Saturday, December 7, 2013

Decked out

Yes, yes, I know.  Bad blogger, go sit in the corner.  I figure it's my blog; I'll write when i want to, and you can't make me, nyah.

Mostly I've been doing very little quilting the last year.  I've been focused on the yard and trying to get in into some kind of state that doesn't scream urban grunge.  I think I've climbed out of the ghetto chic hole though.  

So, yea,  Christmas has kind of jumped on us suddenly this year.  Or it seems so.  Fortunately I hosted the Christmas meeting for the quilting group, so I had plenty of incentive to get all my decorations up.  

Here's a bunch of pics of the living room, dining room and family room.  It isn't everything that's up, only about 2/3rds of it.  

Here's about the only quilting I've done:  One tree skirt

I did a DIY cupcake bar for the quilters.  Everyone got to pick what they liked.  

The label said it was a 7' tree, but we had to take off nearly 10" to get it to fit our 8' ceiling.  

Eventually I'll do a catch up quilting post. Stay tuned. 
And Happy Holidays.


Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Finally gardening

We finally got some warm weather around here.  I've been planting seeds in the basement since March.  Spring is almost 6 weeks later than last year, though this is the normal time for it.  The forsythia have gone to town.  They are really lovely.

I've been working on cleaning up flower beds and dead spaces left by neglect.  Case in point is the backdoor below.  This is a dark, windswept corner.  The black area is where all the mulch blew off over the winter.  I think it will be a challenge to keep anything going, but I'm giving it a go. 

Here's the after.  Not much to look at yet, but I opted for smaller, cheaper hostas than the bigger ones.  I put in 8 different varieties.  I also got a great deal on some partially frozen heuchera.  The planter has dusty miller and some ivy.  Eventually the caladium bulbs will come up.  This area gets about 15 minutes of sun a day, but I think everything will do well.  I might fill in with some begonias later on. 

 Looking away from the door. 

Looking toward the corner.  There used to be a random scraggly shrub and a volunteer tree.  I cut those out as best I could and treated the stump.  You can see the white circle that's left.  I hope once the stump rots a bit that I can straighten out the downspout extension.  

On the left hand side of the walk is a narrow strip.  I don't hold much hope for these plants.  There's 4 small hostas here.  The soil is really dreadful.  

 My other weekend project was finally painting the front door.  I got the paint last fall, but ran out of warm weekends to do it.  This is the before with our swatches.  We had a running tally on the fridge. It was really entertaining.  The UPS guy liked Plumage, the TV repair guy and most of the trick-or-treaters voted for Rainstorm.  I think the third one was called Kingfisher.

The winner was Rainstorm. 

Here it is finished: 

And closer: 

 It was a pretty quick project even though it took three coats of paint like everything else in the house.  Next up, I'm putting in a vegetable garden and flowers, and fixing the years of general neglect.  Lots of pruning in my future. 


Saturday, February 23, 2013

Kitchen month

 Happy New year...yea, I know.  Here's a blog post for those who have been pestering me.  Yes, I have been quilting a bit.  I'll do a catch up post later.  Right now, we're focusing on making the kitchen more functional since we're in there 3 times a day.  So far I've recaulked the counter around the sink, installed an undersink storage bin, hung a broom rack, and re-done the pantry.  The pantry was impossible before.  You couldn't take one thing out without causing an avalanche. Here's the pantry before:    

We decided to wallpaper the back wall just for fun.  Mr. Belfry found the wallpaper.  It was my first attempt so a closet is a good first project.  I'm not thrilled with how I lined up the designs, but again, closet.  I was surprised at out helpful my book and paper conservation skills helped.  Here's the during with the closet empty and the wallpaper in:

Here's a detail on the paper:

We opted with an Elfa system from The Container Store.  They were having a 30% off sale, and do every year in January.  Elfa is a Scandinavian company, like Ikea.  Except Ikea is good, affordable design; Elfa is good, quality design.  I had the measurements and they laid everything out, listed all the parts, cut everything to size, polished the cut bits so they weren't sharp, printed directions and helped load it all in the car. I installed the whole thing in about an hour and a half, not including the time to go out and get the right size drill bit. The top shelf wasn't fun to get in because I'm short   

Here's the after with most everything loaded back in.  I don't have to move multiple items to get one thing out anymore.  Mr. Belfry's beer brewing equipment is out of the basement now.  I need to get a couple more uprights for the cookie sheets and label a few things, but so far it's just wonderful.  I walk by and open it often just to look at it.  

 So, that's what I've been doing with my time.  I've got three cabinets to fix, then I'm on to the next room which is where the Christmas closet is.  Which will be good because I still have a tree up because i have nowhere to go with the decorations.  Don't worry, it's artificial.  ;)