Friday, May 28, 2010

Check. Check. Check.

On a lot of the "to do" list this week.  First week in a long time I feel like I accomplished enough not to have to finish something up tomorrow!  Ever feel that way-your next day is planned before today is even half over?

Carpets and stairs cleaned.
Den cleaned.
New doggy bedding (thrifted, not handmade-sorry Lady).
Family room finished painting.
Picture frames to hang in family room painted white.
Sunroom cleaned.
Sewing area in sunroom tidied.
Back patio cleaned and table and chairs cleaned.
Extra patio chairs cleaned and stored to stay clean until the party next week.
Flower beds weeded.
Plants planted.
Clotheshorse hubby's closet switched to summer shirts for work.
Hubby love's corner where he piles everything cleaned as much as I can.
Javi applying for jobs and turning in applications.
Middleman's 8th grade year finished.
Check. (this is a bit of a cheat since we still have some Algebra to go-but co-op and local middle school are done for the year)

Still here?
Also finished were these bee blocks for Alison at ISQ.  Hope Valley.  Yummy!

Not my usual colors to work with, but I found I liked the calmness and peacefulness of the grays and blues and the spriteliness of the oranges!  When a free moment (ahem) comes up, they'll wing their way to Canada!

Squirrel Update!
My commando boys upgraded me to a fully automatic air pistol rifle.  I think that's what it is.  LOL  I can now shoot five tiny air pellets at a time.  Disclaimer.  I aim for the butt. (hee hee) or around where they are (the squirrels, not just their butts) to scare them.  So far, they're getting the idea that my gardens are off limits.  For those of you wishing to harbor these tree rat terrorists, come 'n get 'em!  You can have 'em.  For those of you wishing to experience a full, outdoor's hunting experience and learn how you too can have a squirrel free garden, we're booking weekend warriors vacations beginning mid-June.  Accomodations and airfaire are not included.  Meals are provided on a first come, first shot basis.

Don't forget to check out the other Friday Finishes for Sew & Tell!  Click the button on the side and follow me to see some incredibly creative, inspiring and beautiful finishes!

Happy Memorial Day!
Freedom isn't free.
Thank you to our veterans and their families and friends for the ultimate sacrifice and service. 

Thursday, May 27, 2010


has been declared!
There are no terms for surrender!

Yesterday, a whole batallion of enemy squirrels infiltrated the gardens out back.  Innocent plants were harmed during their field operations.  More manpower was necessary to replant the wounded sprouts.

I was not happy.  So, I am borrowing one of the boys' air soft pellet guns to repel invaders.  This is terribly wicked, but I actually enjoyed hitting a couple of them and watching them hop-hop-scramble-run-scamper-climb as fast as they can out of the way!-and away from the garden.

This morning, I'm on recon duty

while I eat my breakfast and check email.  Hang on--there's rustling in the grass-oh-it's just Lady.  Doing nothing.  Of course.  Good thing I didn't shoot her.  lol

Hope you have a squirrel free day!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Even Javi is wondering where I am!
As his high school graduation looms around the corner, we're steadily crossing things off the "to do" list around the house.  Yesterday, he painted the front door frame etc.  Today he will go back and touch up the house where he accidentally got white on the green.  He did an awesome job!

Mother in love has this incredible carpet cleaner!  Holey cow it's powerful.  I'm thinking of asking Hoover for a corporate sponsorship for our family.  We'll showcase their products and attest to the wonderfulness of them all!  I have to tell you, I was worried about our floors.  I try to clean them at least twice a year, but last year my Mom had surgery and it just didn't get done.  I don't think guys who change oil for a living saw darker liquid coming out of those oil pans than what came out of our carpets.  Ick!  I feel so much happier and healthier now they're clean.

Working on the flower beds today.  Some tomato plants to get in pots and a hosta to plant.  Mom dropped off some orphans from her bed at the lakes.  They'll go in the "incubating" beds in the back.  Raised beds where I plant baby perennials to see how they will do and grow, veggies for the squirrels family, roses, sunflowers, morning glories and whatever else gets plunked down in them.

Raspberry swirl, wave petunias my buddy Judy saved back for me at the greenhouse.

I'd like to work on my May block for the ISQ bee.  It's been so long since I've done any real sewing on fun, quiltey things.  Most of my time has been spent finishing the room, keeping the laundry monster from eating our home, end of the school year activities, working in the yard or gardens and schooling.

Middleman is down to three days at our local middle school.  Dissecting sheep eyes this week.  Yummy!  He finished Spanish I yesterday and will start the next year as soon as hubby techno love installs it on the new computer or rebuilds something somewhere????? from the old laptop.

Keeping it real

in the family room.  You can barely see the ladder by the elliptical.  I have two spots to touch up and its finished (except for trim).  Almost forgot, the stairs are getting cleaned today.  I hate this normally, but maybe the new carpet cleaner will make it much better!

Hope you all have a great day where you are.  Don't forget to stop and enjoy the flowers-tell someone you love just how much you do love them!

Thursday, May 20, 2010


Is my favorite four letter word!

So, as I was off rummaging last weekend, a little white paper flapping in the breeze caught my eye.
Attached to this

very heavy, in great shape (ignore the camera strap in the corner please!) shelf/plant stand!
Back home I went as fast as I could fly to change cars.  Loaded this bad boy all by myself into the CRV and here it is.  Ready for today!  Sunny blue skies.  70's they tell me.  Off to buy dirt and flats of flowers to get this party started!

Speaking of which, why can't my stubby little fingers dial a local radio station fast enough to try and be entered into a $200 gift card for GFS?  All I would have to do is be the correct number caller and talk about our graduating child.  Sigh.  Maybe next time!  Wouldn't that be awesome to win to use for his graduation party!
I will also take donations from family and friends to feed all of these people!  LOL

Okay, reality check.  The "not an open house" party keeps getting bigger.  For years now we've been invited to huge, ginormous, overblown open houses for graduates.  Like they had won the Tour de France or were drug reps hosting a luncheon for a doctor's office.  Halls rented out, tents sprouting in yards, chocolate fountains (sorry Javi!), DJ's, plastic shrink wrap on carpets to keep them clean, houses that should be in Country or Southern Living.  I mean, they're like wedding receptions.  And the parents outdo themselves in the one up manship of complaining about the cost (wait, didn't I just do that too?  lol) and inconvenience.

The kids are bragging about how much they "pulled in" cash and gift wise.  It's totally insane.

So, Javi decided he wanted a party like we would have if it were a family member birthday.  Cake, punch.  Small.  Invitation only.  He's rejecting the hype, hoopla and greediness.  For which, I'm thankful.  Not only because it IS less work for us, but because I think he sees the bigger picture.  The economy and how it affects those around him.  Wanting to celebrate this special occasion with those he loves and truly wants there, not just inviting everybody and their brother for a gift or a number to brag about.
I'm so proud of him.

We'll be having a bonfire at his grandparents' house later that night.  With hotdogs, s'mores, sodas, friends, family.  This is what he wanted and we're so happy to do this for him.

Proud mama moment over.  Thanks for bearing with me.

I have two of the three valances finished and hung up.  They're from vintage sheets I swapped with from a fellow addict on flickr.  Just beautiful fabric!  I didn't gather them because I wanted the print to show as much as possible.  I have some of the gingham from the couch as trim on the bottom edge.

I am uber happy with how they turned out.

No, I'm not that tall.  Standing on the Fisher Price end table!  LOL

Wall is prepped and ready to paint today.  Ceiling is totally finished.  Endtable quilt is done and ready to go on the secret project I've been working on.  More on that later-because it easier to ask for forgiveness than it is permission.  Ever had a quilt you've been working on forever and you're getting to the "I can't stand this" stage of it?  I was there with this room Monday.  I have to tell you, stripping butt ugly wall paper again, patching holes and gashes, sanding, the whole ladder thing-was starting to bring me down.

But now, we're in the home stretch and I promise after I'm finished and a few more pictures, I won't blog about it again for a while!  LOL

At Goodwill Tuesday, I found this scrumptious orphan.  The adoption fee was only $14.99 plus tax.  And a Harry Potter book for my handsome furniture mover/assistant.  I've been Googling the snot out of reupholstering tutorials and how to's.  I'm in love.

Hope the weather is nice where you are and that you get to go out and get your hands in some dirt somewhere and plant a little love!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

I think I need a bigger couch!

So that all of my quiltey buds can all come over and nap, snuggle up, read, sew, watch tv and just gab!
Oh, how much fun would that be?
Thank you for all the super kind words of encouragement!  Can't tell you how much I appreciate them! 

Yes, I will travel to help make slipcovers.  I just need airfare and the occasional chocolate thrown at me!  I have made one other slipcover before for an old chair we were gifted right after getting married.  Unfortunately, it too went the way of the Dodo after one-two-too many boisterous rocks backwards by one of the boys.  LOL  I used to always wonder why (when at their houses visiting when I was younger) people didn't just buy new furniture or always have new carpet installed in their houses.
They had kids.

Have I ever told you what an awesome hubby I have?  Sunday, it took three of us (hubby Mr. Incredible, Bean and I) two or so hours what would have taken me days to do!
We took everything off the shelving unit (movies, books, art cases, more movies, more books and just stuff) and shuffled them to the side.  Hubby (who is thankfully gifted in the tool and "know how" departments) moved the brackets and put them on the almost finished wall.  Not quite finished becase we're going to sand and then restain the trim, but not until after Javi's graduation.

Keeping it very kid friendly, and trying to have a less cluttered look.  The white canvas baskets are $5 finds from WalMart.  The canvas has velcro holding it to wire baskets.  So, when grubby hands have gotten them dirty, off they go into the washing machine.

A little anxious to see how these looked hung up-so I went ahead and put them up even though the room's not done yet.  Hee hee.  Do you ever jump ahead of yourself on a project because you're antsy?

Holy Lightfixtures Batman!  Have you priced lampshades lately?  This is an "antique" porcelain lamp I've had since my first apartment days.  My mom got it from somone else's mom, if I remember correctly.  Anyway, I replaced the dark blue shade and got a simple, inexpensive (cough! cough!), pleated one.  I like the trim.  It's all in the details!

Wanted to share some more gardening pictures with you all.  I know we had one sunny day last week,'cause I've got photos to prove it!  I'm starting to think I live in the Amazon, we've had so much rain and such a dark under canopy look.

I'm challenging Bath and Body Works to bottle the smell of peonies.  Oh my heavenly goodness golly gracious! 

And some geraniums who decided to pop in and say "Hi!"

I'm stripping off the wallpaper on the last wall today.  Patching, sanding and painting sometime later this week.  Once that wall is painted--carpet cleaning.  Duhn, duhn duh!

Working on a little sidetable quilt for the new and improved family room too.  Never one to waste anything, I took the right angle corners from a scrappy quilt I'm working on and

using some gorgeous Paganelli for the binding.  What awesomely bright, happy, snappy fabric!

Here's to a good day for all of us!

Friday, May 14, 2010

The Quilted Couch

So, with all the free time--LOL--I managed to kick myself in the rear and finish up the slipcover for the couch.

I think I've shared before how we are the house to play at in the summer. How at times, I can count over 11 kids here hanging out, playing Xbox, Gamecube, guns, Legos, swords, basketball, soccer, army men etc.

I love that they like to come here and play. Even the girls like to hang out here. One for the dog she thinks is hers and the others like to ride their bikes and play basketball.

Our family room really took a hit last year. The couch was sagging, dirty, nasty and smelled like Doritos (which there was a lot of snacking going on with that many kids hanging out).

May I introduce you to the very feminine, but still boyishly blue, delicate looking, but washable--

Quilted Couch!
This is a one piecer that slides on and off like a dream.  All the cushion covers are zippered to allow me to wash them (hey, where did this pencil mark come from and what is this brown spot already?) and the pillows have envelope backs so their covers can be washed too.
I ended up just buying King size pillows to use for the back cushions.  That way, when they start smelling nasty (as they will) and lose their form (that too shall happen), I can just replace them.  I kept the seat cushions because foam and stuffing are expensive.  A gentle bath and drying outside in the sun improved their shape and their smell as welll!

Soft, buttercup yellow fabric to compliment the colors in the floral fabric.  And they match the new paint!

I have already napped here and Bean and I had a good snuggle yesterday while watching a movie.

We're moving the shelves this weekend hopefully.  Then another wall to conquer and tame.  Planning what to hang on the walls.  What color area rug to put down after the carpet is cleaned.  Like the end table?  LOL  Fisher Price.  Vintage.  We seriously need a new lamp shade and the thing that it sits on.  Several times of getting knocked over by overly rambunctious kids can put a dent or two in your day!

Middleman and I spent some time on our knees together too.  The old cover had a floor length skirt attached with heavy duty staples.  A couple of mini crowbars, hammers, a flathead screwdriver and needle nose pliers helped us remove it from the couch and to the trash can.  Yes.  Some upholstery was injured in the making of the new couch!

To my family; thanks for the support and help through this project.  For all the times I made you get up off the couch while watching tv or playing games so I could measure and try on the fabric.  It's so worth it!

Be sure to check out the other Friday Finishes at Amy's Sew & Tell!
Have a great weekend and Hooah for Best Buys Geek Squad!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Staving off Alzheimer's

I heard a news article on NPR a couple of weeks ago about how we do make new, baby brain cells and that exercising your brain (like a muscle) is one way to help prevent or lessen the effects of Alzheimer's.

Well, I am good to go!

We started having trouble with my laptop a couple of months ago.  Hubby uber smart patched things up and we kept on going with that one.  Now-it cannot connect to the internet and we he has no idea what's wrong with it (read this as it probably has something to do with online games and Japanese anime the boys watch).  So, I'm typing to you from my new Compaq. 

Which has Windows 7, not Vista.  So I'm learning all kinds of new things.  Exercising my brain. 

Trying to catch up on all things online.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Friday Finish, Flowers and Mother's Day!

Good morning friends and family!
(see the pots on the front porch waiting patiently to be filled?)

What a week.  I totally forget what I did Monday.  Oh, yeah.  Setting up for the elections Tuesday.  And then spending the day away from family to work the polls.  Wednesday was trying to recover from Tuesday.  Thursday, Middleman had an all day field trip.  I missed him, and it felt weird to be all alone in the house all day-

but I did manage to get a large start on painting the family room!  Hooray!
The ceiling is done except for above the existing wall shelves.  Books, pictures, movies etc will have to be packed away, the shelves taken down and moved to this wall.  Then I can strip more wall paper (oh boy!), fill in holes and sand.  I'm very happy with the cheeriness of the color.  The bottom will be white and I'm still deciding what to do about the trim.  If I could pull it off, strip it and stain it a nice, light color--

Yesterday, I washed and dried Marcia's quilt for her mom.  She will be picking it up sometime today.  She was very pleased with it and I'm hoping that it helps her and her mom through the years to feel closer to their loved one.

This was my first rag quilt and I'm really pleased with how it turned out.  Using jeans, and a flannel batting and the shirts on top-man, this quilt is H.E.A.V.Y!  I was going to wash this at the laundrymat.  Initially, we were hoping to get a twin size quilt, but this ended up as a 63"x63" larger lap quilt.  It fit quite nicely into my extra large, washing machine of three busy boys.  I also dried it in my home dryer, just checking the inside and lint trap to remove the loosened strings.

Her dad loved John Deere tractors and the green block is from one of his favorite shirts.  This was also my first experience with quilt labels you can print on cotton paper/fabric with an ink jet.  I like doing it that way.  Just need to find colored paper now too!

Don't forget to visit Amy (and her new bambina) for some beautiful Friday Finishes!

Now that Mother's Day is almost here, I can get some annuals to plant in the front beds and the back rasied beds.  I have baskets I like to fill with dirt and than plant and have in the beds to sort of break up the foliage.  The bandits-thieves-pests-freeloaders squirrels have dug up some of the seeds and seedlings I've planted in the back.  I caged some sunflower seeds and they've sprouted and will be ready to separate and transplant soon.

A very, very Happy Mother's Day to all or our moms, sisters, sisters in love, friends, aunts, nieces and hoping we all get the day off! 


Monday, May 3, 2010

For Marcia!

My email will not let me send an attachment to Marcia about her quilt, so I'm directing her here to get a look and make some decisions.

This is one of the memory quilts I'm helping her with to give to her mom.  Made from jeans and favorite shirts that were her dad's.  I've loved how soft the shirts are and there are a lot of prayers wrapped up in this quilt.  I had it almost all sewn together, we had a family council and decided we didn't quite like the way it was turning out, so I ripped everything out and started over.  The boys really like it and Bean thinks it needs to stay with us, but understands how special this is to Marcia.

Marcia, let me know what you think you'd like me to do with the size and I'll have it done by Friday.