Saturday, July 17, 2010

My Sewing/Craft Room Is Done

Just a short post, it is late and am ready to take a soak and get some sleep. I am so happy I finished setting up my sewing room today.

This is the before photos.

This is wall one. This is the wall with the closets. This is a view of some of the wallpaper left still to remove. Apparently it strips in layers. I have come to a major decision about wallpaper, no more is ever...and I do mean no more allowed on my walls. That goes for stickers and scotch tape as well.

Now then, after removing all that wallpaper and painting and shampooing carpet, my sewing/craft room is all set up. At least ready to be used that is, still have some things packed away that need to be brought out, am still hunting the thread rack, but the next job is cleaning the bedroom up and making the changes I want in there.

Thought you might enjoy the after photos to see the end result.
This is the view as you walk in. That was my dad's chair there in the corner.

This is a view of my shelves that I brought in from the bedroom with all my scrapbooking, stamping, and bead supplies. The famous Cricut is there with all the cartridges and you can't see it, but the bottom shelf is full of my Sizzix stash.

This shows my blue wall. Had to play with the colors a bit. I like the mountains and the beach, so ended up using the colors of the ocean I guess. Sand colored walls, blue wall, then green trim and on the closet doors. Doubt it would win any designer type awards, but it works for me. So nice and calm in there. The thing, I repurposed a lot of storage containers and such so it only big expense was the paint.

And, back to the beginning, but this shots shows off the green doors a little.

Hope you enjoyed the tour. I hear that bath calling my name.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Daughter's Room

Guess with all the talk about the room should show some photos of it.

We have the shelves up, but not the name on the wall yet. I will be doing that later on as have had to prioritize the little jobs so I can get the big jobs done on time.

Everyone that has seen the room has commented on how good the closet curtains look. I am glad she wanted to take out the doors, I can swap them out for the ones in the sewing room. The ones from her new room are in much better shape.

This is the opposite wall from the window.
and the portion of wall that is set back a bit above it to form what is called a planters shelf we did in dark purple as an accent.

Well, the closet is dry now. Why paint the inside of a closet which no one but me will see is beyond me. I am claustrophobic to begin with so finally gave up caring if the corners didn't quite get enough paint. Just spent about 2 hours loading drivers on daughter's laptop for the printer, ate a bite, so now am ready to go make room to start stripping the wallpaper. OH JOY!

Check in later with progress.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Today was a great day. I started out as tired as when I went to bed, sore from all the redecorating and moving things about, then started out on some errands.

I took a large bag of clothes to a consignment shop to try and sell them. They took two shirts. Out of all the name brand clothes which was mostly jeans, they took two shirts. First thing that happened was that out of one pair of jeans fell a baby spider. I mean tiny. I have no idea how that happened, I washed the whole bag of clothes. After that, the clerk didn't even want to look through them much, she told me that the jeans were all too old. They were name brands so I know that son bought them in the last year or so. So, after that dismal start, I went to JoAnn's and hit a marvelous sale. Shadow box photo frames (well all photo frames) were 60% off. I still have each outfit from each of my children's baptism. We are Lutheran so they were all four infant baptism. At any rate, I have for years thought it would be so wonderful to frame each outfit to hang on the wall. Just never really got around to it and honestly, the outfits are stashed away in all different directions. Now that I am going to have a sewing room all for myself, I am determined to hang some of my prizes as art work. The outfits being one, some Dresden plate quilt blocks made by my aunt in the late 30's are another. I have some needle craft projects that I plan to finally finish and hang as well. At any rate, the original price of the frames was actually less than I was anticipating, but seeing the sale sign I just went ahead and bought four of them, one for each child's outfit. Also, found some cute wooden words to paint and hang on the wall that were in the clearance bin for less than a dollar. Of course, I also found the sign that said the Butterick patterns were on sale for $1.99 each. Good thing that since I have been invaded by the sewing bug that most of the patterns were sold out. I can remember in my younger days dumpster diving the fabric stores on days they discontinued the patterns. Only the envelope is sent back, the tissue pattern and directions was tossed. I would come home with huge black trash sacks full of patterns, grab some tea and sit down to go through them picking out what I could use, then tossing all the others. Those were the days. Thinking of the past, last night I was reading over some blog postings regarding vintage sewing. I love looking at what people come up with. They were just awesome. I am envious of these seamstresses that can get those dress patterns for a quarter at garage sales and then make the pattern fit them. I am hopeless at altering a pattern. Realize, back then, women were smaller. Limited under garments tending to make a woman's bust a little differently shaped as well. I am small on top, large waist, large hips and doubt that anyone even visualized some of the plus sizes we have today. While I am not as large as I was, still working on that as well, I am definitely not a size 6 from the 30's or 40's era. Not sure I was ever a size 6. LOL Any way, I took the plunge today and bought a Butterick pattern that is called a "retro" because it is style inspired from 1947, at least I think that is what the 47 means.
I think it just lovely. Nice and cool for summer, a jacket for cooler weather or in my case modesty in church. I just can't stand my bare shoulders being seen. The pattern is such a clean, simple, classy style that I am really excited to have it in the "to do" box. I also can't help but wonder what some of those ladies would have thought of some of today's fabrics. Am even pretty certain just which fabric I will use from my stash as well, just have to make sure there is enough of it. Feel there is since that piece was bought to make pants, skirt, and top and that particular fabric also happens to be 60 inch wide. Thinking ahead to Christmas, I bought a baby boy pattern and plan to make a whole little wardrobe for the new grandson. It will be fun making the clothes and any one that has had children will agree that by the time they are about six months all the gifts from the shower and well wishers will all be too small for the quickly growing baby. All in all, JoAnn's was a great shopping trip.

Next, I went to Walmart. I posted previously about the work we have been doing in youngest daughter's room. I had decided that I would use my Cricut to cut out her name and then attach it to the wall over her closet. That plan changed as we found a better spot to put her name and would make larger letters. I have one font. That font would be wonderful, but thought I would use it as an excuse to add to my cartridges. After all, it was just one and Walmart carries them at a price that is really good. I had the font all picked out, so I thought. As I was standing there, looking over the script styled font to make sure that it was the one I would buy, after all, I was about to spend $40 and could only pick one, I ran in to the lady that works the scrap craft area. She told me that the ones on the other side could be discounted and asked me how many I would buy if she did. I told her it depended on the final price. OH MY GOSH, I came home with 7 cartridges. She had marked them down to $5 each because they were considered out of date. Heck I didn't care about how current they were and ended up with some great cartridges, four of which are fonts, one of which has a princess crown (baby daughter is her daddy's princess you see) and of course will be the choice for the name. I had two Cricuts, gave the smaller one to my oldest daughter who is a teacher. So, at this great price, I figured I would grab a couple of them for her as Christmas gifts. For her I got the Sports Mania (all kinds of sports shapes and words - good for her bulletin board and the scrapbook she is making for oldest son and will make for the son due this month) and Opposites Attract (a font that looks like cursive writing). For myself, I bought fonts called Jubilee, Alphalicious, Opposites Attract (had to keep one for me too) and Calligraphy along with another one named Graphically Speaking which has all kinds of great shapes not to mention the great butterfly. Since I was still $5 ahead of what I had planned to spend, I bought some extra blades. Wish I could have gotten the tool kit on sale. LOL

Oh yeah, and at Sam's Club I came across this package of Rum Fruit Punch, already has the rum in it and a little spicket on the package. It is a bit strong, but taste wonderful. I know, it really isn't as strong as I think, when it comes to alcohol I am a total lightweight.

I am off to do dishes, get a night's sleep so I can start on cleaning out the now empty room and getting a start on pulling wall paper. Until then, have a great day, or night.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Anticipation - killing me.

The anticipation of life is killing me at the moment. First is the waiting for the new grand son due to arrive later this month. I want to see him, hold him, hug him, know that my daughter is okay as well. I want to see my older grand son who will be moving to the roll of big brother. I miss them terribly.

Next is the anticipation of finally having a room of my own to sew in, work on embroidery, or crochet, or paper craft projects. I have been working like crazy getting my daughter's new room all painted (purple) with new curtains, new blind, new closet doors (although they are fabric curtains instead of the wood doors) so we can finally get her moved in. Don't get to put new carpet in, no time or money for it, but I shampooed them and they are at least clean now. The big items should be moved this evening. Then, it will be my turn for my new room. OH HAPPY DAYS! Lot more work, but will sure be worth it. I have the crafting bug sooo bad. I am constantly planning how I want to arrange things in there, now that I found out I will also have to place a couch in there. But, it will still work out. I won't have enough room to fix it all the way I want to, but hey, I used to have a corner of the bedroom so now to have a whole bedroom and closet is just so...I am giddy. I think it will be so much fun just pulling my supplies out and finding everything once again. I was making the curtains to go over my daughter's closet door when I realized that I couldn't even find a box of pins, sewing thread or such. I just stared at the sewing machine for a moment taking it all in that I was finally sewing. Not a quilt like I want or machine embroidery work, but it is a start. Only, it sure makes me want to drop everything and work on a project. Then I catch myself wanting to short track the jobs at hand so I can get things set up quicker. But, I am holding strong and firm to do this right. I will post photos of things when we are done. And of course when the baby gets here.

Good thing is I have been so busy I have not been spending all my time on Facebook games. Okay, just wanted to post once again, which I have, so now it is off to make supper, check on the waterbed draining, install a set of shelves in daughter's new room, then get her moving in there hopefully for her to sleep in the new digs tonight.

Friday, June 18, 2010


I have spent the past few hours pouring over images of various sewing rooms, craft rooms, scrapbooking rooms for ideas of how I want to set mine up. I am both overwhelmed and elated at the prospect of finally having a sewing room again. I haven't had one since we lived in Texas, before my youngest daughter was born. There I had a whole room and bathroom that originally was a two car garage and had been converted by the previous owners. Of course it ended up turning in to a storage/junk room. Then we turned it in to our oldest daughter's bedroom so youngest daughter could go in to a room. You see, since we had a 15 year gap between the two girls, and since we had room, we didn't want a high schooler sleeping with a newborn. LOL

At any rate, I am so ready to start the work on the two bedrooms and not really sure where to start. One room is now empty due to son moving out. However, he left behind a ton of stuff that needs to be dealt with. I have talked to him about the clothes and things left, he has said he has gotten all he wants, so deal with it all I will. I may even make a little money off of all of this mess. It will be slower going than anticipated since I recently was told that anything done would be done by me, and youngest daughter is eager to do what she can. But, I am not helpless, do have some experience with minor carpenter work, and of course I do know how to google the information I need as well.

So the experience will begin. Tomorrow I will get started on going through more clothes, purging as much to the trash as I can, and then get the room ready to paint. We have family arriving tomorrow, beach trip on Sunday, then a week of family reunion so will be camping for that. I hope to have the empty room painted, new carpet in, and youngest daughter moved in before the new grand baby arrives. We will be taking a trip to meet him of course. Then, after the first room is done, it will be time to start on the second room. New paint and wood floor in there as I think it will be much easier to clean up from sewing and scrapbooking. I will then get all my supplies and machines moved in there and set up. I am really hoping to be able to have it all ready so I can make a few clothes for my daughter and I for fall, new quilt and some clothes for new grand baby then have the rest of the year to work on Christmas gifts. I have determined quite to my sadness that it will be necessary to find part time work unless I can figure out something else. It is also quite clear that I am unable to handle full time employment due to health issues. So, like so many other people, I will just have to suck it up and make the best of it.

So, there you have it. The plans are in the works, and I am now motivated to get the new "studio" up and going as soon as I get youngest daughter all squared away in her new digs. This is going to happen. I will have a room by football season (hopefully) that I can retreat to that will house my sewing machines and supplies, crochet supplies, comfy chair, a TV, the computer and printers (have to have them in order to print photos for scrapbooking and load design card for embroidery machine), scrapbooking equipment and supplies along with also having access to my beads and embellishments for crazy quilting embroidery. My menu planning for all the meals will be done in there as well. Oh, I am giddy with anticipation.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

The $5 Dollar Dinner Mom Cookbook

Rarely do I care to critique or review anything, much less take the time to write about it. Not a movie, a product or even a book because I feel that what may appeal or work for one person may not (and usually does not) work the same or appeal the same for another. HOWEVER, I am making an exception.

First, I should explain to you a bit about what it is that brought me to this endeavour. Really kind of the silly side, to begin with, but now it has grown in to a cause or mission so to speak.

It really was a humble little start. We went on a camping trip up the mountain to ride the trails with our dirt bikes and my quad, several minor things went wrong to cause a change in plans for the whole weekend. Our first choice for camping sight was still closed off to the public due to snow. Yes, this late in May and there is still a lot of snow up there. Guess it is all that rumored global warning. Don't worry, I am not getting started on my feeling about that propagandist lie. We, or rather my husband, had to back our thirty foot trailer down the single lane dirt road to get to a large enough spot to turn around. Now I ask you...would have really taken too much manpower or money to have someone post a sign at the BEGINNING of the road that the campgrounds were closed? You know back where there was room to turn around?

So on to plan B and off to our usual spot to camp. Normally this spot about the lake is really warm this time of year...but, a little front had moved through bringing cooler temperatures and rain. I always have a good stash of emergency ... shall we say supplies for alternate activities. Such as games, DVDs, crochet bag, magazines and such. About a month's worth actually. Growing up with Gilligan's Island am always prepared for the two hour tour to end up taking longer. We get set up and find that while the generator will turn on, it is not kicking over to create electricity. Hubby looked all over all the connections and announced we would be with electricity for the night and he would check it out the next morning when he had more light. Okay, we have battery lighting, propane cooking, fridge and heat. No problem. While I am heating up the chili for hot dogs, hubby and his margarita jump up from beside the fire, grab a flashlight and go check one more thing. He informs me it is now working, he found the problem. He plugged it in. PLUGGED IT IN?

So it was that on the last day of camp, my daughter-in-law and I decided we would let the rest of the bunch ride in the rain and cold while we would watch a movie. We watched Julia & Julie. Most definitely a chick flick, but now romance. I won't spoil it completely if you haven't seen it, but Julie, a modern day city dweller, obsessed with cooking, decides to create a blog in which she post about making all the recipes from her hero, Julia Child's cookbook. One year to make over 500 recipes. You understand that the cookbook is about French cooking for the American housewife? My family would throw it back in my face if I prepared a meal of tomato aspic. Why aren't there books about normal cooking? I don't get it. I understand about having a cause, I have one as well. I want to blog about, and read about, real meals with normal ingredients. Plan out the menu so I don't have to think about it, maybe even do some cooking ahead. I want to put a meal on the table and still have time for all my hobbies. You know, Farming on Facebook, quilting, machine embroidery, crocheting, scrapbooking and such.

So, after watching the movie, and being a little lost myself, well not really lost since I know where I am, which is back to being a stay home mom, but better to say overwhelmed with the changes, I started thinking. Thinking I needed something to motivate me, to feel so strongly about. No, not a blog about Julia Child, it has been done, and never mind the fact that there are probably less than ten recipes out the over 500 that my family would actually eat or that I could afford to make. I did however renew my desire to plan out some affordable meals that would be eaten. So, now you are up to speed with how it came to be that I pulled out a cookbook from my bag and started looking for recipes.

I recently bought a cookbook written by Erin Chase and titled The $5 Dinner Mom Cookbook. When I first picked it up, the recipes sounded like my family would like them. That was a good start. Then, the ingredients were much of what I use normally. Another good start, no running off to specialty stores or the cost of those stores. She had frugal tips and strategic shopping guides, all of which sounded reasonable. And the recipes are set up for a family of four, and we are now three. The introduction to the book states, and I am paraphrasing, that the author set out to feed a family of four on $5 a meal using the best and most wholesome ingredients. All good at first glance.

Now I say this because some time ago I had gotten caught in to the web of frugality a little too much. I was a member of an internet group whose goal was to feed a family of four on four dollars a day. Four bucks for all three meals. That was about the same time I had gotten my Tightwad Gazette and both of those groups suggested going to the feed store to buy oats and making lots of oatmeal. They also lived in an area that had orchards and farms you could pick your own fruit and they raised their own eggs. Then, the four dollar group started posting their menus. Yikes, lunch was a half a sandwich? It may work for them, but not for my family, which at the time included two boys that ate double servings.

So, you can see how really good this book looked. I bought it. Then, I started looking at it a little closer, in a little more detail. First few glances were looking good. Each recipe listed the ingredients needed, and the cost of each ingredient, bottom line was that all the recipes were costing $5 or less for each meal. Even some recipes for homemade things like seasoning mix, baking mix, the everyday things. This was really sounding great. Now all I needed was to make a list of recipes to cook. Then, last night, my brain found it. The errors. Nothing really major, just what my dad would call "over thinking a bit" but enough to rial me up. Kind of like watching a movie about early Rome and seeing a watch on a Roman soldier or jet plane fly over as a multitude of arrows were released upon the enemy. I am the first to admit that I am one of those persons that notice these things, like typing errors or listing wrong descriptions. Like in a novel when the couple meet in a Chinese restaurant and after visiting with each other to set the stage for what is coming they order pizza. Or go to see a movie and leave from a play. Like I said, nothing major in the grand scheme, but bugs me.

You get my meaning. That is how it started. I would notice that a recipe for 4 people called for 2 cups of corn. That is like two can, which is a lot of corn, especially when added to a casseroled or soup. Then, the really irritating thing was when I noticed the price of ingredients. I pay close attention to grocery prices and the book is way off, at least for my area. So here it is, my take.

The book is:
1. Very inconsistent with pricing of ingredients. One recipe list 3/4 pound of ground meat for .76 while another recipe listed a 1/2 pound ground beef for .75 so am wondering where you buy meat that you get a quarter of a pound for a penny. Can I have three of those quarter pounds that cost a penny to make 3/4 of a pound for three cents? Of course not. And, in the book the same 3/4 of pound is also listed with the cost of $1.12 a pound. Now I am no math whiz, but the cheapest I find ground beef is $2.28 a pound which doing the math would make that come out to around $1.68 for 3/4 pound. Other ingredients are just as inconsistent. Roast listed on one recipe as one and half pounds for $2.73. Sorry, on sale roast is running over three bucks a pound. Another example is a recipe that list an egg for ten cents. WOW would I love to be able to get a dozen eggs for a dollar twenty. Or sour cream, half a cup for fifteen cents. Why do I feel like I am getting a huge bargain when it is on sale for $1.59? I want a carton of sour cream for thirty cents! I could go on with much more, but you get the idea.

It was enough to spur me on. To prompt me in to action. I will blog about the recipes in the book and evaluate my cost and families reactions to them.

I must say, the book has good home style recipes and her strategic guide to shopping makes sense. I just felt that the author and publishing company should have checked the final copy for the little details better. The author is soon releasing a lunch cookbook and in all honesty will probably buy it as well.

If you read this, please comment. It is always nice to know someone read it.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Today's little treasures.

Taking a bit of a break while I try and decide where to go with what, what to do with what, what to do next.

Today is so pretty outside that I had to go and take a photo of my lone yellow rose that survived the wind storm.

Originally it was climbing in front of the living room window, I had an arched trellis that had honey suckle growing all over it as well, but the wind storm destroyed it. Kind of ironic that I have this heap of beat up greenery running a muck every where and out of it is this single vine pushing it's head high to hold up a single rose. The honey suckle is blooming out and those vines are just all spread out, which I am sure is just where it will stay becoming ground cover instead of trained climbers.

Now that I have my treasures put away, thought I would post a some photos of the glass ware in hopes that some one might be able to identify the pattern for me. All I know about them is that they are supposed to be depression ware.

I have both stem ware in pink and clear, there are shorter wider ones that my mother has called sherbert glasses. I also have the matching cream and sugar bowl plus a couple of serving pieces as well. Mom would pour ginger ale in the stem ware, put rainbow or orange sherbert in the sherbert glasses and we would play tea party with them. We always had bologna and cheese as well, having to eat bread so we wouldn't get worms. Whole story for another time.

This is another pink piece. Not sure what it is, maybe a sugar bowl, but a large one.

I also have a larger serving bowl with a lid that matches. Have always loved these pieces as they match up with mom's Dessert Rose dishes.

The last piece is from an aunt, not sure if it is actual depression glass, but know that it is probably from the 30's as it was supposed to come from the home place, or the home my mom and her sister's grew up in.

Like I posted, if anyone has any idea what these patterns are called please let me know.

On the another front, the afghan is moving along, slowly, but growing. I am however ready to be done with it. Crochet is so slow for me. Rather, I am slow at crochet. Hubby announced we would be taking a day trip this week end and I will take it along and see how much I can get done. There was a plan for several strips of the yellow and green, but the plans are constantly being revised and shortened. Will see what I actually end up with.

Guess I better sign off now, nothing will get done if I spend the day on the computer. Need to run get some meat for supper as well. Until next time.