Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Downside of DIY

A couple of weeks ago ... someone asked me about my kitchen remodel.


Can I cry????

I am in the midst of dreaming about pretty and having to deal with the practical.

A Wants vs. Needs War is going on in my head!

What I want ............

photo from American Standard

What I need ......... a kitchen faucet that doesn't freeze when we get a bitterly cold south wind.

What I want ..........

What I need is a 200 amp service so my house doesn't burn down when I am plugging in all these appliances!!!

It is soooo easy for me to dream of a beautiful shiny new kitchen in the heat of the summer.  But when the harshness of winter slaps me across the face, reality has to come into play.

Yea .... it is all about the priorities.

First ..... a new kitchen window has to be installed.  Custom-made, solid wood (no vinyl or aluminum trim) -- the window is finally completed (after 4 months!)  and sitting in the living room ... waiting for warm weather for installation. 

Kind of like me. ;)

There is a lot of good news/ bad news with this window.  Because it is a smaller window ... I will gain more wall space for cabinets.  Because it is a smaller window, a new window frame has to be built and plaster work that has to be done before new cabinets go up.

Second .... a new/old door.  We found a double tombstone door at ReStore.  It was a bargain at $22.00.  Solid wood ... beautiful.  It matches the living room door and the door into the Summer Kitchen.  And it is the same height as the other doors in the kitchen, the living room door and matches the height of the windows.  Unfortunately, it doesn't match the height of the current door!  So a new door frame has to be built, adjustments to the new storm door have to be made ..... and again, more plaster work.

And third, work on the exterior has to continue.  If I can get the house sealed up .... we will use less propane, save money and prevent pipes from freezing.  More new siding, tar paper and custom storm windows need to come before cabinets and tin ceilings.

There!!  It is in writing.

Those things have to come first.

But they take three things ..... time, money and warmer weather. 

sigh ......

But I really want this!!!

Maybe if I keep repeating ..........

Window.  Door.  Siding. 
Window.  Door.  Siding.
Window.  Door.  Siding.

sigh .....

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Crafty, Crafty, Crafty!!

Remember that garbage bag commercial???  Wimpy, wimpy, wimpy!  Hefty, hefty, hefty!

Well .... at our house it has been Crafty, crafty, crafty!

OK -- I am the wimp and I hate to go out in the winter.  I am becoming more and more of a homebody and I hate to leave.

I am trying to force myself to go out more .... and hopefully, not fall on my a**!

A couple of weeks ago, I went to Crafting at the Convent.  And as always ..... I thought about staying home.  And as always ..... I had an awesome time!!!

I really did not feel like I accomplished as much as I should have.  But I did work on a few things.

I started these on Saturday evening and completed them when I was watching Downton Abbey on Sunday night.  They are a lovely hand-painted merino and silk yarn that I picked up in Mineral Point.  I really wanted them for myself but they are a little big for my hands so I think they will go into the Summer Kitchen.

I worked on this penny rug.

I had embroidered it with regular embroidery floss and decided that it just didn't cut it.  So I frogged the embroidery floss and did the blanket stitch with pearl cotton.  Much nicer!

It will have red wool berries around the sheep's neck and then pennies bordering the black mat.  I still have a lot of work to do.  But I am excited to get a penny rug or two done for the house.  They are the perfect match for our taste in primitive furniture.

In the tea towel division of Miss Eff's Compulsive Crafting Conundrum (So many crafts, soooo little time!! And I got to use the word conundrum!)  I made these tea towels for the shop.

This has always been one of my favorites.  And the only project I actually started and finished completely at the convent.

So I came home with determination to get more done!!!

This tea towel for the shop helped improve my eyesight!

I did work on things for our house  Us!!!  Yes!!  These will be ours and ours alone!

First of all .......... remember this quilt kit???

Yea ... you thought it was still sitting in the bag ... keeping company with the many other projects I have bought in the past and haven't started .................yet.


Well .......... look at this.

I have all the horizontal rows stitched.

I just need a day to spend with my enabler.  ;)

It will be the perfect lap throw for my dear Honey.  Cuz I know how he loves red plaid!

(Inside joke .... EVERY shirt I buy him is red plaid.  EVERY one. You would think he was Norm Abrams. OK -- I think he is Norm Abrams!)

Walking away from the quilt now.

I made this awesome and humongous basket!  I am certain many boats aren't as large as this tote. It is going to be perfect to store my next quilt project as I work on it.

AND I am going to make another basket next week!!!  But next time, it will be smaller.  Cuz I could run out of room fast with baskets this size!!!

Finally, I mad this tea towel/ runner for the top of our pantry.  Quirky chickens and flowers make me happy.

Yep .... I have to say I LOVE January and the lack of expectations people have for you in January.  I can craft and sew and knit and embroider all I want and no one thinks the less of me.

Come April .....that's a whole different story!!!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Middle Age Problems

It is January at Miss Eff's.

And like all previous January's, some gadget that is suppose to heat something up has died.

In the last couple of weeks .... we have bought a new coffee pot because the timer would suddenly stop working ... it would suddenly re-set itself to 12 am and the coffee would be cold.  Or half done. Or not done.

We bought a new iron because the steam button would work, not work, work, not work, work, not work.

And we bought a new electric mattress pad.

And there is the source of today's problems!

Now ... these are first world problems.  These are 21st century problems.  These are the problems of a spoiled American that has a good roof over her head, a soft and comfy bed and a stack of blankets a mile high.

But the upstairs in my strong substantial house ... has no heat in it.

So we have bought electric mattress pads to heat the bed up so we wouldn't have to crawl into a cold bed.

Yea ..... first world problems.

This time, instead of an electric mattress pad ... we bought an electric bedwarmer.

Super plush and soft.  Really nice cover that securely holds it in place on the mattress. And such fine wires that you can't feel them at all.

But it is a low voltage item and it doesn't warm the bed before you get under the covers.

Your body weight suddenly kicks it and it slowly warms you.  Aaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh!

Last night, we tucked were securely in bed.  The bedwarmer was set on 3.

The night before, it was set on 2 --- much too cold for Honey.  And 4 is much too hot for me.

We try to compromise on the setting.  Very few electric heating devices, whether a blanket or mattress pad, come with dual controls for a full sized bed  any more.  They used to.  Now they don't.  We like our antique full size bed.  We don't need anything bigger.  So we try to compromise on the setting.

Until 3 am.



A tropical heat wave rushed in!!!!  

OMG!!!  It is a 120 degrees!!!  And I am certain the smoke detector will go off any second!!! 

I throw off 2 blankets!!  I kick off my socks!!!

And I stick my feet out of the blankets to cool down!

Call the fire department!  Someone, hose me down!!  This bed is much tooooo hot!

Wait ............

Wait a second ...........

No ... it's not too hot.

Now, I'm cold.

Honey .... give me back my blankets!!!!!

He is going to be really happy when spring comes and we can turn off the bedwarmer.

First world problems of a middle aged woman.

Not fun .... not fun at all.