28 September, 2010

Stinky House

Tile - in the bathroom. Waiting for other floors to be done before they can grout.

House floor is getting its first coat of finish on today. Tomorrow - second, and Thursday - the final coat.
El stinko.
I climbed into my bedroom via a small stepstool. I had already removed the screen. But you gotta do what ya gotta do if you need to use the facilities. Good luck on the bugs. Boy - is it stinky.
We're doing the Glitsa Finish and it's supposed to be tough.
It's oil based so it sinks into the wood but - this is it for blogging for a few days. Too stinky.
Tonight, we sleep in the garage.

25 September, 2010


On Friday, Pencil Girl and I went to the NW Quilt Show at the Expo.  We talked about taking the bus in and riding the yellow Max but time constraints made us drive in. Parking at the Expo is eight bucks now! I was so shocked.
 I expected this show to be more quilt related - which it is, but it had more to offer... We ended up spending a good five hours there - getting creatively charged up. And, getting a lot of catching up done.

Pencil Girl's necklace that she bought last year.

 One vendor was selling these t-shirts. With the extra fabric on the front, they were oddly 'stiff'. 
But you can see where they added a panel of fabric on top, sewed parallel lines at a diagonal angle and then took scissors to snip in-between the stitching lines.

This t-shirt on a sales person was from Anthropology. It's done with elastic thread. Kinda random and I think -done before the t-shirt is constructed. Elastic thread goes in the bobbin.

 I've been once to the Sister's Quilt Show.
This sponsoring fabric store is always worth going to. They have the cutest greeting cards which open up for a small project.

And - I bought my serger at this booth.
Yes - after forty years of sewing and making do, I now can play on my very own serger.

More Quilt Bug photos.

23 September, 2010

EFT or Emotional Freedom Technique

EFT is a very useful and powerful technique for dealing with emotions inside your body. It involves tapping on your meridian points and talking through reasons why you do things. Or, how you perceive limiting beliefs.  
The premise is that our physical limitations are caused by or held up by our emotions.

Sometimes our energy is 'stuck'.
EFT is supposed to clear the pathways.
 Many of the ideas are downloadable free or can be bought for a nominal fee.
I have had success utilizing this technique. Most of them have been festering emotional wounds. I have 'cured' a deformed fingernail by allowing the stress to 'grow out'.
 EFT is not something you do once and it is cured. It's best if you think of EFT as part of your continuous daily meditation ritual. If you have health problems, I believe it is wise to keep an open mind and see if this could work for you.
There are many youtube.com videos out now on how to tap and how to say the statements, if you care to research it yourself.
The EFT people have also done a huge documentary dealing with gulf war veterans and post traumatic syndrome with some pretty amazing results.
This week, their free audio is an interview with Dr. Carol Look

22 September, 2010

Flock and Fiber Festival

It's this weekend!
I've been to the Flock & Fiber Festival several times now and there is always something different as well as the same. It's held at the Clackamas County Fairgrounds in Canby.
Here's the schedule.
Some borrowed photos from Julie Lawson.

If you knit, crochet, felt or just create- this is a hands-on festival from the people who raise the animals. 

See the beginning product make its way into the dye vats, the spinning wheel, into a gorgeous rug, or a stunning sweater.
Animal judging, cook-offs, and classes are all part of the fun.

21 September, 2010


A new work apron was desparately needed. That pesky bellybutton hole went through both layers but I have had no inspiration. Zero. Zippo. Nada.
I found some denim material last Thursday at a rummage sale. I went to a few more garage sales with a friend on Friday and found the 6" squares of the frogs and dragonflies.

I simply sewed an outline around the body of the appliqué and trimmed close to the sewing line. I even put a line of fray-check around the edges.
To make construction of numerous aprons possible, I re-use the apron ties and neck strap and sew them onto the new apron body.
The top pocket is for my MP3 player.
I am back in the business of looking half-way neat at work.
This would be the bathroom tile - laid out in the garage. A little lighter than originally planned. Our first place said they didn't have any more of these big tiles but the second had them - only someone got scared of the color when he bought them and went with the slightly lighter version.
It will work.

20 September, 2010

Lawrence of Arabia

I am watching Peter O'Toole in Lawrence of Arabia on the advice of my janitor at work. He's a big fan of Peter O'Toole. I tried to get Lord Jim from the library also,  but Clackamas County doesn't have a copy.  
It's going to take many renewals to finish Lawrence of Arabia. It's more than three hours long.
I hardly ever watch TV or movies. First reason - my job and an early bedtime. Second reason? The current crop of movies do not have gorgeous soundtracks.

I started Lawrence last week and I was blown away by the opening music. Then the camels came,  and now an airplane has appeared!
It's got everything - action, romance, airplanes.

Enjoy a couple of youtube listings:

19 September, 2010

Campstoves & Soup

Taking care of myself throughout the remodel is a huge goal for me. Especially with all of my food issues (allergic to just about everything). Not to mention my six days a week job.
Last week, I cooked a gigantic arm roast that barely fit into my dutch oven. That got me over the hump. 

We have stray people coming over to do some of the remodeling subcontracting job. We have lookylou neighbors dropping in. Not a whole lot of quiet with my husband thinking of new decisions to torture me with at 4:30am. That's my time for self-meditation- to get me in the frame of mind where I can deal with my bipolar boss.
Throughout the remodel, I have made decisions as simple as I can. Such as, using up paint we already have. I don't know about you, but trying to decide on a new paint color can be a treacherous road. When my husband mentioned wallpaper last Wednesday, I told him I would rather have my nails pulled out than look at another wallpaper book AND deal with the sizing that remains after you decide you don't like the wallpaper anymore (been there, done that).
We are down to the bathroom to repaint - before the 'new' tile guy comes and the toilet goes back in. We finished the kitchen today.
Last night, we bought a 'fake' turkish rug off Craig's List that was  over by the Alemeda area where my daughter lives. 

Removing carpets just to put in rugs is still a  fairly odd concept that I am adjusting to, but we will learn what we like as we go.
First off, I had in mind an oriental/turkish rug for the living room in reds/maroons. The Dapper Tan walls would coordinate, the fireplace brick would be okay and we even had a line on a hand-tied rug for $1600 at Upscale Consignments. New, these rugs go for well over $5000.00. But then, we stepped back, remembered we have two dogs and new wood floors and the point is to protect the floors.  And the other question that popped is "Do we want turkish style rugs in every room?". No answers yet.
Buying used appears to answer my need for less chemicals swirling around, but this is still synthetic fibers and I would like some cotton or wool rugs as well.
Anyway - this rug was much cheaper (much cheaper) - it's synthetic, not wool. But, if the dogs decide they want to chew it up because of the strangeness of it all, no worries. Not so much red as a rose which goes with the brick very well.

This afternoon, I made my non-dairy Butternut Squash Soup - on a campstove.
I wanted a meal that would last most of the week and be quick to heat up - trying to take care of myself here.

This soup involves grinding of coriander spice, pureeing the peppers in the blender, and blending the soup - also in the blender. The campstove managed to blacken up those peppers just fine and it cooked down the squash in the usual time. In my mind, the juxtaposition of the campstove and electric appliances was to be photographed. But I was too tired to style and the oddity did not come through.

And, a little too tired to eat.

17 September, 2010

Tiny Remodeling Woes

The most difficult part of our remodel is putting wood floors down throughout the house. Except for the bedrooms (carpet), everywhere else is  going to be hickory wood floors. The rest of the remodel is bits and pieces to be updated. New Wilsonart on the kitchen counters, new back door because of water damage, & replacing the bathroom floor because of horrid squeakiness. We are also hoping to find a granite 'remnant' to update the bathroom counter. And that's about it - other than painting and redoing the molding and trim pieces.
We needed to take up the linoleum in the main bath because of terminal squeakiness in the floorboards extending into the bathroom. And, the floor has flooded enough over the years (toilet stoppage) that I wanted to check the condition of the sub floor. No worries here but we removed the particle board and splurged on some 18" tiles for the new floor.
The tile guy is supposed to show up at 8:30am and, of course, he doesn't. Upon calling the tile place, we learn tile guy is out on a very small job and should show by 10:30am. And he doesn't.
Nor by noon. About 4:30pm is when he showed up. It's a small bath - about  50  sq. ft.
He did install the wonder board

He came back this morning and started laying out the 12" tile.
But we had ordered the 18" tile - the bigger ones. More calls to the tile place. We were told that the distributer didn't have any more of the bigger tiles. And that we had ordered the smaller tiles.
First off, after multiple visits to the showroom, we never even looked at the smaller tiles. We were looking big. Second of all, my husband located the bigger tiles here in Portland on his first try.  It wasn't like you had to go to Michigan to find the last ones. So - he bought them. Which has made the first tile center upset - they won't lay tile bought elsewhere.
Twenty years ago, we had some installation issues with this local place and I was hesitant. But the gal there used to work with my husband so the level of responsibility goes up if you had prior working relationships - right?
Anyway - we will have to figure a way to extract ourselves from their clutches and find another person to lay the tile. Small, little, and totally expected problems.
But the door is in.

You can just make out that new (lucky) plank on the right side inside the door. That's where the dry rot was and is now gone. My husband said that plank cost $11.
 It's supposed to be less likely for water to seep under a slider-type door.

Photo at top of post? New red wine discovered here. My criteria? Under ten bucks and the coolest label. 

15 September, 2010

Hickory Floors - update

So - here's a better view of what that two-tones of yellow paint in the kitchen looks like and how we are gonna fix it.
Right now, the lighter yellow starts at the french doors and wraps around the 'family room' portion of the great room. The brighter yellow starts in that french door corner and extends above the soffits and pops the Palm Jazz design of the cabinets. We are going to - well - I am going to repaint from the corner to the start of the soffits with the lighter color. My husband, while admitting the brighter yellow showcases those cabinets - he really doesn't care for the yellow. By toning the yellow down to the two-shades lighter yellow - it's a good compromise.
And, the french doors are going bye-bye. When it is windy (gale force) and raining, the rain blows under that door. We built this house twenty years ago and this dry rot is about the only real damage we have found. We are putting in a new Milgard slider door.
A minor remodeling problem occurred when we went to go buy a replacement 2 x 8 tongue and groove plank. They only carry 2 x 6's now. Oddly, though, you can special-order the larger planks and  - weird coincidence - someone had just done that - and his order came in today. We got our plank to patch the little area by the door.

The floor is nearly all laid. But they ran out of wood! The first photo shows the french doors - we are short that much. Another week and a half waiting to find more Hickory select. We got a good deal because most people want the color uniformity of oak or the laminated/pergo/engineered products. This hickory had been sitting - waiting for us.
I just love the look and cannot wait to see it finished.

 We believe - and we could be proven wrong, that the light/dark pattern will hide a multitude of sins. We have dog hair by the gallon. Most people, including us, place rugs wherever  you need them. So - the pattern of light/dark will be around the perimeters of the rooms.

14 September, 2010

Serger Silliness

The contest is finished over at SewMamaSew for the Serger but this entry was way too creative. Passing it along.

13 September, 2010

Lots of Noise

My sister-in-law very kindly came over and helped finalize the choice of formica for the kitchen countertops. Or, should I say Wilsonart?

We had checked out the chains of Wilsonart and Formica samples twice already. It took us three times but finally we arrived at a color which shows off the tile motif on the backsplash and Patty helped whittle that color palette down to the one we are all happy about. 
It is possible, while the floor is resting, that we could get the formica guy (sorry, no gals out here) to lay the new formica during that time.
This horrible economy is actually helping us out. Many of the contractors are hungry for the work and make themselves very available at short notice.
Patty also gave us an idea for the kitchen paint. We currently have two tones of yellow in there and bringing the lighter color around and butting up to the cabinets will make my husband happy. The deeper yellow around the cherry cabinets will stay on the soffits and help pop the Palm Jazz design in the cabinets.

So - if we can get the Wilsonart counters done, the appliances will come near the end of the month and we will be all set in the kitchen, except for the stove.
We are lusting after an Induction Stove, but at this time, it only comes in Stainless Steel finish and we want white on white. 

12 September, 2010

No More Stove

---Not to mention the dishwasher. The wood guy comes tomorrow to start cutting and shaping the floors. We are still living in the house but the kitchen has been moved to the garage. Today was our last day of cooking normally. I made a huge arm roast and my husband made a great spaghetti casserole for himself.

The wood guy will lay out all the wood, cut it to size and then he leaves for a week to let the wood acclimatize.
Then he comes back and does the three finish coats known as a Swedish Finish, a.k.a. Glitsa.
We have to move out for the entire three days, camping in our hangar. I get up at 4am to go to work so I think it would be easier to sleep in the hangar and put the lights on in the garage that early.
Usually, I use the light on the microwave so it doesn't sear my eyelids that early but I am afraid, the microwave will not be joining us in the garage. The stove is out there vacationing - as in not hooked up. We will have to use our camp stove.
At that hour of the morning, stumbling is to be expected. With the bright flourescent lights of the garage blinding me, I'm sure it will work out fine. Especially with the displaced dogs all weirded out.

Note: --through the kitchen window the view of the 'shack' next door.
It has a new roof now as well as one (nearly finished) coat of paint.They even put in new Milgard windows.

And then, because we are nervous nellies about our new wood floor, we'll wait to install furniture for a few weeks and continue to live out of the bedrooms.

Post Application Tips
A minimum of 24 hours is recommended before returning to the residence. Providing good ventilation will minimize the odor and help the floor finish cure faster. You can generally walk on the floor after 24 hours. However, you should use your floors with care for the first two weeks after application. The more gentle you are on the floor during this time, the more satisfaction you will get from your floors for years to come.

Furniture: Allow two to three days before placing furniture on the floor. Do not drag or slide the furniture into place. Install Safeglides Felt Floor Protectors on furniture legs before replacing furniture.
Carpets: Allow two to three weeks before putting carpets or rugs on the floor. If covered prematurely, finishes may discolor.

Do not use water or any cleaning substances on the floor for the first two to three weeks.

I have a huge box of felt. I am wondering if I can sew three layers together to make some felt pads for the feet of our furniture. Will this suffice? I am wondering if there is some tutorial out there? If I had a serger, I could just serge thru three layers in a circular mode and they would probably look cooler than what is for sale out there.

Update on visitors: I only heard them one morning. Eat & Run. :)

10 September, 2010

Remodeling Friends

To aid the tossing of remodeling debris, the doors to the house are frequently left open. No worries about dogs escaping - they have a major case of separation anxiety over the removal of all the carpet down to the tongue and groove planking.
The other morning - I get up around 4am - distinct scrabbling sounds can be heard under the kitchen sink (garbage) and something running around the air ducts.
Freaky?  yes.
Can I get the dogs interested?  No.

They have never chased a mousie in the house. It's been well over ten years since one has dared to visit.

Sure hope it is NOT a nutria. We had one in the garage before, up visiting from the pond area.

In other news, The flooring has arrived.

Rusty is tense. See those muscles bunching?

09 September, 2010

IZZE Blackberry Soda

 This is fantastic.

My daughter came home for the weekend and was amazed that our Canbyland Thriftway stocked her favorite  soda.

I read the ingredients and I can have it too.

They have Blackberry, Clementine, Pomegranite & Blueberry, which I am going to take for a taste test tomorrow. They have other flavors as well but since I don't normally drink a lot of soda, I'm gonna pace myself.

I also brought home this Crater Lake Rootbeer.

All of these are made with cane sugar, not corn syrup. 
The ingredient list is short and pronounceable.

My daughter gets it as a drink at some restaurant in Portland. She didn't know they bottled it to sell elsewhere. So, it must be a well kept secret.

07 September, 2010

Airplane Quilts

As my crap from the house is moved out, there is all of this free space where wood floors will soon be.One of the most difficult chores in this remodel is the long year ahead - of vetting everything before it is allowed back into the house.

The burnt orange couch will not be allowed back in - even though it is way back in fashion. I may cave on this one because we cannot find a new couch that is not one big pillow.

I may need 'bin therapy' throughout the year as I will not be able to recollect where the airplane fabric is stored. There are really only five places: the hangar, the garage, the master bedroom (getting carpet soon) and the two bedrooms that have been renamed craft rooms where a guest may stay, occasionally. NO matter how organized one is about moving stuff, there will always be someone else 'helping'.

I was perusing the SewMamaSew blog today and they mentioned an upcoming contest with BadSkirt and I remembered she had an airplane quilt block tutorial.
I have made these airplane blocks before in different formats; paperpiecing, freehand, stamped block.  Her idea was that the planes be different sizes - random sizes.

The airplanes don't have to utilize airplane fabric.

06 September, 2010

SewMamaSew Serger Winner Video

This is the winning entry in the SewMamaSew blogging contest. Whoever created the most unique PLEA had the best chance of winning a new Husqvarna Serger. Over 1000 entries and some were quite creative.

02 September, 2010

Crater Lake Elevation Flowers

When's the last time you went to Crater Lake?

We went this summer. The last time? Guessing when I was five?
Too long.

We camped at Diamond Lake at 5000' elevation the last week of July. Great campground with plenty of lakeside sites. Crater Lake is higher but I took photos of the most delightful 'rock' flowers.
My flower books - three on the Pacific Northwest - are packed away. Hidden away, as I didn't clear off that bookcase. Sometime, next year, I'll find those books and get  correct flower names, but I'll wing it for now.

Start with native Columbine. This is seen all over Oregon - I've seen a lot of Columbine in the Bend/Sisters area.

A gorgeous low-growing Penstemon.

Steep hillsides, lots of rockeries. This yellow beauty poking up through the Penstemon.

I hadn't seen this one before. The leaves are thin like crocus leaves - varigated. At the bottom you see that lovely penstemon tube.

Another non-memory moment. However, it grows wild all over Petersburg, Alaska.

A kind of violet?

Stunning purple Phlox, everywhere.

I took most of these photos on this hike up to the Lookout Tower. Short hike but ALL uphill - at altitude.

Definitely an odd one - not quite up to blooming speed yet.

This was a type of sedum. Fleshy little balls of leaves.

Phlox hanging on. The Rim Road around Crater Lake, had only been cleared, all the way around, for less than two weeks when we were there. Lots of snow hanging around. Made for a nice hike- having a snowball fight.

Flowers were very spread out - none of that layering business.

Another type of yellow beauty poking up through the phlox.

We plan on going back - without the extended family (drama). We drove south to Roseburg and followed the Umpqua River (hwy. 138) up to Diamond Lake. Absolutely amazing campsites all along the river. Fly-fishing areas, hot springs up by Toketee Falls (and Lake). More to explore.