Friday, December 30, 2011

The tub has arrived!

The tub made it as far as Albany on Dec 23rd, but didn't move again until Wed the 28th. It arrived yesterday. It looks great. I am glad I went with the custom paint. I called the contractors and let them know it arrived and they will be back on Tuesday. The rest of the bathroom should be put together pretty quickly now.

While waiting for the tub I did get quite a bit done around the house, but for some reason (maybe because there is still so much to do) I don't feel like I have accomplished much. I did get just about everything sorted and organized and back into the newly expanded quilting closet. I need to run out to the hardware store and pick up some hooks for my quilting rulers and then I should be done with that project.

I also did a bunch of my annual organizing and culling (I love getting things organized!):
I un-decorated the house yesterday. The place looks a lot more open and empty.
I went through my clothes and pulled anything I haven't worn in the last year or so out of the dresser, so now there is plenty of room for the new stuff.
I went through my drawer in the built-in and cleaned that out.
I shredded receipts from this past year that I do not need.

The house still needs a top to bottom cleaning, but I will wait till the construction is done. I am guessing that it will only take to the end of next week. Yeah!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

We let Ivan open one of his presents on Christmas eve (the green thing next to him) but as you can see he was still eying his other presents under the tree.

A wonderful Christmas so far. Lots of cool things in the stockings. A great breakfast with a new recipe for lemon ricotta pancakes. And there are few scattered snowflakes coming down.

Peace on earth, good will toward all.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Lots of white stuff, just not snow

The shower is just about done. All the tile is in and grouted the shower head is up and if you turned the knob water would come out, but as we don't have the glass yet we won't be doing that. The glass guys came out on Tuesday and took the measurements. As it is a slow time of the year for them they figure it should only take a week or so to get the glass.

On the reverse side of things the tub which was supposed to ship on the 20th did not do so. I called again and the message yesterday is that it was getting painted and should ship today.

In the meantime the contractor finished the closet in the other room. I looks real nice, so nice in fact that I realized, since everything is already out of it, I need to paint the rest of the inside of the closet. That will be a project for next week. I think I have some white paint down in the basement I can use.

And speaking of white. The odds of a white Christmas is iffy. Usually we are white around here by Thanksgiving. At the moment the 'white' we have now is fog and lots of it.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Starting to look like a bathroom

Progress is going well with the renovation. We have walls up and painted. And they started building and tiling the shower area this week. But my hopes for having a new bathroom in place for Christmas are gone. It turns out that the tub I ordered won't even ship until Dec. 20th. And we have to wait to order the shower glass walls and door after the tile is done. And after the glass is ordered it will take about 3 weeks to get it in. So now we are looking at early Jan.

In the picture you can see the orange water-proof barrier on the shower wall and the black and white hex tile on the bottom of the shower. The black threshold is also in place.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Holiday Decorating - a few weeks delayed

Usually all the holiday decorations go up the Friday after Thanksgiving but with all the construction going on, an unexpected family visit and working on the weekends this semester I am way behind. As you can see even Ivan was getting impatient and as soon as the tree was set up he stationed himself front and center under the tree. I don't have any Christmas music but I did find that the cable network offers classic holiday music as one of the free music channels, so that is what I listened to while decorating.

I was able to work around Ivan and as you can see the tree is decorated. I also sat down with the Christmas cards and got them addressed and ready to go - just waiting for Damon to put his signature on them. I even ventured out to the mall today. Nothing like standing in long lines to really put you in the holiday spirit.

On the construction front all the drywall is up. I believe they will start priming and painting on Monday. The space where the fan is sitting is where our new built-in shelves will be.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Quilting Closet

Here are the quilting closet before and after pictures. Life really seems to be conspiring this year to keep me from getting any quilting time in. First the quilt show prep, then the health issues and now the construction. I did manage to keep most of the quilting stuff in the quilting room. I did cover up the fabric with some plastic bags so they don't get covered in construction dust. (But it is fabric, I can just wash it if it does get dirty). I did put my sewing machine in its travel case and move that to the bedroom to keep it safe.

Construction is moving along. Yesterday they put in the new insulation on the outside walls and added the vapor barrier, finished laying out the plumbing lines and finished the floor layer. Today they are starting the drywall.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Bathroom Renovation will now be effecting Quilting space

Other then using the quilting room as a staging area for all the stuff for the bathroom I didn't figure the renovation would effect my quilting room. But that changed today. The contractors were showing me how the layout will work (now that the plumbing is in) and my concerns about how small the shower was actually going to be turned out to be true. We were discussing options when one of them suggested walling up the closet space and rearranging some things. The result is that we get a substantially bigger shower space (yeah!) but we will lose the bathroom closet. They will compensate slightly by building a small set of built-in shelving to give some storage space to the bathroom.

As this closet abuts up to the sewing room closet (and there is no way I will let them close off access completely to possible storage space) they will break through the closet wall in the quilting room so I can access and use the space in my quilting closet. After they are done working today I have to go in and clear out everything in the closet (eek gads!).

Thursday, December 1, 2011

5 More Days of Construction

So days 6 & 7 were spent removing more lath and then going through the garage and basement to get rid of other stuff while we still had the dumpster.

The contractor started on Tuesday Nov. 29th. They pulled up the floor and removed the remainder of the lath. On Wednesday the electrician came in and started with the wiring, adding lighting receptacles and outlets. The contractors also started moving the plumbing to accommodate the new layout.

Today when I got home from work it looks like some ceiling boards have been added, the exhaust fan was installed and more plumbing work was progressing. This week I went out and ordered the tile for the shower floor and sample titles to get some ideas for laying out the tiles for the shower. I also bought a mirror for over the sink.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Renovation - Day 5

I started with the lath removal on the outside wall. It is taking longer than I thought. It involves removing a few of the the lath slats and then clearing out the blown-in insulation (and repeat, repeat, repeat). And as the insulation is big and fluffy it filled up the garbage can quickly so there were several trips to the dumpster. Once Damon got home we removed the small wall framing the shower/tub and removed the tub. To do that we needed to turn off the power and run an extension cord to set up lighting and have a power strip for the saw. I figured the tub would be difficult, but once it was removed from the drain pipe it came right out and as it was fiberglass it was nice and light too. Tomorrow its back to lath and insulation removal.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Renovation - Day 4

So far, so good. Still making progress on the demolition and (knocking on wood) no injuries or unexpected complications thus far. Delighted to find that the electrical wiring looks up to date. Previous lighting adventures have uncovered some really old wiring (think cloth) in other areas of the house.

I started removing the lath layer on a couple of the walls. Thrilled to find - nothing. I had been worrying about finding nests of insects, or dead animals carcasses or other icky things, but other than plenty of plaster dust the inner walls are nice and clean. Of course these are the inside walls. Tomorrow I will start with the outside walls which are more likely to have that sort of thing.

After Damon got home we took out the sink and toilet, so now I can finish removing the paneling and drywall layers. The sink and toilet came out fairly easily. Only one bolt on the toilet put up a fight but Damon broke out the Dremel Tool and took care of that.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving (Day 3)

As it is the holiday I decided to take it easy and only put in a half day of de-construction on the bathroom. Thankfully the ceiling was very cooperative and came down in no time. I also got the trim off the door and window and the took off the baseboards. I also cleared one more small wall of the outer layer of paneling.

The most difficult part of this process is getting all the materials out of the house and out to the dumpster. The process so far to minimize letting all the cold air into the house is to lock Ivan up and carry the stuff to the porch, and once that is done, work from the porch to the dumpster. I will have no use for a stair-master for the next few days.

I am trying to be good about cleaning up as I go and being careful when taking stuff out, but I have caught a few nails laying on the floor so it is 'shoes at all times' till this project is done.

So far everything looks in good condition, not seeing any mold or mildew and other than a few dead bugs around the window no pests have shown themselves (yeah!).

Report for Construction Day 2

Well the first day of demolition was slowed down by the first snowfall of the season. This is really late for us, we usually get snow in Oct. But this one was a good one. We got about a foot of snow. So snow removal became the priority. Not to mention that along with clearing the driveway I also had to go into the dumpster and shovel out all the snow in there (we pay by weight so a foot of heavy wet snow is not ideal).

Once the snow was dealt with I did make a little progress in the bathroom. I am starting on the inside walls and the shower area. I figured that there would be a layer of lath and/or drywall and then the paneling. But no, what I ended up with was lath, drywall (aka sheetrock) one layer of fake wood paneling and the top beige flowered paneling. All of this wouldn't be to bad, except for the fact that the preferred method of construction appears to have been some sort of supper strength construction glue. So instead of taking out nails and screws and taking off sheets of paneling and drywall, I am trying to pry glue apart and getting lots of smaller pieces. As these photos show I did get to the lath level on the wall with the closet, and most of the old shower area.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Bathroom Renovation - Day 1

The dumpster was delivered today, kicking off the official start of the bathroom renovation. We got an extra large container so we could also get rid of the extra scrap lumber from previous projects that was piling up behind the garage. Damon and I will be doing the demolition this weekend.

Here are the 'before' photos of the bathroom. We have done nothing to the bathroom since we bought the house. This will be a complete gut of the room including the ceiling, walls, and floor. We will be completely rearranging the room and will be installing a separate tub and shower.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Bloomin' Steps

The pattern is called Bloomin' Steps. Other than the white background, all the fabrics are from my scrap bag and charm squares. As you can see I am still contemplating borders - likely all from scraps and charm squares too. I got the blocks done at the quilting retreat a couple of weeks ago and got the blocks pieced together this weekend.

I still have an overload of scraps. I am hoping to find a pattern I want to do which will use up more scraps, maybe one that is all scraps so I do not need yardage for background.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

What I Did Last Weekend

Last weekend was the fall quilt retreat. I really needed this retreat, I have not spent any time on sewing/quilting since the spring. (I am not counting sewing on hanging sleeves for the quilt show).

The first thing I worked on at the retreat was a star for a retreat friend who is going through cancer treatment. Pat and Bev our retreat coordinators brought the background fabric - hard to tell from the photo but it is white with small gold metallic stars. We were asked to contribute a star. I made this star from a pattern in Peggy Martin's Paper Piece the Quick-Strip Way book. I just bought the book a couple of weeks ago when I was down in Glens Falls.

I inherited some purple/lilac fabric from my friend Cheryl over the summer. I used the Disappearing 9-Patch pattern to create this small quilt. I still needs a border or two. This will be donated as a community service quilt once it is done.

Also for Cheryl, our sewing group is putting together projects she left for her family members. This is the one I am working on. I still have to add a black strip to the center panel but after that is added it will go together quickly. I already have the the top, bottom and sides pieced together. I also need to cut the corner blocks.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

My first Quilting Ribbon!

I was awarded my first quilting award this week. The ribbon is a second place viewers choice for my Mystery quilt (previous posts have info on that quilt). My local guild had their quilt show last weekend. We don't have official quilt judges, just guest community member judges and we also do viewers choice for all the categories in the show. What is really cool about this ribbon is that it is a paper-pieced quilted ribbon. It looks really impressive.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Fall Hike

Since we didn't get the chance to hike any mountains this summer I was thrilled to take the opportunity to take dad on his first Adirondack mountain hike last weekend when the folks were up for a visit.
We had beautiful weather, daytime temps in the mid-70s, and mostly sunny. Of course we hiked in the morning when it was a bit cooler. We went to our 'local' small peak - Silver Lake mountain. As you can see in the photos we are in the middle of peak leaf color. The trail was only muddy in a couple of spots but all the leaves and pine needles made it a bit slippery.
We were the only ones on the summit but a couple of other groups were coming up the trail as we were heading back down.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Proof I am Still a Quilter

With all the chaos of planning the set up of a quilt show I really put my own quilting on the back burner. But as evidence that I didn't give it up cold turkey here is what I have been working on in my limited spare time.
I started hand piecing these star block a couple of years ago. If you look closely you will notice that I did a bunch fussy cutting for the corner pieces of the stars.
In the last couple of weeks I have hand stitched these blocks together. I am planning on adding a couple of borders. To keep with the hand-work theme I will be hand quilting this piece as well. I have no concrete time line for getting this done. (Lets hear it for no deadlines!)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Minding the Gap - Fall Update

OK, its been a couple of months. These have been filled by health issues, increased workload at work and of course the planning and layout of the quilt show. The garden suffered some serious neglect this season, but was not a total loss. In fact today I harvested the first pumpkin (that's him in the picture) and a few tomatoes. Harvesting pumpkins and tomatoes on the same day is pretty remarkable but then again the weather was pretty remarkable this year as well. I have 2 more pumpkins still out in the garden which should be ready in another week or 2.

Today was a warmer than average fall day and I went out for a walk before it got dark. It was pretty noisy with all the honking (geese not cars).

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


I am usually a really organized person. Everything has its spot and it is usually in its spot.
I am in charge of the guild's quilt show registration and set-up committee this year and it seems the paperwork has taken over. The spot for all the paperwork and planning is the entire dining room table. And I am not sure the table is big enough. I am surprised how much this is not bugging me. Perhaps because so much other stuff (laying out the show) needs my attention, I don't have the usual urge to organize everything.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

The passing of a Best Friend

Boris left us yesterday. He was probably ready for quite a while, but was patient with me to be ready too. He went so very peacefully in his favorite spot in the backyard.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

New Art!

The new artwork is a birthday gift from Damon. He even threw in the the actual hanging of the paintings, which was no small feat - there is only a small ledge with a plant on it to stand on. The 3 panel piece is called "Lemon Trees" by Luiza Vizoli, here is the link to her Etsy Store.

I originally thought about hanging them over the couch in the living room, but as the couch is not centered on the wall I thought it would look off. The benefits of hanging it in the upstairs hall is that it takes up the space of the wall perfectly and as the walls are painted yellow (hard to tell in this photo) it seemed the best place to put art named Lemon Trees. It is also the only art in the hall at this point so its a nice focal point. I love the colors!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Mid-Year Resolutions/Goals

OK, looking back in January I listed 3 goals.
One and a half isn’t bad.
First the success story. I said I would not start a new quilting project until I finished one of the WIPs/UFOs. This I did and I even finished a couple without starting new ones so my list of projects to finish did indeed shrink a little bit.
The half-success was the writing an article goal. I did not write an article but I did present at two professional conferences. So I still managed to add to my list of ‘scholarship’ but not the published variety.
And finally the non-success – the weight losing goal. It was a realistic goal, and I did go the gym twice a week and even joined a Zumba class, but all I managed to do was maintain my weight.

So that was my accounting for the first half of the year.
Now for the resolutions for July – December.
First, in the vein of “try, try again” I will once again attempt the elusive loss of 10 pounds.
Second, attempt to bring more balance and less stress into my life (this should help with the high blood pressure issues) through simplifying, and building positive rituals/habits into my life.
Third, as it looks like we will be having a new garage built next year I will get as much prep work and inquires/estimates done this year as possible.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Holiday Weekend

It was such a wet rainy spring and early summer that this weekend really was the first time I felt I could go out and start staining/sealing the gazebo. I got just over half done this morning and will do the rest tomorrow. I will have to wait till Damon is home before I attempt to climb up on the roof and work on the cupola.

My birthday flowers from mom and dad were delivered on Friday, still a few days to go till B-Day, but as it is a nice long weekend and its nice to have them when I will be most around the house to enjoy them. They are in the dining room and you can smell them as soon as you walk into the house.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Working on a W.I.P.

Now that the Mystery quilt is at the quilter's I can go back to working on my list of WIPS (Works In Progress). These are the New York Beauty blocks I have been making using Karen Stone's paper piecing blocks. I am not following any set pattern or setting, I just laid out the blocks till I liked the look of them. Originally I thought I needed to make more blocks, but I found a couple hidden in another part of my project box, so I have enough right now to put it all together. All the fabric is from scraps. The black and white fabric at the bottom will be used for the border. This will end up being a good sized wall hanging.

Saturday, June 11, 2011


It is a cool rainy day - perfect for staying inside and sewing. I am putting borders on the mystery quilt. I put the black inner border on on Thursday, and pieced and attached the multi-color border today. Only one last black outer border and the top will be done. I stopped and bought the backing fabric yesterday so if all goes as planned this will get dropped off at the long arm quilters' this coming week.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Back from Vacation

Back from the Ohio and Vegas trips. A bit travel weary, and would be content to sit at home for a few weeks but regional quilt shows beckon for the next couple of weekends. The focus of the vacation was a family wedding in Ohio, but as we had a house and dog sitter (thanks dad!) so we took advantage and ran off to Las Vegas for a few days. Vegas was a welcome change - it was dry, warm and sunny. A very pleasant change from the apparently never ending rain we have here in the Adirondacks.

While in Ohio I had the chance to take a 2 hour introductory course in Hungarian Embroidery. So of course I needed to stock up on some supplies. Not sure when I will get started on a project (too many quilts to finish around here). Now back to unpacking!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Guest Speaker Bonnie Turner at Guild

Bonnie Turner was the guest speaker at the Champlain Valley Quilters' Guild of New York this past week. She spoke about her journey into crazy quilting and specifically into embroidery and embellishments on quilts. She was a good speaker and even better yet she sent around all the samples and works in progress that the brought to show us. It was wonderful to get to see her work close up and appreciate the details. Along with basic embroidery she includes ribbon work, pins, coins, beads, rhinestones and a variety of other embellishments. I asked to take some photos of her projects to use for inspiration. She has participated in embellishment round-robins that sound interesting, where blocks are passed around a group of sewers and everyone adds to the piece. The photos here are of pieces that were part of the round-robins.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Mysterious Choices

All the mystery blocks are done! Now I have to decide how to put the blocks together. As this is your Christmas gift Tammy please let me know your preference.

Option A - Not sure how to explain the pattern - but then again, this is why I take pictures.

Option B - Alternating surrounds of the two colors.

Option C - Alternating colors by diagonal row.

My personal choice is either option 1 or 3.

Of course I still have a lot of left over fabric so I could also sash blocks, divide blocks in rows or columns, add corner stones, and of course add borders.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Christmas in April (in more ways than one)

Got the "Christmas Streets" quilt top done today! I call it "Christmas streets" because I used the Seattle Streets quilt pattern to use up a bunch of my Christmas fat quarters and scraps. The top is 60 x 72 inches. Its four 12 inch blocks across and five down, with 4 x 6 inch rectangles serving as the border. The picture washes it out but the light colored squares in the quilt are all gold fabric, must be that the camera flash was reflected so you really can't see the gold colors. I am expecting to hear from my local Long-Arm quilter that the last quilt I dropped off is ready in the next week or so, so I will be running out and getting backing for this quilt (an allowable purchase under the no-buy challenge rules) and will drop it off for quilting when I pick up the other one.

As for the other reason its like Christmas in April - well the reason I was getting some quilting done this week was because of all the cold, wet and even snowy weather we have been having (2 inches of snow on Monday). Its all rain, wind and cold today so back up to the sewing room I go.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

New Boots

Its been a busy couple of weeks; work, car issues and the passing of a friend and fellow quilter. It has all kind of overwhelmed me mentally, physically and emotionally.

Not much new to report on the quilting front - still working on the Mystery Quilt. And the yard work is on hold as it is cold and wet out.

Looking ahead to when it will be warm and dry I picked up a pair of hiking boots today. These are lighter weight than the pair I have now. I am going to try and wear them as much as possible the next few weeks to break them in. Don't want to get blisters on the first mountain of the hiking season. Damon and I don't really have an Easter tradition, maybe getting new hiking boots would be a good one to start.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Folk Art

Last week I was in such a hurry to share the photos and info on the quilt exhibit that I didn't have time to talk about my other activities in NYC last weekend. First up is my purchase of this folk art print (complete with frame) from the American Folk Art Museum. We went to the museum to meet a friend and look at their other quilt exhibit, but I wanted to hit the gift shop because over a year ago I saw the prints by Susan Daul and really liked them. I regretted not getting one then so I was thrilled to find they had a couple left. This one is now hanging in my kitchen.

While in NYC we also hit the City Quilter quilt shop, they have doubled in size since I was last there. I love this shop, it has wonderful bright fabrics and NYC speciality fabrics. Then we had lunch at Jack Dempsey's Pub, right across the street from the Empire state building on 33rd.