Monday, October 28, 2013


Please excuse the "meh" picture...I was standing on a step-stool trying to get a good shot, lol.  Step-stools and I are NOT good friends!  Additionally, the two tables are a smidge too high for me.  DH could lower them, but then they would probably be too low and cause my back to hurt too much.  I can't wait until someday when I have a table that works at MY height, lol.  

All I have left to do is the candy border with the embroidered corners and then I can sandwich it and begin to quilt.  Of course, I do need to press it before I sandwich it...there are wrinkles galore!

I'll post more pics when I get it further along.  Take care, my friends....

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


Sorry, no pic with this post.  I got everything into the trash bin before I even remembered my camera.  I went downstairs to the large upright freezer in my pantry to pull out something for dinner, only to discover everything but the bottom two shelves completely defrosted!  Lots of food and money is now in my big trash bin waiting for pickup Friday morning.  Both crockpots are going cooking up food I was able to save and 10 fully frozen thighs are in my fridge defrosting for later in the week.  I am now sitting on the sofa with a cup of coffee and snack pack of cookies...I need comfort!


Remember my newly painted guest bathroom?  Well, I added a bit more to it yesterday!  It isn't done yet...I have lots of ideas still to come to fruition!  

Yesterday while I was out I picked up the cute little silver and black reed infuser, or is that diffuser?  I needed "something" for on top of the little cabinet, but didn't want it to be anything too big or heavy...the cabinet is held on with two keyholes and screws...and only one of them is in a stud, the other was hung using a "thing-a-ma-bob" (come on, girls, you know what I mean, lol) for drywall with no stud nearby.  Darn word completely escapes me.  I HATE when this happens!  Anyway...the towels are not the new "guest" towels I plan to buy, they are quite old (which explains the discoloration on the washcloth) and were only hung there to test out the towel color.  Yup, black does the trick.  And now, on to my finish...

If you swing around you can see the curtain I made to match the shower curtain.  It was easy-peasy to cut down a second shower curtain to make the valance.  I think I am going to use my mom's trick of clipping on some clothespins to help the pleats drape a bit more regularly.  One steamy shower and they should dry perfectly.  I think I will shower here over the weekend to provide the needed steam.  If you look to the top of the curtain you can see the traditional curtain rod that was hanging there already.  A quick squirt or two of silver paint and it was redone.  And my dad gave me the paint to it was a FREE redo!  It isn't a complete match, but at least it isn't the "glaring" white of the unpainted rod, lol.  My next job is to replace the yellowed shade with mini blinds.  I buy my mini blinds at Walmart.  Dirt cheap and they actually wear like iron.  I'm sure my dad will help me hang them.  

Just next to the window (toilet beneath) is the vanity.  I bought the two brushed and shiny chrome pieces at Ross yesterday (with the reed infuser).  The jar holds Q-tips and cotton balls and the brush holder now houses two new brushes and a travel sized tube of toothpaste...just in case we have unexpected overnight guests.  Please excuse the filthy hasn't been washed since the painters were here.  Time to get out my vinegar and water!  I still want to buy a can of black Krylon paint (for plastics) and paint the Dixie cup holder.  I also want to buy a plastic cube tissue holder for on top of the toilet tank.  I would love to find one in black, but I will take white and paint it with the Krylon.  

My next project will be the vanity itself.  Both the base and the sinks have yellowed over the years.  I would really like to repaint the base with a new coat of white paint (dang, should have thought to have the painters do it) and I would like to dress up the plain white doors with some beadboard and trim to match the front of the white cabinet. I would like to replace the sinks with plain white instead of the white and beige swirl that has yellowed to totally beige.  I'll keep you posted as I get things done. 

So, that was my finish.  Now, my disappointment...

These huge boxes sitting on my porch are for the UPS man to pick up today.  They are the project table for my yellow room that we bought from the Improvements catalog (Can you understand why I had to call J just to get them in the house, lol?)  I. SHOULD. HAVE. KNOWN. BETTER!  Poor J came over last night to assemble it.  Horrible.  Absolutely, totally inferior product.  The boards were warped, the holes didn't line up, the holes drilled for the silver turn-y things (technical term here, lol) were not deep enough.  After 45 minutes of fighting with it, J called "UNCLE" and I phoned Improvements to tell them I wanted my money back.  They appear to be okay with the return and said it will be free shipping...but we will see when my charge card gets credited.  J laughingly said if we EVER buy another "assemble it yourself" item that ISN'T Ikea...we can build it ourselves!  He was laughing, but I think there was a ring of truth in there.  Ikea furniture is foolproof.  We have ALOT of Ikea in our basement and bought tons to furnish J's apartment when he was away at college; and we have NEVER had a problem with assembly.  As he was leaving last night J told me not to worry...he will go to Ikea and buy what I need and then deliver it and build it.  My heart is melting... We raised a good boy...

Speaking of my boy...while going through some closets I came across the second quilt I ever made.  Back in 1991 I took a quilt class and made my first quilt, a gray/burgundy/mauve/blue, "Trip Around The World".  It hung in our basement until 2010, blocking the draft at the Bilco door.  When we had the basement finished the quilt came upstairs to snuggle under.  Anyway, the whole time I was making that quilt my then 3-year-old  begged me to "make ME a quilt, mom!" What was a mom to do?  Make my second quilt one just for him, of course!  Here is J's quilt... appropriately named"Make Me A Quilt".  It covered J, his bed, and floor, and any other stationary object, for quite a few years. 

Unfortunately, after tons of lovin' and TONS of washing (at LEAST once a week) the quilt has seen better days.  The seams are ripped, the material itself is ripped and the batting is almost non-existent in places.  But I can't bear to part with it.  I can still see his little blonde head straining to see over the top of the six foot tables to catch a glimpse of his quilt.  Believe it or not, I still have all of the fabrics used in this quilt and SOME DAY I will either fix it myself or find someone nearby who is a much better quilter than I and can fix it properly.  I would love to pass it on to a grandchild someday...

That is all that is new at my house today.  What's new at yours?

Friday, October 18, 2013


Above is a "sneak peak" of the embroidery that is going to fill the upper and lower sashes of my mom's quilt.  As you can see, I haven't torn off the stabilizer, nor have I cut the jump threads...but this IS a sneak peak, lol.  I have five more sequences to do on the lower sash and then I can clean them all up and sew on the sashes.  I'll try to give you another "peak" when that is done, before I put on the border and corner embroidery!

Until next time!

I've linked up at:

Monday, October 14, 2013


It's been a GOOD, productive morning!  Hooray!!!!

This is where I stand on mom's quilt right now.  I got all of the sashing done this morning as my pain level was pretty low and my hands weren't shaking too badly.  I just had to wash the second blood stain out of the quilt, though, so my body is telling me it is time to stop, lol.  I have had major balance issues since I woke up this morning.  I almost fell when I went to take my first steps...fortunately there was a wall there to catch me.  So I am going to spend all day today on my tush.  At least that way I am safe!  

I just realized when I hung the quilt that I forgot to do the pretty stitching connecting the quarter dresdens in the center block.  I wrote myself a note and put it on my sewing table.  My memory is so bad these days that I don't want to forget to do it!  Next I will be adding a 6" (I think) white sash to the top and bottom.  I am going to machine embroider a cupcake border into the I have to do a sample to see the finished size of the embroidery, then I can make the height of the sash appropriate to the design.  Then comes a 3-4 inch wide "candy" border, the four corners of which will be embroidered sweets.  Then the binding.  I haven't decided the material yet for the "candy" border...I will make the decision when I have the sash embroidery done and attached.  While I had a pretty good idea of my overall design going into quilt designs tend to "tighten up" as I go along. 

Now that I am done with my crafting for today (unless the tremor improves) I think I will head downstairs to either watch TV or read...both keep me safely on the sofa!  

I'll keep you posted as I get more done!

Thursday, October 10, 2013


We all need it, but BOY what a mess it can make in your sewing room! 

Last Christmas my mom and dad got me a Helmer drawer unit from Ikea.  It fits perfectly under the drop leaf table top (also from Ikea) where I do all of my cutting, ironing, etc.  

As you can see, my gate leg table and Helmer drawers form an "L" wth my sewing table...making the placement perfect for easy access to my thread.  

As you can see in the above picture (sorry for the duplicate photo), my drawers are labeled according to the type of thread they contain...Cotton (CT - Connecting Threads), Cotton (SLKY - Sulky Brand), and Poly (EMB - Machine Embroidery Thread).  Slightly organized, but not as organized as I would like them to be. 

Additionally, we all need bobbins of thread to match!  I purchased a small bobbin holder and put the label from a set of threads from Connecting Threads inside.  I tried, as I used a thread from the set, to put the corresponding bobbins in the case.  They were there, but the thread was unwinding and tangling.  So I tried putting a small hair elastic around the bobbin.  It worked, but then I couldn't see the thread color!  

Not too long ago I saw a picture on Pinterest which showed how to fasten your bobbin directly onto your spool of thread in order to keep them together.  It didn't cost anything, well except for the cost of a rubber band, and I loved that the two were attached together so securely.  No bobbins falling off of the top of the spool when I went to take it out of my drawer.  

Connecting Threads sells one of my favorite "all purpose" threads.  While they have a bazillian different colors of thread, once you take off the cellophane wrapper you have no clue as to the name!  I used my Brother P-touch label maker to print out a label for each color thread.  If you fold the label slightly the backing comes right off, no trying to peel it from a corner and losing my sanity in the process!  

I then folded the label around the middle of one side of the rubber band. 

Then stick one of the ends of the rubber band through the bobbin and the other end of the rubber band through it.  

Holding the bobbin against the spool of thread (trapping the end of the thread), wrap the rubber band around the spool and over the bobbin. 

Your bobbin is now attached securely to the corresponding spool of thread and you can tell the color of the thread at just a glance.  

I used the cardboard tube from a pants hanger, cut to size to fit "firmly" to provide a divide between the colored threads I use for ordinary sewing and piecing and the colored threads I use for quilting.  When my order comes in from Connecting Threads I will add the new spools to my current collection with their color labels attached to a rubber band so they will be ready to go when I am ready to sew!

Next I will tackle my Sulky drawer and the drawer that holds my machine embroidery thread.  That one will be done the same way, except the threads have "numbers" instead of color names and I have a LOT of threads to organize! 

Monday, October 7, 2013


I woke up this morning to cloudy skies and predicted downpours.   My body has certainly confirmed the forecast!  I managed to sew one quarter of a Dresden plate before I had to call it quits.  I have moved to the family room, snuggled into my leather sofa recliner and wrapped myself up in a warm quilt.   Now snug as a bug, a mug of steaming flavored coffee in my hand and my IPAD in my lap, I can pamper my aching body for the rest of the day.

I just checked my email and discovered I won a giveaway!  WooHoo!  I really appreciate the win, especially finding out about it on a "pamper me" day.

Hope you are all staying snugly warm!  Take care!

Sunday, October 6, 2013


Friday my dear mom and dad came over and helped me with some things in the newly painted quilting room.  Mom and Dad hung the mirror above the desk and also the curtains.  Today, J came over and assembled my new chair.  The basting table is on order and should be here in about a week.  I am SO excited to see this room really coming together!  More pictures to come...

I have also made a little bit of progress on Mom's quilt, but will show you pics when it is OBVIOUS that I've made progress, lol.  Tiny bites, tiny bites...

Thursday, October 3, 2013


Today is a "catch-up" day at the cottage!  I woke up at 7:40 this morning with "air in my stomach", a side effect of my CPAP that is happening WAY too frequently anymore!  A quick drink of water and the air escaped with every swallow (sounds like air leaking from a balloon, lol).  By the time I felt "better" I was too awake to go back to sleep...despite being exhausted, lol.  So I began to do some much needed work around this house!

First, I opened up a package of ink that I had ordered and had delivered from Office Depot.  My husband's ink, and 3 of my 4 inks were fine.  My blue ink, well....not so fine.  I made a quick phone call to Office Depot.  They will send a driver out tomorrow between 8:30 and 5:30 to drop off the new ink and pick up the smushed ink.  Which means I now I have to plan on spending the entire day in the house tomorrow.  Guess I will be running my one errand today, lol.  

Then I went to vacuum the yellow room that was just painted a few weeks ago.  Upon closing the door completely I found a big drip of white paint on the yellow wall! did I (and the painter) miss it?  He had asked me to check over the room before he left and I guess I forgot to close the door and look behind it.  Now I am going to have to try sanding that drip and touching up the yellow paint.  It would have been SO much easier had I noticed it when he still had the wet roller in his hand!  Better yet, if HE had noticed!  Oh well, I can't complain (too much), they did an overall really great job and the cutting in he did around my existing border is wonderful.  So I'm STILL a very happy camper!

The only other progress made in this room has been in the installation of a ceiling fan and placement of the empty desk.  I need Dear Hubby's help to hang the curtains and he was in a lot of pain this past weekend and couldn't do too much.  Dear Hubby bought me a new desk chair to use in my new quilting room.  It is still in the the it was too heavy to carry upstairs.  I will ask J to assemble it the next time he comes over. 

Project Table with Bookcase

Yesterday Dear Hubby found a nice looking craft table in the Improvements catalog.  He would like to go with this table instead of the Ikea Expedit cabinets since this comes with a tabletop included and the Expedits would require adding a top of some type (which may not be the exact same size).  However, the reviews from owners were about 50/50.  We KNOW we have always been happy with Ikea furniture.  What to do, what to do....?

This morning I added a few more backings to my mom's quilt.  The last two beige blocks are cut, I just have to center and pin the dresdens, but my body is beginning to complain...time to stop.  

 Over the weekend, with Dear Hubby's help, I was able to hang the new shower curtain.  I LOVE this shower curtain and plan to buy another one in order to make curtains for the bathroom window.  I don't think using other materials (my original plan) will look as nice!

Dear Hubby also helped me hang this white wall cabinet.  When J was small it was used to house all of his asthma medication...keeping it all in one place where we could grab it in an emergency.  As he got older he always knew exactly where his meds were when he needed to restock the puffer he kept in his pocket at school.   It is pretty much empty now, other than his extra peak flow meters and a thermometer, and that is good!  The less medication in there, the better!  I just remembered when I saw the photo...I need to go out and buy a set of new black towels to hang on the bar for when we have guests.

At the end of last week and over the weekend I was able to put some of the linen closet supplies back in place.  The three rolling carts have been a WONDERFUL way of keeping organized.  Each drawer is labeled with the category of its contents.  Even guests can find what they need easily!  The two 3-drawer containers hold sample sized toiletries that we use for travel.  I still have to fold all of our linens to fit them back on the top shelf.  It is tough only having one linen closet in the guest bathroom and none in the master bath!  But when J moved out I gave him a supply of towels and bed linens so there should be a lot less to stuff in there!

Several years ago, Dear Hubby came home from a business meeting with the above case.  When I opened it up I found a travel first aid kit!  I was thrilled to have such a compact emergency supply and it lived in the glove box of my car for quite a while.   Over time the supplies were used up and I was left with this sturdy, zip closed pouch.  What to use it for?

Well, I finally decided that it would be PERFECT as a travel EPP (English Paper Piecing) case.  I have filled it with everything I need to do a bit of stitching (including Band-Aids, lol) while killing time as a passenger in the car.  I'm envisioning our trip to South Carolina coming up soon!  If my tremor will cooperate I can see myself getting quite a few hexies done on the trip there and back.  I am just waiting for a package of pre-cut plastic hexies that I ordered last week to add to the kit before I stuff it into the car door pocket. 

Right now I am hurting from vacuuming and bending over to work on the it is rest time!  I'm still sipping my wonderful steaming mug of coffee and hoping my muscles will loosen up.  I need to take my shower shortly and then head out to the store to pick up my free prescription.  I know I have mentioned it before, but in case you missed it....ShopRite offers several types of diabetes medications free of charge.  No insurance information or payment of any type is necessary.  It is such a blessing for someone like me who takes so many medications, at least there is one I don't have to pay for! 

Off to the shower!!!!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013


Sorry I haven't posted in a while, I haven't been feeling too well.  My tremor has been acting up and my pain has increased, probably because my rheumatologist took away my Fibromyalgia medicine (because my insurance was harrassing him that I should not have been on it with my liver disease) and he is decreasing the steroids for my Polymyalgia Rheumatica because they are playing havoc with my other medical conditions.  Such is life here at the cottage...

Front of the Mug Rug

Back of the Mug Rug

On a better note, I have finally finished the back of one of the mug rugs I am making my mom, dad and aunt for Christmas.  If I have time I will finish up the fourth one for a guest at their table (usually me, lol).  If I run out of time I will get it completed after Christmas.  I was looking for just the "right" trim for the back.  I wanted it to be "quaint" and I think the green crocheted lace does the job nicely and makes the back almost as pretty as the front!

On my mom's quilt I have finished all 8 full dresdens.  I now have to cut out 6 more backing squares and then I have to make up 4 quarter dresdens for around the central embroidered saying.  I am hoping to have that done by the end of this week.  Then I can start cutting sashes, the inside border, middle border and fitting the four smaller embroideries into the corners of the middle border.  Hopefully that will be done by the end of next week.  If I am lucky I can have the outer border sewn on and have it sandwiched by the end of October.  I've left myself 7 extra days in there in case of delays, lol, as we all know I have WAY too many of those on a regular basis!  I will have about one month to quilt and bind it with losing time on vacation!  Looks like I am under the gun this year too.  Like last Christmas...IOUs are always a possibility, lol. 

I saw my sleep apnea doctor last week.  He has agreed to me using my Provigil on an as needed basis as I was getting palpitations and rapid heart beat using it every day.  But now I have to  lie down every afternoon for a several hour nap! It's a losing battle trying to keep my eyes open.  He said he needs to take another look at the computer output from my CPAP machine and may even need to do another sleep study and MSLT to check me again for additional problems such as narcolepsy or some other type of condition that hits people in their fifties.  He said I may just have to go back on the Provigil, or one of its counterparts, on a regular basis.  My cardiologist has given me medication to help combat the side effects of the medicine if need be.  Geez, these medicines can give you problems you didn't have to start with!

I got my approval letter in the mail today from Social Security Disability.  If I am reading it right it sounds like I am approved only for the next 18 months and will have to go through a re-evaluation at that time.  Oh no...not again!  I am also confused as it says something about me only being insured through 2016!  I am going to have to call my lawyer tomorrow as I REALLY don't understand this letter.  But at least Social Security has finally agreed that I am NOT able to work.  It only took tons of forms, about a foot high stack of medical records, letters from several of my physicians, a lawyer and a hearing before a judge for the "powers that be" to agree I am disabled!  Gosh, I know people who really aren't disabled and got approved with little to no effort.

And finally, yesterday I did a very stupid, STUPID thing.  We needed some things that were on sale at the grocery store.  My Dear Hubby was not feeling well and not able to go with me.  I told him I was just going to pick up a few things that we needed right away and order the rest of the groceries to be delivered by the grocery store.  When I got there I realized I was only going to be spending $50-$60 dollars total and I didn't want to spend $15 to have it delivered.  Soooooo...I did all of the grocery shopping and just about KILLED myself.  Dear Hubby had a hissy fit when he saw what I had done...and he was right...I was totally and completely STUPID.  Boy am I paying for it last night and all day today.  I HURT, big time, but I guess I deserve every stab of pain!  My muscles are SO weak today from over-straining them. I know when I do "normal" things I can "pay" for several days later.  I expect this payment will last the rest of the week, if not longer. :o(  The decision has been made.  From now on if Dear Hubby is not able to go with me to do all of the reaching off shelves, loading onto the conveyor at the cash register and loading into the car...I will pay whatever it costs to have the food brought to my home and deposited on my kitchen table.  I can then spend a full week putting things away if I need to, and Dear Hubby or J can carry everything down the basement and put it away for me.  It is more than worth $15 to avoid this kind of pain and weakness.  There is a good reason I have not done any grocery shopping in almost two years.  Yup, you can call me stupid...

I had figured that I would take a few pictures first thing this morning...Tuesday...but I woke up with an absolutely HORRENDOUS bout of Trigeminal Neuralgia.  So I will simply add the two pictures I did manage to take and hope for a better post next time around.  Sorry...