Saturday, September 27, 2014


My first attempt at painting a barn quilt.
I chose to make a double sided 14 inch square
quilt block that hangs below the mailbox.
Each side is different.

The 3/4 inch plywood was found at a local fix-it thrift store.
What a fun place, it's a home improvement store that everything, either new or used,
has been donated.  The proceeds support a local non-profit agency.
So a win-win!  This piece of wood costs me 50 cents.

GPS doesn't recognize our address until you are past the driveway,
so now we can tell people to turn at the quilt block :)

Next, I have plans for a barn quilt featuring autumn leaves,
hope I get it finished before winter.


Wednesday, September 24, 2014


This new project serves many purposes.
The borders are stash busters.
The center 16 squares are from a friend's stash.
She gave me 2 kits purchased in 2000 and 2001, 
so I'm helping reduce her stash.
I've used half the 2.5 inch squares to make 30 center squares.
 I'm happy these are pre-cut!
And I need inexpensive quilts for my new spare room.
The only cost, my time and since I'm unemployed that works for me.

5 completed, 25 to go!

This project was inspired by a recent article.

Back to the sewing room!

What projects are you working on?


Saturday, September 20, 2014

DECORATING WITH CHINA (includes tutorial)

The next decorating challenge in our new home was the dining room.
Large blank walls can be difficult on a limited budget, 
so I decided to use china plates.  Most came from thrift stores,
the entire group costs less than $5 and had already
been used for our daughter's bridal shower, so I doubled up on 
that bargain.....score!

I started by auditioning and arranging plates on our dining room table.

After finding an arrangement I liked, I covered the plates with Press'n Seal....

traced the arrangement....

and put the Press'n Seal on the wall.

I applied these peel and stick hangers to the plates.  Found them at a local big-box store.

Put nails in the wall, removed the Press'n Seal and wha-la.
I knew there would need to be more to this arrangement but couldn't get it 
right on the table.  I'm such a visual decorator that it was just easier after
the grouping was on the wall. 

Add 2 more plates and I really like it.
There's still plenty of space on the wall for expansion.
If you look closely you'll see that I also moved some of the plates.
Told you I'm a visual decorator.

(working clockwise around the room)

The china plate wall with doorway into the kitchen....

the window facing the back yard a.k.a. neighbor's house...
(Eventually we will replace the ceiling fan with a nice light, 
I just haven't found the right one in my price range
so we will live with this for now.)

the wall featuring a lavender and twig wreath....

close-up of wreath and baskets...

and the doorway to the unfinished living room.

It's not a huge room, but we can seat up to 10 around the table.
So it's great for family or small dinner parties.

Not sure which room will be next on the decorating list.
I'm waiting for inspiration :)

Thanks for visiting!

Thursday, September 18, 2014


Clothespins are a recent fascination for Ellie.  She treats each variety differently.
The non-spring type she likes to put through a cardboard tube.

And the spring type are great for putting on her clothes.  
She just loves to take them off and then have me pin a few more.
This little games holds her attention for a good half hour.

In our home there is one step to a platform at the bottom of our stairs.
A floor to ceiling mirror is on this platform.  
We have debated about what to do with this mirror, for now it will stay.  
It has become quite the conversation piece as people wonder
which set of stairs to take to the second floor.
Ellie has discovered this space also serves as a fun little play area.
We finally rigged up a way for the baby gate to sit on the first step.
So now she plays at the mirror, sits on the step or gets
pillows and blankets for a relaxation space.

Another fun event is when Pappy comes home for lunch.
She always hears the garage door going up, yells "Pappy" 
and runs to the door to greet him.
I'm guessing she gets tired of seeing
me all morning and is delighted for a new playmate.
One of their favorite games is "Night,night",
they pretend to take a nap, she even pretends to snore, 
it's hilarious!

So thankful for the blessing of time spent with our granddaughter!


Friday, September 12, 2014

Nightstand Refinished, Guest Room Debut

In the process of preparing a guest room in our home, I refinished this nightstand.  It has served many purposes over the years and just needed freshen up.  I painted the stand 2 coats of gray and then roughed up the edges.  It won't win any awards but was a fun little project and is perfect for it's new location.

I almost forgot to take a before picture, so this is after it's on the saw horses.  And below you will see that our granddaughter got in on the sanding action.  She is a busy toddler that loves to help!

Now for the unveiling - our guest room is ready for occupancy.  The quilts are antique, made by my mother and grandmother and nothing matches but it's cozy and comfortable.  Eventually I'll get around to decorating the walls.  The wall color is Gray Ghost, it's the perfect mix of gray and tan.  For this house it is our neutral color.

The reservation book is ready, who's coming to visit?  


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Gifts from the sewing room

 I recently completed this baby quilt and diaper bag set.

The quilt is a checked style.  It's just 36" square.

When designing a checked quilt, 
most quilters us different shades of the same color fabric.
I attempted the shading by using the reverse side of the pink fabric.
This was also a way to creatively use only stash fabrics.

The quilt backing is also one of the fabrics used in the bag, 
so they coordinate (at least according to my standards).

 I also made this super sized tote for a friend.
She had requested it before we moved but knew she'd have to 
wait a little while.  So happy I remembered to make this project.

What's next......
finish the quest room before I spending time in the sewing room.

Thanks for stopping by!

Ellie's busy day........

Monday was a beautiful day in our neck of the woods so
we spent most of the day outside.
First we found the kitty's hiding place among the vinca vines.

Then as gramma was transplanting some plants,
Ellie decided to dig in the bark.....

line up all the tools.....

and take a break to play with stones.

Later we played with the side walk chalk....

dumped the chalk.....

and put them back in the box.
Her parents are doing a good job with "clean up, 
clean up, everybody do your part."

After Pappy came home, 
he found a bunny nest while mowing,
so we took a little peak....

learned to walk with a walking stick
(look out Camp Eder, here we come).....

and helped rake pine cones.

We also took 2 wagon rides, 
played the piano, 
had lunch and
did a few indoor chores.
What a busy day for a toddler!

What did you do on Monday?


Friday, September 5, 2014

Let the decorating begin........

Today I started putting holes in the walls..... gasp!
After all the patching and painting it was time.

Breakfast nook.

I used the dining room table for lay out.

Cut shapes from newspaper to tape to the wall for spacing, placement, etc.

And started pounding nails.  No, I didn't get it right the first time, 
but the mistake holes are hidden behind the pictures.

The 2 pictures on the far left are reproduction embroidery pieces.
The large center picture is needle point.  I purchased it at a local
consignment store per the label on the back it was framed in
Sioux City, Iowa.  The tiny picture below the needle point is counted 
cross stitch, a gift from someone along the way.
The church picture is a reproduction and the stamped cross stitch below
was made by my mother years ago (possibly before she was married).
I made the clock, stamped cross stitch, before we were married,
so it's an antique now.
Regardless of their origin, these pictures are all special to me.

Here's an unrelated corner of the dining room.
This counted cross stitch picture was a gift from Greg's sister.

Slowly I will make my way around the house but it will take time.
Currently, we are painting the guest room, it needs to be finished in 2 weeks.
No problem, as long as I stay out of my new sewing room,
 which, as you know, is not likely to happen :)

Enjoy your day!

Powder Room Update

We finally finished a makeover of our powder room. I should say, my hubby, I was only the designer. This project required replacing par...