Monday, July 28, 2008

Hi, from Pennsylvania!

My Mom and I hit the road yesterday. After an 8 hour drive for me, we finally ended up in Mansfield, Pennsylvania, approximately 210 miles and 19 fights later.

Our first stop, of course, was Walmart in Warsaw, New York.

Not only was it the prettiest littlest Walmart ever, all nestled in the mountains (I'll talk about mountains in a moment) but it was the quietest Walmart I've ever been in.

Now, I consider myself quite smart, but boy was I ever astonished to realize that what seems like all of New York State and what I've seen in Pennsylvania so far is completely covered in mountains.

Time to pack up the laptop and hit the road again.....I have to check with my Mother and see if the fight-meter gets re-set to zero or do we start where we left off????

he he he

(she just said it should be re-set to zero)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Painting and one for the road...

Why don't I remember painting being so hard???? I decided that last week I was FINALLY going to paint the dining room. First of all, I had to deal with some wall repairs. Our house is 80 or 90 year old and has plaster walls which are being held up by wallpaper. I spent the first day making some minor repairs, but they did take me all day to do!!!

Next up, the walls. I painted them a very neutral taupe colour and I'm quite pleased with that but that took me two days. (Am I a super slow painter, or what?). Then, even though I had decided I did not want to paint the ceiling, it became apparent that I HAD to. It was very dingy compared to my new freshly painted walls.

I had never painted a ceiling before and foolishly decided to start that project at 5:00 in the evening. When the sun went down I had to stop and finish that up the next morning, I was really having trouble determining what I had painted and what I hadn't.

Then came the trim. Fortunately, Joe was home and gave me a hand with that, but again, that took an entire day.

But I'm happy with it.

I had big plans to do the hallway and doors this week, but I just couldn't do it. I plan to get around to that in August as well as paint the bedroom and bathroom.

This week I've been getting ready to take a Thelma & Louise style road trip with my Mom. We are leaving on Sunday and coming home on Thursday or Friday. More about that later.

But of course, how could I possibly hit the road without at least ONE new Simplicity 3835???? I couldn't.

This fabric drove me nuts. It was a bit tricky to sew because it had some stretch to it. I think I love it, but the jury's still out.

I might be able to blog while I'm away, but if not, have a super and safe week!!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

We're back

Whew! What a super week we had up at the cottage!

We arrived last Sunday and I woke up at sunrise on Monday morning to get some photos.

As I was snapping the photos the loons were calling and the fish were jumping right out of the water. It was perfect.

That was the extent of my successful sunrise photos. I woke up early every other day that week to an overcast sky. I'm glad I snapped the few photos I did while I had the chance.

The other highlight of my week was revisiting my favourite geocache of all time, "Screaming Skulls". It's a geocache located near the property of a retired high school teacher who has filled his fields with amazing sculptures.

Since we've been home I've been knee-deep in painting. Our walls are ALL in desperate need of a paint job. I've been repairing old plaster walls and prepping for some serious painting in the next couple of weeks. I'm not exactly sure how much sewing or craftiness will be happening in the near future although I do plan to make some new throw pillows and cat beds once all the painting is done.

Break-time is over....back to work now.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

See you in a week!

Joe and I are headed "up north" tomorrow to spend a week at the cottage. We rent the same cottage (from a friend) for the same two weeks each year, next week and the last week in August. They are without a doubt the best two weeks of the year! We always seem to end up with a cottage full of friends and this year is no different. We have friends joining us for several days next week which is ALWAYS so much fun!!!

The past couple of days have been spent packing and making lists (oh, how I love to make lists). I did squeeze in a little sewing time, of course.

Here's my latest and greatest version of the ever-so-popular pattern, Simplicity 3-8-3-5. I know the photo only shows one, but I actually made three and I've made a new observation about the pattern. It turns out a teensy bit different each time I make it. I think that the fabric choice has a lot to do with the drape and appearance of the shirt, but I also think that my variation of seam allowances have a lot to do with it too.

Thanks to Lera I've discovered that sewing darts in the back of the top can give it a little more shape and make it a little more flattering. Having said that, I don't put the darts in until the very end after I've tried on the top to see if it needs it. Two of the three tops I've made in the past three days did not need the darts.

Today is going to be full of last minute trips to the grocery store, packing, lawn cutting and car cleaning. Oh, did I mention there seems to be an over-population of bears at the cottage??? I think I'm going to go to the dollar store today to buy a couple of children't tambourines to take with us on walks to keep the bears away. Any other suggestions?

Have a super week everyone! (I will!)

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Soap, pendants and a winner!

Yesterday morning I unmolded my soap.

I made three different kinds, freesia, apple blossom and a peppermint foot soap. They still smell a little bit funky, but experience now tells me to BE PATIENT, they will be fine in the end.

I also made a few more button pendants.

It's crazy how happy they make me. I've also discovered that I really prefer using the shank-back buttons so the pendant doesn't look quite as buttony.

The next few days are going to be full of packing and getting ready to spend next week at the cottage. I can't wait to sip my coffee down at the dock while watching the sunrise. Heaven.

And last but not least, the winner of my little give-away is lucky commenter number seven, Mary Sarah!!!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

A good day

Yesterday was very productive around here. In the morning I made three different kinds of soap. It's not quite as good as it sounds, I made one batch and divided it up into three smaller ones, scenting and colouring them all differently.

This morning I can remove it from the molds and slice it. That's always the fun part. The not-so-fun part is waiting three weeks (not 4, Lera) for the soap to cure.

Once I was done being a soap-maker, I decided it was time to sew a new bag. I used the Grand Revival Flea Market Bag pattern thanks to Dallas who ever-so-kindly sent me the instructions to replace my missing ones!

I really wanted a neutral bag that would go with almost anything. I used a heavy denim for the outer fabric and a funky orange and green fabric (from my stash) for the lining. I used green thread for the topstitching all around.

I made the small size because I really didn't want anything crazy big. I'm thinking now that I would like it a teensy bit deeper so I might just have to make the larger version.

I really like this pattern. It was a little tricky for me two wrap my brain around, but once I got started it came together quite quickly.

Happy Canada Day!

Today is Canada Day and thought I'd mention a book that I'm reading. It's called Timbit nation : a hitchhiker's view of Canada.

Timbit Nation
is the story of a journalist from Toronto who decides to hitchhike accross Canada. The book is part history lesson, part geography lesson and part comedy sketch. I'm completely loving it, it's the perfect summer-time read for anyone who wants to learn a little more about Canada.

The night before last when I was falling asleep I was thinking about a Martha Stewart recipe I used to make quite regularly, grilled flatbread. So yesterday morning I went to the grocery store to buy yeast and made a (double) batch and had some for lunch.

I cannot stress the following enough...I am NOT a fussy, bread-making person. I appreciate that people make their own bread, but bread-making is NOT FOR ME! Having said that, I could make this recipe every day. It is SO EASY and the results are SO YUMMY. In the past I would make my own hummus to go with it, but yesterday I opted to buy a small tub instead. I have a hunch that this just might become the "summer of the grilled flatbread" around our house.

The only change I made to the recipe is I omit the salt at the end. I'm sure it's because I just didn't read that you were supposed to do that the first few times I made it. Anyways, I don't miss the added salt.

I'm already thinking about how great they would be as pizza crusts and fajita wraps. I highly recommend this recipe.