" isn't Inclusive?

I was reviewing the Wikipedia entries for The Wiggles and their members (something had sparked my curiosity to do so; a clue on Jeopardy I think). One statement on Jeff Fatt's page left me scratching my head. "Fatt reports that it took twelve months to "learn the language of preschool", including addressing children using the inclusive "everybody", instead of "boys and girls", and that The Wiggles' first performances were traumatic for him because he was not used to being around children." I've highlighted the part I don't understand! Is not 'everybody' either a boy, or a girl? And how is "boys & girls" less 'inclusive'? They're not cows or dogs or rocks, they ARE boys and girls, who's excluded? Is there some context I'm missing?

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Fina-Lee Friday

The weeks seem to be running together.
  • Quilting: I didn't get anything posted this past week for Stash Busting, nor for Design Wall Monday but somewhere over the past couple weeks, I was able to work on piecing for about 45 minutes. I probably could have done more, but chose to work on genealogy instead. What I worked on was from my post here. It's the April UFO Challenge quilt which I'd already cut all the fabric on.
  • Genealogy: While working on my genealogy, I was notified of a reply to a message board post I'd made some years, many years, ago at I checked it out, and after reading the message decided to contact the person. She is a mutual descendant (2nd cousins-once removed) from my Swedish Resare branch. She lives 2500 miles from me and we probably won't meet in this world, but after numerous back and forth long, chatty messages, we pretty sure we will see each other in our Lord's Heaven :) It has been such a blessing corresponding with this very sweet woman. She's in her early 80's, but I think she's quite spunky and could probably out-do me in a heartbeat in many areas. She is lovely!
  • Remodel-toilets: Marty and I had a difficult time getting to our final toilet decision. I pretty much knew what I wanted. He wanted life to continue as it was with the OLD clarify, he wanted the 1.6 gpf as we believed "that other place" when they said that we couldn't get them anymore. He wasn't convinced the 1.28 would 'do the job'. Marty also really balked at how much they were based on our initial research showing the MSRP on the most expensive one as $662...I wasn't thrilled with that either! "That other place" quoted us at $430 and 'the new place' about $20 lower than that. Still a pricey toilet to be sure, but how often do you change out your toilets? This is a quality brand (TOTO) with excellent reviews, and friends/acquaintances I spoke to said 'TOTO' when I asked if they had recommendations. It also matches the sink in the bathroom that will be used the most by us and any guests in our home. The other one is quite a bit less but still a TOTO.
  • Remodel-toilets: Update to the above blip: Marty decided 1.28 gpf is just fine...and we should be able to get a water co. rebate on them for going with the water-saving ones. They are ordered and are expected to arrive on Wednesday.
  • Weather: Summer temps have arrived much to my dismay. My preference would be, in my ideal world, a maximum of 80 outside. I'm truly thankful and grateful for A/C both in my house and in my car! @ 1:40 p.m. it's 93 and still climbing :( Time to get rid of the flannel sheets.
  • Entertainment: So disappointing to see Colton Dixon voted off American Idol last night. He was so refreshing . As of last night all 7 finalists were too good for me to pick, but I really didn't think it would be Colton leaving!
  • Remodel-cabinets: The cabinets were installed this morning; the granite fabricator was here to final measure and pick up the sinks in order to make sure all is cut right. In looking at the cabinets, I'm a bit 'put off' by the design of the left-side narrower door (L door & center door are same design, but because the center door is so wide it looks far less peaked than the L door - L would be better with the same square of the R side drawer fronts), not a fault of the contractor, but of my own lack of visual perception when choosing the door style in conjunction with the right-side drawer fronts. Hmmm, may have to see how costly it is to change out that door on both vanities. ...... checked, they will remain as they are ! The contractor orders the doors, but then sprays and sands three times & that's costly...oh well. Did you notice Raven managed to get in the shot? She's checking out the 'float work' on the shower, making sure the tile dude did it right.
  • Remodel-cabinets: A few items remain to be chosen: drawer/door handles/knobs of which I'm leaning away from knobs and towards graceful handles, the light fixtures which we'll probably get from Lowes - they're set up to where you can choose the base fixture and then choose the globes separately, the towel bars/rings/hooks - not sure what I prefer, and the toilet paper holder.

Time For Dancing...and Praise!

Oh, at this moment I'm doing a happy dance, and I think Marty might as well after he gets home and I tell him I found a place that can get our toilets for a little less than "that other place" and we can get them by mid-week instead of the 3 weeks quoted to us by "that other place" AND we can get them in 1.6 gpf (gallons per flush) instead of the 1.28 gpf whereas "that other place" said we couldn't because of the environmental regulations! This place says that the regulation is only 'recommended' not 'must'.
Oh, and one more thing...tomorrow...CABINETS, and the tile can be picked up too. Do ya think I'm getting exciting now? yes, yes, yes! OK, well that was two more things, but oh, I'm just so excited to see all this start falling into place.
A prayer request would be that the granite issues for the shower would be resolved without huge added expenses from having to have the top edge polished so that it can meet the border tile with a smooth joint. Also for an easy & aesthetic-looking way to attach the shower doors (swinging not sliding) because the granite at the bottom is thicker than the tile on the upper 2/3 of the shower.

Praise God for all that He has provided that enables us to do this remodel.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Picture Perfect Day

It's Wednesday and I haven't been on here much lately. Remodel details and things have taken my time. Today's weather, as with the last couple days, is more reminiscent of summer than spring. I almost broke down and turned on the A/C last night. It was 77 here in this room, and outside until nearly 10:00 p.m. The online forecast over the next ten days is showing a high of 83 for Fri & Sat, but it's already been that hot yesterday and will likely be today (which the site is showing should be a high of 75 but it's not even noon and is already that temp). I'm suspecting we'll be hitting low 90's by weekend. Thank God for A/C, I know I'll be using it by the weekend.

Downstairs shower has now been 'floated' in preparation to affix the tile. Tile will be here on Friday except for the darker glass border tile - it'll be here Tues :) And yesterday, the walls were painted in both rooms. It's coming together. But one last critical area to select: the TOILETS ! Oh dear! If we were to get the toilet to match the sink we chose for downstairs (the most used & company bathroom), that toilet's MSRP is $578...and $662 if we want to add the SaniGloss coating that's supposed to help guard against stains and such which would be wonderful in this area. Yikes!!! Did you know that there are toilets out there that cost over $6000.00? And they're NOT gold-plated!

The shiny tile on the left will be placed on the shower walls. In the downstairs bathroom, we're using the extra granite on the three walls from the base of the shower to a 23" height (at least that's the height the fabricator tells us will be available) and the tile will be above a row of that middle border tile piece (bottom center). The granite is shown on the right. In the upstairs bathroom, the tile will extend from the rim of the tub to the ceiling. It will also have a border of the same size/shaped tiles as shown there in the center bottom but they're a combination of dark browns that blend well with the darker aspects of the granite and that border will be higher, around the 5' level. The floor tiles are a co-ordinated/matching tile that's 13x13" with a slightly rougher matte finish.

This is an epiphyllum. It's similar to a Christmas Cactus - not really a cactus as in desert cacti but more like a succulent, heck, maybe it is a succulent. While it has a lot of blooms, it's nothing compared to what it had on it last year. Last year at one point there was something like 30 or so blooms open all at the same time with many, many more buds that opened over several weeks. This year, maybe only 1/2 a dozen are open with maybe only another couple dozen buds showing on the plant at all. The plants tallest branches come up about 4 1/2' and it spreads widely overflowing its pot. I need to clean around it from all the winter debris that's accumulated. There's a schefflera potted behind it.

A pretty little rusty-colored, fringy tulip from the bulbs I brought back from my mom's that got planted 4 mos. late.

This is a type of daffodil/narcissus. I have never seen one like it before. It just opened up yesterday and has an absolutely divine fragrance. Also from my mom's bulbs. There are 3 or 4 of them opening up.

And how can I not include, her eyes are not two different colors. I suspect because they're slightly crossed that the light reflection from the camera hit each eye differently. Another pic showed them both the blue shade. Notice those white marks on my cutting mat? That's where the surface is chipping away to the solid layer between the two green layers. It started happening back when I was cutting up all my scraps and I think it's because I keep this mat on my desk slash cutting table where I'm also known to eat my lunch because I have the computer here. I've always kept a pot holder under any hot plates/bowls, but I can't come up with any other reasons why it might have done this except that for a time I did have the laptop there but it had a chill pad under it so wouldn't have thought it could've damaged the mat.

And lastly, I would love to be snoozing like little Flame. But it's hard to snooze when you have workers in your house...I'm really missing my naps!

Have a joyful Wednesday!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

We Have A Decision

First of all, I have to tell you, that for some odd reason choosing our countertops for these two little bathrooms was a nightmare. It should NOT have been that difficult. The over-riding problem was that after our first day of looking at granite (even though we didn't know what we wanted for actual surface material), we had fallen in love with the slab shown in yesterday's post and found that we compared every other surface and color to it and they all fell short. Mind you, I'm not a decorator (the rest of my house will attest to that, as will friends) and I don't feel I have a lot of decorating 'sense' if you will. Even so, I'm usually good with color, just not with decision-making.

After getting the cost from Mr. C(ontractor), my knee-jerk reaction was of utter disbelief that it was that high, even with Mr. C's contractor's discount. I even tried to call a couple other places we'd been to where we found 'acceptable' product but one told us they don't sell to the public, we'd have to have our fabricator contact them, and the other never did get back to me. And the pressure was on (that or the contractor's vendor was lying through their teeth by saying they had someone else interested in the same slabs) to decide within hours. I contacted Marty at work, his reaction was about the same as mine, but after it was all said and done, and we'd given ourselves a couple hours, we went ahead and let the contractor know we'd be taking the slab (shown in yesterday's post).

We're still reeling from the cost, about three times as much as a single 8' prefab counter, but it's what we loved and what we'll hopefully, especially after this ordeal, love till we sell this house, which will probably never happen as we could probably never reach that decision let alone a decision on where to go or what to buy in the future. Actually, we're still reeling from the overall cost of doing these bathrooms which is about 3 times higher than what our naive, maybe under-educated brains thought it should be. It's looking like we're getting filet rather than burger after all.

Now on to choosing those final things: the tiles for the floor and the shower & tub walls (remaining granite will be used for a portion of the shower, so won't be sitting unused), toilets, paint color, accessories like tissue holder/towel bars, knobs, . And of course, I WILL have to purchase new coordinating towels and such. The sinks and related components were ordered 2 weeks ago and will be ready for pickup this Saturday.

By the time we progress to the kitchen remodel, I may find myself looking for a job to rebuild our funds! I haven't worked outside the home since 1998, a whole lot has changed in that time. Scary thought!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Still No Decision

As I mentioned previously, our Mr. Contractor desired our decision on the countertops by this morning. After Marty's taking a vacay day on Friday and going around looking & contemplating even on Saturday, we did NOT come to a conclusion. At first, we thought we had on Friday. We found a prefab that was "acceptable". We came home and reviewed what we found with Mr. C. and he corrected my understanding of the size of the countertops. Instead of 43" and 45" as I thought, they actually measure 46" and 48". Ruh-roh. With the prefab being exactly 8', that doesn't leave much room for any margin of error, or accidental chipping at the end, or even the ability to cut a piece to add to the left end for the bullnose; where the 8' would be cut essentially in half we realize it'd be pushing it. Also, while it comes with the 8' backsplash, the just under 2' end pieces for sidesplash would still have to be purchased, and being prefab, they wouldn't match precisely because they wouldn't be coming from the same piece of stone. Sigh!

Friday night, I emailed Mr. C. and explained to him that I was feeling 'rushed' (ok, we've had 3 weeks, but there's a lot of variables in there thwarting my time) and also requested he provide us with an exact cost on the granite, which we as yet hadn't been able to get from him or the vendor. This decision has been the hardest of anything in the whole process. It's in part our personal taste & indecisiveness, a big part $$, and a part of not having all the info/facts to help make the decision. The assistant at the granite place was there on Sat. and we went down with a couple granite samples from another vendor but they didn't quite match so we won't be able to use them should we pick tiles elsewhere, and she started carrying heavy tiles out to the slab to see if we liked them. After several pieces were brought out, I had to call a halt to this attempt. After all, we haven't yet confirmed we are getting this slab. (Still struggling with getting a 54 or 62 sq. foot slab for approx. 25 sq. feet for 2 countertops - but we can use the remaining on the shower wall with tiles above it-not a total loss.) I didn't feel she was really hearing MY desires as to what I wanted and thought would look good, but was relying more on her own thoughts and preferences. I never thought this would be so difficult.

This is a shot of the whole slab. The photo looks slightly pinkish - there is no pinkishness to it; a lot of brownish tones (not milk chocolate, but semi-sweet in tone), and there's quite a bit of reflective silvery mica as well. We fell in love with this piece and it just seems all else pales...even though we've seen a lot of nice runners-up.

I think this closer pic of the right side of the slab shows a little more of the mica reflections. The background is a bit off-white. The left end reminds me a little of cookies'n'cream ice cream, where some of the browns are near-black.

Hopefully, we'll know sometime tomorrow what this thing will cost. I'm hoping it isn't so high that we end up back to rethinking ourselves and our options. Once it's ours, it can be cut, and we can have a sample to take to a vendor of our choosing to pick the tiles for the tub & shower surrounds and the floor (and I'm thinking it won't be from the same place). A tile place here in our own town had a very lovely woman with more design where-with-all than the lady at the slab place.

Design Wall Monday

Yet another Monday arrives with nothing specific on the Wall.
But, as I should be working on the April UFO project, I'll post the picture of that. I could get a fair amount done on it if I pulled the sheet I'm using as a dust protector during the bathroom renovation off my machine and table.

The fabrics have all been cut for quite awhile, labeled & bundled. They're a true hodge-podge of scrappiness...and older ones at that!

I almost forgot to link you back to Judy's Design Wall Monday - see what everyone's working on!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Fina-Lee Friday (a day late)

And it's (it was) Good Friday at that.
  • The bathrooms have drywall, as of Tuesday.
  • We still need to select granite (or other solid surface), tile for tub & shower/shower/floors, paint color, toilets, accessories, as of Tuesday.
  • We're still waiting on the back-ordered sinks, one sink faucet, and both shower heads & handles, as of Tuesday. should have them this next Saturday.
  • I'm getting tension headaches, not sleeping well.
  • Remodel issues are in my dreams and on my mind the minute I wake up.
  • Environmentalists+politicians+regulations+manufacturers make for one sorry lot of mess for the majority of the population.
  • I recycle, I compost, I use/reuse/remake. I wear my clothes beyond still looking good; you should see me trying to keep my pants up because the elastic has gone bad, ok, well maybe you shouldn't see that. I almost kept two toilets to turn into planters. There's probably a regulation against that.
  • I'm wondering where I will find enough boxes without having to spend money for them, to pack up the kitchen stuff BEFORE we have the contractor bid the project. I told him I will live without an oven for two years if I have to in order to have everything in place/on order/at hand/all choices 'in stone', before I sign anything. I'm learning!
  • Nick had no school today. Nick has no school all next week; it's EASTER Vacation.
  • While Nick's on vacation, none of us can sleep in :( . The contractor & any helper(s) arrive before 8:00 a.m. so that means we ALL have to be up, showered and dressed. I am bummed. I WANT to sleep in. I NEED to sleep in.
  • I'm living, breathing (dust), dreaming construction/remodel. I also NEED one of those massages at the foot massage place...they massage every appropriate place from head to foot, so why it's called foot massage I've no clue. I want to dream quilts, but I can't even think of them right now with this dust, and I'm even worried about how much dust is filtering into my stash closet. I should have cleared the stuff from in front of its door and closed that door along with the room's door. I keep room doors closed, but it's still amazing to see how much dust comes through...and they're done with most of the dust producing things...go figure!
  • And I intended to post this yesterday, but oops, it's late in the day on Saturday already.
Through someone else on facebook, I found a link to this woman's blog. This particular post about did me in with laughter. I needed that after the struggles of still trying to select material for our two small bathroom countertops...which means the end result will be delayed ultimately. Maybe I'll explain later, or maybe not.

Anyway, here's the link that had me laughing and practically on the floor. "cat trouble"

May all have a blessed Easter.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Thursday Thumpthings

OK, so I couldn't come up with a witty title for today, it was throublethum day.
We're really pushing the time limit (with our contractor) as to having our counter-top selections so that we can then have our tile selections for the two bathrooms. He wants us to have them by Monday morning. All week I've felt the weight of this decision on my shoulders.

Yesterday was a really fun day with a friend who took me to the place where she had gotten her prefab granite counter tops. Nothing jumped out at me but there were a few think-about runners-up. We also went to a large quilt shop in the valley that she had yet to go to...I think she's gonna be in trouble ;). We then had lunch, I drove her home and still made it back in time to pick Nick up from school. We did all our running around with me having a stress headache, muscle aches in my neck and a back that decided to start having fits only minutes before I left to take Nick to school that morning. It was an Rx pain pill day. I don't do those very often, dislike nearly all drugs. Also rolled up a towel and put under my back laying on the floor for 15 minutes. I think it helped some as I'm better today, though all three things are still there, just not as bad.

Last night I spent hours on Google searches to find stone places within driving distance. I called a couple this morning and one had a sufficient piece of remnant granite in the pattern/color we want, so I drove out to see it only to find that the location was the fabricator's and he was out on a job, so his worker called him and we arranged to meet at 1:30. I didn't want to drive all the way home only to return again (a part of that town I'm not real familiar with and I got lost the first time as it was!), so I drove all over the valley and found a couple of other places on my list with no luck, in fact one was completely closed as in out of business...unless they started selling clothing. When I went back for the appointment, he showed me the piece but unfortunately, it was more on the gold spectrum for that 'label'/quarry product, so I took a couple pix of it as well as a couple of other pieces in his yard. The sun was pretty high, and the remnant slabs were tightly packed against each other so none of the pictures give a real good view. I also stopped at the original granite place we'd gone to and took more pictures of the whole slab (54 sq'ft minimum of which we only need about 20! that's why we're looking for a remnant).

At this point, my frustration, and discouragement are running pretty high and I look forward to when the project is COMPLETED, but know we'll go through this and more when we get started on the kitchen. Marty's taking a vacay day again tomorrow, so maybe we can reach a decision. We're at analysis paralysis.

Monday, April 2, 2012

On a Rant

I have a rant. OK, so what's new. I rant a lot. But this is something that just really irks me in the whole scheme of things with the earth worshipers and save-the-planet folk. Because of them, we have rules, regulations and equipment, that in reality, have the opposite effect. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for being a good steward of what God has given in the way of 'earth's resources', but man is the problem, those who are extreme at both ends which make it really hard on those of us somewhere in the middle trying to do our best in all ways that we can.

Here in our town, we have a huge barrel for garbage, one for all the recyclables (paper, cardboard, plastic, metal, etc.), one for 'green' waste (grass, twigs, etc - but I compost! so it only gets set out a couple of times a year). But that's not my gripe, water is.

We're constantly being bombarded with 'encouragements' to save water - no kidding, it's a hot dry land with few of its own water resources - a lot of municipalities around us have piped in water (our city has its own wells so doesn't rely much on the piped in stuff but the wells and a reservoir not so far away).

Here's the rub in recycling and water consumption: metal cans and bottles are all to be rinsed clean (how does THAT save water? so hanged if you do, hanged if you don't). Showers and toilets - required built-in restrictors to save water, but, how much is being saved if you still have to flush the toilet twice to, ahem, get rid of the waste, or stay in the shower twice as long to get the soap off your body and the shampoo/conditioner out of your hair (maybe everyone should just go bald-bald folk would have better self-esteem then too if everyone looked the same!) This one is now really irritating me. Washing machines! At least the model we bought a year or so ago. They no longer have a setting for water level. That's right, water level is somehow determined by some sensor built into the machine that says, 'enough'. Well, what good is that when its water levels don't rinse out the detergent or dirt. I've used Amway's SA08 for years, but ran out about the time we got the washer and hadn't gotten around to re-ordering until recently (1 box will last me 9 mos, and I ordered 2). It's great stuff, but now I may have to go buy a new wardrobe for myself and the family because the white powder isn't getting rinsed out of the dark clothes and it looks so wonderful, not! We'll see if it washes out after running them through yet another wash and rinse cycle (without additional detergent). So here's what we have, all to save water, one wash+one rinse+second rinse+second wash+third rinse+fourth rinse......yep, that's saving water. Makes me wonder if even the liquid stuff I was using for a time ever truly washed out. And don't suggest going nekked, it ain't a gonna happen! Maybe animal fur like God gave Adam & Eve at the fall. Well, we all know where that option went and by whom. Besides, fur requires a whole different cleaning mechanism. Maybe go back to the Saturday night bath where everyone shares the same tub water --- eeewwww. Been there, done that growing up, right along with Grandma's summer outhouse and winter chamberpot.

Thank you very much, and if you want a better understanding of the reality about saving the planet, please read 2 Peter will not, nor can he, save the earth.
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